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The No Homework Debate

  • Homework is the reason I fail.

    I am a high school junior, every day I get 12+ pages of homework minimum. Because I cannot possibly do all of this and help around the house as I am the only one able to do so, and therefore I have no time to study my material and therefore my test grades suffer as a result.

  • Homework is like slavery.

    It's basically forcing students to go home after a stressful day of school and activities and do pointless homework. Teachers should be teaching these things in class, not making the students learn it themselves. It's preventing children from leading balanced lifestyles, with a healthy amount of sleep and activities to keep them fit and active. How is a student supposed to do 3 to 4 hours of homework, study for a plethora of tests and quizzes, play sports, get involved in the community, eat food with nutritional value, and get an adequate amount of sleep, all in one day? That's not possible. The amount of stress homework causes kids is ridiculous, especially when they're already under so much pressure to get into a good college and do well in school, along with making friends and staying active. Homework is not necessary.

  • Homework should be banned.

    Why Homework Is Bad
    Are you a kid who hates homework!? Well I am one! Did you know that homework leads to bad grades and overwhelmed cranky kids? It can also lead to stressed out children that can throw fits. Also, homework gives less time for a kid to be a kid. There should be no homework for all children. No homework is even good for teachers because they don’t need to correct it because they already have enough to correct

    In some schools children can get homework as early as kindergarten, or by the third grade. Homework has been annoying many children by the fourth grade. At elementary school, especially, this is a bad idea because many young students are known for having very short attention spans. They have already been forced to sit and learn for approximately 6 1/2 hours at school, with usually only 2 short recess breaks and lunch and they are also very known to like to talk and chat a lot.

    By the time school is out, the kids just want to go home, relax, and be who they are ! It also affects families because Homework trouble = school trouble = family trouble. It is the rare for a child to enjoy homework F.Y.I. .For some students they can be stressed out when they get home and throw fits and for all students they have been exercising their brains at school all day long and at home they are supposed to relax their brain for the next day at school, and if you are not remembering good blame it on the teacher for putting the subject at the wrong time when the students are tired (after recess etc.) or the teacher is not explaining it good.


    Some teachers do not answer a students question which would of helped the student to learn better and teachers always used to say to me “Learning is fun!” well I think now math and school now is a lot harder than in the 70’s and 80’s and put for an example a 10 year old in fifth grade with 6 1/2 hours of school and 45-50 minutes of homework and remember 2013 math is A LOT harder than 80’s and 70’s math so do you think you would be having fun? and I also want to state that homework causes cases of kids hating school (like me). So that concludes the end of my persuasive essay top three reasons homework is bad: overwhelming, interference and dislike.

    One country named Finland has already fixed their school system there is no homework there is recess for 75 minutes, 9-17 students per class and no tests until you are 16 years old.

  • Homework should be banned because it just isn't useful and wastes time.

    Homework is pointless because kids do enough work in school and they don't need more. When they come home they want to chill out, hang out with friends, or do something. Kids are in school for 8 hours a day doing work, other than lunch and recess. Homework is not relevant for kids. I did a survey at school at resource, and a majority of kids say that homework should be banned in school because it is stressful and they procrastinate until the last second. There is no point in homework. It takes away from spending time with family. According to the text with research 'Homework Should be Banned,' “Schools has increased from 9 to 3 with 1 ½ hour of recess and lunch to 8:40 to 3:15 with only 30 minutes of lunch and recess.” This quote shows that too much is just too much homework. Also, another reason is that, according to research, some of the smartest countries like Finland and Japan don’t have homework. We can be just as smart as them without homework. This shows that homework has no academic benefits for grades.

  • I am a teacher, and Yes!!

    Yes! Ban homework.. As part of our school policy, homework must be given out, and students should complete 30minutes of homework,, per night! I think this is too much as many students have other commitments.
    Sport practices, jobs to do around home, looking after siblings, at after school care etc
    It is a hassle for the teacher to mark/grade and make up something that is remotely fun,and enjoyable for the children to do

  • It hinders learning which is obviously a bad thing.

    Undoubtedly, homework hinders learning. There are only 2 outcomes possible when doing homework:
    A) You do the homework, proving you were able to do it in the first place and the work was therefore unnecessary.
    B) You do not do the homework because you were unable, and therefore did not learn anything.

    Even besides these points, there are other reasons why homework hinders learning. For example, homework has to be corrected, wasting valuable class time which could be spent teaching new skills. It is an unnecessary burden on children which causes great stress, and actively teaches them to hate learning. Learning has to be an enjoyable experience to be effective, and if children grow to hate a subject because of the homework they receive, it will mean they learn much less in class. Stress can also affect sleep and eating patterns, thus resulting in lower scores in exams. I could go on forever, there are literally no benefits to homework. Work is for work related-things, home is where you can relax. This line should not be blurred.

  • As a student, I think it should be banned.

    As a student, I don't get home from school until 4:30 or 5:00 and I am doing homework sometimes until 8:30 almost every night. It is very stressful when you have seven classes a day and homework in every single class; it becomes very overwhelming. On top of that, I have to get up every morning at 5:30 am just to catch my buss at 6:40. Many mornings are very hard for me because of lack of sleep from the night before staying up doing homework and studying for two or three tests the next day.

    If they banned homework, test scores might improve because then students would have more time to study and be prepared than if we have five different subjects to do on top of studying for a test the next day.

  • Homework should be banned to reduce student stress.

    Homework causes stress in many students. Homework takes time, and it keeps students up late at night getting the work done. The loss of sleep makes it hard to concentrate during class because students are so tired.

    I once stayed up until midnight and wound up very tired when morning arrived. It was hard to focus on my lessons. As a student,I think sleep is more important than doing homework. Students study during the day at schools and academies,so there is no reason that we have to get homework.

    Many schools have a one-hour rule, but with multiple classes and each teacher assigning one hour of homework, you end up with hours of work to do at home. Students in advanced levels get even more work than the students in basic classes.

    Another reason is that the noise around us. If you have a room of your own, you don't have to worry about this problem. I don't have my own room. I have to do my homework in the study. When I'm working, my mom is busy printing things out. It's annoying and makes it hard for me to concentrate. I can't do my homework before I sleep. I have to complete my homework in the morning when she's not using the study, before I head for the academy. Getting it done in the morning means rushing. Usually, the answer are wrong because I didn't have time to really read the questions.

    Students often think homework should be banned. I think so too.

  • Homework wastes time

    Homework is a serious waste of time, there are some benefits of homework but the negatives out-rule the benefits by a mile. Most teachers say homework helps responsibility and our knowledge but this is not true. I as student personally think that kids are responsible and organize ourselves better than our teachers at times. On a weekday, this is my usual agenda,
    Wake up in the morning, Catch the bus, Get off at the correct stop, take a train, and walk 10 minutes to my school. I then have to go to the school office and drop off my phone, and my wallet. I then have to walk to my locker and get out my keys (if I forget them I have to walk to the Principles office which is quite far away and get the master key) and get out my books. I have to carry them to Homeroom and since I have a job as Office Monitor I have to collect any forms from the other kids and go all the way down to the General Office and drop them off. I then have to go to whatever room we have Period 1 in. Since I go on my own, I have to know where everything is and what room to go to, I cant just follow a classmate like most kids in my class do. If I am late that automatically means a 2 hour detention for me. Just my luck that my name is first on the roll call list. I do my work for that session and do the same until recess. At recess I go to the office, collect my money and buy myself lunch. I then have to survive another 3 sessions. I then catch the bus and go home so thats organized for you! I have written 300 words so Im done with my homework! My name is Anthony and I am 14 years old.

  • It takes too much time.

    I have not enough family time to spend playing games, opening presents, playing with my little sisters or to spend time with my mom or dad. I think homework takes too much time. I want more free time, less homework, and more time with my friends, my dog or outside with nature.

  • TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE HOMEWORK…That is the question!

    The amount of homework students are given differs greatly across grade levels and states. Some students are given hours of work while other students are assigned little or no work to be done at home.

    So what’s appropriate? What is the purpose of homework? What are the advantages and disadvantages of homework? How much homework should be assigned? How important is the quality of the assignments? And most importantly: Does homework increase student achievement?

    These questions represent the ongoing debate surrounding homework for the past two decades. According to a survey by the University of Michigan, homework has doubled over the last twenty years, especially in the younger grades, due to the school’s requirement to meet higher-than-ever achievement goals for children. Although homework has academic and non-academic advantages and disadvantages, the majority of studies conducted reveal inconclusive evidence that assigning homework increases student achievement. Most studies show positive effects for certain students, others suggest no effects, and some even suggest negative effects according to research by Alfie Kohn, an independent scholar (2006).

    Let’s begin with the purpose of homework…

    Educators assign homework for different reasons and purposes. Homework is assigned either as practice, preparation, extension, or integration of grade-level skills and concepts.

    PRACTICE HOMEWORK reinforces learning from the skills and concepts already taught in the classroom. Practice homework promotes retention and automaticity of the concept, skill, and content taught. Examples include practicing multiplication facts or writing simple sentences in order to commit theses skills and concepts to long-term memory.

    PREPARATION HOMEWORK is assigned to introduce content that will be addressed in future lessons. However, research suggests that homework is less effective if it is used to teach new or complex skills. For these types of assignments, students typically become stressed which can create a negative perspective towards learning and school.

    EXTENSION HOMEWORK requires students to use previously taught skills and concepts and apply them to new situations or projects. For instance, students may use the concept of area and perimeter to build a flowerbed.

    INTEGRATION HOMEWORK requires the student to apply learned skills and concepts to produce a single project like reading a book and writing a report on it.

    Homework also serves other purposes not directly related to instruction. Homework can help establish communication between parents and children; it can be used as a form of discipline; and it can inform parents about school topics and activities.

    The Homework Debate

    The homework debate often focuses on how and why homework affects student learning and achievement. Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology, and colleagues (2006) found there are both positive and negative consequences of homework.

    The Benefits

    Homework provides practice with content, concepts, and skills taught at school by the teacher. It can foster retention and understanding of the academic content. Some studies suggest that homework correlates with student achievement. Cooper, Robinson, and Patall (2006) discovered a positive correlation between the amount of the homework students do and their achievement at the secondary level. Some studies also suggest that assigning homework improves the achievement of low-performing students and students in low-performing schools. However, the correlation between student achievement and homework given to elementary students is inconclusive. Most research only supports homework for middle and high school students (Cooper 1989a; Kohn 2006).

    There are also non-academic reasons for assigning homework. Corno and Xu (2004) discovered that homework fosters independence, develops time-management skills, and teaches responsibility. Assigning homework to primary age students can establish better study habits and skills for secondary education (Bempechat, 2004). Homework promotes a positive attitude towards school and keeps families informed about their child’s learning.

    The Potential Harm

    Homework also has negative associations. It can lead to boredom if the student has already mastered the skills, and it can lead to loss of interest in school due to burnout.  Cheating is involved with homework by either copying another student’s work or when help is received from adults in an attempt to finish all the assignments.  Also, assigning excessive amounts of homework may result in unneeded stress and pressure on the child, which affects the student’s emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health.

    The correlation between homework and student achievement is inconsistent. In TheBattle Over Homework, Cooper determined that the average correlation between the time primary children spent on homework and achievement was around zero. Not to mention, the amount of homework completed had no effect on test scores.  David Baker and Gerald  LeTendre, professors of education at Penn State, found that countries that assign minimal amounts of homework, like Japan, were the most successful school systems compared to Greece and Iran school systems where students are given a lot of work.

    Another concern surrounding homework is its interference with the student’s time to relax and take their minds off work as well as family time. Students are spending too much time completing homework assignments instead of playing outside or enjoying leisure activities, which teach and enhance important life skills.

    In addition, homework decreases the time spent with family. As Alfie Kohn states in The Homework Myth, “Why should children be asked to work a second shift? It’s unconscionable to send children to work for nearly eight hours a day, then have them go home and work for 2-5 more hours. Secondly, it reduces the amount of time that children could be spending with their families. Family time is especially important to a growing child and without it social problems can crop up and a family unit can be compromised by a lack of time being spent together.”

    The Amount of Homework

    The frequency and duration of each assignment does not necessarily suggest a correlation between homework and student achievement. “We found that for kids in elementary school there was hardly any relationship between how much homework young children did and how well they were doing in school, but in middle school the relationship is positive and increases until the kids were doing between an hour to two hours a night, which is right where the 10-minute rule says it’s going to be optimal,” stated Harris Cooper. The 10-minute rule was created by the National PTA which suggests 10 minutes per a grade should be assigned (e.g., 70 minutes for 7th grade). “After that it didn’t go up anymore. Kids that reported doing more than two hours of homework in middle school weren’t doing any better in school than kids who were doing between an hour to two hours,” said Harris Cooper.

    Quantity Versus Quality

    Effective homework is homework with a purpose. According to Cooper, some teachers assign ‘shotgunhomework’: blanket drills, questions, and problems. Students are given homework that is not furthering the concepts and skills. The homework is assigned because it has been drilled into our collective mind that homework produces higher performing students. However, homework is most effective when it covers material already taught, is given for review, or is used to reinforce skills previously learned. Students should not be assigned homework on concepts and skills they do not grasp.

    DataWORKS Educational Research recommends assigning homework to provide additional repetitions of the content to promote retention and automaticity. The reason for homework is to practice the content, NOT to learn the content.  Students learn the content (skills and concepts) from the lesson taught at school. Students need to be able to complete the work at home without assistance because some students do not have an English-speaking parents or guardians to help them.

    In conclusion, research is inconsistent in determining if homework increases student achievement. As educators, the amount, frequency, and the purpose should be considered prior to assigning homework. Homework should be used effectively! Instead of the quantity of homework, educators should improve the quality of the assignments. Homework assignments must be well-designed.  So, when assigning homework, please consider the effectiveness of it, homework should positively impact the student learning. Otherwise, the debate about homework will continue without an answer – to give or not to give!

    Citations

    Kohn, Alfie (2007). Rethinking Homework.

    Kohn, Alfie.  The Homework Myth:  Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2006).

    Cooper, H. (1989). Homework. White Plains, NY: Longman.

    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.

    What is your stance on homework? What do you think is an appropriate amount of homework? Why do you assign homework? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

    Author: Patricia Bogdanovich

    Patricia has held various positions with DataWORKS since 2002. She currently works as a Curriculum Specialist. Patricia helped develop and create many of the early resources and workshops designed by DataWORKS, and she is an expert in analysis of standards. Patricia plans to blog about curriculum and assessments for CCSS and NGSS, classroom strategies, and news and research from the world of education.