Workload to Heavy?
Some argue that there are both advantages and disadvantages of assigning homework. One disadvantage of homework is that students are not able to have any free downtime for themselves. They are also often unable to have access to community and leisure activities due to the amount of homework assigned to them. In one study I found done by the NEA, elementary students were surveyed, and found to be assigned is three times as much homework that was recommended for their age. It was also found that not only is the workload increased, but the amount of time that children spend on homework is an average of a couple hours a night. Not only was this hard on the children, it was also found to increase family stress.
Does Homework Cause Stress?
There are many other cons about assigning homework. For instance, students often do not have enough time to complete these tasks, and it takes time away from family, and extracurricular activities. Not only does it take time away from family time, it also may make the student resentful or dislike the subject. It also may add stress to the students, and families to finish the homework, and does not allow enough free time for students to develop social or personal skills. Many children also face other factors that make homework stressful. Some students are unable to have the same access to technology as other students which make it stressful to finish homework on time. Another issue that causes stress is that according to an article by Jianzhong Xu, many students do not have access to a productive homework environment.
Does Practice Makes Perfect?
Although there are many cons to assigning homework, there are some pros as well. Some pros for homework assignments are that it will help them revise the material they learned in class, it also helps them to be prepared for test and exams that they will need to take, and that it will help students who are having trouble with the material to learn better when they attempt the assignment on their own. Not only by doing homework by practicing problems outside of the classroom, according to Nitza Davidovitch & Roman Yavich, you are also teaching the student responsibility for their learning and time management skills. Not only are you gaining these skills but you are also gaining self confidence, and a personal sense of achievement.
What are Some Tips for Assigning Homework?
Although there seems to be many different reason why we shouldn’t be assigning homework, don’t give it up just yet, there are some benefits of assigning homework. If you do not want to give up on assigning homework to your students then you should follow some guidelines to making homework assignments appropriate. According to the American Federation of Teachers, assigning homework that is done at home can benefit students by developing good study habits. However they suggest to assign homework that reinforces what they have learned previously that week or month instead of what you learned in class that day. Another tip they give is to assign homework that can be done with tools that everyone has at home. They also give another tip that homework that is assigned should stimulate creativity and imagination. Don’t give up on homework as a whole instead create more useful homework to assign.
Quality VS Quantity?
Another major issue to address with assigning homework is the quality vs quantity issue. This again is another great tip to use when trying to figure out what homework to assign to your class. When it comes to homework quality matters more than quantity. One example is that many math teachers tend to assign 50 or more problems to do in one night, when 10 quality problems would have been sufficient. They are stuck in the mindset that the more problems you do, the better you will understand how to do these types of problems in the future. However students tend to disagree, and are worried about the quality of homework they are being assigned. This was demonstrated in a Study done by Pope and Galloway. They found that only 20 to 30% of students said that they felt their homework was useful or meaningful in helping to understand the material they were learning.
What is The 10 Minute Rule?
According to the article Is Homework a Necessary Evil, Researchers say that homework can be beneficial to elementary students that with limitations. One of these limitations is to stick to the 10 minute rule for first grade students. Meaning any amount of homework assigned should only take 10 minutes or less. If it takes more it is shown that children begin to not be able to retain any of the material they are working on. The older that children get however the time frame that it should take will slightly increase. For an example, once your in third grade you are able to do 30 minutes of homework each night rather than 10 mins in first grade.
(n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2018, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/homework.aspx
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Research Spotlight on Home Visits. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2018, from http://www.nea.org/tools/16935.htm
Davidovitch, N., & Yavich, R. (2017). Views of Students, Parents, and Teachers on Homework in Elementary School. International Education Studies, 10(10), 90. doi:10.5539/ies.v10n10p90 https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1156304.pdf
Assigning effective homework. (n.d.). A Union of Proffesonals Classroom Tips. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED516934.pdf.
Xu, J. (2013). Why Do Students Have Difficulties Completing Homework? The Need for Homework Management. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 1(1). doi:10.11114/jets.v1i1.78 https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1054844.pdf