Does Homework Really Help?

Katherine Boback ’17

We’ve been assigned homework since before many of us knew how to spell our own names. Now, as high schoolers, it’s safe to say that the homework load has drastically increased since we’ve left first grade, understandably. But how much is too much?

As teens, we have much more than just school in our lives, and being at school for most of the day, only to come home to more schoolwork can be frustrating. Many also worry that in the case of younger children, parents may get too involved in homework, and try to help their children in ways other than those that are taught by teachers, only confusing the kids further.

According to the National Education Association (NEA), students should have about ten minutes of homework per grade level. So, a first grader should have ten minutes, a second grader 20 minutes, and so on. That means that a high school Freshman should have an hour and a half per night, and high school seniors two hours per night. But is this what we are really getting?

A survey of fifteen freshmen from Trumbull high in different levels of classes showed that their average amount of homework a night was about two and a half hours, an extra hour than the NEA recommends.

However, studies do show a correlation between homework, in the right amount, and academic success. According to Harris Cooper at Duke University, in younger students, homework can help them build better study habits that will be useful later in their academic careers.

But what about high schoolers? Cooper and his colleagues conducted a study on students of all ages, including high schoolers, to see how homework affects their success at school. The students assigned homework, as opposed to the students with no homework, had overall better test scores by the end of the study.

One Trumbull High student, Patricia Kelly, says that, “Homework helps in moderation, except we always seem to have too much of it.

“In 35 such studies, about 77 percent find the link between homework and achievement is positive,” also says Cooper. However, with too much homework, the growing success rates start to decline. So, even though it takes up free time, in the right amounts, homework is shown to help academic success.

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