How much Homework?


John Liu

Homework is school (or not school) assigned practice work to help students understand and conceptualize what they are learning. often enough, practice homework, is helpful for understanding an idea or lesson, but if the homework were too long to complete, for example, 6 classes, 1 hour per class’ homework, 6 hours of homework daily, then students would slowly (or quickly) get exhausted and consider homework a chore, busywork, that students will eventually find themselves skimping out on. 

Children in elementary grade level are at time where they are developing themselves, their imagination, and their creativity, a crucial stage in development. From my experiences and from others as well, children despise homework because it takes away from their fun time, which it does. For them, lessons and practice should be done in class, and should have only slight to no homework at home.

“There is no evidence that any amount of homework improves the academic performance of elementary students.” – Harris Cooper, Duke University.

However, at later stages, like middle school, high school, and on, students begin to realize the importance of homework and its influence on their education. This is especially important at this later stage because concepts and lessons learned in school begin to take a more complex form. At the same time, homework shouldn’t be piled on, like 6 hours per day, but to a maximum of two. 

My current calculus teacher does this as well, which benefits all of her students. What she does is she teaches the lesson for the day in class, but short and concise enough that we understand the material, and afterwards, we are given a fair amount of homework to do in class. During that “class work” time, the environment of the classroom becomes moderately quiet, with small pockets of conversations going on. We can ask our teacher or our friends for help on questions we don’t understand and get the appropriate amount of help we need that we usually can’t get from home.. By the time class is over, classwork becomes homework but there is usually so little left, that it can be done in ten to twenty minutes. This is especially benefitted from the fact that by them time we leave class, we understand the material than when we initially took notes and began working.

But unlike my situation,my other friends in calculus with a different teacher work differently. She gives them much more homework and material to learn from, and online quizzes. My friends often come to me for help because they sometimes can’t get it at home, and sometimes stay up late doing the homework or online quizzes, and I know this because they complain every now and then. This is the current system that is often found in classrooms across the nation.

I propose in supporting and implementing Cooper’s idea that elementary students should receive no homework and higher grade students should receive about two hours of homework per day or less (excluding projects/essays). As a student, I don’t support this just because I want less homework, I support this because many do find themselves understanding the material, but also are exhausted from being overworked. We need just the right amount of homework to make learning more efficient and time-wise.


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