Skip Nav

Is Too Much Homework Bad for Kids' Health?

Where Can You Find Answers for Economics Homework?

❶The bedtime is being pushed further and further close to midnight, if not past.

Consequences for high school students

NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education
The Case Against Homework
Working as hard as adults

If the student needs help they need to go the teacher. Homework will only hurt that child especially if it's for a grade.

What you are saying is myth homework actually gives you liwer test scores grades health etc.. I am living proof my story is a bit sad but it gives you a big reason to take homework away before it causes more damage. I think it is helpful because kids might learn more. This is going to help me for my essay I will have to write. I am doing a speech on homework and personally I believe it sometimes can be helpful but often just annoys the children who are forced to do it.

I think homework is bad because you can have stress and even die. There was a teenager that died because of homework. The only reason she died is because she had stress. That is why I do not like homework. I think its not helpful because it develops inequality among students. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Sydnee! Homework is necessary in the academic life of a child and student. It's advantages outweigh it's disadvantages. However, it has to be in moderation. It's advisable that parents don't get involved in the actual writing but can encourage their children to work on it as soon as possible. We learn a thing by doing it. Teachers should be guided by reason while assigning homework.

I'll also suggest it be graded accordingly. Very well stated, Jude. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this debate with us. As you point out, there is responsibility on the part of the parents, as well as the teachers, to ensure that students can get the most out of their assignments. Thank you for your comment Holly! Homework in moderation is a reasonable stance in the homework debate. Hi David - I'm happy you found this blog post helpful! I think home work is good because students learn more from homework.

Also homework prepares syudents for class. Last, homework makes students pruductive. A report examined the amount of time U. To drop the use of homework, then, a school or district would be obliged to identify a practice that produces a similar effect within the confines of the school day without taking away or diminishing the benefits of other academic activities—no easy accomplishment.

A better approach is to ensure that teachers use homework effectively. To enact effective homework policies, however, schools and districts must address the following issues. Although teachers across the K—12 spectrum commonly assign homework, research has produced no clear-cut consensus on the benefits of homework at the early elementary grade levels.

In his early meta-analysis, Cooper a reported the following effect sizes p. The pattern clearly indicates that homework has smaller effects at lower grade levels. Even so, Cooper b still recommended homework for elementary students because homework for young children should help them develop good study habits, foster positive attitudes toward school, and communicate to students the idea that learning takes work at home as well as at school.

The Cooper, Robinson, and Patall meta-analysis found the same pattern of stronger relationships at the secondary level but also identified a number of studies at grades 2, 3, and 4 demonstrating positive effects for homework. In The Battle over Homework , Cooper noted that homework should have different purposes at different grade levels: For students in the earliest grades , it should foster positive attitudes, habits, and character traits; permit appropriate parent involvement; and reinforce learning of simple skills introduced in class.

For students in upper elementary grades , it should play a more direct role in fostering improved school achievement. In 6th grade and beyond , it should play an important role in improving standardized test scores and grades. One of the more contentious issues in the homework debate is the amount of time students should spend on homework. The Cooper synthesis a reported that for junior high school students, the benefits increased as time increased, up to 1 to 2 hours of homework a night, and then decreased.

The Cooper, Robinson, and Patall study reported similar findings: The researchers suggested that for 12th graders the optimum amount of homework might lie between 1. Still, researchers have offered various recommendations. For example, Good and Brophy cautioned that teachers must take care not to assign too much homework.

They suggested that homework must be realistic in length and difficulty given the students' abilities to work independently. Thus, 5 to 10 minutes per subject might be appropriate for 4th graders, whereas 30 to 60 minutes might be appropriate for college-bound high school students. Cooper, Robinson, and Patall also issued a strong warning about too much homework: Even for these oldest students, too much homework may diminish its effectiveness or even become counterproductive.

He added that when required reading is included as a type of homework, the minute rule might be increased to 15 minutes. Focusing on the amount of time students spend on homework, however, may miss the point. A significant proportion of the research on homework indicates that the positive effects of homework relate to the amount of homework that the student completes rather than the amount of time spent on homework or the amount of homework actually assigned.

Thus, simply assigning homework may not produce the desired effect—in fact, ill-structured homework might even have a negative effect on student achievement. Teachers must carefully plan and assign homework in a way that maximizes the potential for student success see Research-Based Homework Guidelines. Another question regarding homework is the extent to which schools should involve parents. Some studies have reported minimal positive effects or even negative effects for parental involvement.

They recommended interactive homework in which Parents receive clear guidelines spelling out their role. Teachers do not expect parents to act as experts regarding content or to attempt to teach the content. Parents ask questions that help students clarify and summarize what they have learned. Good and Brophy provided the following recommendations regarding parent involvement: Such assignments cause students and their parents or other family members to become engaged in conversations that relate to the academic curriculum and thus extend the students' learning.

Although research has established the overall viability of homework as a tool to enhance student achievement, for the most part the research does not provide recommendations that are specific enough to help busy practitioners. This is the nature of research—it errs on the side of assuming that something does not work until substantial evidence establishes that it does.

The research community takes a long time to formulate firm conclusions on the basis of research. Homework is a perfect example: Figure 1 includes synthesis studies that go back as far as 60 years, yet all that research translates to a handful of recommendations articulated at a very general level.

In addition, research in a specific area, such as homework, sometimes contradicts research in related areas. For example, Cooper recommended on the basis of plus years of homework research that teachers should not comment on or grade every homework assignment. Riehl pointed out the similarity between education research and medical research. She commented, When reported in the popular media, medical research often appears as a blunt instrument, able to obliterate skeptics or opponents by the force of its evidence and arguments.

Yet repeated visits to the medical journals themselves can leave a much different impression. The serious medical journals convey the sense that medical research is an ongoing conversation and quest, punctuated occasionally by important findings that can and should alter practice, but more often characterized by continuing investigations.

These investigations, taken cumulatively, can inform the work of practitioners who are building their own local knowledge bases on medical care. If relying solely on research is problematic, what are busy practitioners to do? Instead, educators should combine research-based generalizations, research from related areas, and their own professional judgment based on firsthand experience to develop specific practices and make adjustments as necessary.

Educators can develop the most effective practices by observing changes in the achievement of the students with whom they work every day. Research-Based Homework Guidelines Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework benefits student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, teachers should follow these guidelines: Legitimate purposes for homework include introducing new content, practicing a skill or process that students can do independently but not fluently, elaborating on information that has been addressed in class to deepen students' knowledge, and providing opportunities for students to explore topics of their own interest.

Design homework to maximize the chances that students will complete it. For example, ensure that homework is at the appropriate level of difficulty. The debate over the effectiveness of homework is not new. Many child health and progressive education proponents in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century argued against homework for elementary and junior high school students.

A writer in even likened homework to legalized criminality. Later studies show a variety of results. A study on the effectiveness of homework concluded that homework positively influenced scholastic achievement. The study found that graded daily homework had the greatest impact among fourth and fifth-grade students. A study concluded that homework has non-scholastic benefits as well.

RATE THIS ARTICLE

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

That study, published in The Journal of Experimental Education, suggested that any more than two hours of homework per night is counterproductive. However, students who participated in the study reported doing slightly more than three hours of homework each night, on average.

Privacy FAQs

For decades, the homework standard has been a “minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night.

About Our Ads

In support of the view of homework as helpful, many educators stress that specifically aligning homework to the learning task is part of the strategy for building understanding. The website Focus on Effectiveness cites several studies showing that in elementary school, homework helps build learning and study habits (Cooper, ; Cooper, Lindsay, Nye, & Greathouse, ; Gorges & Elliot, ). Research doesn't have all the answers, but a review of some existing data yields some helpful observations and guidance. How Much Homework Do Students Do? Survey data and anecdotal evidence show that some students spend hours nightly doing homework.

Cookie Info

Even when homework is helpful, there can be too much of a good thing. "There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says. He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high school. Whereas homework can help facilitate the learning process, this sometimes is only true if there is an adult or other teacher figure present. Some argue that assigning too much homework can cause physical health problems, social development issues and increased stress levels for students.