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The Pros and Cons of Homework

The-Pros-and-Cons-Should-Students-Have-Homework

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

A college student completely swamped with homework.

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

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

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

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

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

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

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

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

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

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

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

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

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

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

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

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

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

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

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

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

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

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

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

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

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

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

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

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

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

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

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

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20 Pros and Cons of Homework

Homework. It’s a word that sends a shudder down the spine of students and parents alike.

It is also a question that has become divisive. Some people feel that homework is an effective way to reinforce the concepts that were learned at school. Others feel like the time that homework demands would be better spent with a meaningful activity that brings the family together.

Is homework important? Is it necessary? Or is the added stress that homework places on students and parents doing more harm than good? Here are some of the key pros and cons to discuss.

List of the Pros of Homework

1. It encourages the discipline of practice. Repeating the same problems over and over can be boring and difficult, but it also reinforces the practice of discipline. To get better at a skill, repetition is often necessary. You get better with each repetition. By having homework completed every night, especially with a difficult subject, the concepts become easier to understand. That gives the student an advantage later on in life when seeking a vocational career.

2. It gets parents involved with a child’s life. Looking at Common Core math can be somewhat bewildering to parents. If you see the math problem 5×3 expressed as an addition problem, 5+5+5 seems like the right answer. The correct answer, however, would be 3+3+3+3+3. By bringing homework to do, students can engage their learning process with their parents so everyone can be involved. Many parents actually want homework sent so they can see what their children are being taught in the classroom.

3. It teaches time management skills. Homework goes beyond completing a task. It forces children (and parents, to some extent) to develop time management skills. Schedules must be organized to ensure that all tasks can be completed during the day. This creates independent thinking and develops problem-solving skills. It encourages research skills. It also puts parents and children into a position where positive decision-making skills must be developed.

4. Homework creates a communication network. Teachers rarely see into the family lives of their students. Parents rarely see the classroom lives of their children. Homework is a bridge that opens lines of communication between the school, the teacher, and the parent. This allows everyone to get to know one another better. It helps teachers understand the needs of their students better.

It allows parents to find out their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Together, an educational plan can be developed that encourages the best possible learning environment.

5. It allows for a comfortable place to study. Classrooms have evolved over the years to be a warmer and welcoming environment, but there is nothing like the comfort that is felt at home or in a safe space. By encouraging studies where a child feels the most comfortable, it is possible to retain additional information that may get lost within the standard classroom environment.

6. It provides more time to complete the learning process. The time allotted for each area of study in school, especially in K-12, is often limited to 1 hour or less per day. That is not always enough time for students to be able to grasp core concepts of that material. By creating specific homework assignments which address these deficiencies, it becomes possible to counter the effects of the time shortages. That can benefit students greatly over time.

7. It reduces screen time. On the average school night, a student in the US might get 3-4 hours of screen time in per day. When that student isn’t in school, that figure doubles to 7-8 hours of screen time. Homework might be unwanted and disliked, but it does encourage better study habits. It discourages time being spent in front of the television or playing games on a mobile device. That, in turn, may discourage distracting habits from forming that can take away from the learning process in the future.

8. It can be treated like any other extracurricular activity. Some families over-extend themselves on extracurricular activities. Students can easily have more than 40 hours per week, from clubs to sports, that fall outside of regular school hours. Homework can be treated as one of these activities, fitting into the schedule where there is extra time. As an added benefit, some homework can even be completed on the way to or from some activities.

List of the Cons of Homework

1. Children benefit from playing. Being in a classroom can be a good thing, but so can being on a playground. With too much homework, a child doesn’t have enough time to play and that can impact their learning and social development. Low levels of play are associated with lower academic achievement levels, lower safety awareness, less character development, and lower overall health.

2. It encourages a sedentary lifestyle. Long homework assignments require long periods of sitting. A sedentary lifestyle has numerous direct associations with premature death as children age into adults. Obesity levels are already at or near record highs in many communities. Homework may reinforce certain skills and encourage knowledge retention, but it may come at a high price.

3. Not every home is a beneficial environment. There are some homes that are highly invested into their children. Parents may be involved in every stage of homework or there may be access to tutors that can explain difficult concepts. In other homes, there may be little or no education investment into the child. Some parents push the responsibility of teaching off on the teacher and provide no homework support at all.

Sometimes parents may wish to be involved and support their child, but there are barriers in place that prevent this from happening. The bottom line is this: no every home life is equal.

4. School is already a full-time job for kids. An elementary school day might start at 9:00am and end at 3:20pm. That’s more than 6 hours of work that kids as young as 5 are putting into their education every day. Add in the extra-curricular activities that schools encourage, such as sports, musicals, and after-school programming and a student can easily reach 8 hours of education in the average day. Then add homework on top of that? It is asking a lot for any child, but especially young children, to complete extra homework.

5. There is no evidence that homework creates improvements. Survey after survey has found that the only thing that homework does is create a negative attitude toward schooling and education in general. Homework is not associated with a higher level of academic achievement on a national scale. It may help some students who struggle with certain subjects, if they have access to a knowledgeable tutor or parent, but on a community level, there is no evidence that shows improvements are gained.

6. It discourages creative endeavors. If a student is spending 1 hour each day on homework, that’s an hour they are not spending pursuing something that is important to them. Students might like to play video games or watch TV, but homework takes time away from learning an instrument, painting, or developing photography skills as well. Although some homework can involve creative skills, that usually isn’t the case.

7. Homework is difficult to enforce. Some students just don’t care about homework. They can achieve adequate grades without doing it, so they choose not to do it. There is no level of motivation that a parent or teacher can create that inspires some students to get involved with homework. There is no denying the fact that homework requires a certain amount of effort. Sometimes a child just doesn’t want to put in that effort.

8. Extra time in school does not equate to better grades. Students in the US spend more than 100 hours of extra time in school already compared to high-performing countries around the world, but that has not closed the educational gap between those countries and the United States. In some educational areas, the US is even falling in global rankings despite the extra time that students are spending in school. When it comes to homework or any other form of learning, quality is much more important than quantity.

9. Accurate practice may not be possible. If homework is assigned, there is a reliance on the student, their parents, or their guardians to locate resources that can help them understand the content. Homework is often about practice, but if the core concepts of that information are not understood or inaccurately understood, then the results are the opposite of what is intended. If inaccurate practice is performed, it becomes necessary for the teacher to first correct the issue and then reteach it, which prolongs the learning process.

10. It may encourage cheating on multiple levels. Some students may decide that cheating in the classroom to avoid taking homework home is a compromise they’re willing to make. With internet resources, finding the answers to homework instead of figuring out the answers on one’s own is a constant temptation as well. For families with multiple children, they may decide to copy off one another to minimize the time investment.

11. Too much homework is often assigned to students. There is a general agreement that students should be assigned no more than 10 minutes of homework per day, per grade level. That means a first grader should not be assigned more than 10 minutes of homework per night. Yet for the average first grader in US public schools, they come home with 20 minutes of homework and then are asked to complete 20 minutes of reading on top of that. That means some students are completing 4x more homework than recommended every night.

At the same time, the amount of time children spent playing outdoors has decreased by 40% over the past 30 years.

For high school students, it is even worse at high performing schools in the US where 90% of graduates go onto college, the average amount of homework assigned per night was 3 hours per student.

12. Homework is often geared toward benchmarks. Homework is often assigned to improve test scores. Although this can provide positive outcomes, including better study skills or habits, the fact is that when children are tired, they do not absorb much information. When children have more homework than recommended, test scores actually go down. Stress levels go up. Burnout on the curriculum occurs.

The results for many students, according to research from Ruben Fernandez-Alonso in the Journal of Educational Psychology, is a decrease in grades instead of an increase.

The pros and cons of homework are admittedly all over the map. Many parents and teachers follow their personal perspectives and create learning environments around them. When parents and teachers clash on homework, the student is often left in the middle of that tug of war. By discussing these key points, each side can work to find some common ground so our children can benefit for a clear, precise message.

Quantity may be important, but quality must be the priority for homework if a student is going to be successful.

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27 Top Homework Pros and Cons

homework pros and cons

There are both pros and cons of homework. This makes whether schools should assign homework a great debating topic for students.

On the side of the pros, homework is beneficial because it can be great for helping students get through their required coursework and reinforce required knowledge. But it also interferes with life outside of school.

Key arguments for homework include the fact it gives students structure, improves their learning, and improves parent-teacher relationships.

Arguments for the cons of homework include the fact it interferes with playtime and causes stress to children, leading to arguments that homework should be banned .

Pros and Cons of Homework (Table Summary)

Pros of homework, 1. homework teaches discipline and habit.

Discipline and habit are two soft skills that children need to develop so they can succeed in life.

Regular daily homework is a simple way that discipline and habit are reinforced. Teachers can talk to students about what they do when they get home from school.

They might develop a habit like getting changed into a new set of clothes, having an afternoon snack, then getting out their homework.

Teachers can also help students visualize these habits and disciplines by talking about where they will do their homework (kitchen table?) and when .

2. Homework helps parents know what’s being learned in class

Parents often appreciate being kept in the loop about what is going on in their child’s classroom. Homework is great for this!

Teachers can set homework based on the current unit of work in the classroom. If the students are learning about dinosaurs, the homework can be a task on dinosaurs.

This helps the teachers to show the parents the valuable learning that’s taking place, and allows parents to feel comfortable that the teacher is doing a great job.

3. Homework teaches time management

Children often have a wide range of after school activities to undertake. They need to develop the skill of managing all these activities to fit homework in.

At school, children’s time is closely managed and controlled. Every lesson ends and begins with a bell or a teacher command.

At some point, children need to learn to manage their own time. Homework is an easy way to start refining this important soft skill.

4. Homework gives students self-paced learning time

At school, a lesson has a clear beginning and end. Students who are struggling may be interrupted and need more time. Homework allows them to work on these tasks at their own pace.

When I was studying math in high school, I never got my work done in time. I understood concepts slower than my peers, and I needed more time to reinforce concepts.

Homework was my chance to keep up, by studying at my own pace.

5. Homework can reduce screen time

Paper-based homework can take students away from their afternoon cartoons and video games and get them working on something of more value.

Screen time is one of the biggest concerns for educators and parents in the 21 st Century. Children spend approximately 5 to 7 hours in front of screens per day.

While screens aren’t all bad, children generally spend more time at screens than is necessary. Homework tasks such as collecting things from the yard or interviewing grandparents gets kids away from screens and into more active activities.

6. Homework gives students productive afternoon activities

Too often, children get home from school and switch off their brains by watching cartoons or playing video games. Homework can be more productive.

Good homework should get students actively thinking. A teacher can set homework that involves creating a product, conducting interviews with family, or writing a story based on things being learned in class.

But even homework that involves repetition of math and spelling tasks can be far more productive than simply watching television.

7. Homework reinforces information taught in class

For difficult tasks, students often need to be exposed to content over and over again until they reach mastery of the topic .

To do this, sometimes you need to do old-fashioned repetition of tasks. Take, for example, algebra. Students will need to repeat the process over and over again so that they will instinctively know how to complete the task when they sit their standardized test.

Of course, the teacher needs to teach and reinforce these foundational skills at school before independent homework practice takes place.

8. Homework helps motivated students to get ahead

Many students who have set themselves the goal of coming first in their class want to do homework to get an advantage over their peers.

Students who want to excel should not be stopped from doing this. If they enjoy homework and it makes them smarter or better at a task, then they should be allowed to do this.

9. Homework gives parents and children time together

When a parent helps their child with homework (by educating and quizzing them, not cheating!), they get a chance to bond.

Working together to complete a task can be good for the relationship between the parent and the child. The parents can also feel good that they’re supporting the child to become more educated.

10. Homework improves parent-teacher relationships

Parents get an inside look at what’s happening at school to improve their trust with the teacher, while also helping the teacher do their job.

Trust between parents and teachers is very important. Parents want to know the teacher is working hard to support students and help them learn. By looking at their children’s homework, they get a good idea of what’s going on in the classroom.

The parent can also feel good about helping the teacher’s mission by sitting with the child during homework and helping to reinforce what’s been learned at school.

11. Homework helps teachers get through the crowded curriculum

Teachers are increasingly asked to teach more and more content each year. Homework can be helpful in making sure it all gets done.

Decades ago, teachers had time to dedicate lessons to repeating and practicing content learned. Today, they’re under pressure to teach one thing then quickly move onto the next. We call this phenomenon the “crowded curriculum”.

Today, teachers may need to teach the core skills in class then ask students to go home and practice what’s been taught to fast-track learning.

12. Homework provides spaced repetition for long-term memorization

Spaced repetition is a strategy that involves quizzing students intermittently on things learned in previous weeks and months.

For example, if students learned division in January, they may forget about it by June. But if the teacher provides division questions for homework in January, March, and May, then the students always keep that knowledge of how to do division in their mind.

Spaced repetition theory states that regularly requiring students to recall information that’s been pushed to the back of their mind can help, over time, commit that information to their long-term memory and prevent long-term forgetting.

13. Homework supports a flipped learning model to make the most of time with the teacher

Flipped learning is a model of education where students do preparation before class so they get to class prepared to learn.

Examples of flipped learning include pre-teaching vocabulary (e.g. giving children new words to learn for homework that they will use in a future in-class lesson), and asking students to watch preparatory videos before class.

This model of homework isn’t about reinforcing things learned in class, but learning things before class to be more prepared for lessons.

14. Homework improves student achievement

An influential review of the literature on homework by Mazano and Pickering (2007) found that homework does improve student achievement.

Another review of the literature by Cooper, Robinson and Patall (2006) similarly found that homework improves achievement. In this review, the authors highlighted that homework appeared more beneficial for high school students’ grades than elementary school students’ grades.

Several progressive education critics , especially Alfie Kohn , have claimed that homework does not help student grades. We have not found the critics’ evidence to be as compelling.

15. Homework helps the education system keep up with other countries’ systems

All nations are competing with one another to have the best education system (measured by standardized tests ). If other countries are assigning homework and your country isn’t, your country will be at a disadvantage.

The main way education systems are compared is the OECD ranking of education systems. This ranking compared standardized test scores on major subjects.

Western nations have been slipping behind Asian nations for several decades. Many Asian education systems have a culture of assigning a lot of homework. To keep up, America may also need to assign homework and encourage their kids to do more homework.

See Also: Homework Statistics List

Cons of Homework

1. homework interferes with play time.

Play-based learning is some of the best learning that can possibly occurs. When children go home from school, the play they do before sunset is hugely beneficial for their development.

Homework can prevent children from playing. Instead, they’re stuck inside repeating tasks on standardized homework sheets.

Of course, if there is no homework, parents would have to make sure children are engaging in beneficial play as well, rather than simply watching TV.

2. Homework interferes with extracurricular activities

After school, many children want to participate in extracurricular activities like sporting and community events.

However, if too much homework is assigned to learners, their parents may not be able to sign them up to co-curricular activities in the school or extracurricular activities outside of the school. This can prevent students from having well-rounded holistic development.

3. Homework discourages students from going outside and getting exercise

Homework is usually an indoors activity. Usually, teachers will assign spelling, math, or science tasks to be repeated through the week on paper or a computer.

But children need time to go outside and get exercise. The CDC recommends children ages 6 to 17 need 60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day.

Unfortunately, being stuck indoors may prevent children from getting that much needed exercise for well-rounded development.

4. Homework leads to unsupervised and unsupportive learning

When students get stuck on a task at school, the teacher is there to help. But when students are stuck on a homework task, no support is available.

This leads to a situation where students’ learning and development is harmed. Furthermore, those students who do understand the task can go ahead and get more homework practice done while struggling students can’t progress because the teacher isn’t there to help them through their hurdles.

Often, it’s down to parents to pick up the challenge of teaching their children during homework time. Unfortunately, not all students have parents nearby to help them during homework time.

5. Homework can encourage cheating

When children study without supervision, they have the opportunity to cheat without suffering consequences.

They could, for example, copy their sibling’s homework or use the internet to find answers.

Worse, some parents may help their child to cheat or do the homework for the child. In these cases, homework has no benefit of the child but may teach them bad and unethical habits.

6. Homework contributes to a culture of poor work-life balance

Homework instils a corporate attitude that prioritizes work above everything else. It prepares students for a social norm where you do work for your job even when you’re off the clock.

Students will grow up thinking it’s normal to clock off from their job, go home, and continue to check emails and complete work they didn’t get done during the day.

This sort of culture is bad for society. It interferes with family and recreation time and encourages bosses to behave like they’re in charge of your whole life.

7. Homework discourages children from taking up hobbies

There is an argument to be made that children need spare time so they can learn about what they like and don’t like.

If students have spare time after school, they could fill it up with hobbies. The student can think about what they enjoy (playing with dolls, riding bikes, singing, writing stories).

Downtime encourages people to develop hobbies. Students need this downtime, and homework can interfere with this.

8. Homework creates unfairness between children with parents helping and those who don’t

At school, students generally have a level playing field. They are all in the same classroom with the same resources and the same teacher. At home, it’s a different story.

Some children have parents, siblings, and internet to rely upon. Meanwhile, others have nothing but themselves and a pen.

Those children who are lucky enough to have parents helping out can get a significant advantage over their peers, causing unfairness and inequalities that are not of their own making.

9. Homework causes stress and anxiety

In a study by Galloway, Connor and Pope (2013), they found that 56% of students identified homework as the greatest cause of stress in their lives.

Stress among young people can impact their happiness and mental health. Furthermore, there is an argument to “let kids be kids”. We have a whole life of work and pressure ahead of us. Childhood is a time to be enjoyed without the pressures of life.

10. Homework is often poor-quality work

Teachers will often assign homework that is the less important work and doesn’t have a clear goal.

Good teachers know that a lesson needs to be planned-out with a beginning, middle and end. There usually should be formative assessment as well, which is assessment of students as they learn (rather than just at the end).

But homework doesn’t have the structure of a good lesson. It’s repetition of information already learned, which is a behaviorist learning model that is now outdated for many tasks.

11. Homework is solitary learning

Most education theorists today believe that the best learning occurs in social situations.

Sociocultural learning requires students to express their thoughts and opinions and listen to other people’s ideas. This helps them improve and refine their own thinking through dialogue.

But homework usually takes place alone at the kitchen table. Students don’t have anyone to talk with about what they’re doing, meaning their learning is limited.

12. Homework widens social inequality

Homework can advantage wealthier students and disadvantage poorer students.

In Kralovec and Buell’s (2001) book The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning , the authors argue that poorer students are less likely to have the resources to complete their homework properly.

For example, they might not have the pens, paper, and drawing implements to complete a paper task. Similarly, they might not have the computer, internet connection, or even books to do appropriate research at home.

Parents in poorer households also often work shift work and multiple jobs meaning they have less time to help their children with their homework.

Homework can be both good and bad – there are both advantages and disadvantages of homework. In general, it’s often the case that it depends on the type of homework that is assigned. Well-planned homework used in moderation and agreed upon by teachers, parents and students can be helpful. But other homework can cause serious stress, inequality, and lifestyle imbalance for students.

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

Galloway, M., Conner, J., & Pope, D. (2013). Nonacademic effects of homework in privileged, high-performing high schools.  The journal of experimental education ,  81 (4), 490-510. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220973.2012.745469

Kralovec, E., & Buell, J. (2001).  The end of homework: How homework disrupts families, overburdens children, and limits learning . Beacon Press.

Pressman, R. M., Sugarman, D. B., Nemon, M. L., Desjarlais, J., Owens, J. A., & Schettini-Evans, A. (2015). Homework and family stress: With consideration of parents’ self confidence, educational level, and cultural background.  The American Journal of Family Therapy ,  43 (4), 297-313. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01926187.2015.1061407

Ren, H., Zhou, Z., Liu, W., Wang, X., & Yin, Z. (2017). Excessive homework, inadequate sleep, physical inactivity and screen viewing time are major contributors to high paediatric obesity.  Acta Paediatrica ,  106 (1), 120-127. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.13640

Yeo, S. C., Tan, J., Lo, J. C., Chee, M. W., & Gooley, J. J. (2020). Associations of time spent on homework or studying with nocturnal sleep behavior and depression symptoms in adolescents from Singapore.  Sleep Health ,  6 (6), 758-766. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2020.04.011

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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i love this it helped me a lot in class and it can be used more around the United States of amarica

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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

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Student Opinion

Should We Get Rid of Homework?

Some educators are pushing to get rid of homework. Would that be a good thing?

why homework is bad pros and cons

By Jeremy Engle and Michael Gonchar

Do you like doing homework? Do you think it has benefited you educationally?

Has homework ever helped you practice a difficult skill — in math, for example — until you mastered it? Has it helped you learn new concepts in history or science? Has it helped to teach you life skills, such as independence and responsibility? Or, have you had a more negative experience with homework? Does it stress you out, numb your brain from busywork or actually make you fall behind in your classes?

Should we get rid of homework?

In “ The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong, ” published in July, the Times Opinion writer Jay Caspian Kang argues that homework may be imperfect, but it still serves an important purpose in school. The essay begins:

Do students really need to do their homework? As a parent and a former teacher, I have been pondering this question for quite a long time. The teacher side of me can acknowledge that there were assignments I gave out to my students that probably had little to no academic value. But I also imagine that some of my students never would have done their basic reading if they hadn’t been trained to complete expected assignments, which would have made the task of teaching an English class nearly impossible. As a parent, I would rather my daughter not get stuck doing the sort of pointless homework I would occasionally assign, but I also think there’s a lot of value in saying, “Hey, a lot of work you’re going to end up doing in your life is pointless, so why not just get used to it?” I certainly am not the only person wondering about the value of homework. Recently, the sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco and the mathematics education scholars Ilana Horn and Grace Chen published a paper, “ You Need to Be More Responsible: The Myth of Meritocracy and Teachers’ Accounts of Homework Inequalities .” They argued that while there’s some evidence that homework might help students learn, it also exacerbates inequalities and reinforces what they call the “meritocratic” narrative that says kids who do well in school do so because of “individual competence, effort and responsibility.” The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students. Calarco, Horn and Chen write, “Research has highlighted inequalities in students’ homework production and linked those inequalities to differences in students’ home lives and in the support students’ families can provide.”

Mr. Kang argues:

But there’s a defense of homework that doesn’t really have much to do with class mobility, equality or any sense of reinforcing the notion of meritocracy. It’s one that became quite clear to me when I was a teacher: Kids need to learn how to practice things. Homework, in many cases, is the only ritualized thing they have to do every day. Even if we could perfectly equalize opportunity in school and empower all students not to be encumbered by the weight of their socioeconomic status or ethnicity, I’m not sure what good it would do if the kids didn’t know how to do something relentlessly, over and over again, until they perfected it. Most teachers know that type of progress is very difficult to achieve inside the classroom, regardless of a student’s background, which is why, I imagine, Calarco, Horn and Chen found that most teachers weren’t thinking in a structural inequalities frame. Holistic ideas of education, in which learning is emphasized and students can explore concepts and ideas, are largely for the types of kids who don’t need to worry about class mobility. A defense of rote practice through homework might seem revanchist at this moment, but if we truly believe that schools should teach children lessons that fall outside the meritocracy, I can’t think of one that matters more than the simple satisfaction of mastering something that you were once bad at. That takes homework and the acknowledgment that sometimes a student can get a question wrong and, with proper instruction, eventually get it right.

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

Should we get rid of homework? Why, or why not?

Is homework an outdated, ineffective or counterproductive tool for learning? Do you agree with the authors of the paper that homework is harmful and worsens inequalities that exist between students’ home circumstances?

Or do you agree with Mr. Kang that homework still has real educational value?

When you get home after school, how much homework will you do? Do you think the amount is appropriate, too much or too little? Is homework, including the projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or, in your opinion, is it not a good use of time? Explain.

In these letters to the editor , one reader makes a distinction between elementary school and high school:

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

What do you think? How much does grade level matter when discussing the value of homework?

Is there a way to make homework more effective?

If you were a teacher, would you assign homework? What kind of assignments would you give and why?

Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column . Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Jeremy Engle joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2018 after spending more than 20 years as a classroom humanities and documentary-making teacher, professional developer and curriculum designer working with students and teachers across the country. More about Jeremy Engle

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

why homework is bad pros and cons

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

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

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

Stanford University

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Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society. More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive, according to the study.

Denise Pope

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .

The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.

Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.

Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.

“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.

Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.

Their study found that too much homework is associated with:

• Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.

• Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

• Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.

A balancing act

The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.

Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.

“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.

She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.

“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.

High-performing paradox

In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”

Student perspectives

The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.

The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

The pros and cons of homework

Should schoolwork be left at the school gate?

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A child does homework

1. Pro: improves academic achievement

2. con: risk of artificial intelligence, 3. pro: other benefits of homework, 4. con: less time with family and friends, 5. pro: parent involvement, 6. con: stress for students and teachers.

Homework should be scrapped to give children more time for “other creative things”, the president of Ireland has said.

UK pupils do more homework than many European countries Irish president Michael D Higgins begins historic UK visit

Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE, Michael D. Higgins said school work should be “finished at the school” rather than at home, “an utterance likely to be seized upon by children for years to come in classrooms far beyond the shores of the Emerald Isle”, said the Independent .

Here are some of the benefits and some of the negative effects of homework for schoolchildren.

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A 2006 meta-analysis of research by Duke University in North Carolina found that children who have homework perform better academically at school. But it doesn’t benefit all students equally, the research found. The correlation was stronger for older students (12 and over) than younger students.

But the evidence is far from conclusive over whether homework really does increase student achievement. Other studies have found that it has a positive effect only under certain conditions, while others have found negative effects, and some studies suggest homework does not affect student achievement at all.

The arrival of highly sophisticated artificial intelligence chatbots, such as ChatGPT , could make it easier for students to cheat on their essays or homework – or even force teachers and professors to scrap homework altogether.

ChatGPT has been “trained on a gigantic sample of text from the internet” and can “understand human language, conduct conversations with humans and generate detailed text that many have said is human-like and quite impressive”, said the Daily Mail .

Kevin Bryan, an associate professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto, tweeted that he was “shocked” by the capabilities of ChatGPT after challenging the AI to answer numerous exam questions and found that it gave A-grade answers.

Evidence suggests that homework can bring non-academic benefits, particularly for younger school students. These include “learning the importance of responsibility, managing time, developing study habits, and staying with a task until it is completed”, said Reading Rockets , a national public media literacy initiative in the US.

The British Council agreed that it helps to develop “study habits and independent learning”, as well as helping students to “retain information taught in the classroom” and involving parents in learning.

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp weighed in on the debate recently, urging parents to “enjoy the weekend” with their children, branding homework a “waste of time”.

“Find a book, cuddle up and read it together, or watch Winterwatch, or cook something with kids doing all the weighing and chopping. Then put that in the homework diary and enjoy your weekend with your kids,” she wrote on Twitter .

“There is nothing better for children than spending time with you, talking, doing and learning at the same time,” she said. “Following a recipe is reading, maths, science and fine motor skills in one activity.”

Homework can be a good way for parents to stay up to date with what their child is being taught in class as well as monitor their progress. But the extent to which parental involvement with homework is beneficial for children is still a matter of debate.

According to Reading Rockets, some studies show that homework assignments that require interactions between students and parents are “more likely to be turned in” than assignments that don’t require parental input. But other studies have found that “parent involvement in homework has no impact on student achievement”.

Educators and parents responded to President Higgins’ comments to say homework is a source of stress for all involved.

Replying to a Facebook post by Hull Live , one teacher said it was “a pain sourcing, copying, chasing and marking it”, while other parents said homework placed undue stress on young children. “I think they do enough work in the school hours as it is,” said one parent, while another commented: “Children need to switch off when they get home. No wonder children suffer mental health issues, they are burnt out before they reach secondary school.”

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  Sorcha Bradley is a writer at The Week and a regular on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. She worked at The Week magazine for a year and a half before taking up her current role with the digital team, where she mostly covers UK current affairs and politics. Before joining The Week, Sorcha worked at slow-news start-up Tortoise Media. She has also written for Sky News, The Sunday Times, the London Evening Standard and Grazia magazine, among other publications. She has a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London, where she specialised in political journalism.

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

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

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

Why Students Should Not Have Homework

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework

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

1. Elevated Stress and Health Consequences

Elevated Stress and Health Consequences

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

Key findings and statistics reveal a worrying trend:

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

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

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

2. Inequitable Impact and Socioeconomic Disparities

Inequitable Impact and Socioeconomic Disparities

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

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

Key points highlighting the disparities:

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

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

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

3. Negative Impact on Family Dynamics

Negative Impact on Family Dynamics

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

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

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

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

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

4. Consumption of Free Time

Consumption of Free Time

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

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

Key points of concern:

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

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

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

5. Challenges for Students with Learning Disabilities

Challenges for Students with Learning Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

6. Critique of Underlying Assumptions about Learning

Critique of Underlying Assumptions about Learning

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

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

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

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

These findings bring to light several critical points:

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

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

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

Issues with Homework Enforcement, Reliability, and Temptation to Cheat

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

Key points highlighting enforcement challenges:

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

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

Addressing Opposing Views on Homework Practices

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

1. Improvement of Academic Performance

Improvement of Academic Performance

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

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

2. Reinforcement of Learning

Reinforcement of Learning

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

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

3. Development of Time Management Skills

Development of Time Management Skills

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

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

4. Preparation for Future Academic Challenges

Preparation for Future Academic Challenges

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

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

5. Parental Involvement in Education

Parental Involvement in Education

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

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

Exploring Alternatives to Homework and Finding a Middle Ground

Exploring Alternatives to Homework

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

Alternatives to Traditional Homework

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

Ideas for Minimizing Homework

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

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

Useful Resources

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

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

  • “Here’s what an education expert says about that viral ‘no-homework’ policy”, Insider
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Pros and cons of school assignments: Should kids have homework?

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Do you think homework is good for kids? Should it be abolished? Find out the pros and cons of homework for students and join our education poll and debate. 

Should kids have homework? 

Pros and cons of homework.

Some researchers have identified a strong correlation between homework and academic success. Harris  Cooper, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, led a  meta-analysis  in 2006, " Does homework improve academic achievement?, " which showed that homework can improve students' scores on class tests. The study demonstrated that accross different topics, including Math, English, American History, and Social studies, student who had done homework performed better than their classmates who had not. 

In addition to improving grades and results in standardized tests, there are many other pros to homework such as:

  • Homework provides parents with the opportunity to participate in their children's education.
  • Possibility for kids to further explore a subject at their own pace. Not all children have the same capacity to assimilate all the information covered in class.
  • School assignments can help develop a sense of responsibility and time management.
  • It facilitates rote learning.
  • It reduces the time kids spend watching TV as well as playing video games and with their cell phones .
  • Homework is an opportunity to practice some research and study skills and deepen understanding of some concepts which cannot be fully developed in class.

However, some voices have started to point out some disadvantages of doing homework and questioned the traditional education model in place. Some of them claim that homework should be abolished. The publication   “The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning” by Kralovec and Buell (2000) has brought into the discussion a very interesting new angle. Kralovec and Buell argue that homework contributes to a competitive culture that overvalues work to the detriment of personal and family well-being . Moreover, there are several other problems associated to homework, such as:

  • Homework is very unfair because economically disadvantaged students can’t study at home with the same conditions and support as the wealthier children.
  • Too many school  assignments  can excessively reduce the time for playing, doing sports or simply interacting socially with friends and family. Homework can also interfere with kids' household chores .
  • Cheating is easy. Often students simply plagiarize their assignments from others or from the Internet and therefore the learning objectives of homework are not fulfilled. In occasions parents or older relatives do children's coursework.
  • Sometimes homework is not well designed and do not really contribute to learning. In other cases homework is not marked shortly after being submitted and, therefore, feedback does not reach students as soon as it should. Students may get frustrated and lose interest.
  •  It may keep students up late at night, reduce their sleeping time and therefore their performance in class the following day.
  • As Galloway et al (2013) show, homework can be a source of stress and physical health problems for children.

To summarize, there are several pros and cons to the use of homework as educational tool for children. What side of the debate are you on? Do you think homework is overall good or bad for the development and education of children? Vote and tell us why (see below).

Watch these videos on the homework debate:

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Is Homework Good for Kids? Here’s What the Research Says

A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.

The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early.

But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage. Here’s what you need to know:

For decades, the homework standard has been a “10-minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. The National PTA and the National Education Association both support that guideline.

But some schools have begun to give their youngest students a break. A Massachusetts elementary school has announced a no-homework pilot program for the coming school year, lengthening the school day by two hours to provide more in-class instruction. “We really want kids to go home at 4 o’clock, tired. We want their brain to be tired,” Kelly Elementary School Principal Jackie Glasheen said in an interview with a local TV station . “We want them to enjoy their families. We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.”

A New York City public elementary school implemented a similar policy last year, eliminating traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. The change was quickly met with outrage from some parents, though it earned support from other education leaders.

New solutions and approaches to homework differ by community, and these local debates are complicated by the fact that even education experts disagree about what’s best for kids.

The research

The most comprehensive research on homework to date comes from a 2006 meta-analysis by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, who found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school. The correlation was stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades, for whom there was a weak relationship between homework and performance.

Cooper’s analysis focused on how homework impacts academic achievement—test scores, for example. His report noted that homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and independent problem solving skills. On the other hand, some studies he examined showed that homework can cause physical and emotional fatigue, fuel negative attitudes about learning and limit leisure time for children. At the end of his analysis, Cooper recommended further study of such potential effects of homework.

Despite the weak correlation between homework and performance for young children, Cooper argues that a small amount of homework is useful for all students. Second-graders should not be doing two hours of homework each night, he said, but they also shouldn’t be doing no homework.

Not all education experts agree entirely with Cooper’s assessment.

Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports the “10-minute rule” as a maximum, but she thinks there is not sufficient proof that homework is helpful for students in elementary school.

“Correlation is not causation,” she said. “Does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework?”

Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs , thinks there should be more emphasis on improving the quality of homework tasks, and she supports efforts to eliminate homework for younger kids.

“I have no concerns about students not starting homework until fourth grade or fifth grade,” she said, noting that while the debate over homework will undoubtedly continue, she has noticed a trend toward limiting, if not eliminating, homework in elementary school.

The issue has been debated for decades. A TIME cover in 1999 read: “Too much homework! How it’s hurting our kids, and what parents should do about it.” The accompanying story noted that the launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to a push for better math and science education in the U.S. The ensuing pressure to be competitive on a global scale, plus the increasingly demanding college admissions process, fueled the practice of assigning homework.

“The complaints are cyclical, and we’re in the part of the cycle now where the concern is for too much,” Cooper said. “You can go back to the 1970s, when you’ll find there were concerns that there was too little, when we were concerned about our global competitiveness.”

Cooper acknowledged that some students really are bringing home too much homework, and their parents are right to be concerned.

“A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements,” he said. “If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”

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Pros and Cons of Homework: What You Should Know

why homework is bad pros and cons

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Homework can be a great tool for students to improve their academic performance, but there are also some drawbacks.

Some pros to assigning homework are that it can help students practice and master the material they learned in class, it can help students develop good study habits, and it can give students a sense of accomplishment. Some cons to assigning homework are that it can be a burden for students if they have a lot of homework to do, it can take away time from family and friends, and it can cause students to stress out.

In this post, I am going to explore the various benefits and drawbacks of using homework in your classroom. Let’s get started!

Pros of homework

Homework can be a great tool for you to improve the learning process of your students if you use it correctly. The following are some of the benefits of homework for teaching and learning:

1. It helps students learn.

Homework has been proven to help students learn effectively. It can help them retain information, increase their focus and improve their recall. By providing a routine for homework, students are able to better manage their time and stay on track with their education.

For example, homework can help students keep track of their progress and reinforce what they have learned. It can also help them focus on what they are doing in class, which will improve the amount of time that they spend in class.

2. It improves test scores.

Homework is a common assignment that students receive in school. It can be thought of as a way for teachers to help students learn and practice the material they have learned. Research has shown that homework can improve students’ test scores. This is because homework helps students learn the material more thoroughly and retain it better.

If a student does their homework, they will be able to answer questions from the test that they will take on that topic. The more homework a student does, the better their test scores will be. For example, in one study, it was found that homework helps improve students’ scores on standardized tests . The more homework a student doe s, the better it is for their grades.

3. It increases student engagement and motivation.

Homework has been proven to increase student engagement and motivation. When done correctly, homework can help students learn by engaging them in challenging tasks and helping them develop skills.

Homework can have a number of benefits for students, both in terms of engagement and motivation. By helping to reinforce the learning process, homework can help students retain information better and increase their understanding of what they are studying. With this, students become engaged and motivated to continue learning.

Additionally, homework can provide a sense of accomplishment and help students feel responsible for their own learning. This motivates students to engage in their studies.

Finally, homework can be used as an opportunity for students to connect with other classmates and share ideas about the material they are studying. Connecting and sharing ideas with classmates about homework helps students become engaged and motivated.

4. It enhances productivity.

Homework has been shown to be beneficial to student productivity in the classroom. Homework allows students to focus on their work and learn more about the material being taught. It also helps students develop better study habits, which can lead to them performing better in class.

Additionally, homework can provide a sense of accomplishment that can encourage students to continue learning. Overall, homework enhances student productivity in the classroom by helping them focus on their work and learn more about the material being taught.

5. It teaches responsibility.

Every student knows the feeling of dread when they have to do their homework. For some, it can be tedious and time-consuming. But homework has a far bigger purpose than just helping students pass exams-it teaches them how to be responsible citizens in the classroom.

Homework can help students develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, organizational skills, and time management skills. It also encourages them to stay on top of their studies and stay up-to-date with new information. In short, homework helps students become better learners overall.

While there are many benefits to doing homework, it can also be frustrating when it’s not done on time or when it’s not done well. That’s why teachers value homework so much; it helps students learn how to be responsible members of society.

6. Homework develops time management skills.

Many students believe that homework is a waste of time because they think it only helps teachers track their progress and keeps them from having fun. In reality, homework is one of the most important tools teachers have to help students develop time management skills.

The reason homework helps students develop these skills is because it forces students to focus on their schoolwork in addition to their other responsibilities. By doing this, students learn how to manage their time better and stay on track with their goals.

Additionally, homework can also help students learn how to problem-solve and work independently. When students are able to do these things, they are more likely to be successful in the classroom.

In all, homework can help students learn how to manage their time by planning and organizing their work, dividing up tasks into manageable chunks, prioritizing homework over other responsibilities, and scheduling time for schoolwork.

7. It helps students develop study skills.

When students are assigned homework, they are learning to develop important study skills. Homework helps students learn how to organize and focus their attention, manage their time, and build discipline. It also teaches them how to solve problems. These skills will help the student in the classroom and in life.

For example, a student who can better organize their time and work independently may be more likely to finish homework assignments that are harder.

8. Homework builds self-discipline.

When students work on their homework, they are developing self-discipline. Self-discipline is the ability to focus, organize and manage time, plan, solve problems, and follow directions. Self-discipline is vital to success in school and in life.

For example, a student who has developed self-discipline is less likely to be distracted by friends and television, which are two common distractions that many students face in school.

9. Homework helps students learn to work independently.

When students are required to complete their homework, they become more independent learners. They gain skills in time management, organization, and problem-solving. These skills will help them in the classroom and in life.

For example, a student who has learned to work independently is more likely to be able to plan and schedule his or her time throughout the day, which will help him or her become more organized.

10. Homework helps students learn to follow directions.

In the classroom, following directions can be difficult for students. This is especially true for students who have difficulty paying attention to what is happening in class. Homework can help students learn how to follow directions.

By doing homework, students are required to complete a task that has been assigned by the teacher. This makes it easier for the student to pay attention in class and follow directions.

For example, students often get homework that requires them to pay attention and follow directions before completing the tasks assigned to them. With that, they learn to follow instructions and directions, which is a critical skill in life.

11. It enhances critical thinking skills.

How does homework enhance the critical thinking skills of students in the classroom? Homework can help improve the critical thinking skills of students in the classroom by requiring them to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical context.

In addition, homework can also help students learn how to use their critical thinking skills to solve problems. Furthermore, homework can help students develop patience and perseverance when faced with difficult tasks. Overall, homework helps students become better thinkers and more effective learners.

12. It boosts academic achievement.

Homework can boost academic achievement by helping students focus and retain information, work ahead in their lessons, and build valuable study skills.

Additionally, staying organized and completing tasks on time can help students build good habits that will carry over into other areas of their lives. For example, homework helps students develop skills that propel them to become successful in the classroom.

13. It promotes teamwork and cooperation.

Many people believe that homework promotes teamwork and cooperation among students in the classroom. This is because homework often requires students to work together on tasks, which helps them learn how to work cooperatively.

Additionally, when students are required to complete homework, they are more likely to try hard and cooperate with their classmates. This is because they know that if they do their homework, they will receive good grades.

For example, when students are given group homework, it can help them to learn how to cooperate and work with other people to achieve a particular task.

14. Prepare for future academic challenges.

Homework can help students better prepare for future academic challenges. This is because it allows them to develop skills that will be useful in their academic careers.

For example, homework can help students learn how to organize their information, study for tests, and think critically. In addition, homework can also help students build vocabulary and learn new concepts.

15. It promotes good work habits.

The benefits of homework are well known among educators, but what about students? There are many reasons why homework promotes good work habits among students.

One reason is that it helps students learn how to manage their time. They learn how to prioritize and how to plan their days. Homework also teaches critical-thinking skills. Students must be able to analyze information and come up with solutions on their own.

Homework can also help strengthen relationships between parents and children, as parents support and supervise students to complete their homework. Parents can see the value in homework, and children may have a better attitude towards school if they know their parents expect them to complete their work.

16. It enhances problem-solving skills.

Problem-solving is a critical skill for students to develop. Problem-solving is the process of making decisions about how to solve problems. Homework can help students learn problem-solving skills by providing opportunities to practice them. In fact, homework has been shown to improve problem-solving skills .

One reason why homework is so effective in teaching problem-solving skills is that it provides a consistent and systematic format for practicing these skills. Homework assignments provide students with opportunities to practice critical thinking skills, identify and solve problems, and develop persistence. Additionally, homework can help students learn how to work cooperatively with others. All of these abilities are essential for success in school and in life.

17. A greater understanding of the material.

Homework has been shown to enhance a greater understanding of the material among students. This is because homework allows students to practice what they have learned and to reinforce it. It also allows them to explore the material further and experiment with it.

In addition, homework can help students develop their critical thinking skills. This is because homework helps students not to only understand the material, but to also organize it and think about it. It can help them develop their memory and recall abilities, which are essential for success in school and life.

Cons of homework

When you don’t use homework appropriately in the classroom, the following problems will arise:

1. It can leave students feeling overwhelmed.

Homework can be a daunting task for students, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and stressed. As homework has become more and more common in schools, students are often left with little choice but to complete it.

This can lead to students feeling overwhelmed and stressed, as they have no break from the workload and are often expected to perform well in class while also completing the homework. This can create a difficult balance for students, as they are faced with two competing demands.

2. It can be a distraction from other activities or interests.

Homework can be a distraction from other activities or interests because it can be time-consuming, boring, and repetitive. It can also stress people out, which can lead to problems at school or in their personal lives. There are ways to make homework less of a distraction and more of a learning experience. For example, teachers could make assignments that are relevant to the class material, make sure the homework is done in a reasonable amount of time, and give students feedback on their work.

There are a few reasons why homework can be a distraction from other activities or interests. One reason is that homework often requires concentration and focus, which can be difficult to maintain when there are other distractions around. Additionally, many students find it boring or tedious to do homework, which can lead to them losing interest in the task overall.

Finally, because homework often takes up a large amount of time each night, it can prevent students from spending time with friends or family members, which can also lead to boredom and loneliness.

3. It can create stress and anxiety in students.

Homework can create stress and anxiety in students for a variety of reasons. For some, homework can be a daunting task that requires hours of uninterrupted concentration. For others, it may be a source of frustration due to the lack of consistency in its delivery or because it conflicts with other duties outside of school.

Regardless of the reason, homework can often lead to feelings of stress and frustration. This is particularly true for students who are struggling academically or who have other responsibilities at home. Consequently, homework can be a major contributor to stress and anxiety in students.

4. It can lead to cheating.

Cheating on homework has become a common phenomenon among students across the globe. There are many reasons why this may be the case, but one of the most common reasons is that homework can be a source of stress for students. When assignments are difficult or when there is pressure to perform well, some students may feel like they have to cheat in order to get through them.

Another reason why cheating on homework can occur is that it can be an easy way for students to get ahead. If they know the answers to certain questions, they can simply copy them off of their classmates and submit their work as their own. This type of cheating is unfair to other students who have worked hard on their assignments.

And finally, it can be a way for students to hide their mistakes or try to cheat on tests. All of these reasons are why homework should not be given out as punishment, but rather as a way to help students learn and improve.

5. It can cause health problems.

How can homework cause health problems for students? Numerous studies have shown that a large number of students experience negative health effects from doing homework. These health problems can include stress, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.

One reason why homework can be so problematic is that it often takes up a lot of time and energy that should be spent on other activities. Additionally, homework can be extremely tedious and requires a great deal of concentration. For these reasons, many students find it difficult to complete it proficiently.

Consequently, excessive amounts of homework may actually be harmful to your overall health.

6. It can interfere with family time.

Homework can interfere with students’ family time if the student is not able to complete their homework in a reasonable amount of time. This can lead to tension between the student and their parents, as well as less time for the student to spend with their families.

Excessive homework can create stress for parents, who may have to pick up the children after school or help them with their studies. Ultimately, homework can cause tension between students and their parents, and it can be a barrier to communication between the two parties.

There are many benefits to having a homework system in place, but it must be done in a way that does not interfere with family time.

7. It can interfere with sleep.

Homework can interfere with the sleep of students for a variety of reasons. For some students, homework can lead to feelings of overwhelm and stress. This can disrupt the natural sleep cycle and cause students to have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Additionally, completing homework can take up time that could be spent relaxing and enjoying downtime with friends or family. As a result, homework may actually reduce the amount of sleep that students get each night.

8. Too much homework can affect students’ achievement.

Too much homework can have negative consequences for students’ academic achievement and future success. Too much homework can lead to a decrease in student productivity, diminished focus, and diminished enjoyment of learning.

Furthermore, it has been shown that students who do too much homework tend to have lower grades and lower test scores. There are several reasons why too much homework can have these detrimental effects.

First, when students are excessively busy with assigned work, they may lose opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities or other enrichment programs that could help them improve their skills and knowledge.

Second, when students become bogged down by excessive amounts of homework, they may find it difficult to devote sufficient time to studying for tests or completing other academic tasks.

Third, when students are spending too much time working on schoolwork rather than engaging in other enjoyable activities, they may lose interest in learning and forfeit valuable opportunities for personal growth.

All of the above negatively impact the academic achievement of students.

9. Homework can lead to boredom.

Many students find homework to be a tedious and time-consuming chore. This can lead to boredom and a lack of focus in the classroom, which can adversely affect student learning. Too much homework can actually make students feel tired and stressed, making them less likely to enjoy their schoolwork.

To conclude, homework can be a great way to help students learn and retain information. If done correctly, however, homework provides valuable instruction that reinforces what was learned in class. Too much of it, on the other hand, can result in students feeling overwhelmed and not getting the benefits they need from their studies. It’s important for educators to strike a balance between providing enough challenges for students while also ensuring they are well-rested so they are able to excel academically.

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Honest Pros and Cons

12 Pros and Cons of Homework

Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev

Homework is defined as tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are intended to be carried out during non-school hours. Homework is designed to reinforce what students have already learned. Homework is a word that most students dread hearing.

Pros and Cons of Homework

Pros and Cons of Homework

The teachers assign homework to the students as they believe that homework will help the students to recollect the topics that were covered in the class. There are some lessons that are perfect for the classroom environment, but there are also some things that children can learn better at home. So homework helps to maintain the balance between them.

Generally, homework includes reading, writing, or completion of a certain problem which will improve the overall performance of the student. This means that kids who do homework are more committed to doing well in school.

Purpose of Homework

The most common purpose of homework is to have students practice material already presented in class so as to reinforce learning and facilitate mastery of specific skills. It is found that appropriate homework in the right amounts can enhance younger students’ learning and prepare them for a routine of studying as they get older.

Homework impacts students’ academic achievement—test scores. Homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness, and independent problem-solving skills.

Preparation assignments introduce the material that will be presented in future lessons which helps students obtain the maximum benefit when the new material is covered in class.

Should Students Have Homework?

The type and amount of homework given to students have been debated for over a century. For years, teachers and parents thought that homework was a necessary tool when educating children. But studies about the effectiveness of homework have been conflicting and inconclusive.

Proponents of homework say that it improves student achievement and allows for independent learning of classroom and life skills. Also, homework allows parents to monitor their child’s learning. Opponents of homework say that too much may be harmful to students as it can increase stress, reduce leisure and sleep time, lead to cheating, and is not proven to be beneficial for younger.

According to Harris Cooper, a professor at Duke University, there is a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school.

As a general rule, the maximum amount of time that a student should spend each day on lessons outside of school is 10 minutes per each grade level. This means a first grader should spend 10 minutes daily on his homework while a senior high school kid should spend about 2 hours.

Should students have homework or not? Let’s discuss some of the key pros and cons of the homework.

Pros of Homework

1. homework encourages practice.

One of the positive effects of homework is that it helps to encourage the discipline of practice. Repetition is necessary to get better at skills. Practising the same problem over and over helps to reinforce the discipline of practice. Homework helps make concepts more clear and helps to build a career in the future.

2. Keep Track of the Progress

Homework allows teachers to track students’ progress, meaning that homework helps to find out the academic strengths and weaknesses of children. Homework can also help clue teachers into the existence of any learning disabilities their children may have, allowing them to get help and adjust learning strategies as needed.

3. Improved Academic Outcome

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs.

It has also found that students who regularly do homework have scored better in standardized tests than other students who didn’t do homework at all.

4. Teaches Time Management

When homework is assigned to the students, students are able to manage their time and make effective study plans. Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks but also teaches time management skills.

It helps to manage study time by completing all assignments on time. Time management is a necessary skill that a student must have which is very useful not only in school life but also in the future.

5. Parents are Involved in the Learning Process

Parents need to know what their children are learning in school. Homework helps parents to track down what their children are learning at school and their class performance. By sending homework from the school, it allows the entire family to encounter the assignments that their kids are doing when they are in school during the day. A study shows that parental involvement in homework can improve class performance.

6. Creates Communication Bridge

Homework helps to create a communication network between student, teacher, school, and parents. Teachers are unaware of the lives of the students at home and the parents are unaware of their lives at school. Communication helps to understand each other in a better way, as teachers get to know the needs of students and parents about their children’s strengths and weaknesses.

7. Provides More Learning Time

School hours aren’t always enough for students to grasp the core knowledge. Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. Setting homework allows students to revise content learned during the day and also helps to get things thoroughly because there is sufficient time for research and also there is less disturbance in the home.

Cons of Homework

1. encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

As the students get long assignments/homework, hence require much time to complete it. If students are given more homework, then they get less amount of time for extracurricular activities and also affect social development. A sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity.

2. Causes Unnecessary Stress

With a large workload and difficult tasks, homework causes students to feel anxious and stressed. Unnecessary stress causes demotivation. In some cases, homework may even be assigned over term breaks or the summer holidays.

This causes severe stress for some children, leading to issues such as sleep deprivation. This causes behavioural changes in students and also ingraining homework as a negative aspect of school life.

3. Eats up Free Time

Free time allows children to not only relax but also discover the world. Childs spend hours completing the assignment which eats up the valuable time kids have to spend with their family, attend extracurricular activities, and catch up with friends. During that time kids can learn many things like riding a bike, reading novels, attending social activities, attending family functions, etc.

why homework is bad pros and cons

4. Not Always Effective

A study found that homework creates a negative attitude towards schooling and the education system. Research by John Hattie, Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne, has found that homework in primary school has a negligible effect on students’ academic growth, as students are completing separate and unrelated projects rather than reinforcing learned knowledge. Homework doesn’t necessarily help to improve students’ academic performance rather it puts a burden on students.

5. Discourages Creative Endeavours

As we know homework eats up the leisure time because students spend hours completing their assignments. During that time students might like to do creative works that they are interested in such as, painting, singing, playing games, learning an instrument, etc . There might be a case where a student is much interested in doing creative work rather than spending hours on homework.

Concluding the article, both the pros and cons of homework are valid. Teachers and parents find homework as a necessary task for the children’s academic success while students find it as a burden or headache. The main purpose of homework is to bridge the gap between children’s learning at school and at home.

On the one hand, homework is an effective way to reinforce the concepts that were learned at school which helps to improve the academic outcome of the students. On the other hand, homework puts a burden on the student and the time that homework demands would be better spent with meaningful activity.

Thus, a good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.

  • https://www.goodschools.com.au/insights/parental-advice/pros-and-cons-of-homework
  • https://www.goodschools.com.au/insights/parental-advice/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-homework
  • https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-homework/
  • https://www.wgu.edu/heyteach/article/should-students-have-homework1808.html

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The pros and cons of homework

why homework is bad pros and cons

John Hattie is Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the author of Visible Learning , a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement in education.

When deciding on how much, and what, homework to hand out, Hattie says there are quite a few things teachers should consider.

“Homework in primary school has a measurable effect of around zero,” Hattie told BBC Radio 4 Journalist Sarah Montague.

“In high school it does have a larger measurable effect, 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 at in our primary schools to say ‘Is it really making a difference?”’

Hattie looked at research studies from all over the world that have tried to measure the impact of various factors on education, including the optimal time students should be spending on homework.

He found homework appears to be more effective for higher-ability rather than lower-ability students, and for older rather than younger students.

CensusAtSchool is a collaborative project involving teachers, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Education, which examines the lives of children in year four to 12.

A comparison of the findings from 2008 to 2013, reveals that Australian children are spending more time doing homework than they were five years ago.

In 2008, Australian children spent an average of 5.3 hours a week doing their homework. Today that has jumped to seven hours a week. Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said he was concerned by the trend that kids were spending an increasing amount of time on homework, and believes the trend is linked to higher levels of anxiety.

“I actually think less is more with homework, because there seems to be so much stress around school,” he said.

A number of primary schools in Australia are effectively handing the decision-making power over to parents, allowing parents to permanently excuse children from homework.

Some primary schools have even sent letters home to parents outlining their reasoning for setting homework, but ultimately recognising that parents are best placed to make decisions about whether or not their children have the capacity or time to complete it.

Hattie is more positive about giving secondary school aged children homework.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) found that high-school aged Australian students are also spending more hours doing homework each week.

The report found that 15-year-old Australian students spend an average of six hours a week doing homework. That marks an increase of 0.3 hours per week from the 2003 study.

Australia and Austria were the only countries to report a statistically significant increase in the amount of time students spend doing homework.

“The overall effect of homework on achievement in older students is positive, but there are quite a few qualifications to that,” Hattie writes in Visible Learning . Qualifications included things like the age of the learner, the amount of homework, and whether the homework was task-oriented or complex and unstructured.

Neurologist and former classroom teacher Judy Willis says if a teacher knows a bit about the brain, he or she can plan homework to suit the needs of students as they develop.

“During early school years, for example, the brain is focused on getting to grips with the world around us. Memories and understanding grow when new information can be linked to things we already know. Homework that helps with this recognition can build literacy and numeracy skills,” says Willis.

“When students reach adolescence, they become more independent and self-directed. There is shift away from rote memorisation and single, correct responses. Learning goals are more likely to focus on reading for content and comprehension, revising, report writing, solving problems, investigating and independent or group work.”

Willis says that while the amount of time spent on homework will always vary depending on the age of students, there are a few physiological guidelines to remember.

“After about 15 minutes of learning and practising something – such as the Pythagorean theorem in maths – the regions of the brain activated in spatial-numerical learning get fatigued and need to rebuild the neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, that get depleted,” says Willis. “The restoration only takes a few minutes if the break is timely, but if they are pushed to stay with that same process for too long, stress builds, neurotransmitters drop way down and it will take twice as long to restore full efficiency to that area of the brain.”

Willis recommends online games for learning basic knowledge as they usually have set timings.

“You can assign a specific amount of time to be spent on the skill-building program for homework and confirm students’ compliance by checking the teachers’ pages,” she says.

“When students know that the effort they put into homework will enhance their participation and enjoyment of classroom learning, they become more motivated. Pupils also put more effort into schoolwork or homework when they are engaged in something that is relevant to their studies.”

One of the studies Hattie examined warned against homework that undermined a student’s motivation, as it could lead to the student internalising incorrect routines.

“For too many students, homework reinforces that they cannot learn by themselves and that they cannot do the schoolwork,” says Hattie. “Ensuring that students are assessment-capable learners is the most important thing we can do to raise student achievement.”

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Pros and Cons of Homework: The Great Homework Debate

1)    enforcing discipline, 2)    increased learning, 1)    prevents outside growth, 2)    causing stress, the bottom line, alternatives.

There are many pros and cons of homework. If you remember back to your childhood, one of the most annoying parts of school might have been homework. Many of dreaded having to get home, because instead of doing something fun, we had to whip out the textbook and start doing some problems – not a great way to have to spend the afternoon. We didn’t understand the importance of homework, we saw it as a chore. The same is true of children today.

Homework has been heavily debated for years, with popular opinion shifting in and out of favor over the generations. As both a teacher and a mother, I have mixed feelings on the issue. On one hand, I know the importance of skill practice. However, I also know how crucial it is for children to have time for play and exploring interests outside of school.

Homework has been heavily debated for years

Thankfully, I think there is a way to settle the ‘great homework debate’ by finding better alternatives.

Pros and Cons of Homework: The Good

Pros and Cons of Homework: The Good

The most influential part of homework is the habits it instills in students. In class, students are not often challenged to study and learn on their own; they are instead guided. With homework, students must force themselves to get the work done on their own time, instilling discipline and habits of work.

Discipline is especially relevant when these students start to work and, eventually, consider college. If they lack important studying habits, they will struggle in the self-lead world of college. But homework isn’t the only way teachers and parents can help children be more disciplined.

There are many other ways to strengthen this ability as well. One being providing structure and two, teaching problem-solving skills.

many other ways to strengthen this ability as well

Believe it or not, homework does help the student to learn the subject faster and with higher accuracy. In fact, scientific research shows there is no ‘math gene’ that makes people good at math. Instead, it takes practice.

When students approach high school, the amount of work assigned per night slowly rises. Additionally, the amount of work a student can handle with positive results raises over time as well. A high school student and an elementary schooler can’t handle the same amount of homework, which is why it is assigned in different quantities.

The benefits of homework start to degrade after two hours for high schoolers, an hour and a half for grades 7-9, 45 minutes for grades 3-6, and 15 minutes for grade k-2. So instead of getting rid of homework altogether, teachers can focus on assigning a reasonable amount of what really matters.

Pros and Cons of Homework: The Bad

Pros and Cons of Homework: The Bad

Excessive amounts of homework can take away from a student’s free time to engage in other activities. My middle schooler has struggled with this as tons of homework got in the way of doing what she loves, singing.

From sports to work to hobbies and clubs, there is a variety of things outside of homework that’s worth a student’s time. Finding balance is key. This can often be accomplished through schedule and routine.

Along with preventing outside growth, homework can lead to not just a full schedule, but a packed one. It is no secret this generation’s children are pressured more than any in the past to excel. From travel sports for elementary schoolers to thousand-dollar tutoring sessions to endless college visits – the stress is mounting.

Add homework on top of all this work, and the student is going to feel stressed out. The key is helping them feel successful while not overworking them at such a young age. I’ve found that a great way to do this is by making studying fun! If your child is one that hates math or doesn’t see the importance of reading , using interactive alternatives to study time is important.

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Introducing MATH! Grade 4 by ArgoPrep: 600+ Practice Questions

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I know you may be thinking, I don’t assign the homework, I don’t have control. But most teachers are flexible and will work with you if you explained how other practice alternatives are helping your child.

I think the proper way to go about handling the issue of homework is not full support or a complete ban, but a middle-ground approach.

Most of the cons of homework come from an excess of it, while most pros are from homework in moderation. It is clear homework helps, at least to an extent, and too much is indeed a bad thing. We can’t coddle our kids forever, but it’s irresponsible to force a 45+ hour work week on students.

If we want students to succeed, we need to add in extra work when they need it. We also need to include it in a personalized manner to work their weak spots and hold their interest.

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Homework is boring, we all know it, so why not look for a better option? Sometimes, students do need an extra push of outside learning to succeed; homework alone might not just be enough. ArgoPrep’s new K-8 math program might be the solution you need. Keep extra work useful, and with purpose, that’s why ArgoPrep’s service is such a great addition, it adds in what you need when you need it.

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The Pros and Cons of Homework: Is Homework Really Worth It?

why homework is bad pros and cons

Homework has been a long-debated topic in the realm of education. Homework used to be a given for teachers; all students were assigned homework. Nowadays, especially because of the initial year with COVID- 19, teachers are not assigning as much homework.

With COVID-19, the majority of students in a class do not complete homework. They sat around and texted while their classes were occurring. Some students have learned that they can get away with not completing it. Teachers are frustrated with the back and forth regarding homework so there has been a shift in the perspective. It is not assumed for each class anymore, but generally just assumed for certain core classes such as Math or Language Arts. So, what are the pros and cons of assigning homework to students?

The purpose of homework is to reinforce what students learn in the classroom and to prepare them for future academic tasks. However, there are a number of potential disadvantages to assigning homework. It can create more work for teachers and parents, be a source of stress for students, and can interfere with family time On the bright side, assigning homework can help students learn new material, help them develop study skills, and significantly reduce screen time.

The Cons of Homework

Completing homework incorrectly does more harm than good.

Con: Completing Homework Incorrectly Does More Harm Than Good

A large part of having homework is practicing a previous concept a student already learned. The student learns something that day during class, takes it home, and works on it a handful more times in order to instil the procedures and strategies in their head.

Occasionally, or sometimes more frequently with certain students, a student brings back a homework assignment almost all wrong. They didn’t pay attention during class and so when it came to the homework, they just guessed. As a teacher, it can be incredibly frustrating; the teacher is upset because they don’t know the concept and they’re starting to develop an incorrect way of solving or doing the concept.

If a student completes homework incorrectly, they become discouraged. They are also frustrated that they don’t understand the concept. They feel as if their time has been wasted. Well, because it kinda has. They spent 20 minutes, 45 minutes, or whatever it was, doing nothing beneficial with their time. The outcome they had from the homework didn’t create anything positive other than showing diligence in attempting to complete work.

Not Every Home Is Supportive of Completing Homework

For some students, their parents are incredibly supportive of the school; they continually check grades, they ask their students how school was that day, and some parents even help their students with their homework. This also creates a positive atmosphere to complete homework in. Students are more motivated and likely to complete their homework if someone else is showing interest in them completing it. Also, if the homework is challenging, it is better for the student’s level of understanding if an adult can help them.

Some parents could care less about school. Maybe the parent is so busy with work, they have no time to help and support their student. It could also be a circumstance where the parent struggled in school as well so they feel like individuals place too much emphasis regarding school.

In these instances where students are not supported, why would they do the homework? How could they do the homework? Students are generally motivated by things like getting their phone taken away or losing friend time, so if the parent doesn’t care enough for there to be possible negative outcomes, there might not be motivation there to do the homework.

It Discourages Opportunities for Other Activities

If students are doing homework, they are missing out on other activities. Spending time inside doing homework means no spending time outside on a bike. Spending time inside doing homework means not spending time watching a favorite TV show either. It is important for students to engage in other interests in their life outside of school. School goes alongside other interests a student has. School should not be the only thing they are worried about.

Play is an important part of a kid’s development. It gives kids the opportunity to be creative. Through being creative, they can develop in areas of dexterity, cognitive, emotional strength, and imagination, just to name a few. It is crucial for kids to run outside and play to make discoveries on their own.

Play can also strengthen a student’s interest in school . If they develop outside interests, they can apply these interests in a school setting. For example, if a student is interested in a specific football team, they might be provided with the opportunity to write a creative writing piece regarding a game played by that favorite team.

The Pros of Homework

Parents get more involved in their children’s learning.

why homework is bad pros and cons

When a parent knows more of what’s going on in a classroom, they can be more involved if they chose to do so! A parent can get more involved by helping their student with homework, working on the additional practice of what the student is currently learning, helping improve grades, and even asking the teacher questions.

Teachers most certainly appreciate when a parent wants to be involved in a student’s learning. It shows that they care. It also shows that they have their back when teaching the child. If a child is acting up, as a teacher, it is nice to know that the parent at home will support your efforts in trying to diminish a behavior or further understand a concept.

If requested by a parent, most teachers will even provide extra work for a student to practice more at home. Even though it might not account for any sort of credit, continually practicing a concept that the student does not understand will benefit them in the long run. Unfortunately, parents being supportive of homework is less common in the education world than you might think.

Even though the student is the one working on the homework, the homework is also the teacher providing the parent with the opportunity to speak up and become more involved. Teachers want parents to know what their child is working on during school. Teachers want parents to assist in making sure their student understands the concepts that are gone over during class.

Reinforces Learning and Practicing Good Study Habits

By having students complete homework, you are having them practice learning. Most things in life are learning. We constantly take in new information and remold it into a way that benefits us or a way we want to see it. With learning, we adapt new ways of doing something or even dislikes we might have. Students practicing a skill is important to mastering that skill. As time goes on, the hope is that students will realize they need to continually work on learning something in order to be a pro.

Practicing good study habits is a key outcome of homework. Most students are in school Kindergarten through 12th grade, with some even extending 15 years after 12th grade. Some individuals don’t realize the full extent of time they are in school. It is years and years and years. It is crucial to set yourself up for success by attending school for such a long time. By developing positive routines and effective methods of studying, a student will experience more wins during their time in school.

One of the more important study habits that develop from homework is t ime management skills . Developing the skill to know how long to spend on what things in life will allow a person to succeed. Students can use these skills on a daily basis to figure out how much time they will get to spend with friends or how long it takes them to get to and from school.

Time management skills are also so applicable to other things later in life. When students are learning time management skills with homework, they can apply this to spending time with friends, watching a television show, or even a job.

Can Reduce Screen Time

pro-can-reduce-screen-time

We spend so much time on devices, just about everyone included. We are on social media, reading articles, buying things, watching movies, etc. Especially now in the world of COVID- 19, even more, has been transferred to an online format. Students are on computers daily at most schools. When they get home, oftentimes students are on phones texting friends or on Snapchat. Completing homework instead of being on social media, means a reduced amount of time in front of a screen .

Now, some homework might be online, but not all homework is. Depending on the subject, teachers assign plenty of homework on paper. Most homework is on paper because teachers cannot assume a child has a device available at home to complete homework. Some families are low income and can’t afford to have a computer at home. Assigning homework on the computer would put low-income families at a disadvantage.

Related: What are the Pros and Cons of Virtual Learning?

The Bottom Line – Pros and Cons of Homework

Is assigning homework beneficial or hurtful? Every subject, teacher, and circumstance is different.

Homework can be a mainly positive item for some students and mainly a negative item for other students. The reason why it is such a debate is that a teacher is assigning homework for an entire class, not just one student. Even if they know each student well, there is no way that every single student has a supportive household.

If a teacher assigns homework, they are benefiting only part of the students. If a teacher doesn’t assign homework, they are giving the students, who would be completing it, a disadvantage.

Do the pros outweigh the cons with homework? What do you think?

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Pulse Nigeria

Here's why homework is bad according to research

It is probably best that schools ban homework totally.

For as long as we can all remember, homework has long been a part of the education system.

It is said that homework is a great way to reinforce learning, promote independent study habits, and prepare students for academic success.

However, recent research has revealed that homework might just have some negative effects. These include;

Negative impact on mental health

One reason why homework is bad is that it can have a negative impact on students' mental health. Excessive homework has been linked to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression, particularly among high school students who are already grappling with academic pressure and social obligations.

It reduces family time

Kids and students these days spend a lot of hours in school, and homework can encroach upon valuable family time when they are at home, depriving students of opportunities to bond with their loved ones, pursue hobbies, and engage in extracurricular activities. This lack of balance can lead to feelings of isolation and resentment, ultimately undermining the quality of family relationships.

It's not that effective in reinforcing learning

Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that homework may have limited effectiveness in reinforcing learning, especially when it involves rote memorisation or busywork. Instead of deepening understanding and mastery of concepts, excessive homework can lead to surface-level learning and a focus on grades rather than genuine comprehension.

Loss of interest in learning

Homework leads to stress in some students and this can in turn affect students' intrinsic motivation to learn and explore new ideas. Instead of making them love learning, excessive homework can instil a sense of apathy and disengagement, leading students to view education as a chore rather than a source of inspiration.

Impact on physical health

Spending long hours hunched over textbooks and screens trying to complete homework can take a toll on students' physical health, contributing to issues such as eyestrain, headaches, and poor posture. Lack of sufficient sleep, often a result of late-night homework sessions, can further compound these problems and impair cognitive function.

With these few reasons explaining why homework is bad, it is probably best that schools should ban homework totally. Or maybe I'm being biased because I actually hate doing homework, what do you think?

                  Homework might just have some negative effects [Education Hub]                 ©(c) provided by Pulse Nigeria

15 Should Homework Be Banned Pros and Cons

Homework was a staple of the public and private schooling experience for many of us growing up. There were long nights spent on book reports, science projects, and all of those repetitive math sheets. In many ways, it felt like an inevitable part of the educational experience. Unless you could power through all of your assignments during your free time in class, then there was going to be time spent at home working on specific subjects.

More schools are looking at the idea of banning homework from the modern educational experience. Instead of sending work home with students each night, they are finding alternative ways to ensure that each student can understand the curriculum without involving the uncertainty of parental involvement.

Although banning homework might seem like an unorthodox process, there are legitimate advantages to consider with this effort. There are some disadvantages which some families may encounter as well.

These are the updated lists of the pros and cons of banning homework to review.

List of the Pros of Banning Homework

1. Giving homework to students does not always improve their academic outcomes. The reality of homework for the modern student is that we do not know if it is helpful to have extra work assigned to them outside of the classroom. Every study that has looked at the subject has had design flaws which causes the data collected to be questionable at best. Although there is some information to suggest that students in seventh grade and higher can benefit from limited homework, banning it for students younger than that seems to be beneficial for their learning experience.

2. Banning homework can reduce burnout issues with students. Teachers are seeing homework stress occur in the classroom more frequently today than ever before. Almost half of all high school teachers in North America have seen this issue with their students at some point during the year. About 25% of grade school teachers say that they have seen the same thing.

When students are dealing with the impact of homework on their lives, it can have a tremendously adverse impact. One of the most cited reasons for students dropping out of school is that they cannot complete their homework on time.

3. Banning homework would increase the amount of family time available to students. Homework creates a significant disruption to family relationships. Over half of all parents in North America say that they have had a significant argument with their children over homework in the past month. 1/3 of families say that homework is their primary source of struggle in the home. Not only does it reduce the amount of time that everyone has to spend together, it reduces the chances that parents have to teach their own skills and belief systems to their kids.

4. It reduces the negative impact of homework on the health of a student. Many students suffer academically when they cannot finish a homework assignment on time. Although assumptions are often made about the time management skills of the individual when this outcome occurs, the reasons why it happens is usually more complex. It may be too difficult, too boring, or there may not be enough time in the day to complete the work.

When students experience failure in this area, it can lead to severe mental health issues. Some perceive themselves as a scholarly failure, which translates to an inability to live life successfully. It can disrupt a desire to learn. There is even an increased risk of suicide for some youth because of this issue. Banning it would reduce these risks immediately.

5. Eliminating homework would allow for an established sleep cycle. The average high school student requires between 8-10 hours of sleep to function at their best the next day. Grade-school students may require an extra hour or two beyond that figure. When teachers assign homework, then it increases the risk for each individual that they will not receive the amount that they require each night.

When children do not get enough sleep, a significant rest deficit occurs which can impact their ability to pay attention in school. It can cause unintended weight gain. There may even be issues with emotional control. Banning homework would help to reduce these risks as well.

6. It increases the amount of socialization time that students receive. People who are only spending time in school and then going home to do more work are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation. When these emotions are present, then a student is more likely to feel “down and out” mentally and physically. They lack meaningful connections with other people. These feelings are the health equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day. If students are spending time on homework, then they are not spending time connecting with their family and friends.

7. It reduces the repetition that students face in the modern learning process. Most of the tasks that homework requires of students is repetitive and uninteresting. Kids love to resolve challenges on tasks that they are passionate about at that moment in their lives. Forcing them to complete the same problems repetitively as a way to “learn” core concepts can create issues with knowledge retention later in life. When you add in the fact that most lessons sent for homework must be done by themselves, banning homework will reduce the repetition that students face, allowing for a better overall outcome.

8. Home environments can be chaotic. Although some students can do homework in a quiet room without distractions, that is not the case for most kids. There are numerous events that happen at home which can pull a child’s attention away from the work that their teacher wants them to do. It isn’t just the Internet, video games, and television which are problematic either. Household chores, family issues, employment, and athletic requirements can make it a challenge to get the assigned work finished on time.

List of the Cons of Banning Homework

1. Homework allows parents to be involved with the educational process. Parents need to know what their children are learning in school. Even if they ask their children about what they are learning, the answers tend to be in generalities instead of specifics. By sending home work from the classroom, it allows parents to see and experience the work that their kids are doing when they are in school during the day. Then moms and dads can get involved with the learning process to reinforce the core concepts that were discovered by their children each day.

2. It can help parents and teachers identify learning disabilities. Many children develop a self-defense mechanism which allows them to appear like any other kid that is in their classroom. This process allows them to hide learning disabilities which may be hindering their educational progress. The presence of homework makes it possible for parents and teachers to identify this issue because kids can’t hide their struggles when they must work 1-on-1 with their parents on specific subjects. Banning homework would eliminate 50% of the opportunities to identify potential issues immediately.

3. Homework allows teachers to observe how their students understand the material. Teachers often use homework as a way to gauge how well a student is understanding the materials they are learning. Although some might point out that assignments and exams in the classroom can do the same thing, testing often requires preparation at home. It creates more anxiety and stress sometimes then even homework does. That is why banning it can be problematic for some students. Some students experience more pressure than they would during this assessment process when quizzes and tests are the only measurement of their success.

4. It teaches students how to manage their time wisely. As people grow older, they realize that time is a finite commodity. We must manage it wisely to maximize our productivity. Homework assignments are a way to encourage the development of this skill at an early age. The trick is to keep the amount of time required for the work down to a manageable level. As a general rule, students should spend about 10 minutes each school day doing homework, organizing their schedule around this need. If there are scheduling conflicts, then this process offers families a chance to create priorities.

5. Homework encourages students to be accountable for their role. Teachers are present in the classroom to offer access to information and skill-building opportunities that can improve the quality of life for each student. Administrators work to find a curriculum that will benefit the most people in an efficient way. Parents work hard to ensure their kids make it to school on time, follow healthy routines, and communicate with their school district to ensure the most effective learning opportunities possible. None of that matters if the student is not invested in the work in the first place. Homework assignments not only teach children how to work independently, but they also show them how to take responsibility for their part of the overall educational process.

6. It helps to teach important life lessons. Homework is an essential tool in the development of life lessons, such as communicating with others or comprehending something they have just read. It teaches kids how to think, solve problems, and even build an understanding for the issues that occur in our society right now. Many of the issues that lead to the idea to ban homework occur because someone in the life of a student communicated to them that this work was a waste of time. There are times in life when people need to do things that they don’t like or want to do. Homework helps a student begin to find the coping skills needed to be successful in that situation.

7. Homework allows for further research into class materials. Most classrooms offer less than 1 hour of instruction per subject during the day. For many students, that is not enough time to obtain a firm grasp on the materials being taught. Having homework assignments allows a student to perform more research, using their at-home tools to take a deeper look into the materials that would otherwise be impossible if homework was banned. That process can lead to a more significant understanding of the concepts involved, reducing anxiety levels because they have a complete grasp on the materials.

The pros and cons of banning homework is a decision that ultimately lies with each school district. Parents always have the option to pursue homeschooling or online learning if they disagree with the decisions that are made in this area. Whether you’re for more homework or want to see less of it, we can all agree on the fact that the absence of any reliable data about its usefulness makes it a challenge to know for certain which option is the best one to choose in this debate.

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How americans view the situation at the u.s.-mexico border, its causes and consequences, 80% say the u.s. government is doing a bad job handling the migrant influx.

why homework is bad pros and cons

Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand the public’s views about the large number of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. at the border with Mexico. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,140 adults from Jan. 16-21, 2024. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology .

Here are the questions used for the report and its methodology .

The growing number of migrants seeking entry into the United States at its border with Mexico has strained government resources, divided Congress and emerged as a contentious issue in the 2024 presidential campaign .

Chart shows Why do Americans think there is an influx of migrants to the United States?

Americans overwhelmingly fault the government for how it has handled the migrant situation. Beyond that, however, there are deep differences – over why the migrants are coming to the U.S., proposals for addressing the situation, and even whether it should be described as a “crisis.”

Factors behind the migrant influx

Economic factors – either poor conditions in migrants’ home countries or better economic opportunities in the United States – are widely viewed as major reasons for the migrant influx.

About seven-in-ten Americans (71%), including majorities in both parties, cite better economic opportunities in the U.S. as a major reason.

There are wider partisan differences over other factors.

About two-thirds of Americans (65%) say violence in migrants’ home countries is a major reason for why a large number of immigrants have come to the border.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are 30 percentage points more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to cite this as a major reason (79% vs. 49%).

By contrast, 76% of Republicans say the belief that U.S. immigration policies will make it easy to stay in the country once they arrive is a major factor. About half as many Democrats (39%) say the same.

For more on Americans’ views of these and other reasons, visit Chapter 2.

How serious is the situation at the border?

A sizable majority of Americans (78%) say the large number of migrants seeking to enter this country at the U.S.-Mexico border is eithera crisis (45%) or a major problem (32%), according to the Pew Research Center survey, conducted Jan. 16-21, 2024, among 5,140 adults.

Related: Migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border hit a record high at the end of 2023 .

Chart shows Border situation viewed as a ‘crisis’ by most Republicans; Democrats are more likely to call it a ‘problem’

  • Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to describe the situation as a “crisis”: 70% of Republicans say this, compared with just 22% of Democrats.
  • Democrats mostly view the situation as a major problem (44%) or minor problem (26%) for the U.S. Very few Democrats (7%) say it is not a problem.

In an open-ended question , respondents voice their concerns about the migrant influx. They point to numerous issues, including worries about how the migrants are cared for and general problems with the immigration system.

Yet two concerns come up most frequently:

  • 22% point to the economic burdens associated with the migrant influx, including the strains migrants place on social services and other government resources.
  • 22% also cite security concerns. Many of these responses focus on crime (10%), terrorism (10%) and drugs (3%).

When asked specifically about the impact of the migrant influx on crime in the United States, a majority of Americans (57%) say the large number of migrants seeking to enter the country leads to more crime. Fewer (39%) say this does not have much of an impact on crime in this country.

Republicans (85%) overwhelmingly say the migrant surge leads to increased crime in the U.S. A far smaller share of Democrats (31%) say the same; 63% of Democrats instead say it does not have much of an impact.

Government widely criticized for its handling of migrant influx

For the past several years, the federal government has gotten low ratings for its handling of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Note: The wording of this question has been modified modestly to reflect circumstances at the time).

Chart shows Only about a quarter of Democrats and even fewer Republicans say the government has done a good job dealing with large number of migrants at the border

However, the current ratings are extraordinarily low.

Just 18% say the U.S. government is doing a good job dealing with the large number of migrants at the border, while 80% say it is doing a bad job, including 45% who say it is doing a very bad job.

  • Republicans’ views are overwhelmingly negative (89% say it’s doing a bad job), as they have been since Joe Biden became president.
  • 73% of Democrats also give the government negative ratings, the highest share recorded during Biden’s presidency.

For more on Americans’ evaluations of the situation, visit Chapter 1 .

Which policies could improve the border situation?

There is no single policy proposal, among the nine included on the survey, that majorities of both Republicans and Democrats say would improve the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. There are areas of relative agreement, however.

A 60% majority of Americans say that increasing the number of immigration judges and staff in order to make decisions on asylum more quickly would make the situation better. Only 11% say it would make things worse, while 14% think it would not make much difference.

Nearly as many (56%) say creating more opportunities for people to legally immigrate to the U.S. would make the situation better.

Chart shows Most Democrats and nearly half of Republicans say boosting resources for quicker decisions on asylum cases would improve situation at Mexico border

Majorities of Democrats say each of these proposals would make the border situation better.

Republicans are less positive than are Democrats; still, about 40% or more of Republicans say each would improve the situation, while far fewer say they would make things worse.

Opinions on other proposals are more polarized. For example, a 56% majority of Democrats say that adding resources to provide safe and sanitary conditions for migrants arriving in the U.S. would be a positive step forward.

Republicans not only are far less likely than Democrats to view this proposal positively, but far more say it would make the situation worse (43%) than better (17%).

Chart shows Wide partisan gaps in views of expanding border wall, providing ‘safe and sanitary conditions’ for migrants

Building or expanding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was among the most divisive policies of Donald Trump’s presidency. In 2019, 82% of Republicans favored expanding the border wall , compared with just 6% of Democrats.

Today, 72% of Republicans say substantially expanding the wall along the U.S. border with Mexico would make the situation better. Just 15% of Democrats concur, with most saying either it would not make much of a difference (47%) or it would make things worse (24%).

For more on Americans’ reactions to policy proposals, visit Chapter 3 .

Facts are more important than ever

In times of uncertainty, good decisions demand good data. Please support our research with a financial contribution.

Report Materials

Table of contents, fast facts on how greeks see migrants as greece-turkey border crisis deepens, americans’ immigration policy priorities: divisions between – and within – the two parties, from the archives: in ’60s, americans gave thumbs-up to immigration law that changed the nation, around the world, more say immigrants are a strength than a burden, latinos have become less likely to say there are too many immigrants in u.s., 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 .

I've been testing the Apple Vision Pro for 3 weeks — here's the pros and cons

What you need to know about Apple's spatial computer

Apple Vision Pro on table

  • Reasons to buy
  • Reasons to Skip

Bottom line

I'm writing this using the Apple Vision Pro with a supersized version of my MacBook desktop in front me that's way bigger than my work monitor, the Apple Music app pinned to the left in my home office and Slack pinned to the right by my window. I'm jamming to The Bravery's "Believe" and I think it's appropriate. Because Apple needs to get early adopters to believe enough in the concept of spatial computing to be willing to part with $3,500.

Now that I've been using the Vision Pro for a few weeks and testing out all of the best Vision Pro apps and experiences, I can say it feels just as magical as when I first tried it. But this is also a device that weighs on you after a while, both literally and figuratively. Who is the Vision Pro for really and is it really worth the premium? Here's 6 reasons to buy the Vision Pro and 3 reasons to skip it based on my testing. 

Reasons to Buy Apple Vision Pro

The eye-tracking interface and hand gestures are amazingly intuitive .

One of the best things about the Vision Pro is VisionOS and how you interact with it. There are no controllers to bother with here. You just stare at the app, link or other item you want to select and tap your fingers together. It's cool just to see the iOS-like app icons light up as your eyes dart around the Vision Pro's display. Yes, it just works.

The other gestures are just as intuitive. If you want to scroll sideways or up and down, you just put your fingers together and pull in the direction you want to go. Want to zoom in on a picture in the Photos app? Just bring your two hands together and then spread them apart. If you want to pull up the Control Panel at any time, you just look up and select the downward facing arrow.

It's a small thing, but the fact that you can use the Digital Crown to both control the level of immersion of your Environment and the volume depending on where you look is really clever.

Spatial computing takes multitasking to the next level

@tomsguide ♬ Aglow (Intro) - Slowed Down Version - Karamel Kel

Here's something you need to know about the Vision Pro. Yes, it's an augmented reality and virtual reality headset in one, but it's first and foremost a spatial computer. And that means multitasking like you've never seen or experienced before. 

With the Vision Pro you can pin multiple apps around the room you're in and easily move them and resize them. If you take the headset off, the Vision Pro is smart enough to remember where the apps were when you put it back on. 

It gets better: You can easily cut and paste from one app to another in VisionOS, as well as drag and drop content, such as pics from the Photos app into Messages. 

Awesome movie experience — especially in 3D — and Immersive video 

I have a confession. I hate watching 3D movies in the theaters because the effect generally feels cheap and not that convincing. But watching 3D movies through the Vision Pro looks and feels different than anything I've tried before. There's more than 200 movies available through the Apple TV app, and Disney Plus also offers more than 40 3D movies and counting.

I rewatched Avengers: Infinity War in 3D on Disney Plus using the Vision Pro, and it was like I was watching it for the first time. As Captain America hugged Bucky (The Winter Soldier) before Wakanda came under attack, there was an impressive level of depth to the characters without being too in your face. 

The next frontier is Immersive video, which put you front and center in a new 3D format with a 180-degree field of view captured with 8K cameras. I marveled as I saw a woman in front of me walk a tightrope in between two mountains 3,000 feet above the Earth. 

Impressive spatial photos and videos (and panoramas)

Spatial videos and photos are not exclusive to the Vision Pro, but this is the product that will put them on the map. It's not a coincidence that Meta has announced that it is bringing spatial photos and video support to the Meta Quest 3 and Meta Quest Pro .

The gist is that the Vision Pro can capture both 3D photos and videos you can play back in the headset itself, or you can capture spatial videos with your iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max and then view them in the Vision Pro. The effect is pretty mesmerizing. When watching a spatial video of my golden retriever I felt like I could reach out and pet him. I guarantee you will get emotional when using this feature.

Works with your MacBook like frickin' magic

The Vision Pro is a lot more valuable if you own one of the best MacBooks rather than a Windows laptop . And that's because Apple's headset works seamlessly with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with the Mac Virtual Display feature. Just stare at your MacBook and you'll see a Connect button floating above its screen. Tap connect and your desktop will pop off your laptop and into your virtual space.

From there, you can resize your desktop and get a sharp 4K picture. Even better, you can interact with this desktop just as you normally would, complete with keyboard and mouse support. 

Compelling AR apps and experiences

@tomsguide ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box - takaya

So far the Apple Vision Pro has more than 600 native apps, plus more than one million compatible iPhone and iPad apps. Some of the best Vision Pro apps so far include augmented reality experiences and games like Encounter Dinosaurs, where a dinosaur can follow your gaze and literally pops through the nearest wall to sniff you. 

I've also had a blast playing Synth Riders, a music and rhythm game that has you hit colored balls of lights to the beat, as well as What the Golf?, which puts a mini golf course right in your room and lets you walk around the course while maintaining great fidelity. The djay app is also compelling, letting you interact with a 3D turntable to perform various DJ effects. 

Reasons to skip Apple Vision Pro

The battery is always with you.

The Vision Pro feels like the future, but the included battery feels like an anchor into the past. While most VR and AR headsets have the battery built in, the Vision Pro has an external battery that must always be attached. 

This battery is heavier than the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the cord isn't that long, but you can easily use the Vision Pro with the battery in your pocket. When at your desk you can plug the battery in via the included 30W power adapter. 

It's kinda heavy

There's no getting around the fact that the Vision Pro is hefty. At 1.3 to 1.4 pounds, it's considerably heavier than the Meta Quest 3 , and it can get uncomfortable to wear after 30 minutes or so.

The good news is that you get two included headband options in the Solo Knit band and Dual Loop band, and the latter is the much better choice for more evenly distributing the weight across your head. I can wear the Vision Pro for up to a couple of hours without discomfort with that band, though you still feel some pressure.

Very expensive (not counting accessories!)

The Apple Vision Pro starts at $3,500, which is about the same price as the super premium 77-inch LG G3 OLED TV . But that's the starting price. 

If you want to use Zeiss lenses with the Vision Pro, you'll pay $99 for readers and $149 for a prescription. And if you want the carrying case — which looks like a big marshmallow —  you're looking at an additional $199. If you're worried about the Vision Pro's durability, you'll fork over $499 for Apple Care+ plan for unlimited repairs and damage protection.

Personas are creepy (for now)

@tomsguide ♬ Somewhere Only We Know (Remix) - Angga Sky

Some big missing apps like Netflix and YouTube

The Apple Vision Pro is missing some pretty heavy hitters in terms of native apps — at least for now. This includes Netflix and YouTube . In fact, there are no iPad-compatible versions of these apps either. I personally would like to see all the Google apps here, such as Google Drive and especially Google Meet so I could use my Persona during video calls with the rest of my team. 

The good news is that YouTube says that a native Vision Pro app is on the roadmap , so it could very well be in development right now. 

My Apple Vision Pro review goes into a lot more detail in terms of what this spatial computer is like to use. But if I had to sum up the Vision Pro in a few words: Amazing, immersive and pricey.

At $3,500 this is a tough sell for most, but I do think the Vision Pro is the best mixed reality headset by far and could be worth the premium for multitasking power users, business travelers and early adopters who want to be on the cutting edge.

Even if you can't afford one you owe it to yourself to try the Vision Pro at an Apple Store to get a taste of what the future of computing is like. Just make sure to not cross the street while wearing it. 

More from Tom's Guide

  • Best VR headsets
  • 7 ways Meta Quest 3 beats Apple Vision Pro
  • The best Apple Vision Pro alternatives

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Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar , Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

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Pics and it didn't happen —

Openai collapses media reality with sora, a photorealistic ai video generator, hello, cultural singularity—soon, every video you see online could be completely fake..

Benj Edwards - Feb 16, 2024 5:23 pm UTC

Snapshots from three videos generated using OpenAI's Sora.

On Thursday, OpenAI announced Sora , a text-to-video AI model that can generate 60-second-long photorealistic HD video from written descriptions. While it's only a research preview that we have not tested, it reportedly creates synthetic video (but not audio yet) at a fidelity and consistency greater than any text-to-video model available at the moment. It's also freaking people out.

Further Reading

"It was nice knowing you all. Please tell your grandchildren about my videos and the lengths we went to to actually record them," wrote Wall Street Journal tech reporter Joanna Stern on X.

"This could be the 'holy shit' moment of AI," wrote Tom Warren of The Verge.

"Every single one of these videos is AI-generated, and if this doesn't concern you at least a little bit, nothing will," tweeted YouTube tech journalist Marques Brownlee.

For future reference—since this type of panic will some day appear ridiculous—there's a generation of people who grew up believing that photorealistic video must be created by cameras. When video was faked (say, for Hollywood films), it took a lot of time, money, and effort to do so, and the results weren't perfect. That gave people a baseline level of comfort that what they were seeing remotely was likely to be true, or at least representative of some kind of underlying truth. Even when the kid jumped over the lava , there was at least a kid and a room.

The prompt that generated the video above: " A movie trailer featuring the adventures of the 30 year old space man wearing a red wool knitted motorcycle helmet, blue sky, salt desert, cinematic style, shot on 35mm film, vivid colors. "

Technology like Sora pulls the rug out from under that kind of media frame of reference. Very soon, every photorealistic video you see online could be 100 percent false in every way. Moreover, every historical video you see could also be false. How we confront that as a society and work around it while maintaining trust in remote communications is far beyond the scope of this article, but I tried my hand at offering some solutions  back in 2020, when all of the tech we're seeing now seemed like a distant fantasy to most people.

In that piece, I called the moment that truth and fiction in media become indistinguishable the "cultural singularity." It appears that OpenAI is on track to bring that prediction to pass a bit sooner than we expected.

Prompt: Reflections in the window of a train traveling through the Tokyo suburbs.

OpenAI has found that, like other AI models that use the transformer architecture, Sora scales with available compute . Given far more powerful computers behind the scenes, AI video fidelity could improve considerably over time. In other words, this is the "worst" AI-generated video is ever going to look. There's no synchronized sound yet, but that might be solved in future models.

How (we think) they pulled it off

AI video synthesis has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past two years. We first covered text-to-video models in September 2022 with Meta's Make-A-Video . A month later, Google showed off Imagen Video . And just 11 months ago, an AI-generated version of Will Smith eating spaghetti went viral. In May of last year, what was previously considered to be the front-runner in the text-to-video space, Runway Gen-2, helped craft a fake beer commercial full of twisted monstrosities, generated in two-second increments. In earlier video-generation models, people pop in and out of reality with ease, limbs flow together like pasta, and physics doesn't seem to matter.

Sora (which means "sky" in Japanese) appears to be something altogether different. It's high-resolution (1920x1080), can generate video with temporal consistency (maintaining the same subject over time) that lasts up to 60 seconds, and appears to follow text prompts with a great deal of fidelity. So, how did OpenAI pull it off?

OpenAI doesn't usually share insider technical details with the press, so we're left to speculate based on theories from experts and information given to the public.

OpenAI says that Sora is a diffusion model, much like DALL-E 3 and Stable Diffusion . It generates a video by starting off with noise and "gradually transforms it by removing the noise over many steps," the company explains. It "recognizes" objects and concepts listed in the written prompt and pulls them out of the noise, so to speak, until a coherent series of video frames emerge.

Sora is capable of generating videos all at once from a text prompt, extending existing videos, or generating videos from still images. It achieves temporal consistency by giving the model "foresight" of many frames at once, as OpenAI calls it, solving the problem of ensuring a generated subject remains the same even if it falls out of view temporarily.

OpenAI represents video as collections of smaller groups of data called "patches," which the company says are similar to tokens (fragments of a word) in GPT-4. "By unifying how we represent data, we can train diffusion transformers on a wider range of visual data than was possible before, spanning different durations, resolutions, and aspect ratios," the company writes.

An important tool in OpenAI's bag of tricks is that its use of AI models is compounding . Earlier models are helping to create more complex ones. Sora follows prompts well because, like DALL-E 3 , it utilizes synthetic captions that describe scenes in the training data generated by another AI model like GPT-4V . And the company is not stopping here. "Sora serves as a foundation for models that can understand and simulate the real world," OpenAI writes, "a capability we believe will be an important milestone for achieving AGI."

One question on many people's minds is what data OpenAI used to train Sora. OpenAI has not revealed its dataset, but based on what people are seeing in the results, it's possible OpenAI is using synthetic video data generated in a video game engine in addition to sources of real video (say, scraped from YouTube or licensed from stock video libraries). Nvidia's Dr. Jim Fan, who is a specialist in training AI with synthetic data, wrote on X, "I won't be surprised if Sora is trained on lots of synthetic data using Unreal Engine 5. It has to be!" Until confirmed by OpenAI, however, that's just speculation.

reader comments

Channel ars technica.

COMMENTS

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