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Why Homework Was Banned


In the early 1900s, Ladies' Home Journal took up a crusade against homework, enlisting doctors and parents who say it damages children's health. In 1901 California passed a law abolishing homework!


18 Advantages and Disadvantages of Homework Should Be Banned

Homework has been a part of the schooling experience for multiple generations. There are some lessons that are perfect for the classroom environment, but there are also some things that children can learn better at home. 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.

That means a first grader should spend about 10 minutes each night on homework. If you are a senior in high school, then the maximum limit would be two hours. For some students, that might still be too much extra time doing work. There are some calls to limit the amount of time spent on extra limits to 30 minutes per day at all of the older K-12 grades – and some are saying that homework should be banned outright.

Can teachers get all of the lessons taught in an appropriate way during the 1-2 hours per subject that they might get each day? Do parents have an opportunity to review what their children learn at school if none of the work ever gets brought back home?

There are several advantages and disadvantages of why homework should be banned from the current school structure.

List of the Advantages of Why Homework Should Be Banned

1. Homework creates a longer day for students than what parents work.
There are times when parents need to bring work home with them after a long day of productivity, but this time is usually part of a compensation package. Students do not receive the same luxury. After spending 6-8 hours at school, there might be two more hours of homework to complete before getting through all of the assignments that are due. That means some kids are putting in a longer working day than their parents. This disadvantage means there are fewer moments for going outside, spending time with friends, or pursuing a hobby.

2. There is no guarantee of an improved academic outcome.
Research studies provide conflicting results when looking at the impact of homework on a student’s life. Younger students may benefit from a complete ban so that they can separate their home and classroom experiences. Even older students who perform projects outside of the school benefit from time restrictions on this responsibility. Design flaws exist on both sides of the clinical work that looks at this topic, so there is no definitive scientific conclusion that points to a specific result. It may be better to err on the side of caution.

3. Homework restrictions reduce issues with classroom burnout for students.
Homework stress is a significant problem in the modern classroom for K-12 students. Even kids in grade school are finding it a challenge to maintain their performance because of the pressure that daily assignments cause. About 1 in 4 teachers in North America say that there are direct adverse impacts that happen because of the amount of learning required of students today. It can also cause older students to drop out of school because they can’t stay caught up on the work that they need to do.

When students have a chance to have time to pursue interests outside of the classroom, then it can create healthier learning opportunities in the future for them.

4. Banning homework would give families more time to spend together.
One in three American households with children say that the homework assignments that teachers give are the primary source of stress in their home. When kids must complete their work by a specific deadline, then there is less time for families to do activities together. Instead of scheduling their time around their free hours, they must balance homework requirements in their plans. There are even fewer moments for parents to be involved in the learning process because of the specific instructions that students must follow to stay in compliance with the assignment.

5. Student health is adversely impacted by too many homework assignments.
Kids of any age struggle academically when they do not have opportunities to finish their homework by a specific deadline. It is not unusual for school administrators and some teachers to judge children based on their ability to turn work in on time. If a child has a robust work ethic and still cannot complete the work, the negative approach that they might encounter in the classroom could cause them to abandon their learning goals.

This issue can even lead to the development of mental health problems. It can reduce a child’s self-esteem, prevent them from learning essential learning skills, and disrupt their ability to learn new skills in other areas of life outside of the classroom. Even the risk of self-harm and suicide increase because of excessive homework. That’s why banning it could be a healthy choice for some people.

6. Banning homework would help students get more sleep.
Teens need up to 10 hours of sleep each night to maximize their productivity. Students in grade school can need up to 12 hours nightly as well. When homework assignments are necessary and time consuming, then this issue can eat into the amount of rest that kids get each night. Every assignment given to a K-12 student increases their risks of losing at least one hour of sleep per night. This issue can eventually lead to sleep deficits that can create chronic learning issues. It may even lead to problems with emotional control, obesity, and attention problems. Banning homework would remove the issue entirely.

7. It would encourage dynamic learning opportunities.
There are some homework projects that students find to be engaging, such as a science fair project or another hands-on assignment. Many of the tasks that students must complete for their teachers involves repetition instead. You might see grade school students coming home with math sheets with 100 or more problems for them to solve. Reading assignments are common at all grades. Instead of learning the “why” behind the information they learn, the goal with homework is usually closer to memorization that it is to self-discovery. That’s why it can be challenging to retain the data that homework provides.

8. Banning homework would provide more time for peer socialization.
Students who are only spending time in school before going home to do homework for the rest of the evening are at a higher risk of experiencing isolation and loneliness. When these sentiments are present in the life of a child, then they are more likely to experience physical and mental health concerns that lead to shyness and avoidance.

These students lack essential connections with other people because of their need to complete homework. The adverse impact on the well being of a child is the equivalent of smoking more than a pack of cigarettes each day. If kids are spending time all of their time on homework, then they are not connecting with their family and friends.

9. Some students do not have a home environment that’s conducive to homework.
Although some kids can do their homework in a tranquil room without distress, that is not the case for most children. Numerous events happen at home that can shift a child’s attention away from the homework that their teacher wants them to complete. It isn’t just the TV, video games, and the Internet which are problematic either. Family problems, chores, an after-school job, and team sports can make it problematic to get the assignments finished on time.

Banning homework equalizes the playing field because teachers can control the classroom environment. They do not have control over when, where, or how their students complete assignments away from school.

10. It would eliminate the assignment of irrelevant work.
Homework can be a useful tool when teachers use it in targeted ways. There are times when these assignments are handed out for the sake of giving out busy work. If the content of the work is irrelevant to the lessons in the classroom, then it should not be handed out. It is unreasonable to expect that a student can generate excellent grades on work that is barely covered in the classroom.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that given students just four hours of take-home assignments per week has a detrimental impact on individual productivity. The average U.S. high school already pushes that limit by offering 3.5 hours of extra assignments per week.

List of the Disadvantages of Why Homework Should Be Banned

1. Teachers can see if students understand the materials being taught.
Homework allows a teacher to determine if a student has a grasp on the materials being taught in the classroom. Tests and school-based activities can provide this information as well, but not in the same way. If the data sticks outside of the educational setting, then this is an excellent indication that the process was effective for that individual. If there are gaps in knowledge that occur in the homework, then the learning process can become individualized to ensure the best possible results for each child.

2. Homework can reduce the stress and anxiety of test-taking.
Students often study for tests at home to ensure that they can pass with an acceptable grade. Walking into a classroom only prepared with the notes and memories of previous lessons can create high levels of fear that could impact that child’s final result. Banning homework could place more pressure on kids to succeed than what they currently experience today. This disadvantage would also create more labels in the classroom based on the performance of each child in unfair ways. Some students excel in a lecture-based environment, but others do better at home where there are fewer distractions.

3. Assignments can be an effective way to discover learning disabilities.
Kids do an excellent job of hiding their struggles in the classroom from adults. They use their disguises as a coping mechanism to help them blend in when they feel different. That behavior can make it a challenge to identify students who many benefit from a different learning approach in specific subjects. By assigning homework to each child periodically, there are more opportunities to identify the issues that can hold some people back. Then the teachers can work with the families to develop alternative learning plans that can make the educational process better for each student because individual assignments eliminate the ability to hide.

4. Parents are more involved in the learning process because of homework.
Parents need to know what their children are learning in school. Even if they ask their kids about what they are learning, the answers tend to be given in generalities. Without specific examples from the classroom, it is challenging to stay involved in a student’s educational process.

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. Then there is more adult involvement with the learning process, reinforcing the core ideas that were discovered by their kids each day.

5. Homework provides opportunities for students to use deeper research.
The average classroom in the United States provides less than 60 minutes of instruction for each subject daily. Generalist teachers in grade school might skip certain subjects on some days as well. When there are homework assignments going home, then it creates more chances to use the tools at home to learn more about what is happening at school. Taking a deeper look at specific subjects or lessons through independent study can lead to new thoughts or ideas that may not occur in the classroom environment. This process can eventually lead to a better understanding of the material.

6. The homework process requires time management and persistence to be successful.
Students must learn core life skills as part of the educational process. Time management skills are one of the most useful tools that can be in a child’s life toolbox. When you know how to complete work by a deadline consistently, then this skill can translate to an eventual career. Homework can also teach students how to solve complex problems, understand current events, or tap into what they are passionate about in life. By learning from an early age that there are jobs that we sometimes need to do even if we don’t want to them, the persistence lessons can translate into real successes later in life.

7. Assignments make students accountable for their role in the educational process.
Teachers cannot force a student to learn anything. There must be a desire present in the child to know more for information retention to occur. An education can dramatically improve the life of a child in multiple ways. It can lead to more income opportunities, a greater understanding of the world, and how to establish a healthy routine. By offering homework to students, teachers are encouraging today’s kids how to be accountable for their role in their own education. It creates opportunities to demonstrate responsibility by proving that the work can be done on time and to a specific quality.

8. It creates opportunities to practice time management.
There can be problems with homework for some students when they are heavily involved in extra-curricular activities. If you give a child two hours of homework after school and they have two hours of commitments to manage at the same time, then there are some significant challenges to their time management to solve. Time really is a finite commodity. If we are unable to manage it in wise ways, then our productivity levels are going to be limited in multiple ways. Creating a calendar with every responsibility and commitment helps kids and their families figure out ways to manage everything while pushing the learning process forward.

Verdict of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Banning Homework

Some students thrive on the homework they receive from their teachers each day. There are also some kids that struggle to complete even basic assignments on time because of their home environment. How can we find a balance between the two extremes so that every child can receive the best possible chance to succeed?

One solution is to ban homework entirely. Although taking this action would require teachers and parents to be proactive in their communication, it could help to equalize the educational opportunities in the classroom.

Until more research occurs in this area, the advantages and disadvantages of banning homework are subjective. If you feel that your child would benefit from a reduced workload, then speak with the teacher to see if this is an option. For teens and older students, there is always the option to pursue a different form of education, such as a vocational school or an apprenticeship, if the traditional classroom doesn’t seem to be working.

Author Biography
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.


When teachers give you many complex and time-consuming homework assignments, you can’t help but want to know some facts about homework. For instance, who invented it and what informed them? Did they really think assignments would be a great idea?
Generally, students hate the idea of spending hours in seclusion trying to finish assignment after school. They feel tired, stressed and restless especially if other family members are having great time together. Basically, no student likes doing assignments even the smartest ones.

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So, who invented it?
Roberto Nevilis is almost universally acknowledged for having invented homework. Roberto was a Venice or Italian school teacher at around 1095. However, nobody has really proven that he invented it. In fact, homework is probably as old as education itself. That’s because some experts agree that students were assigned tasks by their teachers in Ancient Rome. Even there is an evidence to prove that students in Ancient Rome received school assignments from their teachers. Pliny the Younger’s teacher, Quintilian, mentions it in his education work. In fact, there are stone tablets to prove that teachers gave students assignments at that time.
However, just like modern students, ancient students did not like assignments. Perhaps, that’s because ancient students were expected to help with domestic chores and complete academic tasks. Therefore, being assigned academic tasks implied that they couldn’t have time to complete essential domestic tasks. Homework was disliked by students to an extent where in 1901 a law that banned it from kindergarten to eighth grade was passed in California. Fortunately, unlike ancient students, modern students can get law assignment help online making finishing these tasks easier.

Why was it invented?
Roberto used homework to punish students. He also used it to ensure that his students understood and embraced the learnt lessons fully. However, since the invention emerged when a system for formal education was developed, it became part of the education system in the European countries.
In places like the United States however, people did not take education seriously until during the 20th century. In fact, education was seen as a nuisance because parents wanted their children to stay at home assisting with daily chores. Nevertheless, things changed after the World War II when the world needed educated people, especially scientists.

Homework today
Roberto did not probably expect modern students to be overloaded with school assignments when inventing it. In 1981, students were doing academic tasks for 44 minutes. Today, students are spending hours in secluded places struggling to finish assignments. Others get homework help to beat strict submission deadlines set by their teachers. This clearly shows that this task is no longer serving its intended purpose. Initially, the goal was to enable students to understand what they are taught in class. However, modern students are bombarded with complex assignments and this leaves them with no option but to seek assistance.
As a modern student, you don’t have to write assignments hurriedly and probably score poor grade after hours of seclusion. You can hire an online homework service to finish assignments fast and score better grades.


The Cult of Homework

America’s devotion to the practice stems in part from the fact that it’s what today’s parents and teachers grew up with themselves.

America has long had a fickle relationship with homework. A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed, which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh. This anti-homework sentiment faded, though, amid mid-century fears that the U.S. was falling behind the Soviet Union (which led to more homework), only to resurface in the 1960s and ’70s, when a more open culture came to see homework as stifling play and creativity (which led to less). But this didn’t last either: In the ’80s, government researchers blamed America’s schools for its economic troubles and recommended ramping homework up once more.

The 21st century has so far been a homework-heavy era, with American teenagers now averaging about twice as much time spent on homework each day as their predecessors did in the 1990s. Even little kids are asked to bring school home with them. A 2015 study, for instance, found that kindergarteners, who researchers tend to agree shouldn’t have any take-home work, were spending about 25 minutes a night on it.

But not without pushback. As many children, not to mention their parents and teachers, are drained by their daily workload, some schools and districts are rethinking how homework should work—and some teachers are doing away with it entirely. They’re reviewing the research on homework (which, it should be noted, is contested) and concluding that it’s time to revisit the subject.

Hillsborough, California, an affluent suburb of San Francisco, is one district that has changed its ways. The district, which includes three elementary schools and a middle school, worked with teachers and convened panels of parents in order to come up with a homework policy that would allow students more unscheduled time to spend with their families or to play. In August 2017, it rolled out an updated policy, which emphasized that homework should be “meaningful” and banned due dates that fell on the day after a weekend or a break.

“The first year was a bit bumpy,” says Louann Carlomagno, the district’s superintendent. She says the adjustment was at times hard for the teachers, some of whom had been doing their job in a similar fashion for a quarter of a century. Parents’ expectations were also an issue. Carlomagno says they took some time to “realize that it was okay not to have an hour of homework for a second grader—that was new.”

Most of the way through year two, though, the policy appears to be working more smoothly. “The students do seem to be less stressed based on conversations I’ve had with parents,” Carlomagno says. It also helps that the students performed just as well on the state standardized test last year as they have in the past.

Earlier this year, the district of Somerville, Massachusetts, also rewrote its homework policy, reducing the amount of homework its elementary and middle schoolers may receive. In grades six through eight, for example, homework is capped at an hour a night and can only be assigned two to three nights a week.

Jack Schneider, an education professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell whose daughter attends school in Somerville, is generally pleased with the new policy. But, he says, it’s part of a bigger, worrisome pattern. “The origin for this was general parental dissatisfaction, which not surprisingly was coming from a particular demographic,” Schneider says. “Middle-class white parents tend to be more vocal about concerns about homework … They feel entitled enough to voice their opinions.”

Schneider is all for revisiting taken-for-granted practices like homework, but thinks districts need to take care to be inclusive in that process. “I hear approximately zero middle-class white parents talking about how homework done best in grades K through two actually strengthens the connection between home and school for young people and their families,” he says. Because many of these parents already feel connected to their school community, this benefit of homework can seem redundant. “They don’t need it,” Schneider says, “so they’re not advocating for it.”

That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that homework is more vital in low-income districts. In fact, there are different, but just as compelling, reasons it can be burdensome in these communities as well. Allison Wienhold, who teaches high-school Spanish in the small town of Dunkerton, Iowa, has phased out homework assignments over the past three years. Her thinking: Some of her students, she says, have little time for homework because they’re working 30 hours a week or responsible for looking after younger siblings.

As educators reduce or eliminate the homework they assign, it’s worth asking what amount and what kind of homework is best for students. It turns out that there’s some disagreement about this among researchers, who tend to fall in one of two camps.

In the first camp is Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. Cooper conducted a review of the existing research on homework in the mid-2000s, and found that, up to a point, the amount of homework students reported doing correlates with their performance on in-class tests. This correlation, the review found, was stronger for older students than for younger ones.

This conclusion is generally accepted among educators, in part because it’s compatible with “the 10-minute rule,” a rule of thumb popular among teachers suggesting that the proper amount of homework is approximately 10 minutes per night, per grade level—that is, 10 minutes a night for first graders, 20 minutes a night for second graders, and so on, up to two hours a night for high schoolers.

In Cooper’s eyes, homework isn’t overly burdensome for the typical American kid. He points to a 2014 Brookings Institution report that found “little evidence that the homework load has increased for the average student” onerous amounts of homework, it determined, are indeed out there, but relatively rare. Moreover, the report noted that most parents think their children get the right amount of homework, and that parents who are worried about under-assigning outnumber those who are worried about over-assigning. Cooper says that those latter worries tend to come from a small number of communities with “concerns about being competitive for the most selective colleges and universities.”

According to Alfie Kohn, squarely in camp two, most of the conclusions listed in the previous three paragraphs are questionable. Kohn, the author of The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, considers homework to be a “reliable extinguisher of curiosity,” and has several complaints with the evidence that Cooper and others cite in favor of it. Kohn notes, among other things, that Cooper’s 2006 meta-analysis doesn’t establish causation, and that its central correlation is based on children’s (potentially unreliable) self-reporting of how much time they spend doing homework. (Kohn’s prolific writing on the subject alleges numerous other methodological faults.)

In fact, other correlations make a compelling case that homework doesn’t help. Some countries whose students regularly outperform American kids on standardized tests, such as Japan and Denmark, send their kids home with less schoolwork, while students from some countries with higher homework loads than the U.S., such as Thailand and Greece, fare worse on tests. (Of course, international comparisons can be fraught because so many factors, in education systems and in societies at large, might shape students’ success.)

Kohn also takes issue with the way achievement is commonly assessed. “If all you want is to cram kids’ heads with facts for tomorrow’s tests that they’re going to forget by next week, yeah, if you give them more time and make them do the cramming at night, that could raise the scores,” he says. “But if you’re interested in kids who know how to think or enjoy learning, then homework isn’t merely ineffective, but counterproductive.”

His concern is, in a way, a philosophical one. “The practice of homework assumes that only academic growth matters, to the point that having kids work on that most of the school day isn’t enough,” Kohn says. What about homework’s effect on quality time spent with family? On long-term information retention? On critical-thinking skills? On social development? On success later in life? On happiness? The research is quiet on these questions.

Another problem is that research tends to focus on homework’s quantity rather than its quality, because the former is much easier to measure than the latter. While experts generally agree that the substance of an assignment matters greatly (and that a lot of homework is uninspiring busywork), there isn’t a catchall rule for what’s best—the answer is often specific to a certain curriculum or even an individual student.

Given that homework’s benefits are so narrowly defined (and even then, contested), it’s a bit surprising that assigning so much of it is often a classroom default, and that more isn’t done to make the homework that is assigned more enriching. A number of things are preserving this state of affairs—things that have little to do with whether homework helps students learn.

Jack Schneider, the Massachusetts parent and professor, thinks it’s important to consider the generational inertia of the practice. “The vast majority of parents of public-school students themselves are graduates of the public education system,” he says. “Therefore, their views of what is legitimate have been shaped already by the system that they would ostensibly be critiquing.” In other words, many parents’ own history with homework might lead them to expect the same for their children, and anything less is often taken as an indicator that a school or a teacher isn’t rigorous enough. (This dovetails with—and complicates—the finding that most parents think their children have the right amount of homework.)

Barbara Stengel, an education professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, brought up two developments in the educational system that might be keeping homework rote and unexciting. The first is the importance placed in the past few decades on standardized testing, which looms over many public-school classroom decisions and frequently discourages teachers from trying out more creative homework assignments. “They could do it, but they’re afraid to do it, because they’re getting pressure every day about test scores,” Stengel says.

Second, she notes that the profession of teaching, with its relatively low wages and lack of autonomy, struggles to attract and support some of the people who might reimagine homework, as well as other aspects of education. “Part of why we get less interesting homework is because some of the people who would really have pushed the limits of that are no longer in teaching,” she says.

“In general, we have no imagination when it comes to homework,” Stengel says. She wishes teachers had the time and resources to remake homework into something that actually engages students. “If we had kids reading—anything, the sports page, anything that they’re able to read—that’s the best single thing. If we had kids going to the zoo, if we had kids going to parks after school, if we had them doing all of those things, their test scores would improve. But they’re not. They’re going home and doing homework that is not expanding what they think about.”

“Exploratory” is one word Mike Simpson used when describing the types of homework he’d like his students to undertake. Simpson is the head of the Stone Independent School, a tiny private high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that opened in 2017. “We were lucky to start a school a year and a half ago,” Simpson says, “so it’s been easy to say we aren’t going to assign worksheets, we aren’t going assign regurgitative problem sets.” For instance, a half-dozen students recently built a 25-foot trebuchet on campus.

Simpson says he thinks it’s a shame that the things students have to do at home are often the least fulfilling parts of schooling: “When our students can’t make the connection between the work they’re doing at 11 o’clock at night on a Tuesday to the way they want their lives to be, I think we begin to lose the plot.”

When I talked with other teachers who did homework makeovers in their classrooms, I heard few regrets. Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher in Joshua, Texas, stopped assigning take-home packets of worksheets three years ago, and instead started asking her students to do 20 minutes of pleasure reading a night. She says she’s pleased with the results, but she’s noticed something funny. “Some kids,” she says, “really do like homework.” She’s started putting out a bucket of it for students to draw from voluntarily—whether because they want an additional challenge or something to pass the time at home.

Chris Bronke, a high-school English teacher in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, told me something similar. This school year, he eliminated homework for his class of freshmen, and now mostly lets students study on their own or in small groups during class time. It’s usually up to them what they work on each day, and Bronke has been impressed by how they’ve managed their time.

In fact, some of them willingly spend time on assignments at home, whether because they’re particularly engaged, because they prefer to do some deeper thinking outside school, or because they needed to spend time in class that day preparing for, say, a biology test the following period. “They’re making meaningful decisions about their time that I don’t think education really ever gives students the experience, nor the practice, of doing,” Bronke said.

The typical prescription offered by those overwhelmed with homework is to assign less of it—to subtract. But perhaps a more useful approach, for many classrooms, would be to create homework only when teachers and students believe it’s actually needed to further the learning that takes place in class—to start with nothing, and add as necessary.


Is Homework Beneficial? – Top 3 Pros and Cons

A child working on homework.
Source: lourdesnique, pixabay.com, May 25, 2016

What are the pros and cons of homework? Is it beneficial? From dioramas to book reports, and algebraic word problems to research projects, the type and amount of homework given to students has been debated for over a century. [1]

In the early 1900s, progressive education theorists decried homework’s negative impact on children’s physical and mental health, leading California to ban homework for students under 15. [2][1] Public opinion swayed in favor of homework in the 1950s due to concerns about keeping up with the Soviet Union’s technological advances. [3]

Today, kindergarten to fifth graders have an average of 2.9 hours of homework per week, sixth to eighth graders have 3.2 hours per teacher, and ninth to twelfth graders have 3.5 hours per teacher, meaning a high school student with five teachers could have 17.5 hours of homework a week. [4] Teenagers now spend about twice as much time on homework each day as compared to teens in the 1990s. [44]

Proponents of homework say that it improves student achievement and allows for independent learning of classroom and life skills. They also say that homework gives parents the opportunity to monitor their child’s learning and see how they are progressing academically.

Opponents of homework say that too much may be harmful for students as it can increase stress, reduce leisure and sleep time, and lead to cheating. They also say that it widens social inequality and is not proven to be beneficial for younger children.

Is Homework Beneficial?

Pro 1

Homework improves student achievement.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” [6]

On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. [7] A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. [7] [8]

Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school. [10]

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Pro 2

Homework helps to reinforce learning and develop good study habits and life skills.

Everyone knows that practice makes perfect. Students typically retain only 50% of the information teachers provide in class, and they need to apply that information in order to truly learn it. [11]

Homework helps students to develop key skills that they’ll use throughout their lives, such as accountability, autonomy, discipline, time management, self-direction, critical thinking, and independent problem-solving. [12] [13] [14] [15]

A study of elementary school students who were taught “strategies to organize and complete homework,” such as prioritizing homework activities, collecting study materials, note-taking, and following directions, showed increased grades and positive comments on report cards. [17]

Research by the City University of New York noted that “students who engage in self-regulatory processes while completing homework,” such as goal-setting, time management, and remaining focused, “are generally more motivated and are higher achievers than those who do not use these processes.” [18]

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Pro 3

Homework allows parents to be involved with their child's learning.

Thanks to take-home assignments, parents are able to track what their children are learning at school as well as their academic strengths and weaknesses. [12]

Data from a nationwide sample of elementary school students show that parental involvement in homework can improve class performance, especially among economically disadvantaged African-American and Hispanic students. [20]

Research from Johns Hopkins University found that an interactive homework process known as TIPS (Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork) improves student achievement: “Students in the TIPS group earned significantly higher report card grades after 18 weeks (1 TIPS assignment per week) than did non-TIPS students.” [21]

Homework can also help clue parents in to the existence of any learning disabilities their children may have, allowing them to get help and adjust learning strategies as needed. [12] Duke University professor Harris Cooper, PhD, noted, “Two parents once told me they refused to believe their child had a learning disability until homework revealed it to them.” [12]

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Con 1

Too much homework can be harmful.

A poll of high school students in California found that 59% thought they had too much homework. [24] 82% of respondents said that they were “often or always stressed by schoolwork.” [28]

Alfie Kohn, an education and parenting expert, said, “Kids should have a chance to just be kids and do things they enjoy, particularly after spending six hours a day in school. After all, we adults need time just to chill out it’s absurd to insist that children must be engaged in constructive activities right up until their heads hit the pillow.” [27]

High-achieving high school students say too much homework leads to sleep deprivation and other health problems such as headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, and stomach problems. [29]

Excessive homework leads to cheating: 90% of middle school students and 67% of high school students admit to copying someone else’s homework, [30] and 43% of college students engaged in “unauthorized collaboration” on out-of-class assignments. [31] Even parents take shortcuts on homework: 43% of those surveyed admitted to having completed a child’s assignment for them. [32]

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Con 2

Homework disadvantages low-income students.

41% of US kids live in low-income families, which are less likely to have access to the resources needed to complete homework, such as pens and paper, a computer, internet access, a quiet work space, and a parent at home to help. [34] [35] They are also more likely to have to work after school and on weekends, or look after younger siblings, leaving less time for homework. [35] [25] [36]

A study by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation found that 96.5% of students across the country said they needed to use the internet for class assignments outside of school, and nearly half reported there had been times they were unable to complete their homework due to lack of access to the internet or a computer, sometimes resulting in lower grades. [37] [38]

Private tutoring is a more than $6 billion enterprise that further advantages students from wealthier families. [25] [39] A study published in the International Journal of Education and Social Science concluded that homework increases social inequality because it “potentially serves as a mechanism to further advantage those students who already experience some privilege in the school system while further disadvantaging those who may already be in a marginalized position.” [39]

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Con 3

There is a lack of evidence that homework helps younger children.

An article published in the Review of Educational Research reported that “in elementary school, homework had no association with achievement gains” when measured by standardized tests results or grades. [7]

Fourth grade students who did no homework got roughly the same score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math exam as those who did 30 minutes of homework a night. Students who did 45 minutes or more of homework a night actually did worse. [41]

Temple University professor Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, says that homework is not the most effective tool for young learners to apply new information: “They’re learning way more important skills when they’re not doing their homework.” [42]

An entire elementary school district in Florida enacted a policy that replaced traditional homework with 20 minutes of reading each night – and students get to pick their reading material. [43] A study by the University of Michigan found that reading for pleasure – but not homework – was “strongly associated with higher scores on all achievement tests” for children up to 12 years old. [40]

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Discussion Questions

1. What rules would you set for homework if you were in charge? Would you set limits on how much was allowed, and would that vary by grade level? Would you make rules for what kind of assignments teachers could give?

2. What other pros and cons can you list for homework? Which side has the best arguments?

3. Should students be allowed to get help on their homework from parents or other people they know? Why or why not?

Take Action

1. Examine an argument in favor of quality homework assignments from Janine Bempechat.

2. Explore Oxford Learning’s infographic on the effects of homework on students.

3. Consider Joseph Lathan’s argument that homework promotes inequality.

4. Consider how you felt about the issue before reading this article. After reading the pros and cons on this topic, has your thinking changed? If so, how? List two to three ways. If your thoughts have not changed, list two to three ways your better understanding of the “other side of the issue” now helps you better argue your position.

5. Push for the position and policies you support by writing US national senators and representatives.


Here are 10 reasons why homework is good, especially for the sciences, such as chemistry:

  1. Doing homework teaches you how to learn on your own and work independently. You'll learn how to use resources such as texts, libraries, and the internet. No matter how well you thought you understood the material in class, there will be times when you'll get stuck doing homework. When you face the challenge, you learn how to get help, how to deal with frustration, and how to persevere.
  2. Homework helps you learn beyond the scope of the class. Example problems from teachers and textbooks show you how to do an assignment. The acid test is seeing whether you truly understand the material and can do the work on your own. In science classes, homework problems are critically important. You see concepts in a whole new light, so you'll know how equations work in general, not just how they work for a particular example. In chemistry, physics, and math, homework is truly important and not just busywork.
  3. It shows you what the teacher thinks is important to learn, so you'll have a better idea of what to expect on a quiz or test.
  4. It's often a significant part of your grade. If you don't do it, it could cost you, no matter how well you do on exams.
  5. Homework is a good opportunity to connect parents, classmates, and siblings with your education. The better your support network, the more likely you are to succeed in class.
  6. Homework, however tedious it might be, teaches responsibility and accountability. For some classes, homework is an essential part of learning the subject matter.
  7. Homework nips procrastination in the bud. One reason teachers give homework and attach a big part of your grade to it is to motivate you to keep up. If you fall behind, you could fail.
  8. How will you get all your work done before class? Homework teaches you time management and how to prioritize tasks.
  9. Homework reinforces the concepts taught in class. The more you work with them, the more likely you are to learn them.
  10. Homework can help boost self-esteem. Or, if it's not going well, it helps you identify problems before they get out of control.

Why Was Homework Invented?

As mentioned before, public school systems have been around for less than 200 years. Before that, education used to be a luxury only the privileged few could enjoy, as well as those which were studying to become priests. Most people were uneducated and so were their children, and even as first public schools appeared, children weren’t spending a lot of time in them, let alone doing homework afterward, because they were expected to help with running a household.

Well, how did homework start then? Seeing as the industrial revolution opened new jobs which required advanced skills, students were taught subject matter which was more complex, and it was probably impossible for them to learn everything by just paying attention in class, and that is probably why teachers had homework invented. It wasn’t devised as a way of punishing misbehaving students, as most seem to think. It was the changing industrial and economic landscape that indirectly made homework a permanent staple of modern education.


Effects of Homework on Students’ Lives

Without any doubts homework plays a very important part in engaging scholars outside classrooms. It has lots of benefits for students of various academic levels, like improving organization skills and managing time properly. It also helps students to think critically and beyond knowledge, which they receive in the class.

However, all such benefits occur only if students are ready to study and are open for new knowledge. The most challenging part is the more information and homework they are given, the more stressed and unwilling to learn they become. That is why it is so important to know what negative effects of homework are and how to prevent them.

If you want to get the maximum out of your student years or help your children to enjoy school or college, this article is definitely for you. Moreover, we will give you latest data on the matter, so you won’t have to doubt what effect homework has on health and overall wellbeing. And if you’re experiencing some issues with your homework or simply have no time for it, we recommend you to use our “Do My Homework” services. We got you covered!


5 Reasons Why Homework Is Bad For Your Child

School is a crucial aspect of children’s lives. If they are unable to go school each day to acquire the skills they require to be successful in life, then they will be at a disadvantage for their entire lives. While school is an important part of a child’s life, it’s also as important that the child takes a break from his education. Multiple studies have found that most students are getting too much extra assignments, leading to sleep deprivation, unhealthy levels of stress, as well as related health problems. Let’s now dive deep and look at why homework is bad for students.

Extra assignments given to children, particularly younger school going children, can lead to unhealthy levels of stress, according to research. If bombarded with countless lessons at school and at home, students may feel stress and anxiety should they fail to complete the assignment on time. Students need to learn in a classroom setting, but they should also be able to spend some time exploring other things outside of the classroom.

The second reason that student should not be given homework is that they require time to rest and take their minds off school work. With all the activities in school, students, particularly those in the kindergarten, are already weary when they get home. They have spent the day solving difficult math problems, reading several chapters and memorizing long lines in school. So bombarding them with homework will make them feel burnt out.

Rather than improving educational achievement, heavy homework load can negatively affect the performance of students. The stress of having to complete homework every other night can affect the student’s performance is school. Students need to learn things in a classroom environment, but they also need to be able to spend time exploring other activities outside of school, spend time with friends, go on family vacation, to name a few.

While teachers do their best to give children homework that will engage their child, it’s hard to see the value in the work kids take home. This is because some parents or tutors are the ones doing these assignments. This means that the benefits of homework tasks as the learning tool are entirely lost. The excessive amount of homework may also mean that the child is not able to commit as much time to every task as he should.

As stated earlier, children need time to spend with their family, catch up with friends and attend extracurricular activities so they can refresh their minds and bodies. Sadly, homework eats up the time children have to do all these. For older students, school work might also compete with both part-time and casual work, making it difficult for them to strike a balance between school and work.

There you have it, five reasons why homework is bad for your child. A number of studies have found that homework negatively affect the life of school children in many ways. Free-time plays a major role in fostering creativity and emotional development — factors as important to long-term success as education itself.


How Teachers Can Help

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

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

Joseph Lathan, PhD

Dr. Lathan has 18 years of experience in Higher Education Administration with 16 of those years in Online Education Administration. His areas of expertise include online learning pedagogy and online teaching and learning best practices.

Dr. Lathan earned his B.S. in Psychology from Empire State College, his M.S. in Education Administration from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.


Watch the video: Is Homework Necessary? (January 2022).