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Does Homework Help or Harm?

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❶It appears a real test to see whether any material can be recalled and applied outside of the classroom setting. When he pressed her about the meaning of her science notes full of confusing jargon, she said the key to success on tests is "memorization not rationalization.

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Time spent at school plus time spent on homework equals Now factor in extra-curricular activities, sports, band, clubs, and so forth. Gee, why are kids so stressed out these days?

There seems to be a kind of top-down pressure with students and their families occupying the unenviable bottom position. Missing or late homework assignments are punished with draconian grade reductions.

Oh, this assignment is 1 day late? More than 3 days? That should completely destroy any hope a grade you can feel good about! Thus, teaching is gradually but inexorably ceasing to be a collaborative project among students, teachers, and parents to cultivate young minds and has instead become an impersonal process based on fear of penalties.

Teachers are penalized for underperforming students in a variety of ways that can include reductions in status, pay, and even job-loss, or in the case of a brilliant new Massachusetts proposal even loss of license to teach! Students are punished with low grades and all of the twisted, agonizing fall-out of school-related anxiety and disappointed, stressed-out parents.

So back to that balance sheet: Those are some steep costs, so I guess it must all be worthwhile, right? Many good parents would gladly accept at least some of these burdens if it really meant their kids were getting a top-notch education. Not according to professional contrarian Alfie Kohn and others. Meanwhile, those legendary pedagogues in Finland dole out little in the way of homework even as their students repeatedly top the world rankings.

Egalitarians like French president Francoise Hollande who proposed banning homework in point out that student from wealthier families with a relative abundance of resources have a disproportionate advantage in completing homework assignments. One recent headline from Florida vividly illustrates his point: Miami-Dade libraries are overcrowded with students waiting in line to get on the internet to complete their math homework because they have no internet access at home.

Clearly these kids have a much tougher time completing their homework than their wealthier counterparts with the luxury of broadband wifi at home. But the disparity goes much deeper than that. Wealthier kids tend to have more educated parents who have more free time.

They also have more books at home and more educational experiences overall think museum and library trips, international travel, etc. The bottom line from research conducted on the effectiveness of homework is that there is little conclusive evidence that homework improves educational outcomes. At the elementary level there is no correlation with greater success. Not so, counters Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, a renowned researcher on the effects of homework.

While his work is frequently quoted by both homework detractors, such as Kohn, and supporters as justification for their arguments, Cooper says the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers and Parents. Thus, a first-grader would have 10 minutes of homework per night, a second-grader 20 minutes, and homework time would increase by grade level up to two hours for a high-school senior.

Cooper believes that out-of-school practice — on tasks such as spelling words, math facts or foreign language — can make a difference in student achievement, even for children as young as second grade. He also believes that homework helps children to develop good study habits and to become independent learners.

But he acknowledges that the correlation between homework and achievement is minimal in elementary school. It increases in middle school and is highest in high school, although the effects level off after a certain amount of time on task — at about 90 minutes for middle-school students and two hours for high-school students, according to some studies.

Cooper is not convinced that the amount of homework assigned to children has gone up substantially over the years. Parents, he says, have been bemoaning homework for the last century.

Challenge Success, a nonprofit group at the Stanford University School of Education, recently reviewed the body of research on homework and found that the data on the effects of homework time is inconclusive. But anecdotally, many parents say the amount of homework their kids are currently doing is excessive and takes a toll. My son in fifth-grade has a minimum of two-and-a-half hours of homework, with reading time included.

Lori Harris, a mother of two, finds that some homework is meaningful and can help children plan and organize. But she, too, says the amount of work is excessive. The growing concern and debate over homework has prompted some school districts to re-evaluate their policies.

When the 15,student Pleasanton Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area received complaints from parents, particularly those of middle-school students, it dusted off its largely ignored homework policy, and administrators, teachers and parents worked for more than a year to change it. The new policy that resulted has been in place for a year now; it strongly discourages weekend and holiday homework for elementary-school students and limits homework assignments for middle- and high-school students to five nights a week, though they can choose to do it over the weekend.

The policy also encourages better coordination of assignments and tests among teachers at the middle- and high-school levels and sets time guidelines per grade — following the minute rule in elementary school, 15 minutes per class period in middle school or up to one hour and 45 minutes a night and 20 minutes per class period in high school or up to two hours a night. Is it necessary and is it worthwhile? Still, she says, the time limits agreed upon are more than she would have liked, and more than she thinks the research supports.

Beyond Pleasanton, school districts from Swampscott, Mass. Some have scrapped traditional homework assignments for free reading or optional assignments. A meaningful homework assignment is open to interpretation, by teachers, parents and students. If you believe that your child is receiving more homework than he can reasonably handle, talk to his teacher.

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Books like The End of Homework, The Homework Myth, and The Case Against Homework and the film Race to Nowhere make the case that homework, by taking away precious family time and putting kids under unneeded pressure, is an ineffective way to help children become better learners and thinkers.

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Well, imagine if after putting in a full day at the office -- and school is pretty much what our children do for a job -- you had to come home and do another four or so hours of office work. Monday through Friday. Plus homework every weekend how long would you last? This is a question that weighs heavily on teacher Jessica Lahey.

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Act as cheerleaders, not homework police. Provide necessary supplies and express interest in the content, but let the teacher intervene if the child regularly fails to finish homework or do it correctly. When scheduling after-school activities, keep in mind your child’s homework load. Does homework help or harm. September 11, Uncategorized 0 I have an essay to write but i have a migraine. so, i've been laying down in bed, using speech to text on my phone (and it's kinda working).

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He says homework does not reinforce learning nor improve academic results, while at the same time it reduces precious time with family and friends. “For younger students, in fact, there isn’t even a correlation between whether children do homework (or how much they do) and any meaningful measure of achievement. Apr 08,  · Another major issue with homework is how much homework actually benefits a student. Many children are left with math problems that are far over their capabilities, or reading they can't comprehend. One of two things happens. Either the students go to their parents for help, which is occasionally good but can affect how .