Should Students Be Given Homework?

Should Students Be Given Homework?

Averi Carlson, Contributor

A popular debate between school districts the homework policy. Many people say that homework is beneficial and essential to academic development. Others disagree, saying that it is a waste of time and should be gotten rid of. As the years go on, more and more teachers are getting rid of homework. Instead, they are telling the students to spend time with their families. 

Teacher Samantha Hulsman said in Education Week Teacher that she had many parents complaining that a simple homework assignment would regularly turn into a three-hour battle with her kids. Other studies have found that homework causes increased levels of stress on a child. This occurs because of the stress to complete the assignment correctly and turn it in on time. Parents have also complained that it consumes too much of their child’s free time. Many students play sports and participate in after school activities which makes it difficult to complete assignments. 

Some schools have taken the extra step and banned homework completely. Instead, they encourage their students to spend time with family and go outside. Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington Vermont was one of these schools. Their homework policy has four parts which include reading nightly, spending time outdoors, having family dinner, and getting a good night’s sleep. The parents and staff support this idea and will continue to use this policy. 

At Hamilton Elementary in Lakeview, a no-homework policy was instituted by James Gray. He said, “Learning happens all the time at home, whether you’re cooking a meal, playing a game or reading a book. It didn’t seem worth it for what schools are trying to get out of homework” He believed that students were taught more when they had life experiences, rather than doing worksheets. He found that his own kids started reading on their own because they were no longer required to. 

According to Harris Cooper, a professor at Duke, homework is essential to a student’s education. He performed a study following the “10-minute rule” which says that in the first-grade students should receive ten minutes of homework, and then ten more minutes each following year. His research showed that students who completed the homework had a higher dedication to their schoolwork. However, it did not show that they got better grades. 

Researchers in Indiana said that the question wasn’t if students should be given homework or not. The question is what kind and how much homework. They found that the effectiveness of homework has gone down because it isn’t being used as well as it should. Suzanne Capek Tingley said, “Some middle school teachers have found success with online math homework that’s adapted to each student’s level of understanding. But when middle school students were assigned more than an hour and a half of homework, their math and science test scores went down.” 

Homework should not be gotten rid of completely, rather it should be given out in small amounts. Principal Mark Trifilio said that teachers shouldn’t give out fifty problems when they can give ten problems and have the same outcome. With less homework, students can have more time for extracurricular activities and family, but still practice the concepts taught in class. With smaller amounts of homework, students will have less stress and have more time to do what they love.