25 Reasons Homework Should Be Banned (Busywork Arguments)

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As students across the globe plow through heaps of homework each night, one question lingers in the minds of educators, parents, and students alike: should homework be banned?

This question is not new, yet it continues to spark lively debate as research findings, anecdotal evidence, and personal experiences paint a complex picture of the pros and cons of homework.

On one hand, proponents of homework argue that it reinforces classroom learning, encourages a disciplined work ethic, and provides teachers with valuable insight into student comprehension. They see homework as an extension of classroom instruction that solidifies and enriches learning while fostering important skills like time management and self-discipline. It also offers an opportunity for parents to be involved in their children's education.

However, some people say there are a lot of downsides. They argue that excessive homework can lead to stress and burnout, reduce time for extracurricular activities and family interactions, exacerbate educational inequalities, and even negatively impact students' mental health.

child stressed about homework

This article presents 25 reasons why we might need to seriously consider this radical shift in our educational approach. But first, lets share some examples of what homework actually is.

Examples of Homework

These examples cover a wide range of subjects and complexity levels, reflecting the variety of homework assignments students might encounter throughout their educational journey.

  • Spelling lists to memorize for a test
  • Math worksheets for practicing basic arithmetic operations
  • Reading assignments from children's books
  • Simple science projects like growing a plant
  • Basic geography assignments like labeling a map
  • Art projects like drawing a family portrait
  • Writing book reports or essays
  • Advanced math problems
  • Research projects on various topics
  • Lab reports for science experiments
  • Reading and responding to literature
  • Preparing presentations on various topics
  • Advanced math problems involving calculus or algebra
  • Reading classic literature and writing analytical essays
  • Research papers on historical events
  • Lab reports for advanced science experiments
  • Foreign language exercises
  • Preparing for standardized tests
  • College application essays
  • Extensive research papers
  • In-depth case studies
  • Advanced problem-solving in subjects like physics, engineering, etc.
  • Thesis or dissertation writing
  • Extensive reading and literature reviews
  • Internship or practicum experiences

Lack of proven benefits

measured scientific results

Homework has long been a staple of traditional education, dating back centuries. However, the actual efficacy of homework in enhancing learning outcomes remains disputed. A number of studies indicate that there's no conclusive evidence supporting the notion that homework improves academic performance, especially in primary education . In fact, research suggests that for younger students, the correlation between homework and academic achievement is weak or even negative .

Too much homework can often lead to increased stress and decreased enthusiasm for learning. This issue becomes particularly pressing when considering the common 'more is better' approach to homework, where the quantity of work given to students often outweighs the quality and effectiveness of the tasks. For instance, spending countless hours memorizing facts for a history test may not necessarily translate to better understanding or long-term retention of the subject matter.

However, it's worth noting that homework isn't completely devoid of benefits. It can help foster self-discipline, time management skills, and the ability to work independently. But, these positive outcomes are usually more pronounced in older students and when homework assignments are thoughtfully designed and not excessive in volume.

When discussing the merits and drawbacks of homework, it's critical to consider the nature of the assignments. Routine, repetitive tasks often associated with 'drill-and-practice' homework, such as completing rows of arithmetic problems or copying definitions from a textbook, rarely lead to meaningful learning. On the other hand, assignments that encourage students to apply what they've learned in class, solve problems, or engage creatively with the material can be more beneficial.

Increased stress

stressed student

Homework can often lead to a significant increase in stress levels among students. This is especially true when students are burdened with large volumes of homework, leaving them with little time to relax or pursue other activities. The feeling of constantly racing against the clock to meet deadlines can contribute to anxiety, frustration, and even burnout.

Contrary to popular belief, stress does not necessarily improve performance or productivity. In fact, high levels of stress can negatively impact memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function. This counteracts the very purpose of homework, which is intended to reinforce learning and improve academic outcomes.

However, one might argue that homework can teach students about time management, organization, and how to handle pressure. These are important life skills that could potentially prepare them for future responsibilities. But it's essential to strike a balance. The pressure to complete homework should not come at the cost of a student's mental wellbeing.

Limited family time

student missing their family

Homework often infringes upon the time students can spend with their families. After spending the entire day in school, children come home to yet more academic work, leaving little room for quality family interactions. This limited family time can hinder the development of important interpersonal skills and familial bonds.

Moreover, family time isn't just about fun and relaxation. It also plays a crucial role in the social and emotional development of children. Opportunities for unstructured play, family conversations, and shared activities can contribute to children's well-being and character building.

Nonetheless, advocates of homework might argue that it can be a platform for parental involvement in a child's education. While this may be true, the involvement should not transform into parental control or cause friction due to differing expectations and pressures.

Reduced physical activity

student doing homework looking outside

Homework can often lead to reduced physical activity by eating into the time students have for sports, recreation, and simply being outdoors. Physical activity is essential for children's health, well-being, and even their academic performance. Research suggests that physical activity can enhance cognitive abilities, improve concentration, and reduce symptoms of ADHD .

Homework, especially when it's boring and repetitive, can deter students from engaging in physical activities, leading to a sedentary lifestyle. This lack of balance between work and play can contribute to physical health problems such as obesity, poor posture, and related health concerns.

Homework proponents might point out that disciplined time management could allow students to balance both work and play. However, given the demanding nature of many homework assignments, achieving this balance is often easier said than done.

Negative impact on sleep

lack of sleep

A significant concern about homework is its impact on students' sleep patterns. Numerous studies have linked excessive homework to sleep deprivation in students. Children often stay up late to complete assignments, reducing the amount of sleep they get. Lack of sleep can result in a host of issues, from poor academic performance and difficulty concentrating to physical health problems like weakened immunity.

Even the quality of sleep can be affected. The stress and anxiety from a heavy workload can lead to difficulty falling asleep or restless nights. And let's not forget that students often need to wake up early for school, compounding the negative effects of late-night homework sessions.

On the other hand, some argue that homework can teach children time management skills, suggesting that effective organization could help prevent late-night work. However, when schools assign excessive amounts of homework, even the best time management might not prevent encroachment on sleep time.

Homework can exacerbate existing educational inequalities. Not all students have access to a conducive learning environment at home, necessary resources, or support from educated family members. For these students, homework can become a source of stress and disadvantage rather than an opportunity to reinforce learning.

Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds might need to contribute to household chores or part-time work, limiting the time they have for homework. This can create a gap in academic performance and grades, reflecting not on the students' abilities but their circumstances.

While homework is meant to level the playing field by providing additional learning time outside school, it often does the opposite. It's worth noting that students from privileged backgrounds can often access additional help like tutoring, further widening the gap.

Reduced creativity and independent thinking

Homework, particularly when it involves rote learning or repetitive tasks, can stifle creativity and independent thinking. Students often focus on getting the "right" answers to please teachers rather than exploring different ideas and solutions. This can hinder their ability to think creatively and solve problems independently, skills that are increasingly in demand in the modern world.

Homework defenders might claim that it can also promote independent learning. True, when thoughtfully designed, homework can encourage this. But, voluminous or repetitive tasks tend to promote compliance over creativity.

Diminished interest in learning

Overburdening students with homework can diminish their interest in learning. After long hours in school followed by more academic tasks at home, learning can begin to feel like a chore. This can lead to a decline in intrinsic motivation and an unhealthy association of learning with stress and exhaustion.

In theory, homework can deepen interest in a subject, especially when it involves projects or research. Yet, an excess of homework, particularly routine tasks, might achieve the opposite, turning learning into a source of stress rather than enjoyment.

Inability to pursue personal interests

Homework can limit students' ability to pursue personal interests. Hobbies, personal projects, and leisure activities are crucial for personal development and well-being. With heavy homework loads, students may struggle to find time for these activities, missing out on opportunities to discover new interests and talents.

Supporters of homework might argue that it teaches students to manage their time effectively. However, even with good time management, an overload of homework can crowd out time for personal interests.

Excessive workload

The issue of excessive workload is a common complaint among students. Spending several hours on homework after a full school day can be mentally and physically draining. This workload can lead to burnout, decreased motivation, and negative attitudes toward school and learning.

While homework can help consolidate classroom learning, too much can be counterproductive. It's important to consider the overall workload of students, including school, extracurricular activities, and personal time, when assigning homework.

Limited time for reflection

Homework can limit the time students have for reflection. Reflection is a critical part of learning, allowing students to digest and integrate new information. With the constant flow of assignments, there's often little time left for this crucial process. Consequently, the learning becomes superficial, and the true understanding of subjects can be compromised.

Although homework is meant to reinforce what's taught in class, the lack of downtime for reflection might hinder deep learning. It's important to remember that learning is not just about doing, but also about thinking.

Increased pressure on young children

Young children are particularly vulnerable to the pressures of homework. At an age where play and exploration are vital for cognitive and emotional development, too much homework can create undue pressure and stress. This pressure can instigate a negative relationship with learning from an early age, potentially impacting their future attitude towards education.

Advocates of homework often argue that it prepares children for the rigors of their future academic journey. However, placing too much academic pressure on young children might overshadow the importance of learning through play and exploration.

Lack of alignment with real-world skills

Traditional homework often lacks alignment with real-world skills. Assignments typically focus on academic abilities at the expense of skills like creativity, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. These are crucial for success in the modern workplace and are often under-emphasized in homework tasks.

Homework can be an opportunity to develop these skills when properly structured. However, tasks often focus on memorization and repetition, rather than cultivating skills relevant to the real world.

Loss of motivation

Excessive homework can lead to a loss of motivation. The constant pressure to complete assignments and meet deadlines can diminish a student's intrinsic motivation to learn. This loss of motivation might not only affect their academic performance but also their love of learning, potentially having long-term effects on their educational journey.

Some believe homework instills discipline and responsibility. But, it's important to balance these benefits against the potential for homework to undermine motivation and engagement.

Disruption of work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is as important for students as it is for adults. Overloading students with homework can disrupt this balance, leaving little time for relaxation, socializing, and extracurricular activities. All of these are vital for a student's overall development and well-being.

Homework supporters might argue that it prepares students for the workloads they'll face in college and beyond. But it's also crucial to ensure students have time to relax, recharge, and engage in non-academic activities for a well-rounded development.

Impact on mental health

There's a growing body of evidence showing the negative impact of excessive homework on students' mental health. The stress and anxiety from heavy homework loads can contribute to issues like depression, anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide. Student well-being should be a top priority in education, and the impact of homework on mental health cannot be ignored.

While some might argue that homework helps students develop resilience and coping skills, it's important to ensure these potential benefits don't come at the expense of students' mental health.

Limited time for self-care

With excessive homework, students often find little time for essential self-care activities. These can include physical exercise, proper rest, healthy eating, mindfulness, or even simple leisure activities. These activities are critical for maintaining physical health, emotional well-being, and cognitive function.

Some might argue that managing homework alongside self-care responsibilities teaches students valuable life skills. However, it's important that these skills don't come at the cost of students' health and well-being.

Decreased family involvement

Homework can inadvertently lead to decreased family involvement in a child's learning. Parents often feel unqualified or too busy to help with homework, leading to missed opportunities for family learning interactions. This can also create stress and conflict within the family, especially when parents have high expectations or are unable to assist.

Some believe homework can facilitate parental involvement in education. But, when it becomes a source of stress or conflict, it can discourage parents from engaging in their child's learning.

Reinforcement of inequalities

Homework can unintentionally reinforce inequalities. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds might lack access to resources like private tutors or a quiet study space, placing them at a disadvantage compared to their more privileged peers. Additionally, these students might have additional responsibilities at home, further limiting their time to complete homework.

While the purpose of homework is often to provide additional learning opportunities, it can inadvertently reinforce existing disparities. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that homework doesn't favor students who have more resources at home.

Reduced time for play and creativity

Homework can take away from time for play and creative activities. These activities are not only enjoyable but also crucial for the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. Play allows children to explore, imagine, and create, fostering innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Some may argue that homework teaches discipline and responsibility. Yet, it's vital to remember that play also has significant learning benefits and should be a part of every child's daily routine.

Increased cheating and academic dishonesty

The pressure to complete homework can sometimes lead to increased cheating and academic dishonesty. When faced with a large volume of homework, students might resort to copying from friends or searching for answers online. This undermines the educational value of homework and fosters unhealthy academic practices.

While homework is intended to consolidate learning, the risk of promoting dishonest behaviors is a concern that needs to be addressed.

Strained teacher-student relationships

Excessive homework can strain teacher-student relationships. If students begin to associate teachers with stress or anxiety from homework, it can hinder the development of a positive learning relationship. Furthermore, if teachers are perceived as being unfair or insensitive with their homework demands, it can impact the overall classroom dynamic.

While homework can provide an opportunity for teachers to monitor student progress, it's important to ensure that it doesn't negatively affect the teacher-student relationship.

Negative impact on family dynamics

Homework can impact family dynamics. Parents might feel compelled to enforce homework completion, leading to potential conflict, stress, and tension within the family. These situations can disrupt the harmony in the household and strain relationships.

Homework is sometimes seen as a tool to engage parents in their child's education. However, it's crucial to ensure that this involvement doesn't turn into a source of conflict or pressure.

Cultural and individual differences

Homework might not take into account cultural and individual differences. Education is not a one-size-fits-all process, and what works for one student might not work for another. Some students might thrive on hands-on learning, while others prefer auditory or visual learning methods. By standardizing homework, we might ignore these individual learning styles and preferences.

Homework can also overlook cultural differences. For students from diverse cultural backgrounds, certain types of homework might seem irrelevant or difficult to relate to, leading to disengagement or confusion.

Encouragement of surface-level learning

Homework often encourages surface-level learning instead of deep understanding. When students are swamped with homework, they're likely to rush through assignments to get them done, rather than taking the time to understand the concepts. This can result in superficial learning where students memorize information to regurgitate it on assignments and tests, instead of truly understanding and internalizing the knowledge.

While homework is meant to reinforce classroom learning, the quality of learning is more important than the quantity. It's important to design homework in a way that encourages deep, meaningful learning instead of mere rote memorization.

Related posts:

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  • HPA Axis (Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis)
  • General Adaptation Syndrome Theory
  • Careers in Psychology
  • The Stress Response (General Adaptation Syndome)

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21 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

homework pros and cons

The homework debate has strong arguments on both sides. Commonly-cited reasons why homework should be banned include the idea that it is often counterproductive, stifles students’ creativity, and limits their freedom outside the classroom.

Students already have up to 7 hours of schoolwork to complete 5 days a week; adding more contributes to increased anxiety, burnout, and overall poor performance.

But arguments for homework include the fact it does increase student grades (Cooper, Robinson & Patall, 2006), it instils discipline, and it helps to reinforce what was learned into long-term memory.

The following are common arguments for banning homework – note that this is an article written to stimulate debate points on the topic, so it only presents one perspective. For the other side of the argument, it’s worth checking out my article on the 27 pros and cons of homework .

Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

1. it contributes to increased anxiety.

If there’s one word that describes middle-school and high-school students, it’s anxiety. In my homework statistics article , I cite research showing that 74% of students cite homework as a source of stress.

They have so much to juggle, from the novelty of adolescence to the realization that they must soon start preparing for college and their life after (Pressman et al., 2015).

It’s a lot to manage, and adding homework that reduces their free time and makes them even more restricted is downright harmful. The natural outcome of this dogpile of pressure is anxiety, and many students often feel overwhelmed, both by the hours and hours of coursework in a day and the extensive homework they are assigned (Galloway, Conner & Pope, 2013).

Because teachers often don’t communicate with one another over curricula, major assignments can overlap such that students have to tackle numerous large projects at once, which contributes to severe anxiety over good grades.

In response to this, some students check out of school entirely, letting their academic future go to waste. While, of course, it’s not fair to strawman and say that homework is to blame for all these cases, it may indeed by a contributing factor.

2. It Offers Less Social Time

Homework cuts out free time. Children already spend the better part of their day learning in a school environment, and when they come home, they need to socialize.

Whether it’s family or friends, a social balance is important. Depending on the coursework they’re assigned, homework can detrimentally affect students’ social life, which feed back into more of our first gripe about homework: its anxiety-inducing nature.

Furthermore, social time is extremely important for children to grow up well-balanced and confident. If a child is highly intelligent (book smart) but lacks to social skills we might call street smarts , they may struggle in adulthood.

3. It Detracts from Play Time

Play is extremely important for children’s physical, social, and cognitive development . In fact, children naturally learn through play .

So, when children get home from school, they need a few hours to play. They’re actually learning when playing! If playing with friends, they’re learning social skills; but playing alone also stimulates creative and analytical thinking skills.

Play is also a different type of learning than the learning that commonly happens at school. So, allowing children to play at home gives their brain a break from ‘school learning’ and lets them learn through active and even relaxing methods.

4. It Discourages Physical Exercise and Contributes to Obesity

Exercise is an important part of life for everyone, but especially for children. Developing a positive self-image and disciplining oneself is an important skill to learn, one that becomes much more difficult when homework is in the picture.

Homework can demand a lot of attention that kids could be spending exercising or socializing. These two important life pursuits can be left by the wayside, leaving students feeling confused, depressed, and anxious about the future.

Physical exercise should be considered a key feature of a child’s holistic development. It helps keep children healthy, can reduce anxiety, and support healthy immune systems. It also helps with physical development such as supporting fine and gross motor skills .

In fact, some scholars (Ren et al., 2017) have even identified excessive homework as a contributing factor for childhood obesity.

5. It Disrupts Sleep Patterns

Everyone knows the trope of a college student staying up late to finish their homework or cram for a test.

While it would be unfair to credit homework exclusively for an unhealthy sleep schedule, the constant pressure to finish assignments on time often yields one of two results.

Students can either burn the midnight oil to make sure their homework is done, or they can check out of school entirely and ignore their academic interests. Neither is an acceptable way to live.

This point is particularly pertinent to teenagers. They are not lazy; teens need 12-13 hours of sleep every day because their bodies are changing so dramatically.

To pile additional homework on them that interferes with the circadian rhythm is not just unhelpful—it may be downright harmful (Yeo et al., 2020).

6. It Involves Less Guidance

If there’s one thing that’s beneficial about the in-person learning experience, it’s the ability to raise one’s hand and let the teacher know when something is unclear or difficult to understand.

That handheld process isn’t available for homework; in fact, homework matters little in the grand scheme of learning. It’s just busywork that’s supposed to help students consolidate their knowledge.

In reality, homework becomes something that students resent and can fill them with feelings of frustration—something that would be much more readily addressed if the same content was covered in-person with a teacher to guide the student through the assignment.

7. It’s Regularly Rote Learning

In most subjects, homework isn’t reflective of the skills students need to learn to thrive in the workforce. Instead, it often simply involves rote learning (repetition of tasks) that is not seen as the best way to learn.

A main goal of education is to train up vocational professionals with defined skills. But more often than not, homework winds up as a bland set of word problems that have no basis in the real world.

Walking through real-world examples under the guidance of a teacher is much more beneficial to student learning.

8. It Can Detract from a Love of Learning

If you know what it’s like to doze off during a boring class or meeting, then you can relate to the difficulty students have paying attention in class.

That motivation starts to dwindle when students must complete assignments on their own time, often under immense pressure.

It’s not a healthy way to inspire kids to learn about different subjects and develop a love of learning.

Students already need to sit through hours and hours of class on end in-person. This learning time should be used more effectively to eliminate the need for home.

When children finally get out of class at the end of the day, they need to socialize and exercise, not spend even longer staring at a book to complete a bunch of unhelpful practice questions.

9. It Convolutes the Subject

Another important consideration about homework is that it can often be counterproductive.

That’s because teachers don’t always use the full curriculum material for their teaching, and they may choose to develop their own homework rather than to use the resources offered by the curriculum provider.

This homework can often be off-subject, extremely niche, or unhelpful in explaining a subject that students are studying.

Students who don’t understand a subject and don’t have resources to rely on will eventually give up. That risk becomes even more prevalent when you factor in the scope, complexity, and type of assignment.

Students need to be taught in a safe environment where they can feel free to ask questions and learn at their own pace. Of course, there’s no fairytale way to perfect this ideal, but what is clear is that homework is not beneficial to the learning environment for many students.

10. It’s Not What Kids Want

Lastly, homework should be banned because it’s generally not what students want. From elementary to college level, most students harbor some sort of resentment towards homework.

It might be easy to dismiss this to say that the students “aren’t living in the real world.” The truth of the matter is that the real world is a lot more nuanced, creative, and diverse than the repetitive, broad, and often stagnant homework.

It’s easy to understand why most students wish that more time in school had been spent on learning how to live rather than trying to figure out how many apples Johnny had. Subjects like car maintenance, entrepreneurship, computer skills, socialization, networking, tax filing, finances, and survival are touched on at best and ignored at worst.

It’s not enough for students to be able to regurgitate information on a piece of paper; in the end, the education system should teach them how to be self-sufficient, something that might be much easier to do if resources were divested from homework and poured into more beneficial subject material.

Consider these 11 Additional Reasons

  • Decreases time with parents – Homework may prevent parents and children from spending quality time together.
  • Hidden costs – Families often feel pressure to purchase internet and other resources to help their children to complete their homework.
  • Is inequitable – some children have parents to help them while others don’t. Similarly, some children have internet access to help while others don’t (see: Kralovec & Buell, 2001).
  • Easy to cheat – Unsupervised homework time makes it easy for children to simply cheat on their work so they can get on with play time!
  • Lack of downtime – Children need time where they aren’t doing anything. Time that is unstructured helps them to develop hobbies and interests .
  • Detracts from reading – Children could be spending their time reading books and developing their imaginations rather than working on repetitive homework tasks.
  • Take up parental time – Parents, who have just spent all day working, are increasingly expected to spend their time doing ‘teaching’ with their children at home.
  • Discourages club membership – If children are too busy with homework, they may not be able to join clubs and sporting groups that can help them make friends and develop extracurricular skills.
  • Makes it hard for college students to make a living – In college, where homework is extensive, students often can’t juggle homework with their weekend and night-time jobs. As a result, it pushes them further into student poverty.
  • Contributes to poor work-life culture – From early ages, we’re sending a message to children that they should take their work home with them. This can spill over into the workplace, where they’ll be expected to continue working for their company even after the workday ends.
  • Can reinforce faulty learning – When children learn in isolation during homework time, they may end up practicing their work completely wrong! They need intermittent support to make sure their practice is taking them down the right path.

Students may need to demonstrate their understanding of a topic to progress; that, at least, is a reflection of the real world. What’s not helpful is when students are peppered day and night with information that they need to regurgitate on a piece of paper.

For positive outcomes to come from homework, parents and teachers need to work together. It depends a lot on the type of homework provided as well as the age of the student and the need to balance homework with time to do other things in your life.

Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003.  Review of educational research ,  76 (1), 1-62.

Galloway, M., Conner, J., & Pope, D. (2013). Nonacademic effects of homework in privileged, high-performing high schools.  The journal of experimental education ,  81 (4), 490-510. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220973.2012.745469

Kralovec, E., & Buell, J. (2001).  The end of homework: How homework disrupts families, overburdens children, and limits learning . Beacon Press.

Pressman, R. M., Sugarman, D. B., Nemon, M. L., Desjarlais, J., Owens, J. A., & Schettini-Evans, A. (2015). Homework and family stress: With consideration of parents’ self confidence, educational level, and cultural background.  The American Journal of Family Therapy ,  43 (4), 297-313. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01926187.2015.1061407

Ren, H., Zhou, Z., Liu, W., Wang, X., & Yin, Z. (2017). Excessive homework, inadequate sleep, physical inactivity and screen viewing time are major contributors to high paediatric obesity.  Acta Paediatrica ,  106 (1), 120-127. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.13640

Yeo, S. C., Tan, J., Lo, J. C., Chee, M. W., & Gooley, J. J. (2020). Associations of time spent on homework or studying with nocturnal sleep behavior and depression symptoms in adolescents from Singapore.  Sleep Health ,  6 (6), 758-766. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2020.04.011

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Why I Think All Schools Should Abolish Homework

Two brothers work on laptop computers at home

H ow long is your child’s workweek? Thirty hours? Forty? Would it surprise you to learn that some elementary school kids have workweeks comparable to adults’ schedules? For most children, mandatory homework assignments push their workweek far beyond the school day and deep into what any other laborers would consider overtime. Even without sports or music or other school-sponsored extracurriculars, the daily homework slog keeps many students on the clock as long as lawyers, teachers, medical residents, truck drivers and other overworked adults. Is it any wonder that,deprived of the labor protections that we provide adults, our kids are suffering an epidemic of disengagement, anxiety and depression ?

With my youngest child just months away from finishing high school, I’m remembering all the needless misery and missed opportunities all three of my kids suffered because of their endless assignments. When my daughters were in middle school, I would urge them into bed before midnight and then find them clandestinely studying under the covers with a flashlight. We cut back on their activities but still found ourselves stuck in a system on overdrive, returning home from hectic days at 6 p.m. only to face hours more of homework. Now, even as a senior with a moderate course load, my son, Zak, has spent many weekends studying, finding little time for the exercise and fresh air essential to his well-being. Week after week, and without any extracurriculars, Zak logs a lot more than the 40 hours adults traditionally work each week — and with no recognition from his “bosses” that it’s too much. I can’t count the number of shared evenings, weekend outings and dinners that our family has missed and will never get back.

How much after-school time should our schools really own?

In the midst of the madness last fall, Zak said to me, “I feel like I’m working towards my death. The constant demands on my time since 5th grade are just going to continue through graduation, into college, and then into my job. It’s like I’m on an endless treadmill with no time for living.”

My spirit crumbled along with his.

Like Zak, many people are now questioning the point of putting so much demand on children and teens that they become thinly stretched and overworked. Studies have long shown that there is no academic benefit to high school homework that consumes more than a modest number of hours each week. In a study of high schoolers conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), researchers concluded that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance.”

In elementary school, where we often assign overtime even to the youngest children, studies have shown there’s no academic benefit to any amount of homework at all.

Our unquestioned acceptance of homework also flies in the face of all we know about human health, brain function and learning. Brain scientists know that rest and exercise are essential to good health and real learning . Even top adult professionals in specialized fields take care to limit their work to concentrated periods of focus. A landmark study of how humans develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work only about four hours per day .

Yet we continue to overwork our children, depriving them of the chance to cultivate health and learn deeply, burdening them with an imbalance of sedentary, academic tasks. American high school students , in fact, do more homework each week than their peers in the average country in the OECD, a 2014 report found.

It’s time for an uprising.

Already, small rebellions are starting. High schools in Ridgewood, N.J. , and Fairfax County, Va., among others, have banned homework over school breaks. The entire second grade at Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Va., abolished homework this academic year. Burton Valley Elementary School in Lafayette, Calif., has eliminated homework in grades K through 4. Henry West Laboratory School , a public K-8 school in Coral Gables, Fla., eliminated mandatory, graded homework for optional assignments. One Lexington, Mass., elementary school is piloting a homework-free year, replacing it with reading for pleasure.

More from TIME

Across the Atlantic, students in Spain launched a national strike against excessive assignments in November. And a second-grade teacher in Texas, made headlines this fall when she quit sending home extra work , instead urging families to “spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside and get your child to bed early.”

It is time that we call loudly for a clear and simple change: a workweek limit for children, counting time on the clock before and after the final bell. Why should schools extend their authority far beyond the boundaries of campus, dictating activities in our homes in the hours that belong to families? An all-out ban on after-school assignments would be optimal. Short of that, we can at least sensibly agree on a cap limiting kids to a 40-hour workweek — and fewer hours for younger children.

Resistance even to this reasonable limit will be rife. Mike Miller, an English teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., found this out firsthand when he spearheaded a homework committee to rethink the usual approach. He had read the education research and found a forgotten policy on the county books limiting homework to two hours a night, total, including all classes. “I thought it would be a slam dunk” to put the two-hour cap firmly in place, Miller said.

But immediately, people started balking. “There was a lot of fear in the community,” Miller said. “It’s like jumping off a high dive with your kids’ future. If we reduce homework to two hours or less, is my kid really going to be okay?” In the end, the committee only agreed to a homework ban over school breaks.

Miller’s response is a great model for us all. He decided to limit assignments in his own class to 20 minutes a night (the most allowed for a student with six classes to hit the two-hour max). His students didn’t suddenly fail. Their test scores remained stable. And they started using their more breathable schedule to do more creative, thoughtful work.

That’s the way we will get to a sane work schedule for kids: by simultaneously pursuing changes big and small. Even as we collaboratively press for policy changes at the district or individual school level, all teachers can act now, as individuals, to ease the strain on overworked kids.

As parents and students, we can also organize to make homework the exception rather than the rule. We can insist that every family, teacher and student be allowed to opt out of assignments without penalty to make room for important activities, and we can seek changes that shift practice exercises and assignments into the actual school day.

We’ll know our work is done only when Zak and every other child can clock out, eat dinner, sleep well and stay healthy — the very things needed to engage and learn deeply. That’s the basic standard the law applies to working adults. Let’s do the same for our kids.

Vicki Abeles is the author of the bestseller Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation, and director and producer of the documentaries “ Race to Nowhere ” and “ Beyond Measure. ”

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August 16, 2021

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

by Sara M Moniuszko

homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas over workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework .

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy work loads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.

And for all the distress homework causes, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.

"Most students, especially at these high-achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school ," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely, but to be more mindful of the type of work students go home with, suggests Kang, who was a high-school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework, I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the last two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic, making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized... sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking assignments up can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

©2021 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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An illustration shows an open math workbook and a pencil writing numbers in it, while the previous page disintegrates and floats away.

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  • The Highlight

Nobody knows what the point of homework is

The homework wars are back.

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As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework. But whether or not students could complete it at home varied. For some, schoolwork became public-library work or McDonald’s-parking-lot work.

Luis Torres, the principal of PS 55, a predominantly low-income community elementary school in the south Bronx, told me that his school secured Chromebooks for students early in the pandemic only to learn that some lived in shelters that blocked wifi for security reasons. Others, who lived in housing projects with poor internet reception, did their schoolwork in laundromats.

According to a 2021 Pew survey , 25 percent of lower-income parents said their children, at some point, were unable to complete their schoolwork because they couldn’t access a computer at home; that number for upper-income parents was 2 percent.

The issues with remote learning in March 2020 were new. But they highlighted a divide that had been there all along in another form: homework. And even long after schools have resumed in-person classes, the pandemic’s effects on homework have lingered.

Over the past three years, in response to concerns about equity, schools across the country, including in Sacramento, Los Angeles , San Diego , and Clark County, Nevada , made permanent changes to their homework policies that restricted how much homework could be given and how it could be graded after in-person learning resumed.

Three years into the pandemic, as districts and teachers reckon with Covid-era overhauls of teaching and learning, schools are still reconsidering the purpose and place of homework. Whether relaxing homework expectations helps level the playing field between students or harms them by decreasing rigor is a divisive issue without conclusive evidence on either side, echoing other debates in education like the elimination of standardized test scores from some colleges’ admissions processes.

I first began to wonder if the homework abolition movement made sense after speaking with teachers in some Massachusetts public schools, who argued that rather than help disadvantaged kids, stringent homework restrictions communicated an attitude of low expectations. One, an English teacher, said she felt the school had “just given up” on trying to get the students to do work; another argued that restrictions that prohibit teachers from assigning take-home work that doesn’t begin in class made it difficult to get through the foreign-language curriculum. Teachers in other districts have raised formal concerns about homework abolition’s ability to close gaps among students rather than widening them.

Many education experts share this view. Harris Cooper, a professor emeritus of psychology at Duke who has studied homework efficacy, likened homework abolition to “playing to the lowest common denominator.”

But as I learned after talking to a variety of stakeholders — from homework researchers to policymakers to parents of schoolchildren — whether to abolish homework probably isn’t the right question. More important is what kind of work students are sent home with and where they can complete it. Chances are, if schools think more deeply about giving constructive work, time spent on homework will come down regardless.

There’s no consensus on whether homework works

The rise of the no-homework movement during the Covid-19 pandemic tapped into long-running disagreements over homework’s impact on students. The purpose and effectiveness of homework have been disputed for well over a century. In 1901, for instance, California banned homework for students up to age 15, and limited it for older students, over concerns that it endangered children’s mental and physical health. The newest iteration of the anti-homework argument contends that the current practice punishes students who lack support and rewards those with more resources, reinforcing the “myth of meritocracy.”

But there is still no research consensus on homework’s effectiveness; no one can seem to agree on what the right metrics are. Much of the debate relies on anecdotes, intuition, or speculation.

Researchers disagree even on how much research exists on the value of homework. Kathleen Budge, the co-author of Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools and a professor at Boise State, told me that homework “has been greatly researched.” Denise Pope, a Stanford lecturer and leader of the education nonprofit Challenge Success, said, “It’s not a highly researched area because of some of the methodological problems.”

Experts who are more sympathetic to take-home assignments generally support the “10-minute rule,” a framework that estimates the ideal amount of homework on any given night by multiplying the student’s grade by 10 minutes. (A ninth grader, for example, would have about 90 minutes of work a night.) Homework proponents argue that while it is difficult to design randomized control studies to test homework’s effectiveness, the vast majority of existing studies show a strong positive correlation between homework and high academic achievement for middle and high school students. Prominent critics of homework argue that these correlational studies are unreliable and point to studies that suggest a neutral or negative effect on student performance. Both agree there is little to no evidence for homework’s effectiveness at an elementary school level, though proponents often argue that it builds constructive habits for the future.

For anyone who remembers homework assignments from both good and bad teachers, this fundamental disagreement might not be surprising. Some homework is pointless and frustrating to complete. Every week during my senior year of high school, I had to analyze a poem for English and decorate it with images found on Google; my most distinct memory from that class is receiving a demoralizing 25-point deduction because I failed to present my analysis on a poster board. Other assignments really do help students learn: After making an adapted version of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book for a ninth grade history project, I was inspired to check out from the library and read a biography of the Chinese ruler.

For homework opponents, the first example is more likely to resonate. “We’re all familiar with the negative effects of homework: stress, exhaustion, family conflict, less time for other activities, diminished interest in learning,” Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, which challenges common justifications for homework, told me in an email. “And these effects may be most pronounced among low-income students.” Kohn believes that schools should make permanent any moratoria implemented during the pandemic, arguing that there are no positives at all to outweigh homework’s downsides. Recent studies , he argues , show the benefits may not even materialize during high school.

In the Marlborough Public Schools, a suburban district 45 minutes west of Boston, school policy committee chair Katherine Hennessy described getting kids to complete their homework during remote education as “a challenge, to say the least.” Teachers found that students who spent all day on their computers didn’t want to spend more time online when the day was over. So, for a few months, the school relaxed the usual practice and teachers slashed the quantity of nightly homework.

Online learning made the preexisting divides between students more apparent, she said. Many students, even during normal circumstances, lacked resources to keep them on track and focused on completing take-home assignments. Though Marlborough Schools is more affluent than PS 55, Hennessy said many students had parents whose work schedules left them unable to provide homework help in the evenings. The experience tracked with a common divide in the country between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

So in October 2021, months after the homework reduction began, the Marlborough committee made a change to the district’s policy. While teachers could still give homework, the assignments had to begin as classwork. And though teachers could acknowledge homework completion in a student’s participation grade, they couldn’t count homework as its own grading category. “Rigorous learning in the classroom does not mean that that classwork must be assigned every night,” the policy stated . “Extensions of class work is not to be used to teach new content or as a form of punishment.”

Canceling homework might not do anything for the achievement gap

The critiques of homework are valid as far as they go, but at a certain point, arguments against homework can defy the commonsense idea that to retain what they’re learning, students need to practice it.

“Doesn’t a kid become a better reader if he reads more? Doesn’t a kid learn his math facts better if he practices them?” said Cathy Vatterott, an education researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After decades of research, she said it’s still hard to isolate the value of homework, but that doesn’t mean it should be abandoned.

Blanket vilification of homework can also conflate the unique challenges facing disadvantaged students as compared to affluent ones, which could have different solutions. “The kids in the low-income schools are being hurt because they’re being graded, unfairly, on time they just don’t have to do this stuff,” Pope told me. “And they’re still being held accountable for turning in assignments, whether they’re meaningful or not.” On the other side, “Palo Alto kids” — students in Silicon Valley’s stereotypically pressure-cooker public schools — “are just bombarded and overloaded and trying to stay above water.”

Merely getting rid of homework doesn’t solve either problem. The United States already has the second-highest disparity among OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations between time spent on homework by students of high and low socioeconomic status — a difference of more than three hours, said Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University and author of No More Mindless Homework .

When she interviewed teachers in Boston-area schools that had cut homework before the pandemic, Bempechat told me, “What they saw immediately was parents who could afford it immediately enrolled their children in the Russian School of Mathematics,” a math-enrichment program whose tuition ranges from $140 to about $400 a month. Getting rid of homework “does nothing for equity; it increases the opportunity gap between wealthier and less wealthy families,” she said. “That solution troubles me because it’s no solution at all.”

A group of teachers at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, made the same point after the school district proposed an overhaul of its homework policies, including removing penalties for missing homework deadlines, allowing unlimited retakes, and prohibiting grading of homework.

“Given the emphasis on equity in today’s education systems,” they wrote in a letter to the school board, “we believe that some of the proposed changes will actually have a detrimental impact towards achieving this goal. Families that have means could still provide challenging and engaging academic experiences for their children and will continue to do so, especially if their children are not experiencing expected rigor in the classroom.” At a school where more than a third of students are low-income, the teachers argued, the policies would prompt students “to expect the least of themselves in terms of effort, results, and responsibility.”

Not all homework is created equal

Despite their opposing sides in the homework wars, most of the researchers I spoke to made a lot of the same points. Both Bempechat and Pope were quick to bring up how parents and schools confuse rigor with workload, treating the volume of assignments as a proxy for quality of learning. Bempechat, who is known for defending homework, has written extensively about how plenty of it lacks clear purpose, requires the purchasing of unnecessary supplies, and takes longer than it needs to. Likewise, when Pope instructs graduate-level classes on curriculum, she asks her students to think about the larger purpose they’re trying to achieve with homework: If they can get the job done in the classroom, there’s no point in sending home more work.

At its best, pandemic-era teaching facilitated that last approach. Honolulu-based teacher Christina Torres Cawdery told me that, early in the pandemic, she often had a cohort of kids in her classroom for four hours straight, as her school tried to avoid too much commingling. She couldn’t lecture for four hours, so she gave the students plenty of time to complete independent and project-based work. At the end of most school days, she didn’t feel the need to send them home with more to do.

A similar limited-homework philosophy worked at a public middle school in Chelsea, Massachusetts. A couple of teachers there turned as much class as possible into an opportunity for small-group practice, allowing kids to work on problems that traditionally would be assigned for homework, Jessica Flick, a math coach who leads department meetings at the school, told me. It was inspired by a philosophy pioneered by Simon Fraser University professor Peter Liljedahl, whose influential book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics reframes homework as “check-your-understanding questions” rather than as compulsory work. Last year, Flick found that the two eighth grade classes whose teachers adopted this strategy performed the best on state tests, and this year, she has encouraged other teachers to implement it.

Teachers know that plenty of homework is tedious and unproductive. Jeannemarie Dawson De Quiroz, who has taught for more than 20 years in low-income Boston and Los Angeles pilot and charter schools, says that in her first years on the job she frequently assigned “drill and kill” tasks and questions that she now feels unfairly stumped students. She said designing good homework wasn’t part of her teaching programs, nor was it meaningfully discussed in professional development. With more experience, she turned as much class time as she could into practice time and limited what she sent home.

“The thing about homework that’s sticky is that not all homework is created equal,” says Jill Harrison Berg, a former teacher and the author of Uprooting Instructional Inequity . “Some homework is a genuine waste of time and requires lots of resources for no good reason. And other homework is really useful.”

Cutting homework has to be part of a larger strategy

The takeaways are clear: Schools can make cuts to homework, but those cuts should be part of a strategy to improve the quality of education for all students. If the point of homework was to provide more practice, districts should think about how students can make it up during class — or offer time during or after school for students to seek help from teachers. If it was to move the curriculum along, it’s worth considering whether strategies like Liljedahl’s can get more done in less time.

Some of the best thinking around effective assignments comes from those most critical of the current practice. Denise Pope proposes that, before assigning homework, teachers should consider whether students understand the purpose of the work and whether they can do it without help. If teachers think it’s something that can’t be done in class, they should be mindful of how much time it should take and the feedback they should provide. It’s questions like these that De Quiroz considered before reducing the volume of work she sent home.

More than a year after the new homework policy began in Marlborough, Hennessy still hears from parents who incorrectly “think homework isn’t happening” despite repeated assurances that kids still can receive work. She thinks part of the reason is that education has changed over the years. “I think what we’re trying to do is establish that homework may be an element of educating students,” she told me. “But it may not be what parents think of as what they grew up with. ... It’s going to need to adapt, per the teaching and the curriculum, and how it’s being delivered in each classroom.”

For the policy to work, faculty, parents, and students will all have to buy into a shared vision of what school ought to look like. The district is working on it — in November, it hosted and uploaded to YouTube a round-table discussion on homework between district administrators — but considering the sustained confusion, the path ahead seems difficult.

When I asked Luis Torres about whether he thought homework serves a useful part in PS 55’s curriculum, he said yes, of course it was — despite the effort and money it takes to keep the school open after hours to help them do it. “The children need the opportunity to practice,” he said. “If you don’t give them opportunities to practice what they learn, they’re going to forget.” But Torres doesn’t care if the work is done at home. The school stays open until around 6 pm on weekdays, even during breaks. Tutors through New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development programs help kids with work after school so they don’t need to take it with them.

As schools weigh the purpose of homework in an unequal world, it’s tempting to dispose of a practice that presents real, practical problems to students across the country. But getting rid of homework is unlikely to do much good on its own. Before cutting it, it’s worth thinking about what good assignments are meant to do in the first place. It’s crucial that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds tackle complex quantitative problems and hone their reading and writing skills. It’s less important that the work comes home with them.

Jacob Sweet is a freelance writer in Somerville, Massachusetts. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, among other publications.

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Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

  • Posted January 17, 2012
  • By Lory Hough

Sign: Are you down with or done with homework?

The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying it's too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, it's just not enough.

It was a move that doesn't happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework.

This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md., decided that instead of teachers sending kids home with math worksheets and spelling flash cards, students would instead go home and read. Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own.

"I knew this would be a big shift for my community," she says. But she also strongly believed it was a necessary one. Twenty-first-century learners, especially those in elementary school, need to think critically and understand their own learning — not spend night after night doing rote homework drills.

Brant's move may not be common, but she isn't alone in her questioning. The value of doing schoolwork at home has gone in and out of fashion in the United States among educators, policymakers, the media, and, more recently, parents. As far back as the late 1800s, with the rise of the Progressive Era, doctors such as Joseph Mayer Rice began pushing for a limit on what he called "mechanical homework," saying it caused childhood nervous conditions and eyestrain. Around that time, the then-influential Ladies Home Journal began publishing a series of anti-homework articles, stating that five hours of brain work a day was "the most we should ask of our children," and that homework was an intrusion on family life. In response, states like California passed laws abolishing homework for students under a certain age.

But, as is often the case with education, the tide eventually turned. After the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, a space race emerged, and, writes Brian Gill in the journal Theory Into Practice, "The homework problem was reconceived as part of a national crisis; the U.S. was losing the Cold War because Russian children were smarter." Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end.

The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late '60s and '70s argued that children should be free to play and explore — similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier. By the early-1980s, however, the pendulum swung again with the publication of A Nation at Risk , which blamed poor education for a "rising tide of mediocrity." Students needed to work harder, the report said, and one way to do this was more homework.

For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nation's competitiveness. Many believe that today's students are falling behind their peers in places like Korea and Finland and are paying more attention to Angry Birds than to ancient Babylonia.

But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time. Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour "work" day, need less, not more homework.

Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Here's where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research you're looking at. As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework , points out, "Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored." Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, "The fact that there isn't anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps." At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement. In other words, it's hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades. Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder?

"It is difficult to separate where the effect of classroom teaching ends," Vatterott writes, "and the effect of homework begins."

Putting research aside, however, much of the current debate over homework is focused less on how homework affects academic achievement and more on time. Parents in particular have been saying that the amount of time children spend in school, especially with afterschool programs, combined with the amount of homework given — as early as kindergarten — is leaving students with little time to run around, eat dinner with their families, or even get enough sleep.

Certainly, for some parents, homework is a way to stay connected to their children's learning. But for others, homework creates a tug-of-war between parents and children, says Liz Goodenough, M.A.T.'71, creator of a documentary called Where Do the Children Play?

"Ideally homework should be about taking something home, spending a few curious and interesting moments in which children might engage with parents, and then getting that project back to school — an organizational triumph," she says. "A nag-free activity could engage family time: Ask a parent about his or her own childhood. Interview siblings."

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Instead, as the authors of The Case Against Homework write, "Homework overload is turning many of us into the types of parents we never wanted to be: nags, bribers, and taskmasters."

Leslie Butchko saw it happen a few years ago when her son started sixth grade in the Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.) United School District. She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects. He was overwhelmed and struggled to finish assignments, especially on nights when he also had an extracurricular activity.

"Ultimately, we felt compelled to have Bobby quit karate — he's a black belt — to allow more time for homework," she says. And then, with all of their attention focused on Bobby's homework, she and her husband started sending their youngest to his room so that Bobby could focus. "One day, my younger son gave us 15-minute coupons as a present for us to use to send him to play in the back room. … It was then that we realized there had to be something wrong with the amount of homework we were facing."

Butchko joined forces with another mother who was having similar struggles and ultimately helped get the homework policy in her district changed, limiting homework on weekends and holidays, setting time guidelines for daily homework, and broadening the definition of homework to include projects and studying for tests. As she told the school board at one meeting when the policy was first being discussed, "In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children."

One barrier that Butchko had to overcome initially was convincing many teachers and parents that more homework doesn't necessarily equal rigor.

"Most of the parents that were against the homework policy felt that students need a large quantity of homework to prepare them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard," she says.

Stephanie Conklin, Ed.M.'06, sees this at Another Course to College, the Boston pilot school where she teaches math. "When a student is not completing [his or her] homework, parents usually are frustrated by this and agree with me that homework is an important part of their child's learning," she says.

As Timothy Jarman, Ed.M.'10, a ninth-grade English teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N.C., says, "Parents think it is strange when their children are not assigned a substantial amount of homework."

That's because, writes Vatterott, in her chapter, "The Cult(ure) of Homework," the concept of homework "has become so engrained in U.S. culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular."

These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn.

"Homework isn't limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes. "Rather, the point of departure seems to be, 'We've decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week). … This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools — public and private, elementary and secondary."

Brant had to confront this when she cut homework at Gaithersburg Elementary.

"A lot of my parents have this idea that homework is part of life. This is what I had to do when I was young," she says, and so, too, will our kids. "So I had to shift their thinking." She did this slowly, first by asking her teachers last year to really think about what they were sending home. And this year, in addition to forming a parent advisory group around the issue, she also holds events to answer questions.

Still, not everyone is convinced that homework as a given is a bad thing. "Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports, the arts, or academics, requires hard work. That our culture finds it okay for kids to spend hours a day in a sport but not equal time on academics is part of the problem," wrote one pro-homework parent on the blog for the documentary Race to Nowhere , which looks at the stress American students are under. "Homework has always been an issue for parents and children. It is now and it was 20 years ago. I think when people decide to have children that it is their responsibility to educate them," wrote another.

And part of educating them, some believe, is helping them develop skills they will eventually need in adulthood. "Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school," reads a publication on the U.S. Department of Education website called Homework Tips for Parents. "It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. … It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Homework can teach children how to manage time."

Annie Brown, Ed.M.'01, feels this is particularly critical at less affluent schools like the ones she has worked at in Boston, Cambridge, Mass., and Los Angeles as a literacy coach.

"It feels important that my students do homework because they will ultimately be competing for college placement and jobs with students who have done homework and have developed a work ethic," she says. "Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college."

The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker.

"Which begs the question," she writes. "Is our job as educators to produce learners or workers?"

Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon, in a piece about homework, says this makes no sense for younger kids.

"Why should we think that practicing homework in first grade will make you better at doing it in middle school?" she writes. "Doesn't the opposite seem equally plausible: that it's counterproductive to ask children to sit down and work at night before they're developmentally ready because you'll just make them tired and cross?"

Kohn writes in the American School Board Journal that this "premature exposure" to practices like homework (and sit-and-listen lessons and tests) "are clearly a bad match for younger children and of questionable value at any age." He calls it BGUTI: Better Get Used to It. "The logic here is that we have to prepare you for the bad things that are going to be done to you later … by doing them to you now."

According to a recent University of Michigan study, daily homework for six- to eight-year-olds increased on average from about 8 minutes in 1981 to 22 minutes in 2003. A review of research by Duke University Professor Harris Cooper found that for elementary school students, "the average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement … hovered around zero."

So should homework be eliminated? Of course not, say many Ed School graduates who are teaching. Not only would students not have time for essays and long projects, but also teachers would not be able to get all students to grade level or to cover critical material, says Brett Pangburn, Ed.M.'06, a sixth-grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston. Still, he says, homework has to be relevant.

"Kids need to practice the skills being taught in class, especially where, like the kids I teach at Excel, they are behind and need to catch up," he says. "Our results at Excel have demonstrated that kids can catch up and view themselves as in control of their academic futures, but this requires hard work, and homework is a part of it."

Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees.

"America and Americans lurch between too little homework in many of our schools to an excess of homework in our most competitive environments — Li'l Abner vs. Tiger Mother," he says. "Neither approach makes sense. Homework should build on what happens in class, consolidating skills and helping students to answer new questions."

So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time. Students at Pangburn's school have a 50-minute silent period during regular school hours where homework can be started, and where teachers pull individual or small groups of students aside for tutoring, often on that night's homework. Afterschool homework clubs can help.

Some schools and districts have adapted time limits rather than nix homework completely, with the 10-minute per grade rule being the standard — 10 minutes a night for first-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, and so on. (This remedy, however, is often met with mixed results since not all students work at the same pace.) Other schools offer an extended day that allows teachers to cover more material in school, in turn requiring fewer take-home assignments. And for others, like Stephanie Brant's elementary school in Maryland, more reading with a few targeted project assignments has been the answer.

"The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework," she says. "Let's have kids reflect. You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now it's for reading. I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader. We don't know what skills that person will need. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that we're giving them something they can use on Mars."

Read a January 2014 update.

Homework Policy Still Going Strong

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Ed. Magazine

The magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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No More Homework: 12 Reasons We Should Get Rid of It Completely

Last Updated: May 4, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Finn Kobler . Finn Kobler graduated from USC in 2022 with a BFA in Writing for Screen/Television. He is a two-time California State Champion and record holder in Original Prose/Poetry, a 2018 finalist for the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate, and he's written micro-budget films that have been screened in over 150 theaters nationwide. Growing up, Finn spent every summer helping his family's nonprofit arts program, Showdown Stage Company, empower people through accessible media. He hopes to continue that mission with his writing at wikiHow. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 133,353 times. Learn more...

The amount of homework students are given has increased dramatically in the 21st century, which has sparked countless debates over homework’s overall value. While some have been adamant that homework is an essential part of a good education, it’s been proven that too much homework negatively affects students’ mood, classroom performance, and overall well-being. In addition, a heavy homework load can stress families and teachers. Here are 12 reasons why homework should be banned (or at least heavily reduced).

School is already a full-time job.

Students already spend approximately seven hours a day at school.

  • For years, teachers have followed the “10-minute rule” giving students roughly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. However, recent studies have shown students are completing 3+ hours of homework a night well before their senior years even begin. [2] X Trustworthy Source American Psychological Association Leading scientific and professional organization of licensed psychologists Go to source

Homework negatively affects students’ health.

Homework takes a toll physically.

Homework interferes with student’s opportunities to socialize.

Childhood and adolescence are extraordinary times for making friends.

Homework hinders students’ chances to learn new things.

Students need time to self-actualize.

Homework lowers students’ enthusiasm for school.

Homework makes the school feel like a chore.

Homework can lower academic performance.

Homework is unnecessary and counterproductive for high-performing students.

Homework cuts into family time.

Too much homework can cause family structures to collapse.

Homework is stressful for teachers.

Homework can also lead to burnout for teachers.

Homework is often irrelevant and punitive.

Students who don’t understand the lesson get no value from homework.

  • There are even studies that have shown homework in primary school has no correlation with classroom performance whatsoever. [9] X Research source

Homework encourages cheating.

Mandatory homework makes cheating feel like students’ only option.

Homework is inequitable.

Homework highlights the achievement gap between rich and poor students.

Other countries have banned homework with great results.

Countries like Finland have minimal homework and perform well academically.

  • There are even some U.S. schools that have adopted this approach with success. [13] X Research source

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  • ↑ https://www.edutopia.org/no-proven-benefits
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/homework
  • ↑ https://healthier.stanfordchildrens.org/en/health-hazards-homework/
  • ↑ https://teensneedsleep.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/galloway-nonacademic-effects-of-homework-in-privileged-high-performing-high-schools.pdf
  • ↑ https://time.com/4466390/homework-debate-research/
  • ↑ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220485.2022.2075506?role=tab&scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=vece20
  • ↑ https://kappanonline.org/teacher-stress-balancing-demands-resources-mccarthy/
  • ↑ https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-homework-pros-cons-20180807-story.html
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6294446/
  • ↑ https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/06/homework-inequality-parents-schedules-grades/485174/
  • ↑ https://www.bbc.com/news/education-37716005
  • ↑ https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-homework-its-the-new-thing-in-u-s-schools-11544610600

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15 Should Homework Be Banned Pros and Cons

Homework was a staple of the public and private schooling experience for many of us growing up. There were long nights spent on book reports, science projects, and all of those repetitive math sheets. In many ways, it felt like an inevitable part of the educational experience. Unless you could power through all of your assignments during your free time in class, then there was going to be time spent at home working on specific subjects.

More schools are looking at the idea of banning homework from the modern educational experience. Instead of sending work home with students each night, they are finding alternative ways to ensure that each student can understand the curriculum without involving the uncertainty of parental involvement.

Although banning homework might seem like an unorthodox process, there are legitimate advantages to consider with this effort. There are some disadvantages which some families may encounter as well.

These are the updated lists of the pros and cons of banning homework to review.

List of the Pros of Banning Homework

1. Giving homework to students does not always improve their academic outcomes. The reality of homework for the modern student is that we do not know if it is helpful to have extra work assigned to them outside of the classroom. Every study that has looked at the subject has had design flaws which causes the data collected to be questionable at best. Although there is some information to suggest that students in seventh grade and higher can benefit from limited homework, banning it for students younger than that seems to be beneficial for their learning experience.

2. Banning homework can reduce burnout issues with students. Teachers are seeing homework stress occur in the classroom more frequently today than ever before. Almost half of all high school teachers in North America have seen this issue with their students at some point during the year. About 25% of grade school teachers say that they have seen the same thing.

When students are dealing with the impact of homework on their lives, it can have a tremendously adverse impact. One of the most cited reasons for students dropping out of school is that they cannot complete their homework on time.

3. Banning homework would increase the amount of family time available to students. Homework creates a significant disruption to family relationships. Over half of all parents in North America say that they have had a significant argument with their children over homework in the past month. 1/3 of families say that homework is their primary source of struggle in the home. Not only does it reduce the amount of time that everyone has to spend together, it reduces the chances that parents have to teach their own skills and belief systems to their kids.

4. It reduces the negative impact of homework on the health of a student. Many students suffer academically when they cannot finish a homework assignment on time. Although assumptions are often made about the time management skills of the individual when this outcome occurs, the reasons why it happens is usually more complex. It may be too difficult, too boring, or there may not be enough time in the day to complete the work.

When students experience failure in this area, it can lead to severe mental health issues. Some perceive themselves as a scholarly failure, which translates to an inability to live life successfully. It can disrupt a desire to learn. There is even an increased risk of suicide for some youth because of this issue. Banning it would reduce these risks immediately.

5. Eliminating homework would allow for an established sleep cycle. The average high school student requires between 8-10 hours of sleep to function at their best the next day. Grade-school students may require an extra hour or two beyond that figure. When teachers assign homework, then it increases the risk for each individual that they will not receive the amount that they require each night.

When children do not get enough sleep, a significant rest deficit occurs which can impact their ability to pay attention in school. It can cause unintended weight gain. There may even be issues with emotional control. Banning homework would help to reduce these risks as well.

6. It increases the amount of socialization time that students receive. People who are only spending time in school and then going home to do more work are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation. When these emotions are present, then a student is more likely to feel “down and out” mentally and physically. They lack meaningful connections with other people. These feelings are the health equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day. If students are spending time on homework, then they are not spending time connecting with their family and friends.

7. It reduces the repetition that students face in the modern learning process. Most of the tasks that homework requires of students is repetitive and uninteresting. Kids love to resolve challenges on tasks that they are passionate about at that moment in their lives. Forcing them to complete the same problems repetitively as a way to “learn” core concepts can create issues with knowledge retention later in life. When you add in the fact that most lessons sent for homework must be done by themselves, banning homework will reduce the repetition that students face, allowing for a better overall outcome.

8. Home environments can be chaotic. Although some students can do homework in a quiet room without distractions, that is not the case for most kids. There are numerous events that happen at home which can pull a child’s attention away from the work that their teacher wants them to do. It isn’t just the Internet, video games, and television which are problematic either. Household chores, family issues, employment, and athletic requirements can make it a challenge to get the assigned work finished on time.

List of the Cons of Banning Homework

1. Homework allows parents to be involved with the educational process. Parents need to know what their children are learning in school. Even if they ask their children about what they are learning, the answers tend to be in generalities instead of specifics. By sending home work from the classroom, it allows parents to see and experience the work that their kids are doing when they are in school during the day. Then moms and dads can get involved with the learning process to reinforce the core concepts that were discovered by their children each day.

2. It can help parents and teachers identify learning disabilities. Many children develop a self-defense mechanism which allows them to appear like any other kid that is in their classroom. This process allows them to hide learning disabilities which may be hindering their educational progress. The presence of homework makes it possible for parents and teachers to identify this issue because kids can’t hide their struggles when they must work 1-on-1 with their parents on specific subjects. Banning homework would eliminate 50% of the opportunities to identify potential issues immediately.

3. Homework allows teachers to observe how their students understand the material. Teachers often use homework as a way to gauge how well a student is understanding the materials they are learning. Although some might point out that assignments and exams in the classroom can do the same thing, testing often requires preparation at home. It creates more anxiety and stress sometimes then even homework does. That is why banning it can be problematic for some students. Some students experience more pressure than they would during this assessment process when quizzes and tests are the only measurement of their success.

4. It teaches students how to manage their time wisely. As people grow older, they realize that time is a finite commodity. We must manage it wisely to maximize our productivity. Homework assignments are a way to encourage the development of this skill at an early age. The trick is to keep the amount of time required for the work down to a manageable level. As a general rule, students should spend about 10 minutes each school day doing homework, organizing their schedule around this need. If there are scheduling conflicts, then this process offers families a chance to create priorities.

5. Homework encourages students to be accountable for their role. Teachers are present in the classroom to offer access to information and skill-building opportunities that can improve the quality of life for each student. Administrators work to find a curriculum that will benefit the most people in an efficient way. Parents work hard to ensure their kids make it to school on time, follow healthy routines, and communicate with their school district to ensure the most effective learning opportunities possible. None of that matters if the student is not invested in the work in the first place. Homework assignments not only teach children how to work independently, but they also show them how to take responsibility for their part of the overall educational process.

6. It helps to teach important life lessons. Homework is an essential tool in the development of life lessons, such as communicating with others or comprehending something they have just read. It teaches kids how to think, solve problems, and even build an understanding for the issues that occur in our society right now. Many of the issues that lead to the idea to ban homework occur because someone in the life of a student communicated to them that this work was a waste of time. There are times in life when people need to do things that they don’t like or want to do. Homework helps a student begin to find the coping skills needed to be successful in that situation.

7. Homework allows for further research into class materials. Most classrooms offer less than 1 hour of instruction per subject during the day. For many students, that is not enough time to obtain a firm grasp on the materials being taught. Having homework assignments allows a student to perform more research, using their at-home tools to take a deeper look into the materials that would otherwise be impossible if homework was banned. That process can lead to a more significant understanding of the concepts involved, reducing anxiety levels because they have a complete grasp on the materials.

The pros and cons of banning homework is a decision that ultimately lies with each school district. Parents always have the option to pursue homeschooling or online learning if they disagree with the decisions that are made in this area. Whether you’re for more homework or want to see less of it, we can all agree on the fact that the absence of any reliable data about its usefulness makes it a challenge to know for certain which option is the best one to choose in this debate.

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The Pros and Cons of Homework

Updated: December 7, 2023

Published: January 23, 2020

The-Pros-and-Cons-Should-Students-Have-Homework

Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  energepic.com  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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Why (Most) Homework Should Be Banned

The 30-minute rule is there to justify giving a lot of homework

Anthony Malcolm ‘23 , Staff Writer December 8, 2022

There are plenty of reasons why (most) homework should be banned. I’ll start out with some general facts and look at homework in general, then go into some detail about our school.

Stanford conducted a study surveying over 4,300 students in 10 high performing high schools in California. More than 70% of the students said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” with 56% claiming that homework was the main stressor. But here’s the kicker: Less than 1% said homework was not a stressor. 

The researchers then asked the students if they had exhibited symptoms of stress like headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems. More than 80% of the students reported at least one stress related symptom recently and 44% claimed they experienced 3 or more symptoms. The study also found that students who spend a lot of time working on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, and a lack of balance in their lives. The study claimed that any more than 2 hours of homework per night was counterproductive, and that the students who spent too much time on homework were more likely to not participate in activities and hobbies, and stop seeing friends and family. 

A smaller NYU study claimed that students at elite high schools are susceptible to chronic stress, emotional exhaustion, and alcohol and drug abuse. About half of the students said they received at least 3 hours of homework a night on top of being pressured to take college level classes and participate in extracurricular activities (sound familiar?). The study claims that many of the students felt they were being worked as hard as adults, and they said that their workload seemed inappropriate for their development level. The study reported that the students felt that they had little time for relaxing and hobbies. More than two thirds of students said they used alcohol or drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with the stress.

Back to the Stanford study for a second; many of the students claimed that the homework was “pointless” or “mindless.” The study argues that homework should have a purpose and benefit, which should be to cultivate learning. One of the main reasons is that school feels like a full-time job at this point. We, as in BC High students, are in school from 8:25 till 2:40; most of us have some sort of extracurricular activity on top of that, and most of us have significant commutes, which means we are getting home much later. On top of a rigorous day at school, an afterschool activity, and a commute, we have to deal with a varying amount of homework every night. Sometimes it is 2 hours, sometimes 3, sometimes even 4. I will give you an example of a day in my life last year to provide a specific example, because we are not a one size fits all community. 

I live in Middleboro and Bridgewater, so I ride the train to school which takes 50 minutes to an hour. A spring day last year would start by waking up at 5:30 and then leaving my house to get to the train at 6:30-6:35, getting on the train at 6:50, getting off the train at 7:50, and arriving at the school before classes started at 8:20. I would go through the school day and stay after for track practice. After track, I would most likely get on the train at 5:00 and get home at 6:15. I would eat dinner, shower, and then start my homework around 7:30-8, and usually I would finish somewhere between 10:30ish to 11:30ish. Can you see how that can be misconstrued as a full-time job?

Some of you might be thinking (especially any teacher reading this), why didn’t you use the 30-minute rule? Well, because most (and I mean MOST) of the time the 30-minute rule is an ineffective rule that justifies giving students a lot of homework. If you use the 30-minute rule and don’t finish a homework assignment, it still has to be completed sometime, and you’ll be behind in class. It is only effective when a teacher plans for the 30-minute rule and tells you to stop at 30 minutes to get an idea of how long an assignment takes their students. The 30-minute rule is there to justify giving a lot of homework because if you say in class that the homework took a long time, you will probably be told about the 30-minute rule. But if you used the 30-minute rule, you would have an unfinished homework assignment which means, depending on the class, you would be lost and behind, and you would still have to do it at some point. If you should have to justify giving a lot of homework, then it is probably too much. 

Parker, Clifton B. “Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework.” Stanford University , 10 Mar. 2014, http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/march/too-much-homework-031014.html . 

Communications, NYU Web. NYU Study Examines Top High School Students’ Stress and Coping Mechanisms . http://www.nyu.edu/content/nyu/en/about/news-publications/news/2015/august/nyu

-study-examines-top-high-school-students-stress-and-coping-mechanisms . 

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Debate on Homework Should be Abolished [In Favour and Against]

Homework, a task students complete outside of school hours, sparks a widespread debate. Many argue it should be abolished. Today, with evolving educational methods, the relevance of homework is a hot topic. Its impact on students’ well-being and learning experience is under scrutiny.

Arguments in Favour Of Homework Should be Abolished

Argument 1: positive effects of abolishing homework on student mental health.

Homework can sometimes feel like a never-ending cycle of stress and pressure for students. Imagine a world where students could focus on learning in the classroom without the looming burden of homework hanging over their heads. Abolishing homework could have a profoundly positive impact on student mental health.

One primary reason why abolishing homework would benefit students’ mental health is the reduction of stress and anxiety. Students often feel overwhelmed by the amount of homework they have to complete, leading to high levels of stress that can affect their overall well-being. By removing this extra pressure, students would have more time to relax, unwind, and engage in activities that bring them joy.

Moreover, abolishing homework can improve students’ sleep quality. Many students stay up late trying to finish assignments, sacrificing valuable hours of sleep in the process. Sleep is essential for mental health, and getting enough rest allows students to focus better in school and feel more refreshed and energized.

Additionally, abolishing homework can help students maintain a healthier work-life balance. Students deserve time to pursue their interests, spend time with family and friends, and engage in extracurricular activities. Without the burden of homework, students would have more opportunities to explore their passions and develop a well-rounded lifestyle.

Furthermore, abolishing homework can enhance students’ confidence and self-esteem. When students are constantly struggling to complete assignments, it can take a toll on their belief in their abilities. By eliminating homework, students can feel more confident in their academic skills and approach learning with a positive attitude.

In conclusion, abolishing homework could be a significant step towards promoting better mental health among students. By reducing stress, improving sleep quality, fostering a healthier work-life balance, and boosting confidence, students can thrive academically and emotionally in a homework-free environment.

Argument 2: Fostering Family Bonding and Social Skills Through the Abolition of Homework

When homework is abolished, families have more opportunities to bond and connect with each other. Instead of being engrossed in individual tasks, students and their families can engage in shared activities like cooking together, playing games, or simply talking about their day. These moments of togetherness can strengthen family relationships and create lasting memories that may not have been possible if homework were taking up all the time.

Furthermore, abolishing homework can also help students develop important social skills. Without the burden of homework, students have more time to interact with their siblings, parents, and even neighbors. These interactions allow them to practice communication, empathy, and teamwork in a real-world setting. Through conversations and activities with family members, students can learn how to express themselves effectively, resolve conflicts peacefully, and understand different perspectives.

In addition, by abolishing homework, schools can encourage students to participate in community activities and events. Students can join clubs, sports teams, or volunteer organizations, fostering a sense of belonging and social responsibility. These extracurricular activities not only provide opportunities for students to make new friends but also help them develop leadership skills, teamwork, and resilience.

In conclusion, abolishing homework can have a positive impact on fostering family bonding and social skills among students. By prioritizing quality time with family members and engaging in social activities outside of school, students can develop stronger relationships, communication skills, and a sense of community. Ultimately, by promoting these aspects, schools can contribute to the holistic development of students and prepare them for success in both their personal and professional lives.

Arguments Against Of Homework Should be Abolished

Argument 1: detrimental impact on academic performance and learning retention.

Homework can be a source of stress and anxiety for many students. It takes away precious time that could be spent on other activities like hobbies, sports, or spending time with family and friends. This burden of homework can lead to students feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, affecting their overall well-being and mental health.

Furthermore, the pressure to complete homework assignments can sometimes result in students rushing through their work just to meet deadlines. This rush to finish tasks can compromise the quality of their learning and understanding of the material. Instead of deeply engaging with the subject matter, students may simply focus on completing the assignment quickly, leading to surface-level learning that is quickly forgotten.

Research has shown that excessive homework can actually have a negative impact on academic performance. When students are overloaded with homework, they may struggle to retain the information they are trying to learn. This can result in lower test scores and a lack of true mastery of the material. Without sufficient time to review and consolidate what they have learned in class, students may find themselves falling behind academically.

Moreover, the stress and pressure associated with homework can create a barrier to effective learning. Students may feel demotivated and disengaged from their studies when faced with an overwhelming amount of homework to complete. This can hinder their ability to develop a genuine interest in the subjects they are studying and can lead to a lack of enthusiasm for learning.

In conclusion, the detrimental impact of homework on academic performance and learning retention is a significant concern that should not be overlooked. By abolishing homework, we can create a more balanced and holistic approach to education that prioritizes student well-being and genuine understanding of the material.

Argument 2: Loss of Individual Accountability and Work Ethic

Homework can sometimes lead to a loss of individual accountability and work ethic among students. When homework is assigned, some students may rely on others to complete it for them, instead of taking responsibility for their own learning. This can create a habit of dependency, where students do not develop the skills needed to work independently and take ownership of their education.

Additionally, when students are given homework tasks that they do not understand, it can be demotivating and lead to a lack of effort in completing the assignments. This lack of motivation can hinder the development of a strong work ethic, as students may not see the value in putting in the effort to complete tasks that they perceive as irrelevant or too challenging.

Moreover, the pressure to complete homework assignments on time can sometimes cause students to prioritize speed over quality. This can result in rushed and incomplete work, which does not foster a sense of pride in one’s accomplishments or encourage students to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits.

Furthermore, when students are burdened with excessive amounts of homework, it can take away from valuable time that could be spent engaging in other activities that promote personal growth and development. Without the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, hobbies, or simply relax and recharge, students may struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

In conclusion, the practice of assigning homework can inadvertently contribute to a loss of individual accountability and work ethic among students. By abolishing homework, we can create a learning environment that encourages students to take ownership of their education, develop a strong work ethic, and prioritize meaningful learning experiences over rote tasks.

That’s it! I hope the debate helped you.

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why homework should be cancelled

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5 good reasons why homework should be banned from school.

There are many students, parents, and teachers alike who are arguing that homework should be banned from school. Below are 5 good reasons why it should be banned:

  • Young kids today are busier than before.

If the children today are not able to learn what they need in the span of a six to eight hour day, then parents and teachers are expecting too much from them. They are instead creating a schedule that is hurried, jam packed, and lacks any time to play, interact, or enjoy life. Adding more hours vis-à-vis homework is adding to an already packed day. Students need an opportunity, whether they are young or old, to enjoy play time. Younger students need time to throw a ball around, to climb trees, to ride their bikes, to read books they enjoy, and older students need to time to engage in extra curricular activities that they enjoy.

  • Parents don’t have time.

Today, many parents are forced to take on double shifts. Many households have both parents working. And overall, parents do not have the time to provide the additional support that students need with their homework. Their older siblings may not be around, because they too are focused on homework, and it leaves the child without the support they need.

  • Homework takes away motivation.

Homework might be a positive force in some situations, but realistically, the parents often get saddled with trying to teach the student in the exact same way the teacher taught them in class, without the knowledge of the teaching methods the teacher used. This makes it a management issue that takes away motivation. On that note, homework ends up being a mandatory stressor that does not provide students with the meaningful learning they need. Instead they end up without feedback, stressed, and in search of expensive tutors.

  • Homework does nothing to increase achievement.

When homework becomes a stressor, it decreases achievement in school. Students stop learning so much as trying to make a deadline, and that causes students’ grades to drop because they are not taking the time they need to really understand a concept.

  • Homework does not instill good habits.

Homework teaches kids that they need to study or they will fail. It does not cultivate a desire or longing to learn. It does not encourage kids to become self-directed and instead forces them to struggle with stress.

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Getting your assignments done on time

Take short breaks where you do something completely unrelated to your homework project. Watch some television or go online and surf to your favorite websites. Break the monotony of relentless study. Try some or all of these things and learn from it. The lesson being never put yourself in this situation again and start your homework project as soon as possible.

Unveiling Why Homework Should not be Banned?

Why Homework Should not be Banned

  • Post author By admin
  • August 18, 2023

Discover the compelling reasons why homework should not be banned in schools. Explore how homework fosters skills, responsibility, and academic growth. Learn why removing homework might hinder students’ development.

Hey there, homework haters and education enthusiasts alike! We’re about to dive into a topic that’s stirred up a storm in schools and households – should homework be banned?

Yep, you’ve heard those whispers, but hold up! Before we jump into conclusions, let’s have a friendly chat about why homework might still have a place in our learning journey.

So, grab your thinking cap and let’s explore why bidding farewell to homework might not be as straightforward as it seems. Ready? Let’s roll!

Table of Contents

Why Homework Matters?

Have a close look at why homework matters.

Practice Makes Perfect

Homework is like your personal practice arena. It’s where you put into action all the cool stuff you learned in class. Remember acing that math problem after solving it at home? Yep, that’s the feeling of triumph you get.

Time Management Champ

Homework is your time management coach. Figuring out when to tackle assignments shows you how to balance work and play. And trust us, that’s a skill you’ll be thanking homework for later in life.

Real-Life Prep

Life’s not just textbooks and exams. Homework gets you ready for the real world. Whether it’s managing tasks or juggling responsibilities, those lessons learned while tackling assignments will come in handy.

Independent Thinker

Homework transforms you into an independent thinker. It’s like you’re in a ninja training program for your brain. You learn to tackle problems on your own and unravel solutions like a clever detective.

Brain Booster

It’s not about rote memorization. Homework is your brain’s workout session. It pushes your mind to think critically, analyze situations, and come up with creative solutions. Your brain gets stronger, and so do your thinking skills.

Study Smart

Homework is your study lab. It’s where you discover your ideal study conditions. Do you need complete silence or a bit of background music? Are you a day-time studier or a midnight genius? Homework helps you figure it all out.

Family Talk

Homework turns your family into co-learners. When you chat about your assignments, it’s like having mini-lessons at home. You get to share what you’re learning and maybe even teach them a thing or two.

Homework sometimes gives you a preview of the future. You’ll read ahead, and suddenly in class, it’s like you’ve got superpowers. You’ll be answering questions like a champion and impressing everyone.

See Your Progress

Homework is your progress tracker. As you tackle assignments, you’ll notice how much you’ve learned and improved. Those “Aha!” moments are like high-fives from yourself, reminding you how awesome you are.

No More Forgetfulness

Homework is your memory’s best friend. It keeps all those amazing facts and formulas fresh in your mind. So when you need them for a test or just to impress your friends, they’re right there, ready to roll.

So, don’t look at homework as a mountain of boredom. It’s your secret weapon to becoming a learning superhero, one assignment at a time!

20 Reasons Why Homework Should not be Banned

Have a close look at 20 reasons why homework should not be banned.

Reinforces Learning

Homework isn’t just a chore – it’s your personal practice arena. Just like a soccer player practices their kicks, you practice what you’ve learned in class.

Remember that tricky math equation? Homework gives you a chance to tackle it again, making sure it stays in your brain for the long haul.

Builds Responsibility

Imagine you’re the captain of a spaceship. Completing homework on time is like steering that spaceship – you’re in charge!

When you meet homework deadlines, you’re showing responsibility, a superpower that makes you reliable in school and beyond.

Prepares for Real Life

Life isn’t always a smooth ride. Homework is like your training wheels for life’s challenges. Whether it’s taking out the trash or finishing a project at work, homework teaches you to manage tasks, no matter how busy life gets.

Boosts Independence

Homework turns you into a learning ninja. You’re like a detective hunting for clues on your own. When you figure things out without help, you’re building the ultimate power – independence.

Enhances Critical Thinking

Ever solved a puzzle that made your brain do a happy dance? Homework is like that puzzle. It’s not just about finishing it; it’s about figuring out how. This makes your brain sharper and helps you tackle real-world problems creatively.

Strengthens Study Habits

Imagine you’re a scientist experimenting with different potions. Homework lets you experiment with how you study best. You find the perfect mix of time, place, and method, so studying becomes a breeze.

Connects Home and School

Remember the feeling of showing off a new toy to your family? Homework lets you show off what you’re learning. When you discuss it at home, you’re building a bridge between school and family life.

Previews Upcoming Lessons

Imagine getting a sneak peek of next week’s video game levels. Homework sometimes gives you a preview of what’s coming up in class. You’ll feel like you’re in on a secret mission.

Provides Feedback

Homework is like a report card for your brain. When you do it, you get to see what you’re great at and where you can improve. It’s like getting a treasure map that shows you the path to success.

Prevents Forgetting

Think of homework as a magical spell that banishes forgetting. Regular practice keeps your memory fresh. That’s how you keep acing the things you learned weeks ago.

Encourages Perseverance

Imagine you’re climbing a mountain. Homework can sometimes feel like a steep hill. But the best part? You never give up. Overcoming those challenges builds your inner strength and helps you conquer bigger mountains in life.

Nurtures Curiosity

Remember asking “Why?” a million times as a kid? Homework lets you do that with your school subjects. When you’re curious and ask questions, you’re becoming a mini scientist on a quest for knowledge.

Improves Time Management

Think of time as your magic wand, and homework as a spell you have to cast. Homework teaches you how to use your wand wisely. You’ll become a time-management wizard who can balance school, fun, and everything else.

Cultivates Research Skills

Imagine being a detective, hunting for clues in a mysterious case. Homework sometimes sends you on a similar mission – finding information. You’re not just learning; you’re becoming a savvy researcher too.

Develops Communication Skills

Remember telling your friends about a cool adventure you had? Homework is your chance to tell stories on paper. Writing assignments boost your storytelling and communication skills.

Prepares for Exams

Imagine exams are like video game bosses. Homework is your training ground, helping you level up. When you practice what you’ve learned, you’re ready to face those tough bosses with confidence.

Promotes Creativity

Think of homework like a canvas waiting for your artistic touch. Creative assignments let you unleash your imagination. You’re not just learning; you’re creating something unique and awesome.

Fosters Responsibility

Imagine your homework as a promise you make to your teachers. Completing it shows them you’re responsible and committed to your learning journey. It’s like being a superhero with integrity.

Encourages Collaboration

Remember the thrill of working together on a group project? Homework can be like that – a team adventure! You learn to listen to others, share ideas, and create something amazing as a team.

Promotes Lifelong Learning

Imagine your brain as a treasure chest, and homework as the key to unlocking it. Homework isn’t just for school; it’s a habit that sticks with you, making you curious, eager to learn, and ready to conquer any challenge life throws your way.

So, before you consider waving the “ban homework” flag, remember these 20 reasons. Homework is like a toolbox filled with skills that’ll make you a super learner in school and in life!

Why should they not ban homework?

Homework shouldn’t be banned because it:

  • Builds responsibility and time management.
  • Prepares for real-world tasks.
  • Boosts independent learning and critical thinking.
  • Provides feedback and identifies areas for improvement.
  • Prevents forgetting and maintains a strong foundation.
  • Encourages perseverance and resilience.
  • Nurtures curiosity and further exploration.
  • Improves time management skills.
  • Develops communication and research abilities.
  • Prepares for exams and structured assessments.
  • Promotes creativity and diverse problem-solving.
  • Fosters responsibility and commitment to education.
  • Encourages collaboration and teamwork.
  • Cultivates a habit of continuous learning.

In essence, homework equips you with skills and habits that extend beyond the classroom, helping you succeed in the long run.

What are the benefits of homework?

Have a close look at the benefits of homework.

Improves Retention

Homework’s like your memory workout. When you keep practicing through assignments, you remember stuff better for the long haul. It’s like having a trusty vault of knowledge that’s always there when you need it.

Develops Responsibility

Homework’s your responsibility coach. When you get those assignments done on time, you’re not just doing the work – you’re becoming a time management champ. It’s like mastering the art of juggling, but with tasks.

Builds Study Habits

Homework’s your study buddy. By doing assignments regularly, you’re actually training your brain to focus better. It’s like forming a habit that makes studying feel like second nature.

Fosters Independence

Homework’s your ticket to being a learning explorer. As you dive into assignments, you’re taking the wheel of your learning journey. This independence boost makes you feel like you’re ready to conquer new challenges.

Strengthens Skills

Homework’s your skill-building playground. While you’re crunching numbers, writing essays, or digging into topics, you’re also sharpening skills like research and time management. These skills aren’t just for school – they’re life skills.

Encourages Creativity

Creative assignments are like your imagination spark. They push you to think outside the box, try new angles, and show your ideas in cool ways. Whether it’s a story or a project, creativity gets a big high-five from homework.

Previews Lessons

Homework’s like a teaser trailer for what’s next. Sometimes, assignments drop hints about upcoming topics. So, when your teacher dives into it, you’re already in the know, nodding along like a pro.

Encourages Responsibility

Meeting homework deadlines isn’t just about getting stuff done. It’s showing that you’re responsible for your education. It’s like a little flag that says, “Hey, I’m committed to this learning journey!”

Promotes Collaboration

Group assignments are your teamwork practice. When you team up with classmates, you’re learning how to talk, share ideas, and work together. These are skills that work not just in school, but in the big wide world too.

Prevents Procrastination

Homework’s got your back against last-minute panic. When you make studying and finishing tasks a regular thing, you’re creating a routine that kicks procrastination out the door. It’s like having your own superhero sidekick against the urge to delay things.

In essence, homework offers a range of benefits that extend beyond academic achievement, preparing you for success in various aspects of life.

What would happen if homework was banned?

Have a close look at what would happen if homework was banned.

Less Practice

Think of homework like practice for a sport. If it’s gone, you might not get as many chances to practice what you learn in class. It’s like skipping practice sessions and then feeling a bit rusty during the big game.

Missing Skills

Homework isn’t just about the assignments. It’s like a secret teacher that helps you learn skills like time management and responsibility. Without it, you might miss out on learning these important life skills. It’s like skipping the “how to ride a bike” lesson.

Exam Trouble

Homework is like your superhero sidekick for tests. It helps you get ready and confident. Without homework, tests might feel like facing a boss level in a video game without any power-ups.

Thinking Skills

Homework is like a puzzle that makes your brain stronger. It makes you think hard, solve problems, and get those brain muscles working. Without it, you might not get to flex your thinking skills as much. It’s like having a gym but never going.

Responsibility Lesson

When you finish your homework, you’re showing that you’re in charge of your learning journey. You’re taking responsibility for your education. No homework might mean missing out on this important lesson in being responsible.

Talking Less

Homework chats at home are like mini classroom sessions. They’re your chance to tell your family all the cool stuff you’re learning. Without homework, you might not have as much to share with them about your school adventures.

Time Challenge

Homework is like a time management coach. It helps you figure out how to get things done on time. Without it, managing your time might feel a bit like solving a tricky puzzle without any hints.

Parents Less Involved

Homework often brings your parents into your learning journey. They get to help you, learn with you, and cheer you on. Without homework, they might be a little less involved in your school adventures.

Skills Practice Missing

Homework is like a practice ground for skills like researching and writing. Without it, you might not get to sharpen these skills as often. It’s like having a musical instrument but never playing any tunes.

No Feedback

Homework is like a sneak peek at your progress. It shows you where you’re doing great and where you might need a little help. Without it, you might not get that helpful feedback that makes you even better at what you do.

So, if homework disappeared, we might miss out on practicing, learning important skills, and getting ready for tests. It’s like losing a helpful teammate on our learning journey.

Is homework necessary pros and cons?

  • Reinforces Learning: Homework helps reinforce what’s learned in class, making sure the concepts stick.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Regular practice through homework improves understanding and retention.
  • Prepares for Assessments: Homework readies students for exams and quizzes, boosting confidence.
  • Skill Development: Completing assignments hones time management and responsibility skills.
  • Critical Thinking: Homework encourages deep thinking and problem-solving, boosting skills.
  • Parental Involvement: Homework discussions at home engage parents in students’ learning.
  • Independent Learning: Homework fosters self-directed learning and independent thinking.
  • Life Skills: Homework teaches skills like research, writing, and task management.
  • Future Readiness: Homework preps students for future tasks that require meeting deadlines.
  • Feedback Loop: Homework offers feedback, helping students identify areas for improvement.
  • Stress and Overload: Too much homework can lead to stress and impact students’ well-being.
  • Time Constraints: Homework can consume time meant for extracurricular activities, hobbies, and family time.
  • Unequal Access: Some students might not have the resources at home to complete assignments.
  • Creativity Limitation: Excessive homework might limit time for creative activities outside school.
  • Diminished Engagement: Repetitive or excessive homework can lead to disengagement from learning.
  • Burnout Risk: An overload of homework might lead to burnout and decreased interest in learning.
  • Inflexibility: Homework might not account for different learning paces and styles.
  • Parental Pressure: Homework can sometimes lead to undue parental pressure and involvement.
  • Reduced Family Time: Too much homework might cut into valuable family time.
  • Impact on Sleep: Excessive homework can affect sleep patterns, impacting overall health.
  • Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of homework is essential to ensure it contributes positively to students’ education and overall well-being.

So, that’s the scoop on why homework shouldn’t be banned. It’s like a helper on your learning journey, giving you a chance to practice and become a pro at what you’ve learned in class. It’s not just about school stuff – homework teaches you skills like managing time, thinking critically, and being responsible.

Sure, there are times when homework might feel like a mountain to climb, and we get it – nobody wants to drown in assignments. But here’s the thing: finding a balance is the key.

Instead of waving goodbye to homework completely, we can make it work better for everyone. We’re talking about assignments that actually make sense, and that don’t gobble up all your free time.

In the end, it’s about making homework your sidekick, not your arch-nemesis. With a bit of homework magic, you’re not just acing tests – you’re picking up life skills that will come in handy down the road.

So, the next time you’re scribbling away on an assignment, remember – it’s more than just paper and ink; it’s your ticket to learning and growing in and out of the classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is homework causing excessive stress.

It’s important to strike a balance between the amount of homework assigned and its impact on students’ stress levels. Teachers should consider assigning reasonable amounts and providing guidance on time management.

Does homework infringe on students’ free time?

Homework should be designed to complement, not replace, students’ free time. Effective assignments can be completed within a reasonable timeframe, leaving ample time for extracurricular activities and relaxation.

Are students spending too much time indoors?

Homework can be an opportunity for students to explore topics beyond the classroom. Assignments that encourage outdoor exploration, research, or creative projects can address this concern.

Does homework impede creativity?

Homework can be structured to foster creativity. Assignments that allow for personal expression, critical thinking, and alternative approaches can actually enhance students’ creative abilities.

Does homework negatively impact family time?

By setting clear guidelines and expectations for homework completion, students can manage their time effectively and still participate in family activities.

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8 Reasons Why Homework Shouldn’t be Banned

Why Homework Shouldn't be Banned

Are you wondering Why homework should not get banned? Many parents think homework is a waste of time, but there are many reasons why homework should not be Banned. Homework has a lot of benifits that many people do not know. Let us see what experts have to say about this concern.

Table of Contents

Here are five reasons why homework shouldn’t be banned

1. retention of class learning.

Students need to practice what they learn. If they do not practice, then they will forget what they learned.

This is a common problem: Children often get busy with their gadgets and play once at home. As a result, the learning in school starts fading. Homework gives the students a good revision and can refresh the teaching in the comfort of their Home.

Homework was invented for this reason by Roberto Nevilis, an Italian teacher who is considered the inventor of Homework. As a teacher, Nevilis found that his teachings lost meaning when students were taken away from the class and back home. Anguished that his students failed to overtake their peers despite their actions and efforts, he chose to use a different technique. So Homework was invented.

2. Scorecard for Teachers

Homework gives teachers insight into how well their students understand concepts. The seriousness of a child is determined by how much time and effort he dedicates to his homework. Is he focused or very casual with the task given?

The teacher would tailor their teaching based on the output that comes only from homework. It also helps the teacher to understand which student in the class needs more attention and guidance.

3. Focused Learning at Home

Homework allows students to work at their own pace. The classroom may not give you adequate time or attention to understand all the concepts and learning imparted among many students.

The classroom is a common environment when learning is standardized to suit a general audience in school. Going back home and looking at the same learning gives the child time to understand and pickup up the concepts of the topic.

Children can dwell more on the topic and do more research once at Home, as they have access to parents and other friends, which is impossible in the classroom setup. Taking extra classes or tuition is also a form of Lesson.

4. Get deeper learning

Homework provides opportunities for students to apply what they’ve learned. A student can check out library or internet resources or perform practical tasks at Home. This is an opportunity for students to get more insight into the topic learned in a classroom.

Students can even look up Youtube for videos on relevant topics. It is quite possible that student has not understood the lesson from the school teacher but may understand it better when taught by listening to many teachers on Youtube.

This time may create more doubts or questions, which the student can go back to school and ask the teacher. It will facilitate more interactive learning versus just simple theory.

5. Self Discipline

Homework can help students build self-discipline. This is the best way to prepare the child for life. Classroom learning and self-practice or homework will help the child be responsible and form discipline in life. This will help them to take up any responsibility in the future.

Discipline will put things in perspective and drive the child in a systemic approach to learning and life. This will also positively affect their mental health .

6. Homework gives teachers insight into how students learn best

Teachers need to understand how students learn so they can help them with their homework. They also need to ensure students do not fall behind because of missed assignments. To accomplish these goals, teachers must first determine how students learn best.

There are several ways to do this. One method is to observe students while they work on homework. Another option is to ask students to write their thoughts about how they learn best. A third option is questionnaires to find out how students learn best.

Once teachers have determined how students learn best, they can decide whether homework should be banned. If homework is banned, teachers should provide alternative activities such as reading books, playing games, watching movies, etc.

7. Homework allows parents to see how their children are doing at school

Parents often worry when their child starts school. They wonder what will happen to their child’s grades and test scores. However, research shows that homework does not affect student performance.

Students who complete more homework tend to perform better than those who do less homework. This is true even among students who struggle academically.

8. Homework provides a sense of accomplishment

In addition to helping students learn, homework also gives them a sense of accomplishment. Research has shown that children who feel good about themselves are more likely to succeed in school.

Students need to practice what they learn

Students should be allowed to complete homework assignments as often as possible. This will enable them to practice what they have learned. However, there are times when homework should be banned. These situations include:

  • When the student has been disruptive during class.
  • When the teacher feels that the assignment is too difficult.
  • When the teacher feels the student does not care about learning.
  • When the teacher feels it would be better to spend more time teaching than doing homework.
  • When the teacher feels they cannot give enough individual attention to each student.

Do you want to learn more exciting facts about Homework and would like to know who invented homework and why? Read Here.

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After Weeks of Protests, Columbia Cancels Main Commencement Ceremony

Columbia’s president had earlier said that she did not want to deprive students of an in-person celebration after many graduated high school during the pandemic.

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A couple of dozen colorful tents are set up in a square on campus near a colonnaded building.

By Sharon Otterman

  • May 6, 2024

After weeks of student protests, Columbia University announced Monday that it would be canceling its main commencement ceremony, and holding smaller ceremonies for each of its 19 colleges, mostly at its athletics complex some 100 blocks north.

The university’s main campus has been in a state of near lockdown since last Tuesday, when hundreds of police officers swarmed Hamilton Hall to remove some 46 pro-Palestinian protesters who had occupied the building and arrested more than 100 people protesting in and around the campus.

Dozens of police officers are still on and around campus, leaving questions as to how some 15,000 graduates and their guests could easily be admitted to the area around it for the May 15 commencement.

Nemat Shafik, Columbia’s president, had previously cited her desire to host the graduation on campus as one of the key reasons that she called in the police on April 30 to remove both the occupiers from Hamilton Hall and the large tent encampment that had taken over a central lawn for two weeks.

But on Monday, Columbia officials explained that security was one of the main reasons for canceling.

“We have decided to make the centerpiece of our Commencement activities our class days and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers, rather than the University-wide ceremony,” the university wrote in a statement.

The school said that it was still considering holding a “festive event on May 15” instead of the main ceremony, and that it would follow up with more details. The celebrations for the different colleges will begin on Friday and run through May 16.

“Holding a large commencement ceremony on our campus presented security concerns that unfortunately proved insurmountable,” Ben Chang, a university spokesman, said. He added that the school had made extensive efforts to identify an alternative venue and was unable to locate one that could host such a large event. “Like our students, we are deeply disappointed with this outcome.”

The main campus quad has become an emotionally charged site as the location of the protest encampment and arrests. The 21-acre football and other playing fields at 218th Street in Inwood, known as the Baker Athletics Complex , is more neutral ground.

But the decision was also about capacity. In its announcement, the school said that rather than divide its resources to keep both the school-level events and the main commencement ceremony safe, it would instead focus “on those school ceremonies and on keeping them safe, respectful, and running smoothly.”

Parents from around the world will be flying in to celebrate commencement with their graduates, which include those completing the undergraduate college, law school, medical school and many other degree programs.

Many of this year’s graduating seniors, officials had pointed out, also had their high school graduations canceled because of Covid-19 precautions, and many had started their college experience in remote learning.

“We also do not want to deprive thousands of students and their families and friends of a graduation celebration” Dr. Shafik said last week. “Many of them are the first in their families to earn a university degree. We owe it to all of our graduates and their loved ones to honor their achievement.”

At other universities around the nation where protests have broken out, administrators have also canceled or altered commencement events, out of concern over renewed protests.

Typically at the end of the school year, the heart of Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus becomes a sweeping venue with bleacher seating and thousands of graduates arrayed around the steps of Low Library. The university president takes center stage, officially conferring the degrees on the graduates from the school’s different colleges.

Two weeks ago, the University released a video of several graduates in their blue-and-white robes, explaining how important an in-person ceremony was to them.

But the way the administration has handled its pro-Palestinian demonstrators, including by calling in police to crack down and make more than 200 arrests on two separate days, has proved to be deeply unpopular with many students and faculty. Officials also became concerned that an event meant to unite the campus would divide it further.

The commencement decision also caused anger, however, including from some of the Jewish students who had felt most targeted by the protests.

“For the last three-plus weeks, I’ve had to listen as students on campus and protesters off campus shout for Zionists to get out of Columbia,” said Josie Toubin, the co-president of an organization of Jewish students at Columbia’s business school. “I am a Zionist, so they are yelling for me to leave.”

“Moving graduation is another action that punishes Jewish students without justification,” she said, adding that the main campus has been cleared of protesters so graduation should be held there. “Don’t isolate us to a site 100 blocks north of campus as a response to the unrest on campus.”

Tazia Mohammad, a freshman living on Columbia’s campus, was also upset, particularly with the ongoing police presence.

“It’s hypocritical to say you’re acting for the graduating class and then cancel their commencement,” she said of the crackdowns Dr. Shafik authorized. “It’s just silly.”

Khepera Lyons-Clark, 22, a senior at Barnard College, which is affiliated with Columbia University and normally participates in its main commencement ceremony, said the decision to cancel commencement seems to have demoralized students more.

“I just don’t understand what the motive is,” she said.

On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul criticized Columbia’s decision to cancel its main graduation ceremony. The governor said she had offered her support in devising security plans for the upcoming ceremonies at all New York colleges.

“One thing I did not want to do is have the lives and the families and all the young people who’ve worked so hard disrupted,” Ms. Hochul said during remarks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. “I wanted them to have the benefit of walking across the stage. They earned it.”

The governor added that she had spoken to leaders at N.Y.U., Cornell University, City College and the State University of New York on Monday morning and those schools all confirmed they would proceed with graduation ceremonies as planned.

Karla Marie Sanford and Claire Fahy contributed reporting.

Sharon Otterman is a Times reporter covering higher education, public health and other issues facing New York City. More about Sharon Otterman

Our Coverage of the U.S. Campus Protests

News and Analysis

Pomona College: At least one person was arrested after scuffles broke out among pro-Palestinian protesters , private security officers and police officers outside Pomona College’s commencement in Los Angeles.

U.W. Milwaukee: Protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will take down a pro-Palestinian encampment that had stood for two weeks under an agreement reached with the school , university officials said.

Duke: Dozens of students walked out  of Duke University’s commencement ceremony as Jerry Seinfeld, who has been vocal about his support for Israel, received an honorary degree.

Turning to Al Jazeera :  Students active in campus protests value the Arab news network’s on-the-ground coverage  and its perspective on the Israel-Hamas war. They draw distinctions between it and major American outlets.

Black Colleges :  The White House appears anxious about President Biden’s speech at Morehouse College, a historically Black institution. But for complex reasons, such campuses have had far less visible Gaza tensions .

A Different Approach :  University leaders in Britain have so far adopted a more permissive attitude to pro-Palestinian encampments than their U.S. counterparts. Here’s why .

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  3. 21 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned (2024)

    Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned. 1. It Contributes to Increased Anxiety. If there's one word that describes middle-school and high-school students, it's anxiety. In my homework statistics article, I cite research showing that 74% of students cite homework as a source of stress. They have so much to juggle, from the novelty of ...

  4. Homework Pros and Cons

    From dioramas to book reports, from algebraic word problems to research projects, whether students should be given homework, as well as the type and amount of homework, has been debated for over a century. []While we are unsure who invented homework, we do know that the word "homework" dates back to ancient Rome. Pliny the Younger asked his followers to practice their speeches at home.

  5. Why Homework Should Be Banned From Schools

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  10. Is homework a necessary evil?

    Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.

  11. Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

    These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn. "Homework isn't limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes. "Rather, the point of departure seems to be, 'We've decided ahead of ...

  12. 12 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

    Homework negatively affects students' health. Download Article. Homework takes a toll physically. Recent studies have demonstrated that too much homework can disrupt a student's sleep cycle, and cause stress headaches, stomach problems, and depression. [3] 3.

  13. 15 Should Homework Be Banned Pros and Cons

    Banning homework would help to reduce these risks as well. 6. It increases the amount of socialization time that students receive. People who are only spending time in school and then going home to do more work are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation.

  14. Homework is pointless. Here's what you should do instead

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  15. The Pros and Cons: Should Students Have Homework?

    Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can't see it in the moment. 6. Homework Reduces Screen Time.

  16. Why (Most) Homework Should Be Banned

    Back to the Stanford study for a second; many of the students claimed that the homework was "pointless" or "mindless." The study argues that homework should have a purpose and benefit, which should be to cultivate learning. One of the main reasons is that school feels like a full-time job at this point.

  17. Pros and Cons of making homework optional

    Assigning optional homework allows the student to better his or her time management skills. Considering that the average high school student receives 3.5 hours of homework per day, the opportunity to receive optional homework allows students to properly prioritize their work and maximize their time. It allows for flexibility in a student's ...

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    Homework is an important bridge between school and the home. It allows parents to be part of a child's educational journey and to contribute in a meaningful way. I come, not to bury homework ...

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  20. Why Schools Should Cancel Homework: List Of Arguments

    Below are 5 good reasons why it should be banned: Young kids today are busier than before. If the children today are not able to learn what they need in the span of a six to eight hour day, then parents and teachers are expecting too much from them. They are instead creating a schedule that is hurried, jam packed, and lacks any time to play ...

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    These are some of the reasons why homework should be banned -: Homework Restricts A Student's Freedom. No Time For Exercises. No Time To Play Outdoor Games. Often Breaks Students' Confidence. Homework Doing Not An Achievement. Most Homework Creates Bad Habits. Less Time To Spend With Family Members.

  22. Unveiling Why Homework Should not be Banned?

    Unequal Access: Some students might not have the resources at home to complete assignments. Creativity Limitation: Excessive homework might limit time for creative activities outside school. Diminished Engagement: Repetitive or excessive homework can lead to disengagement from learning.

  23. 8 Reasons Why Homework Shouldn't be Banned

    5. Self Discipline. 6. Homework gives teachers insight into how students learn best. 7. Homework allows parents to see how their children are doing at school. 8. Homework provides a sense of accomplishment. Students need to practice what they learn.

  24. Why do colleges cancel graduation? A brief history

    Graduation ceremonies were another casualty of the Kent State shootings. New York's Hunter College scrapped its end-of-year event and invited the Class of 1970 back to walk the stage nearly a ...

  25. Columbia University Cancels Commencement Ceremony After Weeks of

    By Sharon Otterman. May 6, 2024. After weeks of student protests, Columbia University announced Monday that it would be canceling its main commencement ceremony, and holding smaller ceremonies for ...