Do Kids Need Homework?

Illustration by RJ Matson; Debate photos courtesy of families

Let’s face it: Not many students love doing homework. But like it or not, homework is part of life for most kids in the U.S. A recent survey showed that students in kindergarten through eighth grade spend an average of nearly five hours per week doing homework.

Some school officials argue that homework is important because it helps students remember what they learn in the classroom. Others point out that it helps kids develop good study habits. Also, some parents say homework helps them determine whether or not their kids are falling behind.

But many schools are rethinking homework. Some have cut down on the amount they give each week, and others no longer allow weekend assignments. Some have eliminated homework entirely. Why? Many parents and teachers worry that homework overload causes kids to be stressed. Plus, some studies have shown that homework doesn’t actually help students perform better on tests. 

Here’s what two of our readers think.

Homework is a valuable tool because it reinforces the skills we learned in class. Without it, we might forget what we were taught at school, and that could cause our grades to suffer. 

Plus, teachers need to know whether students understood the day’s lessons. Homework can alert teachers to the areas where kids need help. 

Homework also teaches kids how to be responsible. If kids manage their time wisely, they’ll still have time for other activities.

Homework cuts into family time and gives kids less time to just be kids. Sometimes I want to join my friends who are playing outside, but I’m stuck inside doing homework. 

I need to stay up late to finish my assignments at least once a week. Other kids probably do too. Without enough sleep, kids can get stressed and be too tired to pay attention in class. Homework is supposed to help your test scores, but having too much can actually hurt your grades.

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