"As a high school algebra teacher who is VERY successful, I have a strong
opinion regarding homework. I don't assign it. Ever. The only time I
expect kids to do work outside of my classroom is when they need more
practice to retake a test. (They must get at least a C on every learning
Ironically, kids ASK for extra practice on learning goals they feel weak
on. I keep a binder of worksheets with answer keys and they are all
available online too.
"i'm in year 7 and we get an hour of homework per night (3 sets of 20mins).
Normaly we have about two days to do it, but you still have to cram in
sport, family time and a bit of time to relax. I dont think we get too
much homework, I just think that sometimes teachers dont expain it
properly. I think that having an hour a night may be a struggle sometimes,
but we are constantly reminded that we are just practising for when we
come to our GCSE's.
"I don't think that homework in itself is the problem here. I would say the
real issue here is unreasonable homework loads. Consider this excerpt
from an online Time magazine article: "Teachers in many of the nations
that outperform the U.S. on student achievement tests--such as Japan,
Denmark and the Czech Republic--tend to assign less homework than American
teachers, but instructors in low-scoring countries like Greece, Thailand
and Iran tend to pile it on." Obviously, dumping more homework on kids
isn't giving positive results. It stands to reason that after a certain
point, homework doesn't serve any beneficial purpose. We can't expect to
compete with other countries academically by piling on the homework.
We've just about exhausted that option and we've yet to yield much of a
positive result (just as you said "the educational levels of other
countries are higher" or something to that extent).
It's your goal (and hopefully our nation's goal) to perform at the same
advanced level as these countries so why not acknowledge their academic
methods and practices? I mean they must've been doing something right or
at least different to give them those results. There's a pretty
unmitigated relationship between educational structure and the success of
foreign nations over our own (as you put it "the educational level of
other countries is above ours" or something to that extent). We're
certainly not going to catch up to them by forcing greater amounts of
homework on students. That'll just dig our hole deeper. Now's the time
to rethink what we're doing right and wrong in regards to academics, as
one, unified nation. American children won't become better citizens or
more productive members to their societies from more stress; just the
opposite in fact. So isn't it time we owned up and admitted that maybe
we've exhausted the "more is better" ideology and give "less is m!
ore" an honest try?
I'm finding myself pretty overwhelmed from my assignment load and I
wouldn't by any means consider myself some over-lazy and/or apathetic
American student. In fact, grades are of one of the top priorities in my
household. My parents (both European immigrants--yes, I'm first
generation American) impose their pressure on me to be a responsible and
hopefully successful individual. So I am genuinely concerned with my
grades and I do strive to do well in school. I receive comparably high
marks, partake in multiple advanced/honors courses (some of which make me
eligible for college credits), and hold a respectably high ranking in my
class. This is all just to say that I do care about my education and I'm
not some "lazy student" sitting around and exaggerating about my petty
You also have to consider that many people lead busy lives out of school.
There's sports, clubs, jobs, church, familial obligations, and the list
just goes on. I would get the impression that you're personally part of
some congregation or church (not trying to assume if you're not) and that
you'd know from personal experience that religion can be a commitment and
quite possibly time-consuming without all the other extra-curricula's I
listed. I'm sure that the good of our country lies in moving forward and
innovating but the problem is our current plan of action is pushing us
backwards. You're talking about investing more into an exercise in
futility as far as I can tell. I can respect and appreciate your view
that homework is a valuable and essential part of a successful academic
program (I whole-heartedly agree on that point--maybe because homework is
so present in my own learning experiences). I myself would be
apprehensive if we made the drastic shift to a "no-homew!
ork" policy. However, it's high time that we innovated in terms of
education and explored methods which have repeatedly lead to more
I'm a junior at my high school (and I believe you must be as well by
looking at your post date) and I implore you and others with like views to
consider what I'm saying here. This really has turned out to be a lot
lengthier than I would have liked but I suppose it's a topic that affects
me greatly. I'd be glad if even one person saw this and took one thing
away from it; even if I don't succeed in persuading them.
I'm a full-time student, performer (music, song, dance), hobbyist,
church-goer, volunteer, and family member. I'm really in no position to
give up any of these commitments. They're all immensely important to me.
So until American education changes (if it's even during the course of my
academic career), I will resort to staying up late and accomplishing as
much as I humanly can. I will continue to wonder how much I'm really
missing out on in life and if this is really the childhood I'm supposed to
be appreciating and taking in. I will continue to move forward although I
can't exactly imagine that this is the way "our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ intended" when other countries are faring better through use of
significantly more efficient methods (but then, his teachings do include
suffering I guess). I will continue for the sake of my own future as well
as my children's and theirs. But finally, I will continue to hope that one
day America will realize there's a better wa!
y to do things (and I'll just have to keep on hoping it comes in time for
my children and their children).
But that's just my two cents, haha
peace and love
p.s. sorry for writing a "novel"
"this is the most stupid article in the world!
"hw doesnt help at all..... way to stressful "
"I am a mother of two boys, ages 13 and soon to be 12. This article is
great. First of all the mixed reviews are met with my approval. HW is
important to kids, helps to keep them in sync with what they learnt. The
hours however can be almost crazy. For the most part we must remember that
these are kids and when they get home they do not need to be going back to
class again! A decent 2 hours of hw is good but anything after than is not
going to cut it. You will now have stressed out kids! Education in schools
should be taught well and in a motivating way not like a military.
Unfortunately . There are so many issues to begin with when it comes to
hw. I mean there are parents who work and too much hw can add stress to
this family. As for the stay at home moms, well it is stressful too but
not as much as it is for the working parent(s). Family time is but a word
that goes with 'back in the days'. I am very sympathetic towards the young
ones whose curriculums are hectic and stress!
ful! America needs to find a better way in keeping the future generation
of this country focused in their education and not to subject them to
stress. We can advance but we need to do it in stride and ease, so it can
"This is a good article.
"I am still in school, and i am usually loaded down with about 2 or 3 hours
of homework nightly! Between family time and sports and other activites,
sometimes i feel amazed i did it, and other nights i have to just think it
is almost 11:30 p.m. i think i will take the 0. I am in school foe 8 hours
a day, why should i have another 3 at home?
"I'm going to make this short. My child is only in Kindergarten but I
remember not having any homework when I was in her grade. My daughter
comes home with a packet ever Monday that is due at the end of the week
(Friday). The packet consist of 4 pages. So basically they want the kids
to do 1 worksheet page a night, but they can pace themselves accordingly.
If your kid would like to complete on the worksheets in one day that's
fine. The teacher will still wait until Friday to retrieve the homework.
I like that. It reminds me of college. That way the student won't fill
overwhelmed or pressured. So I agree that homework should be assigned,
but not worth much. Tests and quizzes, and participation(where valid)
should account for the majority of the students accademic grade.
"So, I'm in high school. For me, homework is useless. It's busywork. I can
improve my grade just as much, if not more just by reading something a few
times. Math, sure, a few problems, likely varying in difficulty and type
is good, practice makes perfect. However, my history class has homework
account for 60% of my grade. Due to me feeling that most, or all of it is
busywork, usually get hit on it. This severely effects my grade. It's not
quite fair though, I do well on my tests, so why should my grade not
reflect that? I feel that homework should be assigned, but not worth much.
Tests and quizzes, and participation(where valid) should account for a
majority. This way, kids that feel they need homework to drive a topic
home have a conveniently assigned worksheet or page, and those that don't,
don't get hit hard for not doing busywork.
"in my opinion i would protest against homework i hate it myself and
believe that i am getting no real benefit from all the work i do every
night. the only thing i gain from all the work is stress. it may not seem
so bad to adults but as a teenager my free time is very important to me
and my stress level. nothing makes me happier that sitting back and
playing some video games. but i cant always do that because of my
homework. another thing is that most of the homework i get already
includes many thing i know. so then i'm writing down things that i already
know that just take up more of my free time i could be spending doing
something i like "
"listing to music make kids do there homework !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
" I feel as a Aunt who lives with her nephew and his father and our mom
that kids should not have homework. They go to school all day and learn
and do work. Why do they need homework. It just makes the kids not want to
go to school anymore. It's to stressful for the children and the family.
Why not once a week????
"I now have my son in a school that gives no homework whatsoever. He is
learning more because he has on hands teachers that know how to teach,
that know the subject matter. He is so relaxed and goes to school ready to
learn and when he gets home, he can relax, rest, and refresh. I think
homework does more harm than good.
"Apologies for the typos I caught after my response was printed. Poor
eyesight is not a hallmark of aging--despite how many degrees one has.
However, I do know how to spell the words: variable, valuable . . . and
HOMEWORK (good grief!!). I do have faith in what I stated; I hope my typos
didn't weaken my argument. Homework can be helpful OR hurtful.
"In my opinion (I have a PhD in Educational Leadership), the value of
homework depends on several things:
1. the goal/purpose of the homwork
2. previous teaching/learning done in class prior to the assignment 3. the
ability/interest level of the student 4. the learning style of the student
5. any attention deficit that interferes 6. the resources/support team
present in the child's home 7. other interferences at home 8. teacher
attitude/expectation/ability to engage 9. student motivation 10. how well
the assignment corresponds to the child's learning style 11. school
There are so many varibles, I would be willing to stand on the claim that
homework can be just as negative as it is positive. It can be very
vauable; but it can also be detrimental. Therefore, it should be used with
caution, care, and concern--and it should not be used as punishment, as a
control measure, in excess, as a substitute for good instruction, as busy
work, nor as a way of measuring self-discipline.
"Piling every kid up with the same homework requirements is not very
proactive, it's just easier. I believe that for homework to truly be
effective, individually assigned lessons should be based on each child,
and for the child to "opt in" (when the situation permits). Have them
focus on either subjects that need more work or assignments to help the
hungry student excel. Every child is different, although implementing
something like this seems impossible with "standardization" pumping kids
through the system in herds, based on age alone.
How about this. Compare the responsibility, time and effort put into
schooling, to the same requirements of working a job or a career. "I go to
work, you go to school. That's your job." Okay, this sounds like a
reasonable real-life comparison. But consider this: not all adults choose
to work from home after hours. Some believe that "Once I punch out, I'm
done". Then there are others that bring home work regularly. The point is,
that adults make the choice depending on their job/career, workload, what
they need to work harder on, or even excel at. In my experience, those who
work at home after hours are in a career that they chose - so their work
is not something they do, it's what & who they are. If what some of the
kids are driven to explore is not based within the confines of
standardized academia, then so be it. Give them the chance - and the time
- to find what it is that makes them tick.
"The one thing that strikes me about this article is that it cites grand
concepts without any citation whatsoever as to the basis of it's
Simply stating that "studies show" X or "experts say" Y is not a
believable argument. Educated people reading this article may consider it
to be lacking.
But then again, this may not be your target audience.
"Homework, oh homework, I hate you. you stink... is a poem worth
mentioning. It encapsulates the feelings of a majority of school and yes
university students. The reason is that the time spent on homework roobs
them of their freedom to go beyond the classroom and explore other
interests that they may have. The focus on academic excellence is based on
metrics derived from homework and testing and with the increased emphasis
on GPA etc. The pressure to perform is overemphasized and it destroys
creative genius and innovation that the american system was great at
before the system became obsessed with "competing in the global
After working in industry for many years, I am certain that the hype of
superiority in the educational system of other countries is largely
manipulative and unfair. The American students are still the most creative
and innovative, and yes, even smarter than their overseas counterparts if
you measure their success not by their academic grades by creativity and
innovation, leadership, communications, etc.
The constant drumbeat putting pressure on schools, teachers, students and
parents focus on improving test scores is fuelled by the leaders in
industry - many of whom were college drop-outs themselves! They scapegoat
the educational system as an excuse for sending the jobs overseas or for
bringing in cheap labor. They compare the best of the other countries
talents to the general american student population to support their
position. So the comaprision is not unbiased.
The sad part is that the negative messages and the attitude to adopt
methods used in other countries to measure success are damaging the
confidence of the students. So it would be advisable to ignore the
prognosticators of doom, reduce the amount of homework and emphasis on
grades, and open the education system to allow the student to explore /
pursue areas they are interested in. Allow kids to branch out and pursue
their interests much earlier. Stop forcing idiotic subjects in the General
Education requirements now being mandated in college. It wastes time and
money and turns off the kids from the moronic curriculum and instead,
encourage pursuit of areas of interest. THe fact is, most of the stuff
taught in college has little practical usage in the real world unless you
are in academia. Allow students to engage in hands on acrivities and
provide internships, mentorships, industry tours, etc instrad of burying
them in homework and busy activities that do nothing to further !
their knowledge and experience.
"this article really helped me because for language arts i have to debate
on this subject so this helped me with my research! :) so THANK YOU!!!"
"Homework is a child's basic need. This is why on the educational level
other countries are ahead. I believe america needs to get out of their
lazy slump and learn to work for a better future both for you're country
and for yourself. If you beleive homework is non-helpful, then you are
part of the problem. Homework teaches kids not only whats on the worksheet
but also the values of doing it and understand the responsibility that
comes with keeping a good grade. I am a Sophomore in High School raised on
true american values and i beleive the cheesy school house rock slogan
'Knowledge is power'. Beleive it or not, it's true. Without knowledge our
country can not innovate and move forword like our lord and Savoir Jesus
Christ Indented. "
"Testing Testing 1.2.3
I believe homework is an essential and necessary part a child'd education. It teaches them responsibility, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, and many other skills that they will need in the real world...that is having a real job. As for the previous commentor who said she's 52 and disappointed...well, it also seems she's uneducated, or maybe she's 'edumacated'. "
"Homework is a waste of time for my children. The same homework is given to every child regardless of his or her ability or need. Unless homework is tailored for each student, it is a waste. "
"The need for homework is a traditional education myth. Homework before
Middle School is unnecessary and in Middle & High School it should
increase only gradually. Our school, unlike most private schools accepts
students regardless of their academic ability, consistantly has students
working several grade levels beyond their peers at other 'traditional'
schools without any homework. The need for homework indicates a failure
of the school's curriculum to teach students in class. Parents who
believe 'homework isnecessary for advanced learning' have not been exposed
to an efficient curriculum that can teach advanced concepts in a fun,
efficient manner that does not require work outside of class. Montessori
families are encouraged to use their time outside of school as valuable
family time, learning from one another by spending time together and doing
interesting activities. Most of our elementary students score at a High
School and College level in all subject areas on the!
nationally-normed Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). This is done
without homework and with P.E., fine arts, cooking, gardening and more.
Parents need to look beyond the traditional 'factory model' of education
and discover how children can learn much more through a developmentally
designed, individualized program."
"I am a 68 year old woman, born and raised in Scotland, where every school
ran from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Students did not move from
classroom to classroom, teachers moved - we had a home room with books on
every subject in our desks. The only time students moved was for Phys. Ed
or Science. Way too much time is wasted in schools in this country with
kids moving from class to class and trying to get books from their
lockers, often making them late to their classes. Perhaps if teachers had
more teaching time, they would not feel the need to overwhelm the kids
with rididulous amounts of homework. When I was in High School, I was
given perhaps one hour of homework per week, and that was usually because
I didn't complete my class work that day, so I had to finish it at home. I
worry about my grandchildren, two of whom are in high school now. My
oldest grandchild (16) gets so upset over the massive amounts of homework
he receives, he goes into depression. His grades depend!
on completion of his homework and he wants to go to college, so his
grades are essential - it breaks my heart to watch him struggling night
after night to complete projects that, in my opinion, offer no benefit to
his education. Just what is he learning from building a huge model of the
Taj Mahal, or creating a poster with pictures of Romeo and Juliet? These
children leave home at 6:50 a.m. each morning and return home around 3:15
p.m. - they're tired, yet they have to begin their homework almost
immediately, sometimes not getting to bed until midnight. I can't tell you
how many special family events these kids have missed because they have to
finish their homework. I worry mainly about the depression, you hear of so
many young people committing suicide and I often wonder if it's because we
are putting so much pressure on them that they cannot cope and decide this
is their only way out. I don't know of any plumber or electrician who
wants to come home after a days work and!
start doing work at home. We need to back off with the homewo!
rk and ease off on these kids, they need time to just be kids and have
fun and relaxation. I say if you don't complete your work in class then
you have to do it at home, but some of the projects given to these kids
requires 4-5 hours of evening work, and that's only for one subject (do
the teachers ever check with one another to see how much homework their
colleagues are giving) apart from the time involved, there is also the
expense for parents, poster board, clay, markers, colored toners for the
printer, etc. it can get to be very expensive. The whole issue of homework
needs to be revisited, we need to rethink the moving of kids throughout
the school for every subject. Let's study the way other countries manage
to provide students with a top notch education without pressuring them so
hard that they end up hating school, or perhaps even wanting to die."
"I believe homework is an essential and necessary part a child'd education.
It teaches them responsibility, critical thinking, problem solving,
organization, and many other skills that they will need in the real
world...that is having a real job.
As for the previous commentor who said she's 52 and disappointed...well,
it also seems she's uneducated, or maybe she's 'edumacated'. Her
punctuation and grammar is horrible. She says she questioned students
about the U.S and it's history...I wonder if she herself knew the answers
and how did she learn about the U.S and its history? Not every bit of
material covered is essential to their adult life and what they will do
with it but it's the overall education and how it applies to their lives
Small children do learn alot through play and socializing but I'd rather
my child be learning to read than learning to play videogames or swear
I spend probably 3-5 hrs a week doing homework with my 5 yr old and I'm
not complaining. I volunteer in his classroom once a week. His teacher
had me test each child (a test she composed) to see where each child was
at and how much each child had learned (in just the 3 months they've been
in school). I can proudly say that my son is one of only 4 children who
passed that test with flying colors. It shows that all the time I spend
with him doing homework and all the extra activities (recommended by his
teacher)that we do at home HAVE had a positive effect in his learning.
I say bring it on!!"
"As a teacher this question plagues both me and my students. I am hounded
and hammered to have my students pass a test. I have 42 minutes a day to
teach them about US history and remind them of Ancient and Medieval World
History. In CA 8th graders are tested in everything they learned about
history in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. That is from early man, world
history, and U.S. history. I have stopped assigning homework but those
students who do not get work done in class must finish it at home. Most
homework is not done. I continually hound students to get to work at
school, half do, half don't. There is not much else I can do except grade
them on their completed work and on their tests. If I were to not grade
on their work and just base their grades on their tests they would not
pass the test. If they know work is not graded they will not do it, which
makes them not prepared to prove their knowledge on the test. The work
guides them and prepares them for the test. I!
just realized how much I am rambling but this is such a frustrating
issue and I get no real answers as to what is best to do."
"I have subbed and there is not enough time to reinforce a lot of material
at school. Homework is necessary. The district where my kids attend school
give hardly any homework, and my kids don't have text books. What happened
to old school methods? They need mre homework and textbooks to at least
keep at home so that they or their parents can refer to the material when
doing homework. A new study shows kids age 8-18 spend 7.5 hours playing
with media. Now what is better for the child... more homework or useless
media that doesn't teach you anything but how not to communicate
effectively with human beings, how to be violent, etc.? Where is the
common sense in this matter? Many parents unfortunately don't monitor what
their children are doing. At least homework would give some structure and
be a benefit to the student."
"I, for one, love school but hate homework. I woke up this morning at 3:30.
My homework WAS NOT FINISHED! My school started 15 min. ago. I worked on
my homework since I woke up and it's STILL not finished. I am a 12
year-old A+ student. I believe that there should be less homework."
"I do not promote homework for my kid, especialy socolistic, LIBERAL ideas!
If it wasnt a law she would no longer be in school. I questioned many a
student from 6-12 on the HISTORY of the UNITED STATES, her founders, her
founding, the CONSITUTION, DECLARATION of INDEPENDANCE, BILL of RIGHTS,
and NOT ONE, NOT ONE new the answers! I WILL not encourage college either,
why should I since everything will be given for free by the
GOVERNEMENT...AFTER ALL THAT IS THE LIBERAL WAY! WE DO NOT HAVE HOMESCHOOL
HERE IN THIS DISTRICT OR SHE WOULD DIFFENTLY BE PART OF IT! HOMEWORK IS A
WAST OF TIME AS MOST OF IT IS BASED ON LIES NOT TRUTH! I AM 52 and beleive
me I am SO DISAPPOINTED IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IT MAKES ME SICK!"
"I think it all depends on the student, I am in agreement with most when it
is mentioned that homework IS a review. Yes it should be a reminder of
what you learned in class
But sometimes it IS HOW you learn -if the class is not at your pace . I
remained a good student in elem, mid and high school (doing my homework in
latch-key) BUT when I went to college It was a challenge to discipline
myself into that studying mode. Now as a B.A. grad, I will help my
children with their homework but now I am informed to not let it stress
them out aaannndd it's also a parent's responsibility to keep the kids
balanced with their extra-curricular activities and social life not
overbearing them. "
"As an A student for most of my schooling, I needed homework. It gave me a
chance to re-think, re-phase and re-understand some things I missed (while
I was watching Judy or Rosalind). After football, or track or basketball
and home chores, I knew I had school work to do. It taught be how to
Homework should be a suggestion of activities for those who want to do
well. You can't make students learn. You can't make them learn to learn.
"this is a useless article. Where are the stas on this? I loathe homework
so much and damn projects. My oldest child, who was a straight A student
totally hates school! Is there any proof that homework is necessary or
"To the foreigner who wrote that Americans were behind their European and
Asian peers...I lived in France for ten years. One Frenchman once asked
me, why are Americans so happy?! Another once said, 'Americans know
nothing, and yet they are so confident!' I don't know if he was talking
about me, but I like being looked upon as 'happy and confident'. I was
once playing Trivial Pursuit (the French version) with a French girl and a
Korean boy (college students). They got all the questions right that
asked for facts (dates of famous battles, etc.), and I got all the
questions right which required common sense or deduction. They were
always surprised. 'How did you know that?!', they would ask. I had no
homework in elementary school and only a little in middle school. I loved
school but I also loved playing outside after school, climbing trees,
biking, roller skating, catching frogs, getting dirty, reading, doing
puzzles. One learns to deduce and reason, during play. I no!
w own a school - preschool to 8th grade. It's a half-day school that
meets only 4 days a week. Kids get homework but only because they are
only in school 4 days a week, 4.5 hours a day. We call ourselves a 'mix
between homeschooling and regular schooling'. My two sons are in it and
they are very knowledgable. They learn a lot through school and homework,
but they also learn a lot through reading, on their own, and through doing
their own things (tinkering in the garage, building huts, hiking through
the woods, etc.). It's nice that they have time for this. I don't think
homework is necessary in elementary school, if the child goes to school 7
hours a day, if class size is reasonable, but it usually isn't. I
recommend homeschooling, even if one parent has to quit his/her job.
'Live poor, live more' would be a good motto. Parents need to give up
material possessions and big houses, in order to raise their kids right. "
"My son refused to do his homework. This is what burns me up. His test
scores were in the B range, but when his teachers averaged in the homework
grade, he would finish with a low C. Now how did that help anyone???
Other students who did not do so well on test but turned in homework,
their grades went up. It was a real battle."
"I teach math, and this is a long debated subject for reasons previously
stated. Like most hotly contested topics, it depends. The homework needs
to be carefully assigned, understood and the student should be prepared to
do it, mostly review. Sometimes I am unpleasantly surprised when assigning
a review that no one can do! Which leads to another reason for homework,
letting the teacher know what students really know and understand on their
own. That is probably why there is not a high correlation across students
when homework is done in primary...so much of it is NOT review and depends
greatly on the parents or home support.
Used correctly, it is one of the top 9 learning strategies, as researched
in the Marzano Research. As you can see, it all depends."
"i think homework can help grades because if teachers didnt give homework
students wouldnt rememebr the work they did in school so when they get
homework they can remember the work and keep up in class and understand it
"I am a Pediatrician and mother of four children. My oldest completed his
PhD, my second completed his BA, my third is in her second year at Yale
and I have a 9 yr old in 4th grade. All of my children approached HW
differently. My second and third were at the two ends of the homework
spectrum: #2 hated homework and it was always a battle, #3 always did
homework without prompting or even parental intervention. There was no
statistical difference in their IQs. #3 had a much higher GPA with
multiple scholarship offers. Now that he is in college, he has an
impeccable work ethic and makes excellent grades. #2 graduated from HS,
obviously got into college, did okay, but has employed the same work ethic
to looking fo a job as he did to homework.
What am I saying? I used my own children as examples, but after treating
thousands of children on a professional basis; I believe that the major
case for homework is that it serves as a model for real life. People who
do better in their chosen profession are those who have a good work ethic.
The best physicians are those who continue to study past residency and
know the latest research. I do believe that in many instances, there is
too much homework. I also believe that in many cases our children are
overburdened with extracurricular activities. Moderation is always a good
"To master material requires time and effort. The school day is where you
learn what you need to know and get help understanding it. Home is where
you master the material by practice and repetition.
Unfortunately, too many homework assignments are more busy work that
structured activities to better understand and apply what is taught in the
A more important issue to me is how schools are structured. Why do we have
kids divided by age and teachers trying to teach the same material to a
wide range of backgrounds and abilities. Why can't classes be divided by
subject to be learned and mastered. Once mastered, you move on the next
subject. Teachers become more efficient as they are teaching groups all at
the same level. Kids who need help, stay in the class longer and get the
help they need. Kids who learn quickly move on to the next class. "
"I am a nanny, I have been doing this for a bout 10 yrs now nd the truth is
that i have a job bc of homework. The parents i work with do not have the
time or desire 2 spend the few precious hours they get with their children
during weeknights doing homework, nd 2 expect them 2 is not only absurd,
it is cruel 2 both them and their children! Now, i work w elementary
school childred, nd i help them with their homework every day, nd i must
say that it is absolutely useless! Yes, reading is important, but that
shouldnt b homework, that should b a normal part of EVERY families daily
routine! Meanwhile, 20+ minutes of busy work after spending nearly 8
hours learning nonstop is overkill, nd does make children hate learning!
I have seen it w my own eyes, dealt w it for years, nd, imo, it is
despicable! For older children who r learning more difficult things nd who
need 2 b developing life skills, sure, homework is great, but for a 6-9
year old that time should b spent being a kid!!
They will only have this opportunity once in their liftimes, how aout
letting them play at the park and devolpe a lust for learning instead of
forcing them 2 complete assignments that have no purpose in their
education but 2 make their school look better when the test scores come
"Since I'm a stay-at-home mother, when my niece was in elementary school, I'd
pick her up in the afternoons and keep her until her mother got off work.
Each day, she'd arrive, toting a book bag full of homework -- and she was
only in second grade! She regularly had two hours of homework each night. I
couldn't help but think that that was excessive, for a second grader.
I agree with the statement that homework given in elementary school trains
the students to develop a habit of responsibility and self-motivation. But
excessive amounts of homework, especially for very young students, does more
harm than good.
I agree with the parent who commented that children need time to simply
play. Play isn't a luxury; it's a necessity, and research supports that
concept, down the line. In public schools, teachers find that students who
are involved in 'play' like Art or Music (which might be considered a luxury
and not a necessity) are better students all around, scoring better on
tests, and developing a more positive attitude toward education, in general.
The same could be said of ordinary play. Children need to play, not only to
relieve stress and get exercise -- which are certainly very valuable. But
also because there is a great deal of spontaneous learning which occurs
(painlessly) while engaging in ordinary play. (I'm talking here about really
playing, not Nintendo DS playing or any other virtual play.)
Years ago, researchers began reporting to parents that babies & toddlers
learn extraordinary amounts of essential knowledge, spontaneously, when
engaged in simple play: building blocks, sand-box play, water play, blowing
bubbles -- all these activities, and many more, were discovered to have
remarkable educational value for babies & toddlers. In fact, psychiatrists
warned parents against allowing babies & toddlers too much exposure to TV
because it interfered with their natural curiosity about the world, and
inhibited their inclination to play.
It stands to reason, that those same babies & toddlers who benefited so
significantly from ordinary play, would continue to benefit -- and even
need -- play as they progress toward adulthood. Children need to play --
it's not simply a waste of time; it's a need -- just like it was of
incalculable benefit when they were babies & toddlers.
Now, I'd have to agree with the parent who counters that many parents, who
complain about the amount of homework their children are required to do,
then become guilty of 'wasting' that time by allowing their children to
'play' on the computer or other virtual devices or watch TV, rather than
'real' play; or, even worse, these parents are too exhausted and stressed
out to spend their time Ã¢â‚¬Å“free timeÃ¢â‚¬Â� with their kids, building 'Family
Time,' and instead fall into the temptation to just vegetate in front of the
TV or PC. But, how we use or misuse our time as parents is not the focus of
the question here; the question is about whether homework has value. And
even further, whether more homework has more value.
I'd have to say that, in my opinion, a moderate amount of homework
definitely has value for students, even as young as third grade, but that
too much homework puts way too much stress on children, when their lives,
all too often, are already very stressful. (Studies have shown repeatedly
that when both parents work outside the home, there is a significant amount
of added stress for the entire family, including the kids.) There needs to
be a healthy balance, between homework and play, which are both good for
kids, when given in adequate amounts.
Like our grandparents used to say: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everything in moderation.Ã¢â‚¬Â� Neither
too much play nor too much work is good for any of us, adults or children.
The old adage was true: Ã¢â‚¬Å“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.Ã¢â‚¬Â�
When I was a kid, I used to think that meant that Ã¢â‚¬Å“JackÃ¢â‚¬Â� was boring, but
the old meaning for the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“dullÃ¢â‚¬Â� was more like Ã¢â‚¬Å“stupidÃ¢â‚¬Â�, slow to
learn. Which goes right back around to the fact that children benefit from
play, and they also need to Ã¢â‚¬Å“workÃ¢â‚¬Â� at their school. A healthy balance is
the ideal. Of course, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just my opinion.
"I like the idea of no homework until Middle School. I spent most of my
daughter's grammar school years at the table for hours trying to finish
all her private school homework, before bath and bed time. It was
horrible. She couldn't even carry her own backpack some days, it was so
heavy with all the books she needed. I swear it weighed more than she
did! Got better when we switched her to public, thank goodness. "
"My grandchildren get very unset about doing so much homework..they lose
there recess if it`s not turned in, I really think this is to much for
young children, school all day and homework at night..Lets stop all the
homework..also parents are stressed out if they both work. It has also led
to my grandchildren faking illness so they don`t have to go to school."
"To all American parents: you should be very concerned about the poor
academic performance of your children comparing with their Asian and
European peers. What is your motivation to support this trend of raising
underachievers? There are many kids in every educational setting that will
be left behind, no question about, but those that want to excel should be
encouraged, not hindered. Homework is a deep practice of what is being
taught in school. If you do not practice a large variety of math
problems, you will never master it. If you do not learn vocabulary in
English and foreign languages, you will never master it either. In this
very competitive international labor market, you should not be surprised
that in a few decades most white collar jobs will be held by non US
educated individuals. Extra curriculum activities are extremely useful,
but they should be scheduled on weekends, the week should be mainly saved
for academic issues. "
"Over 1,000 words and Ms. Crawford did not answer her catchy article
titled, 'Does homework really work?' Very nice, maybe she needs to do some
homework. What a disappointment and waste of time."
"HOMEWORK works when there is WRITTEN communication between the teachers
and the parents as to what the assignments are and what chapters are to be
read, etc; such as we had in Virginia Beach, VA Schools. My kids had HONOR
ROLE there because I was able to stay on top of their assignments and make
them do the work required. Nowdays, especially in schools like Florida
where (we now live unfortunately)they cant even send a book home with the
kids for the parent to review and dont apparently have the budget to
mimeograph anything, they make the kids write down their assignments; and
THAT is like having the fox watch the chickenhouse if you know what I
mean. 'No..I dont have any homework!' The kids say... and the parents cant
find out anything different because the teachers dont respond to phone
calls. KIDS without homework learn to NOT study, which is a huge problem
for this country... IT is expected in COLLEGE. Something many public
highschools such as the one our kids are STUC!
K in dont seem to stress anymore, they can all yell 'GO GATORS' but only
20% of the children from this school go on to college, just the opposite
of where I was raised, and I had lots of homework.. which I did; and that
is why I went to an IVY LEAGUE college. The kids who didnt do their
homework.. they are still flipping burgers."
"My dad, a Caltech grad and Stanford PhD, told me recently that when he was
in high school (back in the 50s), he and his childhood classmates spent
about 10 minutes a day on homework--and yet they seemed at least as
'smart' and perhaps better educated than kids today. Go figure. He also
reminded me of a professional strategy that served him very, very well:
Learn as best you can--then hire those who know more than you. (I prefer
that attitude to the one that dictates sacrificing one's childhood to
score the highest grades, get into the best universities...and then end up
working for someone like me.)"
"I grew up in VietNam and my parents were both teachers. They both taught
me to pay 110% attention in class to cut down 50% of time in doing
homework at home. I usually finished homework, and study for tests in
1/3-1/2 of time that my friends would spend because of that. Teachers
should focus on motivating kids on subjects and teaching them HOW to
learn instead of dumping them with mountains of homework. I have a
preKindergarten boy, his home work is usually NOT something that they
teach in class. How ridiculous! "
"Over 1,000 words and the author did not answer her catchy article titled,
'Does homework really work?' Very nice, maybe she needs to do some
homework. What a disappointment and waste of time."
"I currently attend a high school known for giving homework. I wake up at
5:30 every morning for school, I get home at 4:30, and start homework an
hour later. It's difficult, but in high school, homework can be a life
saver. It provides a cushion if you do badly on a test. Sadly, some
teachers give out useless homework assignments, if a class is teaching
straight out of a book then they shouldn't assign us homework.
And teaching kids responsibility through homework is nonsense. There are
other, more creative ways to teach them. For example: sign them up for a
sport, they'll have to practice to get better, same idea for an
I'm not against homework, I just want it reduced so I can come home, and
study. I want to suggested problems along with required problems. There's
nothing totally wrong with homework, but now, it's at a point where all
the stress is building up too high.
In elementary school, however, homework has been utterly useless. It
wasn't until middle school I picked up better assignments, one of my 8th
grade teachers told the class to abandon doing things 'the elementary
school way' and learn to study in a whole new light. This teacher gave us
a project to do all year. To be honest, it took over an hour to do every
night, some nights I was frustrated with him, and the class. Yet, I
learned so much from his class because of his teaching methods. He'd give
us a sheet of paper with questions on them. He'd lecture us in class, then
let us work in groups (if there was time) to get started on our homework.
If we simply answered his question we'd get a C, if we added a little more
detail B- A-, but to get the A or A+ he pushed us to learn on our own. He
never gave us tests, just a project step every night (he made it fun too,
once you answered all the questions you artistically represented it!). I
miss his class, the amount of time and effo!
rt I put into his class I got in my grade. High school honor classes do
not work this way.
Back onto the subject of homework, (yes, I know this is poorly organized,
it's being typed impromptu, and unlike most people here I'm not just
saying an anecdote)studies have shown it doesn't correlate to grades. It
is very important to review, but IF YOU TEACH YOUR KID HOW TO STUDY (ie:
read the book chapter EVERY NIGHT, practice problems EVERY NIGHT) they'll
fare a lot better. "