Homework: A Balancing Game

With four blocks, all lasting around an hour and a half, a lot of homework can pile up. It becomes more burdensome when taking into account extracurricular activities. Some say that we need to find a balance between homework and home life. What is necessary to education, and what is unnecessary and exhausting?

According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan in 2004, the amount of homework has increased by 51 percent since 1981. However, some teachers are trying to help reduce this increase.

“I try really hard not to give homework. I think kids are overloaded these days,” said Kelly Hillesland,  AP English Language and Composition teacher.

On the other hand, for some teachers it is necessary to the learning environment to give homework.

“I think the benefit of homework is to give students an opportunity to practice whatever they learned in class and to take that material and do something with it on their own,”said Kelly Baquero, an A.P. United States History teacher.

Homework helps students understand and review what they learned, and some teachers assign homework for review not a grade.

Homework takes time away from the students’ free time, even with teachers trying to give less homework, but it can also be the parent’s problem if they have to enforce the completion of hours of homework. “I feel that especially in elementary school, spending six to seven hours a day in school is enough,” said Lisa Morguess, a mother of seven, in a CNN article. She believes that children need less time focusing on school work and more time having fun or exercising.

However, not all parents agree with Morguess. “Their kids aren’t getting enough or any homework at all and they’ve had to create their own to keep their kids challenged,” said other parents in the same CNN article.

In other words, some students don’t have enough homework for the parents’ liking, and the parents create more homework to solve the problem that should have been solved by the teachers.

Harris Cooper, a social psychologist and a lead homework researcher, has found that homework gains importance as the grade level increases (more important in high school versus middle and elementary school).

School boards agree that homework is good for students to have. “The Governing Board recognizes that homework contributes toward building responsibility, self-discipline, and life-long learning habits; and that time spent on homework directly influences students’ ability to meet the district’s academic standards. The Board expects students, parents/guardians, and staff to view homework as a routine and important part of students’ daily lives,” said the Governing Board of the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. But the question of how much and what type of homework is left to the individual school.