In a recent survey, fifth-graders in Minnesota spent slightly more than four hours a week on homework–significantly less than the six hours in Sendai, Japan and a vastly smaller amount of time than the thirteen hours in Taipei.
Research in the last decade has begun to focus on the relationship between homework and student achievement and has greatly strengthened the case for homework. Although there are mixed findings about whether homework actually increases students’ academic achievement, many teachers and parents agree that homework develops students’ initiative and responsibility and fulfills the expectations of students, parents, and the public. Studies generally have found homework assignments to be most helpful if they are carefully planned by the teachers and have direct meaning to students.
But, according to Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, there is almost no evidence that homework helps elementary school students achieve academic success and that it helps older students. The nightly burden is taking a serious toll on America’s families. It robs children of the sleep, play, and exercise time they need for proper physical, emotional, and neurological development. And it is a hidden cause of the childhood obesity epidemic, creating a nation of “homework potatoes.”
What do you think? I would also like to know what the parents think as well. There are no right or wrong answers.