Careers & Education

How much homework is too much homework?

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Too much homework overwhelms
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How much homework is too much homework depends on whom you are asking

Kids say any homework is too much homework. How much homework is (truly) too much homework? Authorities in the education field believe it becomes excessive when the students are regularly saddled with hours of nightly assignments. Over-load occurs and no one benefits from volumes work; not the student, the parents or the teacher.

One reason homework became so important in the late 1950s was the belief in the United States that students were falling behind when the Soviets managed to launch Sputnik.

The increase in work done at home declined in the 1970s but rose again in the 1980s because students werenít fairing well on standardized tests. The No Child Left Behind Act established in 2002 mandated educators and administrators to give test scores to the federal government.

Another increase in home assignments occurred in recent years.

When a child feels overwhelmed by work done outside of school hours, this leads to anxiety and depression. Motivation takes a nosedive and the student becomes disheartened. Antagonistic feelings toward school and learning may surface. It is not advantageous when kids that donít have any free time to play and engage in sports and hobbies.





Researchers believe it is vitally important for children engage in extracurricular activities as well as play because these activities correlate more highly with achievement and cognitive development than homework.

Duke University Education Professor Harris Cooper recommends that second graders get no more than 10 to 15 minutes of work nightly. The amount can increase by 10 or 15 minutes  each successive year. A senior in high school would have approximately two hours homework according to his recommendation.

Alfie Kohn, a school principal, points out that too much homework leads to ambivalence about learning, exhaustion, frustration and the inability to engage in other activities the child loves. Kohn notes parents often serve as the enforcers when it comes to their children doing nightly work and may feel as though they are required to be too involved in this or fret they arenít involved enough.

It doesnít make sense, in light of research results, to pile more nighttime work on kids when there appears to be no or little benefit. Studies show there isnít any consequential gauge of achievement for young students regarding homework. There does not seem to be any academic gain. Furthermore, it was never established doing homework improves study habits or builds character.

Ideas that parents can challenge include the notion homework establishes a link between families and schools and reinforces what the child learned during the day because he is repeating rote behaviors, as well as teaches accountability and self- regulation. Some studies say none of this is true.

However, other studies show regular study done at home with parents improves high school performance.

The argument for homework is it is needed for a student to master a subject. In fact, children in the U.S. do not spend as much time doing work after school compared with other countries, including Europe and Asia. The gist is that study time is the main factor in how much a student learns and after school work adds to study time.

The U.S. Department of Education recommends that teachers not assign more than five problems of any given content. This is enough to determine a studentís comprehension of material.

On the other hand, reduction of homework allows families to decide how they will spend their evenings. Some schools have vetoed homework from weekends.

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