Homework has been a topic of debate in schools for so long. Some teachers think homework is great for developing the child’s brain, and others think it is a primary stress instigator.
I have had different teachers throughout school and all of them did very different things with homework. Studies have been done on homework-related issues at home and at school, but many believe that homework should be completely eliminated altogether.
Clifton Parker did research on what effects homework has on children through Stanford. The research showed that too much homework can negatively affect children. It showed that it can negatively affect not only their school lives, but also their home and society. Parker surveyed 4,317 students, all in high school from upper-middle-class California. Fifty-six percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor. Thirty-three percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than one percent of students said homework was no stress to them. In this study many students claimed that homework also intervened with their physical health. They reported issues with headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems. It was stated that when a student has too much homework, they are not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills. The study proves that students have a hard time balancing everything else on top of school. (Parker)
A typical school day starts at 8am and does not end until 3pm. Directly after school are extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and volunteer work. After all this is over, the child still has not eaten dinner. Even after dinner is over, there is still lots of homework to get done and the child has still had no social interactions. This will cause children to shy away from school and be less likely to take their time on the assignments and their grades will drop substantially. According to The Educational Forum “ If high schools are to significantly improve students’ achievement, the way in which time is used must change.”(Fisher) There are a lot of things that schools need to change not only the homework aspect but just the way they run in general. But taking slow steps like changing the homework policy will eventually get there.
Another study shows that the start of early homework for elementary students sets the tone for years to come on how school will be for them. The children need to see that school is fun and learning is fun and not all just work. Homework is also to try and get parents involved in the students’ education. The child views the parent trying to force them to do more work after the school day is over. This becomes a battle between the child and the parent, which drives them away from each other, therefore accomplishing nothing. This causes an issue for years to come when this is a very unnecessary problem. Homework also gives a sense of responsibility that is not accurate. The parent must remind the child daily to do their homework, which in turn takes away any responsibility because the child is not remembering, they are only doing as they are told. Homework leaves less time for children to be children. Kids need to get outside and play more often so they can grow and develop, but homework is holding them back from this. Homework also takes time away from sleep hours for children, which in turn increases the productivity of their next school day lesson.
There are some alternatives to basic homework that could be beneficial. Fun reading about a topic that needs to be learned can be a productive assignment. It does not feel like a chore to get done with, but it is teaching the content in a better way. Giving the child basic responsibilities, such as chores is a good way to teach them without making it a task. Making sure that children know they are always learning something new will help them realize when they do actually learn something that it is not wasted knowledge. Lastly, taking the child to a museum or some sort of education center. These places are wonderful for children because they can explore and see different things they are interested in. Not only can they read about it, but they can also see it in front of them. ASEE states that “ these efforts included developing and assigning their own homework problems , increasing frequency of quizzes and exams, using classroom electronic response devices….” (Karimi) There are many different ways to improvise the homework side of school.
Homework is a leading stress cause, although it does have many positive attributes. Learning new things is always good for you and that is all homework does. Homework helps you develop study skills, get better grades at school, and improves your overall academic performance. Homework is time consuming, however it helps time management and keeps priorities straight. According to Developing self-regulation skills “during homework completion, students engage in self-regulation by motivating themselves, inhibiting distractions, using strategies to complete homework, managing time, setting goals, self-reflecting on their performance and delaying gratification.” (Zimmerman) This is all true, but to a certain extent. Homework does do all those things for students but, not when teachers are assigning multiple different things to do each night. This really can overwhelm any student who this happens too.
Eliminating homework would be the best option for anyone in school. It ultimately takes the stress away from school in general when school is already super stressful already. Kids don’t need to be given multiple different assignments every night when that’s why they are in school. The teachers should just do what they want to do in class and have that be it. Or the teachers could have alternate assignments than just a worksheet to do. There are many ways to do this, but the best option would just be to eliminate it all together.
Parker, Clifton B. “Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework.” Stanford News, 10 March 2014, https://news.stanford.edu/2014/03/10/too-much-homework-031014/. Accessed 13 April 2022.
Snee, Rossana. “Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So).” Lifehack, 7 October 2021, www.lifehack.org/808737/spending-time-with-family. Accessed 13 April 2022.
“9 Proven Reasons Why Homework is Important.” Assign U, 23 April assignu.com/homework/why-is-homework-important/. Accessed 13 April 2022.
Zimmerman , Barry J. “Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role … – Sage Journals.” Developing Self-Regulation Skills: the Important Role of Homework , journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1932202X1102200202.
Fisher , Douglas. “The Use of Instructional Time in the Typical High School Classroom.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131720902739650.
Karimi, Amir. “ASEE Peer – Alternatives to Textbook Homework Assignments.” Alternatives to Textbook Homework Assignments , peer.asee.org/alternatives-to-textbook-homework-assignments.
The biggest issues we have in middle school is assignments are getting more difficult for parents to support. Papers are sent home without texts books because they have to remain in class. Online classrooms aren’t as linear in postings and many times don’t have due dates assigned. How are students supposed to find a working order when it’s all lumped together? It turns into 20 minutes searching through web pages and sometimes following multiple links to an assignment. ADHD child wise this definitely not learning friendly.