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7 Research-Based Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework: Academic Insights, Opposing Perspectives & Alternatives

In recent years, the question of why students should not have homework has become a topic of intense debate among educators, parents, and students themselves. This discussion stems from a growing body of research that challenges the traditional view of homework as an essential component of academic success. The notion that homework is an integral part of learning is being reevaluated in light of new findings about its effectiveness and impact on students’ overall well-being.

Why Students Should Not Have Homework

The push against homework is not just about the hours spent on completing assignments; it’s about rethinking the role of education in fostering the well-rounded development of young individuals. Critics argue that homework, particularly in excessive amounts, can lead to negative outcomes such as stress, burnout, and a diminished love for learning. Moreover, it often disproportionately affects students from disadvantaged backgrounds, exacerbating educational inequities. The debate also highlights the importance of allowing children to have enough free time for play, exploration, and family interaction, which are crucial for their social and emotional development.

Checking 13yo’s math homework & I have just one question. I can catch mistakes & help her correct. But what do kids do when their parent isn’t an Algebra teacher? Answer: They get frustrated. Quit. Get a bad grade. Think they aren’t good at math. How is homework fair??? — Jay Wamsted (@JayWamsted) March 24, 2022

As we delve into this discussion, we explore various facets of why reducing or even eliminating homework could be beneficial. We consider the research, weigh the pros and cons, and examine alternative approaches to traditional homework that can enhance learning without overburdening students.

Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll know:

  • Insights from Teachers and Education Industry Experts →
  • 7 Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework →
  • Opposing Views on Homework Practices →
  • Exploring Alternatives to Homework →

Insights from Teachers and Education Industry Experts: Diverse Perspectives on Homework

In the ongoing conversation about the role and impact of homework in education, the perspectives of those directly involved in the teaching process are invaluable. Teachers and education industry experts bring a wealth of experience and insights from the front lines of learning. Their viewpoints, shaped by years of interaction with students and a deep understanding of educational methodologies, offer a critical lens through which we can evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of homework in our current educational paradigm.

Check out this video featuring Courtney White, a high school language arts teacher who gained widespread attention for her explanation of why she chooses not to assign homework.

Here are the insights and opinions from various experts in the educational field on this topic:

“I teach 1st grade. I had parents ask for homework. I explained that I don’t give homework. Home time is family time. Time to play, cook, explore and spend time together. I do send books home, but there is no requirement or checklist for reading them. Read them, enjoy them, and return them when your child is ready for more. I explained that as a parent myself, I know they are busy—and what a waste of energy it is to sit and force their kids to do work at home—when they could use that time to form relationships and build a loving home. Something kids need more than a few math problems a week.” — Colleen S. , 1st grade teacher
“The lasting educational value of homework at that age is not proven. A kid says the times tables [at school] because he studied the times tables last night. But over a long period of time, a kid who is drilled on the times tables at school, rather than as homework, will also memorize their times tables. We are worried about young children and their social emotional learning. And that has to do with physical activity, it has to do with playing with peers, it has to do with family time. All of those are very important and can be removed by too much homework.” — David Bloomfield , education professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York graduate center
“Homework in primary school has an effect of around zero. In high school it’s larger. (…) Which is why we need to get it right. Not why we need to get rid of it. It’s one of those lower hanging fruit that we should be looking in our primary schools to say, ‘Is it really making a difference?’” — John Hattie , professor
”Many kids are working as many hours as their overscheduled parents and it is taking a toll – psychologically and in many other ways too. We see kids getting up hours before school starts just to get their homework done from the night before… While homework may give kids one more responsibility, it ignores the fact that kids do not need to grow up and become adults at ages 10 or 12. With schools cutting recess time or eliminating playgrounds, kids absorb every single stress there is, only on an even higher level. Their brains and bodies need time to be curious, have fun, be creative and just be a kid.” — Pat Wayman, teacher and CEO of HowtoLearn.com

7 Reasons Why Students Should Not Have Homework

Let’s delve into the reasons against assigning homework to students. Examining these arguments offers important perspectives on the wider educational and developmental consequences of homework practices.

1. Elevated Stress and Health Consequences

Elevated Stress and Health Consequences

The ongoing debate about homework often focuses on its educational value, but a vital aspect that cannot be overlooked is the significant stress and health consequences it brings to students. In the context of American life, where approximately 70% of people report moderate or extreme stress due to various factors like mass shootings, healthcare affordability, discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, climate change, presidential elections, and the need to stay informed, the additional burden of homework further exacerbates this stress, particularly among students.

Key findings and statistics reveal a worrying trend:

  • Overwhelming Student Stress: A staggering 72% of students report being often or always stressed over schoolwork, with a concerning 82% experiencing physical symptoms due to this stress.
  • Serious Health Issues: Symptoms linked to homework stress include sleep deprivation, headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, and stomach problems.
  • Sleep Deprivation: Despite the National Sleep Foundation recommending 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep for healthy adolescent development, students average just 6.80 hours of sleep on school nights. About 68% of students stated that schoolwork often or always prevented them from getting enough sleep, which is critical for their physical and mental health.
  • Turning to Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Alarmingly, the pressure from excessive homework has led some students to turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with stress.

This data paints a concerning picture. Students, already navigating a world filled with various stressors, find themselves further burdened by homework demands. The direct correlation between excessive homework and health issues indicates a need for reevaluation. The goal should be to ensure that homework if assigned, adds value to students’ learning experiences without compromising their health and well-being.

By addressing the issue of homework-related stress and health consequences, we can take a significant step toward creating a more nurturing and effective educational environment. This environment would not only prioritize academic achievement but also the overall well-being and happiness of students, preparing them for a balanced and healthy life both inside and outside the classroom.

2. Inequitable Impact and Socioeconomic Disparities

Inequitable Impact and Socioeconomic Disparities

In the discourse surrounding educational equity, homework emerges as a factor exacerbating socioeconomic disparities, particularly affecting students from lower-income families and those with less supportive home environments. While homework is often justified as a means to raise academic standards and promote equity, its real-world impact tells a different story.

The inequitable burden of homework becomes starkly evident when considering the resources required to complete it, especially in the digital age. Homework today often necessitates a computer and internet access – resources not readily available to all students. This digital divide significantly disadvantages students from lower-income backgrounds, deepening the chasm between them and their more affluent peers.

Key points highlighting the disparities:

  • Digital Inequity: Many students lack access to necessary technology for homework, with low-income families disproportionately affected.
  • Impact of COVID-19: The pandemic exacerbated these disparities as education shifted online, revealing the extent of the digital divide.
  • Educational Outcomes Tied to Income: A critical indicator of college success is linked more to family income levels than to rigorous academic preparation. Research indicates that while 77% of students from high-income families graduate from highly competitive colleges, only 9% from low-income families achieve the same . This disparity suggests that the pressure of heavy homework loads, rather than leveling the playing field, may actually hinder the chances of success for less affluent students.

Moreover, the approach to homework varies significantly across different types of schools. While some rigorous private and preparatory schools in both marginalized and affluent communities assign extreme levels of homework, many progressive schools focusing on holistic learning and self-actualization opt for no homework, yet achieve similar levels of college and career success. This contrast raises questions about the efficacy and necessity of heavy homework loads in achieving educational outcomes.

The issue of homework and its inequitable impact is not just an academic concern; it is a reflection of broader societal inequalities. By continuing practices that disproportionately burden students from less privileged backgrounds, the educational system inadvertently perpetuates the very disparities it seeks to overcome.

3. Negative Impact on Family Dynamics

Negative Impact on Family Dynamics

Homework, a staple of the educational system, is often perceived as a necessary tool for academic reinforcement. However, its impact extends beyond the realm of academics, significantly affecting family dynamics. The negative repercussions of homework on the home environment have become increasingly evident, revealing a troubling pattern that can lead to conflict, mental health issues, and domestic friction.

A study conducted in 2015 involving 1,100 parents sheds light on the strain homework places on family relationships. The findings are telling:

  • Increased Likelihood of Conflicts: Families where parents did not have a college degree were 200% more likely to experience fights over homework.
  • Misinterpretations and Misunderstandings: Parents often misinterpret their children’s difficulties with homework as a lack of attention in school, leading to feelings of frustration and mistrust on both sides.
  • Discriminatory Impact: The research concluded that the current approach to homework disproportionately affects children whose parents have lower educational backgrounds, speak English as a second language, or belong to lower-income groups.

The issue is not confined to specific demographics but is a widespread concern. Samantha Hulsman, a teacher featured in Education Week Teacher , shared her personal experience with the toll that homework can take on family time. She observed that a seemingly simple 30-minute assignment could escalate into a three-hour ordeal, causing stress and strife between parents and children. Hulsman’s insights challenge the traditional mindset about homework, highlighting a shift towards the need for skills such as collaboration and problem-solving over rote memorization of facts.

The need of the hour is to reassess the role and amount of homework assigned to students. It’s imperative to find a balance that facilitates learning and growth without compromising the well-being of the family unit. Such a reassessment would not only aid in reducing domestic conflicts but also contribute to a more supportive and nurturing environment for children’s overall development.

4. Consumption of Free Time

Consumption of Free Time

In recent years, a growing chorus of voices has raised concerns about the excessive burden of homework on students, emphasizing how it consumes their free time and impedes their overall well-being. The issue is not just the quantity of homework, but its encroachment on time that could be used for personal growth, relaxation, and family bonding.

Authors Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish , in their book “The Case Against Homework,” offer an insightful window into the lives of families grappling with the demands of excessive homework. They share stories from numerous interviews conducted in the mid-2000s, highlighting the universal struggle faced by families across different demographics. A poignant account from a parent in Menlo Park, California, describes nightly sessions extending until 11 p.m., filled with stress and frustration, leading to a soured attitude towards school in both the child and the parent. This narrative is not isolated, as about one-third of the families interviewed expressed feeling crushed by the overwhelming workload.

Key points of concern:

  • Excessive Time Commitment: Students, on average, spend over 6 hours in school each day, and homework adds significantly to this time, leaving little room for other activities.
  • Impact on Extracurricular Activities: Homework infringes upon time for sports, music, art, and other enriching experiences, which are as crucial as academic courses.
  • Stifling Creativity and Self-Discovery: The constant pressure of homework limits opportunities for students to explore their interests and learn new skills independently.

The National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) recommend a “10 minutes of homework per grade level” standard, suggesting a more balanced approach. However, the reality often far exceeds this guideline, particularly for older students. The impact of this overreach is profound, affecting not just academic performance but also students’ attitudes toward school, their self-confidence, social skills, and overall quality of life.

Furthermore, the intense homework routine’s effectiveness is doubtful, as it can overwhelm students and detract from the joy of learning. Effective learning builds on prior knowledge in an engaging way, but excessive homework in a home setting may be irrelevant and uninteresting. The key challenge is balancing homework to enhance learning without overburdening students, allowing time for holistic growth and activities beyond academics. It’s crucial to reassess homework policies to support well-rounded development.

5. Challenges for Students with Learning Disabilities

Challenges for Students with Learning Disabilities

Homework, a standard educational tool, poses unique challenges for students with learning disabilities, often leading to a frustrating and disheartening experience. These challenges go beyond the typical struggles faced by most students and can significantly impede their educational progress and emotional well-being.

Child psychologist Kenneth Barish’s insights in Psychology Today shed light on the complex relationship between homework and students with learning disabilities:

  • Homework as a Painful Endeavor: For students with learning disabilities, completing homework can be likened to “running with a sprained ankle.” It’s a task that, while doable, is fraught with difficulty and discomfort.
  • Misconceptions about Laziness: Often, children who struggle with homework are perceived as lazy. However, Barish emphasizes that these students are more likely to be frustrated, discouraged, or anxious rather than unmotivated.
  • Limited Improvement in School Performance: The battles over homework rarely translate into significant improvement in school for these children, challenging the conventional notion of homework as universally beneficial.

These points highlight the need for a tailored approach to homework for students with learning disabilities. It’s crucial to recognize that the traditional homework model may not be the most effective or appropriate method for facilitating their learning. Instead, alternative strategies that accommodate their unique needs and learning styles should be considered.

In conclusion, the conventional homework paradigm needs reevaluation, particularly concerning students with learning disabilities. By understanding and addressing their unique challenges, educators can create a more inclusive and supportive educational environment. This approach not only aids in their academic growth but also nurtures their confidence and overall development, ensuring that they receive an equitable and empathetic educational experience.

6. Critique of Underlying Assumptions about Learning

Critique of Underlying Assumptions about Learning

The longstanding belief in the educational sphere that more homework automatically translates to more learning is increasingly being challenged. Critics argue that this assumption is not only flawed but also unsupported by solid evidence, questioning the efficacy of homework as an effective learning tool.

Alfie Kohn , a prominent critic of homework, aptly compares students to vending machines in this context, suggesting that the expectation of inserting an assignment and automatically getting out of learning is misguided. Kohn goes further, labeling homework as the “greatest single extinguisher of children’s curiosity.” This critique highlights a fundamental issue: the potential of homework to stifle the natural inquisitiveness and love for learning in children.

The lack of concrete evidence supporting the effectiveness of homework is evident in various studies:

  • Marginal Effectiveness of Homework: A study involving 28,051 high school seniors found that the effectiveness of homework was marginal, and in some cases, it was counterproductive, leading to more academic problems than solutions.
  • No Correlation with Academic Achievement: Research in “ National Differences, Global Similarities ” showed no correlation between homework and academic achievement in elementary students, and any positive correlation in middle or high school diminished with increasing homework loads.
  • Increased Academic Pressure: The Teachers College Record published findings that homework adds to academic pressure and societal stress, exacerbating performance gaps between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

These findings bring to light several critical points:

  • Quality Over Quantity: According to a recent article in Monitor on Psychology , experts concur that the quality of homework assignments, along with the quality of instruction, student motivation, and inherent ability, is more crucial for academic success than the quantity of homework.
  • Counterproductive Nature of Excessive Homework: Excessive homework can lead to more academic challenges, particularly for students already facing pressures from other aspects of their lives.
  • Societal Stress and Performance Gaps: Homework can intensify societal stress and widen the academic performance divide.

The emerging consensus from these studies suggests that the traditional approach to homework needs rethinking. Rather than focusing on the quantity of assignments, educators should consider the quality and relevance of homework, ensuring it truly contributes to learning and development. This reassessment is crucial for fostering an educational environment that nurtures curiosity and a love for learning, rather than extinguishing it.

7. Issues with Homework Enforcement, Reliability, and Temptation to Cheat

Issues with Homework Enforcement, Reliability, and Temptation to Cheat

In the academic realm, the enforcement of homework is a subject of ongoing debate, primarily due to its implications on student integrity and the true value of assignments. The challenges associated with homework enforcement often lead to unintended yet significant issues, such as cheating, copying, and a general undermining of educational values.

Key points highlighting enforcement challenges:

  • Difficulty in Enforcing Completion: Ensuring that students complete their homework can be a complex task, and not completing homework does not always correlate with poor grades.
  • Reliability of Homework Practice: The reliability of homework as a practice tool is undermined when students, either out of desperation or lack of understanding, choose shortcuts over genuine learning. This approach can lead to the opposite of the intended effect, especially when assignments are not well-aligned with the students’ learning levels or interests.
  • Temptation to Cheat: The issue of cheating is particularly troubling. According to a report by The Chronicle of Higher Education , under the pressure of at-home assignments, many students turn to copying others’ work, plagiarizing, or using creative technological “hacks.” This tendency not only questions the integrity of the learning process but also reflects the extreme stress that homework can induce.
  • Parental Involvement in Completion: As noted in The American Journal of Family Therapy , this raises concerns about the authenticity of the work submitted. When parents complete assignments for their children, it not only deprives the students of the opportunity to learn but also distorts the purpose of homework as a learning aid.

In conclusion, the challenges of homework enforcement present a complex problem that requires careful consideration. The focus should shift towards creating meaningful, manageable, and quality-driven assignments that encourage genuine learning and integrity, rather than overwhelming students and prompting counterproductive behaviors.

Addressing Opposing Views on Homework Practices

While opinions on homework policies are diverse, understanding different viewpoints is crucial. In the following sections, we will examine common arguments supporting homework assignments, along with counterarguments that offer alternative perspectives on this educational practice.

1. Improvement of Academic Performance

Improvement of Academic Performance

Homework is commonly perceived as a means to enhance academic performance, with the belief that it directly contributes to better grades and test scores. This view posits that through homework, students reinforce what they learn in class, leading to improved understanding and retention, which ultimately translates into higher academic achievement.

However, the question of why students should not have homework becomes pertinent when considering the complex relationship between homework and academic performance. Studies have indicated that excessive homework doesn’t necessarily equate to higher grades or test scores. Instead, too much homework can backfire, leading to stress and fatigue that adversely affect a student’s performance. Reuters highlights an intriguing correlation suggesting that physical activity may be more conducive to academic success than additional homework, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to education that prioritizes both physical and mental well-being for enhanced academic outcomes.

2. Reinforcement of Learning

Reinforcement of Learning

Homework is traditionally viewed as a tool to reinforce classroom learning, enabling students to practice and retain material. However, research suggests its effectiveness is ambiguous. In instances where homework is well-aligned with students’ abilities and classroom teachings, it can indeed be beneficial. Particularly for younger students , excessive homework can cause burnout and a loss of interest in learning, counteracting its intended purpose.

Furthermore, when homework surpasses a student’s capability, it may induce frustration and confusion rather than aid in learning. This challenges the notion that more homework invariably leads to better understanding and retention of educational content.

3. Development of Time Management Skills

Development of Time Management Skills

Homework is often considered a crucial tool in helping students develop important life skills such as time management and organization. The idea is that by regularly completing assignments, students learn to allocate their time efficiently and organize their tasks effectively, skills that are invaluable in both academic and personal life.

However, the impact of homework on developing these skills is not always positive. For younger students, especially, an overwhelming amount of homework can be more of a hindrance than a help. Instead of fostering time management and organizational skills, an excessive workload often leads to stress and anxiety . These negative effects can impede the learning process and make it difficult for students to manage their time and tasks effectively, contradicting the original purpose of homework.

4. Preparation for Future Academic Challenges

Preparation for Future Academic Challenges

Homework is often touted as a preparatory tool for future academic challenges that students will encounter in higher education and their professional lives. The argument is that by tackling homework, students build a foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for success in more advanced studies and in the workforce, fostering a sense of readiness and confidence.

Contrarily, an excessive homework load, especially from a young age, can have the opposite effect . It can instill a negative attitude towards education, dampening students’ enthusiasm and willingness to embrace future academic challenges. Overburdening students with homework risks disengagement and loss of interest, thereby defeating the purpose of preparing them for future challenges. Striking a balance in the amount and complexity of homework is crucial to maintaining student engagement and fostering a positive attitude towards ongoing learning.

5. Parental Involvement in Education

Parental Involvement in Education

Homework often acts as a vital link connecting parents to their child’s educational journey, offering insights into the school’s curriculum and their child’s learning process. This involvement is key in fostering a supportive home environment and encouraging a collaborative relationship between parents and the school. When parents understand and engage with what their children are learning, it can significantly enhance the educational experience for the child.

However, the line between involvement and over-involvement is thin. When parents excessively intervene by completing their child’s homework,  it can have adverse effects . Such actions not only diminish the educational value of homework but also rob children of the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills and independence. This over-involvement, coupled with disparities in parental ability to assist due to variations in time, knowledge, or resources, may lead to unequal educational outcomes, underlining the importance of a balanced approach to parental participation in homework.

Exploring Alternatives to Homework and Finding a Middle Ground

Exploring Alternatives to Homework

In the ongoing debate about the role of homework in education, it’s essential to consider viable alternatives and strategies to minimize its burden. While completely eliminating homework may not be feasible for all educators, there are several effective methods to reduce its impact and offer more engaging, student-friendly approaches to learning.

Alternatives to Traditional Homework

  • Project-Based Learning: This method focuses on hands-on, long-term projects where students explore real-world problems. It encourages creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative skills, offering a more engaging and practical learning experience than traditional homework. For creative ideas on school projects, especially related to the solar system, be sure to explore our dedicated article on solar system projects .
  • Flipped Classrooms: Here, students are introduced to new content through videos or reading materials at home and then use class time for interactive activities. This approach allows for more personalized and active learning during school hours.
  • Reading for Pleasure: Encouraging students to read books of their choice can foster a love for reading and improve literacy skills without the pressure of traditional homework assignments. This approach is exemplified by Marion County, Florida , where public schools implemented a no-homework policy for elementary students. Instead, they are encouraged to read nightly for 20 minutes . Superintendent Heidi Maier’s decision was influenced by research showing that while homework offers minimal benefit to young students, regular reading significantly boosts their learning. For book recommendations tailored to middle school students, take a look at our specially curated article .

Ideas for Minimizing Homework

  • Limiting Homework Quantity: Adhering to guidelines like the “ 10-minute rule ” (10 minutes of homework per grade level per night) can help ensure that homework does not become overwhelming.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on assigning meaningful homework that is directly relevant to what is being taught in class, ensuring it adds value to students’ learning.
  • Homework Menus: Offering students a choice of assignments can cater to diverse learning styles and interests, making homework more engaging and personalized.
  • Integrating Technology: Utilizing educational apps and online platforms can make homework more interactive and enjoyable, while also providing immediate feedback to students. To gain deeper insights into the role of technology in learning environments, explore our articles discussing the benefits of incorporating technology in classrooms and a comprehensive list of educational VR apps . These resources will provide you with valuable information on how technology can enhance the educational experience.

For teachers who are not ready to fully eliminate homework, these strategies offer a compromise, ensuring that homework supports rather than hinders student learning. By focusing on quality, relevance, and student engagement, educators can transform homework from a chore into a meaningful component of education that genuinely contributes to students’ academic growth and personal development. In this way, we can move towards a more balanced and student-centric approach to learning, both in and out of the classroom.

Useful Resources

  • Is homework a good idea or not? by BBC
  • The Great Homework Debate: What’s Getting Lost in the Hype
  • Alternative Homework Ideas

The evidence and arguments presented in the discussion of why students should not have homework call for a significant shift in homework practices. It’s time for educators and policymakers to rethink and reformulate homework strategies, focusing on enhancing the quality, relevance, and balance of assignments. By doing so, we can create a more equitable, effective, and student-friendly educational environment that fosters learning, well-being, and holistic development.

  • “Here’s what an education expert says about that viral ‘no-homework’ policy”, Insider
  • “John Hattie on BBC Radio 4: Homework in primary school has an effect of zero”, Visible Learning
  • HowtoLearn.com
  • “Time Spent On Homework Statistics [Fresh Research]”, Gitnux
  • “Stress in America”, American Psychological Association (APA)
  • “Homework hurts high-achieving students, study says”, The Washington Post
  • “National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations: final report”, National Library of Medicine
  • “A multi-method exploratory study of stress, coping, and substance use among high school youth in private schools”, Frontiers
  • “The Digital Revolution is Leaving Poorer Kids Behind”, Statista
  • “The digital divide has left millions of school kids behind”, CNET
  • “The Digital Divide: What It Is, and What’s Being Done to Close It”, Investopedia
  • “COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it”, World Economic Forum
  • “PBS NewsHour: Biggest Predictor of College Success is Family Income”, America’s Promise Alliance
  • “Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background”, Taylor & Francis Online
  • “What Do You Mean My Kid Doesn’t Have Homework?”, EducationWeek
  • “Excerpt From The Case Against Homework”, Penguin Random House Canada
  • “How much homework is too much?”, neaToday
  • “The Nation’s Report Card: A First Look: 2013 Mathematics and Reading”, National Center for Education Statistics
  • “Battles Over Homework: Advice For Parents”, Psychology Today
  • “How Homework Is Destroying Teens’ Health”, The Lion’s Roar
  • “ Breaking the Homework Habit”, Education World
  • “Testing a model of school learning: Direct and indirect effects on academic achievement”, ScienceDirect
  • “National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling”, Stanford University Press
  • “When school goes home: Some problems in the organization of homework”, APA PsycNet
  • “Is homework a necessary evil?”, APA PsycNet
  • “Epidemic of copying homework catalyzed by technology”, Redwood Bark
  • “High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame”, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background”, ResearchGate
  • “Kids who get moving may also get better grades”, Reuters
  • “Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Research, 1987–2003”, SageJournals
  • “Is it time to get rid of homework?”, USAToday
  • “Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework”, Stanford
  • “Florida school district bans homework, replaces it with daily reading”, USAToday
  • “Encouraging Students to Read: Tips for High School Teachers”, wgu.edu
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11 Surprising Homework Statistics, Facts & Data

homework pros and cons

The age-old question of whether homework is good or bad for students is unanswerable because there are so many “ it depends ” factors.

For example, it depends on the age of the child, the type of homework being assigned, and even the child’s needs.

There are also many conflicting reports on whether homework is good or bad. This is a topic that largely relies on data interpretation for the researcher to come to their conclusions.

To cut through some of the fog, below I’ve outlined some great homework statistics that can help us understand the effects of homework on children.

Homework Statistics List

1. 45% of parents think homework is too easy for their children.

A study by the Center for American Progress found that parents are almost twice as likely to believe their children’s homework is too easy than to disagree with that statement.

Here are the figures for math homework:

  • 46% of parents think their child’s math homework is too easy.
  • 25% of parents think their child’s math homework is not too easy.
  • 29% of parents offered no opinion.

Here are the figures for language arts homework:

  • 44% of parents think their child’s language arts homework is too easy.
  • 28% of parents think their child’s language arts homework is not too easy.
  • 28% of parents offered no opinion.

These findings are based on online surveys of 372 parents of school-aged children conducted in 2018.

2. 93% of Fourth Grade Children Worldwide are Assigned Homework

The prestigious worldwide math assessment Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) took a survey of worldwide homework trends in 2007. Their study concluded that 93% of fourth-grade children are regularly assigned homework, while just 7% never or rarely have homework assigned.

3. 17% of Teens Regularly Miss Homework due to Lack of High-Speed Internet Access

A 2018 Pew Research poll of 743 US teens found that 17%, or almost 2 in every 5 students, regularly struggled to complete homework because they didn’t have reliable access to the internet.

This figure rose to 25% of Black American teens and 24% of teens whose families have an income of less than $30,000 per year.

4. Parents Spend 6.7 Hours Per Week on their Children’s Homework

A 2018 study of 27,500 parents around the world found that the average amount of time parents spend on homework with their child is 6.7 hours per week. Furthermore, 25% of parents spend more than 7 hours per week on their child’s homework.

American parents spend slightly below average at 6.2 hours per week, while Indian parents spend 12 hours per week and Japanese parents spend 2.6 hours per week.

5. Students in High-Performing High Schools Spend on Average 3.1 Hours per night Doing Homework

A study by Galloway, Conner & Pope (2013) conducted a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California. 

Across these high-performing schools, students self-reported that they did 3.1 hours per night of homework.

Graduates from those schools also ended up going on to college 93% of the time.

6. One to Two Hours is the Optimal Duration for Homework

A 2012 peer-reviewed study in the High School Journal found that students who conducted between one and two hours achieved higher results in tests than any other group.

However, the authors were quick to highlight that this “t is an oversimplification of a much more complex problem.” I’m inclined to agree. The greater variable is likely the quality of the homework than time spent on it.

Nevertheless, one result was unequivocal: that some homework is better than none at all : “students who complete any amount of homework earn higher test scores than their peers who do not complete homework.”

7. 74% of Teens cite Homework as a Source of Stress

A study by the Better Sleep Council found that homework is a source of stress for 74% of students. Only school grades, at 75%, rated higher in the study.

That figure rises for girls, with 80% of girls citing homework as a source of stress.

Similarly, the study by Galloway, Conner & Pope (2013) found that 56% of students cite homework as a “primary stressor” in their lives.

8. US Teens Spend more than 15 Hours per Week on Homework

The same study by the Better Sleep Council also found that US teens spend over 2 hours per school night on homework, and overall this added up to over 15 hours per week.

Surprisingly, 4% of US teens say they do more than 6 hours of homework per night. That’s almost as much homework as there are hours in the school day.

The only activity that teens self-reported as doing more than homework was engaging in electronics, which included using phones, playing video games, and watching TV.

9. The 10-Minute Rule

The National Education Association (USA) endorses the concept of doing 10 minutes of homework per night per grade.

For example, if you are in 3rd grade, you should do 30 minutes of homework per night. If you are in 4th grade, you should do 40 minutes of homework per night.

However, this ‘rule’ appears not to be based in sound research. Nevertheless, it is true that homework benefits (no matter the quality of the homework) will likely wane after 2 hours (120 minutes) per night, which would be the NEA guidelines’ peak in grade 12.

10. 21.9% of Parents are Too Busy for their Children’s Homework

An online poll of nearly 300 parents found that 21.9% are too busy to review their children’s homework. On top of this, 31.6% of parents do not look at their children’s homework because their children do not want their help. For these parents, their children’s unwillingness to accept their support is a key source of frustration.

11. 46.5% of Parents find Homework too Hard

The same online poll of parents of children from grades 1 to 12 also found that many parents struggle to help their children with homework because parents find it confusing themselves. Unfortunately, the study did not ask the age of the students so more data is required here to get a full picture of the issue.

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Interpreting the Data

Unfortunately, homework is one of those topics that can be interpreted by different people pursuing differing agendas. All studies of homework have a wide range of variables, such as:

  • What age were the children in the study?
  • What was the homework they were assigned?
  • What tools were available to them?
  • What were the cultural attitudes to homework and how did they impact the study?
  • Is the study replicable?

The more questions we ask about the data, the more we realize that it’s hard to come to firm conclusions about the pros and cons of homework .

Furthermore, questions about the opportunity cost of homework remain. Even if homework is good for children’s test scores, is it worthwhile if the children consequently do less exercise or experience more stress?

Thus, this ends up becoming a largely qualitative exercise. If parents and teachers zoom in on an individual child’s needs, they’ll be able to more effectively understand how much homework a child needs as well as the type of homework they should be assigned.

Related: Funny Homework Excuses

The debate over whether homework should be banned will not be resolved with these homework statistics. But, these facts and figures can help you to pursue a position in a school debate on the topic – and with that, I hope your debate goes well and you develop some great debating skills!


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 15 Animism Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 10 Magical Thinking Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ Social-Emotional Learning (Definition, Examples, Pros & Cons)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ What is Educational Psychology?

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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative impacts on student well-being and behavioral engagement (Shutterstock)

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 a Waste of Students’ Time? Study Finds It’s the Biggest Cause of Teen Stress

It’s the bane of every teen’s existence. After sitting through hours at school, they leave only to get started on mountains of homework. And educators are mixed on its effectiveness . Some say the practice reinforces what students learned during the day, while others argue that it put unnecessary stress on kids and parents , who are often stuck nagging or helping.

According to a new study, conducted by the Better Sleep Council , that homework stress is the biggest source of frustration for teens, with 74 percent of those surveyed ranking it the highest, above self-esteem (51 percent) parental expectations (45 percent) and bullying (15 percent).

Homework is taking up a large chunk of their time , too — around 15-plus hours a week, with about one-third of teens reporting that it’s closer to 20-plus hours.

The stress and excessive homework adds up to lost sleep , the BSC says. According to the survey, 57 percent of teenagers said that they don’t get enough sleep, with 67 reporting that they get just five to seven hours a night — a far cry from the recommended eight to ten hours. The BSC says that their research shows that when teens feel more stressed, their sleep suffers. They go to sleep later, wake up earlier and have more trouble falling and staying asleep than less-stressed teens.

“We’re finding that teenagers are experiencing this cycle where they sacrifice their sleep to spend extra time on homework, which gives them more stress — but they don’t get better grades,” said Mary Helen Rogers, the vice president of marketing and communications for the BSC.

RELATED VIDEO: To Help Or Not To Help: Moms Talk About Whether Or Not They Help Their Children With Homework

Another interesting finding from this study: students who go to bed earlier and wake up earlier do better academically than those who stay up late, even if those night owls are spending that time doing homework.

To end this cycle of sleep deprivation and stress, the BSC recommends that students try setting a consistent time to go to sleep each night, regardless of leftover homework. And their other sleep tips are good for anyone, regardless of age — keep the temperature between 65 and 67 degrees, turn off the electronic devices before bed, make sure the mattress is comfy and reduce noise with earplugs or sound machines.

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Nobody knows what the point of homework is

The homework wars are back.

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As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework. But whether or not students could complete it at home varied. For some, schoolwork became public-library work or McDonald’s-parking-lot work.

Luis Torres, the principal of PS 55, a predominantly low-income community elementary school in the south Bronx, told me that his school secured Chromebooks for students early in the pandemic only to learn that some lived in shelters that blocked wifi for security reasons. Others, who lived in housing projects with poor internet reception, did their schoolwork in laundromats.

According to a 2021 Pew survey , 25 percent of lower-income parents said their children, at some point, were unable to complete their schoolwork because they couldn’t access a computer at home; that number for upper-income parents was 2 percent.

The issues with remote learning in March 2020 were new. But they highlighted a divide that had been there all along in another form: homework. And even long after schools have resumed in-person classes, the pandemic’s effects on homework have lingered.

Over the past three years, in response to concerns about equity, schools across the country, including in Sacramento, Los Angeles , San Diego , and Clark County, Nevada , made permanent changes to their homework policies that restricted how much homework could be given and how it could be graded after in-person learning resumed.

Three years into the pandemic, as districts and teachers reckon with Covid-era overhauls of teaching and learning, schools are still reconsidering the purpose and place of homework. Whether relaxing homework expectations helps level the playing field between students or harms them by decreasing rigor is a divisive issue without conclusive evidence on either side, echoing other debates in education like the elimination of standardized test scores from some colleges’ admissions processes.

I first began to wonder if the homework abolition movement made sense after speaking with teachers in some Massachusetts public schools, who argued that rather than help disadvantaged kids, stringent homework restrictions communicated an attitude of low expectations. One, an English teacher, said she felt the school had “just given up” on trying to get the students to do work; another argued that restrictions that prohibit teachers from assigning take-home work that doesn’t begin in class made it difficult to get through the foreign-language curriculum. Teachers in other districts have raised formal concerns about homework abolition’s ability to close gaps among students rather than widening them.

Many education experts share this view. Harris Cooper, a professor emeritus of psychology at Duke who has studied homework efficacy, likened homework abolition to “playing to the lowest common denominator.”

But as I learned after talking to a variety of stakeholders — from homework researchers to policymakers to parents of schoolchildren — whether to abolish homework probably isn’t the right question. More important is what kind of work students are sent home with and where they can complete it. Chances are, if schools think more deeply about giving constructive work, time spent on homework will come down regardless.

There’s no consensus on whether homework works

The rise of the no-homework movement during the Covid-19 pandemic tapped into long-running disagreements over homework’s impact on students. The purpose and effectiveness of homework have been disputed for well over a century. In 1901, for instance, California banned homework for students up to age 15, and limited it for older students, over concerns that it endangered children’s mental and physical health. The newest iteration of the anti-homework argument contends that the current practice punishes students who lack support and rewards those with more resources, reinforcing the “myth of meritocracy.”

But there is still no research consensus on homework’s effectiveness; no one can seem to agree on what the right metrics are. Much of the debate relies on anecdotes, intuition, or speculation.

Researchers disagree even on how much research exists on the value of homework. Kathleen Budge, the co-author of Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools and a professor at Boise State, told me that homework “has been greatly researched.” Denise Pope, a Stanford lecturer and leader of the education nonprofit Challenge Success, said, “It’s not a highly researched area because of some of the methodological problems.”

Experts who are more sympathetic to take-home assignments generally support the “10-minute rule,” a framework that estimates the ideal amount of homework on any given night by multiplying the student’s grade by 10 minutes. (A ninth grader, for example, would have about 90 minutes of work a night.) Homework proponents argue that while it is difficult to design randomized control studies to test homework’s effectiveness, the vast majority of existing studies show a strong positive correlation between homework and high academic achievement for middle and high school students. Prominent critics of homework argue that these correlational studies are unreliable and point to studies that suggest a neutral or negative effect on student performance. Both agree there is little to no evidence for homework’s effectiveness at an elementary school level, though proponents often argue that it builds constructive habits for the future.

For anyone who remembers homework assignments from both good and bad teachers, this fundamental disagreement might not be surprising. Some homework is pointless and frustrating to complete. Every week during my senior year of high school, I had to analyze a poem for English and decorate it with images found on Google; my most distinct memory from that class is receiving a demoralizing 25-point deduction because I failed to present my analysis on a poster board. Other assignments really do help students learn: After making an adapted version of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book for a ninth grade history project, I was inspired to check out from the library and read a biography of the Chinese ruler.

For homework opponents, the first example is more likely to resonate. “We’re all familiar with the negative effects of homework: stress, exhaustion, family conflict, less time for other activities, diminished interest in learning,” Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, which challenges common justifications for homework, told me in an email. “And these effects may be most pronounced among low-income students.” Kohn believes that schools should make permanent any moratoria implemented during the pandemic, arguing that there are no positives at all to outweigh homework’s downsides. Recent studies , he argues , show the benefits may not even materialize during high school.

In the Marlborough Public Schools, a suburban district 45 minutes west of Boston, school policy committee chair Katherine Hennessy described getting kids to complete their homework during remote education as “a challenge, to say the least.” Teachers found that students who spent all day on their computers didn’t want to spend more time online when the day was over. So, for a few months, the school relaxed the usual practice and teachers slashed the quantity of nightly homework.

Online learning made the preexisting divides between students more apparent, she said. Many students, even during normal circumstances, lacked resources to keep them on track and focused on completing take-home assignments. Though Marlborough Schools is more affluent than PS 55, Hennessy said many students had parents whose work schedules left them unable to provide homework help in the evenings. The experience tracked with a common divide in the country between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

So in October 2021, months after the homework reduction began, the Marlborough committee made a change to the district’s policy. While teachers could still give homework, the assignments had to begin as classwork. And though teachers could acknowledge homework completion in a student’s participation grade, they couldn’t count homework as its own grading category. “Rigorous learning in the classroom does not mean that that classwork must be assigned every night,” the policy stated . “Extensions of class work is not to be used to teach new content or as a form of punishment.”

Canceling homework might not do anything for the achievement gap

The critiques of homework are valid as far as they go, but at a certain point, arguments against homework can defy the commonsense idea that to retain what they’re learning, students need to practice it.

“Doesn’t a kid become a better reader if he reads more? Doesn’t a kid learn his math facts better if he practices them?” said Cathy Vatterott, an education researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After decades of research, she said it’s still hard to isolate the value of homework, but that doesn’t mean it should be abandoned.

Blanket vilification of homework can also conflate the unique challenges facing disadvantaged students as compared to affluent ones, which could have different solutions. “The kids in the low-income schools are being hurt because they’re being graded, unfairly, on time they just don’t have to do this stuff,” Pope told me. “And they’re still being held accountable for turning in assignments, whether they’re meaningful or not.” On the other side, “Palo Alto kids” — students in Silicon Valley’s stereotypically pressure-cooker public schools — “are just bombarded and overloaded and trying to stay above water.”

Merely getting rid of homework doesn’t solve either problem. The United States already has the second-highest disparity among OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations between time spent on homework by students of high and low socioeconomic status — a difference of more than three hours, said Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University and author of No More Mindless Homework .

When she interviewed teachers in Boston-area schools that had cut homework before the pandemic, Bempechat told me, “What they saw immediately was parents who could afford it immediately enrolled their children in the Russian School of Mathematics,” a math-enrichment program whose tuition ranges from $140 to about $400 a month. Getting rid of homework “does nothing for equity; it increases the opportunity gap between wealthier and less wealthy families,” she said. “That solution troubles me because it’s no solution at all.”

A group of teachers at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, made the same point after the school district proposed an overhaul of its homework policies, including removing penalties for missing homework deadlines, allowing unlimited retakes, and prohibiting grading of homework.

“Given the emphasis on equity in today’s education systems,” they wrote in a letter to the school board, “we believe that some of the proposed changes will actually have a detrimental impact towards achieving this goal. Families that have means could still provide challenging and engaging academic experiences for their children and will continue to do so, especially if their children are not experiencing expected rigor in the classroom.” At a school where more than a third of students are low-income, the teachers argued, the policies would prompt students “to expect the least of themselves in terms of effort, results, and responsibility.”

Not all homework is created equal

Despite their opposing sides in the homework wars, most of the researchers I spoke to made a lot of the same points. Both Bempechat and Pope were quick to bring up how parents and schools confuse rigor with workload, treating the volume of assignments as a proxy for quality of learning. Bempechat, who is known for defending homework, has written extensively about how plenty of it lacks clear purpose, requires the purchasing of unnecessary supplies, and takes longer than it needs to. Likewise, when Pope instructs graduate-level classes on curriculum, she asks her students to think about the larger purpose they’re trying to achieve with homework: If they can get the job done in the classroom, there’s no point in sending home more work.

At its best, pandemic-era teaching facilitated that last approach. Honolulu-based teacher Christina Torres Cawdery told me that, early in the pandemic, she often had a cohort of kids in her classroom for four hours straight, as her school tried to avoid too much commingling. She couldn’t lecture for four hours, so she gave the students plenty of time to complete independent and project-based work. At the end of most school days, she didn’t feel the need to send them home with more to do.

A similar limited-homework philosophy worked at a public middle school in Chelsea, Massachusetts. A couple of teachers there turned as much class as possible into an opportunity for small-group practice, allowing kids to work on problems that traditionally would be assigned for homework, Jessica Flick, a math coach who leads department meetings at the school, told me. It was inspired by a philosophy pioneered by Simon Fraser University professor Peter Liljedahl, whose influential book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics reframes homework as “check-your-understanding questions” rather than as compulsory work. Last year, Flick found that the two eighth grade classes whose teachers adopted this strategy performed the best on state tests, and this year, she has encouraged other teachers to implement it.

Teachers know that plenty of homework is tedious and unproductive. Jeannemarie Dawson De Quiroz, who has taught for more than 20 years in low-income Boston and Los Angeles pilot and charter schools, says that in her first years on the job she frequently assigned “drill and kill” tasks and questions that she now feels unfairly stumped students. She said designing good homework wasn’t part of her teaching programs, nor was it meaningfully discussed in professional development. With more experience, she turned as much class time as she could into practice time and limited what she sent home.

“The thing about homework that’s sticky is that not all homework is created equal,” says Jill Harrison Berg, a former teacher and the author of Uprooting Instructional Inequity . “Some homework is a genuine waste of time and requires lots of resources for no good reason. And other homework is really useful.”

Cutting homework has to be part of a larger strategy

The takeaways are clear: Schools can make cuts to homework, but those cuts should be part of a strategy to improve the quality of education for all students. If the point of homework was to provide more practice, districts should think about how students can make it up during class — or offer time during or after school for students to seek help from teachers. If it was to move the curriculum along, it’s worth considering whether strategies like Liljedahl’s can get more done in less time.

Some of the best thinking around effective assignments comes from those most critical of the current practice. Denise Pope proposes that, before assigning homework, teachers should consider whether students understand the purpose of the work and whether they can do it without help. If teachers think it’s something that can’t be done in class, they should be mindful of how much time it should take and the feedback they should provide. It’s questions like these that De Quiroz considered before reducing the volume of work she sent home.

More than a year after the new homework policy began in Marlborough, Hennessy still hears from parents who incorrectly “think homework isn’t happening” despite repeated assurances that kids still can receive work. She thinks part of the reason is that education has changed over the years. “I think what we’re trying to do is establish that homework may be an element of educating students,” she told me. “But it may not be what parents think of as what they grew up with. ... It’s going to need to adapt, per the teaching and the curriculum, and how it’s being delivered in each classroom.”

For the policy to work, faculty, parents, and students will all have to buy into a shared vision of what school ought to look like. The district is working on it — in November, it hosted and uploaded to YouTube a round-table discussion on homework between district administrators — but considering the sustained confusion, the path ahead seems difficult.

When I asked Luis Torres about whether he thought homework serves a useful part in PS 55’s curriculum, he said yes, of course it was — despite the effort and money it takes to keep the school open after hours to help them do it. “The children need the opportunity to practice,” he said. “If you don’t give them opportunities to practice what they learn, they’re going to forget.” But Torres doesn’t care if the work is done at home. The school stays open until around 6 pm on weekdays, even during breaks. Tutors through New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development programs help kids with work after school so they don’t need to take it with them.

As schools weigh the purpose of homework in an unequal world, it’s tempting to dispose of a practice that presents real, practical problems to students across the country. But getting rid of homework is unlikely to do much good on its own. Before cutting it, it’s worth thinking about what good assignments are meant to do in the first place. It’s crucial that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds tackle complex quantitative problems and hone their reading and writing skills. It’s less important that the work comes home with them.

Jacob Sweet is a freelance writer in Somerville, Massachusetts. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, among other publications.

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Is Homework Valuable or Not? Try Looking at Quality Instead

facts on why homework is a waste of time

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Is there an end in sight to the “homework wars?”

Homework is one those never-ending debates in K-12 circles that re-emerges every few years, bringing with it a new collection of headlines. Usually they bemoan how much homework students have, or highlight districts and even states that have sought to cap or eliminate homework .

Now, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress suggests a more fruitful way of thinking about this problem. Maybe, it suggests, what we should be doing is looking at what students are routinely being asked to do in take-home assignments, how well that homework supports their learning goals (or doesn’t), and make changes from there.

The analysis of nearly 200 pieces of homework concludes that much of what students are asked to do aligns to the Common Core State Standards—a testament to how pervasive the standards are in the U.S. education system, even though many states have tweaked, renamed, or replaced them. However, most of the homework embodied basic, procedural components of the standards, rather than the more difficult skills—such as analyzing or extending their knowledge to new problems.

“We were surprised by the degree of alignment. And we were also surprised by the degree that the homework was rote, and how much some of this stuff felt like Sudoku,” said Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at CAP. “It made the homework debate make a lot more sense about why parents are frustrated.”

It is also similar to the findings of groups like the Education Trust, which have found that classwork tends to be aligned to state standards, but not all that rigorous.

Collecting Homework Samples

The CAP analysis appears to be one of the first studies to look at homework rigor using a national survey lens. Many studies of homework are based on one school or one district’s assignments, which obviously limits their applicability. Attempts to synthesize all this research have led to some hard-to-parse conclusions. One of the most cited studies concludes there’s some connection for grades 6-12 between homework and test scores, but less so for elementary students, and less of an impact on actual grades.

Another problem is that students’ experiences with homework seem to vary so dramatically: A Brookings Institution report based on survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress concluded that, while on average students aren’t overburdened by homework, a subset of students do appear to get hours upon hours.

The CAP analysis, instead, was based on getting a sample of parents from across the country to send in examples of their children’s homework. The researchers used MTurk, a crowdsourcing service offered by Amazon.com to recruit parents. Of the 372 parents who responded, the researchers got a pile of 187 useable assignments. Next, John Smithson, an emeritus researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had teams grade them on a taxonomy looking at both the content and the “cognitive demand,” or difficulty, of the work. The index fell on a 1 to 10 scale, with a score 4 to 6 range considered as “good” alignment.

The results? On average, math assignments fell within this range, while the ELA ones were slightly weaker, in the 3 to 5 range.

But the real eye-opening graphic is this one, which shows that by far the assignments were mostly low-level.

facts on why homework is a waste of time

This makes some logical sense when you think about it. Just as with teaching and testing, it is much easier to write homework assignments prioritizing basic arithmetic drills and fill-in-the-blank vocabulary words than ones that get students to “prove” or “generalize” some tenet. (I suspect prepackaged curricula, too, probably lean more toward rote stuff than cognitively demanding exercises.)

Here’s another explanation: Many teachers believe homework should be for practicing known content, not learning something new. This is partially to help close the “homework gap” that surfaces because some students can access parent help or help via technology, while other students can’t. It’s possible that teachers are purposefully giving lower-level work to their students to take home for this reason.

To be sure, Boser said, it’s not that all lower-level work is intrinsically bad: Memorization does have a place in learning. But assignments like color-in-the-blank and word searches are probably just a waste of students’ time. “Homework assignments,” the study says, “should be thought-provoking.”

Study Limitations

The study does come with some significant limitations, so you must use caution in discussing its results. The surveyed population differs from the population at large, overrepresenting mothers over fathers and parents of K-5 students, and underrepresenting black parents. Also, the majority of the assignments the parents sent in came from the elementary grades.

The report makes suggestions on how districts can strategically improve the quality of their homework, rather than deciding to chuck it out altogether.

One is to is to audit homework assignments to make sure they’re actually useful at building some of the more difficult skills. Another is to extend the “curriculum revolution” of the last decade, which has focused more attention on the quality and alignment of textbooks and materials, to homework. A third is to use appropriate technology so students can access out-of-school supports for challenging homework.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

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Is homework a waste of time.

Young child doing homework on an iPad

Homework has always been one of the biggest challenges to school and home life, causing family tension, stress and time pressures.

Research from Stanford Graduate School of Education  conducted amongst 4,300 students highlighted that over 56 per cent considered homework to be a primary source of stress, whilst others reported increased levels of anxiety, sleep deprivation, exhaustion and weight loss.

After considerable review and debate, ACS Egham has decided to drop ‘traditional’ homework for students aged four to eleven.

The educational debate over the merits of homework has been going on a long time, with different countries taking very different approaches. Wanting to discover the best approach to setting homework to achieve optimal wellbeing for students and parents, our teaching team collaborated on a research project to help find the solution. Our findings highlighted that for homework to be truly effective, it must be highly personalised for each student. So we set about making these changes.

Traditional homework

Traditional homework or ‘busy work’, as we like to call it, is generic across a class, and does little to enhance the individual student learning experience. This kind of homework assumes that every student is the same, that each has the same maturity, concentration and ability level. It is, therefore… a bit lazy. As we all know, in real-life abilities vary enormously from one person to the next, and students can often find this type of homework very stressful, especially if they feel they have been set impossible tasks that they must face alone.

Children are already at school for some seven hours a day and ‘busy work’ simply eats up their free time, which they could be better spending with their families, or taking part in extra-curricular activities to refresh their minds and bodies. Younger students especially should be encouraged to use time after school for unstructured play and developing their own creativity.

Reflecting upon these issues, we decided to replace ‘busy work’ with a personal, guided approach building on class work and learning, which parents and students can share together, making the work more meaningful, manageable and worthwhile.

Personalised approaches

Instead of setting homework, ACS Egham teachers share with parents the learning topics for the upcoming term and suggest that these subjects are explored at home. The Lower School intranet hosts ‘talk topics’ which link in with lessons and can be discussed at home around the dinner table or during car journeys. We also include extra-curricular activities which tie in to each unit, such as visiting a museum, art exhibition, or hands on activities.

Arithmetic and literacy skills can also be enhanced at home without endless sums and compulsory reading times. Parents can help their children practice mathematical skills in everyday scenes; calculating a grocery budget, or measuring furniture on a trip to IKEA. Equally, parents are actively encouraged to read with students as much as they can, and for as long as it’s enjoyable. When reading is not a chore but an enjoyable activity, students’ literacy skills increase.

All these opportunities allow students to apply their class-based learning in a different context. In a multi-cultural class, exploring topics at home can be particularly important for students who have a native language other than English, giving them the forum in which to widen their vocabulary in their mother tongue. If students have struggled with a specific task, parents can notify the teachers, enabling teachers to give more targeted support in these areas.

Alternative education systems

In Finland, students are generally assigned virtually no homework; they don’t start school until age seven, and the school day is short. Despite this, Finland is considered to have one of the leading education systems in the world. Finnish students achieve some of the world’s best international PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) test results; in 2016 achieving fourth place in reading compared to the UK in 22nd place, and 12th place in maths, compared the UK in 27th place.

According to a BBC article, a key concept in the Finnish school system is trust, where there’s little homework and no culture of extra private tuition. This trust is built from parents’ trusting schools to deliver a good education within the school day, and schools putting trust in the quality of their teachers. This certainly resonates with our opinions on homework; if a student has been delivered a quality education in the school day, there should be no need to spend hours in the evening carrying out a rigid schedule of homework.

Developing skills for the future

We prepare our nine to eleven year olds for secondary education through ‘I-Inquiry’ projects. These are individual research topics which students investigate over a period of four to six weeks. Recently students designed, created and built virtual models of their own imaginary planets, following a unit of inquiry that explored the solar system.

Using their iPads, students researched the characteristics of different planets before creating and naming their own. The final projects were then presented back to the class using iPads, artistic drawings and in some cases, hand built models.

Through the I-Inquiry project, students developed a whole range of essential life skills. These included time management and organisational skills, as students were required to work on the project both at home and at school; independent inquiry, exploring different sources to create their planet; as well as helping develop a creative mindset. Students also enhanced their communication skills and public speaking through their final presentations. Most importantly, students were energised by their learning and engaged with their subjects on a much deeper level.

We strongly believe that setting homework for the sake of it doesn’t benefit children or prepare them in a robust way for their next steps. It can also be a cause of family stress and tension, and potentially even hinder the wellbeing of the student. Where we’ve adopted our new approach at ACS Egham, we can see our students develop life skills through extra-curricular activities, spending time with their friends and family, and engaging at home with meaningful, highly personalised tasks, like the I-Inquiry Projects, which equips them for success beyond education and develops a curious mind as well as a lifelong love of learning.

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Homework: Useful Teaching Tool or Waste of Time?


  • May 18, 2021


  • Helpful or harmful?

How is homework helpful?

  • Does homework promote learning?

Downsides of homework

  • Should students have homework?
  • Stress free homework tips

Homework. How can one little word cause so much trouble? Almost all schools require homework , but should they? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of homework, plus what the research says you should really be doing after school. 

As a pupil in the UK, you will without a doubt encounter homework during your school years. Some kids love it, others… not so much! Many parents struggle to make their child complete their homework and to fit it into their family’s busy schedule, and many kids and teens find homework quite boring. But let’s put our feelings about homework to the side, and focus on a more important question – is homework really necessary?


Is homework helpful or harmful?

Well, it depends. There’s loads of debate about homework and whether or not it helps you learn. Researchers have been trying to find the answer to this question since your parents were in school!

It all comes down to the purpose of the homework and the age of the student, as well as their interest in the topic at hand. 

For secondary students, homework is useful as a "short and focused intervention .” That means something like a research project that you complete at home. 💻

For primary students, homework can help reinforce skills students are learning in school. It makes sense to practice spelling words at home or working on reading skills , for example. 

How does homework promote learning?

One way homework can promote learning is by giving older students a chance to read more content than can be covered in class. For example, a Literature student might read a couple of chapters of a novel at home and then spend the class time discussing its themes with peers. This saves classroom time for the part of learning that’s done with other students.

Research shows that the best homework is closely linked to what you’re learning in the classroom. It should expand your learning and always be something you can complete independently. ✔️

It goes without saying that homework takes time. The more homework you have, the less time you can spend outside or relax. 

Homework leaves less time for creative activities that are also very important for brain growth. 🧠

Studies show very little difference in test scores between students who spend lots of time on homework and students who do less homework. For primary school students especially, not many benefits have been found. 

So, should students have homework?

In an ideal world, primary students would not have homework. And secondary students would only have short-term homework assignments with a very specific goal, like a book report or a science project. 

Since students often do have homework, it shouldn’t take much time - the benefits are the same for a few minutes and a few hours of homework!

Stress-free homework tips 

At the end of the day, there may be very little you can do right away about your homework situation. If your teacher assigns it, it must get done – but here are a few tips to make it less stressful:

  • It’s a great idea for you to be independent with planning and managing your work time rather than being hounded into starting your homework by your parents. As you get older, it’s up to you to manage yourself – maybe you’d prefer to divide the work up into manageable chunks, for example tackling one subject before dinner and another one after.
  • You should have a distraction-free space to work at home. Turn off the television, and keep electronics out of sight to make it easier to stay focused.
  • If you’ve had a long school day, it’s a great idea to take some free time after school before starting your homework. You may need a chance to relax and regroup before jumping right into homework. 
  • If you find yourself struggling with your workload, you should have a chat with your teacher or speak to your parents about it. Homework should closely follow the in-class learning and shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Homework help with GoStudent

If you’re struggling to manage your homework, a GoStudent tutor can help. Our experienced, friendly tutors have a deep understanding of the content they teach, and your tutor can give you the one-on-one support you need to get back on track and be able to finish that homework in no time! 🚀


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The great homework debate - good idea or waste of time?

Is homework essential for developing good study habits and reinforcing classroom learning.

facts on why homework is a waste of time

The homework debate: Children who are managing at school find homework repetitive and children who are struggling at school find it reinforces the fact that they are struggling. Photograph: iStockphoto

Sheila Wayman's face

Is homework essential for developing good study habits and reinforcing classroom learning? Or is it a waste of time and an educational turn-off?

One thing that’s certain is that homework causes a lot of grief in many households. And when US “homework guru” Harris Cooper of Duke University said “there is no evidence that any amount of homework improves the academic performance of elementary (aged 4-11) students”, parents might well wonder why they’re battling with their primary school children over it.

“Children who are managing at school find it repetitive and children who are struggling at school find it reinforces the fact that they are struggling,” says Áine Lynch, chief executive of the National Parents’ Council (NPC) – Primary. “You then start to wonder about the purpose.”

There’s no doubt about the importance of the home-learning environment for children’s education but battling over homework makes that a very negative place, she says. However, it’s too simplistic to suggest that all homework is “bad”, it depends on what it is.

“When we talk about homework, we talk about this thing that is not defined,” says Lynch. Homework reteaching something that was done in the class that day is one kind of homework. If you are talking about homework where children go home and put Irish name labels on things around the house, that’s a completely different thing.

“One of the things that homework does do when it’s working well is that it gives that home-school link and makes parents aware of what children are doing,” she says.

What do you think? Parents, teachers and children are being invited to have their say on homework in an online survey being conducted by the National Parents Council - Primary.

It is on the website npc.ie will close at midnight on May 22nd.


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Homework is a waste of time, new studies say

A new group of studies finds that homework in a variety of subjects has little impact on test grades, although math homework was the exception to the findings.


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3 Reasons Why Doing Homework is a Waste of Time

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Table of Contents

Not a sign of intelligence, doesn’t make much sense, makes you miss the motivation wave, wrapping up.

Students are often burdened with doing homework assignments that get the better of them and their valuable time. However, it is also possible for these students to use this time instead for doing other productive tasks or even for intended procrastination, which may in-turn help increase productivity. Here’s a viewpoint on why doing homework is a waste of time and how to use this time to better your productivity. ~ Ed. 

Do you know people who always have tons of motivation to do homework ?

I haven’t come across such people. Though there might be a few, I guess majority want to avoid doing homework.

Me too! But it turns out that it`s okay to be a bit lazy. It’s okay not to have motivation for doing homework.

Let me bring it down real quick. It is okay to have zero desire to do homework and to procrastinate for hours instead of being all energetic and productive.

No, it doesn’t mean that you’re lazy or foolish; this phenomenon has many explanations. But the thing you’ve got to remember for sure is that it is fine if you can’t catch up with the A-students.

First and foremost, you’ve got to face reality here. How important are the grades for you?

If you want to receive a grand to get a master’s degree in another country, then, of course, grades are important. When all you need is a diploma which you will proudly hand over to your mom and never use it again, then you have the right to dedicate some time to procrastination .

Don’t you dare to think that I’m trying to lure you into the world of drop-outs and couch potatoes? I only want you to learn how to set your priorities right.

Success in life cannot be determined by the number of essays that you wrote at the university. You may not even write them at all. The simplest way to avoid all that stress is by addressing a good homework doer service.

I’m going to calm down your stressed out nervous system and conscience, and tell you why you shouldn’t be all anxious about having zero motivation to do homework.

But before we do that, please note that such an emotional state when you have little desire to do anything, not just your homework, may be a sign of such serious mental condition as clinical depression. So, please be careful with that and never hesitate to ask for professional help.

Okay, so as per my thoughts, here are the three main reasons why doing homework is a waste of time:

As I’ve mentioned above, a state of procrastination doesn’t necessarily point out to your inability to study.

A scientific study reports that people who have a higher intellectual level tend to procrastinate more . Just don’t perceive this information as an excuse for your social media addiction, it doesn’t work this way. How is that even related?

It’s believed that very smart people are thinking all the time, even without realizing it. They have very active brain activity, and they may even try to solve the world issues on the subconscious level.

The moments of procrastination are highly important for people of this type. It gives their brains a chance to cool off and relax a little bit. Because, yes, our brain does get tired from time to time, and it can switch off your concentration and attention when it feels like having a little rest so that you can go on with all the thinking processes.

No matter how much you love studying, and no matter how great your university is, still there is no way of avoiding some absurd and senseless assignments. You have no idea why you would do this or why such a huge piece of work is assessed with so few points.

Your logic isn’t as dead as you may think. It’s still somewhere in there, and it can give you a hint that you really shouldn’t do this task because it’s nothing but a complete waste of time. Of course, you lose any kind of motivation with such assignment.

Don’t worry. Just think whether this homework will have a big impact on your final score and then make a decision.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can do while feeling all down and unmotivated is looking at other people, who seem extremely productive and compare your pitiful self to those walking energizers.

We all may feel that way from time to time – mainly because our powers aren’t infinite. We get tired and worn out. So, just stop sobbing and go out for a walk. You’ll be surprised how inspirational one single stroll around the town can be. Your demotivation just a phase, and you’ve got to get over it.

And while you’re still in the moment when you can get nothing done, make a list of activities and tasks that you need to finish.

Then you have to learn how to be a surfboarder. No need to buy a ticket to Australia, you just need to learn how to catch the waves. One “wave of motivation,” to be precise.

Have you noticed that sometimes the feeling of productivity and endless energy rushes through your veins, and you just get everything done in no time?

Congrats, you`re just an average human being. You need to learn how to spot those moments of motivation and get as much work done as it’s humanly possible.

And when you have a day or two of no motivation at all, you won’t feel so frustrated because you know for sure that the productivity will eventually come back.

Doing homework is not a sign of intelligence. It’s okay to procrastinate at times if it helps you relax and solve bigger issues.

If you think your homework doesn’t make much sense or it’s not worth spending your valuable time that you can use elsewhere for more worthy tasks, then you may think of using any homework services.

Missing out on the homework may give you the opportunity not to miss the motivation wave that can help you become more productive .

Over to you –

Have you ever felt that doing homework is a waste of time? Share in the comments.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are entirely of the author.

Disclaimer: Though the views expressed are of the author’s own, this article has been checked for its authenticity of information and resource links provided for a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter. However, you're suggested to make your diligent research and consult subject experts to decide what is best for you. If you spot any factual errors, spelling, or grammatical mistakes in the article, please report at [email protected] . Thanks.

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Why Homework Is a Waste of Time

Why do we even need homework? To practice? We do that enough already.  Homework is a waste of time. It takes the enjoyment out of school and it takes up teacher time. Students need more free time for other activities such as sports, homework takes it away from spending time with family and friends.

     Is homework a waste of time ? The study of 18,000 schoolchildren finds no relationship between working hard at home and better grades. More  homework assignments  didn’t translate into better grades. Next time you hear a child complaining that their science and math homeworks are wastes of time they might have a point. Young children spend enough of their day at school. When they come home, they should be free to dump the school bag and get busy doing non academic stuff such as getting a job and starting on something to pursue their career.

        Students need more free time for other activities. Education isn’t the only important activity in everyone’s life. We all need some time to ourselves to prevent stress or blow off from some steam. It can damage family relationships and stresses parents out as well  as their children. School takes up a lot of time that children can be using to do something more productive.


Homework takes up teacher time. Teachers would have more time if they didn’t assign homework.  The teacher  needs to design the homework, explain it , mark each piece individually and tell everyone if they got it right or wrong. Teachers could as easily use the classwork to find out who knows what they are doing. We aren’t the only ones who take a lot of time on homework, our teachers do as well. Homework loses it’s value because we need to be told individually what our mistakes are.

It takes the enjoyment out of school. We would enjoy school more if we didn’t have any homework. When we only get homework occcassionally we will consider that piece more important. Especially if we get too much homework it can take the enjoyment out of learning. No matter how engaging the teacher is in class , homework will almost certainly  be stressful , boring and tiring. We know that there is no direct link between how much homework is set and grades.             

Some people believe that homework isn't a waste of time. You have to try your best to do the homework that's given to you. Millions of people work for themselves or work from home. The main aim of education is to prepare us for the rest of their lives. Homework is teaching us a key skill that we will need in the future . When we do homework we are learning on our own.                 Homework is a responsibility. We should expect to get a certain amount of homework per day. Homework aids class work by providing a space for those who haven't finished the work. Teachers will need to mark and go through work whether it's classwork or homework . Whether homework puts us off learning will always depend on what the homework we are given is.            

This paragraph presents that homework is a responsibility for high school kids and students. The importance of this argument is that homework takes away time from spending it with family and friends.  The reader should take homework away from this because it's it takes a long time to do and it's a waste of time.

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facts on why homework is a waste of time

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Is Homework A Waste of Time?

You just had what seemed like the longest day of your life. You walk into your room after a rough day of classes. You took two tests that you didn’t do so hot on and you are exhausted. All you want to do is relax for a little bit, but you can’t. Why? Because tomorrow you have 40 math problems due, a paper to write for your English class, and a speech outline due for your public speaking class.


So the question is, is all the homework really worth it? Is there any evidence that homework leads to a stronger academic student? Let’s take a look.

According to  District Administration , there is a positive correlation between homework and better scores on tests. When interviewed, researcher Robert Tai said, “Homework should act as a place where students practice the skills they’ve learned in class. It shouldn’t be a situation where students spend many hours every night poring over something new.” A study was done by Harris Cooper in 2006 (director of  Duke University’s Program in Education ). He analyzed and combined the results many homework studies. He found that students who had homework performed better on class tests compared to those who did not.

On the other hand, there are many studies that suggest otherwise. Some studies conclude that homework does not impact achievement significantly. In fact, some believe it has the opposite effect.  One study from Penn State  looked data from the late 1990s. They found that in countries that give more homework, student’s performance on the international test,  Trends in Mathematics and Science Study , was lower than those with less homework. These professors and researchers do not call for no homework necessarily, but they do suggest making homework more about the quality than quantity


Homework is helpful. Practice problems do in fact improve test grades and guide students in succeeding in the classroom. However, after about 90 minutes of homework, results will start to diminish. It’s important to find the happy-medium when it comes to homework and make sure students aren’t overloaded with busy work.

So next time you walk through your door after a stressful day of class, club meetings, and work, just remember that a few minutes hitting the book will benefit you in the long run. But after 90-120 minutes it may be time to put the pencil down, close your laptop, and call it a night.

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Homework is a Waste of Time

Homework isn’t helping kids improve, it’s dragging them down.


Photo JC Thaxton

A canva graphic showing an example of a kids phone after a week of school.

JC Thaxton , Senior Staff Writer October 10, 2022

Sitting at the dinner table till 10 or 11 pm just doing some of your homework. Taking hours to finish some math when you still have an essay to write. That can be taxing on the brain. A lot of people don’t see how much pressure we put on kids to make them “perfect.” Extra work to compensate for the? That’s kind of a joke.

“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,'” child psychologist Kenneth Barish said.

Every kid learns differently and the fact all teachers “have to” assign homework is absurd. Kids get very overwhelmed with the amount of work they get per week even per day. With the amount of work kids get, they don’t get a chance to debrief at home. Kids need to let out their stress by doing fun activities or things to get their mind off of school. When kids go from school to home, they shouldn’t be doing more school. It is too much! This leads to over working the brain.

With all this extra work to do at home, kids can’t go out and genuinely be a kid. I am still a kid and I wish I could have gone out more and not stressed about a grade in my class. They only have so much time until they’re a considered adult and now the society is giving kids a lot of work and over working them. Kid’s brains are on overload and technically working overtime since it’s not in a classroom. When I see the word “overtime”, I think of money. Since kids can’t run around and be kids, they should be paid some money to work overtime. I’m just kidding. Unless I’m not.

It is said that homework “ can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills.” What happens if you don’t do it well? What is the point if you do all this work, yet don’t understand any of it? Also, What is the point if the teacher doesn’t review it? It’s pointless. If teachers don’t walk you through the work the send home, then they shouldn’t be sending it home in the first place. You could be doing it wrong the whole time and you wouldn’t know until it is test time and then, at that point, you’re screwed. No idea where you went wrong and now too afraid to go home and ask for help. Seeing that you’re a failure and that is stressing you out some more. To the teachers, we are numbers. Some will help you and others, who knows.

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Boy doing homework

Is homework a waste of time for primary school children?

Do primary school children really need to do homework? Not according to a motion being debated by teachers today.

Calling for its abolition for this age group, the motion at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Liverpool states that, "homework in the primary school is a waste of children's and teachers' time, which could be spent much more profitably on effective learning both in and out of the classroom".

This would pit teachers against the government which lays down homework guidelines for schools – primaries as well as secondaries. These demand a clear policy statement, developed in consultation with the pupils, staff, parents and governors. "The foundations of effective homework practices are established early on and develop progressively across the key stages – effective homework practices can also be used to support effective transitionary links to the secondary phase," states the Department for Children Schools and Families.

It adds that parents and carers must play their part, "helping their children at home, monitoring homework, providing encouragement, and even assisting with the marking of homework".

Reading the guidelines you would have to guess that a review of the research evidence commissioned by the schools inspectorate, Ofsted, concluded that the case for homework in primary schools was "inconclusive" . Fewer studies have been carried out at primary level and results have been inconsistent, said the National Foundation for Educational Research.

The study notes drily: "The suggestion that setting homework for primary-age pupils instills positive attitudes towards studying has received very little attention in the research literature." In other words, ministers are conducting an experiment with our children.

So, is homework a waste of time for younger children?

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The Student News Site of West Middle School

Homework is a Waste of Time


Nailah Spencer

Ava Obrock, Olivia Stults, Viviana Buzzelli, and Caitlyn Blasch work on homework during the school day.

Nailah Spencer , Reporter October 26, 2018

Kids at West Middle School say Homework is a waste of time! Did you know that West Middle School does not require teachers to give out homework to students? “Teachers give out homework according to how they feel about a student or a class’s learning process,” Mr. Smiley told me. I did some research, interviews, and additional thinking to see how some of the students and staff feel about homework.

”I strongly dislike homework because it stresses me out. We go to school to for many hours a day to learn, I don’t get why we have to go home and spend 1-2 more hours on homework,” Hannah Comar, a 7th grader at West, explained to me.

According to the Drop Out Prevention Center (D.O.P.C.),  “32.1% of students from 8th grade through high school drop out each year because they can’t keep up with all their homework assignments.” This research was done in the United States. 

Mrs. O’dell, a sixth-grade teacher at West, explained to me,  “I have over the years seen behavior changes with students.”

Academic Partnerships states,  “When kids know they will have to go home from school and work to do more work at home they become disengaged and don’t come to school the next day ready to pay attention and are usually talkative and disruptive for no time to themselves after school”. Mrs. O’Dell states, “Yes,  have seen students overwhelmed with work, but behavior changes, not so much. Mostly just [students’] grades dropping.”

Mrs. Odell reflects, “I give it out so I can see the students’ progress, it also builds on good habits, like time management and organizational skills.”

Mrs. Horvath’s Journalism states that they can have anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours of homework a night between all their classes.

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Liam Knickerbocker • Apr 12, 2024 at 1:13 pm

This article is a beauty. We need more like this

Richard Cao • Jul 3, 2021 at 12:29 pm

I think Homework should be abolished in schools. Students already have a difficult time in school so giving more work at home would just stress out even more. Students should have time to spend with their family and friends, while also learning essential skills such as cooking, cleaning, and getting plenty of cardio exercise. Also it would benefit teachers because they would have less things to grade.

bababoi • Dec 8, 2020 at 11:05 am

Desi • Mar 30, 2020 at 7:41 pm

Homework is a waste when we go to school for several hours a day all for what so we could go home and do even more work instead of relaxing many kids drop out because of how much time they wasted on doing stressful meaningless work

joey • Dec 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm

I do agree that homework is a waste of time because we work all day and then we get homework so we have to work at home too.

Joey • Dec 19, 2018 at 12:39 pm

homework doesn’t do anything I just forget everything that teachers give homework on quicker then usual.

Jacob • Nov 20, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Homework is useless because kids spend almost half their at school then having to worry about homework once they get home its to much pressure for kids our age, high schools should be the grade when homework starts and we know homework is supposed to prove what we learn but we don’t learn anything from test nor homework we just memorise it, do it, then we forget everything we learned because you have to then memorize other things and forget others. And that is why I think homework is a waste of time.

The truth talker • Nov 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Homework is too stressful, and is too time-consuming.

Jacob Mdelski • Nov 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Homework can be good for us but it can just be too much for some students to handle.

finn st john • Nov 15, 2018 at 8:16 am

homework is not good. we are at school for 7 hours and some of us stay at club (after school thing) till 4 5 or even 6! homework is just what we were doing that day all over again but at home.

the derp • Nov 2, 2018 at 12:53 pm

homework helps us but can sometimes be a waste of time

Ryan M • Nov 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Homework is like telling a dog never to play or lick your face again

Madisyn Hackett • Nov 2, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Homework is very stressful!

Dillon Starnes • Oct 31, 2018 at 12:12 pm

This is an excellent article, Nailah!

Kyle Dani • Oct 31, 2018 at 12:10 pm

This is a great article. I agree that teachers hand out way to much homework.

Hannah Comar • Oct 31, 2018 at 12:03 pm

I agree with this considering I was one of the interviewees. Great article Nailah!

Maddie Andrews • Oct 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

I like your picture and I agree, homework is very stressful!

Maddie Andrews • Oct 31, 2018 at 11:57 am

I like your picture! I agree homework can be very stressful!

Caitlin Noe • Oct 31, 2018 at 11:50 am

I like your picture a lot it is very creative and I agree homework is just a recap of what we learned.

unknown • Oct 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm

homework is ok I always finish it in class so I don’t have homework relly

AAron • Oct 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm

i hate having to do work at home it is a wast of my time

AAron • Oct 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm

i think homework is a wast of time

Bob Ross • Oct 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm

I get it homework is stress full but homework is good for us examples: Homework is like a mini quiz that lets the teachers know if you actually learned something in their class.

Lizzy Gutkowski • Oct 26, 2018 at 12:21 pm

I think homework is too stessful. It makes me have to stay up late and work on my homework.

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Is Homework A Waste of Time? Let’s Find Out!

Is Homework a Waste of Time

Table of Contents

The is homework a waste of time debate, why homework is a waste of time, why is it good to do homework, does homework prevent family time.

So, is homework a waste of time? As a student, you are probably wondering why you need to complete so many school chores every day. The truth is that high school and college students get a lot of homework weekly. In many cases, you need to study during the weekends when you should spend time with your family and friends. And let’s not forget that there are times when you need to spend several nights working on a difficult research paper.

It’s no wonder you consider that homework is a waste of time. Did you know that the is homework a waste of time debate has been going on for years? You are not the only one doubting the efficacy of an education system based on homework. Let’s discuss this in more detail.

The debate about whether homework should be required in schools has been going on for years. There are a lot of homework debate pros and cons. Even teachers and parents have reacted and contributed with their points of view to this debate. And yes, there is even a should homework be banned debate.

In many cases, both teachers and parents have agreed that students get too much homework to do at certain times. The truth of the matter is that some professors don’t care about their students’ workload. They don’t realize that students have to complete various school chores for most of their other classes. It’s no wonder many students end up spending night after night working on their essays and research papers. The homework debate is getting hotter every year.

But how is homework a waste of time? We can’t defend homework entirely, even if we do agree that it is beneficial in some cases. We have to think about why the ban homework debate is so intense. And there are certain things that make homework a waste of time. Here are some of them:

  • According to scientific studies, it looks like people with a high intellectual level tend to procrastinate more. If you don’t do your homework or if you rush it, you usually get a low grade. And a low grade usually suggests an inability to study, therefore a lower intellectual level. As you can see, homework does not accurately reflect a student’s intelligence . This is the main reason why homework is a waste of time.
  • Why do teachers give homework? It’s easier to hand out homework than it is to make sure your students understand the subject matter during class hours. However, a students who didn’t understand much won’t usually be able to complete the homework without some form of help.
  • Some of the assignments are pointless, plain and simple . They simply don’t make sense. They won’t help you in your academic career or in life in any way. This is one of the things that come up frequently in the banning homework debate. It points to the fact that some homework is really a waste of the student’s time.

Now that you know about some of the things that make homework somewhat useless, it’s time to take a look at some of the benefits of homework. Why is it good to do homework? There are plenty of pros to getting some homework (perhaps not as much as you currently receive though). Here are some of them:

  • Organizing your homework time helps you improve your organizational skills . You will learn how to organize your time so that you can finish each assignment on time. You will also have to learn how to split a large assignment into smaller parts and then work on each part in an organized manner. These skills will help you immensely when you get your first job.
  • Why do i have to do my homework? One of the main benefits of doing homework is that you can learn the subject matter a lot faster . It helps you remember important things that you will need to know to take top grades on your future tests.
  • Is homework a waste of time? Sometime it is not. Homework sometimes teaches you how to solve difficult problems in the most efficient manner . Problem solving skills will prove to be very useful in life, as you will surely find out at some point in the future.

But does homework prevent family time? In some cases, yes, homework can interfere with family time. Some students can even go into a depression. Spending night after night working on your homework and not spending enough time with your friends and family can have negative effects on your mental health. This is the reasons why many students ask us the “why can’t i do my homework” question.

At times, homework is useless. We really agree that part of the dreaded homework debate is accurate: students sometimes receive too many school assignments. They are swamped. They are overwhelmed. Even though there are many benefits to doing homework, school chores should not prove to be such an unbearable burden.

The Best Time to Do Homework

How much time should be spent on homework each night? We hear this question a lot lately. The problem is that you shouldn’t even be asking this question. The night is not meant for study. It is meant for rest. The best time to do homework is during the morning (during the weekends, of course). If you have school in the morning, you can work on your homework in the afternoon or even the evening.

What’s the average time spent on homework by grade? There is no set figure, but on average high school students get 10 to 14 hours’ worth of homework every week. College students are often looking at 20+ hours per week. This is quite a lot, so you should consider getting some help from our homework helpers , if you need some assistance with more complex essays and research papers.

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    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

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  9. Is homework a waste of time?

    Traditional homework. Traditional homework or 'busy work', as we like to call it, is generic across a class, and does little to enhance the individual student learning experience. This kind of homework assumes that every student is the same, that each has the same maturity, concentration and ability level. It is, therefore… a bit lazy.

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    Homework is helpful. Practice problems do in fact improve test grades and guide students in succeeding in the classroom. However, after about 90 minutes of homework, results will start to diminish. It's important to find the happy-medium when it comes to homework and make sure students aren't overloaded with busy work.

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