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The Case Against Homework
Consequences for high school students

Homework was designed to build on skills covered extensively in class. I should be able to complete an assignment with little to no confusion at home as long as it involves previously learned skills. Two recommendations stood out for me:. Many of the homework assignments I have received throughout my years of schooling have involved activities not previously practiced.

When a teacher assigns homework incorporating information that was just recently taught or not taught at all, it puts a tremendous amount of stress on students. Worse yet, I think, it puts a great deal of stress on our parents. We rely on our parents to help us be successful.

Our parents have to figure out how to do the assignment and then teach it to us. Students who have no help at home, therefore, are at a total disadvantage and their grades might falter because of this lack of assistance.

If teachers use homework as additional or extended practice, we should be able to do homework with few, if any, difficulties. Our parents can simply check over our homework. I often get calls from my friends asking me how to complete assignments, and I think about how lucky I am to have parents who can actually help me with my homework. Second, homework should not exceed two hours per night.

Again, Cooper provides recommendations about the length of homework. He says the following p. If we assume that we know how to do the homework we are assigned, we should be able to complete it in a reasonable amount of time. But consider the schedules of many high school students: We have to make time to eat dinner and complete our chores.

Now add on three or more hours of homework a night and you have instant stress, not only for students but also for their families. I have known my peers to stay up until midnight trying to finish their homework on top of everything else they have to do in their busy lives.

These students are not always procrastinators—they just simply cannot do it all. Additionally, some teachers assign homework before a test day.

One homework fact that educators do agree upon is that the young child today is doing more homework than ever before. Gill quantifies the change this way: In his research, Gill found that homework has always been controversial.

They thought that kids were better off spending their time outside playing and looking at clouds. The most spectacular success this movement had was in the state of California, where in the legislature passed a law abolishing homework in grades K That lasted about 15 years and then was quietly repealed. Then there was a lot of activism against homework again in the s. The proponents of homework have remained consistent in their reasons for why homework is a beneficial practice, says Gill.

Second, it develops habits of independent study. It gives parents an idea of what their kids are doing in school. The anti-homework crowd has also been consistent in their reasons for wanting to abolish or reduce homework. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems. There were also concerns about excessive amounts of stress. Also, a lot of the opposition to homework, in the first half of the 20th century, was motivated by a notion that it was a leftover from a 19th-century model of schooling, which was based on recitation, memorization and drill.

Progressive educators were trying to replace that with something more creative, something more interesting to kids. Cooper sees the trend toward more homework as symptomatic of high-achieving parents who want the best for their children. The communities in which homework is being piled on are generally affluent communities. Fortunately, there are some sanity-saving homework guidelines. In other words, 10 minutes for first-graders, 20 for second-graders and so on. Cooper has found that the correlation between homework and achievement is generally supportive of these guidelines.

Garfield has a very clear homework policy that she distributes to her parents at the beginning of each school year. It should be done within half an hour at most. I believe that children have many outside activities now and they also need to live fully as children. To have them work for six hours a day at school and then go home and work for hours at night does not seem right.

How do American kids fare when compared to students in other countries? World Culture and the Future of Schooling, that American middle-schoolers do more homework than their peers in Japan, Korea or Taiwan, but less than their peers in Singapore and Hong Kong. One of the surprising findings of their research was that more homework does not correlate with higher test scores. To be effective, homework must be used in a certain way, he says. Most homework in the fourth grade in the U.

Fill them out, turn them in, maybe the teacher will check them, maybe not. That is a very ineffective use of homework. Where did you have difficulty?

Homework studies

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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.

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Many students and their parents are frazzled by the amount of homework being piled on in the schools. Yet researchers say that American students have just the right amount of homework. Guest blogger Glenn Whitman, Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, suggests a scientific approach to manageable homework: students should do it without interruption, and schools shouldn't assign too much of it.

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If students do not want to study, then they have no homework (although choosing not to study might jeopardize their grades). The research I read found benefits for homework. Students do better in school if they have homework assignments and actually complete them; they get better test scores too. Homework for kids: Tap Your Feet: Understandably, some people can't concentrate with music playing. But if putting tunes on helps you plow through assignments, slip your favorite CD in the stereo or turn the radio on, and do your work to the flow of the melody.