Is Homework Good

As 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:

The issue

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.

The debate

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.”

  • We need family time .Next is cheating

    NO we need family time because it is important for are lives because it only happens once in a life time it is special four your family.Next it will involve kids to cheat and get good grads on it and we learn enough at school all ready that is why i say no from a 5th grader.

  • We need family time .Next is cheating

    NO we need family time because it is important for are lives because it only happens once in a life time it is special four your family.Next it will involve kids to cheat and get good grads on it and we learn enough at school all ready that is why i say no from a 5th grader.

  • Homework is bad

    Homework is bad because it messes up your schedule and its wasting time when have to do something you cant because you have to do homework and you need to relax instead of doing HOMEWORK.When you find something you don't know on your homework you get frustrated and so does your parents cause they don't feel like helping you. And if you get too much HOMEWORK your teachers dont feel like grading it they just give back and you barely learn stuff.

  • Homework Is Good Why?

    Homework Can Make Kids Focus And Enhance Kids Learning Experience And Can Even Make Parents And Teachers Partnership . So, why Might A Parent Fells That Homework Turns Home Into A Battleground. If Kids Didn't Have Homework They Would Fry There Brains And Make Them Not As Smart So kids Can Learn Better. From: A Faith Grader

  • No! It's not good all the time!

    When ppl get home they usually have plans like, sports practice, a trip to a relatives house, ect. And it's not fair that as soon as kids get home they have to keep working. They should be able to relax and spend more time with family. Homework can even increase stress levels with some kids. And to some kids who are gifted it is a waste of time!

  • Homework is a waste of time.

    When you get home, you usually have plans or after school activities. Homework gets in the way of that. Homework is meant to REMIND YOU of what you did that day. It is not meant to be extra work. Homework is a useless use of our time. WE NEED RELAXATION!

  • Homework? No way! :-(

    Yes homework can be good and can possibly help a student learn more but, that is only if that particular student enjoys homework and knowing the kids in my class only like one or two does. I'm sixth grade and the homework we get is either too hard or too easy, and most of us have plans after school. Homework is a pain in the neck, literally! Kids need to learn those concepts at school not at home, their parents are their parents not their teachers! Also, some kids in my class, and also all over the world, might struggle in class, that doesn't mean they have to take it home! They can just stay after school, or in at recess and have the teacher explain to them and help them. Plus, homework is just a huge waste of time and by the time your done it's dinner time! And you only have about two or three hours to play. And now a days even preschoolers are getting homework! That's not cool, at all! Kids need to be kids, that means that they should be able to run, play, and relax not have to think about math. Did you know that 1/3 of kids cheat? And 94% use their phone during class? That's why we should not have more homework.

  • I hate homework >:I

    Kids should deffinitly NOT have homework. It's stressful and annoying. What's the point of going to school to do work, then coming back home to do more? Kids need to be kids. I want to get social with my friends, but I can't. Mum always tells me to do my HOMEWORK. It's taking up my time to be a kid, for god sake. It's also really tiring to be up all night doing something our teacher expects us to do. A lot of kids already have enough on their plate! Teachers should stop expecting too much from us. Kids hate homework.

  • Can be viewed as mechanical work.

    Homework is bad, IF it gets daunting. Unless if the education system were to somehow inspire kids on each of the school subjects each student is taking, then it is certain that kids will complain. Take the US education system(s) for example. According to surveys from OECD, the majority of the kids hate math as of 2012. In Canada, its over 90%. Why? Part of it is because a lot of teachers, most holding a BA, and not a BSci (or similar degrees) do not feel comfortable with the content. Therefore, they may not feel confident in teaching the content. Thus students are less likely to be inspired. When students ask "Why am I learning this?", the teachers can answer, "Because it is important. And if you don't do it, you get detention.", especially in the elementary levels. This can be true in other subjects depending on each situation.

    In addition, learning loss is a concern for students around the world. If students do not apply an advanced skill such as calculus in life, then they will likely forget the content.

    Yes, homework can be beneficial, but only to the best interests of children.

  • Homework is not good

    Homework isn't good because it limits the social time in students life. By doing this we are limiting the advance of our country. By our kids not learning how to socialize we are making our children less proactive in the real world. We are constricting the advance of our country.

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