Plus, there is the fact that some students are simply more efficient at completing their homework than others, and it becomes quite difficult to pinpoint just what type of homework, and how much of it, will affect overall academic performance.
Why Teachers Should Reduce Homework
Gender is also a major factor. For example, a study of US high school students carried out by Prof Gary Natriello in the s revealed that girls devote more time to homework than boys, while a follow-up study found that US girls tend to spend more time on mathematics homework than boys. Another study, this time of African-American students in the US, found that eighth grade ages girls were more likely to successfully manage both their tasks and emotions around schoolwork, and were more likely to finish homework. So why do girls seem to respond more positively to homework? All of this makes it particularly difficult to determine the extent to which homework is helping, though it is clear that simply increasing the time spent on assignments does not directly correspond to a universal increase in learning.
The lack of empirical data supporting homework in the early years of education, along with an emerging trend to assign more work to this age range, appears to be fuelling parental concerns about potential negative effects. But, aside from anecdotes of increased tension in the household, is there any evidence of this?
Can doing too much homework actually damage children? A Chinese study carried out in found a link between excessive homework and sleep disruption: children who had less homework had better routines and more stable sleep schedules. A Canadian study carried out in by Isabelle Michaud found that high levels of homework were associated with a greater risk of obesity among boys, if they were already feeling stressed about school in general.
For useful revision guides and video clips to assist with learning, visit BBC Bitesize. It is also worth noting that too much homework can create negative effects that may undermine any positives. These negative consequences may not only affect the child, but also could also pile on the stress for the whole family, according to a recent study by Robert Pressman of the New England Centre for Pediatric Psychology. Parents were particularly affected when their perception of their own capacity to assist their children decreased. What then, is the tipping point, and when does homework simply become too much for parents and children?
Guidelines typically suggest that children in the first grade six years old should have no more that 10 minutes per night, and that this amount should increase by 10 minutes per school year.
Why Do We Have Homework? | Wonderopolis
However, cultural norms may greatly affect what constitutes too much. A study of children aged between 8 and 10 in Quebec defined high levels of homework as more than 30 minutes a night, but a study in China of children aged 5 to 11 deemed that two or more hours per night was excessive. It is therefore difficult to create a clear standard for what constitutes as too much homework, because cultural differences, school-related stress, and negative emotions within the family all appear to interact with how homework affects children. In my opinion, even though there are potential risks of negative effects, homework should not be banned.
So simply banning homework would mean that any particularly gifted or motivated pupils would not be able to benefit from increased study. However, at the earliest ages, very little homework should be assigned. The decisions about how much and what type are best left to teachers and parents. Teachers can assign work for different reasons — as an academic drill to foster better study habits, and unfortunately, as a punishment.
The goals for each assignment should be made clear, and should encourage positive engagement with academic routines.
Parents should inform the teachers of how long the homework is taking, as teachers often incorrectly estimate the amount of time needed to complete an assignment, and how it is affecting household routines. Creating an overarching policy to address every single situation is not realistic, and so homework policies tend to be fixated on the time the homework takes to complete.
And this confidence seems to open up all the active areas of your brain where good things begin happening. I think this is how chess players become great chess players, for example. They simply gain the confidence to try new moves and gain the confidence one needs to take chances. You know how the more you play a video game, the better you get at beating your enemies and conquering new levels?
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