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Homework is Time-Consuming
Alyssa Barron , Lupe Vindiola , Joshua Rodriguez , and Carlos Jimenez | March 9, 2018
Homework is stressful for students. Is it worth it? (Carlos Jimenez / for Lincoln Lion Tales)
Homework is a resource used by most teachers in the United States. There is much controversy about the effectiveness of the impact on homework, whether if it does more harm than good, or more good than harm.
In doing research we found that homework can cause stress that could possibly lead to depression because it makes many people feel overwhelmed and feel like there’s so much pressure being put on them by their family or others to do good in school so they can have a good life.
Many people say “practice means perfect”, but how much practice is needed to achieve perfect? Teenagers struggle to prioritize their time due to the many important commitments they make such as sports, jobs, school work and family time. Family time is often left behind due to the excessive amount of homework teenagers have to do. In the article “Excessive Homework Strains Family Life” Wendy J. Ponte states, “Few ambitious teenagers these days can spend significant amounts of quality time with their families—because of how much homework they must complete.”
According to a student at Lincoln High school they state, ¨keeping up with at least four classes of homework a day and having a job Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday while also doing sports (club or school) Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday (the days I’m not working) is very stressful and a lot of the time, I don’t even get it all of done. It adds on stress to things that I have to do to help out my family and It affects social life as well. Doing all the stuff I’m doing and still having a lot of homework keeps me very busy, catching up on all of it when I have free time from work and sports. Being focused on that caused me to stop talking to a lot of people that I was close to because I was always ´too busy.´¨
According to the textbook Child’s Psychology the author states, ¨regular social interaction plays a critical role in brain development. Children who get plenty of opportunities to interact with friends and family can gain valuable social, conflict management and impulse control skills. When homework reduces this time, children’s social development may suffer.¨
Sandra Levy the author of Is Too Much Homework Bad for Kids’ Health? states, “Researchers found that spending too much time on homework meant that students were not meeting their development needs or cultivating other critical life skills. Student were more likely to forgo activites, stop seeing friends and family, and not participating in any hobbies.”
According to www.kidzworld.com the author states, “ Homework gets in the way of family time. If a student cannot attend a family event or spend time with family because he or she must complete a homework project, he or she is being prevented from forming meaningful connections, engaging in stress-relieving activities, and possibly even exploring new experiences.¨
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Anonymous • Feb 16, 2022 at 6:27 pm
Thank you! This was awesome use for my argumentative essay!!
kate • Feb 26, 2020 at 9:21 pm
this article ok but homework helps me
joey • Feb 26, 2020 at 8:59 pm
i don’t agree but still a useful article for my cons
Anonymous • Jan 23, 2020 at 7:03 am
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How much homework is too much?
School Me, Please is the advice column where early career educators can come for individualized guidance from seasoned educators who have a passion for mentoring. Have a problem or question for one of our experts to address on the blog? Send it to us via email at [email protected] .
My students are always complaining about the amount of homework I assign. Before, I just wrote those complaints off, but I've been seeing a lot of debate about how useful homework really is. How much is too much? - Always Assigning
Dear Always Assigning,
How much homework is too much is an age-old question, and there’s been a constantly shifting debate on this for as long as I’ve been teaching. Research tells us that homework has some benefits, especially in middle and high school. However, some districts and teachers are abandoning homework altogether. At the end of the day, it’s about what works best for you and your students, but here’s some insight that might help you make a decision.
First ensure your assignments are in line with school and district policy. I’d also ask your colleagues that teach similar grades and subjects. After these initial asks, start to consider factors like age, as elementary students are much different than high schoolers. Many districts follow the guideline of 10 minutes per grade level. This is a good rule of thumb and can be modified for specific students or subjects that need more or less time for assignments. This can also be helpful to gauge if you are providing too much (or too little) homework. Consider surveying your students on how much time is needed nightly to complete what you assign, then compare to the guideline number to see if you are on the right track.
Now think about your personal philosophy regarding homework. I tend to subscribe to the belief that homework is a reinforcement of skills already learned, and should be completed without the assistance of a teacher or adult. Homework, in this view, is a way of forming habits to set them up for success later in their education by teaching responsibility, time management, and how to complete a task. This is more common with elementary/primary teachers, as we see importance in children playing and being active after school and spending time with family members, in addition to their homework. In older students the benefit and purpose of homework is more academic.
It is important to consider individual learners as well as the environment in which they are doing their homework. Parents can be an important resource in assessing the student’s needs for homework since they have insights into how students work at home. When I’m struggling to create a personal plan for a student’s homework assignments, I always try and reach out to their parents to collaborate.
In reflecting on how much homework is appropriate, consider how much time is it taking your students, their age, what your purpose and goals are, and the type of assignment. Also, consider all learners and their ability and support working without a teacher. Looking at all these factors will help you determine if in fact you are asking too much in regards to time spent on homework.
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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.
A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter. "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education . The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework. Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year. Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night. "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote. Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school. Their study found that too much homework is associated with: • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor. • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems. • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy. A balancing act The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills. Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up. "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences.. Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said. "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope. High-performing paradox In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities." Student perspectives The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe. The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.
Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .
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Is Homework Beneficial or Just a Time Consuming Task?
11181550 – focused student surrounded by books in a library
Olivia Chuvala , Staff Writer October 3, 2019
Homework is something that is well known by any student. We all know that some people believe it is beneficial and necessary for any student to succeed while others believe it is just a complete waste of time. It has been an ongoing debate about whether or not students should even have any homework, and many believe it is just an extra task and has no benefit.
I believe that some of the homework we get is beneficial, but there is a lot of it assigned that isn’t. Also sometimes there is just too much assigned and is an unreasonable amount to be completed in one night. According to The National Education Association and the National Parent -Teacher association, students should only have between 10-120 minutes of homework depending on your grade level because of the 10 minute rule. The rule is that students get 10 minutes of homework based on their grade level. For example if you are in 9th grade you should have 90 minutes of homework. However there are many nights when students are completing way more than that. Studies show that this amount will most likely be too much and can cause students to dislike school and have negative feelings toward it. It also takes time away from students daily lives such as having time for extracurricular activities or spending time with friends and family which is a very important part of a students life. On the other hand, a lot of people believe homework is needed to be successful in school and that all school work comes before anything else in their life. Yes, school and grades are the most important, but students need a break sometimes to just relax and do fun things with their friends and family. Researchers say that homework helps students with study strategies. While this can be true, in some cases it’s just there for students to complete for a few extra points and in some cases just an extra assignment that takes time away from a student being able to actually study for an important test. This can frustrate parents and students because parents want to spend time with their kids and see them happy which can be hard when they are busy with homework all the time. They say homework allows parents to be involved with their kids and help them, but most parents just get frustrated by the homework because they don’t know how to do it either. Another issue is that some students don’t have access to internet at home, and since online work is very popular now due to all the technology in schools it causes a disadvantage to the students with no internet access. If homework is expected to help students, then it needs to be able to be completed by everyone.
As you can see homework can be beneficial, but is mostly just a time consuming task. Along with that, some students don’t have the resources needed to complete some assignments making it unfair, and can frustrate parents as well. This shows homework is more of just a time consuming task rather than a beneficial study tool.
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Students spend three times longer on homework than average, survey reveals
Sonya Kulkarni and Pallavi Gorantla | January 9, 2022
Graphic by Sonya Kulkarni
The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association have suggested that a healthy number of hours that students should be spending can be determined by the “10-minute rule.” This means that each grade level should have a maximum homework time incrementing by 10 minutes depending on their grade level (for instance, ninth-graders would have 90 minutes of homework, 10th-graders should have 100 minutes, and so on).
As ‘finals week’ rapidly approaches, students not only devote effort to attaining their desired exam scores but make a last attempt to keep or change the grade they have for semester one by making up homework assignments.
High schoolers reported doing an average of 2.7 hours of homework per weeknight, according to a study by the Washington Post from 2018 to 2020 of over 50,000 individuals. A survey of approximately 200 Bellaire High School students revealed that some students spend over three times this number.
The demographics of this survey included 34 freshmen, 43 sophomores, 54 juniors and 54 seniors on average.
When asked how many hours students spent on homework in a day on average, answers ranged from zero to more than nine with an average of about four hours. In contrast, polled students said that about one hour of homework would constitute a healthy number of hours.
Junior Claire Zhang said she feels academically pressured in her AP schedule, but not necessarily by the classes.
“The class environment in AP classes can feel pressuring because everyone is always working hard and it makes it difficult to keep up sometimes.” Zhang said.
A total of 93 students reported that the minimum grade they would be satisfied with receiving in a class would be an A. This was followed by 81 students, who responded that a B would be the minimum acceptable grade. 19 students responded with a C and four responded with a D.
“I am happy with the classes I take, but sometimes it can be very stressful to try to keep up,” freshman Allyson Nguyen said. “I feel academically pressured to keep an A in my classes.”
Up to 152 students said that grades are extremely important to them, while 32 said they generally are more apathetic about their academic performance.
Last year, nine valedictorians graduated from Bellaire. They each achieved a grade point average of 5.0. HISD has never seen this amount of valedictorians in one school, and as of now there are 14 valedictorians.
“I feel that it does degrade the title of valedictorian because as long as a student knows how to plan their schedule accordingly and make good grades in the classes, then anyone can be valedictorian,” Zhang said.
Bellaire offers classes like physical education and health in the summer. These summer classes allow students to skip the 4.0 class and not put it on their transcript. Some electives also have a 5.0 grade point average like debate.
Close to 200 students were polled about Bellaire having multiple valedictorians. They primarily answered that they were in favor of Bellaire having multiple valedictorians, which has recently attracted significant acclaim .
Senior Katherine Chen is one of the 14 valedictorians graduating this year and said that she views the class of 2022 as having an extraordinary amount of extremely hardworking individuals.
“I think it was expected since freshman year since most of us knew about the others and were just focused on doing our personal best,” Chen said.
Chen said that each valedictorian achieved the honor on their own and deserves it.
“I’m honestly very happy for the other valedictorians and happy that Bellaire is such a good school,” Chen said. “I don’t feel any less special with 13 other valedictorians.”
Nguyen said that having multiple valedictorians shows just how competitive the school is.
“It’s impressive, yet scary to think about competing against my classmates,” Nguyen said.
Offering 30 AP classes and boasting a significant number of merit-based scholars Bellaire can be considered a competitive school.
“I feel academically challenged but not pressured,” Chen said. “Every class I take helps push me beyond my comfort zone but is not too much to handle.”
Students have the opportunity to have off-periods if they’ve met all their credits and are able to maintain a high level of academic performance. But for freshmen like Nguyen, off periods are considered a privilege. Nguyen said she usually has an hour to five hours worth of work everyday.
“Depending on the day, there can be a lot of work, especially with extra curriculars,” Nguyen said. “Although, I am a freshman, so I feel like it’s not as bad in comparison to higher grades.”
According to the survey of Bellaire students, when asked to evaluate their agreement with the statement “students who get better grades tend to be smarter overall than students who get worse grades,” responders largely disagreed.
Zhang said that for students on the cusp of applying to college, it can sometimes be hard to ignore the mental pressure to attain good grades.
“As a junior, it’s really easy to get extremely anxious about your GPA,” Zhang said. “It’s also a very common but toxic practice to determine your self-worth through your grades but I think that we just need to remember that our mental health should also come first. Sometimes, it’s just not the right day for everyone and one test doesn’t determine our smartness.”
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Kassie • May 6, 2022 at 12:29 pm
Im using this for an English report. This is great because on of my sources needed to be from another student. Homework drives me insane. Im glad this is very updated too!!
Kaylee Swaim • Jan 25, 2023 at 9:21 pm
I am also using this for an English report. I have to do an argumentative essay about banning homework in schools and this helps sooo much!
E. Elliott • Apr 25, 2022 at 6:42 pm
I’m from Louisiana and am actually using this for an English Essay thanks for the information it was very informative.
Nabila Wilson • Jan 10, 2022 at 6:56 pm
Interesting with the polls! I didn’t realize about 14 valedictorians, that’s crazy.
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Homework Is Invading Our Free Time
Lili Stevens , Arts & Entertainment Editor November 21, 2019
When I came up with the idea of writing this article, I was hoping to hear about the fun and exciting things my peers do during their off periods. What I really found out was that most kids just do homework.
This raises the question: are students procrastinating their homework and waiting to do it during their off periods, or do they simply have too much homework and too little time?
I’d like to bring to light the homework issue present in high schools across the nation. If you ask any high schooler about their homework situation, it’s likely that you’ll receive an exasperated sigh and maybe an eye roll. They’re over it. It feels like teachers don’t understand that students have five or six other classes with teachers that all assign around the same amount of homework each night. This leads to students being responsible for up to five hours of homework a night. This doesn’t even take into account the time consumed by students’ extracurriculars, jobs, and family responsibilities. When you add u p all of these commitments, it’s understandable that students feel overworked.
America seems to have one of the biggest problems surrounding homework when compared with other nations. On average, U.S. students spend 6.1 hours doing homework each week, according to the World Atlas. Tied to that, America’s mental health crisis has become an epidemic. According to a study by Stanford University, 56 percent of students consider homework a primary source of stress. Students also reported that their homework levels resulted in sleep deprivation and other health problems. The study also reported that “students were not meeting their developmental needs… and were more likely to drop activities” among other negative consequences. Overall, it seems that homework is leading to an increase in stress and anxiety, more time alone and less physical activities among young Americans
How do we solve this?
To combat workload stress, some countries, such as Finland, have cut down on homework amounts and added time for recess, while other countries, such as Italy, end school at lunchtime, according to Oxfordlearning.com.
I can’t claim to have found one perfect solution. However, I do see a concerning rise in the amount of homework and general school work American students have been given, and a fall in the amount of time they are allotted to complete them Potentially, teachers could hand out surveys similar to the beginning-of-the-year surveys some use to learn more about their student’s learning styles halfway through the semester to learn about the amount of time students are taking with all of their homework combined and make adjustments based on this feedback.
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MORGZ • Jan 17, 2023 at 7:34 pm
i hate homework
Rocha • Jan 10, 2023 at 1:01 pm
I’m doing an argument that kids should have less homework.
I.P freely • Aug 11, 2022 at 9:45 pm
doing a debate on this topic waaaaa
onions have layers
Hugh • May 18, 2022 at 11:54 pm
Funny I’m doing homework about banning homework
Inleak • Mar 9, 2022 at 12:51 pm
I hate homework 🙁 🙁 🙁
Bridget • Feb 2, 2022 at 5:04 pm
funny im doing a thing to say homework is bad for homework
Tea' richardson • Feb 12, 2022 at 2:51 pm
D Hill on • Mar 9, 2022 at 12:47 pm
Gabriel Ramirez • May 2, 2022 at 11:46 am
collin • Jan 13, 2022 at 10:20 am
homework is stupid and i think it should be banned from the U.S
Eleni • May 13, 2021 at 9:00 am
I HATE HOMEWORK
Asit • Apr 14, 2021 at 8:30 am
Give. Me homework.
gauge • Apr 8, 2022 at 1:23 pm
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How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework?
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
Is Homework Good for Kids? Here's What the Research Says
A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.
The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early.
But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage. Here’s what you need to know:
For decades, the homework standard has been a “10-minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. The National PTA and the National Education Association both support that guideline.
But some schools have begun to give their youngest students a break. A Massachusetts elementary school has announced a no-homework pilot program for the coming school year, lengthening the school day by two hours to provide more in-class instruction. “We really want kids to go home at 4 o’clock, tired. We want their brain to be tired,” Kelly Elementary School Principal Jackie Glasheen said in an interview with a local TV station . “We want them to enjoy their families. We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.”
A New York City public elementary school implemented a similar policy last year, eliminating traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. The change was quickly met with outrage from some parents, though it earned support from other education leaders.
New solutions and approaches to homework differ by community, and these local debates are complicated by the fact that even education experts disagree about what’s best for kids.
The most comprehensive research on homework to date comes from a 2006 meta-analysis by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, who found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school. The correlation was stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades, for whom there was a weak relationship between homework and performance.
Cooper’s analysis focused on how homework impacts academic achievement—test scores, for example. His report noted that homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and independent problem solving skills. On the other hand, some studies he examined showed that homework can cause physical and emotional fatigue, fuel negative attitudes about learning and limit leisure time for children. At the end of his analysis, Cooper recommended further study of such potential effects of homework.
Despite the weak correlation between homework and performance for young children, Cooper argues that a small amount of homework is useful for all students. Second-graders should not be doing two hours of homework each night, he said, but they also shouldn’t be doing no homework.
Not all education experts agree entirely with Cooper’s assessment.
Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports the “10-minute rule” as a maximum, but she thinks there is not sufficient proof that homework is helpful for students in elementary school.
“Correlation is not causation,” she said. “Does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework?”
Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs , thinks there should be more emphasis on improving the quality of homework tasks, and she supports efforts to eliminate homework for younger kids.
“I have no concerns about students not starting homework until fourth grade or fifth grade,” she said, noting that while the debate over homework will undoubtedly continue, she has noticed a trend toward limiting, if not eliminating, homework in elementary school.
The issue has been debated for decades. A TIME cover in 1999 read: “Too much homework! How it’s hurting our kids, and what parents should do about it.” The accompanying story noted that the launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to a push for better math and science education in the U.S. The ensuing pressure to be competitive on a global scale, plus the increasingly demanding college admissions process, fueled the practice of assigning homework.
“The complaints are cyclical, and we’re in the part of the cycle now where the concern is for too much,” Cooper said. “You can go back to the 1970s, when you’ll find there were concerns that there was too little, when we were concerned about our global competitiveness.”
Cooper acknowledged that some students really are bringing home too much homework, and their parents are right to be concerned.
“A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements,” he said. “If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”
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How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework Based on Grade?
- 18 July 2020
- Posted by: ryan
- Category: Tutoring
A common question that parents always ask is, “How much time should my child dedicate to homework every day?” It’s not an easy question to answer. As we all know, every student learns differently from each other. While some kids do, substantially, better in school, by completing one hour of homework every day. There might be some others, who require two hours of homework, but only see a slight improvement in their grades.
To get to the bottom of this, we went to the experts for the answers! So here’s a break down of how much time your child should spend on homework according to their grade.
What is The Recommended Homework Time in Elementary School?
So before we give you a solid figure. We took a look at the results of a May 2012 study from the Los Angeles Unified School District . (Figure 1 below)
If your child is starting out in kindergarten and they receive some basic worksheets to complete for homework, the standard time they should spend on completing homework is 10 minutes per night.
Keep in mind, kindergarten childen might have shorter attention spans, than older kids, and might need a few intervals in between to complete their homework. So let them do it for 5 minutes, then take a 5 minute break, then continue for another 5 minutes to complete.
Usually, Grade 1 – 3 students receive one to three homework assignments per week. They suggest that your child spend at least 20 – 30 minutes per night on homework.
Grade 4 – 5 students who receive two to four assignments per week, should focus between 40 – 50 minutes on completing each assignment.
What is The Recommended Homework Time in Middle and High school?
As your child enters middle and high school, naturally, their home work time will increase. As subjects get harder and more information needs to be retained for exams, more time is needed to practice. Here are the home work time estimations for older students from the Los Angeles Unified School District . (Figure 2 below)
Students in middle school are from Grades 6 – 8. As class subjects require more attention and practice, middle school students get assigned three to five sets of assignments per week. We recommend that your child spend between 45 – 75 minutes per night.
Once your child is in highschool, Grade 9 – 12 students usually receive four to five sets of homework per week. According to Figure 2, high school students should focus about 25-30 minutes on each subject.
For example, if your child is in Grade 10 and has a Math and English assignment to do for homework, they should spend at least 30 minutes on English and 30 minutes on Math. If they take one or two short breaks, it works out to be 75 – 150 minutes per set to complete both assignments.
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How Much Homework Is Enough? Depends Who You Ask
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Editor’s note: This is an adapted excerpt from You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education ( Viking)—the latest book by author and speaker Sir Ken Robinson (co-authored with Lou Aronica), published in March. For years, Robinson has been known for his radical work on rekindling creativity and passion in schools, including three bestselling books (also with Aronica) on the topic. His TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” holds the record for the most-viewed TED talk of all time, with more than 50 million views. While Robinson’s latest book is geared toward parents, it also offers educators a window into the kinds of education concerns parents have for their children, including on the quality and quantity of homework.
The amount of homework young people are given varies a lot from school to school and from grade to grade. In some schools and grades, children have no homework at all. In others, they may have 18 hours or more of homework every week. In the United States, the accepted guideline, which is supported by both the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association, is the 10-minute rule: Children should have no more than 10 minutes of homework each day for each grade reached. In 1st grade, children should have 10 minutes of daily homework; in 2nd grade, 20 minutes; and so on to the 12th grade, when on average they should have 120 minutes of homework each day, which is about 10 hours a week. It doesn’t always work out that way.
In 2013, the University of Phoenix College of Education commissioned a survey of how much homework teachers typically give their students. From kindergarten to 5th grade, it was just under three hours per week; from 6th to 8th grade, it was 3.2 hours; and from 9th to 12th grade, it was 3.5 hours.
There are two points to note. First, these are the amounts given by individual teachers. To estimate the total time children are expected to spend on homework, you need to multiply these hours by the number of teachers they work with. High school students who work with five teachers in different curriculum areas may find themselves with 17.5 hours or more of homework a week, which is the equivalent of a part-time job. The other factor is that these are teachers’ estimates of the time that homework should take. The time that individual children spend on it will be more or less than that, according to their abilities and interests. One child may casually dash off a piece of homework in half the time that another will spend laboring through in a cold sweat.
Do students have more homework these days than previous generations? Given all the variables, it’s difficult to say. Some studies suggest they do. In 2007, a study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that, on average, high school students spent around seven hours a week on homework. A similar study in 1994 put the average at less than five hours a week. Mind you, I [Robinson] was in high school in England in the 1960s and spent a lot more time than that—though maybe that was to do with my own ability. One way of judging this is to look at how much homework your own children are given and compare it to what you had at the same age.
Many parents find it difficult to help their children with subjects they’ve not studied themselves for a long time, if at all.
There’s also much debate about the value of homework. Supporters argue that it benefits children, teachers, and parents in several ways:
- Children learn to deepen their understanding of specific content, to cover content at their own pace, to become more independent learners, to develop problem-solving and time-management skills, and to relate what they learn in school to outside activities.
- Teachers can see how well their students understand the lessons; evaluate students’ individual progress, strengths, and weaknesses; and cover more content in class.
- Parents can engage practically in their children’s education, see firsthand what their children are being taught in school, and understand more clearly how they’re getting on—what they find easy and what they struggle with in school.
Want to know more about Sir Ken Robinson? Check out our Q&A with him.
Q&A With Sir Ken Robinson
Ashley Norris is assistant dean at the University of Phoenix College of Education. Commenting on her university’s survey, she says, “Homework helps build confidence, responsibility, and problem-solving skills that can set students up for success in high school, college, and in the workplace.”
That may be so, but many parents find it difficult to help their children with subjects they’ve not studied themselves for a long time, if at all. Families have busy lives, and it can be hard for parents to find time to help with homework alongside everything else they have to cope with. Norris is convinced it’s worth the effort, especially, she says, because in many schools, the nature of homework is changing. One influence is the growing popularity of the so-called flipped classroom.
In the stereotypical classroom, the teacher spends time in class presenting material to the students. Their homework consists of assignments based on that material. In the flipped classroom, the teacher provides the students with presentational materials—videos, slides, lecture notes—which the students review at home and then bring questions and ideas to school where they work on them collaboratively with the teacher and other students. As Norris notes, in this approach, homework extends the boundaries of the classroom and reframes how time in school can be used more productively, allowing students to “collaborate on learning, learn from each other, maybe critique [each other’s work], and share those experiences.”
Even so, many parents and educators are increasingly concerned that homework, in whatever form it takes, is a bridge too far in the pressured lives of children and their families. It takes away from essential time for their children to relax and unwind after school, to play, to be young, and to be together as a family. On top of that, the benefits of homework are often asserted, but they’re not consistent, and they’re certainly not guaranteed.
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