The Benefits of Homework
Is homework beneficial? Ask your kids, and you can almost guarantee what their answer will be, but what do the experts say?
Newsweek had this to say, “Sorry, Kids: Homework is Good For You.”
According to research from Germany, Newsweek cited that students who put effort into their homework assignments improved the development of their conscientiousness. Conscientiousness is a personality trait that characterizes one’s ability to be responsible and reliable.
Responsible and reliable: two highly desired characteristics by almost every employer, anywhere.
Duke University took a similar stance, “Homework Helps Students Succeed in School, As Long As There Isn’t Too Much.”
After reviewing more than 60 research studies on homework, the conclusion is that the relationship between the amount of homework students do, and their achievement outcomes, are positive and statistically significant.
How Much Homework Is Too Much?
Elementary and Middle School
Homework for young students should be short and increase over time. The rule of thumb: the “10-minute rule.” The optimum amount of homework is 10 minutes per grade level. So, a fourth-grader should have 40 minutes a night, and a high school senior should have 120 minutes, or 2 hours, every night.
research further backs up the “10-minute rule,” saying that 90 minutes to two and a half hours of homework is optimal for high school students. Any more than that is counterproductive, resulting in stress and physical health problems.
Developmental Benefits of Homework
Homework is beneficial because it helps students develop vital skills
that they will use throughout their lives, especially self-regulation. Kids must manage distractions, manage their time, delay gratification, and set goals when they do homework—all of these skills are incredibly important for success in life.
Homework also is beneficial
because it helps create greater understanding between parents and teachers about what children are learning in school and any struggles they have. It can help clue parents into the existence of possible learning disabilities, so children get help sooner rather than later.
Time Magazine also weighed in on the topic of homework, “Is Homework Good for Kids? Here’s What the Research Says.”
As the article stated, the most comprehensive research on homework to date found that students who did homework performed better in school. Homework also is thought to improve :
- Study habits
- Attitudes toward school
- Independent problem-solving skills
As the researcher himself comments in the article, “A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”