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The Pros and Cons of Homework

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Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

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Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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Is homework an unnecessary burden?

Ib world magazine investigates if homework still has a place in modern-day education, in a new series of thought leadership articles.

Homework is outdated , invades valuable family time and serves no purpose – or that’s what many schools in Europe and the US now believe. As a consequence they have publically ditched the after-school tradition in favour of letting “kids be kids”. With no homework to mark, teachers are using the extra time to plan more creative lessons.

Some critics have even gone so far as to call homework a “sin against childhood” . According to author and lecturer Alfie Kohn, the positive effects of homework are “largely mythical.” He says homework in most schools is set just for “the sake of it.”

Kohn’s research found there is “absolutely no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary school [5-10 years old] or middle school [11-13 years old].”

At the high school level [14-18 years old], the correlation [between homework and academic success] is weak and tends to disappear when more sophisticated statistical measures are applied. Meanwhile, no study has ever substantiated the belief that homework builds character or teaches good study habits.”

Despite the evidence, homework is still a global practice. In China, 15-year-old students spend, on average, 13.8 hours per week on homework. At the other end of the scale, students in Finland spend 2.8 hours a week. As Finland is regularly used as a positive example for its outstanding educational standards and practices, this highlights a failed link between time spent on homework and academic achievement.

Mental health epidemic

  The homework debate is nothing new, and what constitutes excessive amounts of homework is dependent on multiple factors. However, with the increase in mental health issues amongst young people, scrapping homework could be a step in the right direction towards combating the epidemic.

For PYP-aged students, even 30 minutes of homework a night, if combined with other sources of academic stress, can have a  negative impact on mental health. Researchers in China have linked homework of two or more hours per night with  sleep disruption .

A top school in the UK is in the midst of a five-year review of homework. It is considering replacing it with weekly meditation classes, longer walks between lessons, and flipped learning – an approach where students read up on material before classes.

In France, it’s argued that homework causes inequality. In 2012, French President François Hollande said that homework favours the wealthy. Such students are more likely to have a good working environment at home, including parents with the time and energy to help children with their work, he said.

British author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen agrees. In a letter to the UK Education Secretary Justine Greening – published in The Guardian newspaper in February 2017 – he explains his belief that homework widens the gap between rich and poor, and gives an advantage “to children who have parents with a lot of education on their CVs and/or a knowledge of how to teach.”

“Hard evidence” for homework

However, while the case for abolishing homework is gathering pace, there is “hard evidence” that it really does improve how well students achieve, says Professor Susan Hallam from UCL Institute of Education, UK.

Spending more than two hours a day on homework is linked to achieving better results in English, mathematics and science, according to a study published by the Department for Education, UK.

Homework also improves memory, encourages independence and develops positive study skills – including how to deal with pressure, various studies have found.

Professor Harris Cooper highlights the positive influence of homework on overall development. He says: “Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue it can have many other beneficial effects, including the development of good study habits and a recognition that learning can occur at home, as well as at school.”

Homework can also foster independent learning and responsible character traits – essential skills later in life when students change jobs or learn new skills for advancement at work.”

Homework also acts as a guide for parents. It helps them understand their child’s academic strengths and weaknesses, says Cooper. “Two parents once told me they refused to believe their child had a learning disability until homework revealed it to them.”

Homework does have invaluable benefits, but the amount of time spent completing it is the clear concern. Assigning too much homework can result in poor performance.

Schools are having to tread the fine line of challenging students academically, but not to the point of overwhelming them.

Cooper acknowledges that some students are bringing home too much work. Setting homework policies can help, he says.

Policies should proscribe amounts of homework that are consistent with the empirical evidence (and most do) but also give individual schools and teachers some flexibility to take into account the unique needs and circumstances of their students.”

For example, his ‘10-minute Rule’ advises homework time should be equal to the child’s grade level multiplied by 10, ie a second grader (a 7-year-old) should have 20 minutes of homework per day (two multiplied by 10).

Above all, homework should be authentic, meaningful, and engaging, according to Stanford professors Linda Darling-Hammond and Olivia Ifill-Lynch in the book If They’d Only Do Their Work !

  “Assign work that is worthy of effort,” they say. “Before teachers give out a homework assignment, they should ask themselves, ‘Does it make sense?’ ‘Is it necessary?’ ‘Is it useful?’ ‘Is it authentic and engaging?’ Students are most likely to do homework when it is part of a meaningful curriculum unit and will actually be used in class the next day.”

Look out for the second part of our series on homework where  IB World speaks to the IB teachers who have opted out of giving students homework, with surprising results

  • Up until fifth grade (age 10), homework should be very limited.
  • Middle-school students should not spend more than 90 minutes a day on homework
  • Two hours should be the limit in high school.
  • Beyond these time limits, research shows that homework has no impact on student performance, says Cooper.

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Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

Does Homework Serve a Purpose?

Finding the right balance between schoolwork and home life..

Posted November 5, 2018 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

Olga Zaretska/Deposit Photos

Homework — a dreaded word that means more work and less play. The mere thought of doing additional work after a seven-hour day (that begins extremely early) can be gruesome. Not to mention, many teens have other commitments after the school day ends.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 57 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity. And that’s a good thing because youth extracurricular involvement comes with benefits such as boosting academic performance, reducing risky behaviors (i.e., drug use and drinking), promoting physical health, and providing a safe structured environment. However, tag these extracurricular activities onto the end of a school day and you’ll find that many teens don’t get home until it's dark outside.

What about the teen who works a 15- to 20-hour job on top of an extracurricular activity? The US Department of Labor reports that one in five high school students have a part-time job, and those jobs too can come with added benefits. Teens who work often learn the value of a hard-earned dollar. They learn how to manage their money, learn to problem solve, and most importantly, they learn how to work with people. Plus, a job in high school is a great way to add valuable experience to a resume.

With so many after school opportunities available for teens, it can be extremely difficult for them to balance homework with their other commitments. Oftentimes, active kids simply don’t have enough time in a day to get all that’s asked of them finished. When it comes homework, in all my years of working in the public school system, I have never seen a student jump for joy when homework was assigned. Of course, there are some who were anxious to complete the assignment, but that was more to get it off their busy plate. Which brings us to the essential question — does homework serve a purpose?

There are those who stand firm and back the claim that homework does serve a purpose . They often cite that homework helps prepare students for standardized tests, that it helps supplement and reinforce what’s being taught in class, and that it helps teach fundamental skills such as time management , organization, task completion, as well as responsibility (extracurricular activities and work experience can also teach those fundamental skills).

Another argument for homework is that having students complete work independently shows that they can demonstrate mastery of the material without the assistance of a teacher. Additionally, there have been numerous studies supporting homework, like a recent study that shows using online systems to assign math homework has been linked to a statistically significant boost in test scores. So, there you have it: Homework has a lot of perks and one of those involves higher test scores, particularly in math. But don’t form your opinion just yet.

Although many people rally for and support homework, there is another school of thought that homework should be decreased, or better yet, abolished. Those who join this group often cite studies linking academic stress to health risks. For example, one study in the Journal of Educational Psychology showed that when middle school students were assigned more than 90 to 100 minutes of daily homework, their math and science test scores began to decline.

Antonio Guillem Fernández/Deposit Photos

The Journal of Experimental Education published research indicating that when high school students were assigned too much homework, they were more susceptible to serious mental and physical health problems, high-stress levels, and sleep deprivation. Stanford University also did a study that showed more than a couple of hours of homework a night was counterproductive. Think about it — teens spend an entire day at school, followed by extracurricular activities and possibly work, and then they get to end their day with two to three hours of homework. Now that’s a long day! No wonder so many of our teens are sleep-deprived and addicted to caffeine? On average most teens only get about 7.4 hours of sleep per night but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics , they need 8 to 10 hours.

Regardless of where you stand on the homework debate, a few things are certain: If homework is given, it should be a tool that’s used to enhance learning. Also, teachers should take into account the financial requirements of assignments, electronic accessibility, and they should be familiar with student needs as well as their other commitments. For example, not all students have equal opportunities to finish their homework, so incomplete work may not be a true reflection of their ability—it may be the result of other issues they face outside of school.

Many of today's teens are taking college-level courses as early as the ninth and tenth grades. With the push of programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Early College Programs, and Dual Enrollment, today’s teens are carrying academic loads that surpass past generations. The result of this push for rigor can lead to high levels of stress, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, depression , anxiety , and early burnout . Too many teens are already running on empty. With more than half of teens reporting school and homework as a primary source of their stress, it’s evident that academic pressure is becoming a burden.

reasons why homework is a burden

On the flip side, not all students spend a lot of time doing homework. What takes one student an hour to complete may take another three hours. Too often educators don’t take this into account when assigning homework. According to the University of Phoenix College of Education teacher survey, high school students can get assigned up to 17.5 hours of homework each week. To top it off, a Today article reported that teachers often underestimate the amount of homework they assign by as much as 50%. Now that’s a huge miscalculation, and our nation's youth have to suffer the consequences of those errors.

Jasminko Ibrakovic/Deposit Photos

There are definitely pros and cons to doing homework. I think the bigger question that educators need to address is, “what’s the purpose of the assignment?” Is it merely a way to show parents and administration what's going on in the class? Is it a means to help keep students' grades afloat by giving a grade for completion or is the assignment being graded for accuracy? Does the assignment enhance and supplement the learning experience? Furthermore, is it meaningful or busywork?

The homework debate will likely continue until we take a good, hard look at our current policies and practices. What side of the line do you stand on when it comes to homework? Perhaps you’re somewhere in the middle?

Please weigh in with your thoughts. I am always eager to hear students’ voices in this discussion. If you are a student, please share what’s on your plate and how much time you spend doing homework each night.

Challenge Success White Paper: http://www.challengesuccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ChallengeSuc…

Cooper, H., et al. (meta analysis): https://www.jstor.org/stable/3700582?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Marzano, R., et al.: http://www.marzanocenter.com/2013/01/17/have-you-done-your-homework-on-…

NEA (National Education Association): http://www.nea.org/tools/16938.htm

Pope, Brown, and Miles (2015), Overloaded and Underprepared. (Brief synopsis here: https://www.learningandthebrain.com/blog/overloaded-and-underprepared-s… )

Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

Raychelle Cassada Lohman n , M.S., LPC, is the author of The Anger Workbook for Teens .

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Is Homework Necessary for Student Success?

Readers argue both sides, citing Finland, the value of repetition, education inequity and more.

reasons why homework is a burden

To the Editor:

Re “ The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong ,” by Jay Caspian Kang (Sunday Opinion, July 31):

Finland proves that you don’t need homework for education success. Students there have hardly any homework, and it has one of the top education systems in the world. In America, there is ample time for students to do in class what is now assigned as homework.

Whether a student attends an expensive private school, an underserved public school or something in between, being burdened with hours of additional work to do after school unnecessarily robs them of time for play, introspection, creative thinking, relaxation and intellectual growth.

Mr. Kang regards the demonstration of diligence and personal responsibility as an important raison d’être of homework. He sees schools as places where students can distinguish themselves and pursue upward mobility. But ranking students on homework production favors students with quiet places to go home to, good Wi-Fi, and access to tutors and parents who can provide help. In other words, it favors students of higher socioeconomic status.

It follows that making homework an important part of a student’s evaluation perpetuates both educational inequalities and the myth of meritocracy. A first step toward improving our educational system is indeed the abolition of homework.

Dorshka Wylie Washington The writer is an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of the District of Columbia.

Homework’s value is unclear for younger students. But by high school and college, homework is absolutely essential for any student who wishes to excel. There simply isn’t time to digest Dostoyevsky if you only ever read him in class.

In both my own education and my 20-year career as an educator, I’ve observed that those students who spend the most time on homework tend to learn the most and earn the best grades. And this is no less true for athletes and musicians. Top performers have often spent far more time perfecting their crafts than their lesser competitors.

This isn’t to deny natural talent or to suggest that everybody starts from the same spot, but it is to say that what matters most is putting in the hours. As Jay Caspian Kang notes, “Kids need to learn how to practice things.”

Simone Biles became the greatest gymnast ever by training seven hours a day, six days a week . Lang Lang made it to Carnegie Hall at age 18 after practicing piano six hours a day starting when he was 5 years old. Steph Curry is the greatest shooter in N.B.A. history precisely because he puts up 300 to 500 shots every day . The recipe is surprisingly simple: Outwork others. It’s much harder than it sounds.

Justin Snider New York The writer is an assistant dean at Columbia University, where he also teaches undergraduate writing.

In my own practice as a high school mathematics teacher, I explored why students were not doing homework in certain classes and discovered that many of them were having difficulty doing the problems. When I “flipped” my classroom, I started assigning simple introductory videos for homework and doing the harder problems in class.

Students get credit for watching and doing the problems in the video. Then in class, they are better prepared to work on more difficult problems. This significantly increased the percentage of homework doers.

In other cases, I create an after-school “homework clinic” where I can guide students in how to approach the work, and how to judge if they have done enough. Sometimes groups of students come together to a homework clinic and enjoy helping one another.

I don’t think about homework as something that must be done “at home”; I think of it as an opportunity for a student to work independently, and to explore and practice new ideas.

This is one approach to improving equity without lowering cognitive demand.

Joyce Leslie Highland Park, N.J.

Telling students that “a lot of work you’re going to end up doing in your life is pointless” is an absurd justification for repetitive, mindless homework.

Allen Berger Savannah, Ga. The writer is emeritus professor of reading and writing at Miami University (Ohio).

I see why Jay Caspian Kang can’t imagine a school that could educate children well without relying on homework, ranking, sorting and other trappings of meritocracy. Most people in our society have never seen such a thing. But some schools do provide a rigorous education that strengthens personal responsibility and skill mastery without emphasizing who is better than whom — and even without homework.

To see this in action, I encourage Mr. Kang to visit any of the powerful public Montessori schools serving low-income communities across our nation. And yes, many Montessori schools take a minimal approach to homework. Instead, they make time for children to struggle with challenging concepts and independently practice new skills during the school day.

Annie Frazer Decatur, Ga. The writer is executive director of Montessori Partnerships for Georgia.

I agree with Jay Caspian Kang that one value of homework is for a student to independently practice a skill until mastery, and I recognize the issue of equity when homework is assessed for students from “disadvantaged” homes. However, there is another important benefit to homework that can bolster social mobility.

Homework gives students the opportunity to practice responsibility, which arguably is an important “soft skill” that will pay off later in the work force. In the classroom, students practice compliance: doing what the teacher says. Homework provides students with agency to practice time management (remembering to do a task and making time to do it) and materials management (taking home the right notebook and bringing it back on time).

To ensure an equal playing field, teachers can directly teach these skills by providing strategies to students who may not have adults at home to do so. Schools can further support students by providing unstructured time for students to do this homework independently with supervision (free period, study hall, after school, etc.). Learning responsibility should be the fourth R.

Barbara Richman Hawthorne, N.Y.

Is Homework Valuable or Not? Try Looking at Quality Instead

reasons why homework is a burden

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Is there an end in sight to the “homework wars?”

Homework is one those never-ending debates in K-12 circles that re-emerges every few years, bringing with it a new collection of headlines. Usually they bemoan how much homework students have, or highlight districts and even states that have sought to cap or eliminate homework .

Now, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress suggests a more fruitful way of thinking about this problem. Maybe, it suggests, what we should be doing is looking at what students are routinely being asked to do in take-home assignments, how well that homework supports their learning goals (or doesn’t), and make changes from there.

The analysis of nearly 200 pieces of homework concludes that much of what students are asked to do aligns to the Common Core State Standards—a testament to how pervasive the standards are in the U.S. education system, even though many states have tweaked, renamed, or replaced them. However, most of the homework embodied basic, procedural components of the standards, rather than the more difficult skills—such as analyzing or extending their knowledge to new problems.

“We were surprised by the degree of alignment. And we were also surprised by the degree that the homework was rote, and how much some of this stuff felt like Sudoku,” said Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at CAP. “It made the homework debate make a lot more sense about why parents are frustrated.”

It is also similar to the findings of groups like the Education Trust, which have found that classwork tends to be aligned to state standards, but not all that rigorous.

Collecting Homework Samples

The CAP analysis appears to be one of the first studies to look at homework rigor using a national survey lens. Many studies of homework are based on one school or one district’s assignments, which obviously limits their applicability. Attempts to synthesize all this research have led to some hard-to-parse conclusions. One of the most cited studies concludes there’s some connection for grades 6-12 between homework and test scores, but less so for elementary students, and less of an impact on actual grades.

Another problem is that students’ experiences with homework seem to vary so dramatically: A Brookings Institution report based on survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress concluded that, while on average students aren’t overburdened by homework, a subset of students do appear to get hours upon hours.

The CAP analysis, instead, was based on getting a sample of parents from across the country to send in examples of their children’s homework. The researchers used MTurk, a crowdsourcing service offered by Amazon.com to recruit parents. Of the 372 parents who responded, the researchers got a pile of 187 useable assignments. Next, John Smithson, an emeritus researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had teams grade them on a taxonomy looking at both the content and the “cognitive demand,” or difficulty, of the work. The index fell on a 1 to 10 scale, with a score 4 to 6 range considered as “good” alignment.

The results? On average, math assignments fell within this range, while the ELA ones were slightly weaker, in the 3 to 5 range.

But the real eye-opening graphic is this one, which shows that by far the assignments were mostly low-level.

reasons why homework is a burden

This makes some logical sense when you think about it. Just as with teaching and testing, it is much easier to write homework assignments prioritizing basic arithmetic drills and fill-in-the-blank vocabulary words than ones that get students to “prove” or “generalize” some tenet. (I suspect prepackaged curricula, too, probably lean more toward rote stuff than cognitively demanding exercises.)

Here’s another explanation: Many teachers believe homework should be for practicing known content, not learning something new. This is partially to help close the “homework gap” that surfaces because some students can access parent help or help via technology, while other students can’t. It’s possible that teachers are purposefully giving lower-level work to their students to take home for this reason.

To be sure, Boser said, it’s not that all lower-level work is intrinsically bad: Memorization does have a place in learning. But assignments like color-in-the-blank and word searches are probably just a waste of students’ time. “Homework assignments,” the study says, “should be thought-provoking.”

Study Limitations

The study does come with some significant limitations, so you must use caution in discussing its results. The surveyed population differs from the population at large, overrepresenting mothers over fathers and parents of K-5 students, and underrepresenting black parents. Also, the majority of the assignments the parents sent in came from the elementary grades.

The report makes suggestions on how districts can strategically improve the quality of their homework, rather than deciding to chuck it out altogether.

One is to is to audit homework assignments to make sure they’re actually useful at building some of the more difficult skills. Another is to extend the “curriculum revolution” of the last decade, which has focused more attention on the quality and alignment of textbooks and materials, to homework. A third is to use appropriate technology so students can access out-of-school supports for challenging homework.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

reasons why homework is a burden

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

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Should Kids Get Homework?

Homework gives elementary students a way to practice concepts, but too much can be harmful, experts say.

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Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful.

How much homework students should get has long been a source of debate among parents and educators. In recent years, some districts have even implemented no-homework policies, as students juggle sports, music and other activities after school.

Parents of elementary school students, in particular, have argued that after-school hours should be spent with family or playing outside rather than completing assignments. And there is little research to show that homework improves academic achievement for elementary students.

But some experts say there's value in homework, even for younger students. When done well, it can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills. The key to effective homework, they say, is keeping assignments related to classroom learning, and tailoring the amount by age: Many experts suggest no homework for kindergartners, and little to none in first and second grade.

Value of Homework

Homework provides a chance to solidify what is being taught in the classroom that day, week or unit. Practice matters, says Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University 's Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

"There really is no other domain of human ability where anybody would say you don't need to practice," she adds. "We have children practicing piano and we have children going to sports practice several days a week after school. You name the domain of ability and practice is in there."

Homework is also the place where schools and families most frequently intersect.

"The children are bringing things from the school into the home," says Paula S. Fass, professor emerita of history at the University of California—Berkeley and the author of "The End of American Childhood." "Before the pandemic, (homework) was the only real sense that parents had to what was going on in schools."

Harris Cooper, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and author of "The Battle Over Homework," examined more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that — when designed properly — homework can lead to greater student success. Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary.

"Every child should be doing homework, but the amount and type that they're doing should be appropriate for their developmental level," he says. "For teachers, it's a balancing act. Doing away with homework completely is not in the best interest of children and families. But overburdening families with homework is also not in the child's or a family's best interest."

Negative Homework Assignments

Not all homework for elementary students involves completing a worksheet. Assignments can be fun, says Cooper, like having students visit educational locations, keep statistics on their favorite sports teams, read for pleasure or even help their parents grocery shop. The point is to show students that activities done outside of school can relate to subjects learned in the classroom.

But assignments that are just busy work, that force students to learn new concepts at home, or that are overly time-consuming can be counterproductive, experts say.

Homework that's just busy work.

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful, experts say. Assignments that look more like busy work – projects or worksheets that don't require teacher feedback and aren't related to topics learned in the classroom – can be frustrating for students and create burdens for families.

"The mental health piece has definitely played a role here over the last couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing we want to do is frustrate students with busy work or homework that makes no sense," says Dave Steckler, principal of Red Trail Elementary School in Mandan, North Dakota.

Homework on material that kids haven't learned yet.

With the pressure to cover all topics on standardized tests and limited time during the school day, some teachers assign homework that has not yet been taught in the classroom.

Not only does this create stress, but it also causes equity challenges. Some parents speak languages other than English or work several jobs, and they aren't able to help teach their children new concepts.

" It just becomes agony for both parents and the kids to get through this worksheet, and the goal becomes getting to the bottom of (the) worksheet with answers filled in without any understanding of what any of it matters for," says professor Susan R. Goldman, co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois—Chicago .

Homework that's overly time-consuming.

The standard homework guideline recommended by the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association is the "10-minute rule" – 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade level. A fourth grader, for instance, would receive a total of 40 minutes of homework per night.

But this does not always happen, especially since not every student learns the same. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy found that primary school children actually received three times the recommended amount of homework — and that family stress increased along with the homework load.

Young children can only remain attentive for short periods, so large amounts of homework, especially lengthy projects, can negatively affect students' views on school. Some individual long-term projects – like having to build a replica city, for example – typically become an assignment for parents rather than students, Fass says.

"It's one thing to assign a project like that in which several kids are working on it together," she adds. "In (that) case, the kids do normally work on it. It's another to send it home to the families, where it becomes a burden and doesn't really accomplish very much."

Private vs. Public Schools

Do private schools assign more homework than public schools? There's little research on the issue, but experts say private school parents may be more accepting of homework, seeing it as a sign of academic rigor.

Of course, not all private schools are the same – some focus on college preparation and traditional academics, while others stress alternative approaches to education.

"I think in the academically oriented private schools, there's more support for homework from parents," says Gerald K. LeTendre, chair of educational administration at Pennsylvania State University—University Park . "I don't know if there's any research to show there's more homework, but it's less of a contentious issue."

How to Address Homework Overload

First, assess if the workload takes as long as it appears. Sometimes children may start working on a homework assignment, wander away and come back later, Cooper says.

"Parents don't see it, but they know that their child has started doing their homework four hours ago and still not done it," he adds. "They don't see that there are those four hours where their child was doing lots of other things. So the homework assignment itself actually is not four hours long. It's the way the child is approaching it."

But if homework is becoming stressful or workload is excessive, experts suggest parents first approach the teacher, followed by a school administrator.

"Many times, we can solve a lot of issues by having conversations," Steckler says, including by "sitting down, talking about the amount of homework, and what's appropriate and not appropriate."

Study Tips for High School Students

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Research Trends: Why Homework Should Be Balanced

Research suggests that while homework can be an effective learning tool, assigning too much can lower student performance and interfere with other important activities.

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Homework: effective learning tool or waste of time?

Since the average high school student spends almost seven hours each week doing homework, it’s surprising that there’s no clear answer. Homework is generally recognized as an effective way to reinforce what students learn in class, but claims that it may cause more harm than good, especially for younger students, are common.

Here’s what the research says:

  • In general, homework has substantial benefits at the high school level, with decreased benefits for middle school students and few benefits for elementary students (Cooper, 1989; Cooper et al., 2006).
  • While assigning homework may have academic benefits, it can also cut into important personal and family time (Cooper et al., 2006).
  • Assigning too much homework can result in poor performance (Fernández-Alonso et al., 2015).
  • A student’s ability to complete homework may depend on factors that are outside their control (Cooper et al., 2006; OECD, 2014; Eren & Henderson, 2011).
  • The goal shouldn’t be to eliminate homework, but to make it authentic, meaningful, and engaging (Darling-Hammond & Ifill-Lynch, 2006).

Why Homework Should Be Balanced

Homework can boost learning, but doing too much can be detrimental. The National PTA and National Education Association support the “10-minute homework rule,” which recommends 10 minutes of homework per grade level, per night (10 minutes for first grade, 20 minutes for second grade, and so on, up to two hours for 12th grade) (Cooper, 2010). A recent study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90–100 minutes of homework per day, their math and science scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015). Giving students too much homework can lead to fatigue, stress, and a loss of interest in academics—something that we all want to avoid.

Homework Pros and Cons

Homework has many benefits, ranging from higher academic performance to improved study skills and stronger school-parent connections. However, it can also result in a loss of interest in academics, fatigue, and a loss of important personal and family time.

Grade Level Makes a Difference

Although the debate about homework generally falls in the “it works” vs. “it doesn’t work” camps, research shows that grade level makes a difference. High school students generally get the biggest benefits from homework, with middle school students getting about half the benefits, and elementary school students getting few benefits (Cooper et al., 2006). Since young students are still developing study habits like concentration and self-regulation, assigning a lot of homework isn’t all that helpful.

Parents Should Be Supportive, Not Intrusive

Well-designed homework not only strengthens student learning, it also provides ways to create connections between a student’s family and school. Homework offers parents insight into what their children are learning, provides opportunities to talk with children about their learning, and helps create conversations with school communities about ways to support student learning (Walker et al., 2004).

However, parent involvement can also hurt student learning. Patall, Cooper, and Robinson (2008) found that students did worse when their parents were perceived as intrusive or controlling. Motivation plays a key role in learning, and parents can cause unintentional harm by not giving their children enough space and autonomy to do their homework.

Homework Across the Globe

OECD , the developers of the international PISA test, published a 2014 report looking at homework around the world. They found that 15-year-olds worldwide spend an average of five hours per week doing homework (the U.S. average is about six hours). Surprisingly, countries like Finland and Singapore spend less time on homework (two to three hours per week) but still have high PISA rankings. These countries, the report explains, have support systems in place that allow students to rely less on homework to succeed. If a country like the U.S. were to decrease the amount of homework assigned to high school students, test scores would likely decrease unless additional supports were added.

Homework Is About Quality, Not Quantity

Whether you’re pro- or anti-homework, keep in mind that research gives a big-picture idea of what works and what doesn’t, and a capable teacher can make almost anything work. The question isn’t  homework vs. no homework ; instead, we should be asking ourselves, “How can we transform homework so that it’s engaging and relevant and supports learning?”

Cooper, H. (1989). Synthesis of research on homework . Educational leadership, 47 (3), 85-91.

Cooper, H. (2010). Homework’s Diminishing Returns . The New York Times .

Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003 . Review of Educational Research, 76 (1), 1-62.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Ifill-Lynch, O. (2006). If They'd Only Do Their Work! Educational Leadership, 63 (5), 8-13.

Eren, O., & Henderson, D. J. (2011). Are we wasting our children's time by giving them more homework? Economics of Education Review, 30 (5), 950-961.

Fernández-Alonso, R., Suárez-Álvarez, J., & Muñiz, J. (2015, March 16). Adolescents’ Homework Performance in Mathematics and Science: Personal Factors and Teaching Practices . Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication.

OECD (2014). Does Homework Perpetuate Inequities in Education? PISA in Focus , No. 46, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). Parent involvement in homework: A research synthesis . Review of Educational Research, 78 (4), 1039-1101.

Van Voorhis, F. L. (2003). Interactive homework in middle school: Effects on family involvement and science achievement . The Journal of Educational Research, 96 (6), 323-338.

Walker, J. M., Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Whetsel, D. R., & Green, C. L. (2004). Parental involvement in homework: A review of current research and its implications for teachers, after school program staff, and parent leaders . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.

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Home » Tips for Teachers » 7 Research-Based Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework: Academic Insights, Opposing Perspectives & Alternatives

7 Research-Based Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework: Academic Insights, Opposing Perspectives & Alternatives

In recent years, the question of why students should not have homework has become a topic of intense debate among educators, parents, and students themselves. This discussion stems from a growing body of research that challenges the traditional view of homework as an essential component of academic success. The notion that homework is an integral part of learning is being reevaluated in light of new findings about its effectiveness and impact on students’ overall well-being.

Why Students Should Not Have Homework

The push against homework is not just about the hours spent on completing assignments; it’s about rethinking the role of education in fostering the well-rounded development of young individuals. Critics argue that homework, particularly in excessive amounts, can lead to negative outcomes such as stress, burnout, and a diminished love for learning. Moreover, it often disproportionately affects students from disadvantaged backgrounds, exacerbating educational inequities. The debate also highlights the importance of allowing children to have enough free time for play, exploration, and family interaction, which are crucial for their social and emotional development.

Checking 13yo’s math homework & I have just one question. I can catch mistakes & help her correct. But what do kids do when their parent isn’t an Algebra teacher? Answer: They get frustrated. Quit. Get a bad grade. Think they aren’t good at math. How is homework fair??? — Jay Wamsted (@JayWamsted) March 24, 2022

As we delve into this discussion, we explore various facets of why reducing or even eliminating homework could be beneficial. We consider the research, weigh the pros and cons, and examine alternative approaches to traditional homework that can enhance learning without overburdening students.

Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll know:

  • Insights from Teachers and Education Industry Experts →
  • 7 Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework →
  • Opposing Views on Homework Practices →
  • Exploring Alternatives to Homework →

Insights from Teachers and Education Industry Experts: Diverse Perspectives on Homework

In the ongoing conversation about the role and impact of homework in education, the perspectives of those directly involved in the teaching process are invaluable. Teachers and education industry experts bring a wealth of experience and insights from the front lines of learning. Their viewpoints, shaped by years of interaction with students and a deep understanding of educational methodologies, offer a critical lens through which we can evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of homework in our current educational paradigm.

Check out this video featuring Courtney White, a high school language arts teacher who gained widespread attention for her explanation of why she chooses not to assign homework.

Here are the insights and opinions from various experts in the educational field on this topic:

“I teach 1st grade. I had parents ask for homework. I explained that I don’t give homework. Home time is family time. Time to play, cook, explore and spend time together. I do send books home, but there is no requirement or checklist for reading them. Read them, enjoy them, and return them when your child is ready for more. I explained that as a parent myself, I know they are busy—and what a waste of energy it is to sit and force their kids to do work at home—when they could use that time to form relationships and build a loving home. Something kids need more than a few math problems a week.” — Colleen S. , 1st grade teacher
“The lasting educational value of homework at that age is not proven. A kid says the times tables [at school] because he studied the times tables last night. But over a long period of time, a kid who is drilled on the times tables at school, rather than as homework, will also memorize their times tables. We are worried about young children and their social emotional learning. And that has to do with physical activity, it has to do with playing with peers, it has to do with family time. All of those are very important and can be removed by too much homework.” — David Bloomfield , education professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York graduate center
“Homework in primary school has an effect of around zero. In high school it’s larger. (…) Which is why we need to get it right. Not why we need to get rid of it. It’s one of those lower hanging fruit that we should be looking in our primary schools to say, ‘Is it really making a difference?’” — John Hattie , professor
”Many kids are working as many hours as their overscheduled parents and it is taking a toll – psychologically and in many other ways too. We see kids getting up hours before school starts just to get their homework done from the night before… While homework may give kids one more responsibility, it ignores the fact that kids do not need to grow up and become adults at ages 10 or 12. With schools cutting recess time or eliminating playgrounds, kids absorb every single stress there is, only on an even higher level. Their brains and bodies need time to be curious, have fun, be creative and just be a kid.” — Pat Wayman, teacher and CEO of HowtoLearn.com

7 Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework

Let’s delve into the reasons against assigning homework to students. Examining these arguments offers important perspectives on the wider educational and developmental consequences of homework practices.

1. Elevated Stress and Health Consequences

Elevated Stress and Health Consequences

The ongoing debate about homework often focuses on its educational value, but a vital aspect that cannot be overlooked is the significant stress and health consequences it brings to students. In the context of American life, where approximately 70% of people report moderate or extreme stress due to various factors like mass shootings, healthcare affordability, discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, climate change, presidential elections, and the need to stay informed, the additional burden of homework further exacerbates this stress, particularly among students.

Key findings and statistics reveal a worrying trend:

  • Overwhelming Student Stress: A staggering 72% of students report being often or always stressed over schoolwork, with a concerning 82% experiencing physical symptoms due to this stress.
  • Serious Health Issues: Symptoms linked to homework stress include sleep deprivation, headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, and stomach problems.
  • Sleep Deprivation: Despite the National Sleep Foundation recommending 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep for healthy adolescent development, students average just 6.80 hours of sleep on school nights. About 68% of students stated that schoolwork often or always prevented them from getting enough sleep, which is critical for their physical and mental health.
  • Turning to Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Alarmingly, the pressure from excessive homework has led some students to turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with stress.

This data paints a concerning picture. Students, already navigating a world filled with various stressors, find themselves further burdened by homework demands. The direct correlation between excessive homework and health issues indicates a need for reevaluation. The goal should be to ensure that homework if assigned, adds value to students’ learning experiences without compromising their health and well-being.

By addressing the issue of homework-related stress and health consequences, we can take a significant step toward creating a more nurturing and effective educational environment. This environment would not only prioritize academic achievement but also the overall well-being and happiness of students, preparing them for a balanced and healthy life both inside and outside the classroom.

2. Inequitable Impact and Socioeconomic Disparities

Inequitable Impact and Socioeconomic Disparities

In the discourse surrounding educational equity, homework emerges as a factor exacerbating socioeconomic disparities, particularly affecting students from lower-income families and those with less supportive home environments. While homework is often justified as a means to raise academic standards and promote equity, its real-world impact tells a different story.

The inequitable burden of homework becomes starkly evident when considering the resources required to complete it, especially in the digital age. Homework today often necessitates a computer and internet access – resources not readily available to all students. This digital divide significantly disadvantages students from lower-income backgrounds, deepening the chasm between them and their more affluent peers.

Key points highlighting the disparities:

  • Digital Inequity: Many students lack access to necessary technology for homework, with low-income families disproportionately affected.
  • Impact of COVID-19: The pandemic exacerbated these disparities as education shifted online, revealing the extent of the digital divide.
  • Educational Outcomes Tied to Income: A critical indicator of college success is linked more to family income levels than to rigorous academic preparation. Research indicates that while 77% of students from high-income families graduate from highly competitive colleges, only 9% from low-income families achieve the same . This disparity suggests that the pressure of heavy homework loads, rather than leveling the playing field, may actually hinder the chances of success for less affluent students.

Moreover, the approach to homework varies significantly across different types of schools. While some rigorous private and preparatory schools in both marginalized and affluent communities assign extreme levels of homework, many progressive schools focusing on holistic learning and self-actualization opt for no homework, yet achieve similar levels of college and career success. This contrast raises questions about the efficacy and necessity of heavy homework loads in achieving educational outcomes.

The issue of homework and its inequitable impact is not just an academic concern; it is a reflection of broader societal inequalities. By continuing practices that disproportionately burden students from less privileged backgrounds, the educational system inadvertently perpetuates the very disparities it seeks to overcome.

3. Negative Impact on Family Dynamics

Negative Impact on Family Dynamics

Homework, a staple of the educational system, is often perceived as a necessary tool for academic reinforcement. However, its impact extends beyond the realm of academics, significantly affecting family dynamics. The negative repercussions of homework on the home environment have become increasingly evident, revealing a troubling pattern that can lead to conflict, mental health issues, and domestic friction.

A study conducted in 2015 involving 1,100 parents sheds light on the strain homework places on family relationships. The findings are telling:

  • Increased Likelihood of Conflicts: Families where parents did not have a college degree were 200% more likely to experience fights over homework.
  • Misinterpretations and Misunderstandings: Parents often misinterpret their children’s difficulties with homework as a lack of attention in school, leading to feelings of frustration and mistrust on both sides.
  • Discriminatory Impact: The research concluded that the current approach to homework disproportionately affects children whose parents have lower educational backgrounds, speak English as a second language, or belong to lower-income groups.

The issue is not confined to specific demographics but is a widespread concern. Samantha Hulsman, a teacher featured in Education Week Teacher , shared her personal experience with the toll that homework can take on family time. She observed that a seemingly simple 30-minute assignment could escalate into a three-hour ordeal, causing stress and strife between parents and children. Hulsman’s insights challenge the traditional mindset about homework, highlighting a shift towards the need for skills such as collaboration and problem-solving over rote memorization of facts.

The need of the hour is to reassess the role and amount of homework assigned to students. It’s imperative to find a balance that facilitates learning and growth without compromising the well-being of the family unit. Such a reassessment would not only aid in reducing domestic conflicts but also contribute to a more supportive and nurturing environment for children’s overall development.

4. Consumption of Free Time

Consumption of Free Time

In recent years, a growing chorus of voices has raised concerns about the excessive burden of homework on students, emphasizing how it consumes their free time and impedes their overall well-being. The issue is not just the quantity of homework, but its encroachment on time that could be used for personal growth, relaxation, and family bonding.

Authors Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish , in their book “The Case Against Homework,” offer an insightful window into the lives of families grappling with the demands of excessive homework. They share stories from numerous interviews conducted in the mid-2000s, highlighting the universal struggle faced by families across different demographics. A poignant account from a parent in Menlo Park, California, describes nightly sessions extending until 11 p.m., filled with stress and frustration, leading to a soured attitude towards school in both the child and the parent. This narrative is not isolated, as about one-third of the families interviewed expressed feeling crushed by the overwhelming workload.

Key points of concern:

  • Excessive Time Commitment: Students, on average, spend over 6 hours in school each day, and homework adds significantly to this time, leaving little room for other activities.
  • Impact on Extracurricular Activities: Homework infringes upon time for sports, music, art, and other enriching experiences, which are as crucial as academic courses.
  • Stifling Creativity and Self-Discovery: The constant pressure of homework limits opportunities for students to explore their interests and learn new skills independently.

The National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) recommend a “10 minutes of homework per grade level” standard, suggesting a more balanced approach. However, the reality often far exceeds this guideline, particularly for older students. The impact of this overreach is profound, affecting not just academic performance but also students’ attitudes toward school, their self-confidence, social skills, and overall quality of life.

Furthermore, the intense homework routine’s effectiveness is doubtful, as it can overwhelm students and detract from the joy of learning. Effective learning builds on prior knowledge in an engaging way, but excessive homework in a home setting may be irrelevant and uninteresting. The key challenge is balancing homework to enhance learning without overburdening students, allowing time for holistic growth and activities beyond academics. It’s crucial to reassess homework policies to support well-rounded development.

5. Challenges for Students with Learning Disabilities

Challenges for Students with Learning Disabilities

Homework, a standard educational tool, poses unique challenges for students with learning disabilities, often leading to a frustrating and disheartening experience. These challenges go beyond the typical struggles faced by most students and can significantly impede their educational progress and emotional well-being.

Child psychologist Kenneth Barish’s insights in Psychology Today shed light on the complex relationship between homework and students with learning disabilities:

  • Homework as a Painful Endeavor: For students with learning disabilities, completing homework can be likened to “running with a sprained ankle.” It’s a task that, while doable, is fraught with difficulty and discomfort.
  • Misconceptions about Laziness: Often, children who struggle with homework are perceived as lazy. However, Barish emphasizes that these students are more likely to be frustrated, discouraged, or anxious rather than unmotivated.
  • Limited Improvement in School Performance: The battles over homework rarely translate into significant improvement in school for these children, challenging the conventional notion of homework as universally beneficial.

These points highlight the need for a tailored approach to homework for students with learning disabilities. It’s crucial to recognize that the traditional homework model may not be the most effective or appropriate method for facilitating their learning. Instead, alternative strategies that accommodate their unique needs and learning styles should be considered.

In conclusion, the conventional homework paradigm needs reevaluation, particularly concerning students with learning disabilities. By understanding and addressing their unique challenges, educators can create a more inclusive and supportive educational environment. This approach not only aids in their academic growth but also nurtures their confidence and overall development, ensuring that they receive an equitable and empathetic educational experience.

6. Critique of Underlying Assumptions about Learning

Critique of Underlying Assumptions about Learning

The longstanding belief in the educational sphere that more homework automatically translates to more learning is increasingly being challenged. Critics argue that this assumption is not only flawed but also unsupported by solid evidence, questioning the efficacy of homework as an effective learning tool.

Alfie Kohn , a prominent critic of homework, aptly compares students to vending machines in this context, suggesting that the expectation of inserting an assignment and automatically getting out of learning is misguided. Kohn goes further, labeling homework as the “greatest single extinguisher of children’s curiosity.” This critique highlights a fundamental issue: the potential of homework to stifle the natural inquisitiveness and love for learning in children.

The lack of concrete evidence supporting the effectiveness of homework is evident in various studies:

  • Marginal Effectiveness of Homework: A study involving 28,051 high school seniors found that the effectiveness of homework was marginal, and in some cases, it was counterproductive, leading to more academic problems than solutions.
  • No Correlation with Academic Achievement: Research in “ National Differences, Global Similarities ” showed no correlation between homework and academic achievement in elementary students, and any positive correlation in middle or high school diminished with increasing homework loads.
  • Increased Academic Pressure: The Teachers College Record published findings that homework adds to academic pressure and societal stress, exacerbating performance gaps between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

These findings bring to light several critical points:

  • Quality Over Quantity: According to a recent article in Monitor on Psychology , experts concur that the quality of homework assignments, along with the quality of instruction, student motivation, and inherent ability, is more crucial for academic success than the quantity of homework.
  • Counterproductive Nature of Excessive Homework: Excessive homework can lead to more academic challenges, particularly for students already facing pressures from other aspects of their lives.
  • Societal Stress and Performance Gaps: Homework can intensify societal stress and widen the academic performance divide.

The emerging consensus from these studies suggests that the traditional approach to homework needs rethinking. Rather than focusing on the quantity of assignments, educators should consider the quality and relevance of homework, ensuring it truly contributes to learning and development. This reassessment is crucial for fostering an educational environment that nurtures curiosity and a love for learning, rather than extinguishing it.

7. Issues with Homework Enforcement, Reliability, and Temptation to Cheat

Issues with Homework Enforcement, Reliability, and Temptation to Cheat

In the academic realm, the enforcement of homework is a subject of ongoing debate, primarily due to its implications on student integrity and the true value of assignments. The challenges associated with homework enforcement often lead to unintended yet significant issues, such as cheating, copying, and a general undermining of educational values.

Key points highlighting enforcement challenges:

  • Difficulty in Enforcing Completion: Ensuring that students complete their homework can be a complex task, and not completing homework does not always correlate with poor grades.
  • Reliability of Homework Practice: The reliability of homework as a practice tool is undermined when students, either out of desperation or lack of understanding, choose shortcuts over genuine learning. This approach can lead to the opposite of the intended effect, especially when assignments are not well-aligned with the students’ learning levels or interests.
  • Temptation to Cheat: The issue of cheating is particularly troubling. According to a report by The Chronicle of Higher Education , under the pressure of at-home assignments, many students turn to copying others’ work, plagiarizing, or using creative technological “hacks.” This tendency not only questions the integrity of the learning process but also reflects the extreme stress that homework can induce.
  • Parental Involvement in Completion: As noted in The American Journal of Family Therapy , this raises concerns about the authenticity of the work submitted. When parents complete assignments for their children, it not only deprives the students of the opportunity to learn but also distorts the purpose of homework as a learning aid.

In conclusion, the challenges of homework enforcement present a complex problem that requires careful consideration. The focus should shift towards creating meaningful, manageable, and quality-driven assignments that encourage genuine learning and integrity, rather than overwhelming students and prompting counterproductive behaviors.

Addressing Opposing Views on Homework Practices

While opinions on homework policies are diverse, understanding different viewpoints is crucial. In the following sections, we will examine common arguments supporting homework assignments, along with counterarguments that offer alternative perspectives on this educational practice.

1. Improvement of Academic Performance

Improvement of Academic Performance

Homework is commonly perceived as a means to enhance academic performance, with the belief that it directly contributes to better grades and test scores. This view posits that through homework, students reinforce what they learn in class, leading to improved understanding and retention, which ultimately translates into higher academic achievement.

However, the question of why students should not have homework becomes pertinent when considering the complex relationship between homework and academic performance. Studies have indicated that excessive homework doesn’t necessarily equate to higher grades or test scores. Instead, too much homework can backfire, leading to stress and fatigue that adversely affect a student’s performance. Reuters highlights an intriguing correlation suggesting that physical activity may be more conducive to academic success than additional homework, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to education that prioritizes both physical and mental well-being for enhanced academic outcomes.

2. Reinforcement of Learning

Reinforcement of Learning

Homework is traditionally viewed as a tool to reinforce classroom learning, enabling students to practice and retain material. However, research suggests its effectiveness is ambiguous. In instances where homework is well-aligned with students’ abilities and classroom teachings, it can indeed be beneficial. Particularly for younger students , excessive homework can cause burnout and a loss of interest in learning, counteracting its intended purpose.

Furthermore, when homework surpasses a student’s capability, it may induce frustration and confusion rather than aid in learning. This challenges the notion that more homework invariably leads to better understanding and retention of educational content.

3. Development of Time Management Skills

Development of Time Management Skills

Homework is often considered a crucial tool in helping students develop important life skills such as time management and organization. The idea is that by regularly completing assignments, students learn to allocate their time efficiently and organize their tasks effectively, skills that are invaluable in both academic and personal life.

However, the impact of homework on developing these skills is not always positive. For younger students, especially, an overwhelming amount of homework can be more of a hindrance than a help. Instead of fostering time management and organizational skills, an excessive workload often leads to stress and anxiety . These negative effects can impede the learning process and make it difficult for students to manage their time and tasks effectively, contradicting the original purpose of homework.

4. Preparation for Future Academic Challenges

Preparation for Future Academic Challenges

Homework is often touted as a preparatory tool for future academic challenges that students will encounter in higher education and their professional lives. The argument is that by tackling homework, students build a foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for success in more advanced studies and in the workforce, fostering a sense of readiness and confidence.

Contrarily, an excessive homework load, especially from a young age, can have the opposite effect . It can instill a negative attitude towards education, dampening students’ enthusiasm and willingness to embrace future academic challenges. Overburdening students with homework risks disengagement and loss of interest, thereby defeating the purpose of preparing them for future challenges. Striking a balance in the amount and complexity of homework is crucial to maintaining student engagement and fostering a positive attitude towards ongoing learning.

5. Parental Involvement in Education

Parental Involvement in Education

Homework often acts as a vital link connecting parents to their child’s educational journey, offering insights into the school’s curriculum and their child’s learning process. This involvement is key in fostering a supportive home environment and encouraging a collaborative relationship between parents and the school. When parents understand and engage with what their children are learning, it can significantly enhance the educational experience for the child.

However, the line between involvement and over-involvement is thin. When parents excessively intervene by completing their child’s homework,  it can have adverse effects . Such actions not only diminish the educational value of homework but also rob children of the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills and independence. This over-involvement, coupled with disparities in parental ability to assist due to variations in time, knowledge, or resources, may lead to unequal educational outcomes, underlining the importance of a balanced approach to parental participation in homework.

Exploring Alternatives to Homework and Finding a Middle Ground

Exploring Alternatives to Homework

In the ongoing debate about the role of homework in education, it’s essential to consider viable alternatives and strategies to minimize its burden. While completely eliminating homework may not be feasible for all educators, there are several effective methods to reduce its impact and offer more engaging, student-friendly approaches to learning.

Alternatives to Traditional Homework

  • Project-Based Learning: This method focuses on hands-on, long-term projects where students explore real-world problems. It encourages creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative skills, offering a more engaging and practical learning experience than traditional homework. For creative ideas on school projects, especially related to the solar system, be sure to explore our dedicated article on solar system projects .
  • Flipped Classrooms: Here, students are introduced to new content through videos or reading materials at home and then use class time for interactive activities. This approach allows for more personalized and active learning during school hours.
  • Reading for Pleasure: Encouraging students to read books of their choice can foster a love for reading and improve literacy skills without the pressure of traditional homework assignments. This approach is exemplified by Marion County, Florida , where public schools implemented a no-homework policy for elementary students. Instead, they are encouraged to read nightly for 20 minutes . Superintendent Heidi Maier’s decision was influenced by research showing that while homework offers minimal benefit to young students, regular reading significantly boosts their learning. For book recommendations tailored to middle school students, take a look at our specially curated article .

Ideas for Minimizing Homework

  • Limiting Homework Quantity: Adhering to guidelines like the “ 10-minute rule ” (10 minutes of homework per grade level per night) can help ensure that homework does not become overwhelming.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on assigning meaningful homework that is directly relevant to what is being taught in class, ensuring it adds value to students’ learning.
  • Homework Menus: Offering students a choice of assignments can cater to diverse learning styles and interests, making homework more engaging and personalized.
  • Integrating Technology: Utilizing educational apps and online platforms can make homework more interactive and enjoyable, while also providing immediate feedback to students. To gain deeper insights into the role of technology in learning environments, explore our articles discussing the benefits of incorporating technology in classrooms and a comprehensive list of educational VR apps . These resources will provide you with valuable information on how technology can enhance the educational experience.

For teachers who are not ready to fully eliminate homework, these strategies offer a compromise, ensuring that homework supports rather than hinders student learning. By focusing on quality, relevance, and student engagement, educators can transform homework from a chore into a meaningful component of education that genuinely contributes to students’ academic growth and personal development. In this way, we can move towards a more balanced and student-centric approach to learning, both in and out of the classroom.

Useful Resources

  • Is homework a good idea or not? by BBC
  • The Great Homework Debate: What’s Getting Lost in the Hype
  • Alternative Homework Ideas

The evidence and arguments presented in the discussion of why students should not have homework call for a significant shift in homework practices. It’s time for educators and policymakers to rethink and reformulate homework strategies, focusing on enhancing the quality, relevance, and balance of assignments. By doing so, we can create a more equitable, effective, and student-friendly educational environment that fosters learning, well-being, and holistic development.

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  • “ Breaking the Homework Habit”, Education World
  • “Testing a model of school learning: Direct and indirect effects on academic achievement”, ScienceDirect
  • “National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling”, Stanford University Press
  • “When school goes home: Some problems in the organization of homework”, APA PsycNet
  • “Is homework a necessary evil?”, APA PsycNet
  • “Epidemic of copying homework catalyzed by technology”, Redwood Bark
  • “High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame”, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background”, ResearchGate
  • “Kids who get moving may also get better grades”, Reuters
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  • “Is it time to get rid of homework?”, USAToday
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  • “Encouraging Students to Read: Tips for High School Teachers”, wgu.edu
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20 Reasons Why Homework is Good: Unlocking the Benefits

20 reasons why homework is good

  • Post author By admin
  • October 26, 2023

Explore the compelling 20 reasons why homework is good, fostering skills and knowledge that extend beyond the classroom

Ah, homework – a topic that has fueled countless debates in the world of education. Is it a valuable learning tool or a relentless academic burden?

In this article, we’re going to shift the spotlight onto the often-overlooked positive side of homework. We’ll unveil not one or two, but a whopping 20 compelling reasons why homework is genuinely good for students.

From solidifying classroom knowledge to honing critical thinking skills, homework is far more than just an academic chore. It’s an essential building block of learning. 

So, whether you’ve questioned the purpose of homework or are simply curious about its merits, join us on this journey as we explore the myriad ways homework benefits students of all ages.

Get ready to discover why homework is a treasure trove of learning opportunities!

Table of Contents

20 Reasons Why Homework is Good

Check out 20 reasons why homework is good:-

1. Reinforcement of Classroom Learning

Homework isn’t just a mundane task; it’s your secret weapon for becoming a true subject matter aficionado. It’s the place where classroom theories transform into real-world skills. 

Homework, in all its wisdom, lets you roll up your sleeves and practice what you’ve learned in class, turning those lightbulb moments into permanent knowledge fixtures.

Just like a musician perfecting a melody or an artist refining their masterpiece, homework is your training ground for excellence. So, embrace it, for every assignment is a stepping stone on your path to mastery.

2. Development of Responsibility 

Homework isn’t just about books and assignments; it’s a grooming ground for something equally important – responsibility.

It’s like a trusty mentor, teaching students to take charge, manage their time, and complete tasks independently.

It’s that early taste of adulthood, where you learn that success often depends on your own commitment and effort.

So, think of homework as your guide on the journey to becoming a responsible, self-reliant individual, armed with skills that will serve you well in all walks of life.

3. Improved Time Management Skills 

Homework is more than just assignments; it’s a boot camp for one of life’s essential skills – time management. Think of it as a mini dress rehearsal for adulthood.

Homework teaches students to allocate their time wisely, ensuring they meet deadlines and complete tasks efficiently. It’s like learning to juggle multiple balls, a skill that will serve them well in their adult lives. So, embrace homework as your friendly time-management coach, preparing you for the real world’s challenges.

4. Enhanced Critical Thinking

Homework is not just about finding answers; it’s your secret laboratory for unleashing the power of critical thinking.

It’s the arena where you get to be the detective, dissect problems, and engineer ingenious solutions. Think of it as mental gymnastics, where your cognitive muscles get a thorough workout.

The more you dive into those homework challenges, the sharper your critical thinking skills become. So, consider homework your daily brain boot camp, molding you into a savvy problem-solver with talents that extend way beyond the classroom.

5. Preparation for the Future

Homework isn’t just about cracking textbooks; it’s your sneak peek into the future. Think of it as your personal time machine, where you’re not just solving equations but honing skills that will propel you to success in higher education and the professional arena.

It’s like laying the stepping stones to your dream career. From mastering time management to sharpening critical thinking, homework is your trusted mentor, preparing you for the exciting journey ahead.

So, when you’re poring over those assignments, remember – you’re not just studying, you’re shaping a future filled with possibilities.

6. Encouragement of Self-Discipline 

Homework isn’t just about filling out worksheets; it’s the canvas on which students paint their self-discipline and self-motivation masterpieces.

It’s like training for life’s grand adventure. With homework, you’re the captain, setting sail on a sea of assignments.

Completing homework isn’t merely about meeting deadlines; it’s about cultivating skills that become your secret weapons in the real world.

So, think of homework as your personal training ground for self-discipline, sculpting you into a resilient and motivated individual who’s ready to conquer life’s challenges.

7. Review of Material

Homework isn’t just an additional task; it’s your golden opportunity to revisit and cement what you’ve learned in class.

Think of it as your personal review session, where you go through the key points and solidify your understanding. Just as an artist refines their masterpiece or a musician practices their chords, homework is your tool for perfection.

The more you review and consolidate, the stronger your grasp on the subject matter becomes. So, embrace homework as your trusted ally in mastering the art of revision, making you a confident and knowledgeable learner.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

Homework isn’t a chore; it’s your backstage pass to perfection. It’s like the endless rehearsals of a musician or the tireless drills of an athlete.

Homework is your playground for practice, where you can fine-tune your skills, ensuring you become a true master in various subjects. Just as a chef perfects a recipe through repetition, your homework is the recipe for excellence.

So, when you’re diving into those assignments, think of them as your chance to practice, practice, and practice some more, turning you into a subject maestro.

9. Teacher-Student Interaction

Homework isn’t just about cracking the books; it’s your backstage pass to building strong connections with your teachers.

It’s like sending an open invitation to ask questions and seek guidance. Homework transforms the student-teacher relationship from a formal handshake into a hearty conversation.

When you embrace homework, you’re not just solving problems; you’re forging connections that can last a lifetime.

So, think of homework as your golden opportunity for dialogue, where you can foster positive relationships with your teachers and make your educational journey all the more engaging and rewarding.

10. Parental Involvement

Homework isn’t just a student’s duty; it’s a chance for families to bond over learning. It’s like the thread that weaves the classroom and home together, allowing parents to actively participate in their child’s education.

Homework transforms the learning experience into a shared adventure where everyone can join in the fun. When parents dive into homework with their kids, it’s not just about helping with math problems.

It’s about creating moments of connection, offering support, and sharing in the educational journey. So, think of homework as the gateway to family engagement in education, making learning a joyful family affair.

11. Real-Life Application

Homework isn’t just about hitting the books; it’s your backstage pass to making knowledge practical. It’s like a secret bridge that connects the world of theory with the realm of real-life application.

Homework transforms you from a passive learner into an active doer. It’s where you take those classroom ideas and put them into action, just like a scientist testing a hypothesis or an engineer building a bridge.

So, consider homework your personal laboratory for bringing theories to life, where you turn bookish knowledge into real-world magic, making your education a thrilling adventure.

12. Different Learning Styles 

Homework isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s more like a treasure map that caters to diverse learning styles. Imagine it as a chameleon, changing its colors to suit both visual and kinesthetic learners.

Homework knows that we’re all unique, with our own special ways of learning. For those who thrive on visuals, it serves up graphs and illustrations, while the hands-on learners get to dive into practical tasks.

It’s a bit like having a tailor-made suit for education. So, consider homework your personal guide, offering a learning experience that’s as unique as you are, making education a captivating and natural journey.

13. Time for Creativity 

Homework isn’t a creativity crusher; it’s your chance to let your imagination soar. Think of it as a blank canvas waiting for your ideas to paint it with vibrant colors.

Homework isn’t about rules and conformity; it’s about independent thinking and the freedom to express yourself. Whether you’re crafting an essay, brainstorming a unique solution, or designing a project, homework is your invitation to let your creativity shine.

So, consider homework your personal creative playground, where you can set your ideas free, turning learning into an exciting and imaginative adventure.

14. Enhancement of Research Skills

Homework isn’t just about checking off tasks; it’s your secret lair for honing research skills, those superpowers that will supercharge your success in both academics and the real world.

Think of it as your personal training ground where you become a detective of knowledge, learning to explore, dig deep, and unearth answers.

Whether you’re delving into the depths of the library, surfing the web, or conducting surveys, research-based homework transforms you into a skilled investigator.

So, consider homework your gateway to the world of research, where you unlock skills that will not only power your academic journey but also your lifelong adventures.

15. Test Preparation

Homework isn’t just a mundane task; it’s your secret weapon for conquering exams. Think of it as your personal exam prep coach, crafting a roadmap for success.

Homework lets you revisit, revise, and sharpen your skills, so when test day arrives, you’re ready to shine. It’s not just about finishing assignments; it’s about building your confidence for those crucial exams.

So, consider homework your trusty sidekick on the path to acing tests, making your educational journey an exciting adventure.

16. Increased Engagement

Homework isn’t a homework. It’s more like an after-class adventure that keeps the excitement of learning alive. Think of it as your personal quest, where you get to explore the subjects that genuinely pique your interest.

Homework isn’t about killing time; it’s your ticket to stay engaged with your learning journey, even when the school day ends.

So, when you’re tackling your assignments, remember you’re not just checking off tasks; you’re stoking the flames of curiosity, making education an exhilarating and never-ending journey.

17. Achievement of Learning Objectives 

Homework isn’t just a jumble of tasks; it’s your trusted guide leading you to specific educational victories. Picture it as your personal GPS, keeping you on track to reach those learning milestones.

Homework is where you make the connections, reinforce classroom knowledge, and make your education rock-solid. It’s not just about answering questions; it’s about ensuring you hit those educational bullseyes.

So, when you’re diving into your assignments, remember you’re not just ticking off tasks; you’re on a journey to academic success, turning each homework into a stepping stone toward your goals.

18. Inclusivity 

Homework isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s your versatile tool to celebrate the uniqueness of every student. Imagine it as a buffet, serving up options for both fast learners and those who want some extra practice.

Homework understands that every student is as unique as a fingerprint, each with their own pace and learning style.

For the quick learners, it offers challenges and exciting extensions, while those who prefer more practice can dive into additional exercises.

It’s like a school that dances to your rhythm, ensuring every student has a path to success. So, think of homework as your personal learning adventure, offering choices that fit your taste, making education an exciting and inclusive journey.

19. Fosters Independence

Homework isn’t about spoon-feeding answers; it’s your nurturing ground for independent thinking and decision-making.

Think of it as a playground where you get to flex your decision muscles and spread your intellectual wings. Homework is your training camp for self-reliance, where you take charge of your learning adventure.

20. Overall Academic Improvement

Homework isn’t just a stack of assignments; it’s the secret ingredient for overall academic improvement. Think of it as the magic wand that, when waved effectively, leads to better grades and educational triumphs.

Homework isn’t a mere task list; it’s your strategic ally in the journey of learning. When used wisely, it’s your key to success, a bridge to better understanding and superior educational outcomes.

So, when you’re tackling your homework, remember you’re not just ticking off tasks; you’re paving the way for academic excellence, turning each assignment into a step towards achieving your educational goals.

What are 5 benefits of homework?

Homework is more than just a list of tasks; it’s a powerhouse of benefits that can transform a student’s learning journey. Here are the top five advantages:

1. Supercharging Learning

Homework isn’t about mindless repetition; it’s your secret weapon to reinforce what you’ve learned in class. It’s like a memory boost that makes sure you remember the important stuff for the long haul.

2. Mastering Time and Study Skills

Homework teaches you real-world skills that go way beyond the textbook. It’s your personal coach for time management and setting priorities.

Plus, it’s your go-to guide for developing top-notch study habits like staying organized, taking killer notes, and acing those tests.

3. Fueling Grit and Responsibility

Homework is your training ground for building self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. It’s where you learn to motivate yourself and tackle challenges head-on, no matter how tough they seem.

4. Sparking Creativity and Critical Thinking

Homework isn’t a one-way street. It’s your canvas for thinking outside the box and analyzing what you’re learning from all angles. It’s your chance to bring your unique ideas to the table.

5. Strengthening Home-School Bonds

Homework isn’t just about you; it’s a connection point for your parents and teachers. It’s where they get a front-row seat to your education and can lend a hand when you need it.

But, remember, like any tool, homework works best when used wisely. Too much of a good thing can lead to stress, so strike that balance, and make homework your learning ally.

Who invented homework 😡?

The roots of homework can be traced back to a frustrated Italian educator, Roberto Nevilis, who lived in the 17th century.

He was perplexed by his students’ struggles to retain their classroom lessons, and so, he devised a novel solution – homework.

By assigning tasks that required students to practice and reinforce what they’d learned in class, Nevilis hoped to bridge the knowledge gap. His ingenious idea didn’t stop at the classroom door; it spread like wildfire, first across Europe and eventually finding its way to the United States.

While Nevilis is often credited with inventing homework, history leaves some room for debate. Some scholars argue that homework may have had earlier incarnations in ancient Greece and Rome, although concrete evidence is scarce.

What’s more likely is that Nevilis was among the first to formalize the concept of homework as we understand it today.

No matter its true origin, homework has become an integral part of education worldwide. It spans across the spectrum, from the youngest elementary students to those pursuing higher education.

The purpose of homework has also evolved over time. While Nevilis initially introduced homework to help students retain information, today, its role is multifaceted. It serves as a training ground for critical thinking, problem-solving, and nurturing creativity.

Whether you view homework as a boon or a bane, one thing is certain – it has a rich and varied history, and it’s likely to continue shaping the educational landscape for the foreseeable future.

Why is homework good for your brain?

Homework isn’t just about completing assignments; it’s a brain-boosting wizard. Let’s delve into the captivating reasons why homework is a mind-enhancing elixir:

Fortifying Neural Pathways

Imagine your brain as a labyrinth of pathways. When you learn something new, it’s like carving a fresh trail. Homework? It’s your trusty path-paver, helping you practice and reinforce what you’ve learned. This makes recalling information a breeze down the road.

Mastering Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills are like your brain’s personal assistants. They help you plan, organize, and manage your time effectively.

Homework transforms you into the CEO of your tasks, requiring you to set goals, juggle priorities, and work independently.

Cultivating Cognitive Flexibility

Ever wished you could tackle problems from various angles? That’s cognitive flexibility, a superpower for your brain. Homework serves as the playground where you can flex your mental muscles, applying your knowledge to novel challenges.

Boosting Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is your belief in your own success. Homework is your arena for personal victories. Achieving your homework goals and witnessing your growth over time? That’s a confidence booster like no other.

Stress Alleviation

While homework might occasionally seem like a stress-inducing monster, it’s also your coach for the stress-relief Olympics. How?

It equips you with the skills to tackle challenges and manage your time wisely, ultimately reducing stress in the long run.

But, here’s the catch: balance is key. Too much homework can tip the scales. To maximize the magical benefits, you need to find harmony between homework and other essential activities like sleep, exercise, and hanging out with friends.

In a nutshell, homework isn’t just about completing assignments; it’s your secret weapon for unlocking your brain’s potential. It boosts learning and memory, nurtures executive function skills, hones cognitive flexibility, elevates self-efficacy, and even helps you conquer stress.

As we draw the curtain on our exploration of the twenty compelling reasons that make homework a valuable asset, it’s evident that homework is more than just a to-do list. It’s a treasure trove of advantages that students can unearth on their academic journey.

From fortifying those neural pathways to nurturing independence, and from honing research skills to prepping for the challenges that await in the future, homework is a versatile tool. It’s the canvas where creativity flourishes, bridging the gap between theory and practice, and inviting parents into their child’s scholastic odyssey.

Homework doesn’t just aid in academic mastery; it’s a comprehensive roadmap for personal growth and development. It nudges you towards self-discipline, sprinkles in a dash of responsibility, and offers a slice of the sweet taste of accomplishment.

However, as in any art, balance is key. The right amount of homework, harmonized with other life activities, is the secret recipe for success.

So, as you tackle your next homework assignment, remember this: you’re not just completing tasks; you’re shaping a brighter future, one thought at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is homework always beneficial for students.

Homework can be beneficial when thoughtfully assigned, but excessive or irrelevant homework may have negative effects.

How can parents support their child’s homework routine?

Parents can provide a quiet, organized workspace, offer assistance when needed, and encourage good study habits.

How much homework is too much?

The right amount of homework varies by grade level and individual needs. It should challenge without overwhelming students.

What can teachers do to make homework more effective?

Teachers should assign purposeful, relevant homework, provide clear instructions, and offer support when necessary.

How does homework help prepare students for the future?

Homework instills responsibility, time management, and critical thinking skills, all of which are valuable in higher education and the workforce.

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Why do Students Hate Homework?

reasons why homework is a burden

You have probably seen your children not completing their homework. (Ugh!) It is frustrating. You want them to learn and you want them to get good grades. You feel like they are only hurting themselves by not doing the homework. Here, you can learn the importance of homework and some reasons why your children are not doing it.

These are just a few reasons. In this post, I have explored in detail some reasons why students hate homework to help you make it better for them.

Why is homework important?

The following are some reasons why homework assignments are important in your classroom.

1. Homework is an important tool for students to improve their grades.

Homework is an important tool for students to improve their grades. It can help them stay on track, learn new material, and build discipline. Getting a good grade on homework can help students build confidence, raise their self-esteem, and reduce frustration. They may also develop better study habits and set themselves up for success in college.

2. Homework can help students learn new material and improve their skills.

Homework can help students learn new material and improve their skills. Homework can also be used to motivate students and keep them on track. It is important for parents to set good examples for their children and help them with their homework.

However, parents should also remember that homework doesn’t have to be a burden. Homework can be fun and can help improve students’ time management skills and increase their ability to learn.

3. Homework can help students stay focused and motivated.

There are a few reasons why homework helps students stay focused and motivated in class. First, completing homework assignments can help students review and reinforce the concepts they learn in class. Also, completing homework assignments can help students stay motivated throughout the week. Completing homework assignments can help students take ownership of their own learning and improve their self-esteem. Therefore, homework assignments can give students a sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence. This further keeps students motivated.

4. Homework is an important aspect of education that helps students prepare for life in the real world.

Students have to stay on top of their studies in order to be ready for college, work, and other life experiences. Homework also gives students the opportunity to practice what they learn in class and allows them to prepare for tests. This prepares students for the real world.

5. Homework can help students learn how to study and stay organized.

Homework also helps students learn how to manage their time. Students who do homework can also get used to the amount of work they will have to do as a result of their studies. In other words, they get used to working hard. This can help them prepare for future life experiences.

10 Reasons Students Hate Homework

reasons why homework is a burden

Below are some reasons why your students may hate homework. Make sure to avoid them in order to help your students succeed.

1. It Assigns Too Much Work

It assigns too much work. Homework can be a huge burden for students and can often take up too much time. It can be difficult for students to get their work done, especially if they are struggling with it. This can lead to students feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, which can have negative consequences for their academic performance. Find out  why you should give less homework here.

2. It Breaks Up the Family Dinner Schedule

One of the most common complaints from students is that their parents don’t have enough time for them. This can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most common culprits is homework.

Homework often takes up a lot of time in a day and interrupts the family dinner schedule. For many students, this means they are only able to see their parents during mealtime. This can be disruptive to the family dynamic and cause resentment.

There are also practical considerations to take into account when it comes to homework. Many students find that their schoolwork is easier if they have some uninterrupted time after school, which means that homework often gets in the way of getting some exercise or spending time with friends.

3. It Gets in the Way of Their Other Activities

One reason students may hate homework is that it gets in the way of their other activities. This can be frustrating, as many students want to spend their free time doing things they enjoy. Homework can also take up a lot of time, which could be better spent doing other things.

4. It Can Be Hard to Finish

One of the reasons many students hate doing their homework is that it can be hard to finish. This can be especially true when they have an assignment that requires a lot of research. In this case, students may not know where to begin or what they have to do. For example, if a student has to do research for an assignment, they may have no idea what to look for or where to begin.

5. They Don’t Understand the Instructions

Many students hate homework because it may be difficult to understand the instructions for the homework assignment. For example, unclear instructions on homework assignments can leave students struggling with how to tackle them. This can be frustrating and lead to negative feelings towards homework.

6. They’re afraid of failing if they don’t do their homework.

Students dread homework because they’re afraid of failing. For some, this is a legitimate fear. If you don’t do your homework, you could end up getting a low grade that will reflect poorly on your academic record and future prospects. For others, however, doing their homework is simply not something that comes naturally to them.

In these cases, it’s easy to give in to temptation and skip or ignore their homework altogether. This can have serious consequences, both academically and socially. Not only will students suffer from poor grades if they don’t do their homework, but they’ll also be less likely to get good jobs or admission into prestigious colleges if they’ve failed.

7. They Get Distracted by Social Media or Texting Friends.

One of the major reasons students hate homework is because they get distracted by social media or texting friends. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can be addicting, and it is hard for them to focus on anything else when they are constantly being pulled in different directions.

Some students even find themselves doing their homework in between classes or during class because they don’t have time to do it at home. This diversion from what should be a productive activity can really add up over the course of a semester.

8. They find it boring or dull.

They find homework boring or dull. Students often find homework to be a drag and a burden, rather than something that helps them learn. Homework can be difficult and time-consuming, making it difficult for students to get the most out of their education. Due to that, most students see homework as a boring activity. For example, some students may find it boring to write essays and other types of written assignments.

9. They Can’t Concentrate or Pay Attention to Details.

One of the main reasons students hate homework is because they can’t concentrate or pay attention to details. When they have to focus on a single task, it becomes incredibly difficult for them. Additionally, when details are important, students find it harder to pay attention. This can lead to mistakes and frustration.

10. The Penalties are too severe if they miss a deadline.

This is one of the main reasons students hate homework. If a student misses a deadline, they may have to suffer the consequences, such as having to do more work or having their grade reduced. This can be extremely frustrating for students who are trying to stay on top of their schoolwork, and it can lead them to dislike homework altogether.

In conclusion, homework is a source of frustration for many students. There are several reasons why students hate homework, including its negative impact on their mental and physical health, its negative impact on their grades, and its negative impact on their social lives. To make homework less frustrating for students, you should give students more time to complete it, allow them to work in groups, and provide feedback on their progress. In all, give less homework to your students if you want to help them benefit from it. Beware of the  pros and cons of homework when using it.

If you’re having a hard time getting your children to do their homework, we can help with that. The Student Den can support you with your student’s learning needs, offering your child the specific and personalized help they need. We work to help you reduce stress during the learning process – and to get your teen SAT/ACT and college ready! Learn more on Student Den’s Facebook Page or call us for a complimentary consultation at 561.213.3794

Reference: [ https://classroommanagementexpert.com/blog/10-reasons-why-students-hate-homework/ ]

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“If you are looking for SAT prep, I highly recommend the Student Den. My son did SAT prep there and did awesome on his test. One and done! We will be using them for the upcoming college application process. Highly, highly recommend!”
Angelo Questo has been and remains my favorite colleague. His experience brings a wealth of knowledge to any student he works. He highly competent in all areas of school counseling, but his true passion is college advising. He is humorous, compassionate and relatable to all those around him. His reputation is extraordinary and his hard work consistently results in positive student outcomes. I most admire that Angelo incorporates a family approach when working with students; he treats his clients as if they were his own family. That says a lot about his character and the trust he develops with those he works with. I would highly recommend him to any high school student seeking the advice from a man who knows his way around the college landscape.
Mr. Questo has been a tremendous help through the entire college process so far. His connections, competency, experience and advice have gotten me so much farther than the college counselor that is provided by my school. He and I literally spent 4 hours in one session to get as 3 applications completely done. When I left our meeting, I felt relieved that I had finally begun the process of applying to college and will be hearing from the colleges soon. We only have a few more applications and essays to finalize, so I should be done by the middle of October. Thanks to him, I can rest easy knowing that I have represented myself in the best possible light. He is with you every step of the way from essay revisions to application submission. I feel very fortunate to work with Mr. Questo and would definitely recommend him to my friends.
Mr. Questo started as my guidance counselor, but ended up becoming much, much more. I would consider him my friend. While he worked at my high school, he was someone I would easily be able to access if I needed help with something academically, socially or emotionally. Without Mr. Questo, my high school experience would have been much more difficult. I was upset to see him retire this year, but knew his work with students was far from over. If you decide to work with Mr. Questo, he will totally engage with you and help you attain your college goals. As soon as I began the college application process, I reached out to him and he responded to me immediately. Before I knew it, we had completed 4 applications in which I am now awaiting decisions and it was only the middle of September. He is a firm believer in getting the application in as early as possible. Whatever the question or whatever time of day I always get an answer right away. Mr. Questo has significantly made a difference in my life in many ways, especially with helping me navigate through the college application process. I am very appreciative of his knowledge, expediency, and his concern for my personal well-being. I would enthusiastically recommend him to any high school student seeking admission to college.
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reasons why homework is a burden

Classroom Management Expert

10 Reasons Why Students Hate Homework

reasons why homework is a burden

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It’s no secret that students often hate homework. This hatred makes students benefit less from homework. But why do students hate homework?

There are a variety of reasons why students hate homework. First, completing assignments can often be a tedious and time-consuming process. Second, many students feel that they do not have enough time to complete their homework during the school day. Third, many students believe that their teachers assign too much homework. Fourth, some students find it difficult to focus on their homework when they are also trying to relax after a long day of school. Finally, some students simply do not enjoy doing homework.

These are just a few reasons. In this post, I have explored in detail some reasons why students hate homework to help you make it better for them.

Why is homework important?

The following are some reasons why homework assignments are important in your classroom.

1. Homework is an important tool for students to improve their grades.

Homework is an important tool for students to improve their grades. It can help them stay on track, learn new material, and build discipline. Getting a good grade on homework can help students build confidence, raise their self-esteem, and reduce frustration. They may also develop better study habits and set themselves up for success in college.

2. Homework can help students learn new material and improve their skills.

Homework can help students learn new material and improve their skills. Homework can also be used to motivate students and keep them on track. It is important for parents to set good examples for their children and help them with their homework.

However, parents should also remember that homework doesn’t have to be a burden. Homework can be fun and can help improve students’ time management skills and increase their ability to learn.

3. Homework can help students stay focused and motivated.

There are a few reasons why homework helps students stay focused and motivated in class. First, completing homework assignments can help students review and reinforce the concepts they learn in class. Also, completing homework assignments can help students stay motivated throughout the week. Completing homework assignments can help students take ownership of their own learning and improve their self-esteem. Therefore, homework assignments can give students a sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence. This further keeps students motivated.

4. Homework is an important aspect of education that helps students prepare for life in the real world.

Students have to stay on top of their studies in order to be ready for college, work, and other life experiences. Homework also gives students the opportunity to practice what they learn in class and allows them to prepare for tests. This prepares students for the real world.

5. Homework can help students learn how to study and stay organized.

Homework also helps students learn how to manage their time. Students who do homework can also get used to the amount of work they will have to do as a result of their studies. In other words, they get used to working hard. This can help them prepare for future life experiences.

Check out how to handle students who don’t do their homework here.

10 Reasons Students Hate Homework

Below are some reasons why your students may hate homework. Make sure to avoid them in order to help your students succeed.

1. It Assigns Too Much Work

It assigns too much work. Homework can be a huge burden for students and can often take up too much time. It can be difficult for students to get their work done, especially if they are struggling with it. This can lead to students feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, which can have negative consequences for their academic performance. Find out why you should give less homework here.

2. It Breaks Up the Family Dinner Schedule

One of the most common complaints from students is that their parents don’t have enough time for them. This can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most common culprits is homework.

Homework often takes up a lot of time in a day and interrupts the family dinner schedule. For many students, this means they are only able to see their parents during mealtime. This can be disruptive to the family dynamic and cause resentment.

There are also practical considerations to take into account when it comes to homework. Many students find that their schoolwork is easier if they have some uninterrupted time after school, which means that homework often gets in the way of getting some exercise or spending time with friends.

3. It Gets in the Way of Their Other Activities

One reason students may hate homework is that it gets in the way of their other activities. This can be frustrating, as many students want to spend their free time doing things they enjoy. Homework can also take up a lot of time, which could be better spent doing other things.

4. It Can Be Hard to Finish

One of the reasons many students hate doing their homework is that it can be hard to finish. This can be especially true when they have an assignment that requires a lot of research. In this case, students may not know where to begin or what they have to do. For example, if a student has to do research for an assignment, they may have no idea what to look for or where to begin.

5. They Don’t Understand the Instructions

Many students hate homework because it may be difficult to understand the instructions for the homework assignment. For example, unclear instructions on homework assignments can leave students struggling with how to tackle them. This can be frustrating and lead to negative feelings towards homework.

6. They’re afraid of failing if they don’t do their homework.

Students dread homework because they’re afraid of failing. For some, this is a legitimate fear. If you don’t do your homework, you could end up getting a low grade that will reflect poorly on your academic record and future prospects. For others, however, doing their homework is simply not something that comes naturally to them.

In these cases, it’s easy to give in to temptation and skip or ignore their homework altogether. This can have serious consequences, both academically and socially. Not only will students suffer from poor grades if they don’t do their homework, but they’ll also be less likely to get good jobs or admission into prestigious colleges if they’ve failed.

7. They Get Distracted by Social Media or Texting Friends.

One of the major reasons students hate homework is because they get distracted by social media or texting friends. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can be addicting, and it is hard for them to focus on anything else when they are constantly being pulled in different directions.

Some students even find themselves doing their homework in between classes or during class because they don’t have time to do it at home. This diversion from what should be a productive activity can really add up over the course of a semester.

8. They find it boring or dull.

They find homework boring or dull. Students often find homework to be a drag and a burden, rather than something that helps them learn. Homework can be difficult and time-consuming, making it difficult for students to get the most out of their education. Due to that, most students see homework as a boring activity. For example, some students may find it boring to write essays and other types of written assignments.

9. They Can’t Concentrate or Pay Attention to Details.

One of the main reasons students hate homework is because they can’t concentrate or pay attention to details. When they have to focus on a single task, it becomes incredibly difficult for them. Additionally, when details are important, students find it harder to pay attention. This can lead to mistakes and frustration.

10. The Penalties are too severe if they miss a deadline.

This is one of the main reasons students hate homework. If a student misses a deadline, they may have to suffer the consequences, such as having to do more work or having their grade reduced. This can be extremely frustrating for students who are trying to stay on top of their schoolwork, and it can lead them to dislike homework altogether.

In conclusion, homework is a source of frustration for many students. There are several reasons why students hate homework, including its negative impact on their mental and physical health, its negative impact on their grades, and its negative impact on their social lives. To make homework less frustrating for students, you should give students more time to complete it, allow them to work in groups, and provide feedback on their progress. In all, give less homework to your students if you want to help them benefit from it. Beware of the pros and cons of homework when using it.

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The numbers do not add up for mathematics homework, according to a new study

by University of South Australia

math homework

Supporting kids with math homework is a common afterschool activity. But beyond the basics, new curricula and teaching strategies are making it harder for parents to help and it's taking a serious toll on children's confidence and learning.

In a study from the University of South Australia, researchers have found that mathematics homework can sometimes cause more harm than good.

Exploring how homework policies and practices affect families, researchers found that mathematics homework could inadvertently affect a child when it often:

  • was too difficult for a child to complete independently, and/or with the support of a parent
  • required significant support from parents and seeped into family time
  • resulted in a negative experience for the child and their parent, leading to negative associations with mathematics and potentially students' disengagement from the subject
  • generated feelings of despair, stress, and negativity among parents who were unable to help
  • made students feel inadequate when they struggled with the work.

UniSA researcher Associate Professor Lisa O'Keeffe says such negativity around mathematics has broad implications.

"Homework has long been accepted as a practice that reinforces children's learning and improves academic success," Assoc. Prof. O'Keeffe says.

"But when it is too complex for a student to complete even with parent support, it raises the question as to why it was set as a homework task in the first place. We know that parents play a key role in supporting their children with schooling and homework. When children need help, their parents are often the first people they turn to.

"But many parents are unsure of the current mathematics strategies and approaches that their children are learning as these have changed a lot since they were at school. Like many things, mathematics teaching has evolved over time. But when parents realize that their tried-and-true methods are different to those which their children are learning, it can be hard to adapt, and this can add undue pressure. When children see their parents struggle with mathematics homework, or where mathematics homework becomes a shared site of frustration for families, it can lead to negativity across generations.

"For example, we might hear adults saying things like, 'I wasn't very good at math, so my child won't be either.' Negative interactions with mathematics, and negative discourses like these can lead to reduced confidence, reduced self-efficacy, and can negatively affect children's resilience, persistence, and ultimately their inclination to continue with mathematics."

Any decline in STEM subjects such as math can have long-term impacts for Australia's future. Statistics show that fewer than 10% of students are studying a higher level of math, with math capabilities declining more than 25 points (15-year-olds in 2022 scored at a level that would have been expected of 14-year-olds, 20 years earlier).

Co-researcher, UniSA's Dr. Sarah McDonald, says the research also identified gendered biases.

"Our research showed that it was overwhelmingly mothers who were responsible for managing children's homework. And they often experience frustration or despair when they were unable to understand the math problems," Dr. McDonald says. "When mothers find math hard, there is concern that this may demonstrate to their children , especially their girls, that this is not an area in which they would naturally excel.

"The last thing teachers want to do is disadvantage girls in developing potentially strong mathematical identities. We need a greater understanding of homework policies and expectations.

"The experiences of the families in our study do not support the often-quoted claim by researchers that that homework has potential non-academic benefits such as fostering independence, creating positive character traits, developing good organizational skills, or virtues such as self-discipline and responsibility."

Provided by University of South Australia

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  • CAREER FEATURE
  • 12 March 2024

11 reasons why we’ve stayed in academia

  • Esther Landhuis 0

Esther Landhuis is a science journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

You have full access to this article via your institution.

In November 2023, 20 tenured professors told a career strategist why they left academia for industry roles. After the reasons were posted on the social-media site X (formerly known as Twitter), Nature asked 11 scientists to tell us why they’re thriving in academia and what fuels their passion for it.

DARYL YEE: Risky research and mentoring

Materials scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Portrait of Daryl W. Yee in the lab

Materials scientist Daryl Yee can explore risky ideas in his academic research. Credit: Titouan Veuillet, EPFL

Two things come to mind: risky research and mentorship. I love that my job lets me work on risky, interesting problems , such as 3D printing DNA, that might or might not align with what industry is currently exploring. It’s fun to approach problems from unusual perspectives and see what we can learn along the way.

I also really enjoy teaching and mentoring students — helping them to learn concepts and grow as scientists. It is so rewarding to see students have those ‘aha’ moments when they understand how to overcome problems.

KATRINA CLAW: My community motivates me

Geneticist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.

Portrait of Katrina G. Claw

Katrina Claw is motivated by her collaborations with Native American communities on pharmacogenetics research. Credit: DBMI

Being in academia is a privilege and I never forget that. My dad was a heavy-equipment operator for more than 40 years, and in our tribe’s traditional ceremonies, he always prayed for me to have a job in which I would stay clean all day and have an office. I not only have an office with views of the Rocky Mountains, I also have a laboratory full of pristine equipment and lead a successful research programme that trains students and collaborates with Native American communities on pharmacogenomics and the cultural, ethical, legal and social implications of genomics research. My main responsibility is to think all day and write. My community motivates me to continue in academia and to hold my culture and traditions closely in my work. I’ve stayed in academia because no one has kicked me out yet (haha), and because I love it.

DEVIN SCHWEPPE: Talking ideas into fruition

Bioanalytical chemist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

I love talking to anyone I want to about anything scientific, letting ideas percolate and then turning that ‘we met at a meeting’ conversation into a project worth pursuing. And next, pitching that idea to mentors, peers and students, and eventually trying to get support and presenting it to the community. And finally, hopefully, you get buy-in and see people use your idea to do something even more amazing than you anticipated. That whole trajectory is what keeps my head above water.

ANKUR SINGH: Thrive with good balance

Bioengineer at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Portrait of Ankur Singh in the lab

Bioengineer Ankur Singh says he thrives in academia because he has learnt how to keep balanced, mentally and physically. Credit: Ankur Singh

I love academia and research. There is freedom to pursue risky, complex and futuristic ideas with the potential to transform human health and lives. You have opportunities to mentor bright young minds, earn competitive pay along with global recognition and live with a sense of stability in life.

However, academia is cut-throat and highly demanding. I thrive by maintaining a good work–life balance, focusing on my priorities and making thoughtful decisions. It took a few years to realize that I do not need to work outside of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, or on weekends. I spend a lot of time with my young children and wife and call my parents in India every day. I do whole-body workouts three to five days a week and run half marathons at least once a month. I enjoy grant writing, in which my creativity can shine. I am receptive to peer review. I do not give up. Instead, I compartmentalize my brain, plan and deliver. I thrive because I understand what academia demands and how to navigate it without burning myself out.

PAUL MACKLIN: Reshaping the academic system

Mathematician and associate dean for undergraduate education at Indiana University in Bloomington.

I stay for the opportunity to find connections between fields, such as using insights from immunology to improve my cancer simulations, or by adopting approaches from education to help make my software more robust and usable. I try to keep things fresh by working on a mixed portfolio of projects: basic sciences in multicellular systems biology, methods development in our simulation toolkits and practical applications in cancer immunology and tissues.

As my career has advanced, the chance to make a difference for others has motivated me to stay as well. I’ve reached a leadership position as an associate dean, in which I cannot just complain about ‘the system’, but instead help to reshape it to be more equitable and transparent, and to open up opportunities for our students.

JONATHAN MOORE: Charting your own path

Applied aquatic ecologist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada.

I value the intellectual freedom — learning and thinking about what type of research is important to do and then doing it. Intellectual independence is amazing, being able to chart your own path forwards. Another thing is getting the chance to work with young, emerging scientists. That continual influx of energy and different brains and personalities is super exciting. I love getting to know people and thinking about how their work can advance, and trying to provide them with a stepping stone for their careers.

ELANA FERTIG: Transdisciplinary happiness

Computational oncologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Although high-quality research can be done in both academia and industry, scientific exploration for its own sake is best suited to academia. This remains my driving force for staying, despite the challenges. As a transdisciplinary scientist, being surrounded by specialists both in mathematical theory and biomedical science is crucial to my success, but also to my happiness. There are of course numerous pros to industry, such as larger-scale projects, team-based missions and products as a main goal. Everyone can and should find their own path, in the environment that best suits them. For myself, taking a greater than 50% pay cut to return to academia was the best decision of my life and I have never looked back .

MYUNGJAE LEE: Guiding future generations

Materials scientist at Seoul National University.

Portrait of Myungjae Lee

Materials scientist Myungjae Lee prioritizes building relationships with students and mentoring them. Credit: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University

I remain in academia because of its nurturing environment for personal and professional growth. Academic research encourages critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration and intellectual exploration, and allows me to explore ideas that contribute to the advancement of knowledge in my field of optical engineering. This continuous pursuit keeps me engaged and motivated.

One aspect that I particularly enjoy is the opportunity to guide future generations. I build strong relationships with students and dedicate myself to mentoring, just as my mentors did. It’s incredibly rewarding to evolve perspectives and ideas through this process.

YU ZHONG: Exploring the unknown

Materials scientist and engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

My decision to stay is driven by several factors. The most important is my passion for exploring unknown puzzles. I enjoy the ‘eureka’ moments. Toward the end of my postdoc, I realized that I was well prepared for and capable of doing academic research. That’s when I decided to stay. Furthermore, the flexible working schedule appeals to me — especially when my family needs me urgently — although the job is not easy.

LANA GARMIRE: Freedom to create and realize

Biomedical informatician at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

I grew up in China, where intellectuals are considered to be among the most respected professionals. My mum was a teacher, and I’ve wanted to be an educator like her since I was little. So why have I stayed in academia? The freedom to think, create and realize an idea. The satisfaction of mentoring students and helping to shape their lives is utterly rewarding — and more important than the relatively low salaries compared with industry.

CHIARA ZURZOLO: Discovery as a team effort

Cell biologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

Portrait of Chiara Zurzolo

Cell biologist Chiara Zurzolo enjoys the autonomy of academic research and nurturing scientific curiosity in the next generation. Credit: Institut Pasteur/François Gardy

My journey is driven by a passion for understanding how cells communicate and move in conditions such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders, paving the way for potential cures.

Thriving in academia, for me, means having the freedom to explore uncharted territories. Unlike some industries, in which research tends to be more narrowly focused and directed towards specific goals, academia offers the liberty to follow our curiosity wherever it leads. This freedom is empowering — it lets us address challenging questions and test ideas in a creative environment. Importantly, discovery is a collective team effort.

What keeps me here is also sharing the excitement of unravelling the secrets of cells with the next generation of scientists. The academic journey goes beyond finding answers; it’s about instilling a passion for knowledge and contributing to a legacy of scientific understanding. Whereas some choose industry roles, I choose to remain because of the autonomy to shape my research direction and the joy of nurturing scientific curiosity.

Nature 627 , 453-454 (2024)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-00724-2

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

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IMAGES

  1. Ten Reasons Why Homework Is a Bad Idea

    reasons why homework is a burden

  2. Why Homework Is Bad For Students

    reasons why homework is a burden

  3. 100 Reasons Why Homework is Bad: Breaking Down the Burden

    reasons why homework is a burden

  4. 50 Shocking Reasons: Statistics on Why Homework is Bad

    reasons why homework is a burden

  5. 20 reasons why homework is bad and why students dislike it

    reasons why homework is a burden

  6. Why Is Homework Bad? How It Damages Students’ Mental Health

    reasons why homework is a burden

COMMENTS

  1. The Pros and Cons: Should Students Have Homework?

    Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad. 3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job. School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art ...

  2. Key Lessons: What Research Says About the Value of Homework

    Homework has been in the headlines again recently and continues to be a topic of controversy, with claims that students and families are suffering under the burden of huge amounts of homework. School board members, educators, and parents may wish to turn to the research for answers to their questions about the benefits and drawbacks of homework.

  3. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students.

  4. Is homework a necessary evil?

    Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.

  5. Is homework an unnecessary burden?

    According to author and lecturer Alfie Kohn, the positive effects of homework are "largely mythical.". He says homework in most schools is set just for "the sake of it.". Kohn's research found there is "absolutely no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary school [5-10 years old] or middle school [11 ...

  6. Homework Pros and Cons

    Homework does not help younger students, and may not help high school students. We've known for a while that homework does not help elementary students. A 2006 study found that "homework had no association with achievement gains" when measured by standardized tests results or grades. [ 7]

  7. Does Homework Serve a Purpose?

    Homework — a dreaded word that means more work and less play. The mere thought of doing additional work after a seven-hour day (that begins extremely early) can be gruesome. Not to mention, many ...

  8. Getting Student Input on the Burden of Homework

    70 percent reported that they got seven hours of sleep or less each night. 12 percent had seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months, up from 8 percent in 2006. In another survey we conducted on homework with all 1,300 of our students, 51 percent reported doing more than three hours of homework per night.

  9. Is Homework Necessary for Student Success?

    To the Editor: Re " The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong ," by Jay Caspian Kang (Sunday Opinion, July 31): Finland proves that you don't need homework for education success. Students there ...

  10. Is Homework Valuable or Not? Try Looking at Quality Instead

    The CAP analysis appears to be one of the first studies to look at homework rigor using a national survey lens. Many studies of homework are based on one school or one district's assignments ...

  11. Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

    The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework. That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students ...

  12. Homework : burden or benefit?

    Cooper goes on to explain that homework has four long-term academic effects: "promotes better critical-thinking and information-processing skills, encourages students to learn. during their leisure time, improves students' attitudes toward school, and improves students'. study habits and skills" (p. 8).

  13. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health ...

  14. Should Kids Get Homework?

    Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary. "Every child should be doing homework, but the ...

  15. Research Trends: Why Homework Should Be Balanced

    Here's what the research says: In general, homework has substantial benefits at the high school level, with decreased benefits for middle school students and few benefits for elementary students (Cooper, 1989; Cooper et al., 2006). While assigning homework may have academic benefits, it can also cut into important personal and family time ...

  16. Why Students Should Not Have Homework

    Examining these arguments offers important perspectives on the wider educational and developmental consequences of homework practices. 1. Elevated Stress and Health Consequences. According to Gitnux, U.S. high school students who have over 20 hours of homework per week are 27% more likely to encounter health issues.

  17. Pros and Cons of Homework: What You Should Know

    Some cons to assigning homework are that it can be a burden for students if they have a lot of homework to do, it can take away time from family and friends, and it can cause students to stress out. ... There are a few reasons why homework can be a distraction from other activities or interests. One reason is that homework often requires ...

  18. The Pros and Cons of Homework

    Homework also helps students develop key skills that they'll use throughout their lives: Accountability. Autonomy. Discipline. Time management. Self-direction. Critical thinking. Independent problem-solving. The skills learned in homework can then be applied to other subjects and practical situations in students' daily lives.

  19. 20 Reasons Why Homework is Good: Unlocking the Benefits

    8. Practice Makes Perfect. Homework isn't a chore; it's your backstage pass to perfection. It's like the endless rehearsals of a musician or the tireless drills of an athlete. Homework is your playground for practice, where you can fine-tune your skills, ensuring you become a true master in various subjects.

  20. Why do Students Hate Homework?

    However, parents should also remember that homework doesn't have to be a burden. Homework can be fun and can help improve students' time management skills and increase their ability to learn. 3. Homework can help students stay focused and motivated. There are a few reasons why homework helps students stay focused and motivated in class.

  21. 10 Reasons Why Students Hate Homework

    However, parents should also remember that homework doesn't have to be a burden. Homework can be fun and can help improve students' time management skills and increase their ability to learn. 3. Homework can help students stay focused and motivated. There are a few reasons why homework helps students stay focused and motivated in class.

  22. The numbers do not add up for mathematics homework, according to a new

    Supporting kids with math homework is a common afterschool activity. But beyond the basics, new curricula and teaching strategies are making it harder for parents to help and it's taking a serious ...

  23. 11 reasons why we've stayed in academia

    After the reasons were posted on the social-media site X (formerly known as Twitter), Nature asked 11 scientists to tell us why they're thriving in academia and what fuels their passion for it.

  24. Eagles Trade for Kenny Pickett Makes Sense for One Big Reason

    Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman did his homework when former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett entered the draft, but there's one main reason this deal made sense to him.