Should Teachers Give More Homework

When you get home after school, how much homework will you do? Will it keep you up late at night? Will it cause stress in your family? Or do you have homework under control?

Do your teachers assign too much homework?

In “As Students Return to School, Debate About the Amount of Homework Rages,” Christine Hauser writes:

How much homework is enough?

My daughter, Maya, who is entering second grade, was asked to complete homework six days a week during the summer. For a while, we tried gamely to keep up. But one day she turned to me and said, “I hate reading.”

I put the assignment aside.

That was my abrupt introduction to the debate over homework that is bubbling up as students across the United States head back to school.

This month, Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher in Godley, Tex., let parents know on “Meet the Teacher” night that she had no plans to load up her students’ backpacks.

“There will be no formally assigned homework this year,” Ms. Young wrote in a note that was widely shared on Facebook. “Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.”

Other conversations about homework are humming in town halls and online. Some school districts, including one near Phoenix, have taken steps to shorten the summer break, out of concern that too much is forgotten over the summer. But discussions on blogs like GreatSchools.org or StopHomework.com reveal a belief that the workload assigned to students may be too heavy.

When we asked students this same question in 2014, most commenters — but not all — voiced their opinion that homework was stressing them out. Dinah wrote:

In theory, homework seems like a good idea, just a little bit of looking over what was learned in class and answering a few questions to feel more comfortable with the material. In practice, it’s entirely different. Now I’m up till 11:30 p.m. some nights desperately trying to finish three colossal essays.

Eve agreed:

I’m an eighth grade student at an American school and my teachers pile on homework, so much where I am staying up until nearly three in the morning. I LOVE school and I truly do have a passion for learning, it’s just these extra worksheets are not teaching me anything.

And Doug B. wrote:

I’m becoming deranged from the excess of homework given to me. I have no time for any interests I have, companions and sleep.

Students: Read the entire article, then tell us:

— Do your teachers assign too much homework? Or do you have just the right amount?

— Does homework cause stress and tension in your family? Or does it create opportunities to work together with your parents or siblings?

— Does it get in the way of sleep or extracurricular activities? Or are you able to manage the right balance?

— How do you usually get your homework done? At home or at school? In a quiet room, or with family or friends around? Do you tend to work alone, or do your parents or friends help?

— Is homework, including projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or is it not a good use of time, in your opinion? Explain.

Continue reading the main story

When you get home after school, how much homework will you do? Will it keep you up late at night? Will it cause stress in your family? Or do you have homework under control?

Do teachers assign too much homework?


In the article “The Homework Squabbles,” Bruce Feiler writes:

Homework has a branding problem. Or, to be a little less pointy-headed about it, everybody hates homework.

Scan through the parenting shelves, and the frustration is palpable: “The Case Against Homework,” “The Homework Trap,” “The End of Homework.” Glance through glossy magazines, and the enmity is ubiquitous: “The Homework Wars” (The Atlantic), “The Myth About Homework” (Time), “Do Kids Have Too Much Homework?” (Smithsonian).

Heck, just drop the word into any conversation with families and watch the temperature rise.

Some of this is cyclical, of course. Homework goes back to the onset of formal schooling in America and was popular in an era when the brain was viewed as a muscle to be strengthened.

The first backlash began in the early 20th century as repetitive drilling came under attack, and by the ’40s, homework had lost favor. The launch of Sputnik in 1957 generated hysteria that we were losing ground to the Soviet Union, and more homework was one response, but the practice again waned in the 1960s. Homework came roaring back after “A Nation at Risk” in the 1980s as Americans again feared their children were falling behind.

Today’s tension echoes this back and forth. “The Chinese do six hours of homework before breakfast — we have to keep up” versus “Play is more important than make-work. Google wants people who are ‘creative’.”

Students: Read the entire article, then tell us …

— Do your teachers assign too much homework? Or do you have just the right amount?

— Does homework cause stress and tension in your family? Or does it create opportunities to work together with your parents or siblings?

— Does it get in the way of sleep or extracurricular activities? Or are you able to manage the right balance?

— How do you usually get your homework done? At home or at school? In a quiet room, or with family or friends around? Do you tend to work alone, or do your parents or friends help?

— Is homework, including projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or is it not a good use of time, in your opinion? Explain.


Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name. For privacy policy reasons, we will not publish student comments that include a last name.

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

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