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Denise Pope

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .

The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.

Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.

Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.

“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.

Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.

Their study found that too much homework is associated with:

* Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.

* Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

* Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.

A balancing act

The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.

Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.

“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.

She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.

“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.

High-performing paradox

In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”

Student perspectives

The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.

The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Media Contacts

Denise Pope, Stanford Graduate School of Education: (650) 725-7412, [email protected] Clifton B. Parker, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-0224, [email protected]

American Psychological Association Logo

Is homework a necessary evil?

After decades of debate, researchers are still sorting out the truth about homework’s pros and cons. One point they can agree on: Quality assignments matter.

By Kirsten Weir

March 2016, Vol 47, No. 3

Print version: page 36

After decades of debate, researchers are still sorting out the truth about homework’s pros and cons. One point they can agree on: Quality assignments matter.

  • Schools and Classrooms

Homework battles have raged for decades. For as long as kids have been whining about doing their homework, parents and education reformers have complained that homework's benefits are dubious. Meanwhile many teachers argue that take-home lessons are key to helping students learn. Now, as schools are shifting to the new (and hotly debated) Common Core curriculum standards, educators, administrators and researchers are turning a fresh eye toward the question of homework's value.

But when it comes to deciphering the research literature on the subject, homework is anything but an open book.

The 10-minute rule

In many ways, homework seems like common sense. Spend more time practicing multiplication or studying Spanish vocabulary and you should get better at math or Spanish. But it may not be that simple.

Homework can indeed produce academic benefits, such as increased understanding and retention of the material, says Duke University social psychologist Harris Cooper, PhD, one of the nation's leading homework researchers. But not all students benefit. In a review of studies published from 1987 to 2003, Cooper and his colleagues found that homework was linked to better test scores in high school and, to a lesser degree, in middle school. Yet they found only faint evidence that homework provided academic benefit in elementary school ( Review of Educational Research , 2006).

Then again, test scores aren't everything. Homework proponents also cite the nonacademic advantages it might confer, such as the development of personal responsibility, good study habits and time-management skills. But as to hard evidence of those benefits, "the jury is still out," says Mollie Galloway, PhD, associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. "I think there's a focus on assigning homework because [teachers] think it has these positive outcomes for study skills and habits. But we don't know for sure that's the case."

Even when homework is helpful, there can be too much of a good thing. "There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says. He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high school. Both the National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association support that limit.

Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.

In a recent study of Spanish students, Rubén Fernández-Alonso, PhD, and colleagues found that students who were regularly assigned math and science homework scored higher on standardized tests. But when kids reported having more than 90 to 100 minutes of homework per day, scores declined ( Journal of Educational Psychology , 2015).

"At all grade levels, doing other things after school can have positive effects," Cooper says. "To the extent that homework denies access to other leisure and community activities, it's not serving the child's best interest."

Children of all ages need down time in order to thrive, says Denise Pope, PhD, a professor of education at Stanford University and a co-founder of Challenge Success, a program that partners with secondary schools to implement policies that improve students' academic engagement and well-being.

"Little kids and big kids need unstructured time for play each day," she says. Certainly, time for physical activity is important for kids' health and well-being. But even time spent on social media can help give busy kids' brains a break, she says.

All over the map

But are teachers sticking to the 10-minute rule? Studies attempting to quantify time spent on homework are all over the map, in part because of wide variations in methodology, Pope says.

A 2014 report by the Brookings Institution examined the question of homework, comparing data from a variety of sources. That report cited findings from a 2012 survey of first-year college students in which 38.4 percent reported spending six hours or more per week on homework during their last year of high school. That was down from 49.5 percent in 1986 ( The Brown Center Report on American Education , 2014).

The Brookings report also explored survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which asked 9-, 13- and 17-year-old students how much homework they'd done the previous night. They found that between 1984 and 2012, there was a slight increase in homework for 9-year-olds, but homework amounts for 13- and 17-year-olds stayed roughly the same, or even decreased slightly.

Yet other evidence suggests that some kids might be taking home much more work than they can handle. Robert Pressman, PhD, and colleagues recently investigated the 10-minute rule among more than 1,100 students, and found that elementary-school kids were receiving up to three times as much homework as recommended. As homework load increased, so did family stress, the researchers found ( American Journal of Family Therapy , 2015).

Many high school students also seem to be exceeding the recommended amounts of homework. Pope and Galloway recently surveyed more than 4,300 students from 10 high-achieving high schools. Students reported bringing home an average of just over three hours of homework nightly ( Journal of Experiential Education , 2013).

On the positive side, students who spent more time on homework in that study did report being more behaviorally engaged in school — for instance, giving more effort and paying more attention in class, Galloway says. But they were not more invested in the homework itself. They also reported greater academic stress and less time to balance family, friends and extracurricular activities. They experienced more physical health problems as well, such as headaches, stomach troubles and sleep deprivation. "Three hours per night is too much," Galloway says.

In the high-achieving schools Pope and Galloway studied, more than 90 percent of the students go on to college. There's often intense pressure to succeed academically, from both parents and peers. On top of that, kids in these communities are often overloaded with extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs. "They're very busy," Pope says. "Some kids have up to 40 hours a week — a full-time job's worth — of extracurricular activities." And homework is yet one more commitment on top of all the others.

"Homework has perennially acted as a source of stress for students, so that piece of it is not new," Galloway says. "But especially in upper-middle-class communities, where the focus is on getting ahead, I think the pressure on students has been ratcheted up."

Yet homework can be a problem at the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum as well. Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, Internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs, says Lea Theodore, PhD, a professor of school psychology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. They are less likely to have computers or a quiet place to do homework in peace.

"Homework can highlight those inequities," she says.

Quantity vs. quality

One point researchers agree on is that for all students, homework quality matters. But too many kids are feeling a lack of engagement with their take-home assignments, many experts say. In Pope and Galloway's research, only 20 percent to 30 percent of students said they felt their homework was useful or meaningful.

"Students are assigned a lot of busywork. They're naming it as a primary stressor, but they don't feel it's supporting their learning," Galloway says.

"Homework that's busywork is not good for anyone," Cooper agrees. Still, he says, different subjects call for different kinds of assignments. "Things like vocabulary and spelling are learned through practice. Other kinds of courses require more integration of material and drawing on different skills."

But critics say those skills can be developed with many fewer hours of homework each week. Why assign 50 math problems, Pope asks, when 10 would be just as constructive? One Advanced Placement biology teacher she worked with through Challenge Success experimented with cutting his homework assignments by a third, and then by half. "Test scores didn't go down," she says. "You can have a rigorous course and not have a crazy homework load."

Still, changing the culture of homework won't be easy. Teachers-to-be get little instruction in homework during their training, Pope says. And despite some vocal parents arguing that kids bring home too much homework, many others get nervous if they think their child doesn't have enough. "Teachers feel pressured to give homework because parents expect it to come home," says Galloway. "When it doesn't, there's this idea that the school might not be doing its job."

Galloway argues teachers and school administrators need to set clear goals when it comes to homework — and parents and students should be in on the discussion, too. "It should be a broader conversation within the community, asking what's the purpose of homework? Why are we giving it? Who is it serving? Who is it not serving?"

Until schools and communities agree to take a hard look at those questions, those backpacks full of take-home assignments will probably keep stirring up more feelings than facts.

Further reading

  • Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987-2003. Review of Educational Research, 76 (1), 1–62. doi: 10.3102/00346543076001001
  • Galloway, M., Connor, J., & Pope, D. (2013). Nonacademic effects of homework in privileged, high-performing high schools. The Journal of Experimental Education, 81 (4), 490–510. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2012.745469
  • Pope, D., Brown, M., & Miles, S. (2015). Overloaded and underprepared: Strategies for stronger schools and healthy, successful kids . San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

Headshot of Joseph Lathan, PhD

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

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what are the negative impacts of homework

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

Is Homework Good for Kids? Here’s What the Research Says

A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.

The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early.

But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage. Here’s what you need to know:

For decades, the homework standard has been a “10-minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. The National PTA and the National Education Association both support that guideline.

But some schools have begun to give their youngest students a break. A Massachusetts elementary school has announced a no-homework pilot program for the coming school year, lengthening the school day by two hours to provide more in-class instruction. “We really want kids to go home at 4 o’clock, tired. We want their brain to be tired,” Kelly Elementary School Principal Jackie Glasheen said in an interview with a local TV station . “We want them to enjoy their families. We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.”

A New York City public elementary school implemented a similar policy last year, eliminating traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. The change was quickly met with outrage from some parents, though it earned support from other education leaders.

New solutions and approaches to homework differ by community, and these local debates are complicated by the fact that even education experts disagree about what’s best for kids.

The research

The most comprehensive research on homework to date comes from a 2006 meta-analysis by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, who found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school. The correlation was stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades, for whom there was a weak relationship between homework and performance.

Cooper’s analysis focused on how homework impacts academic achievement—test scores, for example. His report noted that homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and independent problem solving skills. On the other hand, some studies he examined showed that homework can cause physical and emotional fatigue, fuel negative attitudes about learning and limit leisure time for children. At the end of his analysis, Cooper recommended further study of such potential effects of homework.

Despite the weak correlation between homework and performance for young children, Cooper argues that a small amount of homework is useful for all students. Second-graders should not be doing two hours of homework each night, he said, but they also shouldn’t be doing no homework.

Not all education experts agree entirely with Cooper’s assessment.

Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports the “10-minute rule” as a maximum, but she thinks there is not sufficient proof that homework is helpful for students in elementary school.

“Correlation is not causation,” she said. “Does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework?”

Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs , thinks there should be more emphasis on improving the quality of homework tasks, and she supports efforts to eliminate homework for younger kids.

“I have no concerns about students not starting homework until fourth grade or fifth grade,” she said, noting that while the debate over homework will undoubtedly continue, she has noticed a trend toward limiting, if not eliminating, homework in elementary school.

The issue has been debated for decades. A TIME cover in 1999 read: “Too much homework! How it’s hurting our kids, and what parents should do about it.” The accompanying story noted that the launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to a push for better math and science education in the U.S. The ensuing pressure to be competitive on a global scale, plus the increasingly demanding college admissions process, fueled the practice of assigning homework.

“The complaints are cyclical, and we’re in the part of the cycle now where the concern is for too much,” Cooper said. “You can go back to the 1970s, when you’ll find there were concerns that there was too little, when we were concerned about our global competitiveness.”

Cooper acknowledged that some students really are bringing home too much homework, and their parents are right to be concerned.

“A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements,” he said. “If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”

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Homework could have an impact on kids’ health. Should schools ban it?

what are the negative impacts of homework

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what are the negative impacts of homework

Reformers in the Progressive Era (from the 1890s to 1920s) depicted homework as a “sin” that deprived children of their playtime . Many critics voice similar concerns today.

Yet there are many parents who feel that from early on, children need to do homework if they are to succeed in an increasingly competitive academic culture. School administrators and policy makers have also weighed in, proposing various policies on homework .

So, does homework help or hinder kids?

For the last 10 years, my colleagues and I have been investigating international patterns in homework using databases like the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) . If we step back from the heated debates about homework and look at how homework is used around the world, we find the highest homework loads are associated with countries that have lower incomes and higher social inequality.

Does homework result in academic success?

Let’s first look at the global trends on homework.

Undoubtedly, homework is a global phenomenon ; students from all 59 countries that participated in the 2007 Trends in Math and Science Study (TIMSS) reported getting homework. Worldwide, only less than 7% of fourth graders said they did no homework.

TIMSS is one of the few data sets that allow us to compare many nations on how much homework is given (and done). And the data show extreme variation.

For example, in some nations, like Algeria, Kuwait and Morocco, more than one in five fourth graders reported high levels of homework. In Japan, less than 3% of students indicated they did more than four hours of homework on a normal school night.

TIMSS data can also help to dispel some common stereotypes. For instance, in East Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan – countries that had the top rankings on TIMSS average math achievement – reported rates of heavy homework that were below the international mean.

In the Netherlands, nearly one out of five fourth graders reported doing no homework on an average school night, even though Dutch fourth graders put their country in the top 10 in terms of average math scores in 2007.

Going by TIMSS data, the US is neither “ A Nation at Rest” as some have claimed, nor a nation straining under excessive homework load . Fourth and eighth grade US students fall in the middle of the 59 countries in the TIMSS data set, although only 12% of US fourth graders reported high math homework loads compared to an international average of 21%.

So, is homework related to high academic success?

At a national level, the answer is clearly no. Worldwide, homework is not associated with high national levels of academic achievement .

But, the TIMSS can’t be used to determine if homework is actually helping or hurting academic performance overall , it can help us see how much homework students are doing, and what conditions are associated with higher national levels of homework.

We have typically found that the highest homework loads are associated with countries that have lower incomes and higher levels of social inequality – not hallmarks that most countries would want to emulate.

Impact of homework on kids

TIMSS data also show us how even elementary school kids are being burdened with large amounts of homework.

Almost 10% of fourth graders worldwide (one in 10 children) reported spending multiple hours on homework each night. Globally, one in five fourth graders report 30 minutes or more of homework in math three to four times a week.

These reports of large homework loads should worry parents, teachers and policymakers alike.

Empirical studies have linked excessive homework to sleep disruption , indicating a negative relationship between the amount of homework, perceived stress and physical health.

what are the negative impacts of homework

What constitutes excessive amounts of homework varies by age, and may also be affected by cultural or family expectations. Young adolescents in middle school, or teenagers in high school, can study for longer duration than elementary school children.

But for elementary school students, even 30 minutes of homework a night, if combined with other sources of academic stress, can have a negative impact . Researchers in China have linked homework of two or more hours per night with sleep disruption .

Even though some cultures may normalize long periods of studying for elementary age children, there is no evidence to support that this level of homework has clear academic benefits . Also, when parents and children conflict over homework, and strong negative emotions are created, homework can actually have a negative association with academic achievement.

Should there be “no homework” policies?

Administrators and policymakers have not been reluctant to wade into the debates on homework and to formulate policies . France’s president, Francois Hollande, even proposed that homework be banned because it may have inegaliatarian effects.

However, “zero-tolerance” homework policies for schools, or nations, are likely to create as many problems as they solve because of the wide variation of homework effects. Contrary to what Hollande said, research suggests that homework is not a likely source of social class differences in academic achievement .

Homework, in fact, is an important component of education for students in the middle and upper grades of schooling.

Policymakers and researchers should look more closely at the connection between poverty, inequality and higher levels of homework. Rather than seeing homework as a “solution,” policymakers should question what facets of their educational system might impel students, teachers and parents to increase homework loads.

At the classroom level, in setting homework, teachers need to communicate with their peers and with parents to assure that the homework assigned overall for a grade is not burdensome, and that it is indeed having a positive effect.

Perhaps, teachers can opt for a more individualized approach to homework. If teachers are careful in selecting their assignments – weighing the student’s age, family situation and need for skill development – then homework can be tailored in ways that improve the chance of maximum positive impact for any given student.

I strongly suspect that when teachers face conditions such as pressure to meet arbitrary achievement goals, lack of planning time or little autonomy over curriculum, homework becomes an easy option to make up what could not be covered in class.

Whatever the reason, the fact is a significant percentage of elementary school children around the world are struggling with large homework loads. That alone could have long-term negative consequences for their academic success.

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  • The Highlight

Nobody knows what the point of homework is

The homework wars are back.

by Jacob Sweet

An illustration shows an open math workbook and a pencil writing numbers in it, while the previous page disintegrates and floats away.

As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework. But whether or not students could complete it at home varied. For some, schoolwork became public-library work or McDonald’s-parking-lot work.

Luis Torres, the principal of PS 55, a predominantly low-income community elementary school in the south Bronx, told me that his school secured Chromebooks for students early in the pandemic only to learn that some lived in shelters that blocked wifi for security reasons. Others, who lived in housing projects with poor internet reception, did their schoolwork in laundromats.

According to a 2021 Pew survey , 25 percent of lower-income parents said their children, at some point, were unable to complete their schoolwork because they couldn’t access a computer at home; that number for upper-income parents was 2 percent.

The issues with remote learning in March 2020 were new. But they highlighted a divide that had been there all along in another form: homework. And even long after schools have resumed in-person classes, the pandemic’s effects on homework have lingered.

Over the past three years, in response to concerns about equity, schools across the country, including in Sacramento, Los Angeles , San Diego , and Clark County, Nevada , made permanent changes to their homework policies that restricted how much homework could be given and how it could be graded after in-person learning resumed.

Three years into the pandemic, as districts and teachers reckon with Covid-era overhauls of teaching and learning, schools are still reconsidering the purpose and place of homework. Whether relaxing homework expectations helps level the playing field between students or harms them by decreasing rigor is a divisive issue without conclusive evidence on either side, echoing other debates in education like the elimination of standardized test scores from some colleges’ admissions processes.

I first began to wonder if the homework abolition movement made sense after speaking with teachers in some Massachusetts public schools, who argued that rather than help disadvantaged kids, stringent homework restrictions communicated an attitude of low expectations. One, an English teacher, said she felt the school had “just given up” on trying to get the students to do work; another argued that restrictions that prohibit teachers from assigning take-home work that doesn’t begin in class made it difficult to get through the foreign-language curriculum. Teachers in other districts have raised formal concerns about homework abolition’s ability to close gaps among students rather than widening them.

Many education experts share this view. Harris Cooper, a professor emeritus of psychology at Duke who has studied homework efficacy, likened homework abolition to “playing to the lowest common denominator.”

But as I learned after talking to a variety of stakeholders — from homework researchers to policymakers to parents of schoolchildren — whether to abolish homework probably isn’t the right question. More important is what kind of work students are sent home with and where they can complete it. Chances are, if schools think more deeply about giving constructive work, time spent on homework will come down regardless.

There’s no consensus on whether homework works

The rise of the no-homework movement during the Covid-19 pandemic tapped into long-running disagreements over homework’s impact on students. The purpose and effectiveness of homework have been disputed for well over a century. In 1901, for instance, California banned homework for students up to age 15, and limited it for older students, over concerns that it endangered children’s mental and physical health. The newest iteration of the anti-homework argument contends that the current practice punishes students who lack support and rewards those with more resources, reinforcing the “myth of meritocracy.”

But there is still no research consensus on homework’s effectiveness; no one can seem to agree on what the right metrics are. Much of the debate relies on anecdotes, intuition, or speculation.

Researchers disagree even on how much research exists on the value of homework. Kathleen Budge, the co-author of Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools and a professor at Boise State, told me that homework “has been greatly researched.” Denise Pope, a Stanford lecturer and leader of the education nonprofit Challenge Success, said, “It’s not a highly researched area because of some of the methodological problems.”

Experts who are more sympathetic to take-home assignments generally support the “10-minute rule,” a framework that estimates the ideal amount of homework on any given night by multiplying the student’s grade by 10 minutes. (A ninth grader, for example, would have about 90 minutes of work a night.) Homework proponents argue that while it is difficult to design randomized control studies to test homework’s effectiveness, the vast majority of existing studies show a strong positive correlation between homework and high academic achievement for middle and high school students. Prominent critics of homework argue that these correlational studies are unreliable and point to studies that suggest a neutral or negative effect on student performance. Both agree there is little to no evidence for homework’s effectiveness at an elementary school level, though proponents often argue that it builds constructive habits for the future.

For anyone who remembers homework assignments from both good and bad teachers, this fundamental disagreement might not be surprising. Some homework is pointless and frustrating to complete. Every week during my senior year of high school, I had to analyze a poem for English and decorate it with images found on Google; my most distinct memory from that class is receiving a demoralizing 25-point deduction because I failed to present my analysis on a poster board. Other assignments really do help students learn: After making an adapted version of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book for a ninth grade history project, I was inspired to check out from the library and read a biography of the Chinese ruler.

For homework opponents, the first example is more likely to resonate. “We’re all familiar with the negative effects of homework: stress, exhaustion, family conflict, less time for other activities, diminished interest in learning,” Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, which challenges common justifications for homework, told me in an email. “And these effects may be most pronounced among low-income students.” Kohn believes that schools should make permanent any moratoria implemented during the pandemic, arguing that there are no positives at all to outweigh homework’s downsides. Recent studies , he argues , show the benefits may not even materialize during high school.

In the Marlborough Public Schools, a suburban district 45 minutes west of Boston, school policy committee chair Katherine Hennessy described getting kids to complete their homework during remote education as “a challenge, to say the least.” Teachers found that students who spent all day on their computers didn’t want to spend more time online when the day was over. So, for a few months, the school relaxed the usual practice and teachers slashed the quantity of nightly homework.

Online learning made the preexisting divides between students more apparent, she said. Many students, even during normal circumstances, lacked resources to keep them on track and focused on completing take-home assignments. Though Marlborough Schools is more affluent than PS 55, Hennessy said many students had parents whose work schedules left them unable to provide homework help in the evenings. The experience tracked with a common divide in the country between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

So in October 2021, months after the homework reduction began, the Marlborough committee made a change to the district’s policy. While teachers could still give homework, the assignments had to begin as classwork. And though teachers could acknowledge homework completion in a student’s participation grade, they couldn’t count homework as its own grading category. “Rigorous learning in the classroom does not mean that that classwork must be assigned every night,” the policy stated . “Extensions of class work is not to be used to teach new content or as a form of punishment.”

Canceling homework might not do anything for the achievement gap

The critiques of homework are valid as far as they go, but at a certain point, arguments against homework can defy the commonsense idea that to retain what they’re learning, students need to practice it.

“Doesn’t a kid become a better reader if he reads more? Doesn’t a kid learn his math facts better if he practices them?” said Cathy Vatterott, an education researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After decades of research, she said it’s still hard to isolate the value of homework, but that doesn’t mean it should be abandoned.

Blanket vilification of homework can also conflate the unique challenges facing disadvantaged students as compared to affluent ones, which could have different solutions. “The kids in the low-income schools are being hurt because they’re being graded, unfairly, on time they just don’t have to do this stuff,” Pope told me. “And they’re still being held accountable for turning in assignments, whether they’re meaningful or not.” On the other side, “Palo Alto kids” — students in Silicon Valley’s stereotypically pressure-cooker public schools — “are just bombarded and overloaded and trying to stay above water.”

Merely getting rid of homework doesn’t solve either problem. The United States already has the second-highest disparity among OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations between time spent on homework by students of high and low socioeconomic status — a difference of more than three hours, said Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University and author of No More Mindless Homework .

When she interviewed teachers in Boston-area schools that had cut homework before the pandemic, Bempechat told me, “What they saw immediately was parents who could afford it immediately enrolled their children in the Russian School of Mathematics,” a math-enrichment program whose tuition ranges from $140 to about $400 a month. Getting rid of homework “does nothing for equity; it increases the opportunity gap between wealthier and less wealthy families,” she said. “That solution troubles me because it’s no solution at all.”

A group of teachers at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, made the same point after the school district proposed an overhaul of its homework policies, including removing penalties for missing homework deadlines, allowing unlimited retakes, and prohibiting grading of homework.

“Given the emphasis on equity in today’s education systems,” they wrote in a letter to the school board, “we believe that some of the proposed changes will actually have a detrimental impact towards achieving this goal. Families that have means could still provide challenging and engaging academic experiences for their children and will continue to do so, especially if their children are not experiencing expected rigor in the classroom.” At a school where more than a third of students are low-income, the teachers argued, the policies would prompt students “to expect the least of themselves in terms of effort, results, and responsibility.”

Not all homework is created equal

Despite their opposing sides in the homework wars, most of the researchers I spoke to made a lot of the same points. Both Bempechat and Pope were quick to bring up how parents and schools confuse rigor with workload, treating the volume of assignments as a proxy for quality of learning. Bempechat, who is known for defending homework, has written extensively about how plenty of it lacks clear purpose, requires the purchasing of unnecessary supplies, and takes longer than it needs to. Likewise, when Pope instructs graduate-level classes on curriculum, she asks her students to think about the larger purpose they’re trying to achieve with homework: If they can get the job done in the classroom, there’s no point in sending home more work.

At its best, pandemic-era teaching facilitated that last approach. Honolulu-based teacher Christina Torres Cawdery told me that, early in the pandemic, she often had a cohort of kids in her classroom for four hours straight, as her school tried to avoid too much commingling. She couldn’t lecture for four hours, so she gave the students plenty of time to complete independent and project-based work. At the end of most school days, she didn’t feel the need to send them home with more to do.

A similar limited-homework philosophy worked at a public middle school in Chelsea, Massachusetts. A couple of teachers there turned as much class as possible into an opportunity for small-group practice, allowing kids to work on problems that traditionally would be assigned for homework, Jessica Flick, a math coach who leads department meetings at the school, told me. It was inspired by a philosophy pioneered by Simon Fraser University professor Peter Liljedahl, whose influential book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics reframes homework as “check-your-understanding questions” rather than as compulsory work. Last year, Flick found that the two eighth grade classes whose teachers adopted this strategy performed the best on state tests, and this year, she has encouraged other teachers to implement it.

Teachers know that plenty of homework is tedious and unproductive. Jeannemarie Dawson De Quiroz, who has taught for more than 20 years in low-income Boston and Los Angeles pilot and charter schools, says that in her first years on the job she frequently assigned “drill and kill” tasks and questions that she now feels unfairly stumped students. She said designing good homework wasn’t part of her teaching programs, nor was it meaningfully discussed in professional development. With more experience, she turned as much class time as she could into practice time and limited what she sent home.

“The thing about homework that’s sticky is that not all homework is created equal,” says Jill Harrison Berg, a former teacher and the author of Uprooting Instructional Inequity . “Some homework is a genuine waste of time and requires lots of resources for no good reason. And other homework is really useful.”

Cutting homework has to be part of a larger strategy

The takeaways are clear: Schools can make cuts to homework, but those cuts should be part of a strategy to improve the quality of education for all students. If the point of homework was to provide more practice, districts should think about how students can make it up during class — or offer time during or after school for students to seek help from teachers. If it was to move the curriculum along, it’s worth considering whether strategies like Liljedahl’s can get more done in less time.

Some of the best thinking around effective assignments comes from those most critical of the current practice. Denise Pope proposes that, before assigning homework, teachers should consider whether students understand the purpose of the work and whether they can do it without help. If teachers think it’s something that can’t be done in class, they should be mindful of how much time it should take and the feedback they should provide. It’s questions like these that De Quiroz considered before reducing the volume of work she sent home.

More than a year after the new homework policy began in Marlborough, Hennessy still hears from parents who incorrectly “think homework isn’t happening” despite repeated assurances that kids still can receive work. She thinks part of the reason is that education has changed over the years. “I think what we’re trying to do is establish that homework may be an element of educating students,” she told me. “But it may not be what parents think of as what they grew up with. ... It’s going to need to adapt, per the teaching and the curriculum, and how it’s being delivered in each classroom.”

For the policy to work, faculty, parents, and students will all have to buy into a shared vision of what school ought to look like. The district is working on it — in November, it hosted and uploaded to YouTube a round-table discussion on homework between district administrators — but considering the sustained confusion, the path ahead seems difficult.

When I asked Luis Torres about whether he thought homework serves a useful part in PS 55’s curriculum, he said yes, of course it was — despite the effort and money it takes to keep the school open after hours to help them do it. “The children need the opportunity to practice,” he said. “If you don’t give them opportunities to practice what they learn, they’re going to forget.” But Torres doesn’t care if the work is done at home. The school stays open until around 6 pm on weekdays, even during breaks. Tutors through New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development programs help kids with work after school so they don’t need to take it with them.

As schools weigh the purpose of homework in an unequal world, it’s tempting to dispose of a practice that presents real, practical problems to students across the country. But getting rid of homework is unlikely to do much good on its own. Before cutting it, it’s worth thinking about what good assignments are meant to do in the first place. It’s crucial that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds tackle complex quantitative problems and hone their reading and writing skills. It’s less important that the work comes home with them.

Jacob Sweet is a freelance writer in Somerville, Massachusetts. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, among other publications.

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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative impacts on student well-being and behavioral engagement (Shutterstock)

A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.   "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .   The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework.   Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.   Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.   "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote.   Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.   Their study found that too much homework is associated with:   • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.   • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.   • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.   A balancing act   The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.   Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up.   "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences..   Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.   "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope.   High-performing paradox   In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities."   Student perspectives   The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.   The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .

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School Life Balance , Tips for Online Students

The Pros and Cons of Homework

what are the negative impacts of homework

Updated: July 16, 2024

Published: January 23, 2020

The-Pros-and-Cons-Should-Students-Have-Homework

Remember those nights when you’d find yourself staring at a mountain of homework, eyes drooping, wondering if you’d ever see the light at the end of the tunnel? The debate over homework’s role in education is as old as time. Is it a crucial tool for reinforcing learning or just an unnecessary burden?

For college students, this question takes on new dimensions. Juggling homework with the endless amount of classes, part-time jobs, and social lives can feel like walking on thin ice. The pressure to maintain grades, meet deadlines, and still find time for friends and relaxation can be overwhelming. So, is homework a friend or foe?

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  energepic.com  from  Pexels

The homework dilemma.

A large amount of college students report feeling overwhelmed by their academic workload, leading to high levels of stress and anxiety. According to Research.com , 45% of college students in the U.S. experience “more than average” stress, with 36.5% citing stress as a major impediment to their academic performance. This stress often stems directly from the homework load, leading to symptoms like headaches, exhaustion, and difficulty sleeping. The intense pressure to manage homework alongside other responsibilities makes us question the true impact of homework on students’ overall well-being.

And then there’s the digital twist. A whopping 89% of students confessed to using AI tools like ChatGPT for their assignments. While these tools can be a godsend for quick answers and assistance, they can also undermine the personal effort and critical thinking necessary to truly understand the material.

On the brighter side, homework can be a powerful ally. According to Inside Higher Ed , structured assignments can actually help reduce stress by providing a clear learning roadmap and keeping students engaged with the material. But where’s the balance between helpful and harmful? 

With these perspectives in mind, let’s dive into the pros and cons of homework for college students. By understanding both sides, we can find a middle ground that maximizes learning while keeping stress at bay.

The Pros of Homework

When thoughtfully assigned, homework can be a valuable tool in a student’s educational journey . Let’s explore how homework can be a beneficial companion to your studies:

Enhances Critical Thinking

Homework isn’t just busywork; it’s an opportunity to stretch your mental muscles. Those late-night problem sets and essays can actually encourage deeper understanding and application of concepts. Think of homework as a mental gym; each assignment is a new exercise, pushing you to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in ways that strengthen your critical thinking skills .

Time Management Skills

Do you ever juggle multiple deadlines and wonder how to keep it all together? Regular homework assignments can be a crash course in time management . They teach you to prioritize tasks, manage your schedule, and balance academic responsibilities with personal commitments. The ability to juggle various tasks is a skill that will serve you well beyond your college years.

Reinforcement of Learning

There’s a reason why practice makes perfect. Homework reinforces what you’ve learned in class, helping to cement concepts and theories in your mind. Understanding a concept during a lecture is one thing, but applying it through homework can deepen your comprehension and retention. 

Preparation for Exams

Think of homework as a sound check and warm-up for exams. Regular assignments keep you engaged with the material, making it easier to review and prepare when exam time rolls around. By consistently working through problems and writing essays, you build a solid foundation that can make the difference between cramming and confident exam performance.

Encourages Independent Learning

Homework promotes a sense of responsibility and independence. It pushes you to tackle assignments on your own, encouraging problem-solving and self-discipline. This independence prepares you for the academic challenges ahead and the autonomy required in your professional and personal life.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Cons of Homework

Despite its potential benefits, homework can also have significant downsides. Let’s examine the challenges and drawbacks of homework:

Impact on Mental Health

Homework can be a double-edged sword when it comes to mental health . While it’s meant to reinforce learning, the sheer volume of assignments can lead to stress and anxiety. The constant pressure to meet deadlines and the fear of falling behind can create a relentless cycle of stress. Many students become overwhelmed, leading to burnout and negatively impacting their overall well-being. 

Limited Time for Other Activities

College isn’t just about hitting the books. It’s also a time for personal growth, exploring new interests, and building social connections. Excessive homework can eat into the time you might otherwise spend on extracurricular activities, hobbies, or simply hanging out with friends. This lack of balance can lead to a less fulfilling college experience. Shouldn’t education be about more than just academics?

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to homework, more isn’t always better. Piling on assignments can lead to diminished returns on learning. Instead of diving deep into a subject and gaining a thorough understanding, students might rush through tasks just to get them done. This focus on quantity over quality can undermine the educational value of homework. 

Inequity in Education

Homework can sometimes exacerbate educational inequalities. Not all students can access the same resources and support systems at home. While some might have a quiet space and access to the internet, others might struggle with distractions and lack of resources. This disparity can put certain students at a disadvantage, making homework more of a burden than a learning tool. 

Dependence on AI Tools

With the advent of AI tools like ChatGPT , homework has taken on a new dimension. While these tools can provide quick answers and assistance, they also pose the risk of students becoming overly reliant on technology. This dependence can take away from the actual learning process, as students might bypass the critical thinking and effort needed to truly understand the material. Is convenience worth the potential loss in learning?

Finding the Balance

Finding the right balance with homework means tackling assignments that challenge and support you. Instead of drowning in a sea of tasks, focus on quality over quantity. Choose projects that spark your critical thinking and connect to real-world situations. Flexibility is key here. Recognize that your circumstances are unique, and adjusting your approach can help reduce stress and create a more inclusive learning environment. Constructive feedback makes homework more than just a chore; it turns it into a tool for growth and improvement.

It’s also about living a well-rounded college life. Don’t let homework overshadow other important parts of your life, like extracurricular activities or personal downtime. Emphasize independent learning and use technology wisely to prepare for future challenges. By balancing thoughtful assignments with your personal needs, homework can shift from being a burden to becoming a helpful companion on your educational journey, enriching your academic and personal growth.

Homework has its pros and cons, especially for college students. It can enhance critical thinking, time management, and learning, but it also brings stress, impacts mental health, and can become overwhelming. Finding the right balance is key. 

Focus on quality assignments, maintain flexibility, and make sure your homework complements rather than dominates your life. With a thoughtful approach, homework can support your educational journey, fostering both academic success and personal growth.

How can I manage my time effectively to balance homework and other activities?

Create a schedule that allocates specific times for homework, classes, and personal activities. Use planners or digital calendars to keep track of deadlines and prioritize tasks. Don’t forget to include breaks to avoid burnout.

How can I reduce the stress associated with homework?

To manage stress, practice mindfulness techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises. Break assignments into smaller, manageable tasks and tackle them one at a time. If needed, seek support from classmates, tutors, or mental health professionals.

Is using AI tools for homework cheating?

While AI tools like ChatGPT can be helpful for quick assistance, relying on them too much can hinder your learning process. Use them as a supplement rather than a replacement for your own effort and critical thinking.

How can teachers make homework more equitable?

Teachers can offer flexible deadlines, provide resources for students who lack them, and design assignments that account for different learning styles and home environments. Open communication between students and teachers can also help address individual challenges.

What are some strategies to make homework more meaningful?

Focus on quality over quantity by designing assignments that encourage deep thinking and application of knowledge. Integrate real-world problems to make homework more relevant and engaging. Provide constructive feedback to help students learn and grow from their assignments.

In this article

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.

The pros and cons of homework

Should schoolwork be left at the school gate?

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A child does homework

1. Pro: improves academic achievement

2. con: risk of artificial intelligence, 3. pro: other benefits of homework, 4. con: less time with family and friends, 5. pro: parent involvement, 6. con: stress for students and teachers.

Homework should be scrapped to give children more time for “other creative things”, the president of Ireland has said.

UK pupils do more homework than many European countries Irish president Michael D Higgins begins historic UK visit

Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE, Michael D. Higgins said school work should be “finished at the school” rather than at home, “an utterance likely to be seized upon by children for years to come in classrooms far beyond the shores of the Emerald Isle”, said the Independent .

Here are some of the benefits and some of the negative effects of homework for schoolchildren.

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A 2006 meta-analysis of research by Duke University in North Carolina found that children who have homework perform better academically at school. But it doesn’t benefit all students equally, the research found. The correlation was stronger for older students (12 and over) than younger students.

But the evidence is far from conclusive over whether homework really does increase student achievement. Other studies have found that it has a positive effect only under certain conditions, while others have found negative effects, and some studies suggest homework does not affect student achievement at all.

The arrival of highly sophisticated artificial intelligence chatbots, such as ChatGPT , could make it easier for students to cheat on their essays or homework – or even force teachers and professors to scrap homework altogether.

ChatGPT has been “trained on a gigantic sample of text from the internet” and can “understand human language, conduct conversations with humans and generate detailed text that many have said is human-like and quite impressive”, said the Daily Mail .

Kevin Bryan, an associate professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto, tweeted that he was “shocked” by the capabilities of ChatGPT after challenging the AI to answer numerous exam questions and found that it gave A-grade answers.

Evidence suggests that homework can bring non-academic benefits, particularly for younger school students. These include “learning the importance of responsibility, managing time, developing study habits, and staying with a task until it is completed”, said Reading Rockets , a national public media literacy initiative in the US.

The British Council agreed that it helps to develop “study habits and independent learning”, as well as helping students to “retain information taught in the classroom” and involving parents in learning.

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp weighed in on the debate recently, urging parents to “enjoy the weekend” with their children, branding homework a “waste of time”.

“Find a book, cuddle up and read it together, or watch Winterwatch, or cook something with kids doing all the weighing and chopping. Then put that in the homework diary and enjoy your weekend with your kids,” she wrote on Twitter .

“There is nothing better for children than spending time with you, talking, doing and learning at the same time,” she said. “Following a recipe is reading, maths, science and fine motor skills in one activity.”

Homework can be a good way for parents to stay up to date with what their child is being taught in class as well as monitor their progress. But the extent to which parental involvement with homework is beneficial for children is still a matter of debate.

According to Reading Rockets, some studies show that homework assignments that require interactions between students and parents are “more likely to be turned in” than assignments that don’t require parental input. But other studies have found that “parent involvement in homework has no impact on student achievement”.

Educators and parents responded to President Higgins’ comments to say homework is a source of stress for all involved.

Replying to a Facebook post by Hull Live , one teacher said it was “a pain sourcing, copying, chasing and marking it”, while other parents said homework placed undue stress on young children. “I think they do enough work in the school hours as it is,” said one parent, while another commented: “Children need to switch off when they get home. No wonder children suffer mental health issues, they are burnt out before they reach secondary school.”

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  Sorcha Bradley is a writer at The Week and a regular on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. She worked at The Week magazine for a year and a half before taking up her current role with the digital team, where she mostly covers UK current affairs and politics. Before joining The Week, Sorcha worked at slow-news start-up Tortoise Media. She has also written for Sky News, The Sunday Times, the London Evening Standard and Grazia magazine, among other publications. She has a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London, where she specialised in political journalism.

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August 16, 2021

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

by Sara M Moniuszko

homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas over workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework .

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy work loads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.

And for all the distress homework causes, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.

"Most students, especially at these high-achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school ," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely, but to be more mindful of the type of work students go home with, suggests Kang, who was a high-school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework, I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the last two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic, making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized... sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking assignments up can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

©2021 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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7 minute read

Purpose, Public Attitudes toward Homework, The Positive and Negative Effects of Homework, Extensiveness of Homework

Homework is defined as tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are intended to be carried out during nonschool hours. This definition excludes in-school guided study (although homework is often worked on during school), home-study courses, and extracurricular activities such as sports teams and clubs.

The most common purpose of homework is to have students practice material already presented in class so as to reinforce learning and facilitate mastery of specific skills. Preparation assignments introduce the material that will be presented in future lessons. These assignments aim to help students obtain the maximum benefit when the new material is covered in class. Extension homework involves the transfer of previously learned skills to new situations. For example, students might learn in class about factors that led to the French Revolution and then be asked as homework to apply them to the American Revolution. Finally, integration homework requires the student to apply separately learned skills to produce a single product, such as book reports, science projects, or creative writing.

Homework also can serve purposes that do not relate directly to instruction. Homework can be used to (1) establish communication between parents and children; (2) fulfill directives from school administrators; (3) punish students; and (4) inform parents about what is going on in school. Most homework assignments have elements of several different purposes.

Public Attitudes toward Homework

Homework has been a part of student's lives since the beginning of formal schooling in the United States. However, the practice has been alternately accepted and rejected by educators and parents.

When the twentieth century began, the mind was viewed as a muscle that could be strengthened through mental exercise. Since this exercise could be done at home, homework was viewed favorably. During the 1940s, the emphasis in education shifted from drill to problem solving. Homework fell out of favor because it was closely associated with the repetition of material. The launch of the satellite Sputnik by the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s reversed this thinking. The American public worried that education lacked rigor and left children unprepared for complex technologies. Homework, it was believed, could accelerate knowledge acquisition.

The late 1960s witnessed yet another reversal. Educators and parents became concerned that homework was crowding out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities. In the 1980s, homework once again leapt back into favor when A Nation at Risk (1983), the report by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, cited homework as a defense against the rising tide of mediocrity in American education. The push for more homework continued into the 1990s, fueled by increasingly rigorous state-mandated academic standards. As the century ended, a backlash against homework set in, led by parents concerned about too much stress on their children.

The Positive and Negative Effects of Homework

The most direct positive effect of homework is that it can improve retention and understanding. More indirectly, homework can improve students' study skills and attitudes toward school, and teach students that learning can take place anywhere, not just in school buildings. The nonacademic benefits of homework include fostering independence and responsibility. Finally, homework can involve parents in the school process, enhancing their appreciation of education, and allowing them to express positive attitudes toward the value of school success.

Conversely, educators and parents worry that students will grow bored if they are required to spend too much time on academic material. Homework can deny access to leisure time and community activities that also teach important life skills. Parent involvement in homework can turn into parent interference. For example, parents can confuse children if the instructional techniques they use differ from those used by teachers. Homework can actually lead to the acquisition of undesirable character traits if it promotes cheating, either through the copying of assignments or help with homework that goes beyond tutoring. Finally, homework could accentuate existing social inequities. Children from disadvantaged homes may have more difficulty completing assignments than their middle-class counterparts.

Extensiveness of Homework

In contrast to the shifts in public attitudes, surveys suggest that the amount of time students spend on homework has been relatively stable. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress suggests that in both 1984 and 1994, about one-third of nine-year-olds and one-quarter of thirteen-and seventeen-year-olds reported being assigned no homework at all, with an additional 5 percent to 10 percent admitting they did not do homework that was assigned. About one-half of nine-year-olds, one-third of thirteen-year-olds, and one-quarter of seventeen-year-olds said they did less than an hour of homework each night. In 1994 about 12 percent of nine-year-olds, 28 percent of thirteen-year-olds, and 26 percent of seventeen-year-olds said they did one to two hours of homework each night. These percentages were all within one point of the 1984 survey results.

A national survey of parents conducted by the polling agency Public Agenda, in October, 2000, revealed that 64 percent of parents felt their child was getting "about the right amount" of homework, 25 percent felt their child was getting "too little" homework, and only 10 percent felt "too much homework" was being assigned.

International comparisons often suggest that U.S. students spend less time on homework than students in other industrialized nations. However, direct comparisons across countries are difficult to interpret because of different definitions of homework and differences in the length of the school day and year.

Appropriate Amounts of Homework

Experts agree that the amount and type of homework should depend on the developmental level of the student. The National PTA and the National Education Association suggest that homework for children in grades K–2 is most effective when it does not exceed ten to twenty minutes each day. In grades three through six, children can benefit from thirty to sixty minutes daily. Junior high and high school students can benefit from more time on homework and the amount might vary from night to night. These recommendations are consistent with the conclusions reached by studies into the effectiveness of homework.

Research on Homework's Overall Effectiveness

Three types of studies have been used to examine the relationship between homework and academic achievement. One type compares students who receive homework with students who receive none. Generally, these studies reveal homework to be a positive influence on achievement. However, they also reveal a relationship between homework and achievement for high school students that is about twice as strong as for junior high students. The relationship at the elementary school level is only one-quarter that of the high school level.

Another type of study compares homework to in-class supervised study. Overall, the positive relationship is about half as strong as in the first type of study. These studies again reveal a strong grade-level effect. When homework and in-class study were compared in elementary schools, in-class study proved superior.

The third type of study correlates the amount of homework students say they complete with their achievement test scores. Again, these surveys show the relationship is influenced by the grade level of students. For students in primary grades, the correlation between time spent on homework and achievement is near zero. For students in middle and junior high school, the correlation suggests a positive but weak relationship. For high school students, the correlation suggests a moderate relationship between achievement and time spend on homework.

Research on Effective Homework Assignments

The subject matter shows no consistent relationship to the value of homework. It appears that shorter and more frequent assignments may be more effective than longer but fewer assignments. Assignments that involve review and preparation are more effective than homework that focuses only on material covered in class on the day of the assignments. It can be beneficial to involve parents in homework when young children are experiencing problems in school. Older students and students doing well in school have more to gain from homework when it promotes independent learning.

Homework can be an effective instructional device. However, the relationship between homework and achievement is influenced greatly by the students' developmental level. Expectations for home work's effects, especially in the short term and in earlier grades, must be modest. Further, homework can have both positive and negative effects. Educators and parents should not be concerned with which list of homework effects is correct. Rather, homework policies and practices should give individual schools and teachers flexibility to take into account the unique needs and circumstances of their students so as to maximize positive effects and minimize negative ones.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

C AMPBELL , J AY R. ; R EESE , C LYDE M. ; O'S ULLIVAN, C HRISTINE; and D OSSEY , J OHN A. 1996. NAEP 1994 Trends in Academic Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

C OOPER , H ARRIS. 2001. The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents, 2nd edition. Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press.

C OOPER , H ARRIS, and V ALENTINE , J. C., eds. 2001. "Homework: A Special Issue." Educational Psychologist 36 (3).

INTERNET RESOURCES

H ENDERSON , M. 1996. "Helping Your Student Get the Most Out of Homework." Chicago: National PTA and the National Education Association. < www.pta.org/Programs/edulibr/homework. htm >.

P UBLIC A GENDA. 2000. "Survey Finds Little Sign of Backlash Against Academic Standards or Standardized Tests." < www.publicagenda.org/aboutpa/aboutpa3ee.htm >

H ARRIS C OOPER

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Is homework robbing your family of joy? You're not alone

Children are not the only ones who dread their homework these days. In a 2019 survey of 1,049 parents with children in elementary, middle, or high school, Office Depot found that parents spend an average of 21 minutes a day helping their children with their homework. Those 21 minutes are often apparently very unpleasant.

Parents reported their children struggle to complete homework. One in five believed their children "always or often feel overwhelmed by homework," and half of them reported their children had cried over homework stress.

Parents are struggling to help. Four out of five parents reported that they have had difficulty understanding their children's homework.

This probably comes as no surprise to any parent who has come up against a third grade math homework sheet with the word "array" printed on it. If you have not yet had the pleasure, for the purposes of Common Core math, an array is defined as a set of objects arranged in rows and columns and used to help kids learn about multiplication. For their parents, though, it's defined as a "What? Come again? Huh?"

It's just as hard on the students. "My high school junior says homework is the most stressful part of high school...maybe that’s why he never does any," said Mandy Burkhart, of Lake Mary, Florida, who is a mother of five children ranging in age from college to preschool.

In fact, Florida high school teacher and mother of three Katie Tomlinson no longer assigns homework in her classroom. "Being a parent absolutely changed the way I assign homework to my students," she told TODAY Parents .

"Excessive homework can quickly change a student’s mind about a subject they previously enjoyed," she noted. "While I agree a check and balance is necessary for students to understand their own ability prior to a test, I believe it can be done in 10 questions versus 30."

But homework is a necessary evil for most students, so what is a parent to do to ensure everyone in the house survives? Parents and professionals weigh in on the essentials:

Understand the true purpose of homework

"Unless otherwise specified, homework is designed to be done by the child independently, and it's most often being used as a form of formative assessment by the teacher to gauge how the kids are applying — independently — what they are learning in class," said Oona Hanson , a Los Angeles-area educator and parent coach.

"If an adult at home is doing the heavy lifting, then the teacher never knows that the child isn't ready to do this work alone, and the cycle continues because the teacher charges ahead thinking they did a great job the day before!" Hanson said. "It's essential that teachers know when their students are struggling for whatever reason."

Hanson noted the anxiety both parents and children have about academic achievement, and she understands the parental impulse to jump in and help, but she suggested resisting that urge. "We can help our kids more in the long run if we can let them know it's OK to struggle a little bit and that they can be honest with their teacher about what they don't understand," she said.

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Help kids develop time management skills

Some children like to finish their homework the minute they get home. Others need time to eat a snack and decompress. Either is a valid approach, but no matter when students decide to tackle their homework, they might need some guidance from parents about how to manage their time .

One tip: "Set the oven timer for age appropriate intervals of work, and then let them take a break for a few minutes," Maura Olvey, an elementary school math specialist in Central Florida, told TODAY Parents. "The oven timer is visible to them — they know when a break is coming — and they are visible to you, so you can encourage focus and perseverance." The stopwatch function on a smartphone would work for this method as well.

But one size does not fit all when it comes to managing homework, said Cleveland, Ohio, clinical psychologist Dr. Sarah Cain Spannagel . "If their child has accommodations as a learner, parents know they need them at home as well as at school: quiet space, extended time, audio books, etcetera," she said. "Think through long assignments, and put those in planners in advance so the kid knows it is expected to take some time."

Know when to walk away

"I always want my parents to know when to call it a night," said Amanda Feroglia, a central Florida elementary teacher and mother of two. "The children's day at school is so rigorous; some nights it’s not going to all get done, and that’s OK! It’s not worth the meltdown or the fight if they are tired or you are frustrated...or both!"

Parents also need to accept their own limits. Don't be afraid to find support from YouTube videos, websites like Khan Academy, or even tutors. And in the end, said Spannagel, "If you find yourself yelling or frustrated, just walk away!" It's fine just to let a teacher know your child attempted but did not understand the homework and leave it at that.

Ideally, teachers will understand when parents don't know how to help with Common Core math, and they will assign an appropriate amount of homework that will not leave both children and their parents at wits' ends. If worst comes to worst, a few parents offered an alternative tip for their fellow homework warriors.

"If Brittany leaves Boston for New York at 3:00 pm traveling by train at 80 MPH, and Taylor leaves Boston for New York at 1:00 pm traveling by car at 65 MPH, and Brittany makes two half hour stops, and Taylor makes one that is ten minutes longer, how many glasses of wine does mommy need?" quipped one mom of two.

Also recommended: "Chocolate, in copious amounts."

what are the negative impacts of homework

Allison Slater Tate is a freelance writer and editor in Florida specializing in parenting and college admissions. She is a proud Gen Xer, ENFP, Leo, Diet Coke enthusiast, and champion of the Oxford Comma. She mortifies her four children by knowing all the trending songs on TikTok. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram .

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Student Opinion and Resources Newspaper

The Negative Effects of Homework

what are the negative impacts of homework

Last updated on July 27, 2022

It’s easy to villainize homework, a common stress factor in our daily lives. Numerous teachers assign a simple ten minutes of homework a day, usually more. However, entering middle and high school, the six to seven classes quickly add up. Soon, drowning in hours of endless work becomes routine. This cuts into extracurriculars, and personal free time, and dictates how we spend our day. Homework is not necessary because of the negative impacts on mental health it helps develop, such as burn-out, and only benefits the non-disadvantaged families. 

Homework was originally invented by an Italian teacher in 1905 and used to punish misbehaving students. The version of homework we complete every day is far from that. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the typical high schooler spends 6.8 hours of homework per week, perhaps longer. What used to be discipline has now become a plethora of pressure. “That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.” Being an eighth-grader with non-academic commitments and a touch of insomnia, homework is a huge anxiety factor in my daily life. Although I’m still thriving in the school environment, it is an unnecessary distraction when I could be preparing for a final or different commitment. One of the leading causes of sleep deprivation in teens is homework, which [in middle and high school at least], can easily be limited to a small subset.

With a lack of relaxation and an abundance of work, the body shuts down, physically and mentally. Burnout, depression, and anxiety are all present when the anticipated overload occurs. What is burnout? “A stressful lifestyle can put people under extreme pressure, to the point that they feel exhausted, empty, burned out, and unable to cope.” The term “burnout” was coined by American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s. For students with a competitive sport, other activity-filled schedules, or AP/honor classes, this has been proven true. It has been proven that areas of work cause this, not to be confused with exhaustion or depression, which can be life-threatening negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and hopelessness. It’s important to understand balance. If homework cannot be completely eliminated from the curriculum, it should at least be ensured a cut in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

In addition to unkept stress, many students do not have the proper access to technology and homework help. Less affluent families have children that may work jobs, take care of family members when the parents are working multiple shifts, and generally don’t have internet connections/technology. “It highlights Inequalities” is the term the University of Sandiego uses. In addition, the American Psychological Association also observes, “Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day”. Although most students simply whine and complain about the extra work, it can be a true disadvantage for children in struggling home environments.

Many would argue, “Homework is essential to the school’s curriculum. How else would the students polish up the learning material, get extra practice, and teach time management?”. While these are all fair points, extended school hours could solve this problem. Accessibility to help after school, as mentioned previously, is difficult for many students. Extending the school session by even an hour or less, which will also benefit parents’ working schedules, lets the teacher have more time to grade assignments done in class and deliver help to the students. Teachers should ensure that students understand the material while in class. When the extra practice is then supplied, the teacher has an opportunity to work with the pupil. A study hall would be advantageous as well, as opposed to leaving students to fend for themselves after school. 

Although homework has both positives and negatives, the strain it places on students is not healthy and outweighs the benefits. Learners already spend six to seven hours five days a week in a tense environment, and as the name implies, work after school shouldn’t be standard. Many workplaces are experimenting with five-hour workdays, such as Tower Paddle Boards because a study by the APA showed Americans can only be fully productive for two to three hours in a row. In the future, I hope that schools will be able to do the same in order to prevent mental and physical overworking, level the playing field for unequipped families, and allow students to spend more time with friends, and family, and pursue non-academic activities. 

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Does Homework Cause Stress? Exploring the Impact on Students’ Mental Health

How much homework is too much?

what are the negative impacts of homework

Homework has become a matter of concern for educators, parents, and researchers due to its potential effects on students’ stress levels. It’s no secret students often find themselves grappling with high levels of stress and anxiety throughout their academic careers, so understanding the extent to which homework affects those stress levels is important. 

By delving into the latest research and understanding the underlying factors at play, we hope to curate insights for educators, parents, and students who are wondering  is homework causing stress in their lives?

The Link Between Homework and Stress: What the Research Says

Over the years, numerous studies investigated the relationship between homework and stress levels in students. 

One study published in the Journal of Experimental Education found that students who reported spending more than two hours per night on homework experienced higher stress levels and physical health issues . Those same students reported over three hours of homework a night on average.

This study, conducted by Stanford lecturer Denise Pope, has been heavily cited throughout the years, with WebMD eproducing the below video on the topic– part of their special report series on teens and stress : 

Additional studies published by Sleep Health Journal found that long hours on homework on may be a risk factor for depression while also suggesting that reducing workload outside of class may benefit sleep and mental fitness .

Lastly, a study presented by Frontiers in Psychology highlighted significant health implications for high school students facing chronic stress, including emotional exhaustion and alcohol and drug use.

Homework’s Potential Impact on Mental Health and Well-being

Homework-induced stress on students can involve both psychological and physiological side effects. 

1. Potential Psychological Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Anxiety: The pressure to perform academically and meet homework expectations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety in students. Constant worry about completing assignments on time and achieving high grades can be overwhelming.

• Sleep Disturbances : Homework-related stress can disrupt students’ sleep patterns, leading to sleep anxiety or sleep deprivation, both of which can negatively impact cognitive function and emotional regulation.

• Reduced Motivation: Excessive homework demands could drain students’ motivation, causing them to feel fatigued and disengaged from their studies. Reduced motivation may lead to a lack of interest in learning, hindering overall academic performance.

2. Potential Physical Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Impaired Immune Function: Prolonged stress could weaken the immune system, making students more susceptible to illnesses and infections.

• Disrupted Hormonal Balance : The body’s stress response triggers the release of hormones like cortisol, which, when chronically elevated due to stress, can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance and lead to various health issues.

• Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Stress has been known to affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, and other digestive problems.

• Cardiovascular Impact: The increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure associated with stress can strain the cardiovascular system, potentially increasing the risk of heart-related issues in the long run.

• Brain impact: Prolonged exposure to stress hormones may impact the brain’s functioning , affecting memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities.

The Benefits of Homework

It’s important to note that homework also offers many benefits that contribute to students’ academic growth and development, such as: 

• Development of Time Management Skills: Completing homework within specified deadlines encourages students to manage their time efficiently. This valuable skill extends beyond academics and becomes essential in various aspects of life.

• Preparation for Future Challenges : Homework helps prepare students for future academic challenges and responsibilities. It fosters a sense of discipline and responsibility, qualities that are crucial for success in higher education and professional life.

• Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities: Homework often presents students with challenging problems to solve. Tackling these problems independently nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

While homework can foster discipline, time management, and self-directed learning, the middle ground may be to  strike a balance that promotes both academic growth and mental well-being .

How Much Homework Should Teachers Assign?

As a general guideline, educators suggest assigning a workload that allows students to grasp concepts effectively without overwhelming them . Quality over quantity is key, ensuring that homework assignments are purposeful, relevant, and targeted towards specific objectives. 

Advice for Students: How to balance Homework and Well-being

Finding a balance between academic responsibilities and well-being is crucial for students. Here are some practical tips and techniques to help manage homework-related stress and foster a healthier approach to learning:

• Effective Time Management : Encourage students to create a structured study schedule that allocates sufficient time for homework, breaks, and other activities. Prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals can prevent last-minute rushes and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

• Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks : Large assignments can be daunting and may contribute to stress. Students should break such tasks into smaller, manageable parts. This approach not only makes the workload seem less intimidating but also provides a sense of accomplishment as each section is completed.

• Find a Distraction-Free Zone : Establish a designated study area that is free from distractions like smartphones, television, or social media. This setting will improve focus and productivity, reducing time needed to complete homework.

• Be Active : Regular exercise is known to reduce stress and enhance mood. Encourage students to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, whether it’s going for a walk, playing a sport, or doing yoga.

• Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques : Encourage students to engage in mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to alleviate stress and improve concentration. Taking short breaks to relax and clear the mind can enhance overall well-being and cognitive performance.

• Seek Support : Teachers, parents, and school counselors play an essential role in supporting students. Create an open and supportive environment where students feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking help when needed.

How Healium is Helping in Schools

Stress is caused by so many factors and not just the amount of work students are taking home.  Our company created a virtual reality stress management solution… a mental fitness tool called “Healium” that’s teaching students how to learn to self-regulate their stress and downshift in a drugless way. Schools implementing Healium have seen improvements from supporting dysregulated students and ADHD challenges to empowering students with body awareness and learning to self-regulate stress . Here’s one of their stories. 

By providing students with the tools they need to self-manage stress and anxiety, we represent a forward-looking approach to education that prioritizes the holistic development of every student. 

To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below.

About the Author

what are the negative impacts of homework

Sarah Hill , a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered immersive media channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

4 Ways Parents Can Deal With Summer Homework, According to Experts Say

Most schools assign summer homework with good intentions, but they don't always know how to make school-break assignments meaningful.

maximizing learning and engaging students

School’s out for summer! Around the country, students have chucked their backpacks and planners aside and rejoiced. That is, if they don’t have summer homework.

A hotly debated topic in education, summer assignments can involve reading, online work, packets, and/or real-life enrichment opportunities in communities that students are responsible for completing by the time school resumes. It’s become a burden for some families whose parents work in the summer, or who lack teacher support or internet access. On the other hand, some parents want their children doing summer work to keep them busy and engaged in academics, and to prevent the “summer slide” — a regression in learning some educators believe occurs between school years.

Licensed Psychologist Connie McReynolds , Ph.D., says summer work can sometimes cause children to feel like they’re still at school. “It can lead to burnout before the next school year begins,” she says. For others, she says, the structure and routine are beneficial.

So summer homework can be advantageous — if it’s done right. The bad news is that, in a lot of cases, it isn’t. Here’s what the experts had to say about if, when and how summer work should be assigned — and how parents can cope if their school is missing the mark.

When Summer Homework Is Done Right

It should be intentional and (actually) educational..

“Summer work for the sake of raising and/or setting expectations for rigor is baseless,” Davis says. “Students often put off the work until the last minute and complete the work for compliance, not true learning. And that’s only exacerbated when the teachers don’t create a meaningful classroom connection to the summer work.” This points to a problem with practices around all homework — are they meaningful practice, or just a check-the-box completion grade?

Teachers might feel they can’t teach all the material during the school year. But a 2023 study found that summer learning had a small impact on math test scores for students but not reading. Additional recent data has shown that the impact of the “summer slide” depends on a variety of factors, including grade and poverty levels.

What parents can do : “The teacher should provide a clear connection to how the summer work is going to enhance the learning and/or enrich the learning that will occur at the start of the year,” Davis says. “If there isn’t a clear explanation of the purpose of the summer work, parents should reach out to the teacher directly for clarity regarding the purpose of the work and if it is required." Don’t worry about being a nudge. “Parents should keep in mind they are advocates for their children and asking questions for clarity creates a two way dialogue with the teacher,” she adds.

It should come with tech and academic support.

A key pillar of homework is homework help — that is, if the purpose is real learning.

Many parents can probably relate to a scenario like this: “Hey mom, I’m supposed to work on a school app called blah blah blah.”

“Oh, okay, what’s the password?”

“I don’t know.”

And even if they can log in, what happens if kids don’t understand the assignments? Many parents can relate to not knowing the answer to a homework question a kid is asking, and not knowing which resources to use to find it. Adding in homework help around work hours can add stress to a family.

Not a whole lot of learning is happening in these situations, which all lead back to one missing aspect to effective homework practices — teacher support. Teachers are off in the summer, but if students aren’t, there’s an issue with technical troubleshooting and guided instruction.

“Homework should reinforce skills learned in the classroom,” Davis says. “Unfortunately all too often students are left to complete homework without the foundational knowledge to complete it to enhance their learning. During the summer months teachers are typically not available leaving the students to complete the homework with little to no direction which could result in them replicating bad habits without any checkpoints or feedback.”

What parents can do : It’s absolutely reasonable to expect summer support to have necessary technology and instructional guidance, even in the summer. “Students should be able to access the teacher to provide clarity, answer questions and/or to provide feedback,” Davis says. She again recommends communicating with the school as early as possible about how students are supposed to get tech or instructional support.

It should be inclusive and low-stress.

A student with an Individualized Education Plan, or a 504 plan, who typically has extra homework time looks at a large packet at the start of summer. Do they still have double time? What resources are available to them? These are concerns that all families, but especially those with additional academic and learning needs, have to navigate.

“Parents of children with ADHD are naturally concerned about whether being away from academic studies over the summer will lead to the ‘summer slide,’” McReynolds says. “This concern leads parents to struggle with whether to push on through the summer or give children a break from the pressure.”

Students who don’t have access to support can see an increase in academic-related stress too. According to a 2021 study by Challenge Success, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, 56% of students reported an increase in stress from school . The same report found that during the school year, students spent an average of three hours on homework each weeknight, with 51% reporting they spent more time on homework than they did in the past. But 42% reported they had a decreased level of engagement for school and learning. So, experts are torn on whether homework actually increases engagement, and even learning.

“All too often the completion or lack thereof is utilized to gatekeep students out of higher level courses,’ Davis says. “In the event a student faces this, parents need to actively advocate for inclusion in the class regardless of completion of the summer work.”

What parents can do: “Individual accommodations and modifications included in a student’s IEP/504 must be taken into account,” Davis says. “Another approach to summer work would be for the parent and student to create a scaffolded schedule to complete the work as opposed to waiting until the final weeks of summer to complete it all at once. Ultimately, the mental health of the student is most important and parents and/or the student should actively communicate with the teacher directly to discuss concerns throughout the summer.”

High schoolers who are taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which sometimes require summer work, can consider opting for a College Credit Plus (CPP) class, when appropriate for them. CPP classes often carry the same weight without the summer work, but it varies state to state, and parents and students should ensure the desired university they would like to attend accepts CPP classes as credit as they do with AP. Pro tip from Davis: Ask around or ask the teacher before April or May to determine summer homework plans for an AP class, because you might miss the deadline to do CPP if you wait until summer.

It should even be…fun!

There just might be room in summer homework for a bit of enjoyment, with the right set up.

“I believe summer homework is detrimental for several reasons,” Davis says. “It perpetuates burnout … preventing students from fully relaxing and recharging during their break. This can negatively impact their mental health and overall well-being.” So, the only summer homework our experts are interested in are fun activities that enrich family or community life, or personal development.

Emily Pendergrass , associate professor of the Practice of Literacy and Reading Education at Vanderbilt University says summer homework should be meaningful for families, teachers and learning. “It should be interactive,” she says. “It shouldn’t be one size fits all…we should be moving towards learning and curiosity.”

Summer homework should move into meaningful activities, Pendergrass says. For example, instead of keeping a reading log that just lists the titles of books and how many minutes were read, students can be tasked with drawing a picture of what they read, writing an alternate ending, or making a short video about the reading to share with classmates when they’re back to school.

What parents can do: In the end, there’s no faster way to get students to hate school than assigning a classic piece of literature, and telling them good luck, see you in the fall. Pushback from parents, community and students themselves can ensure summer work, if necessary, is equitable and purposeful, well-supported and inclusive. Or, we can just cut it all together and go read something fun by the pool…

When to Call It Off

If your child is too stressed about summer homework, you and your child, and their educators, can discuss together if the right move is to simply not do it . What are the consequences? The ramifications of this depend on the school, and the program. In some places, summer work might not account for a large portion of their final grade and a student might be confident they can make it up during the school year. In others, they might be able to choose a less rigorous course without a summer homework requirement. Then again, skipping summer homework might result in failing a class if the summer assignments are weighted heavily in the final grade. You can also consider asking for an alternative or makeup assignment, which often would be considered on a case-by-case basis. “If summer work is being graded on completion, and not truly being utilized at the start of the year to extend instruction, the student, parent and teacher need to actively discuss the true purpose of the work,” Davis says.

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Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist and content marketing writer, focusing on health and wellness, parenting, education, and lifestyle. She has been published in the Atlantic , Glamour , Today’s Parent , Reader’s Digest , Consumer Reports , Women’s Health , and National Geographic . She spends her “free” time with her five kids under age 8, and testing lots of products. To connect or read more of her work please visit alexandra-frost.com or follow her on social media: Twitter Instagram Linked In .

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  • Understanding the Link Between Variance and Covariance in Statistics

Exploring the Relationship Between Variance and Covariance in Statistics

Ronald Fisher

Understanding variance and covariance is fundamental to mastering statistical analysis, which is crucial for completing various homework and excelling in academic performance. These concepts are essential for analyzing data distributions and relationships, which are frequently encountered in statistics homework and homework. By gaining a solid grasp of these concepts, students can enhance their ability to interpret data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions based on their analyses. Additionally, understanding variance and covariance is important for performing more advanced statistical techniques such as regression analysis, hypothesis testing, and multivariate analysis.

We will delve into the relationship between variance and covariance, providing a comprehensive guide to help students tackle similar homework. We'll explore how these concepts are applied in real-world scenarios, discuss their significance in statistical analysis, and provide practical tips for understanding and calculating them. By the end, you should have a clearer understanding of how variance and covariance work together to describe data distributions and relationships. If you ever find yourself stuck, remember that expert help is available to solve your statistics homework and guide you through complex concepts, ensuring that you can confidently complete your homework and excel in your studies.

Understanding the Link Between Variance and Covariance in Statistics

Introduction to Variance and Covariance

Variance measures the spread of data points in a data set. It tells us how much the data points differ from the mean of the data set. A higher variance indicates that the data points are more spread out from the mean, while a lower variance indicates that they are closer to the mean.

Covariance measures the degree to which two variables change together. If the variables tend to increase together, the covariance is positive. If one variable tends to increase when the other decreases, the covariance is negative. Covariance helps in understanding the relationship between two variables.

Importance of Variance and Covariance in Statistical Analysis

Variance is a critical concept in statistics as it provides insight into the variability within a data set. This measure is essential for understanding the distribution and spread of data, which is fundamental for many statistical analyses, including hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and regression analysis. When working on homework, recognizing how variance affects your data can significantly improve the accuracy of your results. Understanding variance also allows students to assess risk and reliability in various contexts, such as financial investments, product quality control, and experimental research. By grasping the concept of variance, students can make informed decisions and interpretations based on their data.

Covariance plays a vital role in determining the relationship between two variables. It is especially useful in the fields of finance, economics, and social sciences, where understanding the relationship between variables can lead to better decision-making. For instance, in finance, covariance can help in portfolio management by assessing how different assets move in relation to one another. By understanding the covariance between assets, investors can diversify their portfolios to minimize risk and maximize returns. In economics, covariance helps in studying the relationship between economic indicators, such as GDP growth and unemployment rates, enabling policymakers to formulate effective economic policies.

Real-Life Applications of Variance and Covariance

In real-life scenarios, variance is used in various fields such as finance, quality control, and environmental studies. For example, in finance, variance is used to measure the volatility of stock prices. In quality control, it helps in determining the consistency of product manufacturing. Understanding these applications can help students relate their homework to real-world situations, making the concepts easier to grasp. For instance, in environmental studies, variance is used to analyze the dispersion of pollutants in air and water, helping researchers develop strategies to mitigate environmental hazards. By applying variance in practical contexts, students can appreciate its significance and develop a deeper understanding of its implications.

Covariance is widely used in finance to understand the relationship between different financial assets. It helps in the construction of investment portfolios by assessing how different stocks or assets move together. In the field of economics, covariance is used to study the relationship between different economic indicators, such as inflation and unemployment rates. By analyzing covariance, economists can identify underlying patterns and relationships between variables, providing insights into economic trends and potential policy interventions. Additionally, in the social sciences, covariance is used to explore the relationships between variables such as education level and income, helping researchers understand societal dynamics and inform policy decisions.

Understanding the Confidence Interval for Variance

A confidence interval for variance provides a range of values within which the true variance of the population is expected to lie. This concept is crucial for making inferences about population variability based on sample data. In homework, students often need to calculate and interpret confidence intervals, which helps in understanding the reliability of their data. Confidence intervals for variance are particularly useful in quality control and clinical trials, where it is important to assess the variability and consistency of measurements. By mastering the calculation and interpretation of confidence intervals, students can enhance their analytical skills and apply statistical methods effectively in various contexts.

The Role of Covariance in Regression Analysis

In regression analysis, covariance is used to determine the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. A positive covariance indicates that as the independent variable increases, the dependent variable tends to increase as well, and vice versa. Understanding this relationship is essential for developing accurate regression models in homework. Regression analysis is widely used in various fields such as economics, biology, and social sciences to model and predict outcomes based on observed data. By mastering the use of covariance in regression analysis, students can develop robust models and make informed predictions based on their data.

Positive and Negative Covariance

Covariance can be either positive or negative, indicating the direction of the relationship between two variables. Positive covariance indicates that the variables move in the same direction, while negative covariance indicates that they move in opposite directions. Recognizing the type of covariance is crucial for interpreting data relationships in homework. For example, in finance, positive covariance between assets suggests that they tend to move together, while negative covariance indicates that they move inversely. Understanding positive and negative covariance helps students make informed decisions about diversification and risk management in their investment portfolios.

Non-Negative Definite Covariance Matrices

A covariance matrix is a square matrix that shows the covariance between different variables. For a matrix to be non-negative definite, it must not have any negative eigenvalues. This property ensures that the covariance matrix is mathematically valid and can be used in various multivariate analyses, such as principal component analysis (PCA) and factor analysis. Non-negative definite covariance matrices are essential in fields such as genetics, finance, and machine learning, where multivariate data analysis is crucial for understanding complex relationships and making predictions. By understanding the properties of non-negative definite covariance matrices, students can effectively apply multivariate statistical methods in their homework and research.

Understanding variance and covariance is crucial for anyone studying statistics. These concepts are not only fundamental for academic success but also for real-world applications in various fields. By grasping the relationship between variance and covariance, students can enhance their analytical skills, making them better prepared for complex data analysis tasks. Always remember to approach your homework methodically, and don't shy away from seeking help when needed. With practice and the right resources, you can master these essential statistical tools and apply them effectively in your studies and beyond.

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  1. Why Homework is Bad for Students? 3 Reasons and 5 Facts!

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  2. Why Homework is Bad for Students? 3 Reasons and 5 Facts!

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  16. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

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  17. Probing Question: Is homework bad for kids?

    Probing Question: Is homework bad for kids? | Penn State University. Ask an eleven-year-old whether homework is a bad thing, and you'll likely be greeted with vigorous nodding and not a hint of ambiguity. But do grown-up experts agree? As with so many things, the answer is mixed.

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  24. Understanding the Link Between Variance and Covariance in Statistics

    Positive and Negative Covariance. Covariance can be either positive or negative, indicating the direction of the relationship between two variables. Positive covariance indicates that the variables move in the same direction, while negative covariance indicates that they move in opposite directions.