Should schools ban homework?

I have read a few posts recently – this is the best one – on the subject of banning homework.  I am personally in favour for two reasons:

  1. I think it switches many kids off school
  2. Most of the creative project work kids do ends up being at home on their own, and not in a collaborative setting

I also like this point extracted from the parking lot blog:

Homework robs children of the time they need to develop real skills and passions. When I was in school for example, I taught myself music theory and theology during my grade 11 year. I wasn’t taking either of these subjects at school, and I set aside a lot of homework to learn them. I failed several exams at Christmas 1985 because instead of studying, I was writing four part harmony arrangments of Queen songs and reading Martin Buber. Both of those experiences have stayed with me long after I can even remember what classes I took at school that year, and both continue to be useful in my life.

Since I have been working from home and doing restricted hours I have been very conscious of the culture of overwork, and homework is part of that culture extended to our kids.  My personal experience is that since I halved my hours I have definitely not halved my output, instead I have prioritized more, been more focused on productivity and made sure I don’t get involved in things that sap my energy or where I struggle to make a significant contribution.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

23 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    well, my mum would say no but i say yes. one school in scotland has already banned homework. take a look

  2. Anonymous says:

    what should have happened is that there is a link somewhere.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am a mother of two elementary students, one 6th grader and a kindergartener. On the homework subject: Times have changed and there are many more two parent working families. One of the big arguments of a short school day is because children are unable to focus for extended periods of time, this being said. The CV schools that my kids attend have half days every Friday, and only go to school from 8 to 2:45 the rest of the week. We were told to expect 2-3 hours of homework each night. Both children go to day care, where there are too many kids for them to get one on one help with their homework, so our house can not begin homework time until 6pm when we get home. That time also includes dinner and chores, our kids do not have play time in the evenings anymore. Where did our family time go? Well it leaves the weekends… no both children are regularly given homework on the weekends and even are required to do it while on vacation. I understand that they need to be responsible adults one day, but when do I teach my daughter how to cook? shop? be a team member. We have foregone the cable since there is no time anyway, there is not a place for extra circular activities such as sports, and we have gone as far as not going to dinner on Valentine’s day due to the homework. My solution is to extend the school day. Yes it sounds bad but in real life we do not work 6 hours a day. And we certainly do not do so on our vacation. When long ago every home had one parent stay home it was different. I am for teachers that want us parents to be a part of the learning process, but we all know you need time to learn more than just what is taught at school. Wholesome learning means you will need more than just book smarts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    For those people in favor of banning homework:

    How are your kids going to learn if they don’t at least do a minimum of work outside of class? Homework is there for a reason. Its to provide reinforcement of material learned in class. That way, kids retain it better. And guess what, in college, no one really assigns homework, except maybe for term papers. You have to force yourself to study outside of class, because if you don’t, you flunk out. And this is even more true of med school, law school, or grad school. For those of you who think homework provides no educational benefit, well hope that 10 years from now your kids love folding gorditas at Taco Bell. Not that I don’t appreciate the guy who makes my gordita, especially if its crunchy enough and has just the right amount of sauce, but I digress. You want your kids to succeed in life, they need to do at least a minimum of homework. If your organized, you can find family time and time for kids to go to soccer practice, ballet etc…

  5. Anonymous says:

    i agree completely

    i am a student at high school and although i dont really like homework i believe it should’nt be banned.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I believe it should be banned because the homework is more important than the work that you do at school. If you don’t do much work in school, you can still pass if you do the homework. If you don’t do the homework but do the school work really well, you can fail. Can you see any sense in that? I can’t.

  7. anonymous says:

    i think hw should be banned as it takes over my social life and takes up my time after school when i would rather be doing stuff i want such as trampolineing playing my guitar so on!!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Homework should be banned in schools! I am a high school student and with all of the extracurricular activities that I have going on and the games(not to mention the fact the hard classes that I have to take)I don’t have time to sit down and do 3 hours of homework each night. Many teachers at my school give a lot of homework too and that brings my average down greatly because I simply do not have the time to everything that needs to be done.

  9. anonymous says:

    we need to be a kid while we still can!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Homework is a shame and should be banned. It is robbing people of thier childhood and closing a lot of options to people. This really bugs me because 7 and a half hours of school is apparently not enough. Then we stack up another 2 hours of homeowork. That’s 9 and a half hours, more than most people work. Private schools expects the best grades and give more homework. Public schools are simply to dangerous to walk around in these days.

  11. kyle says:

    hellow, im a 8th grader in middle school and i geuse you can call me the popular type, and i and all of my freinds dont like home work and in most of my classes students make straight straight A”s” and they dont get them buy doing there work , they get em bye cheating so i think when teachers give out homework there making the student worse bye teaching the student how to get out of work

    READ,READ,READ 🙂

  12. anon. says:

    well i am in 8th grade and i think homework shouldn’t be banned because of the fact that we need to have work to do whilst we are not in the distraction of our peers. at school mainly i just kill time until the bell goes or try to balance my ruler on a pen!! but at home, i can do so much more. i can actually CONCENTRATE on my work without my friends there talking to me (im not saying i dont like my friends but sometimes you need to actually work). i dont mind homework every night as long as it if a bit and not cheating. it allows me to think deeply about my task and after all you have to practice to get better at something, so whats the problme with PRACTISING work at home??? =) well okay, i do complain about homework, but everyone does! i am NOT defiantely NOT in favour of banning homework. and im an 8th grader so im still in school! i know about homework…

  13. squeaky222 says:

    homework should be banned as it a waste of time and we already do work as it is for 6 or 7 hours a day

  14. phillip says:

    I am a university student studying english and science.
    I think homework is a very important part of your childhood,
    it helps you get a better future.
    It learns you a lot more and helps you understand the subject better.Instead of banning homework we should have an increase. you will understand when your older why it is important.Its sad that people dont want more homework.

  15. squeaky222 says:

    its been proven that not a single study of homework helps kids learn and they dont even take pride init i know i dont i just rush it and dont care if it s wrong as i have said school takes our lives as it is and im not giving up my free time

  16. Alex says:

    I strongly believe that homework should be banned.
    We should have a reasonable amount of work set for the lesson and if not finished it should be completed for homework. But its not fair when we are piled with homework every night and have to cancel our leisure activities sometimes. Some may say that homework keeps teenagers off the streets however this theory is partly wrong because its the good, commited students that are kept off the streets (the ones that don’t cause any harm on the streets) to finished their homework, and the bad behaved ones stay on the streets and don’t bother doing their homework – they are the ones causing trouble on the streets. I understand sometimes homework should be given out but I am in year10 and still recieving storyboard/colouring homeworks(and i’m in top set for everything too) it is ridiculous!! We only get one childhood so let us live it.

  17. randomer2 says:

    I belive homework should be banned , im am 14 and i have a girlfriend who i go out with after school everyday , we stay out till about 9 so about 6 hours , so if i get in at 9 i have 1 and a half hours to do 6 pieces of homework , get a shower and have some time with my mum. Homework really destroys peoples social life.

  18. Drew says:

    Hey I’m a secondary school student. I believe that homework should be set on a voluntary basis but be well incuraged with prizes if you do it, and you sertony should not be punished for not doing it. Working hours can range from 19 to 14 hours a day, doing work.

  19. anonymous says:

    im 15 and eventhough i’m opposed to the idea that homework should be banned, i still think that excessive amount of homework is unnecessary in our education. teachers should be able to give students a reasonable work load that they know we can finished in time during lessons. extended school hours can also benefit students in someway as nowadays, teenagers have to deal with many other problems. we should not be stuck to our desks, in front of the computer, working a tiresome 2 or 3 hours every night after school! we have other commitments that are far more important that school work- eg. spending time with family and friends, extra curriculums like sports and music, our social life. therefore, teachers should know when enough is enough. they were once kids too 🙂 a limitation must be set on how much homework should be given among high schools so students can enjoy a normal life instead of burying themselves with truckloads of homework throughout their school life~

  20. joe says:

    if the justifaction behind homework is that it teaches time managment, responsibility, and other skills that children need then there is an easy way to get around it. I Beleve that teens should only have to have homework if they have below a c average in a class. If they have above a c average, then obviously the kids have learned time managment and responsibility skills.

  21. chanse says:

    Dear ladies and gentleman, 100 years ago schools began to ban homework, as a result the US began to slip from the world’s most powerful country into a sup-par country, When Russia launched Sputnik, homework came back. The US then surpassed Russia and launched a more intelligent space craft which discovered magnetic radiation belts around Earth. If you do not learn from the past, then how do you survive? In China students go to school for nine hours a day and have on average have twice as much homework as us, as a result they passing us in the economic race. If we were to ban homework completely we would lose any hope of becoming the world’s superpower again. Some schools are banning homework because parents keep complaining but I think that this mother in Kentucky says it best, “banning homework is a terrible idea my daughter went from a private school that handed out extensive homework to public school that gives out practically none at all and she suffered greatly because of it. Too much free time is not good for kids. The only reason people want to ban home work is because parents don’t want to spend time with their children helping them do it.” Another parent from North Carolina says, “not only does home work give children a chance to work independently away from a classroom setting, I think homework is an important tool in communication, I think it keeps interested parents current with what their children are learning at school and gives us a glimpse of how they are managing the subject areas.” If you were to ban homework not only would you hurt our country’s well being you would hurt our ability to manage our time effectively.
    Thank you for your time. 

  22. Jim says:

    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. It has been proven that homework increases students’ academic achievement.
    The children of today will be future workers and the future voice of this country. The more educated they are, the more successful the next generation as a whole will be. I wouldn’t like to know what our country’s politics would be like with people who will be less educated than this generation is.

    Many teachers and parents agree that homework also develops students’ initiative and responsibility. A great amount of homework will pressure the students and force them to properly manage their time. Both are needed for success in college and in career. It will allow colleges to easily separate the college-bound from the people who really aren’t ready for it. If people are accustomed more work at a younger age, the world will be more industrious and successful in the future.

  23. Mitchell says:

    I think homework should not be banned because it prepares us for the future. It gets us ready to be responsible in our careers or if we have children. If I was a child, I would not want my parents to be irresponsible and not take care of me.

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