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Do You Think Homework Is A Waste of Time?

Posted by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM
  • 38 Replies

Homework Is a Waste of Time

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans

homeworkNo, my son didn't hijack my computer and write that headline, it's true, according to researchers. A new study says that, with the exception of the last couple of years of high school, homework provides few, if any, benefits to students; it may even impede their learning.

So all of that time I spend trying to coerce my second grader to sit down and complete his assignments, and all the breath I expend trying to explain why homework is so important to his future is all a big waste? Yes, say Australian researchers who included 10,000 children in their study. They concluded that children could be better served spending that homework time doing something else more beneficial. They even went so far as to say that only students in senior high should do homework.

"There are other things kids want to do that are very valuable things for them to be doing," researcher Dr. Richard Walker told The Daily Telegraph. As CNN pointed out, you may want to hide this article from your children.

The theory with homework has usually been that children need time for self-directed learning -- an important skill for sure. Only very children in grade school and middle school self direct themselves when they do homework. Instead parents are usually sitting there right beside them, assisting and teaching them as well. I didn't believe this before my son started school and actually scoffed when people told me how much of my time his homework would take, but it's true. He's an excellent student, but his homework still requires me most nights. So if it's not self-directed learning they're acquiring, then why make them (and us) sit there?

I think there will always be some projects that are better done at home -- perhaps things like book reports or other research-based projects. But the daily worksheets and other regular activities could seemingly be worked better into the school day so that their time after school could be better spent on physical activity, reading for pleasure, and just plain old kid fun, which so many seem to have little time for today.

With American education falling so far behind much of the rest of the world, it's hard to argue that our students need to do less work. But as the saying goes, sometimes less is more. A good education for my children is one of my highest priorities in life, but if homework is a waste, then let's stop wasting valuable time.

Do you think homework is a waste of time?

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM
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by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Yes. They spend all day working. They too need a break.
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by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM
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I am an ex-teacher and I totally agree that schools have gone overboard with homework.  My children regulary had to spend 3-5 hours each night even in elementary school on homework.  It created a stress in our lives having to spend every waking moment with our child on homework, even at the dinner table while eating.  The kids and parents are so stressed out about just getting it done that I'm sure no learning is occuring and it just causes everybody to hate school.

My thoughts as a teacher/parent are that appropriate homework might be to practice some math problems, the old rule of thumb was no more than 10 minutes per grade, and then read for enjoyment with the child before bedtime.

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM
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Depends on the homework and amount. Some things can only be retained with practice and repetition.
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by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM
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My DD school has tried this year as a "no homework" test year.    It's awful.  My DD went from an A - B student last year to a B - D student this year.   Lets face it... 6th graders are sometimes talking in class and not paying attention so she is not fully learning.   She was pretty embarrrassed about her grades so we encouraged her to ask the teacher for extra help.  Now she is spending her lunch and a bit after school with the teacher... and apparently a lot of other kids already had the idea.   She was expecting to be alone, but there are about 15 students each day.

The teacher had declared ONE day her off day from this extra help.  I think it is a shame for the underpaid teacher to have to spend 4 of her lunch breaks per week helping kids would would benefit from a little homework.     Kids need some repetition.   The school went from loads of homework to NONE.   This makes no sense.  Sure reduce the amount to an hour per night... but don't eliminate it all together.

Plus.... the other 3 kids all have homework... so my DD is bored after school anyway.    I give the no homework test a big FAIL.

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

by Shauna on Apr. 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Quoting tyfry7496:

Depends on the homework and amount. Some things can only be retained with practice and repetition.

I agree~

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I agree. I dont think hw should be handed out until 5th or 6th grade.  My 1st grader has hw every night.  Certain things can take forever with a 6yr old who spent all day at school and only wants to play when he gets home.  Plus I only have 2.5 hours from the time i get ohome from work until its bedtime, we need to be able to do other things as a family instead of just homework every night. 

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM
My issue isn't with having homework, it's the amount of homework.
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by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 2:43 PM

 I  think it is a waste of time and I totally Hate it. Especially the parental involvement homework where I have to do a project while they watch...those especially drive me nuts.

Pam in Alabama
A Mom to nine sons and one daughter with six still at home!
by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I think that

a: with younger kids especially, if they're spending their whole evening doing homework from all their different classes, it comes bedtime and they still haven't really been able to unwind. Then, sleep deprivation hits and they don't listen or learn as well.

b: depending on the activity, other things besides homework can be very educational. Reading books by their own free will is one of them. There are educational clubs around also that are very beneficial. I used to be in a group that helped us with math by playing with blocks. I've also known of clubs that put on mock trials. Besides that, simply going outside and playing is very underrated! Problem is, once they're out of school each day, how do you force parents to get their kids away from the TV and out playing?

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