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21 Nervous System Activities for Middle School Students

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should schools ban homework debate

Introduction

The debate surrounding homework has persisted for decades, with some proponents arguing that it is an essential component of the educational process, while others claim it causes undue stress for students and their families. In recent years, this conversation has gained renewed interest as more schools and educators consider banning homework altogether. This article will examine the arguments for and against banning homework, helping us understand the potential consequences of such a decision.

Proponents of Banning Homework

1. Promotes better work-life balance: One of the primary reasons people propose banning homework is to improve students’ work-life balance. With extracurricular activities, family time, and other responsibilities, students might struggle to find time to complete homework assignments on top of their schoolwork.

2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Excessive homework can lead to increased stress and anxiety in students. By eliminating homework from their daily lives, students may be less likely to suffer from burnout or feel overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities.

3. Encourages alternative forms of learning: Without homework looming over their heads, students could have more opportunities to explore different forms of learning outside of school. This promotes project-based learning, volunteer experiences, and other avenues for personal growth.

Opponents of Banning Homework

1. Reinforces classroom learning: Those against banning homework emphasize its role in reinforcing concepts taught in class. They argue that completing assignments outside of school helps students retain knowledge more effectively.

2. Develops time management skills: Many educators believe that assigning homework helps students develop crucial time management skills by requiring them to allocate resources efficiently throughout their day.

3. Prepares for post-secondary education: College and university programs generally assign significant amounts of coursework outside the classroom. By completing homework during their K-12 education, students are better prepared for the demands they’ll face in higher education.

The debate over homework is complex and multifaceted. While banning homework could potentially improve students’ quality of life and promote alternative learning methods, it may also hinder their academic progress and the development of important life skills. Ultimately, the decision to ban homework should be carefully considered by individual schools, educators, and parents. Finding the right balance of academic rigor and personal well-being may require a combination of approaches that work best for each student’s unique needs.Introduction

The debate surrounding homework has persisted for decades, with some proponents arguing that it is an essential component of the educational process, while others claim it causes undue stress for students and their families. In recent years, this conversation has gained renewed interest as more schools and educators consider banning homework altogether. This article will examine the arguments for and against banning homework, helping us understand the potential consequences of such a decision. Proponents of Banning Homework 1. Promotes better work-life balance: One of the primary reasons people propose banning homework is to improve students’ work-life balance. With extracurricular activities, family time, and other responsibilities, students might struggle to find time to complete homework assignments on top of their schoolwork. 2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Excessive homework can lead to increased stress and anxiety in students. By eliminating homework from their daily lives, students may be less likely to suffer from burnout or feel overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities. 3. Encourages alternative forms of learning: Without homework looming over their heads, students could have more opportunities to explore different forms of learning outside of school. This promotes project-based learning, volunteer experiences, and other avenues for personal growth.

The debate over homework is complex and multifaceted. While banning homework could potentially improve students’ quality of life and promote alternative learning methods, it may also hinder their academic progress and the development of important life skills. Ultimately, the decision to ban homework should be carefully considered by individual schools, educators, and parents. Finding the right balance of academic rigor and personal well-being may require a combination of approaches that work best for each student’s unique needs.

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Why I Think All Schools Should Abolish Homework

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H ow long is your child’s workweek? Thirty hours? Forty? Would it surprise you to learn that some elementary school kids have workweeks comparable to adults’ schedules? For most children, mandatory homework assignments push their workweek far beyond the school day and deep into what any other laborers would consider overtime. Even without sports or music or other school-sponsored extracurriculars, the daily homework slog keeps many students on the clock as long as lawyers, teachers, medical residents, truck drivers and other overworked adults. Is it any wonder that,deprived of the labor protections that we provide adults, our kids are suffering an epidemic of disengagement, anxiety and depression ?

With my youngest child just months away from finishing high school, I’m remembering all the needless misery and missed opportunities all three of my kids suffered because of their endless assignments. When my daughters were in middle school, I would urge them into bed before midnight and then find them clandestinely studying under the covers with a flashlight. We cut back on their activities but still found ourselves stuck in a system on overdrive, returning home from hectic days at 6 p.m. only to face hours more of homework. Now, even as a senior with a moderate course load, my son, Zak, has spent many weekends studying, finding little time for the exercise and fresh air essential to his well-being. Week after week, and without any extracurriculars, Zak logs a lot more than the 40 hours adults traditionally work each week — and with no recognition from his “bosses” that it’s too much. I can’t count the number of shared evenings, weekend outings and dinners that our family has missed and will never get back.

How much after-school time should our schools really own?

In the midst of the madness last fall, Zak said to me, “I feel like I’m working towards my death. The constant demands on my time since 5th grade are just going to continue through graduation, into college, and then into my job. It’s like I’m on an endless treadmill with no time for living.”

My spirit crumbled along with his.

Like Zak, many people are now questioning the point of putting so much demand on children and teens that they become thinly stretched and overworked. Studies have long shown that there is no academic benefit to high school homework that consumes more than a modest number of hours each week. In a study of high schoolers conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), researchers concluded that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance.”

In elementary school, where we often assign overtime even to the youngest children, studies have shown there’s no academic benefit to any amount of homework at all.

Our unquestioned acceptance of homework also flies in the face of all we know about human health, brain function and learning. Brain scientists know that rest and exercise are essential to good health and real learning . Even top adult professionals in specialized fields take care to limit their work to concentrated periods of focus. A landmark study of how humans develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work only about four hours per day .

Yet we continue to overwork our children, depriving them of the chance to cultivate health and learn deeply, burdening them with an imbalance of sedentary, academic tasks. American high school students , in fact, do more homework each week than their peers in the average country in the OECD, a 2014 report found.

It’s time for an uprising.

Already, small rebellions are starting. High schools in Ridgewood, N.J. , and Fairfax County, Va., among others, have banned homework over school breaks. The entire second grade at Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Va., abolished homework this academic year. Burton Valley Elementary School in Lafayette, Calif., has eliminated homework in grades K through 4. Henry West Laboratory School , a public K-8 school in Coral Gables, Fla., eliminated mandatory, graded homework for optional assignments. One Lexington, Mass., elementary school is piloting a homework-free year, replacing it with reading for pleasure.

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Across the Atlantic, students in Spain launched a national strike against excessive assignments in November. And a second-grade teacher in Texas, made headlines this fall when she quit sending home extra work , instead urging families to “spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside and get your child to bed early.”

It is time that we call loudly for a clear and simple change: a workweek limit for children, counting time on the clock before and after the final bell. Why should schools extend their authority far beyond the boundaries of campus, dictating activities in our homes in the hours that belong to families? An all-out ban on after-school assignments would be optimal. Short of that, we can at least sensibly agree on a cap limiting kids to a 40-hour workweek — and fewer hours for younger children.

Resistance even to this reasonable limit will be rife. Mike Miller, an English teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., found this out firsthand when he spearheaded a homework committee to rethink the usual approach. He had read the education research and found a forgotten policy on the county books limiting homework to two hours a night, total, including all classes. “I thought it would be a slam dunk” to put the two-hour cap firmly in place, Miller said.

But immediately, people started balking. “There was a lot of fear in the community,” Miller said. “It’s like jumping off a high dive with your kids’ future. If we reduce homework to two hours or less, is my kid really going to be okay?” In the end, the committee only agreed to a homework ban over school breaks.

Miller’s response is a great model for us all. He decided to limit assignments in his own class to 20 minutes a night (the most allowed for a student with six classes to hit the two-hour max). His students didn’t suddenly fail. Their test scores remained stable. And they started using their more breathable schedule to do more creative, thoughtful work.

That’s the way we will get to a sane work schedule for kids: by simultaneously pursuing changes big and small. Even as we collaboratively press for policy changes at the district or individual school level, all teachers can act now, as individuals, to ease the strain on overworked kids.

As parents and students, we can also organize to make homework the exception rather than the rule. We can insist that every family, teacher and student be allowed to opt out of assignments without penalty to make room for important activities, and we can seek changes that shift practice exercises and assignments into the actual school day.

We’ll know our work is done only when Zak and every other child can clock out, eat dinner, sleep well and stay healthy — the very things needed to engage and learn deeply. That’s the basic standard the law applies to working adults. Let’s do the same for our kids.

Vicki Abeles is the author of the bestseller Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation, and director and producer of the documentaries “ Race to Nowhere ” and “ Beyond Measure. ”

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Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

  • Posted January 17, 2012
  • By Lory Hough

Sign: Are you down with or done with homework?

The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying it's too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, it's just not enough.

It was a move that doesn't happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework.

This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md., decided that instead of teachers sending kids home with math worksheets and spelling flash cards, students would instead go home and read. Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own.

"I knew this would be a big shift for my community," she says. But she also strongly believed it was a necessary one. Twenty-first-century learners, especially those in elementary school, need to think critically and understand their own learning — not spend night after night doing rote homework drills.

Brant's move may not be common, but she isn't alone in her questioning. The value of doing schoolwork at home has gone in and out of fashion in the United States among educators, policymakers, the media, and, more recently, parents. As far back as the late 1800s, with the rise of the Progressive Era, doctors such as Joseph Mayer Rice began pushing for a limit on what he called "mechanical homework," saying it caused childhood nervous conditions and eyestrain. Around that time, the then-influential Ladies Home Journal began publishing a series of anti-homework articles, stating that five hours of brain work a day was "the most we should ask of our children," and that homework was an intrusion on family life. In response, states like California passed laws abolishing homework for students under a certain age.

But, as is often the case with education, the tide eventually turned. After the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, a space race emerged, and, writes Brian Gill in the journal Theory Into Practice, "The homework problem was reconceived as part of a national crisis; the U.S. was losing the Cold War because Russian children were smarter." Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end.

The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late '60s and '70s argued that children should be free to play and explore — similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier. By the early-1980s, however, the pendulum swung again with the publication of A Nation at Risk , which blamed poor education for a "rising tide of mediocrity." Students needed to work harder, the report said, and one way to do this was more homework.

For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nation's competitiveness. Many believe that today's students are falling behind their peers in places like Korea and Finland and are paying more attention to Angry Birds than to ancient Babylonia.

But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time. Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour "work" day, need less, not more homework.

Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Here's where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research you're looking at. As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework , points out, "Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored." Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, "The fact that there isn't anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps." At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement. In other words, it's hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades. Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder?

"It is difficult to separate where the effect of classroom teaching ends," Vatterott writes, "and the effect of homework begins."

Putting research aside, however, much of the current debate over homework is focused less on how homework affects academic achievement and more on time. Parents in particular have been saying that the amount of time children spend in school, especially with afterschool programs, combined with the amount of homework given — as early as kindergarten — is leaving students with little time to run around, eat dinner with their families, or even get enough sleep.

Certainly, for some parents, homework is a way to stay connected to their children's learning. But for others, homework creates a tug-of-war between parents and children, says Liz Goodenough, M.A.T.'71, creator of a documentary called Where Do the Children Play?

"Ideally homework should be about taking something home, spending a few curious and interesting moments in which children might engage with parents, and then getting that project back to school — an organizational triumph," she says. "A nag-free activity could engage family time: Ask a parent about his or her own childhood. Interview siblings."

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Instead, as the authors of The Case Against Homework write, "Homework overload is turning many of us into the types of parents we never wanted to be: nags, bribers, and taskmasters."

Leslie Butchko saw it happen a few years ago when her son started sixth grade in the Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.) United School District. She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects. He was overwhelmed and struggled to finish assignments, especially on nights when he also had an extracurricular activity.

"Ultimately, we felt compelled to have Bobby quit karate — he's a black belt — to allow more time for homework," she says. And then, with all of their attention focused on Bobby's homework, she and her husband started sending their youngest to his room so that Bobby could focus. "One day, my younger son gave us 15-minute coupons as a present for us to use to send him to play in the back room. … It was then that we realized there had to be something wrong with the amount of homework we were facing."

Butchko joined forces with another mother who was having similar struggles and ultimately helped get the homework policy in her district changed, limiting homework on weekends and holidays, setting time guidelines for daily homework, and broadening the definition of homework to include projects and studying for tests. As she told the school board at one meeting when the policy was first being discussed, "In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children."

One barrier that Butchko had to overcome initially was convincing many teachers and parents that more homework doesn't necessarily equal rigor.

"Most of the parents that were against the homework policy felt that students need a large quantity of homework to prepare them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard," she says.

Stephanie Conklin, Ed.M.'06, sees this at Another Course to College, the Boston pilot school where she teaches math. "When a student is not completing [his or her] homework, parents usually are frustrated by this and agree with me that homework is an important part of their child's learning," she says.

As Timothy Jarman, Ed.M.'10, a ninth-grade English teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N.C., says, "Parents think it is strange when their children are not assigned a substantial amount of homework."

That's because, writes Vatterott, in her chapter, "The Cult(ure) of Homework," the concept of homework "has become so engrained in U.S. culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular."

These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn.

"Homework isn't limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes. "Rather, the point of departure seems to be, 'We've decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week). … This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools — public and private, elementary and secondary."

Brant had to confront this when she cut homework at Gaithersburg Elementary.

"A lot of my parents have this idea that homework is part of life. This is what I had to do when I was young," she says, and so, too, will our kids. "So I had to shift their thinking." She did this slowly, first by asking her teachers last year to really think about what they were sending home. And this year, in addition to forming a parent advisory group around the issue, she also holds events to answer questions.

Still, not everyone is convinced that homework as a given is a bad thing. "Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports, the arts, or academics, requires hard work. That our culture finds it okay for kids to spend hours a day in a sport but not equal time on academics is part of the problem," wrote one pro-homework parent on the blog for the documentary Race to Nowhere , which looks at the stress American students are under. "Homework has always been an issue for parents and children. It is now and it was 20 years ago. I think when people decide to have children that it is their responsibility to educate them," wrote another.

And part of educating them, some believe, is helping them develop skills they will eventually need in adulthood. "Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school," reads a publication on the U.S. Department of Education website called Homework Tips for Parents. "It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. … It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Homework can teach children how to manage time."

Annie Brown, Ed.M.'01, feels this is particularly critical at less affluent schools like the ones she has worked at in Boston, Cambridge, Mass., and Los Angeles as a literacy coach.

"It feels important that my students do homework because they will ultimately be competing for college placement and jobs with students who have done homework and have developed a work ethic," she says. "Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college."

The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker.

"Which begs the question," she writes. "Is our job as educators to produce learners or workers?"

Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon, in a piece about homework, says this makes no sense for younger kids.

"Why should we think that practicing homework in first grade will make you better at doing it in middle school?" she writes. "Doesn't the opposite seem equally plausible: that it's counterproductive to ask children to sit down and work at night before they're developmentally ready because you'll just make them tired and cross?"

Kohn writes in the American School Board Journal that this "premature exposure" to practices like homework (and sit-and-listen lessons and tests) "are clearly a bad match for younger children and of questionable value at any age." He calls it BGUTI: Better Get Used to It. "The logic here is that we have to prepare you for the bad things that are going to be done to you later … by doing them to you now."

According to a recent University of Michigan study, daily homework for six- to eight-year-olds increased on average from about 8 minutes in 1981 to 22 minutes in 2003. A review of research by Duke University Professor Harris Cooper found that for elementary school students, "the average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement … hovered around zero."

So should homework be eliminated? Of course not, say many Ed School graduates who are teaching. Not only would students not have time for essays and long projects, but also teachers would not be able to get all students to grade level or to cover critical material, says Brett Pangburn, Ed.M.'06, a sixth-grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston. Still, he says, homework has to be relevant.

"Kids need to practice the skills being taught in class, especially where, like the kids I teach at Excel, they are behind and need to catch up," he says. "Our results at Excel have demonstrated that kids can catch up and view themselves as in control of their academic futures, but this requires hard work, and homework is a part of it."

Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees.

"America and Americans lurch between too little homework in many of our schools to an excess of homework in our most competitive environments — Li'l Abner vs. Tiger Mother," he says. "Neither approach makes sense. Homework should build on what happens in class, consolidating skills and helping students to answer new questions."

So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time. Students at Pangburn's school have a 50-minute silent period during regular school hours where homework can be started, and where teachers pull individual or small groups of students aside for tutoring, often on that night's homework. Afterschool homework clubs can help.

Some schools and districts have adapted time limits rather than nix homework completely, with the 10-minute per grade rule being the standard — 10 minutes a night for first-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, and so on. (This remedy, however, is often met with mixed results since not all students work at the same pace.) Other schools offer an extended day that allows teachers to cover more material in school, in turn requiring fewer take-home assignments. And for others, like Stephanie Brant's elementary school in Maryland, more reading with a few targeted project assignments has been the answer.

"The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework," she says. "Let's have kids reflect. You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now it's for reading. I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader. We don't know what skills that person will need. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that we're giving them something they can use on Mars."

Read a January 2014 update.

Homework Policy Still Going Strong

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Ed. Magazine

The magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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Should We Ban Homework?

The cons of homework are starting to outweigh the pros.

Should Schools Ban Homework

Recent research shows that teenagers have doubled the amount of time they spend on homework since the 1990s. This is in spite of other, well-documented research that calls the efficacy of homework into question, albeit in the younger grades. Why are students spending so much time on homework if the impact is zero (for younger kids) or moderate (for older ones)? Should we ban homework? These are the questions teachers, parents, and lawmakers are asking.

Bans proposed and implemented in the U.S. and abroad

The struggle of whether or not to assign homework is not a new one. In 2017, a Florida superintendent banned homework for elementary schools in the entire district, with one very important exception: reading at home. The United States isn’t the only country to question the benefits of homework. Last August, the Philippines proposed a bill  to ban homework completely, citing the need for rest, relaxation, and time with family. Another bill there proposed no weekend homework, with teachers running the risk of fines or two years in prison. (Yikes!) While a prison sentence may seem extreme, there are real reasons to reconsider homework.

Refocus on mental health and educate the “whole child”

Prioritizing mental health is at the forefront of the homework ban movement. Leaders say they want to give students time to develop other hobbies, relationships, and balance in their lives.

This month two Utah elementary schools gained national recognition for officially banning homework. The results are significant, with psychologist referrals for anxiety decreasing by 50 percent. Many schools are looking for ways to refocus on wellness, and homework can be a real cause of stress.

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Research supports a ban for elementary schools

Supporters of a homework ban often cite research from John Hattie, who concluded that elementary school homework has no effect on academic progress. In a podcast he said, “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?'”

In the upper grades, Hattie’s research shows that homework has to be purposeful, not busy work. And the reality is, most teachers don’t receive training on how to assign homework that is meaningful and relevant to students.

Parents push back, too

In October this Washington Post article made waves in parenting and education communities when it introduced the idea that, even if homework is assigned, it doesn’t have to be completed for the student to pass the class. The writer explains how her family doesn’t believe in homework, and doesn’t participate. In response, other parents started “opting out” of homework, citing research that homework in elementary school doesn’t further intelligence or academic success. 

Of course, homework has its defenders, especially in the upper grades

“I think some homework is a good idea,” says Darla E. in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. “Ideally, it forces the parents to take some responsibility for their child’s education. It also reinforces what students learn and instills good study habits for later in life.”

Jennifer M. agrees. “If we are trying to make students college-ready, they need the skill of doing homework.”

And the research does support some homework in middle and high school, as long as it is clearly tied to learning and not overwhelming.

We’d love to hear your thoughts—do you think schools should ban homework? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, why you should stop assigning reading homework.

Should We Ban Homework?

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Is Homework a Waste of Time? Teachers Weigh In

should schools ban homework debate

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The debate over homework rages on.

In response to an Opinion essay by a teacher titled “ What Do You Mean My Kid Doesn’t Have Homework? ”, many Facebook users took to the comments section to voice their perspectives on whether assigning homework is outdated and unnecessary—especially during a pandemic—or whether it’s a critical step to cultivating learning.

The benefits of homework have long been disputed, especially at the elementary school level. In 2018, Marva Hinton wrote about how homework was assigned at early grades and the potential effects on these young students. Some schools embraced homework, like Arlington Traditional School, a countywide elementary school in Arlington, Va., where kindergartners were expected to complete a minimum of 30 minutes of homework a night, Monday through Thursday. But some teachers such as Cathy Vatterott, a professor of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the author of Rethinking Homework worried that adjusting to school routines combined with homework could sour young students on school.

But what about the benefits for older students? In a 2019 article , Education Week Assistant Editor Stephen Sawchuk unpacked the results of a Center for American Progress analysis, which found that while much of the homework assigned to the students in the study aligned with the Common Core State Standards, it did not contribute to building more difficult skills called for in the standards, like analyzing or extending their knowledge to new problems.

Beyond considering the efficacy of homework, the debate over how much time students should spend daily on take-home assignments dates back to the early 1900s. The public furor even led some state lawmakers to ban homework entirely at one point. Multiple studies over the years have examined different angles of the homework debate, including just how much homework students were assigned. In 2003, a pair of national studies found that most American students spent less than an hour daily on homework, and the workload was no bigger than it was 50 years prior.

“There is this view in the popular media that there has been this terrible burden of homework on children, and that the homework is increasing,” said Tom Loveless, the director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution to Education Week’s Debra Viadero in a 2003 article . “That is not the case.”

Fast-forward to the present, teachers and students alike might find themselves at another crossroads in the homework debate. The pandemic brought with it the advent of strategies like “flipped learning” , which relies heavily on homework as an integral component of the lesson. While this might work for some, many students grew weary of the reliance on homework during remote and hybrid learning. This is on top of the potential equity issues arising from lack of internet access affecting students’ ability to complete the steady stream of homework being assigned, and the uptick in mental health issues in students .

So what do teachers really think about homework? Here’s what they had to say in response to the recently resurfaced essay by Samantha Hulsman.

A Disconnect Between Parents and Educators

“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.

“I tried the ‘no homework’ policy one year and received so much pushback from my parents that I began sending home a weekly packet. I pass it out on Monday and it is due on Friday. Parents [are] happy, I’m happy, and life goes on. I say pick your battles. Now, I refuse to give packets over school breaks (winter/spring). If a parent asks, I simply tell them to have them work on any app that we use in class.”

“i literally only assign homework because some parents always make a huge deal of it if i don’t.”, “parents are the driving force behind homework ... they demand it and will complain about not receiving it even after explaining your philosophy of education and providing them with pedagogy that refutes the ‘benefits’ of it.”, homework can be useful for certain subjects or grades, “as a teacher of nearly 40 years, i believe homework has its place. especially in math math needs to be practiced to learn it. i don’t believe in giving homework just because. i think it should be purposeful.”.

- Sandra S.

“For those leading the charge against homework, please think about the expectation for students beyond your classroom. If you teach elementary school, will they be asked to do homework in middle school, high school, and beyond? If so, organization, time management, and study skills are not so easily learned at a later age, when the expectation has never been present. I can’t imagine being a student, who enters college, having never had the expectation of nightly HW.”

- Bobbie M.

Is Homework Actually Helpful for Learning?

Some agree that at its core, homework is practice, which is a needed element to achieving learning.

“Homework is practice. Practice the skills we learned about in class so we can review and add to them. My instrumental students are required to practice every day. When they don’t it’s evident.”

Others aren’t as convinced it’s actually a good tool for assessing comprehension.

“As a teacher, if the kids were assigned homework, guess when the papers were graded ... After discovering a Mom had been doing the homework and was making failing grades ... I gave it up ... taught 25 years without it and my students did much better ...”

- Martha H.

Heightens Equity Issues

“no homework ever it is unnecessary it is so elitist and ableist and teaches kids that it is expected to take work home after hours of a job. nope never”, “homework just further separates the students. those who have parents home who understand the work, or can afford a tutor will do so. families already struggling financially tend not to have parents home to help and cannot afford tutors.”.

- Rebecca J.

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Nobody knows what the point of homework is

The homework wars are back.

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As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework. But whether or not students could complete it at home varied. For some, schoolwork became public-library work or McDonald’s-parking-lot work.

Luis Torres, the principal of PS 55, a predominantly low-income community elementary school in the south Bronx, told me that his school secured Chromebooks for students early in the pandemic only to learn that some lived in shelters that blocked wifi for security reasons. Others, who lived in housing projects with poor internet reception, did their schoolwork in laundromats.

According to a 2021 Pew survey , 25 percent of lower-income parents said their children, at some point, were unable to complete their schoolwork because they couldn’t access a computer at home; that number for upper-income parents was 2 percent.

The issues with remote learning in March 2020 were new. But they highlighted a divide that had been there all along in another form: homework. And even long after schools have resumed in-person classes, the pandemic’s effects on homework have lingered.

Over the past three years, in response to concerns about equity, schools across the country, including in Sacramento, Los Angeles , San Diego , and Clark County, Nevada , made permanent changes to their homework policies that restricted how much homework could be given and how it could be graded after in-person learning resumed.

Three years into the pandemic, as districts and teachers reckon with Covid-era overhauls of teaching and learning, schools are still reconsidering the purpose and place of homework. Whether relaxing homework expectations helps level the playing field between students or harms them by decreasing rigor is a divisive issue without conclusive evidence on either side, echoing other debates in education like the elimination of standardized test scores from some colleges’ admissions processes.

I first began to wonder if the homework abolition movement made sense after speaking with teachers in some Massachusetts public schools, who argued that rather than help disadvantaged kids, stringent homework restrictions communicated an attitude of low expectations. One, an English teacher, said she felt the school had “just given up” on trying to get the students to do work; another argued that restrictions that prohibit teachers from assigning take-home work that doesn’t begin in class made it difficult to get through the foreign-language curriculum. Teachers in other districts have raised formal concerns about homework abolition’s ability to close gaps among students rather than widening them.

Many education experts share this view. Harris Cooper, a professor emeritus of psychology at Duke who has studied homework efficacy, likened homework abolition to “playing to the lowest common denominator.”

But as I learned after talking to a variety of stakeholders — from homework researchers to policymakers to parents of schoolchildren — whether to abolish homework probably isn’t the right question. More important is what kind of work students are sent home with and where they can complete it. Chances are, if schools think more deeply about giving constructive work, time spent on homework will come down regardless.

There’s no consensus on whether homework works

The rise of the no-homework movement during the Covid-19 pandemic tapped into long-running disagreements over homework’s impact on students. The purpose and effectiveness of homework have been disputed for well over a century. In 1901, for instance, California banned homework for students up to age 15, and limited it for older students, over concerns that it endangered children’s mental and physical health. The newest iteration of the anti-homework argument contends that the current practice punishes students who lack support and rewards those with more resources, reinforcing the “myth of meritocracy.”

But there is still no research consensus on homework’s effectiveness; no one can seem to agree on what the right metrics are. Much of the debate relies on anecdotes, intuition, or speculation.

Researchers disagree even on how much research exists on the value of homework. Kathleen Budge, the co-author of Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools and a professor at Boise State, told me that homework “has been greatly researched.” Denise Pope, a Stanford lecturer and leader of the education nonprofit Challenge Success, said, “It’s not a highly researched area because of some of the methodological problems.”

Experts who are more sympathetic to take-home assignments generally support the “10-minute rule,” a framework that estimates the ideal amount of homework on any given night by multiplying the student’s grade by 10 minutes. (A ninth grader, for example, would have about 90 minutes of work a night.) Homework proponents argue that while it is difficult to design randomized control studies to test homework’s effectiveness, the vast majority of existing studies show a strong positive correlation between homework and high academic achievement for middle and high school students. Prominent critics of homework argue that these correlational studies are unreliable and point to studies that suggest a neutral or negative effect on student performance. Both agree there is little to no evidence for homework’s effectiveness at an elementary school level, though proponents often argue that it builds constructive habits for the future.

For anyone who remembers homework assignments from both good and bad teachers, this fundamental disagreement might not be surprising. Some homework is pointless and frustrating to complete. Every week during my senior year of high school, I had to analyze a poem for English and decorate it with images found on Google; my most distinct memory from that class is receiving a demoralizing 25-point deduction because I failed to present my analysis on a poster board. Other assignments really do help students learn: After making an adapted version of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book for a ninth grade history project, I was inspired to check out from the library and read a biography of the Chinese ruler.

For homework opponents, the first example is more likely to resonate. “We’re all familiar with the negative effects of homework: stress, exhaustion, family conflict, less time for other activities, diminished interest in learning,” Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, which challenges common justifications for homework, told me in an email. “And these effects may be most pronounced among low-income students.” Kohn believes that schools should make permanent any moratoria implemented during the pandemic, arguing that there are no positives at all to outweigh homework’s downsides. Recent studies , he argues , show the benefits may not even materialize during high school.

In the Marlborough Public Schools, a suburban district 45 minutes west of Boston, school policy committee chair Katherine Hennessy described getting kids to complete their homework during remote education as “a challenge, to say the least.” Teachers found that students who spent all day on their computers didn’t want to spend more time online when the day was over. So, for a few months, the school relaxed the usual practice and teachers slashed the quantity of nightly homework.

Online learning made the preexisting divides between students more apparent, she said. Many students, even during normal circumstances, lacked resources to keep them on track and focused on completing take-home assignments. Though Marlborough Schools is more affluent than PS 55, Hennessy said many students had parents whose work schedules left them unable to provide homework help in the evenings. The experience tracked with a common divide in the country between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

So in October 2021, months after the homework reduction began, the Marlborough committee made a change to the district’s policy. While teachers could still give homework, the assignments had to begin as classwork. And though teachers could acknowledge homework completion in a student’s participation grade, they couldn’t count homework as its own grading category. “Rigorous learning in the classroom does not mean that that classwork must be assigned every night,” the policy stated . “Extensions of class work is not to be used to teach new content or as a form of punishment.”

Canceling homework might not do anything for the achievement gap

The critiques of homework are valid as far as they go, but at a certain point, arguments against homework can defy the commonsense idea that to retain what they’re learning, students need to practice it.

“Doesn’t a kid become a better reader if he reads more? Doesn’t a kid learn his math facts better if he practices them?” said Cathy Vatterott, an education researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After decades of research, she said it’s still hard to isolate the value of homework, but that doesn’t mean it should be abandoned.

Blanket vilification of homework can also conflate the unique challenges facing disadvantaged students as compared to affluent ones, which could have different solutions. “The kids in the low-income schools are being hurt because they’re being graded, unfairly, on time they just don’t have to do this stuff,” Pope told me. “And they’re still being held accountable for turning in assignments, whether they’re meaningful or not.” On the other side, “Palo Alto kids” — students in Silicon Valley’s stereotypically pressure-cooker public schools — “are just bombarded and overloaded and trying to stay above water.”

Merely getting rid of homework doesn’t solve either problem. The United States already has the second-highest disparity among OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations between time spent on homework by students of high and low socioeconomic status — a difference of more than three hours, said Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University and author of No More Mindless Homework .

When she interviewed teachers in Boston-area schools that had cut homework before the pandemic, Bempechat told me, “What they saw immediately was parents who could afford it immediately enrolled their children in the Russian School of Mathematics,” a math-enrichment program whose tuition ranges from $140 to about $400 a month. Getting rid of homework “does nothing for equity; it increases the opportunity gap between wealthier and less wealthy families,” she said. “That solution troubles me because it’s no solution at all.”

A group of teachers at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, made the same point after the school district proposed an overhaul of its homework policies, including removing penalties for missing homework deadlines, allowing unlimited retakes, and prohibiting grading of homework.

“Given the emphasis on equity in today’s education systems,” they wrote in a letter to the school board, “we believe that some of the proposed changes will actually have a detrimental impact towards achieving this goal. Families that have means could still provide challenging and engaging academic experiences for their children and will continue to do so, especially if their children are not experiencing expected rigor in the classroom.” At a school where more than a third of students are low-income, the teachers argued, the policies would prompt students “to expect the least of themselves in terms of effort, results, and responsibility.”

Not all homework is created equal

Despite their opposing sides in the homework wars, most of the researchers I spoke to made a lot of the same points. Both Bempechat and Pope were quick to bring up how parents and schools confuse rigor with workload, treating the volume of assignments as a proxy for quality of learning. Bempechat, who is known for defending homework, has written extensively about how plenty of it lacks clear purpose, requires the purchasing of unnecessary supplies, and takes longer than it needs to. Likewise, when Pope instructs graduate-level classes on curriculum, she asks her students to think about the larger purpose they’re trying to achieve with homework: If they can get the job done in the classroom, there’s no point in sending home more work.

At its best, pandemic-era teaching facilitated that last approach. Honolulu-based teacher Christina Torres Cawdery told me that, early in the pandemic, she often had a cohort of kids in her classroom for four hours straight, as her school tried to avoid too much commingling. She couldn’t lecture for four hours, so she gave the students plenty of time to complete independent and project-based work. At the end of most school days, she didn’t feel the need to send them home with more to do.

A similar limited-homework philosophy worked at a public middle school in Chelsea, Massachusetts. A couple of teachers there turned as much class as possible into an opportunity for small-group practice, allowing kids to work on problems that traditionally would be assigned for homework, Jessica Flick, a math coach who leads department meetings at the school, told me. It was inspired by a philosophy pioneered by Simon Fraser University professor Peter Liljedahl, whose influential book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics reframes homework as “check-your-understanding questions” rather than as compulsory work. Last year, Flick found that the two eighth grade classes whose teachers adopted this strategy performed the best on state tests, and this year, she has encouraged other teachers to implement it.

Teachers know that plenty of homework is tedious and unproductive. Jeannemarie Dawson De Quiroz, who has taught for more than 20 years in low-income Boston and Los Angeles pilot and charter schools, says that in her first years on the job she frequently assigned “drill and kill” tasks and questions that she now feels unfairly stumped students. She said designing good homework wasn’t part of her teaching programs, nor was it meaningfully discussed in professional development. With more experience, she turned as much class time as she could into practice time and limited what she sent home.

“The thing about homework that’s sticky is that not all homework is created equal,” says Jill Harrison Berg, a former teacher and the author of Uprooting Instructional Inequity . “Some homework is a genuine waste of time and requires lots of resources for no good reason. And other homework is really useful.”

Cutting homework has to be part of a larger strategy

The takeaways are clear: Schools can make cuts to homework, but those cuts should be part of a strategy to improve the quality of education for all students. If the point of homework was to provide more practice, districts should think about how students can make it up during class — or offer time during or after school for students to seek help from teachers. If it was to move the curriculum along, it’s worth considering whether strategies like Liljedahl’s can get more done in less time.

Some of the best thinking around effective assignments comes from those most critical of the current practice. Denise Pope proposes that, before assigning homework, teachers should consider whether students understand the purpose of the work and whether they can do it without help. If teachers think it’s something that can’t be done in class, they should be mindful of how much time it should take and the feedback they should provide. It’s questions like these that De Quiroz considered before reducing the volume of work she sent home.

More than a year after the new homework policy began in Marlborough, Hennessy still hears from parents who incorrectly “think homework isn’t happening” despite repeated assurances that kids still can receive work. She thinks part of the reason is that education has changed over the years. “I think what we’re trying to do is establish that homework may be an element of educating students,” she told me. “But it may not be what parents think of as what they grew up with. ... It’s going to need to adapt, per the teaching and the curriculum, and how it’s being delivered in each classroom.”

For the policy to work, faculty, parents, and students will all have to buy into a shared vision of what school ought to look like. The district is working on it — in November, it hosted and uploaded to YouTube a round-table discussion on homework between district administrators — but considering the sustained confusion, the path ahead seems difficult.

When I asked Luis Torres about whether he thought homework serves a useful part in PS 55’s curriculum, he said yes, of course it was — despite the effort and money it takes to keep the school open after hours to help them do it. “The children need the opportunity to practice,” he said. “If you don’t give them opportunities to practice what they learn, they’re going to forget.” But Torres doesn’t care if the work is done at home. The school stays open until around 6 pm on weekdays, even during breaks. Tutors through New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development programs help kids with work after school so they don’t need to take it with them.

As schools weigh the purpose of homework in an unequal world, it’s tempting to dispose of a practice that presents real, practical problems to students across the country. But getting rid of homework is unlikely to do much good on its own. Before cutting it, it’s worth thinking about what good assignments are meant to do in the first place. It’s crucial that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds tackle complex quantitative problems and hone their reading and writing skills. It’s less important that the work comes home with them.

Jacob Sweet is a freelance writer in Somerville, Massachusetts. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, among other publications.

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Should homework be banned?

Social media has sparked into life about whether children should be given homework - should students be freed from this daily chore? Dr Gerald Letendre, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University, investigates.

We’ve all done it: pretended to leave an essay at home, or stayed up until 2am to finish a piece of coursework we’ve been ignoring for weeks. Homework, for some people, is seen as a chore that’s ‘wrecking kids’ or ‘killing parents’, while others think it is an essential part of a well-rounded education. The problem is far from new: public debates about homework have been raging since at least the early-1900s, and recently spilled over into a Twitter feud between Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan.

Ironically, the conversation surrounding homework often ignores the scientific ‘homework’ that researchers have carried out. Many detailed studies have been conducted, and can guide parents, teachers and administrators to make sensible decisions about how much work should be completed by students outside of the classroom.

So why does homework stir up such strong emotions? One reason is that, by its very nature, it is an intrusion of schoolwork into family life. I carried out a study in 2005, and found that the amount of time that children and adolescents spend in school, from nursery right up to the end of compulsory education, has greatly increased over the last century . This means that more of a child’s time is taken up with education, so family time is reduced. This increases pressure on the boundary between the family and the school.

Plus, the amount of homework that students receive appears to be increasing, especially in the early years when parents are keen for their children to play with friends and spend time with the family.

Finally, success in school has become increasingly important to success in life. Parents can use homework to promote, or exercise control over, their child’s academic trajectory, and hopefully ensure their future educational success. But this often leaves parents conflicted – they want their children to be successful in school, but they don’t want them to be stressed or upset because of an unmanageable workload.

François Hollande says homework is unfair, as it penalises children who have a difficult home environment © Getty Images

However, the issue isn’t simply down to the opinions of parents, children and their teachers – governments also like to get involved. In the autumn of 2012, French president François Hollande hit world headlines after making a comment about banning homework, ostensibly because it promoted inequality. The Chinese government has also toyed with a ban, because of concerns about excessive academic pressure being put on children.

The problem is, some politicians and national administrators regard regulatory policy in education as a solution for a wide array of social, economic and political issues, perhaps without considering the consequences for students and parents.

Does homework work?

Homework seems to generally have a positive effect for high school students, according to an extensive range of empirical literature. For example, Duke University’s Prof Harris Cooper carried out a meta-analysis using data from US schools, covering a period from 1987 to 2003. He found that homework offered a general beneficial impact on test scores and improvements in attitude, with a greater effect seen in older students. But dig deeper into the issue and a complex set of factors quickly emerges, related to how much homework students do, and exactly how they feel about it.

In 2009, Prof Ulrich Trautwein and his team at the University of Tübingen found that in order to establish whether homework is having any effect, researchers must take into account the differences both between and within classes . For example, a teacher may assign a good deal of homework to a lower-level class, producing an association between more homework and lower levels of achievement. Yet, within the same class, individual students may vary significantly in how much homework improves their baseline performance. Plus, there is the fact that some students are simply more efficient at completing their homework than others, and it becomes quite difficult to pinpoint just what type of homework, and how much of it, will affect overall academic performance.

Over the last century, the amount of time that children and adolescents spend in school has greatly increased

Gender is also a major factor. For example, a study of US high school students carried out by Prof Gary Natriello in the 1980s revealed that girls devote more time to homework than boys, while a follow-up study found that US girls tend to spend more time on mathematics homework than boys. Another study, this time of African-American students in the US, found that eighth grade (ages 13-14) girls were more likely to successfully manage both their tasks and emotions around schoolwork, and were more likely to finish homework.

So why do girls seem to respond more positively to homework? One possible answer proposed by Eunsook Hong of the University of Nevada in 2011 is that teachers tend to rate girls’ habits and attitudes towards work more favourably than boys’. This perception could potentially set up a positive feedback loop between teacher expectations and the children’s capacity for academic work based on gender, resulting in girls outperforming boys. All of this makes it particularly difficult to determine the extent to which homework is helping, though it is clear that simply increasing the time spent on assignments does not directly correspond to a universal increase in learning.

Can homework cause damage?

The lack of empirical data supporting homework in the early years of education, along with an emerging trend to assign more work to this age range, appears to be fuelling parental concerns about potential negative effects. But, aside from anecdotes of increased tension in the household, is there any evidence of this? Can doing too much homework actually damage children?

Evidence suggests extreme amounts of homework can indeed have serious effects on students’ health and well-being. A Chinese study carried out in 2010 found a link between excessive homework and sleep disruption: children who had less homework had better routines and more stable sleep schedules. A Canadian study carried out in 2015 by Isabelle Michaud found that high levels of homework were associated with a greater risk of obesity among boys, if they were already feeling stressed about school in general.

For useful revision guides and video clips to assist with learning, visit BBC Bitesize . This is a free online study resource for UK students from early years up to GCSEs and Scottish Highers.

It is also worth noting that too much homework can create negative effects that may undermine any positives. These negative consequences may not only affect the child, but also could also pile on the stress for the whole family, according to a recent study by Robert Pressman of the New England Centre for Pediatric Psychology. Parents were particularly affected when their perception of their own capacity to assist their children decreased.

What then, is the tipping point, and when does homework simply become too much for parents and children? Guidelines typically suggest that children in the first grade (six years old) should have no more that 10 minutes per night, and that this amount should increase by 10 minutes per school year. However, cultural norms may greatly affect what constitutes too much.

A study of children aged between 8 and 10 in Quebec defined high levels of homework as more than 30 minutes a night, but a study in China of children aged 5 to 11 deemed that two or more hours per night was excessive. It is therefore difficult to create a clear standard for what constitutes as too much homework, because cultural differences, school-related stress, and negative emotions within the family all appear to interact with how homework affects children.

Should we stop setting homework?

In my opinion, even though there are potential risks of negative effects, homework should not be banned. Small amounts, assigned with specific learning goals in mind and with proper parental support, can help to improve students’ performance. While some studies have generally found little evidence that homework has a positive effect on young children overall, a 2008 study by Norwegian researcher Marte Rønning found that even some very young children do receive some benefit. So simply banning homework would mean that any particularly gifted or motivated pupils would not be able to benefit from increased study. However, at the earliest ages, very little homework should be assigned. The decisions about how much and what type are best left to teachers and parents.

As a parent, it is important to clarify what goals your child’s teacher has for homework assignments. Teachers can assign work for different reasons – as an academic drill to foster better study habits, and unfortunately, as a punishment. The goals for each assignment should be made clear, and should encourage positive engagement with academic routines.

Parents who play an active role in homework routines can help give their kids a more positive experience of learning © Getty Images

Parents should inform the teachers of how long the homework is taking, as teachers often incorrectly estimate the amount of time needed to complete an assignment, and how it is affecting household routines. For young children, positive teacher support and feedback is critical in establishing a student’s positive perception of homework and other academic routines. Teachers and parents need to be vigilant and ensure that homework routines do not start to generate patterns of negative interaction that erode students’ motivation.

Likewise, any positive effects of homework are dependent on several complex interactive factors, including the child’s personal motivation, the type of assignment, parental support and teacher goals. Creating an overarching policy to address every single situation is not realistic, and so homework policies tend to be fixated on the time the homework takes to complete. But rather than focusing on this, everyone would be better off if schools worked on fostering stronger communication between parents, teachers and students, allowing them to respond more sensitively to the child’s emotional and academic needs.

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February 21, 2024

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How Americans really feel about the teaching of controversial topics in schools

by Nina Raffio, University of Southern California

How Americans really feel about the teaching of controversial topics in schools

While Americans overwhelmingly agree on the fundamental value of public education, a new study by researchers at USC reveals deep partisan divides on sensitive topics like LGBTQ+ inclusion and racial justice in K-12 curricula.

Drawing from a nationally representative survey of more than 3,900 U.S. adults, the study offers a more nuanced picture of public opinion than the heated debates dominating headlines. The research also provides insights for policymakers and educators navigating the complexities of public education in an increasingly polarized America.

"We were surprised and hopeful to find such strong bipartisan support for public education and its purpose," said Anna Saavedra, co-author of the study, research scientist and co-director at the Center for Applied Research in Education at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

"That said, there are major partisan differences in beliefs about what children should be learning in public schools , particularly regarding topics related to LGBTQ and race. Local districts have the challenge of reconciling these differences in the coming years," said Saavedra, who is also the director of research for the USC EdPolicy Hub based at the USC Rossier School of Education.

The researchers conducted an internet-based survey from September to October, targeting a nationally representative sample of American households drawn from the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research's Understanding America Study.

The survey reflected a diverse range of political affiliations, with 40% identifying as Democrat or leaning Democrat, 34% as Republican or leaning Republican, and 27% as independent or belonging to other political parties . The sample included 1,763 households with at least one K-12 child living in the home, and 2,142 households without children currently in the home.

The survey asked participants about the purposes of education, parental control over classroom content and potentially contested topics in K-12 curricula, including LGBTQ inclusion and discussions about race.

How Americans really feel about the teaching of controversial topics in schools

Despite the current political climate , the survey revealed surprising areas of agreement among Americans regarding education.

For example, Americans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree on the importance of a free, public education for every child; its core functions of teaching basic literacy, numeracy and civics; and positioning children to have a financially secure future.

The researchers also discovered that 58% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans believe protecting democracy is a very important goal of education, while 36% of adults with other affiliations agree. The survey also showed widespread agreement that parents should play an important role in their children's education.

"In an election year, when the partisan stakes seem so high, we were heartened to find such high levels of agreement around core purposes of education, including both teaching the basics and also strengthening our fragile democracy," said Morgan Polikoff, co-author of the study and associate professor of education at USC Rossier.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents were in favor of elementary students discussing kindness and its significance (90%) and teaching about standing up for others (88%). More than half (54%) are okay with teachers assigning a book depicting a romance between a boy and a girl (54%).

Americans remain split on classroom conversations

Divides were deepest on LGBTQ topics in schools. Among Democrats, 80-86% support high school students learning about such topics, while less than 40% of Republicans approve. Support wanes for teaching the topics to elementary students among Democrats (40%-50%), and only 10% approval from Republicans.

How Americans really feel about the teaching of controversial topics in schools

"Our survey highlights the deep divisions about not just what children should be learning in school, but also when. Policymakers need to really think about these nuances if they are going to craft policies that reflect what Americans really want," Polikoff said.

At the high school level, most people (65%) support discussing various kinds of families. Additionally, 64% approve of discussing how anyone in America can marry the person they love, no matter their gender, and 61% approve of teachers displaying photos of their same-sex spouses on their desks.

The researchers also found that more than half of adults support discussing race-related topics in high school classrooms. While Democrats support elementary school children learning about slavery, civil rights and race-based inequality, Republicans do not.

Other findings included:

  • Fewer than half of Republicans approve of high school students learning about current race-related issues, such as the use of race in college admissions (47%), how discriminatory policies like unfair housing and unequal access to health care have harmed minorities (41%) and how criminal justice policies affect people of color relative to white Americans (40%).
  • Topics closely linked to the experiences of minority racial backgrounds tend to garner less support. For example, the scenario least favored by Republicans (36%) involves a math project where students analyze national data on the frequency of students of different races being sent to the principal's office.
  • While nearly 60% of all respondents agree that children should learn about historical racism, even if it makes them feel guilty, there is a stark divide along party lines. Democrats largely support this approach (81%), while only 33% of Republicans agree.

"We hope our study results will provide renewed bipartisan enthusiasm to work together to improve public education, and with some concrete tools to do so," Saavedra said.

Provided by University of Southern California

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No More Homework: 12 Reasons We Should Get Rid of It Completely

Last Updated: February 16, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Finn Kobler . Finn Kobler graduated from USC in 2022 with a BFA in Writing for Screen/Television. He is a two-time California State Champion and record holder in Original Prose/Poetry, a 2018 finalist for the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate, and he's written micro-budget films that have been screened in over 150 theaters nationwide. Growing up, Finn spent every summer helping his family's nonprofit arts program, Showdown Stage Company, empower people through accessible media. He hopes to continue that mission with his writing at wikiHow. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 97,118 times. Learn more...

The amount of homework students are given has increased dramatically in the 21st century, which has sparked countless debates over homework’s overall value. While some have been adamant that homework is an essential part of a good education, it’s been proven that too much homework negatively affects students’ mood, classroom performance, and overall well-being. In addition, a heavy homework load can stress families and teachers. Here are 12 reasons why homework should be banned (or at least heavily reduced).

School is already a full-time job.

Students already spend approximately seven hours a day at school.

  • For years, teachers have followed the “10-minute rule” giving students roughly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. However, recent studies have shown students are completing 3+ hours of homework a night well before their senior years even begin. [2] X Trustworthy Source American Psychological Association Leading scientific and professional organization of licensed psychologists Go to source

Homework negatively affects students’ health.

Homework takes a toll physically.

Homework interferes with student’s opportunities to socialize.

Childhood and adolescence are extraordinary times for making friends.

Homework hinders students’ chances to learn new things.

Students need time to self-actualize.

Homework lowers students’ enthusiasm for school.

Homework makes the school feel like a chore.

Homework can lower academic performance.

Homework is unnecessary and counterproductive for high-performing students.

Homework cuts into family time.

Too much homework can cause family structures to collapse.

Homework is stressful for teachers.

Homework can also lead to burnout for teachers.

Homework is often irrelevant and punitive.

Students who don’t understand the lesson get no value from homework.

  • There are even studies that have shown homework in primary school has no correlation with classroom performance whatsoever. [9] X Research source

Homework encourages cheating.

Mandatory homework makes cheating feel like students’ only option.

Homework is inequitable.

Homework highlights the achievement gap between rich and poor students.

Other countries have banned homework with great results.

Countries like Finland have minimal homework and perform well academically.

  • There are even some U.S. schools that have adopted this approach with success. [13] X Research source

Community Q&A

Clement

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  • ↑ https://www.edutopia.org/no-proven-benefits
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/homework
  • ↑ https://healthier.stanfordchildrens.org/en/health-hazards-homework/
  • ↑ https://teensneedsleep.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/galloway-nonacademic-effects-of-homework-in-privileged-high-performing-high-schools.pdf
  • ↑ https://time.com/4466390/homework-debate-research/
  • ↑ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220485.2022.2075506?role=tab&scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=vece20
  • ↑ https://kappanonline.org/teacher-stress-balancing-demands-resources-mccarthy/
  • ↑ https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-homework-pros-cons-20180807-story.html
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6294446/
  • ↑ https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/06/homework-inequality-parents-schedules-grades/485174/
  • ↑ https://www.bbc.com/news/education-37716005
  • ↑ https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-homework-its-the-new-thing-in-u-s-schools-11544610600

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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.

Mother helping son with homework at home

Getty Images

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

High angle view of young woman sitting at desk and studying at home during coronavirus lockdown

Tags: K-12 education , students , elementary school , children

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The Great British Homework Debate 2024 – Is It Necessary At Primary School?

Alexander athienitis.

The homework debate is never much out of the news. Should homework be banned? Is homework at primary school a waste of time? Do our children get too much homework?

Not long ago, UK-based US comedian Rob Delaney set the world alight with a tweet giving his own personal view of homework at primary school. We thought, as an organisation that provides maths homework support on a weekly basis, it was time to look at the facts around the homework debate in primary schools as well as, of course, reflecting the views of celebrities and those perhaps more qualified to offer an opinion!

Here’s how Rob Delaney kicked things off

Gary Lineker leant his support with the following soundbite:

And even Piers Morgan weighed in, with his usual balance of tact and sensitivity:

A very experienced and knowledgeable Headteacher, Simon Smith, who has a well-earned following on Twitter (for someone working in education, not hosting Match of the Day) also put his neck on the line and, some might think controversially, agreed with the golden-heeled Crisp King of Leicester…

Fortunately Katharine Birbalsingh, Conservative Party Conference keynote speaker and Founding Headteacher of the Michaela School, was on hand to provide the alternative view on the importance of homework. Her op-ed piece in the Sun gave plenty of reasons why homework should not be banned.

She was informative and firm in her article stating: “Homework is essential for a child’s education because revisiting the day’s learning is what helps to make it stick.”

KS2 Maths Games and Activities Pack

A FREE downloadable games and activity pack, including 20 home learning maths activities for KS2 children to complete on their own or with a partner.

How much homework do UK primary school children get?

Sadly, there’s little data comparing how much homework primary school-aged children in the UK and across the globe complete on a weekly basis. A study of teenagers used by The Telegraph shows that American high-schoolers spend an average of 6.1 hours per week compared with 4.9 hours per week of homework each week for UK-based teens.

Up until 2012, the Department of Education recommended an hour of homework a week for primary school Key Stage 1 children (aged 4 to 7) and half an hour a day for primary school Key Stage 2 children (aged 7-11). Many primary schools still use this as a guideline.

Teachers, parents and children in many schools across the land have seen more changes of homework policy than numbers of terms in some school years.

A ‘no-homework’ policy pleases only a few; a grid of creative tasks crowd-sourced from the three teachers bothered to give their input infuriates many (parents, teachers and children alike). For some parents, no matter how much homework is set, it’s never enough; for others, even asking them to fill in their child’s reading record once a week can be a struggle due to a busy working life.

Homework is very different around the world

We’d suggest that Piers Morgan’s argument for homework in comparing the UK’s economic and social progress with China’s in recent years based on total weekly homework hours is somewhat misguided – we can’t put their emergence as the world’s (if not already, soon to be) leading superpower exclusively down to having their young people endure almost triple the number of hours spent completing homework as their Western counterparts.

Nonetheless, there’s certainly a finer balance to strike between the 14 hours a week suffered by Shanghainese school-attendees and none whatsoever. Certainly parents in the UK spend less time each week helping their children than parents in emerging economies such as India, Vietnam and Colombia (Source: Varkey Foundation Report).

Disadvantages of homework at primary school

Delaney, whose son attends a London state primary school, has made it plain that he thinks his kids get given too much homework and he’d rather have them following more active or creative pursuits: drawing or playing football. A father of four sons and a retired professional footballer Gary Linaker was quick to defend this but he also has the resources to send his children to top boarding schools which generally provide very structured homework or ‘prep’ routines.

As parents Rob and Gary are not alone. According to the 2018 Ofsted annual report on Parents Views  more than a third of parents do not think homework in primary school is helpful to their children. They cite the battles and arguments it causes not to mention the specific challenges it presents to families with SEND children many of whom report serious damage to health and self-esteem as a result of too much or inappropriate homework.

It’s a truism among teachers that some types of homework tells you very little about what the child can achieve and much more about a parent’s own approach to the work. How low does your heart sink when your child comes back with a D & T project to create Stonehenge and you realise it’s either an all-nighter with glue, cardboard and crayons for you, or an uncompleted homework project for your child!

Speaking with our teacher hats on, we can tell you that homework is often cited in academic studies looking at academic progress in primary school-aged children as showing minimal to no impact.

Back on Twitter, a fellow teacher was able to weigh-in with that point:

Benefits of homework at primary school

So what are the benefits of homework at primary school? According to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) (the key research organisations dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement) the impact of homework at primary is low, but it also doesn’t cost much.

They put it at a “+2 months” impact against a control of doing nothing. To put this into context, 1-to-1 tuition is generally seen as a +5 months impact but it’s usually considered to be expensive.

“There is some evidence that when homework is used as a short and focused intervention it can be effective in improving students’ attainment … overall the general benefits are likely to be modest if homework is more routinely set.”

Key to the benefit you’ll see from homework is that the task is appropriate and of good quality. The quantity of homework a pupil does is not so important. In this matter Katharine Birbalsingh is on the money. Short focused tasks which relate directly to what is being taught, and which are built upon in school, are likely to be more effective than regular daily homework.

In our view it’s about consolidation. So focusing on a few times tables that you find tricky or working through questions similar to what you’ve done in class that day or week often can be beneficial. 2 hours of worksheets on a Saturday when your child could be outside having fun and making friends probably isn’t. If you really want them to be doing maths, then do some outdoor maths with them instead of homework !

At Third Space Learning we believe it’s all about balance. Give the right sort of homework and the right amount at primary school and there will be improvements, but much of it comes down to parental engagement.

One of our favourite ways to practise maths at home without it become too onerous is by using educational games. Here are our favourite fun maths games , some brilliant KS2 maths games , KS1 maths games and KS3 maths games for all maths topics and then a set of 35 times tables games which are ideal for interspersing with your regular times tables practice. And best of all, most of them require no more equipment than a pen and paper or perhaps a pack of cards.

Homework and parents

One of the key benefits cited by EEF is in regard to parental engagement. Time after time, the greatest differentiator between children who make great progress at school – and those, frankly – who don’t is due to the same factor in the same studies: parental engagement .

It is a fair assumption that if a parent is engaged in their child’s learning, they’re probably going to be the same parents who encourage and support their child when they’re completing their homework.

Whereas parents who are disengaged with their child’s school and schooling – for whatever reason (sorry, Piers, it’s rarely due to laziness), are highly unlikely to be aware of what homework gets set each week, let alone to be mucking in with making sure it gets handed in completed and on time.

We also encounter time and again, the issue of parents’ own lack of confidence in maths. A survey by Pearson found that:

  • 30 percent of parents “don’t feel confident enough in their own maths skills to help their children with their primary school maths homework”
  • 53 per cent insisted they struggled to understand the new maths teaching methods used in modern classrooms. Fortunately that’s what we’re here to address.

Setting the right homework at primary school can be tricky

Although we disagree with Piers, we can see what he may be driving at in terms of setting appropriate homework.

The question quickly becomes what would Piers think of as being ‘interesting’ homework, and if all four of his children would agree upon the same thing being ‘interesting’.

That’s the problem.

One would imagine Piers would find it hard enough finding one task to satisfy the interest of all of his four children – it’s almost impossible to find a task that will engage the interest of 30 or more children in their out of school hours.

Each with different emotional, behavioural and learning needs, then sprinkle in the varying levels of poverty each family suffers (be it financial or in terms of time), and you can see how it isn’t just about being a good or bad teacher – whatever that means – in regards to being able to set Morgan-approved homework tasks.

What does this mean for my child?

Ultimately, the question at the top of mind whenever a parent thinks about homework is a more general one – am I doing the best for my child?

Although the world is changing at a faster pace than ever before in human history, what’s best for children hasn’t changed that much (if at all).

One-to-one support is best, and young people benefit most from adult-child conversations where they acquire new vocabulary and language structures to form and share their thoughts and opinions.

These insights – that one-to-one support is best and that regular, structured adult-child conversations are life-changing within a child’s development – are what inspired us to create Third Space Learning.

A platform where children can engage with a community of specialist tutors in a safe, structured learning environment where they are able to engage in one-to-one conversations that enable them to progress in their learning with confidence.

  • How to help your child with their maths homework – A parents guide
  • The Best Homework Hacks: 18 Tips And Tricks To Help Busy Parents Get It Done Faster!
  • The 20 Most Recommended Teaching Blogs for UK Teachers and School Leaders

Do you have students who need extra support in maths? Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of students across hundreds of schools with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons and maths interventions designed to address learning gaps and boost progress. Since 2013 we’ve helped over 150,000 primary and secondary students become more confident, able mathematicians. Learn more or request a personalised quote for your school to speak to us about your school’s needs and how we can help.

Subsidised one to one maths tutoring from the UK’s most affordable DfE-approved one to one tutoring provider.

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2. teachers’ views of current debates about what schools should be teaching.

We asked teachers what type of impact current debates about how public schools should be teaching about topics like race and gender identity have had on their ability to do their job.

A pie chart showing that about 4 in 10 teachers say current debates about K-12 education have had a negative impact on their job.

A sizeable share of public K-12 teachers (41%) say these debates have had a negative impact on their ability to do their job.

Just 4% say these debates have a positive impact, while 53% say the impact has been neither positive nor negative or that these debates have had no impact.

Similar shares of Democratic (44%) and Republican (40%) teachers say these debates have had a negative impact. But Republican teachers are more likely than Democratic teachers to say the impact has been neither positive nor negative or that there’s been no impact (58% vs. 51%).

Secondary school teachers are more likely than elementary school teachers to say the impact has been negative (45% vs. 36%). Among secondary school teachers, those teaching English or social studies are especially likely to say this compared with those teaching other subjects (55% vs. 38%).

Influence over curriculum

We asked teachers about the amount of influence different groups have over what K-12 public schools in their areas are teaching.

A diverging bar chart showing that a majority of teachers say teachers don’t have enough influence on what schools in their area are teaching.

Most teachers (71%) say teachers themselves don’t have enough influence.

Teachers are also more likely to say students and principals don’t have enough influence than to say these groups have too much influence. Still, 61% say principals have about the right amount of influence, and about half say the same about students.

In turn, a majority of teachers (58%) say their state government has too much influence over what K-12 public schools in their area are teaching.

More also say the following groups have too much influence than say they don’t have enough influence:

  • The federal government (45% say too much, while 10% say not enough)
  • The local school board (38% vs. 9%)
  • Parents (32% vs. 19%)

When we asked parents of K-12 children a similar question in fall 2022, a far smaller share (30%) said teachers don’t have enough influence. Another 12% said they have too much and 42% said it’s about right. In the parents survey, we also offered a “not sure” option, which 15% of parents selected.

Partisan differences

A diverging bar chart showing that Republican and Democratic teachers have different views on the amount of influence certain groups have on what schools are teaching.

As is the case among parents, teachers’ views on how much influence certain groups have on what schools are teaching vary by party.

Democratic teachers are more likely than Republican teachers to say each of the following has too much influence:

  • Their local school board (41% vs. 35%)
  • Parents (37% vs. 26%)

For their part, Republican teachers are more likely than Democratic teachers to say the federal government has too much influence (57% vs. 39%).

A larger share of Democratic teachers (47%) than Republican teachers (35%) say students don’t have enough influence on what schools are teaching.

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Table of contents, ‘back to school’ means anytime from late july to after labor day, depending on where in the u.s. you live, among many u.s. children, reading for fun has become less common, federal data shows, most european students learn english in school, for u.s. teens today, summer means more schooling and less leisure time than in the past, about one-in-six u.s. teachers work second jobs – and not just in the summer, most popular.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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The Fight Over Academic Freedom

Amid spiraling campus speech debates, many professors are rallying in defense of a bedrock principle. But can they agree on just what it means?

Inscribed on a gate at Harvard are the words “Open ye the gates that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.”

By Jennifer Schuessler

Academic freedom is a bedrock of the modern American university. And lately, it seems to be coming under fire from all directions.

For many scholars, the biggest danger is at public universities in Republican-controlled states like Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has led the passage of laws that restrict what can be taught and spearheaded efforts to reshape whole institutions. But at some elite private campuses, faculty have increasingly begun organizing against a very different threat.

Over the past year, faculty groups dedicated to academic freedom have sprung up at Harvard, Yale and Columbia, where even some liberal scholars argue that a prevailing progressive orthodoxy has created a climate of self-censorship and fear that stifles open inquiry.

The fallout from the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack on Israel has upended many campuses, as college presidents have been ousted, campus protest has been restricted and alumni , donors and politicians have pushed for greater control. And it has also scrambled the politics of academic freedom itself.

In recent years, academic freedom, like free speech more generally, has become coded as a conservative cause, seen as a rallying cry for those who want to battle academia’s liberal tilt.

Now, continuing campus protest over the Israel-Gaza war has, in some cases, turned the debate on its head.

Some ask why, after years of restricting speech that makes some members of certain minority groups feel “unsafe,” administrators are suddenly defending the right to speech that some Jewish students find threatening. Others accuse longtime opponents of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of cynically weaponizing those principles to suppress pro-Palestinian views.

The roiling debates have even opened up rifts among champions of academic freedom. Jeannie Suk Gersen, a professor at Harvard Law School and a leader of the Council on Academic Freedom at Harvard, said that the cause stands “at a crossroads.”

“Do we think about academic freedom as something that protects everyone, regardless of content and ideology and politics?” she said. Or do we “carve out an exception,” as some advocates seem to argue, and forbid speech that is considered anti-Israel or antisemitic?

A Slippery Concept

It’s a profoundly unsettled moment on many campuses, which has left many academics feeling vulnerable. And even in calmer times, academic freedom can be an esoteric and slippery concept.

The American Association of University Professors defines it as “the freedom of a researcher in higher education to investigate and discuss the issues in his or her academic field, and teach or publish findings without interference from political figures, boards of trustees, donors or other entities.”

While academic freedom is often conflated with the broader principle of free speech, it is distinct from it. Under the First Amendment, all speech is equal before the state. But academic freedom depends on expertise and judgment — “the notion,” as the legal scholar Robert C. Post has put it , that “there are true ideas and false ideas,” and that it is the job of scholars to distinguish them.

Defending the rights of academics may be a hard sell today, as trust in higher education has dropped sharply amid partisan debates about teaching and concern over debt and high college costs. But academic freedom, experts say, is not about the privileges of professors, but about protecting the university’s core purpose and social value.

“The mission of a university is to sponsor truth-seeking scholarship and provide non-indoctrinating teaching,” said Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton and a founder of the Academic Freedom Alliance , a multi-campus group created in 2021.

And for that to happen, George said, “we must be free to challenge any view or belief.”

Until recently, faculty at elite private universities may have felt immune from the kind of overt political interference unfolding in Florida, where Governor DeSantis’s efforts threaten “the very survival of meaningful higher education in the state,” according to a recent A.A.U.P. report .

But concern is now surging at private universities too, as congressional investigations of campus antisemitism at Harvard and a growing number of other schools have morphed into what some see as dangerously open-ended fishing expeditions .

Harvard, the nation’s oldest and richest university, has long been a prime target for critics of higher education. Since Oct. 7, it has also been the scene of colliding arguments about academic freedom — and how to defend it.

Much of the action has centered on the Council on Academic Freedom at Harvard , a faculty group founded last spring to promote “free inquiry, intellectual diversity and civil discourse.”

The group, which started with roughly 70 members, now has about 170. Politically, they range from conservatives and center-right figures to more traditional liberals, and include such prominent figures as the psychologist Steven Pinker, the legal scholars Randall Kennedy and Janet Halley, the economists Jason Furman and Lawrence Summers, the former medical school dean Jeffrey Flier and the political philosopher Danielle Allen.

The group was formed out of longstanding concerns, organizers say, though one catalyst was the case of Carole Hooven, a longtime lecturer in evolutionary biology. Hooven came under fire after a 2021 television interview in which she said that while diverse gender identities should be respected, there are just two biological sexes, male and female, which are “designated by the kinds of gametes we produce.”

The student leader of her department’s diversity task force, writing on social media, called her comments “transphobic and harmful,” and graduate students declined to serve as teaching assistants for her course on hormones and human behavior. Hooven, who did not have tenure, left her position in January 2023, after receiving what she has described as no support from the administration. (She is now a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an unpaid associate in Pinker’s lab.)

In an interview, Pinker said that her case, along with others , showed that Harvard had become rife with intolerance and self-censorship.

“Leftist consensus had become so entrenched,” he said, “that anything that conformed to it was self-evidently true, while anything that disagreed with it was self-evidently evil.”

In an opinion article in The Boston Globe announcing the group, Pinker and Bertha Madras, a professor of psychobiology, said it would defend reasoned debate against those who would shut it down. “When activists are shouting into an administrator’s ear,” they wrote, “we will speak calmly but vigorously into the other one.”

Free Speech, or Harassment?

The group drew a skeptical initial response from some, including faculty members who saw it as vehicle for the views of prominent members like Pinker, a critic of D.E.I. initiatives and a longtime advocate for greater “viewpoint diversity” on campus. An editorial in The Harvard Crimson accused the group of caricaturing activists and seeming to take “a one-sided view of academic freedom.”

Then came Oct. 7, which exposed fissures within the council itself.

Their email discussion group, like much of the campus, lit up with scorching debate. One heated topic was how to respond to the outcry over a letter issued by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee immediately after the Oct. 7 attack, which declared that the Israeli government was “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”

The hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, a Harvard donor, demanded that the university release the names of students affiliated with the 30 campus groups that initially endorsed the letter, so employers could avoid hiring them. A “doxxing truck,” sponsored by the conservative group Accuracy in Media, appeared in Harvard Square, with a screen showing photographs of affiliated students under the label “Harvard’s Leading Antisemites.”

To some council members , harsh criticism of the students was part of the rough and tumble of free speech, and the truck, paid for by an off-campus group, lay beyond the group’s purview. But to others, the denunciations crossed the line from legitimate criticism to personal attacks that put students in danger and chilled speech more broadly.

Ultimately, the council made no statement. Pinker, one of five co-presidents, said it was decided that the optics would be off, given what he described as Harvard’s dismal record on free speech .

Defending offensive speech “just at the moment when it involves absolving the killers and rapists of Jews didn’t seem like an auspicious first statement,” he said.

Kennedy, the law professor, believes that charges of campus antisemitism have been exaggerated and weaponized by partisans. But he agreed that criticism of the student letter was within bounds.

“People are unrealistic when they say, ‘We want free speech, we want debate, we want difficult conversations,’” he said. “But then we want all smiles.”

For some council members, however, the fracas was “a clarifying moment,” as Ryan Enos, a professor of government, put it in an interview.

Enos, who describes himself as a liberal, said he had initially agreed with conservative colleagues that the biggest threat to academic freedom at Harvard was “the political homogeneity on campus.” But after Oct. 7, he said, it was startling to see prominent council members calling on the administration to condemn or even punish student speech.

Enos quit the council, saying members were “being hypocrites.” In the face of calls to punish speech, he said in the interview, “they ran away with their tail between their legs.”

He said he was also disturbed by the council’s lack of response to threats by Republican congressmen to revoke Harvard’s tax-exempt status , which he called “a shocking affront to academic freedom.”

“Liberals at places like Harvard were having a hard time defending academic freedom anyway,” Enos said. “Now, people are going to be even more skeptical.”

Gersen, another co-president, said the group was still new and “finding its way.” She was among 700 faculty members who signed a letter in December urging the Harvard’s board not to fire the president, Claudine Gay, and has described congressional hearings in which Representative Elise Stefanik grilled Gay and two other university presidents as “a McCarthy-esque spectacle.”

Other members saw things differently. But for a group dedicated to open debate, Gersen said, disagreement — including about academic freedom — “is a feature, not a bug.”

A Multi-Campus Movement

Still, the suspicion that groups rallying under the banner of academic freedom are pushing a specific ideological agenda has extended to some other campuses.

At Yale, a group called Faculty for Yale , introduced on Feb. 13, is urging the university to “rededicate itself to its fundamental mission” and “insist on the primacy of teaching, learning and research as distinct from activism and advocacy.”

So far, the group has garnered nearly 80 public supporters. But another group of professors immediately issued a counter-letter, urging Yale’s leadership to recognize the importance of diversity and to defend American universities against attacks from donors, politicians and “members of their own faculty, who argue that universities have lost their way.”

At Columbia, leaders of the Columbia Academic Freedom Council, a faculty group formed last month, emphasize in an interview that they were not a right-wing or a left-wing group.

“We want to occupy the center,” said James Applegate, an astrophysicist.

But the politics of free speech are fraught at Columbia, where the moves to suspend two pro-Palestinian campus groups and limit faculty and student protest have been assailed by some as censorship and applauded by others.

The group has not yet made the names of its more than 70 founding members public. Jacqueline Gottlieb, a neuroscientist, said some interested junior faculty had been wary to join, lest it complicate their tenure prospects.

“This is an illustration” of the problem, she said. “People are afraid.”

At Harvard, the Council on Academic Freedom recently endorsed a broad statement of principles , which called on the university to vigorously defend academic freedom, including against “attempts to use state power to curtail” it.

The philosopher Edward Hall, a co-president, said he would have been “happy” if the group had spoken out against the so-called doxxing truck. But parsing threats to academic freedom is “an intellectually complicated question.”

“There are a range of clear cases,” he said. “But what landed on our plates were unclear cases.”

Jennifer Schuessler is a culture reporter covering intellectual life and the world of ideas. She is based in New York. More about Jennifer Schuessler

DebateWise

Homework Should Be Banned

Homework should be banned

Should students be given homework tasks to complete outside school? Or are such tasks pointless?

All the Yes points:

Homework has little educational worth and adds nothing to the time spent in school. some schools an…, homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. as a result…, setting homework does little to develop good study skills. it is hard to check whether the homework…, homework produces large amount of pointless work of little educational value, but marking it ties up…, homework puts students off learning. studies have shown that many children find doing homework very…, homework takes a lot of time up. being young is not just about doing school work. it should also a…, homework is a class issue. in school everyone is equal, but at home some people have advantages bec…, all the no points:, yes because….

Homework has little educational worth and adds nothing to the time spent in school. Some schools and some countries don’t bother with homework at all, and their results do not seem to suffer from it. Studies show that homework adds nothing to standardised test scores for primary/ elementary pupils. International comparisons of older students have found no positive relationship between the amount of homework set and average test scores. If anything, countries with more homework got worse results!

No because…

Homework is a vital and valuable part of education. There are only a few hours in each school day – not enough time to cover properly all the subjects children need to study. Setting homework extends study beyond school hours, allowing a wider and deeper education. It also makes the best use of teachers, who can spend lesson time teaching rather than just supervising individual work that could be done at home. Tasks such as reading, writing essays, researching, doing maths problems, etc. are best done at home, away from the distractions of other students.

Homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. As a result few students are at their best when they sit down in the evening to yet more work. Homework ends up being done in a hurry, by students fighting fatigue, and poor quality work is produced. Worse still, students who have been up late trying to finish off their homework, then come tired into school the next day, and so are less ready to learn. Really, what is the point?

Having homework also allows students to really fix in their heads work they have done in school. Doing tasks linked to recent lessons helps students strengthen their understanding and become more confident in using new knowledge and skills. For younger children this could be practising reading or multiplication tables. For older ones it might be writing up an experiment, revising for a test, reading in preparation for the next topic, etc.

Setting homework does little to develop good study skills. It is hard to check whether the homework students produce is really their own. Some students have always copied off others or got their parents to help them. But today there is so much material available on the internet that teachers can never be sure. It would be better to have a mixture of activities in the classroom which help students to develop a whole range of skills, including independent learning.

Homework prepares students to work more independently, as they will have to at college and in the workplace. Everyone needs to develop skills in personal organisation, working to deadlines, being able to research, etc. If students are always “spoon-fed” topics at school they will never develop study skills and self-discipline for the future.

Homework produces large amount of pointless work of little educational value, but marking it ties up much of teachers’ time. This leaves teachers tired and with little time to prepare more effective, inspiring lessons. The heavy workload also puts young graduates off becoming teachers, and so reduces the talent pool from which schools can recruit.

Teachers accept that marking student work is an important part of their job. Well planned homework should not take so long to mark that the rest of their job suffers, and it can inform their understanding of their students, helping them design new activities to engage and stretch them. As for recruitment, although teachers do often work in the evenings, they are not alone in this and they get long holidays to compensate.

Homework puts students off learning. Studies have shown that many children find doing homework very stressful, boring and tiring. Often teachers underestimate how long a task will take, or set an unrealistic deadline. Sometimes because a teacher has not explained something new well in class, the homework task is impossible. So children end up paying with their free time for the failings of their teachers. They also suffer punishments if work is done badly or late. After years of bad homework experiences, it is no wonder that many children come to dislike education and switch off, or drop out too early.

If homework puts students off learning, then it has been badly planned by the teacher. The best homework tasks engage and stretch students, encouraging them to think for themselves and follow through ideas which interest them. Over time, well planned homework can help students develop good habits, such as reading for pleasure or creative writing.

Homework takes a lot of time up. Being young is not just about doing school work. It should also about being physically active, exploring the environment through play, doing creative things like music and art, and playing a part in the community. It is also important for young people to build bonds with others, especially family and friends, but homework often squeezes the time available for all these things.

Again, just because some teachers are bad at setting homework that is not a reason to scrap it altogether. Homework needs to be well designed and should not take up all of students’ spare time. Recent American surveys found that most students in the USA spent no more than an hour a night on homework. That suggests there does not seem to be a terrible problem with the amount being set.

Homework is a class issue. In school everyone is equal, but at home some people have advantages because of their family background. Middle-class families with books and computers will be able to help their children much more than poorer ones can. This can mean working class children end up with worse grades and more punishments for undone or badly done homework. On the other hand pushy parents may even end up doing their kids’ homework for them – cheating. And homework is one of the most common causes of family arguments.

Education is a partnership between the child, the school and the home. Homework is one of the main ways in which the student’s family can be involved with their learning. Many parents value the chance to see what their child is studying and to support them in it. And schools need parents’ support in encouraging students to read at home, to help with the practising of tables, and to give them opportunities to research new topics.

Teachers don’t understand the students’ pain and struggle they are going through, they just assign some exercises, look at the solution and present it the next day.

Students spend up to a third of their day working hard at school; they deserve to have a break. Not only do students deserve to have a break, but they also deserve to have time for themselves to indulge in extracurricular activities like, sports, music, and swimming, etc. So homework must be banned

Homework should be giving as much as the student can take but not so much that students will have bad filling about books.

I think that kids like me spend a lot of time playing video games . I also think that some kids get torn by homework especially during quarantine. Kids are forced to do school from home and homework from home as well. This can be hours and hours of work and can be very stressful.

If you keep your mind fully on studies you don’t need o do homework but if you don’t follow the class then you need to do homework as it makes us revise what you have studied in school but obviously the sclools give us a lot homework in our holidays which is not needed.But what if your child has not understood a thing in school? if you do homework the child will ask you the thing that he has not understood.So homework is needed but not always.

at the top it looks like shes crying of homework that is just toter

i dont like it because it is a waste of time plus no one cares about it thats why it is boring

i think homewrok is waste of time because you might get stressed and it just takes away time with your family

Homework should be a choice. School is already stressing enough and students need to be able to have a life outside of school so they can relax and not have to worry about school anymore. If a student needs help then they could ask for some extra work in order to be able to help themselves.

Kids, remember that homework is a waste of time, its just extra work school gives you

you are so right

I don’t think it is right in many situations. You see, homework are meant to make you better, not worse, but too much is just tiring.

who said it was making you worse?

But Homework Does More Bad Than Good. Many Even Try Suicide Because Of Homework. 

Then how teachers will understand that which student did understand the lesson and which one not?? . Homework is the way to understand that which student is improving and which one is not. Who lazy and bad student they talk like that.

Well the 7-8 hours that students are already in school apparently doesn’t let them do a ten minute knowledge check on the topic.

homework should be banned from schools because it makes students very tired . It puts more pushers on the child and the child does not wasn’t to do it . The child is already tired from school and they get more work . It is very stressful for a child Excess homework causes children to feel ‘burnt out’ Do you thing my worth opponent is excess of homework good for a child? No it is not good for a child as it leads to coping and negative attitude in them it ruins the child’s life. its also a waste of time. you could be doing something you love like hanging with your friends, or spending quality time with your family homework takes all the time . homework is an unnecessary pain to parents, teachers, and most of all, students. Homework is worthless. It does nothing but creates a monstrous picture of our studies in our minds

uhm what is homework ???

homework sucks

i have homework and find that it has help me a lot with my school work. i believe that some teachers are the cause of not liking homework but you never really know. personally i love homework and think it shouldn’t be banned

I just wanted to say that I had an exam question received late at night which i had forgotten about, about the topic of homework being banned. THIS SAVED MY FRICKING LIFE! THANK YOU WHOEVER MADE THIS!

So you plagiarized?

well, thank you for the comments and opinions it totally helps a lot to make a research about “banning homework”

I am a 5th grade student. Simply put, I absolutely HATE homework! It is stressful and leaves me no time to independently read! (I love to read) I did some research, and found that countries/states with no homework don’t do bad, but actually do good. Finland has banned homework, yet it is deemed the “happiest country” and comes at the top of exams. Ban homework!!!

I’m in 6th grade and I agree with you all except reading I like games

Personally, I don’t quite have the same opinion. It’s different for everyone. I also dislike homework, but I have to do it because I think it’s important

In my opinion, homework should not be banned entirely. The workload should be lessened. Often times, the amount of work children have to do can deprive them of sleep, which can lead to many negative side effects such as depression. Often times, the children at the schools I’ve been to have had to drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages to get through the day, and needed melatonin to sleep, just to wake up 4 hours later. This is mainly due to the homework weighing down on them. Homework should still be assigned in schools, but the amount of homework given to students should be lessened.

here is a summary of whats above about why homework should be banned. I added a few things. Also, its in my own words so if anybody wants it for their school classwork they can copy it and put it in their classwork.

 I think homework should be banned. Because first it’s hard to see if a student homework is really done by himself. Second many people copy other friend work and get many helps from their families. It would be much better to have a mixture of work (activities) in the class which will help the student to develop skills which includes learning independently. Also, there is evidence, did you know that an estimated of 17 percent of kids don’t do their homework. And an estimated 20 percent of kids copy their homework from other students. Moreover, did you know that over 70% of kids don’t like to do their homework.  Even a famous Author named Justin Coulson does want homework to be banned. He said, “They spend enough time in class.”  

the entire internet thanks you

i think either classwork or homework should be banned cause in my country you have to do like atleast 4 homeworks ( do note that i am in 6th) and on average per day you hae to do 6 homeworks plus whatever extra work your teacher gives you ( unless they are nice like my eng teacher ). schoolwork consumes 6 HOURS of my screen time plus 2 or 1 hour of hw screentime. i am a lucky kid cause i can do 11 homeworks in 1 day but that is just not fair. my hobbie is ti play games and stream that but parents say that it takes up 3 hours of my time. one question i ask you, doesnt school take up doeble the fricking time schoo – 6hours + 1 hour of hw + 1 hour of extraa work. games = 3 hours ( at max ) + 1 hour of tv ( i watch like once in a week ) now you only tell me what is affecting my health more, school or games ? i wake up late at 830 thinking that today is a good day but all of a sudden school f@#ks with me and screws me up.

schoo – 6hours + 1 hour of hw + 1 hour of extraa work.this 

We are doing a debate for school on whether we should have homework or not so me and my group decided to search it up. 😉

i believe it shouldnt be “banned” as im a kid. i sometimes enjoy homework, sometimes i don’t. but i believe its not all positive. i get done with online school, i do my homework, but man am i exhausted. i think homework should only be done as a punishment.

Yes, I am always against the motion.

Your having fun then ur mom asks “have you done your homework yet!”

It turns out, homework was made as a punishment by an Italian pedagog Roberto Nevilis for his students. So for those who disagree that homework should not be banned, have empathy for students who have to take up their social time only for homework. Like many people commented, it’ll waste their childhood.

STOP THE HOMEWORK STOP THE HOMEWORK STOP THE HOMEWORK STOP THE HOMEWORK

ofc it should be banned. I spend HOURS a day trying to complete a simple math problem because my brain was fried at school. school is the majority of my day. I dont want to spend the little time I have with my busy parents and busier siblings alone doing friggin spanish or something. Optional homework is fine, since that is available for the people who have time for it. But for people like me who have siblings to look after and dinner to cook, adding homework to the mix is too much. And now with covid, the workload DOUBLED. fall of 2020 better be better because this spring just wasnt it. Before you fuck up my brain and drive me crazy, please think about how we are entering high school and thats just a little stressful. Think about how we have responsibilites. smh

Please don’t use insult words.

homework is the worst

I hate homeworks

Homework shouldn’t be ban, but too much homework should. No more then an hour of homework. Kids can’t handle that stress like adults can.

uhm. no HOMEWORK! HOMEWORK IS GONNA MAKE US SUICIDE IF WE CONTINUE THIS. AHHHHHHHHHHH

Don’t you know that homework is a punishment? Look it up. You shouldn’t be doing school at home. You should be doing school at school. Just a little homework is still considered a punishment. I hope homework doesn’t become a regular thing, oh wait it is.

hw’s so bad ,i hate hw✄

Homework should be banned it should be banned you telling me that they don’t have “enough time” to learn what they need to learn. It takes time out of a students life. You people say that childhood is most precious Well how can they have one if they are spending hours upon hours on homework. It waste their free time and their parents time to spend on them. Is homework that important to take away a Childs freedom huh. huh explain it explain it I want to know. homework is a waste of time Childhood is something you can’t get back. 8th grade has already made it to were I might have a mental breakdown. Yes I am a 8th grader so your hearing the opinion of one. Homework should be banned. I spend 8 hours at school and 3 hours on homework even more. Why should school have the authority to stick its fucking fingers in my lives and other students. Its no wonder why students our stressed and mentally unstable. Home should be a time to spend time with family, relaxing, maybe spend a hour or hour and thirty or so to have me time. These are the many reasons why my school system and others are fucked up. so get your fucking head on straight when you think about whether homework is good for kids or not

I also forgot that some parents don’t care I live with my grandparents and my Nana once said to me that this was more important than eating and that point if I run away its she needs to know its her fault

Homework should be limited if not banned. I’m in 6th grade and have a mental breakdown at least once a week. I get about 10 pieces of homework A DAY. I get home from school at 3 and am working on homework till 8. I get to spend about 10 MINUTES with my family before going to bed.

Limited? It should be banned. Pretty stupid for a 6th grader.

I’m in 5th grade. I have to study 7th grade work. :(

It turns out, homework was made as a punishment by an Italian pedagog Roberto Nevilis for his students. So for those who disagree that homework should not be banned, have empathy for students who have to take up their social time only for homework. Like many people commented, it’ll waste their childhood.

whos the author

love him/her

What is school for if all the learning is done at home?

Its not school its just work!

i hate homework.

me too teachers suck

Hello have you guys heard about coronavirus? Search an article on this website!

I have my father keeps on searchin’ stuff ’bout it. I am bored coz of it.😒

Yes of course

stop trying to sell your rubbish nobody cares

ofc we heard. were not dumb

I really do think that homework should be banned. First off kids work 8 hours in school and they have to do homework right when they get home. A lot of kids stress doing homework when they get home because they wan’t to spend their free time.

I think that homework should be banned cause as a senior in high school I can honestly say that this has been my best year yet without worrying about the amount of homework and how long it would take me. I have done better this year because the lack of homework has taken a lot of stress off and has given me time to work on assignments that we do in class and get ahead. SO yeah I think homework should be banned.

Thanks for hearing me out yours truly, Cookie monster

Thanks for hearing me out yours truly, alex

Homework Should Be Banned Yes because… Homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. As a result… Homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. As a result few students are at their best when they sit down in the evening to yet more work. Homework ends up being done in a hurry, by students fighting fatigue, and poor quality work is produced. Worse still, students who have been up late trying to finish off their homework, then come tired into school the next day, and so are less ready to learn. Really, what is the point?

Homework is practice. But too much is no good. At the same time, it every student of mine has 30 minutes of homework from each lesson he attends in a day, it adds up to 3 thirds of his school day, leaving little room to explore other interests. I also believe that teachers need to add value to the cirriculum by adding things that are left out, like how to learn, using imagination and teaching budgeting, house work and other subjects deemed unsuitable for class environment.

It’s not a practice it’s a punishment.

i think homework should be banned because statistics show that homework can cause disengage students from families and cause anxiety/depression

Finland is known as the happiest country in the world for students and thats because kids arent even given a hint of homework and the graduation rate is 93% while in the US kids are given 50 minutes of homework a day and the graduation rate is 73% what does that tell you about the effect of homework

That tells us nothing about the effect of homework. There may be correlation, but that does not mean causation.

bruh.. its a website on why homework should be BANNED not the effects of homework

homework should be banned because it causes unnecessary stress

In China, every student should do homework for 2 to 3 hours.

Shut up and go to China.

BRO you guy only need 2-3 hours in Vietnam we have to do it more than 3.5 hours :P

Alright, I’m here at finland, and I live here, and I go to school. You see, there’s alot of homework. And extra in quarentine. So, the “kids arent even given a hint of homework” is kinda false. We DO get homework. Alot actually, if I say so myself. But it’s not alot. I can deal with it.

Stop spreading false information.

Finally someone with a brain.

U r angílina harry ?

it more like anywhere from 1- 8 hours of homework jsut depends on the day and the teacher

Reason 1: Studies tell us that homework doesn’t help us at all on standardised test scores for elementary students. International comparisons of students that are older have noticed no good relationship between the amount of homework set and average test scores. Also countries that have more homework have worse results on tests! So if you get worse results on your test, what’s the point?

Reason 2: Homework is mostly done when a child is already tired from School. The result is that few students are are ready for homework when they sit down in the evening to . Homework ends up being done in a hurry, by students fighting fatigue, and poor quality work is produced. Even worse , students who have stayed up late trying to finish their homework, come to school tired, and are less ready for work. So really, what is the point? That’s why homework should be banned.

Homework takes away from family time. If your son/daughter is so tierd after school and they have to do homework and don’t do good u would want too help and that’s cheeting. Then you cant do family stuff like play games together or eat diner together. Homework is like a dementor, sucking tha happiness out of life

homework gives self-confidence and self-motivation to a student to do well.it checks our ability and capacity to do well

In other words, destroys our self confidence

Oh look the most downv- I mean disliked comment on the page.

Homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. As a result few students are at their best when they sit down in the evening to yet more work

all homework does is just help you redo the hard lesson ALL OVER AGAIN and barely even helps you. a school that abolished homework didn’t suffer from it, and a school with more homework got worse grades! it also makes it hard for teachers to prepare for learning just from marking homework. what is the point of doing one hard page of homework when you barely even get celebrated for it? its just pointless work for hours instead of going outside to play, doing creative things like music and art, helping your friends and family or watching TV and playing video games.

Homework Shouldn’t be banned It improves your child’s thinking and memory. It helps your child develop positive study skills and habits that will serve him or her well throughout life.

NO, it doesn’t If there is one person you need to hear from about homework, It’s kids who actually have homework. Homework has done nothing good for me except for putting pressure on me and when I don’t do it, my grades go down even when I do well in class it’s just the homework that hurts kid’s grades for no reason.

That is not true because they need to spend time with family as well as that they also need excersice so you are wrong and I don’t think anyone would disagree with my dession.

How does it improve children’s thinking and memory? How does it help them develop positive study skills if they have to miss out on family time, sport etc. The only thing that would do is make children hate homework for taking them away from other activities.

This is more disliked than the reply I said was the most disliked.

MY friend, you have chosen the wrong place to talk about your opinion :P

I think homework should be banned the students do enough work in class. Another reason is I believe it takes away from time spent with family,friends,sports or even just playing outside.

Statistics show that homework causes: -Stress,headaches,stomach problems -Also arguments between parents and children -Lack of sleep -Can affect “physical health” and “mental health” -Less than 1% of students say homework is not a stressor.

In some countries teachers don’t bother giving homework and their results turn out to be perfectly fine!

I have anxiety cause of overwhelming homework and I sleep at 3:00am finishing it. Sometimes I don’t even do it and that what makes my grades suffer. If it weren’t for homework, I would probably get better grades

Homework should be banned because not all families have good educational facilities and students have also varying family pressure. The often work on errands and not always get adequate time. Also many schools give very hard topics in homework.

‪Homework should be banned as our children do enough in school… there is too much pressure on children to grow up quick, they do not get the time to rest, have fun and be children… I would also like to add when it comes to after school or weekends I like to spend quality time as a family doing fun things not push them into doing additional school work that is what teachers are paid for and to do in school time!!‬

Homework shouldn’t take so long as to hardly spend any family quality time together. Each school is different in the amount of homework they give, and if a school is giving a lot of homework, that should be changed, and it should be lessened, but not banned. If it’s banned, then what are they going to do all day? Just play with no intellectual mind whatsoever? How will that prepare them for the real world? Not to mention, summer break, winter break, fall break, and spring break is a time of relaxation. What’s the harm in giving homework on school days. After all, school is a place of education, and if the homework is given correctly and efficiently, it shouldn’t be a problem.

if school is a place of education why should a home be the same? and clearly you forgot about holiday homework, which turns a relaxing break into a time of stress as these assignments often take much longer to complete. and also that, in the UK at least) only 12 weeks of a year are spent in breaks which means 76% percent of a year is spent in school and doing homework. and not to mention the time teachers say homework takes is often underestimated.

The problem is, homework ISN’t given correctly and efficiently… Secondly, whose job is it to help children learn? The government? No, it’s the parents job to look after their children. If the children are ‘playing with no intellectual mind whatsoever’, who’s job is it to fix that? Certainly not the government…

Excuse me? Did you get say

“Not to mention, summer break, winter break, fall break, and spring break is a time of relaxation. What’s the harm in giving homework on school days.”

Well obviously YOU haven’t had the packets and packets of the homework that my teachers have given me on those “ times of relaxation “. So next time, maybe refresh your memory.

homework should be either an option or banned because children are kept up late trying to finish it.Those how do finish are tired and grumpy and will most likely get growled at and those how don’t finish will either get a growling or detention and or is tired. When kids do homework they don’t get time for there self and to top it off they won’t get time to do anything when at college and high school.

School equal? You must be insane.

Homework is not worthless guys.Homework is such a thing that helps us to check our abilities.It also helps us to revise the lectures of school.If anyone says that they do not get time to play or spend time with their family than manage yourself.Make a time table and follow it.Homework also teaches us to tackle with the suitation .If anyone rather says that he/she got glasses because of this homework than just think that getting glasses by using electronic things is more good than getting glasses than studying ?? just think with calm mind!! and write what you feel about……..

how would you manage yourself with such little time i mean if you get about 30 minutes of homework for each class 30 times 7 is 3 1/2 hours and if you get home at 3 then it is 6:30 when you are done ad you also have to eat i go to bed at 7.

Homework is worthless.It does nothing but creates a monstrous picture of our studies in our minds. Albert Einstein once said “Imagination rules the world but our current educational system has changed the word “imagination” with “education”. Moreover, Albert Einstein also said that “Playing is the highest form of research” so we should first focus on laying which leads to creativity. And through creativity, we can automatically have knowledge; the knowledge we get through playing will forever be cherished not the knowledge we get through mountains of memorizing

Homework is turning children into couch potatoes as they spend an increasing amount of their time in their bedrooms instead of playing outside

I am currently a sophomore and I have to deal with homework on a day to day basis, plus the additional packet I must complete every week. It is not hard but it is very time consuming and I barely spend time with anymore. I am to the point of bring too and I’m constanly having suicidal thoughts. I can’t do this anymore.

I know its hard and i know it sucks, but hang in there. You’ve got only got a few more years left but at the same time you don’t have to look at this as a completely terrible time, life is a journey not a destination. What that means is that you should not expect the future to hold bliss. Every single moment is one which you can enjoy. Happiness is a state, be open to it and it will come. So what do you wanna do Now? do you have a hobby? Maybe you wanna read that book. you do that! Hang out with some pals? Go right ahead. Learn something new? what are you waiting for?! Live life in the Now, the best way you know how. That will automatically benefit your future as well. Now, a lot of people say, work hard. I say work efficiently. Try and get your homework done in as little time as possible, with effective output. Using methods of effective work: I highly recommend watching Thomas Frank on you tube for this.

Good luck :)

Homework is an unecesary pain to parents, teachers, and most of all, students. it causes disfunction in mental health, and could even effect families private lives. its also a waste of time. you could be doing something you love like hanging with your friends, or spending quality time with your family, but NO! honestly… i dont think homework should be banned… i think it should be optional. i hope you found this helpful.

Homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. As a result few students are at their best when they sit down in the evening to yet more work. Homework ends up being done in a hurry, by students fighting fatigue, and poor quality work is produced. Worse still, students who have been up late trying to finish off their homework, then come tired into school the next day, and so are less ready to learn. Really, what is the point

I think homework is a bad learning tool for multiple reasons: A)If the student can do the homework than it was a large waste of time. B) if the student cannot do the homework, they would ask thier parents for help, therefore makeing the homework usless for the fact that the parent did the homework. C) if the student cannot do the homework and does not do it, that will lower thier grades without learning what the right the right thing to do, therefore makeing the homework usless.

Homework is a class issue. In school everyone is equal, but at home some people have advantages because of their family background. Middle-class families with books and computers will be able to help their children much more than poorer ones can. This can mean working class children end up with worse grades and more punishments for undone or badly done homework. On the other hand pushy parents may even end up doing their kids’ homework for them – cheating. And homework is one of the most common causes of family arguments

I don’t know if homework should be banned completely, but it most certainly should be lessened. Kids are coming home with hours of homework and no time to have social relationships. Homework should be optional. If a student is struggling they can choose to do homework, but if they aren’t struggling they don’t need to waste their time doing home that doesn’t help them.

i think its a no because its part of the education and its like practicing what you’ve learnt. hope you guys are thinking the same way.

Why would we be thinking the same?

If the kids didn’t get the topic by the end of class then they should have homework, but if they did understand it, then what it the point of having it. That just takes up their time to spend time with friends or family. Why should kids get homework on weekends as well? The weekends are the days when kids actually get to do something besides school, they get to have fun or rest. And they should be aloud to do that. The kids go to school to learn and do good quality work, but when they do work at home they just do sloppy work and don’t get a lot of the questions right. And that is because they have other things to do. Homework should be band.

Homework can cause actual pain. Yes, that´s right. Lugging around that 10-20 pound book bag everyday can cause severe back, shoulder, and neck pains, and could even possibly lead to something worse. Every time I bring home my book bag from school, it weighs around 15 pounds with all of the homework inside of it. Please NO MORE HOMEWORK

Most schools now do homework on computers provided by the school, or they have block schedules, that way the student doesn’t have to carry as much around with them. Homework is normally a few papers, and maybe a book. If you really have that much pain, only take the things for the classes you need that day. Also, be sure to be using a backpack with two straps and not a messenger bag.

Undoubtedly, homework hinders learning. There are only 3 outcomes possible when doing homework: A) You do the homework, proving you were able to do it in the first place and the work was therefore unnecessary B)You do the homework even though you were unable to do so, thus learning to solve the problem the wrong way. C) You do not do the homework because you were unable, and therefore did not learn anything.

I disagree with this point, especially with point b. There is a textbook and the internet for a reason. A student can find out how to do it. Resources exist. Therefore, your point C becomes the student’s problem. Now to attack A. If the person already knows the topic, he or she still needs practice. For example, practice reduces occurrence of mistakes. My test scores have significantly improved once I started doing homework, even though I already and always knew the concept. Also, the voting system is biased, as all pro homework stuff have negative votes.

Now you for your response on point A I disagree because You don’t really need to practice If you’ve already been practicing the whole day in school and you’re not going to forget the whole topic in one day.

sorry but homework is gay

Homework or rather busy work is not as useful of a tool as it may seem. There is no clear evidence supporting the claim that homework improves the grades or the understanding of the students

We would love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!

I think homework should be banned because at first kids think “let’s get this over with.” Then later on they realize all of that was for nothing because sure it prepares you for the test but what about the hours you spent on 1 page of homework!

Homework can affect both students’ physical and mental health. According to a study by Stanford University, 56 percent of students considered homework a primary source of stress. Too much homework can result in lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion and weight loss.

Newsweek

Strange Glow Over Moscow Skies Triggers Panic as Explosions Reported

B right flashes lit up the night sky in southern Moscow in the early hours of Thursday morning, new footage appears to show, following reports of an explosion at an electrical substation on the outskirts of the city.

Video snippets circulating on Russian-language Telegram channels show a series of flashes on the horizon of a cloudy night sky, momentarily turning the sky a number of different colors. In a clip shared by Russian outlet MSK1.ru, smoke can be seen rising from a building during the flashes lighting up the scene.

Newsweek was unable to independently verify the details of the video clips, including when and where it was filmed. The Russian Ministry of Emergency situations has been contacted via email.

Several Russian Telegram accounts said early on Thursday that residents of southern Moscow reported an explosion and a fire breaking out at an electrical substation in the Leninsky district, southeast of central Moscow.

Local authorities in the Leninsky district told Russian outlet RBC that the explosion had happened in the village of Molokovo. "All vital facilities are operating as normal," Leninsky district officials told the outlet.

The incident at the substation in Molokovo took place just before 2 a.m. local time, MSK1.ru reported.

Messages published by the ASTRA Telegram account, run by independent Russian journalists, appear to show residents close to the substation panicking as they question the bright flashes in the sky. One local resident describes seeing the bright light before losing access to electricity, with another calling the incident a "nightmare."

More than 10 villages and towns in the southeast of Moscow lost access to electricity, the ASTRA Telegram account also reported. The town of Lytkarino to the southeast of Moscow, lost electricity, wrote the eastern European-based independent outlet, Meduza.

Outages were reported in the southern Domodedovo area of the city, according to another Russian outlet, as well as power failures in western Moscow. Electricity was then restored to the areas, the Strana.ua outlet reported.

The cause of the reported explosion is not known. A Telegram account aggregating news for the Lytkarino area described the incident as "an ordinary accident at a substation."

The MSK1.ru outlet quoted a local resident who speculated that a drone may have been responsible for the explosion, but no other Russian source reported this as a possible cause.

Ukraine has repeatedly targeted Moscow with long-range aerial drones in recent months, including a dramatic wave of strikes in late May.

On Sunday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the region's air defense systems had intercepted an aerial drone over the city of Elektrostal, to the east of Moscow. No damage or casualties were reported, he said.

The previous day, Russian air defenses detected and shot down another drone flying over the Bogorodsky district, northeast of central Moscow, Sobyanin said.

There is currently no evidence that an aerial drone was responsible for the reported overnight explosion at the electrical substation in southern Moscow.

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Stills from footage circulating on Telegram early on Thursday morning. Bright flashes lit up the night sky in southern Moscow, new footage appears to show, following reports of an explosion at an electrical substation on the outskirts of the city.

should schools ban homework debate

First refuelling for Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov floating NPP

!{Model.Description}

should schools ban homework debate

The FNPP includes two KLT-40S reactor units. In such reactors, nuclear fuel is not replaced in the same way as in standard NPPs – partial replacement of fuel once every 12-18 months. Instead, once every few years the entire reactor core is replaced with and a full load of fresh fuel.

The KLT-40S reactor cores have a number of advantages compared with standard NPPs. For the first time, a cassette core was used, which made it possible to increase the fuel cycle to 3-3.5 years before refuelling, and also reduce by one and a half times the fuel component in the cost of the electricity produced. The operating experience of the FNPP provided the basis for the design of the new series of nuclear icebreaker reactors (series 22220). Currently, three such icebreakers have been launched.

The Akademik Lomonosov was connected to the power grid in December 2019, and put into commercial operation in May 2020.

Electricity generation from the FNPP at the end of 2023 amounted to 194 GWh. The population of Pevek is just over 4,000 people. However, the plant can potentially provide electricity to a city with a population of up to 100,000. The FNPP solved two problems. Firstly, it replaced the retiring capacities of the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant, which has been operating since 1974, as well as the Chaunskaya Thermal Power Plant, which is more than 70 years old. It also supplies power to the main mining enterprises located in western Chukotka. In September, a 490 km 110 kilovolt power transmission line was put into operation connecting Pevek and Bilibino.

Image courtesy of TVEL

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  • Establish a budget: Develop a comprehensive budget, including construction expenses and material costs. Communicate your budgetary constraints to the builder from the beginning.
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  • Site conditions: Inform the builder about any unique site conditions or challenges.
  • Local regulations: Make the builder aware of any building regulations or permits required.
  • Custom Homes
  • Floor Plans
  • House Framing
  • Land Surveying
  • Site Planning

What do new home building contractors do?

Questions to ask a prospective custom home builder in elektrostal', moscow oblast, russia:, find custom home builders near me on houzz, business services, connect with us.

IMAGES

  1. Debate on Homework Should be Abolished

    should schools ban homework debate

  2. Major 20 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

    should schools ban homework debate

  3. Should homework be banned? The big debate

    should schools ban homework debate

  4. The Homework Debate 2021: Should homework be banned in the UK?

    should schools ban homework debate

  5. Debate the ban homework. seamo-official.org

    should schools ban homework debate

  6. 15 Should Homework Be Banned Pros and Cons

    should schools ban homework debate

COMMENTS

  1. Homework Pros and Cons

    While students were mostly back in school buildings in fall 2021, the question remains of how effective homework is as an educational tool. [ 47] Is Homework Beneficial? Pro 1 Homework improves student achievement.

  2. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    - The New York Times Should We Get Rid of Homework? Some educators are pushing to get rid of homework. Would that be a good thing? 799 Alberto Miranda By Jeremy Engle and Michael Gonchar Oct....

  3. Should We Ban Homework?

    January 8, 2024 0 Spread the love Introduction The debate surrounding homework has persisted for decades, with some proponents arguing that it is an essential component of the educational process, while others claim it causes undue stress for students and their families.

  4. Why Homework Should Be Banned From Schools

    High schools in Ridgewood, N.J., and Fairfax County, Va., among others, have banned homework over school breaks. The entire second grade at Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Va.,...

  5. Should homework be banned? The big debate

    April 28, 2021 188 72548 Homework is a polarising topic. It can cause students to feel stressed or anxious. It adds extra pressure on teachers, who are often already struggling with their workloads. And, some parents resent the way homework can cut into family time at home. Yet despite this, homework is handed out in the vast majority of schools.

  6. Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

    Magazine Are You Down With or Done With Homework? Posted January 17, 2012 By Lory Hough The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying it's too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, it's just not enough.

  7. Should Schools Ban Homework?

    (Yikes!) While a prison sentence may seem extreme, there are real reasons to reconsider homework. Refocus on mental health and educate the "whole child" Prioritizing mental health is at the forefront of the homework ban movement. Leaders say they want to give students time to develop other hobbies, relationships, and balance in their lives.

  8. Should Middle Schools Do Away With Homework?

    YES. With an unprecedented number of teens struggling with mental health issues, including sadness and hopelessness, students need a break. Yet some middle school students spend more time in class and doing homework than many adults put in at their 40-hour-a-week jobs. Research has shown that doing a lot of homework doesn't help students ...

  9. Is Homework a Waste of Time? Teachers Weigh In

    The public furor even led some state lawmakers to ban homework entirely at one point. Multiple studies over the years have examined different angles of the homework debate, including just how much ...

  10. Why does homework exist?

    The homework wars are back. By Jacob Sweet Updated Feb 23, 2023, 6:04am EST. As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework ...

  11. Should homework be banned?

    Social media has sparked into life about whether children should be given homework - should students be freed from this daily chore? Dr Gerald Letendre, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University, investigates.

  12. Should schools ban homework?

    The College de Saint-Ambroise, an elementary school in Quebec, has banned homework for kids in grade one through six for a year. The Canadian media exploded with blogs, tweets and radio talk shows ...

  13. Weigh In: Should Schools Ban Homework Altogether?

    Half of kids in grades 7-12 spend one hour or more on homework on a typical weekday, compared to just over one third of kids in grades 3-6, according to a 2007 Metlife study. Meanwhile, the ...

  14. How Americans really feel about the teaching of controversial topics in

    Divides were deepest on LGBTQ topics in schools. Among Democrats, 80-86% support high school students learning about such topics, while less than 40% of Republicans approve. Support wanes for ...

  15. Should Homework Be Banned?

    Yes. Generally, the link between homework and achievement scores is stronger for math compared to subjects like English and history. For middle school students especially, math homework can strengthen school performance. There is not a lot of research into the quality of homework. Most experts agree that homework should be reinforcing what kids ...

  16. 12 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

    1 School is already a full-time job. Download Article Students already spend approximately seven hours a day at school. Add in two hours of homework and that means students are now working more hours than their parents, leaving them frustrated and exhausted.

  17. Should Kids Get Homework?

    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...

  18. A majority of teachers say state governments have too much ...

    As states like Florida implement laws banning lessons on sexuality and gender identity in classrooms, 68% percent of teachers surveyed who have been teaching longer than a year said gender ...

  19. The Great Homework Debate In Primary Schools 2024

    A study of teenagers used by The Telegraph shows that American high-schoolers spend an average of 6.1 hours per week compared with 4.9 hours per week of homework each week for UK-based teens. Up until 2012, the Department of Education recommended an hour of homework a week for primary school Key Stage 1 children (aged 4 to 7) and half an hour a ...

  20. Should Homework be Banned?

    In this debate, we look at two sides of the debate about whether homework should be banned in schools. We start with looking at our hypothetical character na...

  21. Teachers' views of current debates about what schools should be teaching

    Pew Research Center February 22, 2024. Race and LGBTQ Issues in K-12 Schools. 2. Teachers' views of current debates about what schools should be teaching. By Luona Lin, Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Kiley Hurst and Dana Braga. We asked teachers what type of impact current debates about how public schools should be teaching about topics like race ...

  22. The Fight Over Academic Freedom

    Feb. 16, 2024. Academic freedom is a bedrock of the modern American university. And lately, it seems to be coming under fire from all directions. For many scholars, the biggest danger is at public ...

  23. Homework Should Be Banned

    All the Yes points: Homework has little educational worth and adds nothing to the time spent in school. Some schools an… Homework is almost always done when a child is already tired from a long day at school. As a result… Setting homework does little to develop good study skills. It is hard to check whether the homework…

  24. Strange Glow Over Moscow Skies Triggers Panic as Explosions Reported

    DOJ fails to stop Rachel Levine's emails being exposed in litigation over Alabama's sex change ban for minors Iran is taking over the Strait of Hormuz islands - the only exit for US carrier Ike

  25. ELLOGISTIK, OOO Company Profile

    ELLOGISTIK, OOO Company Profile | Elektrostal, Moscow region, Russian Federation | Competitors, Financials & Contacts - Dun & Bradstreet

  26. First refuelling for Russia's Akademik Lomonosov floating NPP

    Rosatom's fuel company TVEL has supplied nuclear fuel for reactor 1 of the world's only floating NPP (FNPP), the Akademik Lomonosov, moored at the city of Pevek, in Russia's Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. The supply of fuel was transported along the Northern Sea Route. The first ever refuelling of the FNPP is planned to begin before the end of ...

  27. New & Custom Home Builders in Elektrostal'

    What should I do before choosing a builder? Before choosing a Builder for your residential home project in Elektrostal', there are a few important steps to take: Define your project: Outline your desired home type, features, and layout. Provide specific details and preferences to help the builder understand your vision.