The idea of banning homework comes up more and more often, and it has been a topic of constant discussion for some years. It comes as no surprise that most students support such a proposition, but there are also many parents who think the same and even teachers and professors agreeing with the benefits of such a drastic change in the education system. And although we appreciate such a wide range of people supporting the idea, why is the majority of students condemning homework not enough an argument to consider significantly reducing or straight out getting rid of homework? Aren’t they the ones affected the most by this constant load of tasks they have to do coming home from a day full of learning?
And yet, it seems that is not enough of a reason for the government and educational institutions to ban homework. There must be some good arguments in favor of continuing this practice. Are there any homework benefits that justify students all over the world suffering from it? Read on to find out and see if you agree afterward that homework should be banned.
Pros and Cons of Homework
For some reason, students hating homework is not considered a solid argument among the adults who have the power to improve the situation. This attitude towards tasks given by teachers and professors is seen as a natural reaction, and what kids and young people have to say on the matter is not taken into account. And this has been so for so long, it is troubling.
Most of those who promote the benefits of homework seem not to bother with the fact that the majority of those assigned with these tasks see them as a waste of time and genuinely hate dealing with them. But why is that so? Why do students hate homework, which is considered a normal state of things? Clearly, there must be some sound reasons, and perhaps we could change it all by either altering an approach to homework or banning it. If most students can’t stand it, and if we have enough convincing arguments why homework is bad, then getting rid of it completely is the right thing to do.
It only makes sense to list both pros and cons of homework, but since we lean towards the view that it is a harmful phenomenon, let’s begin by reviewing the negative aspects. And boy, oh boy, do we have plenty of those!
Cons of Homework
- Students receive homework in addition to 6-8 hours they spend in school on average. It’s difficult to determine the average time needed for doing homework daily as it varies. Not all teachers may be giving their students demanding tasks, yet not all students cope with them in the same way. However, there are cases when homework takes two or more hours to do. If we compare it to work, this is already considered overtime. Only in this case, it’s an absolutely normal and mandatory thing. If there are time restrictions for adults to make sure they don’t run out of productivity (with exceptions, as always, but that’s not the point), then why are children and young people demanded of more than adults? And this leads to the next argument.
- To complete homework, students often have to stay late at night. There are many reasons for that: some have to work after school, others practice and play sports. Sometimes, it can be because of the sheer amount of tasks or the necessity to prepare for tests on top of all that. And some students may be having trouble with understanding and completing assignments, so, it will take them more time, leave them tired and frustrated about homework. But rules are rules, and homework has to be done. At what cost, though? The next day, students will be exhausted, sleepy, perform worse during class, and not perceive new information effectively. And so begins the sick cycle started by homework.
- Based on the previous argument, homework can result in bad grades and problems with students’ health caused by insufficient sleep and increased stress. Because there is no specific understanding of how much time you need to prepare for a test or examination, students tend to deal with homework first and use the remaining time for study. As such, there is often not enough time, and a student is already way too wiped out and stressed out. So, homework serves as a distraction and leads to failure in tests. And how often do teachers ask you about the amount of homework you get in other classes? Do professors adjust the amount of homework they give you so that you have time to prepare for upcoming tests, especially if they’re for a different subject? Probably, not. And it’s really difficult for students to stay calm and maintain mental health in such situations.
- Another reason why teachers and professors might be setting so much homework is because they were not able to cover certain material in a classroom. Whether that was due to some global reason like the lack of time to cover everything dictated by the program or because of an educator’s incompetence, that is now students’ problem. Indeed, younger teachers often have trouble with delivering all the necessary information which students will later be required to know at the time of examination. However, by admitting that they would risk losing respect from students, and there could be really bad consequences for their career. Either way, students can hardly successfully digest the material that their teacher or professor failed to deliver in class, and it’s just not fair to expect them to do so.
- One of the problems with homework is that, unlike in a classroom, it’s even less possible to know how a student dealt with it and whether he or she got help. When there is a task that needs to be done after school, students use various tricks and ways to cope with them. Depending on the complexity of the assignment, it can be completed with the assistance of a concerned parent or another relative. Then, there is asking your friend who is good at this type of assignments and is willing to share the results with you. Nowadays, doing so is extremely easy, and no distance serves as a problem. Most students have access to smartphones with cameras that can help them to send as many pictures as necessary, or they can send entire documents if the task is done using the computer. Finally, there are writing services (like ours) that help students save time and nerves. The point is, there’s no way to know whether a student did the job on his or her own, rendering homework even more pointless.
- Many parents also agree that homework should be banned. Not only can they judge about its necessity from their own days in school or college, but by seeing how stressful it is for their children. Homework also often separates relatives, because as parents come home from a day at work, they hardly communicate with their children who have come back from school but are now busy with their assignments. Instead of wasting time on homework, students could be bonding with their families over some activities. As many young people leave their hometowns when they go to college or university, this especially seems like a lost opportunity to spend some quality family time.
- Parents and students are not the only ones who speak against homework, and some teachers and professors do as well. While many still can’t fathom how anyone could suggest such an outrageous idea and what students would do without it, many educators don’t have a second thought answering the question “Should homework be banned in schools?” First of all, teachers are people too, and they have to suffer from the same problem and deal with homework when they come home, namely, check it. Besides, they understand that in many cases, those tasks are meaningless. Why should they spend their time on something that might not have even been written by their student? It’s just absurd. What’s worse, they realize they could be using this time for improving their lesson plans and making sure students digest the material in class. Instead, they are bound by this arduous task of checking homework and are devoid of any enthusiasm to improve anything once it’s done.
We could go on, but it’s time to offer some arguments about why students should have homework. It’s always important to look at both sides of the coin, and by viewing the positive aspects that speak in favor of having homework, we can get a more complex yet clear understanding of the issue.
Pros of Homework
- Homework is important because it teaches how to manage one’s time and promotes discipline. School is a preparation for an adult life, which is filled with various tasks and duties. If students are just left to themselves, they will probably spend all the time they have on something insubstantial, and regret that later in life, when they find themselves completely unprepared to the strict confines of time. Homework, however, motivates them to properly distribute their time if they want to have some of it left for their hobby or hanging out with friends. Besides, students learn how to be responsible and face the consequences if they just decide to ignore the tasks they are given.
- Homework helps to digest the material taught in class and make sure a student can deal with related tasks on his or her own. During a period, a teacher may not have time to check whether everyone understands everything. Besides, some students may have trouble in dealing with simple tasks and feel agitated when they see that everyone else gets the idea. By setting homework, teachers are giving these students a chance to go over the material and the task once again, not being distracted by their peers. In a quiet environment of their homes, they can finally understand what they were not getting before and practice their skills. And those students who were quick to grasp new information get a chance to repeat it again so that they will remember it better and will not spend so much time on preparing for a test later.
- Not all assignments can be completed during class and have to be given as homework. For example, it’s impossible to carry out proper research and write a paper. This is something that requires time and careful analysis, thoughtful writing, and proofreading. So, by banning homework, we would be canceling all those important types of assignments that teach students various useful skills and develop their critical thinking.
- Homework allows parents to see how their children are coping with the tasks based on the materials they learned in school. They get to support them and even bond over certain tasks. Of course, that does not imply that parents should be doing homework for their children, that just devalues it completely, and students gain nothing from it in the long run. After all, homework is aimed at improving their knowledge of the subject more than anything. Instead, parents can motivate their children to find a solution, point out something they are missing, and in that way, be more engaged in the process of their child’s education.
Those are the arguments we managed to come up with to prove why homework is good. And it would be foolish not to admit that they are pretty convincing. After all, there are subjects that would not be considered as taught properly if there was no homework for students to solidify their knowledge. And as our arguments against homework in general, however solid, will unlikely be acted upon and free all students from their assignments, we are offering you a quantum of solace.
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Why Should Homework Be Banned?
Despite the benefits of homework we described, we are still more inclined to banning it altogether. But let’s rely on something more than sheer arguments. As this idea has been brought up by various people throughout the years, several experiments and researches have been conducted to support or disprove it. Let’s see what their results will tell us on the matter.
A study conducted by Denise Pope, a researcher from Stanford University, has shown that those students who spent, on average, three hours on homework a night had health problems mostly caused by stress and sleep deprivation. Out of 4137 students attending 10 high-performing upper-middle class Californian high schools, over half (56%) reported homework to be the cause of their stress; tests and the pressure to get good grades were also indicated as major reasons for stress. In other words, all of these are tightly connected to homework, and, frankly, this comes as no surprise. The number of students who didn’t consider homework to be a stress factor did not exceed 1%.
The health problems the surveyed students experienced included exhaustion, lack of sleep, stomach problems, and headaches. Besides, students confessed that they were not satisfied with some of the sacrifices they had to do to complete all their homework. Among other things, they had to limit their time with friends and families, quit hobbies and other activities that helped them relax and feel like they were achieving something and getting important skills.
In our opinion, those findings are enough of a basis to ban homework or consider introducing some critical changes. But let’s forget about the cons of homework and check the results of the study, supposedly exploring the pros of homework. In 2007, a Trends in Math and Science Study was conducted among fourth-graders to measure their success in math and science. The results have shown that those countries where homework levels were below average, scored a much higher position in the table than those with heavy homework loads. Among Japanese students who took second place in the chart, only 3% of students relied on more than 3 hours of homework a night. And 20% of Dutch students who claimed to do no homework at all have shown some of the highest scores on an international level. Some countries that had homework levels above average, in their turn, scored really low.
So, why should homework not be banned in schools if its harmful consequences for students’ health have been proven, and there’s no correlation between heavy homework loads and good grades? Quite on the contrary, there is proof that lower levels or complete absence of homework do not keep students from succeeding in their studies. Besides staying healthy and having enough time for developing other skills, students have a better attitude towards learning and don’t go to school stressed out, scared, and hateful because of the tasks they couldn’t deal with or had to dedicate all their free time to.
Examples of Banning Homework
While most schools can’t imagine banning homework and reluctantly agree to lower its levels, there are examples of daring changes that serve as proof this can be done. We can look at countries like Finland, where homework is kept at the lowest point, reducing the children’s stress levels, and their health is improved by encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. And what about their grades? Oh, they are among the highest in the world. So, naturally, this is working. Yes, they did not abandon homework altogether, so one could also make a conclusion about the benefits of homework and go on explaining why homework is good. And we’ll agree, but with one stipulation – it’s good when it’s kept under control.
If schools agree to limit the homework time, this can be considered a huge victory and the first step. And then, we can follow an example of Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Va., which decided to go without homework for its second-graders for a whole year in 2017. And the scores didn’t just drop rapidly.
There have been more similar cases, when teachers and entire schools finally approached the issue by limiting the amount of daily homework for students, making sure all teachers only gave the allowed amount of tasks and what was really necessary for succeeding in class.
The Bottom Line: Should Homework Be Banned In Schools?
Upon considering pros and cons of homework and reviewing some studies and real-life examples, we once again agree that homework should be banned. It’s harmful to students’ health and lowers the chances of successfully passing the tests instead of increasing them. Considering some homework benefits and the protective reaction of a small percentage of students, it makes sense to view them as an exception to the rule. Nevertheless, since many people, including students, teachers, and parents, will be avidly against letting go of homework completely, an approach to it and its nature should change. For example, if teachers give students optional creative assignments, that are relevant to the material previously taught in class, homework can stop being seen as a dull punishment.If you are not particularly fond of doing homework, then we’ll have to hope that these and other arguments become known to wider masses and homework will stop existing in its present form. Until then, we are offering our services in writing your academic assignments. Homework writing service is glad to help you deal with that nasty homework!