Having Homework Within the Classroom: Is it Worth It?

 Having Homework Within the Classroom: Is it Worth It?




Here is the history, and timeline, for homework and how it has adapted, and changed, with the changing eras and times:
19th Century

  • Homework was not typical for grades 1-4
  • Because of work, many students didn't continue their education past the fifth grade
  • Back during these times, homework depended a lot of rote memory and memorization

Early 20th Century

  • This marked the beginning era for progressivism and, therefore, introduced the conept of eliminating homework
  • This is the era where individuals started focusing on the damage, medically, that homework could have on students 


  • Publications started, citing evidence for why homework should be abolished in schools
  • 1957: Marked the era of the "Space War" between the U.S. and Russia, resulting in Russia being the first to launch Sputnik into orbit --- This resulted with the revival of homework showing up in U.S. schools
  • 1980's: This era was marked with the publication, "A Nation at Risk", highlighting the need for U.S. school to better their education system. This, therefore, reaffirmed the need for homework within our schools

Source: Vatterott, C. (n.d.). Chapter 1. The Cult(ure) of Homework. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108071/chapters/The-Cult(ure)-of-Homework.aspx

Current Status of Homework

Current State of Homework

  • Students recieve multiple pages of homework each night, varying depending on grade level.
  • Homework is somewhat meaningful, but not always.  Meaning, the homework contains pages of work that are extensions of the classroom and what the students are learning and not just "busy work".
  • Homework doesn't always get taken as a grade.  Many times students do the homework and get participation points or nothing at all.  Also, if they do not do the homework there are no consequences.
  • Provides occassional feedback.  Teachers don't always take (or have) the time to give feedback on everypage of homework they give, especially when there are many pages. 

Negatives of Having Homework 

What the Critics are Saying About Homework:

  • There isn't always a correlation between acadeic achievement and the amount of homework that a student completes
  • Homework, often times, can reflect bias due to students not having the same life experiences/language barriers 

Negative Effects of Too Much Homework

1. It can lead to increased stress
       -Effecting student emotions, behaviors, thinking, and health

       -Students could struggle relatxing or decompressing

2. Homework can take away from families spending time together

3. Many times, homework is given for the wrong reasons
        -This creates a negative stigma aroung homework

4. Cheating on homework occurs

        -Difficult to gauge how well students understand the material

 Source: Bogdanovich, P. (2014, September 08). Homework or No Homework. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://dataworks-ed.com/blog/2014/09/homework-or-no-homework/

Positives of Having Homework 


  • Homework can be an extension of what the students are learning within the classroom.
  • Possible impact on secondary education (prepping for secondary work)
  • Homework can also offer skills of responsibility, time-management and independence.


        Source: Bogdanovich, P. (2014, September 08). Homework or No Homework. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://dataworks-ed.com/blog/2014/09/homework-or-no-homework/


What Homework Looks Like Internationally

US News completed a report that listed the hours that other countries completed homework and how that varied based on the socioeconomic status of families   

1. Finland 


  • The average student only completes 3 hours of homework per week 

2. Singapore


  • High socioeconomic families spend roughly 11 hours/week on homework
  • Low socioecoomic families average 8 hours/week on homework 

3. United States 

  • Average students do about 6 hours of homework per week
  • High socioeconomic families average 8 hours/ week of homework 

4. Shanghai

  • Average student does 14 hours of homework per week
  • High socioeconomic families average 16 hours/week of homework
  • Low socioeconomic families average 11/week of homework


 Source: T. (2015, January 05). Study: Homework Matters More in Certain Countries. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/05/study-homework-matters-more-in-certain-countries
















What Quality Homework Should Look Like 

Five characteristics that are present in quality and positive homework:

1.Be purposeful

2.Demonstrate learning

3.Promotes ownership


5.Aesthetically pleasing

Source: Vatterott, C. (2010, September). Five Hallmarks of Good Homework. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept10/vol68/num01/Five-Hallmarks-of-Good-Homework.aspx

Teacher Opinion

From a teacher in a first grade classroom at a rural school

Overall this teacher views homework as a good tool in the classroom as long as it is used well.  An interview stating more specifics is as follows:

Q:  Do you believe homework is necessary?

A:  Yes, I think it offers good extra practice to the students.

Q:  What does meaningful homework mean to you?

A:  I believe homework should be an extension of the classroom.  What they are learning each day should be what they are taking home to practice on their own.

Q:  Do you believe homework should be given over breaks?

A: No, students have those breaks for a reason and they need them to recooperate.

Q:  How often do you believe homework should be given?

A:  As they get older I believe it is okay to give homework daily.  I think teachers should try to stay away from weekend homework, because kids need that break.  I do not believe that for first graders and younger students homework shouldn't take more than 15 minutes per night.  That time should grow as they get older but even 45 minutes to an hour of homework per night at the high school level is alot.

Q:  Why do you believe homework is important?

A:  For some children that may be the only time they get one on one help.  It also allows parents to know what is going on in the classroom and what is being expected of their student everyday.

Resources for Homework

 Fact Monster: Homework Center  

  • Classifies homework by subject, breaks down into different topics and concepts.

Kid Info

  • Different subjects, learn by powerpoints and videos.

Homework Spot

  • Breaks possible homework down by grade level                 


  • A homework help line you can call from 4-7 pm.