Should Kids Get Homework?

Homework gives elementary students a way to practice concepts, but too much can be harmful, experts say.

Mother helping son with homework at home

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful. (Getty Images)

How much homework students should get has long been a source of debate among parents and educators. In recent years, some districts have even implemented no-homework policies, as students juggle sports, music and other activities after school.

Parents of elementary school students, in particular, have argued that after-school hours should be spent with family or playing outside rather than completing assignments. And there is little research to show that homework improves academic achievement for elementary students.

But some experts say there's value in homework, even for younger students. When done well, it can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills. The key to effective homework, they say, is keeping assignments related to classroom learning, and tailoring the amount by age: Many experts suggest no homework for kindergartners, and little to none in first and second grade.

Value of Homework

Homework provides a chance to solidify what is being taught in the classroom that day, week or unit. Practice matters, says Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University 's Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

"There really is no other domain of human ability where anybody would say you don't need to practice," she adds. "We have children practicing piano and we have children going to sports practice several days a week after school. You name the domain of ability and practice is in there."

Homework is also the place where schools and families most frequently intersect.

"The children are bringing things from the school into the home," says Paula S. Fass, professor emerita of history at the University of California—Berkeley and the author of "The End of American Childhood." "Before the pandemic, (homework) was the only real sense that parents had to what was going on in schools."

Harris Cooper, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and author of "The Battle Over Homework," examined more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that — when designed properly — homework can lead to greater student success. Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary.

"Every child should be doing homework, but the amount and type that they're doing should be appropriate for their developmental level," he says. "For teachers, it's a balancing act. Doing away with homework completely is not in the best interest of children and families. But overburdening families with homework is also not in the child's or a family's best interest."

Negative Homework Assignments

Not all homework for elementary students involves completing a worksheet. Assignments can be fun, says Cooper, like having students visit educational locations, keep statistics on their favorite sports teams, read for pleasure or even help their parents grocery shop. The point is to show students that activities done outside of school can relate to subjects learned in the classroom.

But assignments that are just busy work, that force students to learn new concepts at home, or that are overly time-consuming can be counterproductive, experts say.

Homework that's just busy work.

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful, experts say. Assignments that look more like busy work – projects or worksheets that don't require teacher feedback and aren't related to topics learned in the classroom – can be frustrating for students and create burdens for families.

"The mental health piece has definitely played a role here over the last couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing we want to do is frustrate students with busy work or homework that makes no sense," says Dave Steckler, principal of Red Trail Elementary School in Mandan, North Dakota.

Homework on material that kids haven't learned yet.

With the pressure to cover all topics on standardized tests and limited time during the school day, some teachers assign homework that has not yet been taught in the classroom.

Not only does this create stress, but it also causes equity challenges. Some parents speak languages other than English or work several jobs, and they aren't able to help teach their children new concepts.

" It just becomes agony for both parents and the kids to get through this worksheet, and the goal becomes getting to the bottom of (the) worksheet with answers filled in without any understanding of what any of it matters for," says professor Susan R. Goldman, co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois—Chicago .

Homework that's overly time-consuming.

The standard homework guideline recommended by the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association is the "10-minute rule" – 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade level. A fourth grader, for instance, would receive a total of 40 minutes of homework per night.

But this does not always happen, especially since not every student learns the same. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy found that primary school children actually received three times the recommended amount of homework — and that family stress increased along with the homework load.

Young children can only remain attentive for short periods, so large amounts of homework, especially lengthy projects, can negatively affect students' views on school. Some individual long-term projects – like having to build a replica city, for example – typically become an assignment for parents rather than students, Fass says.

"It's one thing to assign a project like that in which several kids are working on it together," she adds. "In (that) case, the kids do normally work on it. It's another to send it home to the families, where it becomes a burden and doesn't really accomplish very much."

Private vs. Public Schools

Do private schools assign more homework than public schools? There's little research on the issue, but experts say private school parents may be more accepting of homework, seeing it as a sign of academic rigor.

Of course, not all private schools are the same – some focus on college preparation and traditional academics, while others stress alternative approaches to education.

"I think in the academically oriented private schools, there's more support for homework from parents," says Gerald K. LeTendre, chair of educational administration at Pennsylvania State University—University Park . "I don't know if there's any research to show there's more homework, but it's less of a contentious issue."

How to Address Homework Overload

First, assess if the workload takes as long as it appears. Sometimes children may start working on a homework assignment, wander away and come back later, Cooper says.

"Parents don't see it, but they know that their child has started doing their homework four hours ago and still not done it," he adds. "They don't see that there are those four hours where their child was doing lots of other things. So the homework assignment itself actually is not four hours long. It's the way the child is approaching it."

But if homework is becoming stressful or workload is excessive, experts suggest parents first approach the teacher, followed by a school administrator.

"Many times, we can solve a lot of issues by having conversations," Steckler says, including by "sitting down, talking about the amount of homework, and what's appropriate and not appropriate."

Study Tips for High School Students

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Should Students Have Homework?

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by Suzanne Capek Tingley, Veteran Educator, M.A. Degree

A student stares down a huge stack of homework.

Look before you leap at giving to much or to little homework.

It used to be that students were the only ones complaining about the practice of assigning homework. For years, teachers and parents thought that homework was a necessary tool when educating children. But studies about the effectiveness of homework have been conflicting and inconclusive, leading some adults to argue that homework should become a thing of the past.

What Research Says about Homework

According to Duke professor Harris Cooper, it's important that students have homework. His meta-analysis of homework studies showed a correlation between completing homework and academic success, at least in older grades. He recommends following a "10 minute rule" : students should receive 10 minutes of homework per day in first grade, and 10 additional minutes each subsequent year, so that by twelfth grade they are completing 120 minutes of homework daily.

school homework dp

But his analysis didn't prove that students did better because they did homework; it simply showed a correlation . This could simply mean that kids who do homework are more committed to doing well in school. Cooper also found that some research showed that homework caused physical and emotional stress, and created negative attitudes about learning. He suggested that more research needed to be done on homework's effect on kids.

Further reading: Get Homework Done and Turned In

Some researchers say that the question isn't whether kids should have homework. It's more about what kind of homework students have and how much. To be effective, homework has to meet students' needs. For example, some middle school teachers have found success with online math homework that's adapted to each student's level of understanding. But when middle school students were assigned more than an hour and a half of homework, their math and science test scores went down .

Researchers at Indiana University discovered that math and science homework may improve standardized test grades, but they found no difference in course grades between students who did homework and those who didn't. These researchers theorize that homework doesn't result in more content mastery, but in greater familiarity with the kinds of questions that appear on standardized tests. According to Professor Adam Maltese, one of the study's authors, "Our results hint that maybe homework is not being used as well as it could be."

So while many teachers and parents support daily homework, it's hard to find strong evidence that the long-held practice produces positive results.

Problems with Homework

In an article in Education Week Teacher , teacher Samantha Hulsman said she's frequently heard parents complain that a 30-minute homework assignment turns into a three-hour battle with their kids. Now, she's facing the same problem with her own kids, which has her rethinking her former beliefs about homework. "I think parents expect their children to have homework nightly, and teachers assign daily homework because it's what we've always done," she explained. Today, Hulsman said, it's more important to know how to collaborate and solve problems than it is to know specific facts.

Child psychologist Kenneth Barish wrote in Psychology Today that battles over homework rarely result in a child's improvement in school . Children who don't do their homework are not lazy, he said, but they may be frustrated, discouraged, or anxious. And for kids with learning disabilities, homework is like "running with a sprained ankle. It's doable, but painful."

Barish suggests that parents and kids have a "homework plan" that limits the time spent on homework. The plan should include turning off all devices—not just the student's, but those belonging to all family members.

One of the best-known critics of homework, Alfie Kohn , says that some people wrongly believe "kids are like vending machines—put in an assignment, get out learning." Kohn points to the lack of evidence that homework is an effective learning tool; in fact, he calls it "the greatest single extinguisher of children's curiosity that we have yet invented."

Homework Bans

Last year, the public schools in Marion County, Florida, decided on a no-homework policy for all of their elementary students . Instead, kids read nightly for 20 minutes. Superintendent Heidi Maier said the decision was based on Cooper's research showing that elementary students gain little from homework, but a lot from reading.

Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington, Vermont, followed the same path, substituting reading for homework. The homework policy has four parts : read nightly, go outside and play, have dinner with your family, and get a good night's sleep. Principal Mark Trifilio says that his staff and parents support the idea.

But while many elementary schools are considering no-homework policies, middle schools and high schools have been reluctant to abandon homework. Schools say parents support homework and teachers know it can be helpful when it is specific and follows certain guidelines. For example, practicing solving word problems can be helpful, but there's no reason to assign 50 problems when 10 will do. Recognizing that not all kids have the time, space, and home support to do homework is important, so it shouldn't be counted as part of a student's grade.

Further reading: Balancing Extracurriculars with Homework in High School

So Should Students Have Homework?

Should you ban homework in your classroom? If you teach lower grades, it's possible. If you teach middle or high school, probably not. But all teachers should think carefully about their homework policies. By limiting the amount of homework and improving the quality of assignments, you can improve learning outcomes for your students.

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Suzanne Capek Tingley

Suzanne Capek Tingley started as a high school English/Spanish teacher, transitioned to middle school, and eventually became a principal, superintendent, and adjunct professor in education administration at the State University of New York. She is the author of the funny, but practical book for teachers, How to Handle Difficult Parents (Prufrock Press). Her work has appeared in many publications including Education Week, and her blog, Practical Leadership, was featured on the Scholastic website. She has been a presenter and consultant, and with Magna Publications she developed videos on demand highlighting successful strategies for classroom teachers. Among her honors is a Woman of Distinction Award from the New York State Senate. She is a strong believer that all kids can learn and that teaching requires art, skill, and a good sense of humor.

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The Pros and Cons of Homework

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Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

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Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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Homework Policy

I. philosophy.

The purposes of homework are to improve the learning processes, to aid in the mastery of skills, and to create and stimulate interest on the part of the student. Homework is a shared responsibility among the teacher, student and family.

The term "homework" refers to an assignment to be prepared during a period of supervised study in class or outside of class time hours.

Homework is a learning activity that should increase in complexity with the maturity of the student. With increased maturity, learning should become an independent activity. This should be established through consistent assignments, which encourage students to investigate for themselves and to work independently, as well as with others.

The information for any homework assignment should be clear and specific so that the student can complete the assignment.

Homework assignments should take into consideration individual differences of students such as health, ability, conditions at home, and educational resources at home. Homework should not require the use of reference materials not readily available in most homes, school libraries, or the public library, and should require the use of those materials only when the student has had instruction in the use of them.

Parents / Guardians can expect homework to be: • Planned and well organized by the teacher. • Consistent with the needs and abilities of students. • Purposeful and Meaningful to the students. • Reviewed with feedback given to students in a timely manner.

Homework assignments should be coordinated by the teacher(s) and should be within the limit of expected probability for accomplishment by the student. Homework should help the student to:

1. Learn to work independently and become self-reliant. 2. Think, plan, organize and apply. 3. Extend proficiency in effective habit and skills. 4. Increase knowledge and its use. 5. Develop insights and stimulate creativity.

II. Research supports the following:

Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework can benefit student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, administrators, teachers, parents and guardians should follow the guidelines below. Assign purposeful homework. Legitimate purposes for homework include introducing new content, practicing a skill or process that students can do independently but not fluently, elaborating on information that has been learned in class to deepen students' knowledge, and providing opportunities for students to explore topics of their own interest.

Design and manage homework assignments to maximize the chances that students will be able to complete it. For example, ensure that homework is at the appropriate level of difficulty. Students should be able to complete homework assignments independently with relatively high success rates, but they should still find the assignments challenging and purposeful.

Parent/Guardian involvement: engage parents/guardians in appropriate ways (for example, as a sounding board to help students summarize what they learned from the homework) without requiring parents to act as teachers or to police students' homework completion. Administrators/Teachers/Parents and/or Guardians should carefully monitor the amount of homework assigned so that it is appropriate to students' age levels and individual abilities.

III. Administrative Responsibilities

The school administrator will: • Review the established homework policy with the teaching staff. • Ensure that the teaching staff monitors and follows guidelines above. • Develop specific guidelines within the framework of the general policy where needed. • Provide professional development workshops and/or informational materials regarding homework best practices for the teaching staff. • Fully communicate the policy to parents and the community.

IV. Teacher Responsibilities

The classroom teacher will: • Set out homework expectations early in the school year and implement them consistently. • Implement a routine, consistent system for assigning homework. • Assign homework congruent with students’ needs. • Make clear in assigning homework to students the purposes of the assignment, the guidelines for completion, and the basis for evaluating the work performed. • Monitor and check for student understanding of the assignment and the skills necessary to successfully complete the homework. • Provide students with rubrics that will be the basis of evaluation for long-term projects, reports, and research. • Collect homework assignments on the date specified. • Review, acknowledge, and return homework within one or two days for daily assignments. • Be consistent about how homework assignments are assessed. • Assess homework through the use of rating scales, checklists, anecdotal records, and scoring rubrics that identify specific criteria for success. • Utilize homework to locate problems in student progress and to individualize instruction. • Confer with families regarding concerns as they arise and make proper accommodations • Strive to work with colleagues to develop a consistent pattern for homework expectations between and across grade levels, disciplines and courses, and work to coordinate assignments across disciplines.

V. Family Responsibilities

Families should: • Provide encouragement and support; show interest in their children’s work. • Assist students outside of school in developing good study habits. • Provide supplies needed to complete homework assignments • Evaluate their children’s activities to be sure they have sufficient time to study. • Schedule a regular time for homework completion. Question students about their assignments. Monitor homework completion and the efficient use of time. • Encourage students to complete their own homework independently, unless otherwise specified. • Confer with teachers regarding homework when concerns arise • When provided, review teacher comments on homework assignments. Supervise the signing and returning of homework forms, notes, and schedules as required by the teacher. • Acknowledge responsible homework habits and effort.

VI. Student Responsibilities

The student should: • Understand homework assignment before leaving school. • Have a routine location and system to record daily assignments (e.g., planner, assignment book) • Take home all necessary materials to complete assignments. • Schedule and organize homework time that is free from distraction and compatible with family and/or after-school activities. • Complete and return homework on time. • Confer with teachers regarding homework concerns.

VII. Characteristics of Homework Best Practices

There are many other learning activities in the life of a student besides homework. For example, participating in school activities, pursuing cultural interests, participating in family living, and exploring personal interests should be considered when assignments are given. The research suggests that individual students may require less or more time for assignments. If students are consistently spending significantly longer on assignments, families should consult with the teacher(s) to let them know of their child’s struggles.

In addition, multiple studies support that consistent reading outside of school builds cognitive processing for all students promoting optimal academic success in all content areas. Homework at grade levels may also involve long-term projects, products, or performances that serve as a demonstration of student learning. Long-term assignments should be made well in advance of the due date and should include incremental checkpoints or benchmarks to help students complete them successfully.

Five characteristics of best homework practices:

(Author Cathy Vatterott - Rethinking Homework 2010)

Policy Adopted September 12, 2018

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Is Homework In Schools a Good Thing?

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For decades (and even centuries, according to some anthropological evidence ), homework has been considered an essential part of formal education . It’s believed that it provides you with the opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ and test and apply what you’ve been taught during school hours. 

However, some modern studies suggest that the practice of homework in schools might not be as helpful as we think it is. According to statistics on homework, homework over a certain level (the 10 minutes per grade standard) has been linked to excessive stress and disruption of personal and social habits in adolescents. It may surprise you to find out that the average amount of homework that kids from countries like the US, UK, France, and Germany currently get is above the standard limit . 😮

If you’re currently a student in the UK, you may be wondering whether homework actually does kids and teenagers any good. Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of homework.

   

What are the pros and cons of homework in school?

Pros: , homework encourages practice.

The primary purpose of homework in schools is to reinforce the habit of practising what you’ve learned in school. Some subjects like maths and languages require daily practice even outside of school hours for you to strengthen the fundamentals you’re learning. 

Practising these subjects regularly from a relatively young age can help equip you for secondary school and college courses like economics and literature, which require a strong knowledge of the basics. Also, independent learning in your own time is a fantastic way for you to identify the subjects you’re most interested in – who knows, you may even find your preferred field of study at an early age through homework! 👍

It allows your parents to be actively involved in your 

A healthy learning environment requires your parents to take an active interest in your education. Your parent or guardian helping you with your homework can help you gain a better understanding of what you’re learning and working on, since you’ll benefit from having anything you’re unsure of explained to you by someone other than your teacher at school. 

Helping you with your homework also makes it possible for your parents to stay involved and keep track of your progress in school in a non-intrusive manner. Additionally, it fosters good communication as you’ll talk to your parents more about the classes you’re attending and other school-related activities that they should know about. ✔️

It’s a great lesson in time management 

Homework in secondary school can be a great way for you to learn how to manage your time better. Older students are often actively involved in academics, sports , and several other extra-curricular activities that facilitate their all-round development. 

Therefore, completing homework outside of school from an early age can help you learn beyond the classroom and gradually get used to managing your time and responsibilities well. ⏰

Homework research encourages independent critical thinking 

Many schools are now opting for homework research as opposed to the traditional practice homework. In fact, it forms the very base of the flipped classroom structure where the students are given review materials before the class to grasp the concepts more quickly once they’re in school.

Homework research allows you to conduct your own research on a topic and form your own thoughts and opinions on what you’re learning. It encourages independent critical thinking from a young age, which is very beneficial for you. 💡

Not every child has a supportive enough home environment 

While most kids in school might have a supportive and peaceful home environment that allows them to study, some children and teenagers aren’t that lucky. Difficult domestic environments can be extremely stressful for kids, which can make independent learning outside of school challenging.

It might be difficult for kids without strong support at home to muster up the time and concentration needed to do the kind of homework that requires independent research and critical thinking. 

It adds to an already packed day 

Homework in schools, especially secondary school, often adds to your already busy days. While time management is an important virtue to learn, homework in secondary school can feel nearly impossible to manage with all the extra-curricular tasks you’re expected to juggle. 😰

Stress related to school can have a negative impact on young people’s mental health . If you find yourself struggling with your workload at school, you should speak to your parent or caretaker, or bring it up with your teacher so that you can get some extra support to help you through it. It’s not unusual for kids and teens to sometimes feel overwhelmed in their learning journey, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help!  

There’s no evidence that suggests the extra work produces better academic results for younger kids

A study conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that younger children (below 12 years of age) benefit more from activities such as reading for pleasure and not stipulated school homework. In fact, school homework might lessen the chances of a child reading or writing outside of school as a hobby. 

Research suggests that in many cases, kids having too much homework assigned to them stunts their overall personality development.  

How much homework do UK students get? 

Research on homework shows that the average British school student spends around 3.5 hours on their homework per week. Of these, primary students spend 2.2 hours; secondary students spend 4.3 hours; and sixth form students spend 5.3 hours on homework per week on average. While these numbers aren’t worrisome, they are still over the standard limit prescribed by most child health bodies. ☝️

It’s important for children and young people to communicate with their caretakers if they find that their workload is excessive. If you find yourself getting worried or stressed out over school , we would recommend speaking to your parents or bringing it up with a teacher. The most important thing is your wellbeing, and you need to be able to cope with your homework and make academic progress without increasing your stress levels. 

At GoStudent, we believe learning is a two-sided process that involves active participation from both students and tutors. We have thousands of top tutors available, so if you need any help with learning and homework, GoStudent may be just the ticket. Book a free trial lesson today to try us out! 

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Homework and study

Homework reinforces and supports the things your children learn in school.

It is designed to get your children thinking and applying what they learn in different ways and develops them into independent learners.

In secondary school, your children receive specific tasks and projects designed to apply their knowledge in different ways – for example creative writing, oral presentations, essays, exams and assignments.

You can help your children when they first start secondary school by:

You can support your children in the later years of secondary school by making sure they:

We have also created some factsheets that will help young people get the most out of their study time.

If your children are having problems with their homework or with a specific subject, ask their teacher to spend some extra time helping them through the task.

Talk with your children’s teacher about the school’s homework policy for more details.

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Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

Homework Policy

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In November 2008, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board adopted a new board-wide Homework Policy and Procedures for Kindergarten to Grade 12 to be implemented in September 2009. The policy and procedures approach homework from a Catholic perspective that recognizes the importance of family time and honours the bonds between school, family and parish. As a community, we recognize that the stronger these bonds, the more effectively our students are able to learn and to develop the unique talents and gifts with which they are blessed.

The Homework Policy and Procedures overview is available in the following 13 languages:

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My Teen Won’t Do Homework. How Can I Fix This?

close up of high schooler doing homework

Meet Jake, a 15-year-old ninth grader, who rarely, if ever, does his homework. Jake’s teachers report that he is inconsistent. He enjoys learning about topics that interest him but seems unfocused during class and fails to complete necessary schoolwork, both in class and at home. Although his grades are suffering , Jake makes no effort to improve his circumstances. His frustrated parents find that their only recourse is nagging and con­stant supervision.

Teen doing homework with mom at kitchen table

Sound familiar? When a teen won’t do homework , we call this behavior work inhibition. Here are some common characteris­tics of work inhibited students:

How can a parent help when a teen refuses to do school homework? First, try to uncover the root of the problem and then devise solutions based on that reason.

3 Reasons Why Teens Don’t Complete Homework and What to Do:

1. missing skills.

The most common rea­son for lack of motivation is a gap in skills. Unplanned absences or a heavy extracurricular load can contribute to skill gaps, even in otherwise bright teens. If you suspect a skill gap, act quickly to have your teen assessed. Your school guidance counselor can recommend the right resources.

2. Poor habits

Poor work habits can also contribute to work inhibition. Try to focus on a work system rather than the work itself with your teen. Set small goals to­gether and teach your teen to set small goals for him or herself. Try to take frequent notice of your teen’s effort and progress.

3. Lack of confidence

Often, students who are work inhibited fear being wrong and won’t ask questions when they need help. Teach your teen that everyone makes mistakes. Help them see these mistakes as another opportunity for learning.

What Parents Can Do to Promote Self-Sufficiency

1. offer limited help with homework.

Parents can offer limited help with homework.  Try to avoid micromanaging the process. When you micromanage, the mes­sage you send is that your teen will fail if you aren’t involved. When you show confidence in your teen’s ability to complete the task with­out you, your teen’s motivation and self-esteem will increase.

3. Resist lecturing

Ask your teen for ways you can help, but don’t lec­ture. Lectures about poor work habits and constant reminders about the negative consequences of unfinished homework can cre­ate more dependency.

3. Empower your teenager

Chores are a great way to empower teens . Delegating demonstrates your confidence in their ability. Try assigning tasks related to an area of interest. If your teen en­joys trying new foods, delegate the preparation and cooking of dinner one night each week.

4. Focus on strengths

Focus on strengths rath­er than pointing out your teen’s faults. When your teen succeeds, give genuine, specific praise. When you need to discuss expectations or problems use a matter-of-fact tone instead of an emotional tone.

Overstuffed organized Backpack with homework spilling out

Once you and your teen agree on the underlying problem, then the two of you can develop a plan to help create a self-sufficient student.

Martina McIsaac is executive director of Huntington Learning Centers.

4 High School Parenting Mistakes I Made—That You Can Avoid

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School Counseling and Social Work Homework Planner (W/ Download) 2nd Edition

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Features assignments and exercises to meet the changing needs of school counselors and school social workers

The School Counseling and School Social Work Homework Planner, Second Edition provides you with an array of ready-to-use, between-session assignments designed to fit virtually every therapeutic mode. This easy-to-use sourcebook features:

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SARAH EDISON KNAPP, MSW, CSW, is a former school social worker who now devotes her time and expertise to helping educators and parents relate to children in positive and highly effective ways. She is the author of several books including The School Counseling and School Social Work Treatment Planner, Second Edition and the Parenting Skills Homework Planner , both published by Wiley.

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How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework?

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At the elementary level homework should be brief, at your child’s ability level and involve frequent, voluntary and high interest activities. Young students require high levels of feedback and/or supervision to help them complete assignments correctly. Accurate homework completion is influenced by your child’s ability, the difficulty of the task, and the amount of feedback your child receives. When assigning homework, your child’s teachers may struggle to create a balance at this age between ability, task difficulty and feedback. Unfortunately, there are no simple guiding principles.

We can assure you, however, that your input and feedback on a nightly basis is an essential component in helping your child benefit from the homework experience.

What is the recommended time in elementary school?

In first through third grade, students should receive one to three assignments per week, taking them no more than fifteen to twenty minutes. In fourth through sixth grade, students should receive two to four assignments per week, lasting between fifteen and forty-five minutes. At this age, the primarily goal of homework is to help your child develop the independent work and learning skills that will become critical in the higher grades. In the upper grades, the more time spent on homework the greater the achievement gains.

What is the recommended time in middle and high school?

For students in middle and high school grades there are greater overall benefits from time engaged in practicing and thinking about school work. These benefits do not appear to depend as much upon immediate supervision or feedback as they do for elementary students. In seventh through ninth grade we recommend students receive three to five sets of assignments per week, lasting between forty-five and seventy-five minutes per set. In high school students will receive four to five sets of homework per week, taking them between seventy-five and 150 minutes per set to complete.

As children progress through school, homework and the amount of time engaged in homework increases in importance. Due to the significance of homework at the older age levels, it is not surprising that there is more homework assigned. Furthermore, homework is always assigned in college preparatory classes and assigned at least three quarters of the time in special education and vocational training classes. Thus at any age, homework may indicate our academic expectations of children.

Regardless of the amount of homework assigned, many students unsuccessful or struggling in school spend less rather than more time engaged in homework. It is not surprising that students spending less time completing homework may eventually not achieve as consistently as those who complete their homework.

Does this mean that time devoted to homework is the key component necessary for achievement?

We are not completely certain. Some American educators have concluded that if students in America spent as much time doing homework as students in Asian countries they might perform academically as well. It is tempting to assume such a cause and effect relationship.

However, this relationship appears to be an overly simple conclusion. We know that homework is important as one of several influential factors in school success. However, other variables, including student ability, achievement, motivation and teaching quality influence the time students spend with homework tasks. Many students and their parents have told us they experience less difficulty being motivated and completing homework in classes in which they enjoyed the subject, the instruction, the assignments and the teachers.

The benefits from homework are the greatest for students completing the most homework and doing so correctly. Thus, students who devote time to homework are probably on a path to improved achievement. This path also includes higher quality instruction, greater achievement motivation and better skill levels.

Authors: Dr. Sam Goldstein and Dr. Sydney Zentall

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Mountain View Whisman School District

Mountain View Whisman School District

6154 BP - Homework Policy

Instruction Board Policy No. 6154  Policy Approved:  June 6, 2007

HOMEWORK POLICY

The Governing Board recognizes that meaningful homework with timely feedback contributes toward building student responsibility, self-discipline and life-long learning habits, and that appropriate homework can affect a student’s ability to meet state and district academic expectations . Research indicates that meaningful purposes of homework may include:

As a district we have embraced a continuous improvement model as our strategy for meeting our goal of academic excellence. Homework plays in integral role in this process. The Board encourages students, parents, guardians, and staff to view homework as an important part of a student’s daily life.

The Board expects staff to be knowledgeable about effective uses of homework. As needed, teachers may receive training in designing relevant, challenging, and meaningful homework assignments that reinforce classroom and district learning objectives.

The board believes that because different children work at different paces, the amount of time spent on homework is not necessarily a good measure of the appropriateness of the homework.  As a general guideline, parents should expect an average of 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night (see table), keeping in mind that different students may take slightly more or less time to complete assignments.

Homework Guideline

Grade Average Nightly Homework

K                      Occasional short homework

1                      10 minutes

2                      20 minutes

3                      30 minutes

4                      40 minutes

5                      50 minutes

6                      60 minutes

7                      70 minutes

8                      80 minutes

For the most part, children should be able to complete homework independently.  Homework for younger children (Kindergarten and 1 st grade) may be a partnership activity between children and parents as needed.  As students progress through the grades, homework should become a more independent endeavor.  When a student sees multiple teachers during the school day, the Board expects teacher coordination with regard to student work load.

In addition to regular nightly homework, parents should expect regular reading assignments each week.  Teachers should take into account the time needed for nightly reading when assigning homework. Courses such as band, choir, and honor classes may also require time beyond that indicated above.

If a parent or guardian feels that homework is not serving their student’s learning, the Board encourages the parent to confer with the teacher.  Issues falling in this realm may include, but are not limited to, time spent on homework and amount and/or type of homework.  During the conference, the teacher and parent may determine whether adjustments are appropriate.  If issues are not resolved with the teacher, the parent is encouraged to meet with the principal.

The Board recognizes that students may need additional homework help outside of regularly scheduled class time.  To this end, the Board encourages the Superintendent or designee to design transportation schedules that will enable students to make use of homework support services.

Research shows that “academic slide” occurring over the course of summer vacation can be equivalent to more than two months of cumulative learning.  For this reason, summer reading is encouraged .  General review may be recommended to increase knowledge retention between grade levels. The Board discourages the practice of assigning homework for completion during other holiday breaks.

The board recognizes that the research on homework is ongoing and the results from this research will continue to evolve.  The board will continue to monitor the research and update this policy as necessary.

Make Up Work

Students who miss school work because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests that can be reasonably provided.  As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the assignments and tests missed during the absence.  Students shall receive full credit for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time.

Students who miss school work because of unexcused absences shall be given the opportunity to make up missed work.  Teachers shall assign such makeup work as necessary to ensure academic progress, not as a punitive measure.

Site Procedures

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each principal consults with their school’s Site Council to develop, implement, and regularly review school-site homework procedures consistent with board policy.  The site shall inform parents of homework procedures at least once a year.

Mountain View Whisman School District

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College of Education and Human Development

Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement

What is homework?

“Tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours” (Cooper, 1989, p.7 as cited in Hattie, 2009, p. 234). Homework is to be used to practice or reinforce learning that has already taken place.

Why think about research on "homework"?

Students who have been given appropriately assigned homework have scored 23 percentile points higher than students not given homework according to the seminal metaanalysis of empirical research conducted by Cooper and colleagues (2006) as cited by Marzano and Pickering (2007). Homework has empirically been found to have “positive effects... on attitudinal outcomes [of students] such as self-esteem, liking for school, and feelings of anxiety” (Como, Mitman, & Hedges, 1981 as quoted in Corno, L. (2000) .

Common beliefs/myths about "homework"

Yet, local school homework policies have been persistently criticized in popular books such as The Myth of Homework: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, (Kohn, 2006). While popular, Kohn’s work and that of others, does not cite empirical research to legitimate these claims. LeTendre , professor of Education Policy Studies at Penn State College of Education found that Americans rank in the middle of the globally competitive nations in “amount of homework assigned” (Stevenson 2010).

Homework opponents may have a point, as not all homework is “good” homework Marzano and Pickering (2007) . The case against homework cites that “homework is not assigned in appropriate ways, may cause boredom, gets parents too involved, too much pressure, interferes with quality family time,” (Cooper 2010). “Direct parental involvement” in student homework negatively relates to achievement but parental support of autonomous homework student behavior relates positively to achievement (Cooper, Jackson, Nye and Lindsay, 2001; as cited in Hatlie 2009 p. 235); and more is not better when it comes to homework (Trautwein, Koller, Schmitz, Baumert, 2002 as cited in Hatlie, 2009, p.234). Homework has “diminishing returns” ( Cooper, 2010 ); at about 10 minutes per grade level in elementary, 90 minute for middle school students and between 90-180 minutes at high school age students.

Research says:

Homework serves the distinct purpose to “provide students with an opportunity to practice,” according to a 25 year quantitative metaanalysis (Cooper, et al 2006). Homework has the highest impact on achievement in high school and the lowest in elementary school (Hattie 2009, p.235). According to Balli (1998) as cited in Marzano and Pickering 2007 practitioners should:

Homework is most impactful in math and had positive impacts on achievement in other subjects when the work assigned was NOT novel or complex (Hattie 2009, p. 235; Eren and Henderson, 2011). “Conceptual and project-based homework” had the least impact on achievement. Higher ability students gain more from homework than lower ability students for whom homework reinforces the negative feelings they have in their struggle with learning (Hattie, 2009, p.235).

Practical tools and resources

Educator friendly approaches to research-based purpose and types of homework

Full source citations

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.

Corno, L. (1996, November). Homework is a Complicated Thing. Educational Researcher , pp. 27-30.

Cooper, H. (2010). Homework's Diminishing Returns . The New York Times online.

Corno, L. (2000). Looking at Homework Differently . The Elementary School Journal, Special Issue: Non-Subject-Matter Outcomes of Schooling [II], The University of Chicago Press Stable, 100 (5) 529-548. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1002283 Accessed: 12-01-2018 04:30 UTC

Eren, O. and Henderson, D. (2011). Are we wasting our children’s time by giving them more homework? Economics in Education Review 30 (2011) 950-961.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement, London and New York: Routledge.

Kohn, A. (2006). The homework myth: Why our kids get too much of a bad thing, Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Life Long.

Marzano, R.J. & Pickering, D. J. (2007). The Case for and Against Homework . Association for Supervision Curriculum and Development, 64(6), 74-79.

Stevenson, A. (2009). Problem Question: Is Homework Bad for Kids? Penn State News online as cited on 09/20/2018.

Strauss, V. (2012). Homework: An unnecessary evil?...surprising findings from new research , Washington Post online 09/23/2018.

Vatterot, C. (2011). Five Hallmarks of Good Homework . Association for Supervision Curriculum and Development (ASCD), 68 (Best of Educational Leadership 2010-2011), 10-15.

ERIC - Institute of Education Sciences

Mountain lion causes Half Moon Bay elementary school to shelter in place

by: Aaron Tolentino

Posted: Mar 3, 2023 / 04:49 PM PST

Updated: Mar 3, 2023 / 04:49 PM PST

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. ( KRON ) — An elementary school in Half Moon Bay sheltered in place Friday morning after authorities were notified of a mountain lion in the area, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office (SMCSO) announced on Facebook. Students at Hatch Elementary School were asked to stay inside until the mountain lion was out of the area.

Authorities received a report the animal was walking down First Street toward Grove Street. That’s roughly 0.7 miles away from Hatch Elementary School.

Out of caution, a Rave alert was sent to the community, notifying the presence of the nearby mountain lion. It was then last seen walking toward the trees and bushes where it presumably lives, according to SMCSO.

KRON On is streaming news live now

SMCSO, along with help from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, determined the mountain lion was no longer in the area within the school and local community. However, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife posted signs in the area for everyone to be aware of a possible mountain lion sighting.

As of Friday afternoon, the shelter-in-place was lifted. Authorities remind the public to call 911 if they see a mountain lion.

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  1. Should Kids Get Homework?

    The standard homework guideline recommended by the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association is the "10-minute rule" - 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade...

  2. PDF Homework: A Guide for Parents

    Interactive homework in middle schools: Effects on family involvement and science achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 96, 323-338. Xu, J. (2004). Family help and homework management in urban and rural secondary schools. Teachers College Record, 106, 1786-1803. RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Print Dawson, P. (2001). Homework problems and ...

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  4. Should Students Have Homework?

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  8. Is Homework In School a Good Thing?

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    Homework Policy In November 2008, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board adopted a new board-wide Homework Policy and Procedures for Kindergarten to Grade 12 to be implemented in September 2009.

  12. PDF Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement?

    hours spent doing homework as a primary activity, and weekly hours spent doing homework as a . 4 . High school GPA and information on college attendance are available only for high school graduates. In the PSID-CDS, ninety-two percent of high school students graduated, which is close to that reported by the U.S. Department of Education (2013 ...

  13. Curriculum and Instruction / Homework Hotline

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  14. My Teen Won't Do Homework. How Can I Fix This?

    Ask your teen for ways you can help, but don't lec­ture. Lectures about poor work habits and constant reminders about the negative consequences of unfinished homework can cre­ate more dependency. 3. Empower your teenager. Chores are a great way to empower teens. Delegating demonstrates your confidence in their ability.

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  17. PDF U.S. Department of Education Margaret Spellings

    homework or some other learning activities each school night (the length of time can vary depending upon the child's age). For instance, if your seventh grader knows she's expected to spend an hour doing homework, reading or visiting the library, she may be less likely to rush through assignments so that she can watch TV. A required amount of

  18. How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework?

    As children progress through school, homework and the amount of time engaged in homework increases in importance. Due to the significance of homework at the older age levels, it is not surprising that there is more homework assigned. Furthermore, homework is always assigned in college preparatory classes and assigned at least three quarters of ...

  19. 6154 BP

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  21. Homework

    Research says: Homework serves the distinct purpose to "provide students with an opportunity to practice," according to a 25 year quantitative metaanalysis (Cooper, et al 2006). Homework has the highest impact on achievement in high school and the lowest in elementary school (Hattie 2009, p.235). According to Balli (1998) as cited in ...

  22. Chegg

    Chegg, Inc., is an American education technology company based in Santa Clara, California.It provides homework help, digital and physical textbook rentals, textbooks, online tutoring, and other student services. The company was launched in 2005, and began trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange in November 2013. As of March 2020, the company reported having 2.9 million subscribers to ...

  23. [Homework Policies of San Mateo County School Districts.]

    Homework policy statements from six elementary school districts in San Mateo County, California (Menlo Park City, Millbrae, San Bruno, Portola Valley, San Carlos, and Redwood City) covering kindergarten through grade 8 are presented. Responsibilities of the principal, the teachers, the students, and the parents are indicated; and time limits, amounts of homework, and types of homework for the ...

  24. Mountain lion Half Moon Bay: Hatch Elementary School shelters in place

    SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — An elementary school in Half Moon Bay sheltered in place Friday morning after authorities were notified of a mountain lion in the area, the San Mateo County …