I was joined in studio by Andrew Raid and Seejin Lee, both students at Dubai American Academy.
The Podcast Link.
Do we really need homework after a long day of school?
8am start, 3pm finish and hours of work at school.
Without further ado, here are the top five best arguments that will definitely convince any naysayers that homework is not something that should be done by kids.
- Kids already have seven hours of school. You start school at eight and go home at three. That’s a full day of school. Most adults work similar lengths of time at work and come home exhausted. Yet they can’t understand when their kids have trouble focusing at the end of a full day of learning. And that brings us to our next point.
- It’s counterintuitive to make children spend too many hours studying. If an adult has attention problems, that’s nothing compared to a kid. Children are still growing, their brains aren’t yet fully developed, and it’s crucial that they get a lot of exercise and free time. Something that they could do in thirty minutes if fully rested and energized will drag on for four hours if they’re restless and can’t focus because they left seven hours of school to directly jump into three hours of homework.
- Getting sun and exercise is crucial for your health. If you’re cooped up in school during the day, then have to do your homework when you get home, you’ll develop poor health. A much better solution would be to do all the learning you need to do in one place, in a short amount of time. When you stop school, that’s the time for you to play and go outside and get exercise.
- Seven hours of school should be enough to learn anything. Sure, let’s say that you have recess and lunch--there’s still a good five hours where you’re studying. If you can’t learn what you need in that time, there’s a problem. Rather than giving you lots of homework after school to compensate, schools should look at how they can rework teaching systems in class to make the most of the time you have in school.
- Having a social and family life is important. In short, you should have a balanced life. Many adults get angry if their work life spills over into their personal life. They like to go out after work and spend time with friends. But children should get the same respect. School is a time for learning, and it takes up much of the day. After school is the time for pursuing your own hobbies and personal pastimes.
A 2007 Metlife study found that 45 percent of students in grades three to 12 spend more than an hour a night doing homework, including the six percent of students who report spending more than three hours a night on their homework. In the 2002-2003 school year, a study out of the University of Michigan found that American students ages six through 17 spent three hours and 38 minutes per week doing homework.
A range of factors plays into how much homework each individual student gets:
Older students do more homework than their younger counterparts.
This one is fairly obvious: The National Education Association recommends that homework time increase by ten minutes per year in school. (e.g., A third grader would have 30 minutes of homework, while a seventh grader would have 70 minutes).
Studies have found that schools tend to roughly follow these guidelines: The University of Michigan found that students ages six to eight spend 29 minutes doing homework per night while 15- to 17-year-old students spend 50 minutes doing homework. The Metlife study also found that 50 percent of students in grades seven to 12 spent more than an hour a night on homework, while 37 percent of students in grades three to six spent an hour or more on their homework per night. The National Center for Educational Statistics found that high school students who do homework outside of school average 6.8 hours of homework per week.
Metlife Survey of the American Teacher
Race plays a role in how much homework students do.
Asian students spend 3.5 more hours on average doing homework per week than their white peers. However, only 59 percent of Asian students’ parents check that homework is done, while 75.6 percent of Hispanic students’ parents and 83.1 percent of black students’ parents check.
National Center for Educational Statistics
Teachers with less experience assign more homework.
The Metlife study found that 14 percent of teachers with zero to five years of teaching experience assigned more than an hour of homework per night, while only six percent of teachers with 21 or more years of teaching experience assigned over an hour of homework.
Metlife Survey of the American Teacher
Math classes have homework the most frequently.
The Metlife study found that 70 percent of students in grades three to 12 had at least one homework assignment in math. Sixty-two percent had at least one homework assignment in a language arts class (English, reading, spelling, or creative writing courses) and 42 percent had at least one in a science class.
Regardless of how much homework kids are actually doing every night, most parents and teachers are happy with the way things are: 60 percent of parents think that their children have the “right amount of homework,” and 73 percent of teachers think their school assigns the right amount of homework.
Students, however, are not necessarily on board: 38 percent of students in grades seven through 12 and 28 percent of students in grades three through six report being “very often/often” stressed out by their homework.