How Homework Hurts Grades
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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.
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.
Homework is an important part of being successful inside and outside of the classroom, but too much of it can actually have the opposite effect. Students who spend too much time on homework are not always able to meet other needs, like being physically and socially active. Ultimately, the amount of homework a student has can impact a lot more than his or her grades.
Extracurricular activities and social time gives students a chance to refresh their minds and bodies. But students who have large amounts of homework have less time to spend with their families and friends. This can leave them feeling isolated and without a support system. For older students, balancing homework and part-time work makes it harder to balance school and other tasks. Without time to socialize and relax, students can become increasingly stressed, impacting life at school and at home.
After a full day of learning in class, students can become burnt out if they have too much homework. When this happens, the child may stop completing homework or rely on a parent to assist with homework. As a result, the benefits of homework are lost and grades can start to slip.
Too much homework can also result in less active learning, a type of learning that occurs in context and encourages participation. Active learning promotes the analysis and application of class content in real world settings. Homework does not always provide these opportunities, leading to boredom and a lack of problem-solving skills.
In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new. Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.
The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework. That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.
In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia.
School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school.
To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.
Some parents, in fact, have decided to opt out of the whole thing. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that some parents have just instructed their younger children not to do their homework assignments.
In 2013, research conducted at Stanford University found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from society.
To conduct the study, researchers surveyed more than 4,300 students at 10 high-performing high schools in upper middle-class California communities. They also interviewed students about their views on homework.
The researchers also found that spending too much time on homework meant that students were not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills. Students were more likely to forgo activities, stop seeing friends or family, and not participate in hobbies.
Pope described one teacher she worked with who taught Advanced Placement biology, and experimented by dramatically cutting down homework assignments. First the teacher cut homework by a third, and then cut the assignments in half.
Contrary to much published research, a regression analysis of time spent on homework and the final class grade found no substantive difference in grades between students who complete homework and those who do not. But the analysis found a positive association between student performance on standardized tests and the time they spent on homework.
The authors suggest that factors such as class participation and attendance may mitigate the association of homework to stronger grade performance. They also indicate the types of homework assignments typically given may work better toward standardized test preparation than for retaining knowledge of class material.
This issue is particularly relevant given that the time spent on homework reported by most students translates into the equivalent of 100 to 180 50-minute class periods of extra learning time each year.
The authors conclude that given current policy initiatives to improve science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education, more evaluation is needed about how to use homework time more effectively. They suggest more research be done on the form and function of homework assignments.
How much homework is too muchThe National PTA and the National Education Association agree that homework that takes longer than 10 minutes per grade period is excessive. For example, a third-grader should have no more than 30 minutes of homework. Any homework beyond the 30 minutes is too much.
The problem lies in determining how long a homework assignment will take each child. As we all know, each child is different. One child may speed through the assignment while another may spend hours on it. At that point, it's up to the individual parents to discuss the issues with the teacher to come up with a plan appropriate for that child.
How much homework is appropriate for high schoolersHigh school aged students can handle more homework. Going with the 10-minute rule per grade, freshman should have no more than 90 minutes and seniors no more than 2 hours of homework.
Does homework affect family timeExcessive homework can cut down on productive family time. This is especially true in families where the parents are incapable of assisting with the homework. As the stress levels increase, fights begin, which takes away from any quality family time students can spend on school nights.
Too much homework can also take time away from teens trying to save up for a big purchase or even college. If you're a teen looking to earn some extra cash, don't miss this list on all the best online jobs for teens.
Does homework affect test scores in high schoolStudies show that a certain amount of homework can help test scores increase, but the benefits begin to fall off after doing about an hour of homework on any given subject. According to the Journal of Educational Psychology, students who did more than 90 to 100 minutes of homework per night actually performed worse on tests than those with less than 90 minutes of homework.
Does homework affect test scores in elementary schoolStudies show that increased homework at the elementary school level actually has a negative effect on students' test scores. Increased homework often means it's a remedial attempt to catch a child up on what the teacher couldn't teach in the classroom. Because of the lack of teaching, children often do worse on tests as a result.
Does Homework Cause AnxietyA study conducted by Stanford University determined that students who feel that they spend \"too much time\" on homework experience stress and physical ailments that can be tied to anxiety. Students also cited having difficulty balancing everything in their life, including family time and extracurricular activities in addition to homework, which can contribute to the anxiety.
What health problems can homework causeExcessive homework, which exceeds the 10-minute per grade rule, has been known to cause digestive issues, sleeping problems, headaches, weight loss, and generalized stress.
Can homework cause depressionHomework itself might not be the direct cause of depression, but it could have an indirect relationship. Students who feel overwhelmed with homework have a harder time balancing their family life, extracurricular activities, and social life. This can lead them to isolation and depression.
Does homework take away from a person's childhoodIf a child has excessive amounts of homework and they have trouble balancing their life outside of school, it may take away from their childhood. Not having time to go outside, play with friends, or just \"chill\" could take away from the milestone experiences of childhood.
What is the point of homeworkAccording to the Review of Educational Research, homework should serve a purpose and that purpose is to practice, prepare, or extend a student's learning. The homework should be age appropriate and either engage a child's interest or help him/her learn good study habits. 153554b96e