The Footnotes



Does homework gives a false sense of responsibility?

After over 25 years of studying and analysing homework, new research demonstrates a clear conclusion: homework wrecks primary school students.

The study gives details about the relationship between homework and success at different grade levels. While homework has a significant benefit in the final years of high school, the benefit drops off those in early high years, and then –  “there’s no benefit at the primary school level,”. 

Why teachers shouldn’t assign homework to primary school students:

  • Homework can generate a negative impact on children’s attitudes toward school: Children who are just beginning at school have so many years ahead of them. The last thing teachers should do is to turn them against school. Instead, young kids should have fun while learning.
  • Premature homework can damage personal relationships in the long term: While homework is meant to reinforce the relationship between parents and children and get parents involved in their children’s education, with primary school kids this can have the opposite effect. At that age, children need to be reminded by their parents about their homework. After a long day at school, something that includes the word “work” is not exactly what kids want to do before going to bed.
  • Homework gives a false sense of responsibility: Those who support homework will say that daily homework helps kids become more responsible, but this is only true at a later age. When parents have to remind their kids to do their homework every night, this purpose completely fades away.
  • Homework leaves less time for kids to be kids: All students, and especially the youngest ones, should use their evenings and holiday time to do more physical activities, playing outdoors and participating in sports with friends. Both teachers and parents can encourage children to do these kinds of activities more often.

Alternatives to homework for young students:

As an alternative to overloading young students with homework, there are so many things that teachers and parents can do to make sure that students are motivated and open to learning more:

  • To encourage fun reading: According to research, at the elementary level what works way better than homework is reading. Parents and teachers may find subjects that kids are interested in and either stimulate them to read themselves or read out loud and let them listen.
  • Teach responsibility with daily chores: Instead of relying on homework to develop a kid’s sense of responsibility, there are so many everyday habits that can teach them to be responsible, such as getting up and ready in the morning, making the bed, helping out with chores, or even looking after a pet.
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