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Give You More Homework

A second-grade teacher in Texas recently rekindled the annual debate over whether kids spend too much time on homework.

The teacher said she did not plan to assign homework this school year because it has not proven to correlate with achievement (not true) and because no homework would allow families to eat together and read together, and children to play outside and have an early bed time. If only dropping homework could make these things happen!

Research overwhelmingly supports the notion that students who do homework do better in school than those who don’t.

But research also suggests the amount and type of homework must take into account the child’s developmental level. Teachers refer to the “10-minute Rule” – homework time on any given school night should be equal to the child’s grade level times 10. So a second-grader should have 20 minutes of homework. The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association agree with this philosophy.

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My internet searches have never uncovered a school policy that differs greatly from the 10-minute rule. If a second-grader brings home two hours of homework, that’s not good. If an 11th-grader does five hours, that’s too much. The amount of homework kids bring home generally does not diverge from those school policies.

The perception that American kids do too much homework is also belied by a national survey that asked parents, “Do you think your child’s teachers assign too much homework, too little homework or the right amount of homework?” Sixty percent said just the right amount, 15 percent said too much and 25 percent said too little.

Beyond achievement, homework can also lead to the development of good study habits and a recognition that learning can occur at home as well as at school.

Homework can also foster independent learning and responsible character traits – essential skills later in life when students change jobs or learn new skills for advancement at work.

And homework can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and learn about their child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Two parents once told me they refused to believe their child had a learning disability until homework revealed it to them. Maybe that 20-minute assignment should involve parents and replace screen time, not dinner or interactive play.

Opponents argue homework can lead to boredom with schoolwork because all activities remain interesting only for so long. Homework can deny students access to leisure activities that also teach important life skills. And parents can get too involved in homework – pressuring their children and confusing them by using instructional techniques different from the teacher’s.

Regrettably, research on these effects of homework are rare. In the absence of data, common sense suggests that any of these effects can occur depending, again, on the amount and type assigned.

In my experience, the complaints over too much homework come from a definable but relatively small segment of the population – parents with conflicting desires to have their children excel in school and lead balanced lives that include school, play, aesthetics, citizenship and spirituality. Homework is an easy target to express their anxiety.

Educators also find themselves caught between irreconcilable alternatives. To them, it is the same parents who rail against homework who permit (encourage?) their children to load advanced placement classes into their academic schedules. More homework comes with these classes.

Educators also question whether homework really takes five hours or whether that time includes hours clicking back and forth between homework and texting, tweeting, Facebooking.

Time on homework reaches a point of diminishing returns; too little does no good, too much does more harm than good. Teachers should base their practices on what sound evidence and experience suggest is optimal. If the amount and quality are appropriate, parents won’t complain.

Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, is author of “The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers and Parents.”

  • Of course homework should be given!

    Giving homework to children enhances their capacity to understand the subject better....Even if at school they are unable to comprehend something they can re read that chapter again and ask questions....Another principal cause for giving schoolwork is making students be much more aware of their learning. Learners are answerable for their study thoroughly so they oblige to put a great deal of effort into theor apprehension. Therefore, the accomplishment of prep is not only a responsibility for students to try their best but also a motivation to strengthen the cognition. Moreover, finishing homework helps learners becomes much more active to attain knowledge. It is easier for them to grasp the information in next lessons. By degrees, students might raise the sense of initiative in learning and others which is extremely favorable to handle unexpected situation

  • Yes, schools should give homework.

    Schools should be allowed to give homework. Homework is a vital tool to teach students time management skills, which is very important to have when you are in a professional work place. If you take homework out of schools you are doing a disservice to the students and are not doing everything possible to help prepare them for the real world.

  • Schools should give homework.

    I believe that homework is beneficial to a student because it gives them more practice in the subject matter, which further enhances their education. Also, homework gives the student a chance to identify areas that they are confused in so they can ask the teacher about them the next day. There isn’t enough time in a class for education to be personalized, so homework is the student’s effort into bettering their education.

  • Yes to learn more be smart and pass our grade

    To be smart and pass our grade to be smart.To not be lazy or just do nothing because some kids they don't want to do it teachers care about them. Teachers love us but sometimes they or happy or mad teachers are helping us to not to lose . Teachers love us and teachers are helping us they are there for us.

  • Yes yes!

    Children should definitely have homework. It helps them increase their skills in the subject they are learning. If they are having trouble with the topic this is a way for them to get extra help. Just having a lesson in class does not make it about the child. Homework is a way to let the teacher know if the child is struggling with the topic, or if s/he is doing just fine. Teachers should not stop giving homework, they should just give a little less.

  • Yes, schools should give homework and resources to complete the homework.

    Homework is important in order for students to understand what they're learning in a more personal way. Teachers and other administrators of education need to be aware of what is required to complete a homework assignment, and that not all students will have access to the resources required to do so. Schools must be able to provide these resources or assign homework that does not require resources that cannot be guaranteed in all homes.

  • Yes homework should be given

    Homework should be given to students so that they at least revise whats done in the class today as most of them do not remember.And homework days should be there like Monday for maths, Tuesday for science etc. Or can be given a lot on weekends. Homework has one solid benefit — mainly, if it is used as a tool to develop a love of reading.The point of education is to turn children into independent, critical thinkers that are responsible, happy people

  • Schools should give homework.

    Schools should give homework. Teachers give us homework so we have something to do instead of watching TV. Homework over the holidays is okay but I disagree with bombarding students with homework packages that take away family time. If you plan correctly then you can spend time with family and your homework.

  • Absolutely they should

    Practice with skills is necessary for learning how to adapt to different situations. However, teachers need to assign it and NOT check it, unless it's for marks. Quizzes will let you know if the students are getting it or not. Students, follow your own judgement. If you understand a topic, review the assigned questions, try the challenging ones. Don't understand, do some more. Someone said in the against giving homework section that students will ask for the help that they need if they need it, that teachers don't trust you to ask and that's why we assign so much homework. One of the hardest things to do is to admit that you don't understand something and to ask for help with it. Most students won't, even if they are struggling. Also, how do students know if they're struggling if they haven't actually tried to apply what was taught. Not teaching students good work habits in lower grades only does them a disservice when they attempt any post-secondary studies. Homework serves to reinforce the specific skills from the lesson but also teaches time management and study skills that students will need when they have less guidance for their learning in post-secondary.

  • Yes! There must be homework. Why not.

    Lots of students like me prefer to learn on their own rather than having a teacher lecture them. And homework does this. Homework lets students work on their own and helps them develop skills that they will need in their later life. Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. The only way to get good at something is to practice.