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A parent's view of homework: I waver between tolerance and outright hatred

From new mathematical methods to the appropriate level of help, mother-of-three Toni Hargis shares her pet peeves about homework

L ike many parents, I have a complicated relationship with homework. One day I’m reminding my children to get to work – vocabulary doesn’t happen by osmosis – and the next I’m struggling to understand the work myself, let alone find the time to help.

I’ve had nearly two decades of helping my children (now aged 22, 19 and 12) with everything from simple addition to Spanish verb endings. Homework has covered the gamut of straightforward memorization or comprehension, to detailed research of family matters, complete with photographs and tales supplied by me.

There are some things I accept about homework: teachers can’t spend the entire lesson making sure all children keep up and most students need time for new topics to sink in. Unfortunately, however, there are a few items on my dislike list too.

Parental involvement

First there’s the dreaded instruction to “Ask a parent to help”. Many of us also work full-time, have other children needing homework help, dinner or a lift somewhere. While we love helping our children learn, we don’t always have the time to build a small scale ark at the end of a long day.

Inviting parental involvement can also be a slippery slope. My approach is usually to brainstorm ideas then see how much the child can do on their own. But I’m well aware of parents who roll their sleeves up and do 99% of it themselves. Therein lies the dilemma – I don’t want to do my child’s homework for them, but I also don’t want their lovingly created ark to get laughed off the playground just because it looks like a child made it.

An introductory email at the beginning of the school year, spelling out exactly how you’d like us to help our children, would be extremely useful. Do you want to see all their mistakes or should we go over homework, catch mistakes and have them try again? How much of their homework should we help with? Is it okay to write a note on the homework pointing out the exact place where the penny didn’t drop?

New information

My pet peeve is the extra questions or challenges thrown in at the end of a homework sheet. This can range from an extra set of brackets suddenly appearing in the order of operations maths homework, to a newer verb added to the “Use this verb in a sentence” assignment.

It may seem harmless – a good exercise in independent learning, even – but parents have a one in three chance of this ending well. Some children rise to the challenge and give it a go, others are frustrated they can’t do the work, and the last third simply say “Why do optional homework?” and resist all persuasion. Most of us aren’t teachers and simply don’t know how to introduce new concepts or topics without tears – theirs and ours. What’s more, while many children are quite happy to take instruction in the classroom, bristle when their parent tries it around the kitchen table. I get that sometimes it’s a race against the syllabus, but if parents are expected to cover new material, please give us tips on how to teach.

New methods

It appears I can no longer do long division and multiplication. Or at least, I can’t do it the way my children are taught. If I’m going over their homework, I can tell them whether their answers are right or wrong, but for the life of me I can’t tell them why in terms they understand. (The phrase “Carry the one” is like a foreign language to them.) For me to help them, they first have to teach me their method so that I can see where they’ve gone wrong. If they don’t fully understand that method, it all falls apart very quickly.

Cheat sheets – where teachers share their method with parents – would be really useful. There are now excellent internet tutorials on many academic subjects; sending us links to these if they use the same methods would be extremely helpful. Last year, when my youngest was studying operations of arithmetic (Brackets, Operation, Divide, Multiply, Add, Subtract, or BODMAS to me), his terminology was so different to mine, I had to email his teacher to confirm that I had remembered the method correctly. Her availability to me was much appreciated – I know teachers have a life outside of school.

Too many subjects per night

The kids may have five or more lessons a day but problems arise when subject-specific teachers all give homework on the same night. Even if students don’t have after-school activities, life (in the form of a sibling trip to A&E or a panic shop for new gym shoes) can get in the way, making hours of homework a challenge.

Teachers can help by allowing students a day or two extra to hand the work in work so that they can plan when they’ll do each assignment. After all, time management is a life skill we all need. Alternatively, collaborate with colleagues to ensure that pupils aren’t being given every single subject for homework on the same night.

As I said, it’s complicated. Most parents want what’s best for their children; we want to help them do well, but we vacillate between tolerance and outright hatred of homework, depending on what else we have to juggle. Teachers can’t win either as there are usually complaints when there’s no homework at all. We need a middle ground, where teachers teach and parents support the learning at home, both parties respect each other’s’ roles and communicate regularly about the how best to help the individual child.

Toni Hargis is a British author and blogger, currently living in Chicago, US.

Follow us on Twitter via @GuardianTeach . Join the Guardian Teacher Network for lesson resources, comment and job opportunities , direct to your inbox.

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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."

parents views on 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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The Case for (Quality) Homework

parents views on homework

Janine Bempechat

parents views on homework

Any parent who has battled with a child over homework night after night has to wonder: Do those math worksheets and book reports really make a difference to a student’s long-term success? Or is homework just a headache—another distraction from family time and downtime, already diminished by the likes of music and dance lessons, sports practices, and part-time jobs?

Allison, a mother of two middle-school girls from an affluent Boston suburb, describes a frenetic afterschool scenario: “My girls do gymnastics a few days a week, so homework happens for my 6th grader after gymnastics, at 6:30 p.m. She doesn’t get to bed until 9. My 8th grader does her homework immediately after school, up until gymnastics. She eats dinner at 9:15 and then goes to bed, unless there is more homework to do, in which case she’ll get to bed around 10.” The girls miss out on sleep, and weeknight family dinners are tough to swing.

Parental concerns about their children’s homework loads are nothing new. Debates over the merits of homework—tasks that teachers ask students to complete during non-instructional time—have ebbed and flowed since the late 19th century, and today its value is again being scrutinized and weighed against possible negative impacts on family life and children’s well-being.

Are American students overburdened with homework? In some middle-class and affluent communities, where pressure on students to achieve can be fierce, yes. But in families of limited means, it’s often another story. Many low-income parents value homework as an important connection to the school and the curriculum—even as their children report receiving little homework. Overall, high-school students relate that they spend less than one hour per day on homework, on average, and only 42 percent say they do it five days per week. In one recent survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a minimal 13 percent of 17-year-olds said they had devoted more than two hours to homework the previous evening (see Figure 1).

parents views on homework

Recent years have seen an increase in the amount of homework assigned to students in grades K–2, and critics point to research findings that, at the elementary-school level, homework does not appear to enhance children’s learning. Why, then, should we burden young children and their families with homework if there is no academic benefit to doing it? Indeed, perhaps it would be best, as some propose, to eliminate homework altogether, particularly in these early grades.

On the contrary, developmentally appropriate homework plays a critical role in the formation of positive learning beliefs and behaviors, including a belief in one’s academic ability, a deliberative and effortful approach to mastery, and higher expectations and aspirations for one’s future. It can prepare children to confront ever-more-complex tasks, develop resilience in the face of difficulty, and learn to embrace rather than shy away from challenge. In short, homework is a key vehicle through which we can help shape children into mature learners.

The Homework-Achievement Connection

A narrow focus on whether or not homework boosts grades and test scores in the short run thus ignores a broader purpose in education, the development of lifelong, confident learners. Still, the question looms: does homework enhance academic success? As the educational psychologist Lyn Corno wrote more than two decades ago, “homework is a complicated thing.” Most research on the homework-achievement connection is correlational, which precludes a definitive judgment on its academic benefits. Researchers rely on correlational research in this area of study given the difficulties of randomly assigning students to homework/no-homework conditions. While correlation does not imply causality, extensive research has established that at the middle- and high-school levels, homework completion is strongly and positively associated with high achievement. Very few studies have reported a negative correlation.

As noted above, findings on the homework-achievement connection at the elementary level are mixed. A small number of experimental studies have demonstrated that elementary-school students who receive homework achieve at higher levels than those who do not. These findings suggest a causal relationship, but they are limited in scope. Within the body of correlational research, some studies report a positive homework-achievement connection, some a negative relationship, and yet others show no relationship at all. Why the mixed findings? Researchers point to a number of possible factors, such as developmental issues related to how young children learn, different goals that teachers have for younger as compared to older students, and how researchers define homework.

Certainly, young children are still developing skills that enable them to focus on the material at hand and study efficiently. Teachers’ goals for their students are also quite different in elementary school as compared to secondary school. While teachers at both levels note the value of homework for reinforcing classroom content, those in the earlier grades are more likely to assign homework mainly to foster skills such as responsibility, perseverance, and the ability to manage distractions.

Most research examines homework generally. Might a focus on homework in a specific subject shed more light on the homework-achievement connection? A recent meta-analysis did just this by examining the relationship between math/science homework and achievement. Contrary to previous findings, researchers reported a stronger relationship between homework and achievement in the elementary grades than in middle school. As the study authors note, one explanation for this finding could be that in elementary school, teachers tend to assign more homework in math than in other subjects, while at the same time assigning shorter math tasks more frequently. In addition, the authors point out that parents tend to be more involved in younger children’s math homework and more skilled in elementary-level than middle-school math.

In sum, the relationship between homework and academic achievement in the elementary-school years is not yet established, but eliminating homework at this level would do children and their families a huge disservice: we know that children’s learning beliefs have a powerful impact on their academic outcomes, and that through homework, parents and teachers can have a profound influence on the development of positive beliefs.

How Much Is Appropriate?

Harris M. Cooper of Duke University, the leading researcher on homework, has examined decades of study on what we know about the relationship between homework and scholastic achievement. He has proposed the “10-minute rule,” suggesting that daily homework be limited to 10 minutes per grade level. Thus, a 1st grader would do 10 minutes each day and a 4th grader, 40 minutes. The National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association both endorse this guideline, but it is not clear whether the recommended allotments include time for reading, which most teachers want children to do daily.

For middle-school students, Cooper and colleagues report that 90 minutes per day of homework is optimal for enhancing academic achievement, and for high schoolers, the ideal range is 90 minutes to two and a half hours per day. Beyond this threshold, more homework does not contribute to learning. For students enrolled in demanding Advanced Placement or honors courses, however, homework is likely to require significantly more time, leading to concerns over students’ health and well-being.

Notwithstanding media reports of parents revolting against the practice of homework, the vast majority of parents say they are highly satisfied with their children’s homework loads. The National Household Education Surveys Program recently found that between 70 and 83 percent of parents believed that the amount of homework their children had was “about right,” a result that held true regardless of social class, race/ethnicity, community size, level of education, and whether English was spoken at home.

Learning Beliefs Are Consequential

As noted above, developmentally appropriate homework can help children cultivate positive beliefs about learning. Decades of research have established that these beliefs predict the types of tasks students choose to pursue, their persistence in the face of challenge, and their academic achievement. Broadly, learning beliefs fall under the banner of achievement motivation, which is a constellation of cognitive, behavioral, and affective factors, including: the way a person perceives his or her abilities, goal-setting skills, expectation of success, the value the individual places on learning, and self-regulating behavior such as time-management skills. Positive or adaptive beliefs about learning serve as emotional and psychological protective factors for children, especially when they encounter difficulties or failure.

Motivation researcher Carol Dweck of Stanford University posits that children with a “growth mindset”—those who believe that ability is malleable—approach learning very differently than those with a “fixed mindset”—kids who believe ability cannot change. Those with a growth mindset view effort as the key to mastery. They see mistakes as helpful, persist even in the face of failure, prefer challenging over easy tasks, and do better in school than their peers who have a fixed mindset. In contrast, children with a fixed mindset view effort and mistakes as implicit condemnations of their abilities. Such children succumb easily to learned helplessness in the face of difficulty, and they gravitate toward tasks they know they can handle rather than more challenging ones.

Of course, learning beliefs do not develop in a vacuum. Studies have demonstrated that parents and teachers play a significant role in the development of positive beliefs and behaviors, and that homework is a key tool they can use to foster motivation and academic achievement.

Parents’ Beliefs and Actions Matter

It is well established that parental involvement in their children’s education promotes achievement motivation and success in school. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and their achievement-related beliefs have a profound influence on children’s developing perceptions of their own abilities, as well as their views on the value of learning and education.

Parents affect their children’s learning through the messages they send about education, whether by expressing interest in school activities and experiences, attending school events, helping with homework when they can, or exposing children to intellectually enriching experiences. Most parents view such engagement as part and parcel of their role. They also believe that doing homework fosters responsibility and organizational skills, and that doing well on homework tasks contributes to learning, even if children experience frustration from time to time.

Many parents provide support by establishing homework routines, eliminating distractions, communicating expectations, helping children manage their time, providing reassuring messages, and encouraging kids to be aware of the conditions under which they do their best work. These supports help foster the development of self-regulation, which is critical to school success.

Self-regulation involves a number of skills, such as the ability to monitor one’s performance and adjust strategies as a result of feedback; to evaluate one’s interests and realistically perceive one’s aptitude; and to work on a task autonomously. It also means learning how to structure one’s environment so that it’s conducive to learning, by, for example, minimizing distractions. As children move into higher grades, these skills and strategies help them organize, plan, and learn independently. This is precisely where parents make a demonstrable difference in students’ attitudes and approaches to homework.

Especially in the early grades, homework gives parents the opportunity to cultivate beliefs and behaviors that foster efficient study skills and academic resilience. Indeed, across age groups, there is a strong and positive relationship between homework completion and a variety of self-regulatory processes. However, the quality of parental help matters. Sometimes, well-intentioned parents can unwittingly undermine the development of children’s positive learning beliefs and their achievement. Parents who maintain a positive outlook on homework and allow their children room to learn and struggle on their own, stepping in judiciously with informational feedback and hints, do their children a much better service than those who seek to control the learning process.

A recent study of 5th and 6th graders’ perceptions of their parents’ involvement with homework distinguished between supportive and intrusive help. The former included the belief that parents encouraged the children to try to find the right answer on their own before providing them with assistance, and when the child struggled, attempted to understand the source of the confusion. In contrast, the latter included the perception that parents provided unsolicited help, interfered when the children did their homework, and told them how to complete their assignments. Supportive help predicted higher achievement, while intrusive help was associated with lower achievement.

Parents’ attitudes and emotions during homework time can support the development of positive attitudes and approaches in their children, which in turn are predictive of higher achievement. Children are more likely to focus on self-improvement during homework time and do better in school when their parents are oriented toward mastery. In contrast, if parents focus on how well children are doing relative to peers, kids tend to adopt learning goals that allow them to avoid challenge.

parents views on homework

Homework and Social Class

Social class is another important element in the homework dynamic. What is the homework experience like for families with limited time and resources? And what of affluent families, where resources are plenty but the pressures to succeed are great?

Etta Kralovec and John Buell, authors of The End of Homework, maintain that homework “punishes the poor,” because lower-income parents may not be as well educated as their affluent counterparts and thus not as well equipped to help with homework. Poorer families also have fewer financial resources to devote to home computers, tutoring, and academic enrichment. The stresses of poverty—and work schedules—may impinge, and immigrant parents may face language barriers and an unfamiliarity with the school system and teachers’ expectations.

Yet research shows that low-income parents who are unable to assist with homework are far from passive in their children’s learning, and they do help foster scholastic performance. In fact, parental help with homework is not a necessary component for school success.

Brown University’s Jin Li queried low-income Chinese American 9th graders’ perceptions of their parents’ engagement with their education. Students said their immigrant parents rarely engaged in activities that are known to foster academic achievement, such as monitoring homework, checking it for accuracy, or attending school meetings or events. Instead, parents of higher achievers built three social networks to support their children’s learning. They designated “anchor” helpers both inside and outside the family who provided assistance; identified peer models for their children to emulate; and enlisted the assistance of extended kin to guide their children’s educational socialization. In a related vein, a recent analysis of survey data showed that Asian and Latino 5th graders, relative to native-born peers, were more likely to turn to siblings than parents for homework help.

Further, research demonstrates that low-income parents, recognizing that they lack the time to be in the classroom or participate in school governance, view homework as a critical connection to their children’s experiences in school. One study found that mothers enjoyed the routine and predictability of homework and used it as a way to demonstrate to children how to plan their time. Mothers organized homework as a family activity, with siblings doing homework together and older children reading to younger ones. In this way, homework was perceived as a collective practice wherein siblings could model effective habits and learn from one another.

In another recent study, researchers examined mathematics achievement in low-income 8th-grade Asian and Latino students. Help with homework was an advantage their mothers could not provide. They could, however, furnish structure (for example, by setting aside quiet time for homework completion), and it was this structure that most predicted high achievement. As the authors note, “It is . . . important to help [low-income] parents realize that they can still help their children get good grades in mathematics and succeed in school even if they do not know how to provide direct assistance with their child’s mathematics homework.”

The homework narrative at the other end of the socioeconomic continuum is altogether different. Media reports abound with examples of students, mostly in high school, carrying three or more hours of homework per night, a burden that can impair learning, motivation, and well-being. In affluent communities, students often experience intense pressure to cultivate a high-achieving profile that will be attractive to elite colleges. Heavy homework loads have been linked to unhealthy symptoms such as heightened stress, anxiety, physical complaints, and sleep disturbances. Like Allison’s 6th grader mentioned earlier, many students can only tackle their homework after they do extracurricular activities, which are also seen as essential for the college résumé. Not surprisingly, many students in these communities are not deeply engaged in learning; rather, they speak of “doing school,” as Stanford researcher Denise Pope has described, going through the motions necessary to excel, and undermining their physical and mental health in the process.

Fortunately, some national intervention initiatives, such as Challenge Success (co-founded by Pope), are heightening awareness of these problems. Interventions aimed at restoring balance in students’ lives (in part, by reducing homework demands) have resulted in students reporting an increased sense of well-being, decreased stress and anxiety, and perceptions of greater support from teachers, with no decrease in achievement outcomes.

What is good for this small segment of students, however, is not necessarily good for the majority. As Jessica Lahey wrote in Motherlode, a New York Times parenting blog, “homework is a red herring” in the national conversation on education. “Some otherwise privileged children may have too much, but the real issue lies in places where there is too little. . . . We shouldn’t forget that.”

My colleagues and I analyzed interviews conducted with lower-income 9th graders (African American, Mexican American, and European American) from two Northern California high schools that at the time were among the lowest-achieving schools in the state. We found that these students consistently described receiving minimal homework—perhaps one or two worksheets or textbook pages, the occasional project, and 30 minutes of reading per night. Math was the only class in which they reported having homework each night. These students noted few consequences for not completing their homework.

Indeed, greatly reducing or eliminating homework would likely increase, not diminish, the achievement gap. As Harris M. Cooper has commented, those choosing to opt their children out of homework are operating from a place of advantage. Children in higher-income families benefit from many privileges, including exposure to a larger range of language at home that may align with the language of school, access to learning and cultural experiences, and many other forms of enrichment, such as tutoring and academic summer camps, all of which may be cost-prohibitive for lower-income families. But for the 21 percent of the school-age population who live in poverty—nearly 11 million students ages 5–17—homework is one tool that can help narrow the achievement gap.

Community and School Support

Often, community organizations and afterschool programs can step up to provide structure and services that students’ need to succeed at homework. For example, Boys and Girls and 4-H clubs offer volunteer tutors as well as access to computer technology that students may not have at home. Many schools provide homework clubs or integrate homework into the afterschool program.

Home-school partnerships have succeeded in engaging parents with homework and significantly improving their children’s academic achievement. For example, Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University has developed the TIPS model (Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork), which embraces homework as an integral part of family time. TIPS is a teacher-designed interactive program in which children and a parent or family member each have a specific role in the homework scenario. For example, children might show the parent how to do a mathematics task on fractions, explaining their reasoning along the way and reviewing their thinking aloud if they are unsure.

Evaluations show that elementary and middle-school students in classrooms that have adopted TIPS complete more of their homework than do students in other classrooms. Both students and parent participants show more positive beliefs about learning mathematics, and TIPS students show significant gains in writing skills and report-card science grades, as well as higher mathematics scores on standardized tests.

Another study found that asking teachers to send text messages to parents about their children’s missing homework resulted in increased parental monitoring of homework, consequences for missed assignments, and greater participation in parent-child conferences. Teachers reported fewer missed assignments and greater student effort in coursework, and math grades and GPA significantly improved.

Homework Quality Matters

Teachers favor homework for a number of reasons. They believe it fosters a sense of responsibility and promotes academic achievement. They note that homework provides valuable review and practice for students while giving teachers feedback on areas where students may need more support. Finally, teachers value homework as a way to keep parents connected to the school and their children’s educational experiences.

While students, to say the least, may not always relish the idea of doing homework, by high school most come to believe there is a positive relationship between doing homework and doing well in school. Both higher and lower achievers lament “busywork” that doesn’t promote learning. They crave high-quality, challenging assignments—and it is this kind of homework that has been associated with higher achievement.

What constitutes high-quality homework? Assignments that are developmentally appropriate and meaningful and that promote self-efficacy and self-regulation. Meaningful homework is authentic, allowing students to engage in solving problems with real-world relevance. More specifically, homework tasks should make efficient use of student time and have a clear purpose connected to what they are learning. An artistic rendition of a period in history that would take hours to complete can become instead a diary entry in the voice of an individual from that era. By allowing a measure of choice and autonomy in homework, teachers foster in their students a sense of ownership, which bolsters their investment in the work.

High-quality homework also fosters students’ perceptions of their own competence by 1) focusing them on tasks they can accomplish without help; 2) differentiating tasks so as to allow struggling students to experience success; 3) providing suggested time frames rather than a fixed period of time in which a task should be completed; 4) delivering clearly and carefully explained directions; and 5) carefully modeling methods for attacking lengthy or complex tasks. Students whose teachers have trained them to adopt strategies such as goal setting, self-monitoring, and planning develop a number of personal assets—improved time management, increased self-efficacy, greater effort and interest, a desire for mastery, and a decrease in helplessness.

parents views on homework

Excellence with Equity

Currently, the United States has the second-highest disparity between time spent on homework by students of low socioeconomic status and time spent by their more-affluent peers out of the 34 OECD-member nations participating in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) (see Figure 2). Noting that PISA studies have consistently found that spending more time on math homework strongly correlates with higher academic achievement, the report’s authors suggest that the homework disparity may reflect lower teacher expectations for low-income students. If so, this is truly unfortunate. In and of itself, low socioeconomic status is not an impediment to academic achievement when appropriate parental, school, and community supports are deployed. As research makes clear, low-income parents support their children’s learning in varied ways, not all of which involve direct assistance with schoolwork. Teachers can orient students and parents toward beliefs that foster positive attitudes toward learning. Indeed, where homework is concerned, a commitment to excellence with equity is both worthwhile and attainable.

In affluent communities, parents, teachers, and school districts might consider reexamining the meaning of academic excellence and placing more emphasis on leading a balanced and well-rounded life. The homework debate in the United States has been dominated by concerns over the health and well-being of such advantaged students. As legitimate as these worries are, it’s important to avoid generalizing these children’s experiences to those with fewer family resources. Reducing or eliminating homework, though it may be desirable in some advantaged communities, would deprive poorer children of a crucial and empowering learning experience. It would also eradicate a fertile opportunity to help close the achievement gap.

Janine Bempechat is clinical professor of human development at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development.

An unabridged version of this article is available here .

For more, please see “ The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2023 .”

This article appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Education Next . Suggested citation format:

Bempechat, J. (2019). The Case for (Quality) Homework: Why it improves learning, and how parents can help . Education Next, 19 (1), 36-43.

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In the News: Down With Homework, Say U.S. School Districts

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In the News: Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

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A version of this post was  originally published  by Parenting Translator. Sign up for  the newsletter  and follow Parenting Translator  on Instagram .

In recent years, homework has become a very hot topic . Many parents and educators have raised concerns about homework and questioned how effective it is in enhancing students’ learning. There are also concerns that students may be getting too much homework, which ultimately interferes with quality family time and opportunities for physical activity and play . Research suggests that these concerns may be valid. For example, one study reported that elementary school students, on average, are assigned three times  the recommended amount of homework.

So what does the research say? What are the potential risks and benefits of homework, and how much is too much?

Academic benefits

First, research finds that homework is associated with higher scores on academic standardized tests for middle and high school students, but not elementary school students . A recent experimental study in Romania found some benefit for a small amount of writing homework in elementary students but not math homework. Yet, interestingly, this positive impact only occurred when students were given a moderate amount of homework (about 20 minutes on average).

Non-academic benefits

The goal of homework is not simply to improve academic skills. Research finds that homework may have some non-academic benefits, such as building responsibility , time management skills, and task persistence . Homework may also increase parents’ involvement in their children’s schooling. Yet, too much homework may also have some negative impacts on non-academic skills by reducing opportunities for free play , which is essential for the development of language, cognitive, self-regulation and social-emotional skills. Homework may also interfere with physical activity and too much homework is associated with an increased risk for being overweight . As with the research on academic benefits, this research also suggests that homework may be beneficial when it is minimal.

What is the “right” amount of homework?

Research suggests that homework should not exceed 1.5 to 2.5 hours per night for high school students and no more than one hour per night for middle school students. Homework for elementary school students should be minimal and assigned with the aim of building self-regulation and independent work skills. Any more than this and homework may no longer have a positive impact. 

The National Education Association recommends 10 minutes of homework per grade and there is also some experimental evidence that backs this up.

Overall translation

Research finds that homework provides some academic benefit for middle and high school students but is less beneficial for elementary school students. Research suggests that homework should be none or minimal for elementary students, less than one hour per night for middle school students, and less than 1.5 to 2.5 hours for high school students. 

What can parents do?

Research finds that parental help with homework is beneficial but that it matters more how the parent is helping rather than  how often  the parent is helping.

So how should parents help with homework, according to the research? 

  • Focus on providing general monitoring, guidance and encouragement, but allow children to generate answers on their own and complete their homework as independently as possible . Specifically, be present while they are completing homework to help them to understand the directions, be available to answer simple questions, or praise and acknowledge their effort and hard work. Research shows that allowing children more autonomy in completing homework may benefit their academic skills.
  • Only provide help when your child asks for it and step away whenever possible. Research finds that too much parental involvement or intrusive and controlling involvement with homework is associated with worse academic performance . 
  • Help your children to create structure and develop some routines that help your child to independently complete their homework . Have a regular time and place for homework that is free from distractions and has all of the materials they need within arm’s reach. Help your child to create a checklist for homework tasks. Create rules for homework with your child. Help children to develop strategies for increasing their own self-motivation. For example, developing their own reward system or creating a homework schedule with breaks for fun activities. Research finds that providing this type of structure and responsiveness is related to improved academic skills.
  • Set specific rules around homework. Research finds an association between parents setting rules around homework and academic performance. 
  • Help your child to view homework as an opportunity to learn and improve skills. Parents who view homework as a learning opportunity (that is, a “mastery orientation”) rather than something that they must get “right” or complete successfully to obtain a higher grade (that is, a “performance orientation”) are more likely to have children with the same attitudes. 
  • Encourage your child to persist in challenging assignments and emphasize difficult assignments as opportunities to grow . Research finds that this attitude is associated with student success. Research also indicates that more challenging homework is associated with enhanced academic performance.
  • Stay calm and positive during homework. Research shows that mothers showing positive emotions while helping with homework may improve children’s motivation in homework.
  • Praise your child’s hard work and effort during homework.   This type of praise is likely to increase motivation. In addition, research finds that putting more effort into homework may be associated with enhanced development of conscientiousness in children.
  • Communicate with your child and the teacher about any problems your child has with homework and the teacher’s learning goals. Research finds that open communication about homework is associated with increased academic performance.

Cara Goodwin, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, a mother of three and the founder of  Parenting Translator , a nonprofit newsletter that turns scientific research into information that is accurate, relevant and useful for parents.

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A daughter sits at a desk doing homework while her mom stands beside her helping

Credit: August de Richelieu

Does homework still have value? A Johns Hopkins education expert weighs in

Joyce epstein, co-director of the center on school, family, and community partnerships, discusses why homework is essential, how to maximize its benefit to learners, and what the 'no-homework' approach gets wrong.

By Vicky Hallett

The necessity of homework has been a subject of debate since at least as far back as the 1890s, according to Joyce L. Epstein , co-director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University. "It's always been the case that parents, kids—and sometimes teachers, too—wonder if this is just busy work," Epstein says.

But after decades of researching how to improve schools, the professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Education remains certain that homework is essential—as long as the teachers have done their homework, too. The National Network of Partnership Schools , which she founded in 1995 to advise schools and districts on ways to improve comprehensive programs of family engagement, has developed hundreds of improved homework ideas through its Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork program. For an English class, a student might interview a parent on popular hairstyles from their youth and write about the differences between then and now. Or for science class, a family could identify forms of matter over the dinner table, labeling foods as liquids or solids. These innovative and interactive assignments not only reinforce concepts from the classroom but also foster creativity, spark discussions, and boost student motivation.

"We're not trying to eliminate homework procedures, but expand and enrich them," says Epstein, who is packing this research into a forthcoming book on the purposes and designs of homework. In the meantime, the Hub couldn't wait to ask her some questions:

What kind of homework training do teachers typically get?

Future teachers and administrators really have little formal training on how to design homework before they assign it. This means that most just repeat what their teachers did, or they follow textbook suggestions at the end of units. For example, future teachers are well prepared to teach reading and literacy skills at each grade level, and they continue to learn to improve their teaching of reading in ongoing in-service education. By contrast, most receive little or no training on the purposes and designs of homework in reading or other subjects. It is really important for future teachers to receive systematic training to understand that they have the power, opportunity, and obligation to design homework with a purpose.

Why do students need more interactive homework?

If homework assignments are always the same—10 math problems, six sentences with spelling words—homework can get boring and some kids just stop doing their assignments, especially in the middle and high school years. When we've asked teachers what's the best homework you've ever had or designed, invariably we hear examples of talking with a parent or grandparent or peer to share ideas. To be clear, parents should never be asked to "teach" seventh grade science or any other subject. Rather, teachers set up the homework assignments so that the student is in charge. It's always the student's homework. But a good activity can engage parents in a fun, collaborative way. Our data show that with "good" assignments, more kids finish their work, more kids interact with a family partner, and more parents say, "I learned what's happening in the curriculum." It all works around what the youngsters are learning.

Is family engagement really that important?

At Hopkins, I am part of the Center for Social Organization of Schools , a research center that studies how to improve many aspects of education to help all students do their best in school. One thing my colleagues and I realized was that we needed to look deeply into family and community engagement. There were so few references to this topic when we started that we had to build the field of study. When children go to school, their families "attend" with them whether a teacher can "see" the parents or not. So, family engagement is ever-present in the life of a school.

My daughter's elementary school doesn't assign homework until third grade. What's your take on "no homework" policies?

There are some parents, writers, and commentators who have argued against homework, especially for very young children. They suggest that children should have time to play after school. This, of course is true, but many kindergarten kids are excited to have homework like their older siblings. If they give homework, most teachers of young children make assignments very short—often following an informal rule of 10 minutes per grade level. "No homework" does not guarantee that all students will spend their free time in productive and imaginative play.

Some researchers and critics have consistently misinterpreted research findings. They have argued that homework should be assigned only at the high school level where data point to a strong connection of doing assignments with higher student achievement . However, as we discussed, some students stop doing homework. This leads, statistically, to results showing that doing homework or spending more minutes on homework is linked to higher student achievement. If slow or struggling students are not doing their assignments, they contribute to—or cause—this "result."

Teachers need to design homework that even struggling students want to do because it is interesting. Just about all students at any age level react positively to good assignments and will tell you so.

Did COVID change how schools and parents view homework?

Within 24 hours of the day school doors closed in March 2020, just about every school and district in the country figured out that teachers had to talk to and work with students' parents. This was not the same as homeschooling—teachers were still working hard to provide daily lessons. But if a child was learning at home in the living room, parents were more aware of what they were doing in school. One of the silver linings of COVID was that teachers reported that they gained a better understanding of their students' families. We collected wonderfully creative examples of activities from members of the National Network of Partnership Schools. I'm thinking of one art activity where every child talked with a parent about something that made their family unique. Then they drew their finding on a snowflake and returned it to share in class. In math, students talked with a parent about something the family liked so much that they could represent it 100 times. Conversations about schoolwork at home was the point.

How did you create so many homework activities via the Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork program?

We had several projects with educators to help them design interactive assignments, not just "do the next three examples on page 38." Teachers worked in teams to create TIPS activities, and then we turned their work into a standard TIPS format in math, reading/language arts, and science for grades K-8. Any teacher can use or adapt our prototypes to match their curricula.

Overall, we know that if future teachers and practicing educators were prepared to design homework assignments to meet specific purposes—including but not limited to interactive activities—more students would benefit from the important experience of doing their homework. And more parents would, indeed, be partners in education.

Posted in Voices+Opinion

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Should Kids Get Homework?

Homework gives elementary students a way to practice concepts, but too much can be harmful, experts say.

Mother helping son with homework at home

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Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful.

How much homework students should get has long been a source of debate among parents and educators. In recent years, some districts have even implemented no-homework policies, as students juggle sports, music and other activities after school.

Parents of elementary school students, in particular, have argued that after-school hours should be spent with family or playing outside rather than completing assignments. And there is little research to show that homework improves academic achievement for elementary students.

But some experts say there's value in homework, even for younger students. When done well, it can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills. The key to effective homework, they say, is keeping assignments related to classroom learning, and tailoring the amount by age: Many experts suggest no homework for kindergartners, and little to none in first and second grade.

Value of Homework

Homework provides a chance to solidify what is being taught in the classroom that day, week or unit. Practice matters, says Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University 's Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

"There really is no other domain of human ability where anybody would say you don't need to practice," she adds. "We have children practicing piano and we have children going to sports practice several days a week after school. You name the domain of ability and practice is in there."

Homework is also the place where schools and families most frequently intersect.

"The children are bringing things from the school into the home," says Paula S. Fass, professor emerita of history at the University of California—Berkeley and the author of "The End of American Childhood." "Before the pandemic, (homework) was the only real sense that parents had to what was going on in schools."

Harris Cooper, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and author of "The Battle Over Homework," examined more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that — when designed properly — homework can lead to greater student success. Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary.

"Every child should be doing homework, but the amount and type that they're doing should be appropriate for their developmental level," he says. "For teachers, it's a balancing act. Doing away with homework completely is not in the best interest of children and families. But overburdening families with homework is also not in the child's or a family's best interest."

Negative Homework Assignments

Not all homework for elementary students involves completing a worksheet. Assignments can be fun, says Cooper, like having students visit educational locations, keep statistics on their favorite sports teams, read for pleasure or even help their parents grocery shop. The point is to show students that activities done outside of school can relate to subjects learned in the classroom.

But assignments that are just busy work, that force students to learn new concepts at home, or that are overly time-consuming can be counterproductive, experts say.

Homework that's just busy work.

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful, experts say. Assignments that look more like busy work – projects or worksheets that don't require teacher feedback and aren't related to topics learned in the classroom – can be frustrating for students and create burdens for families.

"The mental health piece has definitely played a role here over the last couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing we want to do is frustrate students with busy work or homework that makes no sense," says Dave Steckler, principal of Red Trail Elementary School in Mandan, North Dakota.

Homework on material that kids haven't learned yet.

With the pressure to cover all topics on standardized tests and limited time during the school day, some teachers assign homework that has not yet been taught in the classroom.

Not only does this create stress, but it also causes equity challenges. Some parents speak languages other than English or work several jobs, and they aren't able to help teach their children new concepts.

" It just becomes agony for both parents and the kids to get through this worksheet, and the goal becomes getting to the bottom of (the) worksheet with answers filled in without any understanding of what any of it matters for," says professor Susan R. Goldman, co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois—Chicago .

Homework that's overly time-consuming.

The standard homework guideline recommended by the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association is the "10-minute rule" – 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade level. A fourth grader, for instance, would receive a total of 40 minutes of homework per night.

But this does not always happen, especially since not every student learns the same. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy found that primary school children actually received three times the recommended amount of homework — and that family stress increased along with the homework load.

Young children can only remain attentive for short periods, so large amounts of homework, especially lengthy projects, can negatively affect students' views on school. Some individual long-term projects – like having to build a replica city, for example – typically become an assignment for parents rather than students, Fass says.

"It's one thing to assign a project like that in which several kids are working on it together," she adds. "In (that) case, the kids do normally work on it. It's another to send it home to the families, where it becomes a burden and doesn't really accomplish very much."

Private vs. Public Schools

Do private schools assign more homework than public schools? There's little research on the issue, but experts say private school parents may be more accepting of homework, seeing it as a sign of academic rigor.

Of course, not all private schools are the same – some focus on college preparation and traditional academics, while others stress alternative approaches to education.

"I think in the academically oriented private schools, there's more support for homework from parents," says Gerald K. LeTendre, chair of educational administration at Pennsylvania State University—University Park . "I don't know if there's any research to show there's more homework, but it's less of a contentious issue."

How to Address Homework Overload

First, assess if the workload takes as long as it appears. Sometimes children may start working on a homework assignment, wander away and come back later, Cooper says.

"Parents don't see it, but they know that their child has started doing their homework four hours ago and still not done it," he adds. "They don't see that there are those four hours where their child was doing lots of other things. So the homework assignment itself actually is not four hours long. It's the way the child is approaching it."

But if homework is becoming stressful or workload is excessive, experts suggest parents first approach the teacher, followed by a school administrator.

"Many times, we can solve a lot of issues by having conversations," Steckler says, including by "sitting down, talking about the amount of homework, and what's appropriate and not appropriate."

Study Tips for High School Students

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The Value of Parents Helping with Homework

Dr. selena kiser.

  • September 2, 2020

Young girl and mom high-fiving while working on homework.

The importance of parents helping with homework is invaluable. Helping with homework is an important responsibility as a parent and directly supports the learning process. Parents’ experience and expertise is priceless. One of the best predictors of success in school is learning at home and being involved in children’s education. Parental involvement with homework helps develop self-confidence and motivation in the classroom. Parents helping students with homework has a multitude of benefits including spending individual time with children, enlightening strengths and weaknesses, making learning more meaningful, and having higher aspirations.

How Parental Involvement with Homework Impacts Students

Parental involvement with homework impacts students in a positive way. One of the most important reasons for parental involvement is that it helps alleviate stress and anxiety if the students are facing challenges with specific skills or topics. Parents have experience and expertise with a variety of subject matter and life experiences to help increase relevance. Parents help their children understand content and make it more meaningful, while also helping them understand things more clearly.

Also, their involvement increases skill and subject retention. Parents get into more depth about content and allow students to take skills to a greater level. Many children will always remember the times spent together working on homework or classroom projects. Parental involvement with homework and engagement in their child’s education are related to higher academic performance, better social skills and behavior, and increased self-confidence.

Parents helping with homework allows more time to expand upon subjects or skills since learning can be accelerated in the classroom. This is especially true in today’s classrooms. The curricula in many classrooms is enhanced and requires teaching a lot of content in a small amount of time. Homework is when parents and children can spend extra time on skills and subject matter. Parents provide relatable reasons for learning skills, and children retain information in greater depth.

Parental involvement increases creativity and induces critical-thinking skills in children. This creates a positive learning environment at home and transfers into the classroom setting. Parents have perspective on their children, and this allows them to support their weaknesses while expanding upon their strengths. The time together enlightens parents as to exactly what their child’s strengths and weaknesses are.

Virtual learning is now utilized nationwide, and parents are directly involved with their child’s schoolwork and homework. Their involvement is more vital now than ever. Fostering a positive homework environment is critical in virtual learning and assists children with technological and academic material.

Strategies for Including Parents in Homework

An essential strategy for including parents in homework is sharing a responsibility to help children meet educational goals. Parents’ commitment to prioritizing their child’s educational goals, and participating in homework supports a larger objective. Teachers and parents are specific about the goals and work directly with the child with classwork and homework. Teachers and parents collaboratively working together on children’s goals have larger and more long-lasting success. This also allows parents to be strategic with homework assistance.

A few other great examples of how to involve parents in homework are conducting experiments, assignments, or project-based learning activities that parents play an active role in. Interviewing parents is a fantastic way to be directly involved in homework and allows the project to be enjoyable. Parents are honored to be interviewed, and these activities create a bond between parents and children. Students will remember these assignments for the rest of their lives.

Project-based learning activities examples are family tree projects, leaf collections, research papers, and a myriad of other hands-on learning assignments. Children love working with their parents on these assignments as they are enjoyable and fun. This type of learning and engagement also fosters other interests. Conducting research is another way parents directly impact their child’s homework. This can be a subject the child is interested in or something they are unfamiliar with. Children and parents look forward to these types of homework activities.

Parents helping students with homework has a multitude of benefits. Parental involvement and engagement have lifelong benefits and creates a pathway for success. Parents provide autonomy and support, while modeling successful homework study habits.

  • #homework , #ParentalInvolvement

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Homework Emotions in Children and Parents

Negative emotions can help get homework done..

Posted December 23, 2015

pixabay-labeled for reuse

Most kids and their parents hate homework, or at best don’t see the point of it. Teachers are not that fond of homework either, but they are expected to assign it. I will not be reviewing the merits and disadvantages of extended learning—what homework is supposed to be—since this has been done for decades. Let’s assume, for the time being, homework is here to stay regardless of the fact that many children and parents believe it makes their lives miserable. Since homework assignments can activate negative emotions, let’s take a look at how to effectively use those feelings to get it done.

A homework assignment can be a stimulus for any number of emotions. Erroneously, many children, parents, teachers, and even psychological researchers believe that children should be interested in doing their homework or enjoy doing it. However, in most cases, that’s just not going to happen. This belief is rooted in the notion that only positive emotions such as interest, excitement, or enjoyment are what motivate us. Granted, positive emotions are motivating because that’s their purpose, just as it is with negative emotions or neutral ones. In fact, at the core of our motivational system is emotion . Through their creation of bodily feelings, core emotions motivate us by directing our attention and giving us information about what’s going on. Thoughts and images (cognitions) that arise at the same time, make more specific the information provided by emotion.

Yet how many kids have a motivational system that will trigger the emotion of excitement in response to a stimulus consisting of 2 pages of math problems? I predict the numbers will be low. Perhaps there are some children who learn for love: they are interested in doing their homework because they desire approval from a teacher, or because they want to please them. And how many parents consider their role of helping their child with 2 pages of math problems to be an interesting job or anticipate with excitement reminding their child to do it? Few, if any. Nevertheless, some researchers suggest that a parent should maintain positive emotions in the homework context to counter the child’s negative response, since children are supposed to enjoy homework as well. Essentially, they are suggesting a parent should fib, as well as negate what the child feels, since it is likely most parents are not so positive about homework and how their kids are feeling about it. Why would anyone want to teach a child that it’s okay to lie or dismiss how a child feels? Let’s consider an alternative strategy that may be more in alignment with human motivation ; essentially, helping a child effectively use the motivation provided by his negative emotions to get his homework done.

Most often, what motivates a child to do his or her homework (or a parent to oversee it) are negative emotions. Negative emotions, like distress, fear , anger , disgust, and shame , will motivate a child to do something to avoid them, or urge a child to do something that will relieve their effects.[1] This does not imply that a child should ever be threatened by a parent or teacher with a behavior that activates negative emotion. It’s punishment enough for a child who experiences negative emotion in response to pages of math problems, be it anger, disgust, fear, or the anticipation of shame. Parents who recognize how to help the child make use of negative emotion can provide their child a lifelong gift: understanding human motivation.

So here is my point: Essentially, all humans are motivated by a desire to turn on emotions that are positive or to turn off the negative ones. A child may not be interested in or excited about doing homework, regardless of your efficacy as a cheerleader. And you don’t have to offer rewards as incentives, which can lead a child to expect that he or she should only do something for an external reward. And they don’t really understand the concept of intrinsic rewards in 3rd grade. But they do understand the notion of relief. The reason to get homework done, from the perspective of negative emotions, is to feel better. Relief from an emotion that is negative does feel better and it represents a primary reason why humans take care of many tasks in their lives. There is also another important component to this process. That is, the child should have a choice about timing and be helped to maintain that commitment. She may prefer to seek immediate relief by getting the work done as soon as possible so that it is off her mind and she can play. Or she may prefer to specify a later time when it will be done and engage in other activities until that deadline appears. Either way, the focus is on being effective and efficient, doing one’s best work, and relieving the negative emotion either now or later. Like adults and their tasks, children develop such preferences and you may even want to help them experiment with each way, without imposing your own style of getting things done.

Unfortunately, instead, researchers emphasize that negative emotions, especially on the part of a parent, will undermine a child’s motivation.[2] [3] Granted, I completely agree about the importance of a parent keeping their interactions with their children fun and loving around homework.[4] However, fun and loving does not involve lying and pretending to be positive about homework when you’re not, including feigning how exciting and interesting it is. Besides, some amusing moments with a child can occur when together you can laugh about something evoking a negative emotion, such as disgust. Yuck! Homework is disgusting! As well it can make you feel angry, distressed, and afraid that you'll experience shame if it isn't done well. Thus, a positive fun and loving relationship between parent and child can happen around seeking relief from homework emotions that are negative, and learning at the same time how to effectively use the emotions that evolved to motivate us.

[1] Tomkins, S. Affect imagery consciousness (1962/2008), New York, NY: Springer.

[2] Pomerantz, E.; Wang, Q.; & Fei-Yin Ng, F. (2005), cited above.

[3] Hokoda, A., & Fincham, F. D. (1995). Origins of children’s helpless and mastery achievement patterns in the family. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 375–385.

[4] Pomerantz, E.; Wang, Q.; & Fei-Yin Ng, F. (2005), cited above.

(For information about my books, please visit my website, www.marylamia.com )

Mary C. Lamia Ph.D.

Mary C. Lamia , Ph.D. , is a clinical psychologist in Marin County, California.

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Is Homework Bad? Here Is What Research Says

By Med Kharbach, PhD | Last Update: April 30, 2024

is homework bad

Homework is a controversial topic and the object of differing opinions among teachers, parents, and educators . While some highly value it considering it key in scholarly achievement and academic performance, others view it as a nuisance to students’ independence and a cause for unwarranted emotional and physical stress for kids. 

The controversy surrounding homework does not only revolve around its value, but also around questions such as: How much homework is enough homework? How much time should be allotted to homework? How frequent should homework be assigned? Does help from others (e.g., parents or other students) undermine the value of homework? Should homework be banned? Should kids be assigned homework? and many more.

However, as the research cited in this article demonstrates, homework, controversial as it is, has some benefits for students although these benefits differ according to various factors including students age, skill and grade level, students socio-economic status, purpose behind homework, duration of the homework, among other considerations. In this article, I cover some of the key issues related to homework and provide research resources to help teachers and parents learn more about homework.

What Does Homework Mean? 

According to Cooper (1989), homework is defined as “tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours”. Cooper’s definition is similar to the one found in Cambridge Dictionary which defines homework as “work that teachers give their students to do at home” or as “studying that students do at home to prepare for school”.

There is way more to homework than what these general definitions outline. Homework assignments are not equal and there are various variables that can affect the value and effectiveness of homework.

Some of these variables, according to Blazer (2009) , include difficulty level of assigned tasks, skill and subject areas covered, completion timeframe (short or long term), degree of autonomy and individualization, social context (done independently or with the help of others), obligatory or voluntary, whether it will be submitted for grading or not, among other variables.

Is Homework Bad?

Going through the scholarly literature and regardless of the disagreement and controversies the topic of homework raises, there is a growing consensus that homework has some benefits , especially for students in middle and high school ( National Education Association ).

One of the most comprehensive research studies on homework is a meta-analysis done by professor Harris Cooper and his colleagues (2006) and published in the journal Review of Educational Research .

In this study, Cooper et al analyzed a large pool of research studies on homework conducted in the United States between between 1987 and 2003. Their findings indicate the existence of ‘a positive influence of homework on achievement’.

The influence is mainly noticed in students in grades 7-12 and less in students grades K-6. However, even though kids benefit less from homework, Cooper et al. confirm the importance of some form of homework for students of all ages.

What Is The Purpose of Homework? 

There are several reasons for assigning homework. Some of these reasons according to Blazer include:

– Review and reinforce materials learned in class – Check students understanding and assess their skills and knowledge – Enhance students study skills – Provide students with learning opportunities where they can use their newly acquired skills to explore new insights. – Enable students to hone in their search skills and apply them to find resources on an assigned topic – Help students develop social emotional learning skills – Enable students to develop functional study habits and life skills. These include time management and organization skills, problem solving skills, self-discipline, accountability, self-confidence, communication skills, critical thinking skills, inquisitiveness, among others.

Drawbacks of Homework  

Critics of homework argue that it has less value and can result in negative consequences. In her literature review, Blazer (2009) summarized some of these drawbacks in the following points:

– Homework can cause emotional and physical fatigue – Homework takes away from kids’ leisure time and interferes with their natural development. – Homework can drive students to develop negative attitudes towards school and learning. – Assigned homework prevents students from engaging in self-directed and independent learning. – Homework can interfere with students’ engagement in social activities including sports and community involvement. – Excessive homework can create tension and stress and lead to friction between parents and kids. – Homework may encourage a culture of cheating – Homework “can widen social inequalities. Compared to their higher income peers, students from lower income homes are more likely to work after school and less likely to have an environment conducive to studying”.

is homework bad

How Much Homework Should Students Have? 

According to Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez and Muñiz ( 2015 ), spending 60 minutes per day doing homework is considered a reasonably effective time. However, the study also added that the amount of help and effort needed to do homework is key in this equation because “when it comes to homework”, as the authors concluded, “how is more important than how much”. 

This conclusion is congruent with several other studies (e.g., Farrow et al. (1999), that emphasize the idea that when doing homework, quality is more important than quantity. When the variables of time and effort are taken into account, the question of how much homework should students have becomes statistically irrelevant.

Catty Vatterott, author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs , also advocates for quality over quantity when assigning homework tasks.She argues that instead of banning homework altogether, we can embrace a more open approach to homework; one that deemphasizes grading and differentiates tasks.

Along similar lines, studies have also confirmed the correlation between autonomy and positive performance. Autonomous students, that is those who can do homework on their own, are more likely to perform better academically (Fernández-Alonso, 2015; Dettmers et al.,2010, 2011; Trautwein & Lüdtke, 2007, (Xu, 2010a). Findings from these studies indicate that “students who need frequent or constant help with homework have worse academic results.” (Fernández-Alonso, 2015)

Besides the 60 minutes per day recommendation for older students, there is also the 10 minutes rule which, according to Harris Cooper , works by multiplying a kid’s grade by 10 to determine how much time they need for homework per day.

According to the 10 minute rule, first graders require 10 minutes per day of homework, second graders 20 minutes, and for each subsequent year you add another 10 minutes so that at the last year of high school, grade 12 students will have 2 hours of daily homework. As Cooper argues, “when you assign more than these levels, the law of diminishing returns or even negative effects – stress especially – begin to appear”.

The debate over homework is far from being settled and probably will never reach definitive conclusions. With that being said, l personally view homework as a heuristic for learning. It scaffolds classroom learning and helps students reinforce learned skills. For elementary students, homework should not be tied to any academic grades or achievement expectation.

In fact, kids’ homework assignments, if any, should align with the overall interests of kids in that it should support and include elements of play, fun, and exploration. Needless to mention that, once outside school, kids are to be given ample time to play, explore, and learn by doing.

As Cooper stated “A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. 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.”

Research on Homework 

The topic of homework has been the subject of several academic research studies. The following is a sample of some of these research studies:

  • Blazer, C. (2009). Literature review: Homework. Miami, FL: Miami Dade County Public Schools.
  • Cooper, H. (1989). Synthesis of research on homework. Educational Leadership, 47, 85–91.
  • 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– 62.
  • Dettmers, S., Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, M., Kunter, M., & Baumert, J. (2010). Homework works if homework quality is high: Using multilevel modeling to predict the development of achievement in mathematics. Journal of Educational Psychology,
  • Dettmers, S., Trautwein, U., & Lüdtke, O. (2009). The relationship between homework time and achievement is not universal: Evidence from multilevel analyses in 40 countries. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 20, 375– 405.
  • Epstein, J. L., & van Voorhis, F. L. (2001). More than minutes: Teachers’ roles in designing homework. Educational Psychologist, 36, 181–193
  • Farrow, S., Tymms, P., & Henderson, B. (1999). Homework and attainment in primary schools. British Educational Research Journal, 25, 323–341
  • Goldstein, A. (1960). Does homework help? A review of research. The Elementary School Journal, 60, 212–224.
  • Trautwein, U., & Köller, O. (2003). The relationship between homework and achievement: Still much of a mystery. Educational Psychology Review, 15, 115–145
  • Warton, P. M. (2001). The forgotten voices in homework: Views of students. Educational Psychologist, 36, 155–165.
  • Xu, J. (2013). Why do students have difficulties completing homework? The need for homework management. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 1, 98 –105.
  • Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2005). Homework practices and academic achievement: The mediating role of self-efficacy and perceived responsibility beliefs. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 30, 397– 417.
  • Kralovec, E., & Buell, J. (2001). End Homework Now. Educational Leadership, 58(7), 39-42.
  • Krashen, S. (2005). The Hard Work Hypothesis: Is Doing Your Homework Enough to Overcome the Effects of Poverty? Multicultural Education, 12(4), 16-19.
  • Lenard, W. (1997). The Homework Scam. Teacher Magazine, 9(1), 60-61.
  • Marzano, R.J., & Pickering, D.J. (2007). The Case For and Against Homework. Educational Leadership, 64(6), 74-79.
  • Skinner, D. (2004). The Homework Wars. Public Interest, 154, Winter, 49-60.
  • Corno, L. (1996). Homework is a Complicated Thing. Educational Researcher, 25(8), 27-30.
  • Forster, K. (2000). Homework: A Bridge Too Far? Issues in Educational Research, 10(1), 21-37.
  • Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Battiato, A.C., Walker, J.M., Reed, R.P., DeLong, J.M., & Jones, K.P. (2001). Parent Involvement in Homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 195-209.

Books on Homework 

Here are some interesting books that profoundly explore the concept of homework:

1. The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing , by Kohn (2006)

  • 2. Rethinking Homework: Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs , by Catty Vatterot
  • 3. The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning , by Kralovec, E., & Buell, J. (2000)
  • 4. The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Children and What Parents Can Do About It , by Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish

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Dr. Med Kharbach is an influential voice in the global educational technology landscape, with an extensive background in educational studies and a decade-long experience as a K-12 teacher. Holding a Ph.D. from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, he brings a unique perspective to the educational world by integrating his profound academic knowledge with his hands-on teaching experience. Dr. Kharbach's academic pursuits encompass curriculum studies, discourse analysis, language learning/teaching, language and identity, emerging literacies, educational technology, and research methodologies. His work has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and published in various esteemed academic journals.

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Teachers Are Revealing Parenting "Red Flags" They Notice Right Away When Meeting A Parent Or A Kid For The First Time

"It tells me that the parents don't care."

Raven Ishak

BuzzFeed Staff

Since teachers interact with kids and parents fairly often, they probably come in contact with thousands of people with good (and not-so-great) personalities and behaviors.

Man and girl engaged in a conversation with a woman across the table, in a room with educational posters

So I became curious and asked the BuzzFeed Community : "Teachers, what are the automatic tell-tale signs that a parent or kid's behavior exhibits 'red flags' parenting styles?" Hundreds of teachers provided their expertise and experience on the matter. Here's what they had to say below:

1. "i've worked with kids in a variety of settings (i.e. classroom and private childcare), and one of the biggest 'this is gonna be rough' red flags for me is any conversation in which a parent starts with the words 'we don't believe in...' this is almost always a parent who is more attached to their parenting philosophy than they are the realities of their child, and they always have a kid who needs something they're not giving.".

Two women and a man seated at a table with a young child; one woman appears to be speaking and holding documents

"'We don't believe in bedtimes.' That's great, but your kid is massively sleep-deprived. 'We don't believe in limiting junk food.' That's great, but your kid is constipated from a steady diet of Goldfish crackers and nothing else. 'We believe in only using natural products.' That's great, but your kid's diaper rash isn't responding to your all-natural organic cream, and you need to see a doctor. It's great to have parenting ideals, but your child's needs have to come first."

— lobsterlemonlime

2. "I was a teacher for 15 years, and I still work in schools, but now, I’m a school behavior specialist. I help kids who need behavior management plans, and I respond to kids in crisis or conflict. There are a lot of parenting red flags that I see, but the biggest one, especially for young kids, is when they have no idea how to self-soothe or find comfort when upset. When given the option to come to a calm down room or a counselor’s office to talk about their feelings, there are some kids who have no idea how to do that! I’ll ask them how they calm down at home, and always, without fail, they’ll tell me that mom or dad lets them watch TV or go on a device when they’re sad or mad. Of course, devices have their place, but they should never replace human connection after strong emotional events. It’s happening more and more that that’s the case, and then these very young children have no idea how to process their emotions ."

—Anonymous, Behavior Specialist, Maryland

3. "Elementary teacher here. Parent communication is super important with the little people. When a parent responds to ZERO of my attempted communication or gives me a number that is out of service (which happens ALL the time) is a huge red flag. It’ll most likely be that way the entire year, no matter what is going on with their student. To me, that means they see school/teachers as free childcare and usually don’t care about the rest (like the well-being or education of their child)."

Teacher on phone in classroom, students in background. He appears concerned, possibly discussing a student issue

—Natalie, 2nd grade teacher, Oklahoma

4. "A major red flag is when parents 'laugh off' or downplay a bad behavior their child displays but get outraged when another child does the same behavior to their child. I had a boy in my class who would hit, bite, kick, and throw things at other kids. It got to the point where we needed to put him on a BSP (Behavior Support Plan). His parents refused to acknowledge how bad things were. I now have his sister in my class, and she displays the exact same behavior. She bit another child on the face and broke the skin, causing the child to bleed. The dad laughed when being told about it. The following day, the sister hit another child, and the other child hit her back, leaving a red mark. The dad was furious and demanded the other child be put in another room. That type of behavior from parents just breeds bullies, and lack of accountability is such a bad example."

— randombutsames

5. "I’ve been a teacher for 12 years. One year in teaching second grade, I had a boy who would exhibit desired/positive behavior maybe 25% of the time and the rest of the time being defiant and throwing himself on the floor screaming and crying, which was usually the result of him not getting his way in some shape or form. I tried so many things to help him, like a behavior chart on his desk with a reward system or giving positive notes at home. Those things only seemed to help slightly. Then, parent-teacher conferences came. I knew his parents were divorced, and he had to split his time with both. Also, both parents worked, and he was a middle child."

Top view of a child holding a game controller with another person seated nearby, suggesting shared playtime or parental supervision

"Watching his interactions with his mom and siblings during our conference, it finally dawned on me that he was just not getting any positive attention or affection at home. And I suddenly felt so sad for him. He was really into video games, and I noticed he always wanted to talk to me about them at school. So, I started making it a point to be interested in this any time he wanted to talk. We also continued with his behavior chart, and soon, the tantrums stopped completely. I was able to develop a close and trusting relationship with him just by observing that his parents couldn’t give him the attention he needed."

—Julie, Elementary Teacher, Arizona

6. "I’m a high school teacher, and the biggest issue I have is when seniors barely come to class anymore, and when I try to talk to their parents about the attendance issues, I get told, 'Attendance only matters to the school because that’s how you get paid.' No, sorry, attendance matters because little Johnny is failing all of his classes because he’s never here. Just because your kid is a senior doesn’t mean they’ve graduated high school."

—H. Garcia, Fine arts teacher & academic advisor, Texas

7. "High school teacher here. When the student never comes directly to me to discuss an issue and instead, the parents 'fight their battles' for them. Young adults desperately need to learn how to handle disagreements/confrontations productively. Yes, it can be difficult to go to someone in authority and question something (like a grade on an assignment). However, learning how to positively handle those types of situations is an imperative life skill. Mom and Dad can’t call your boss when you’re 25 and dispute your performance review for you."

— EnglishNerd

8. "I teach preschool, and the downplaying/covering up of sickness drives me nuts. They will 'forget' to tell us someone in their household has COVID, and then, of course, everyone gets it. Their child will have a fever in the morning, so they give them Tylenol and then act surprised a few hours later when we call and say their kid has a fever and needs to go home (because the meds wore off). Kids will straight up tell us they threw up in the car on the way to school, but when they do it again and have to go home, parents are always shocked."

Child in classroom sneezing into tissue, surrounded by other students

9. "A major red flag is when the parents immediately get angry and start yelling/blaming me if I tell them their child seems to be struggling in a certain subject and offer support. I told the parent of one of my first-grade students that I noticed her child was struggling in math and offered additional support to help the child stay on track toward grade level. The parent angrily responded with, 'My child has been in daycare, pre-k, and kindergarten, and never has any teacher ever said she was bad at math!' They even added that their child is 'used to being taught in a structured classroom with quality teaching,' implying I was not providing that."

"If the immediate response to a teacher's concern is to completely ignore what the teacher says and throw insults, you know it's not going to be a productive relationship with the parent, and the kid may ultimately not get what they need due to parental pride and entitlement."

— meebz2173

10. "A girl of 14 years of age in my class was painfully anxious before the annual Parent-Teacher meeting. I had no issues with her, and she had really good grades and was always interactive in class. I met the mother who had the most judgmental and Karen vibe about her. She talked me down and refused to believe that her daughter was an excellent student and was very vibrant in the class. I could clearly see the girl losing all her confidence while she was with her mom and understood the situation right away. On Monday, when I had the girl again, I told her that no one could take away her light and she would always shine if she believed. I guess she believed this because she now has a very good income-earning job with a good company."

Young girl with her chin in her hands looking bored in front of a laptop, with books on the table

— savithri1189

11. "'They're so good at school, they're gonna be a *enter prestigious occupation.*' I taught high school biology for gifted students, and I never would've guessed the absurd amount of expectation parents place on their kids if they're gifted. I've seen kids not even 16 years old begging me to give them another chance to change a score from 85(!) because 'my parents want me to be a famous physicist.' Give your gifted kids a break! They may be smart, but they're still kids!"

— orenlevko1

"It also sets them up for a difficult time in the future because they expect themselves to be perfect, and it's not possible to be perfect all the time without burning out. I saw a lot of formerly gifted kids stall out in college because of the pressure they and their parents put on themselves to be top of the class. The problem is, there's limited space up there. You can be a great student, get good grades, turn in good work, and still be middle of the pack."

— torbielillies

12. "One that I distinctly remember is a high school male having behavior issues early on in the term, and the mother, after discussing possible strategies to help him better manage his emotions, told me, 'Why don’t you discipline him for me? I don’t want to be the bad guy.' Nope , especially since it was year one of my teaching career ."

Teacher with a mother and son discussing a book at a classroom table

— lameshurbay

13. "When they smell like an ashtray. This tells me that the grown-ups don't care to protect their child from things that may endanger them. In my experience, kids who smell strongly of cigarette smoke tend to get sick a lot, and I have trouble getting parental support (from studying vocabulary words to signing permission forms to behavior issues). I've also noticed that these kids tend to use more inappropriate language and are exposed to television and media content that is too mature for their age."

—Anonymous, Elementary Teacher, Tennessee

14. "Overly affectionate boy moms give me the ick and are a major red flag. A mom in my school calls their son Daddy, and he gets away with everything. It’s always everyone else’s fault."

—Maddie, Elementary teacher, Baltimore

15. "We can tell if you use a screen as a babysitter for your child. Screen kiddos lose their minds when it’s time to put it up. Then you put them in the car in the afternoon, and a tablet is waiting for them immediately upon pickup, or they tell you how they stayed up all night playing video games."

—Anonymous, Special Education Elementary, Georgia

If you're a teacher, tell us the parenting "red flags" you notice right away when meeting the parents or interacting with kids in the comments below.

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How Parents of College Seniors Are Reacting to Campus Disruptions

No matter their opinions on pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus, many parents are angry that final semesters and graduations have been upended.

  • Share full article

Rows of empty blue folding chairs are set up on the steps of a library at Columbia University.

By Claire Fahy and Connor Michael Greene

The college experience for many of the parents of the Class of 2024 did not begin with the quintessential moment of loading up the car to drive to campus. Instead, parents wished their freshly minted college students luck as they logged on to classes online.

The pandemic meant that for many, there had been no high school graduation ceremonies. Now, some of the families who had to forgo college traditions are facing a graduation season that has been thrown into chaos by a wave of student-led protests sweeping colleges across the country.

Bunting and school banners have been replaced with tents and barricades as students have faced off with chants and dialogue that occasionally has veered into antisemitism, leading to police crackdowns and student suspensions. Some clashes between protesters and counterprotesters have even turned violent .

Many parents interviewed this week said they had been worried about their children’s safety on campus, while others were proud of their participation. Regardless of parents’ politics or feelings about the Israel-Hamas war, many are furious at how administrations have responded — by bringing in the police to tamp down protests, canceling events and communicating sporadically, if at all.

Columbia University in New York canceled its main graduation ceremony on Monday after weeks of unrest on its campus. Separate, smaller ceremonies for each of its 19 colleges will still be held.

Shamsa Merchant, whose daughter, Fayre Khalique, is graduating from Columbia this month, plans to travel from Atlanta to New York City to celebrate with family members. She was disappointed that, once again, her daughter’s graduation would not go according to plan.

“These are the kids hit by Covid,” Ms. Merchant said. “I was hoping she was going to shine and get what she deserves with all of her friends. So, yes, I’m very sad.”

Emory University in Atlanta also announced on Monday that it was moving its universitywide commencement to an indoor complex off campus. And the University of Southern California decided last week to host a commencement “celebration” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum instead of having its traditional on-campus graduation ceremony.

Natalie Moss’s daughter, Isabella Fenn, is also graduating from Columbia. Ms. Moss, who lives in White Plains, N.Y., said she was upset that her daughter had been denied a full graduation experience.

“It felt like a jab to the stomach,” Ms. Moss said of the news that Columbia’s commencement had been canceled.

Even on campuses where graduation ceremonies were not curtailed, parents bristled with frustration after weeks of disruption to their children’s education and, in some cases, emotional distress caused by the protests.

In a letter sent to administrators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday, a group of concerned parents said that by permitting a protest encampment on campus to continue, the school had “created a poisonous reality” for students who “cannot walk freely” across campus, are “concealing their Jewish identities” and are routinely experiencing stress and trauma.

“Students previously happy to attend M.I.T. cannot wait until the semester is finished to flee from campus,” the parents wrote. “This extends to graduating students and their families who cannot wait to leave the school, as opposed to looking forward to celebrating their commencement and achievements.”

Dr. Elad Levy, an Israeli-born surgeon in western New York and a member of the parents’ group, said it had been a “brutal” year for his daughter, a 19-year-old sophomore.

“Last year, it was, ‘I found my people, it feels like home,’ and this year it’s 180 degrees different,” he said. “I tell her to find strength in the turmoil, that the world is not an easy place, and that she is stronger than hate.”

Other parents were frustrated by schools’ communication with students and their parents. Lynn Taska, a clinical psychologist in New Jersey and the mother of a student at Emerson College in Boston, where the police dismantled a protest encampment last month, said she had not received enough substantive information about decisions made by administrators.

“We get these nice emails from the president, but I don’t feel I know enough,” Ms. Taska, who supported students’ right to protest, said. “Colleges don’t want parents involved, and so I don’t think parents at any institution are getting the transparency we would want.”

But some parents said they saw the protests as part of the essence of a college experience.

Albert Yaboni, whose daughter is graduating this spring from Columbia and has participated in campus protests, said that campuses have long been hotbeds of this kind of discourse. Mr. Yaboni and his family are from Smithtown on Long Island and, despite being saddened by the cancellation of the school’s main commencement, support his daughter’s activism, he said.

“I think that college campuses are for the purpose of expressing your opinion and for protests — going back to 1968 and to apartheid,” Mr. Yaboni said. “I don’t know if you can divorce the two things.”

Regardless of their stance on the protests’ merit, many parents just wanted to be able to mark this moment with their children. Claudette Khachatourian, a single mother whose daughter is graduating from N.Y.U. this month, said she was afraid her daughter’s school would follow Columbia’s lead and cancel commencement.

“I’ve done everything and anything to fulfill my kids’ dreams to come true,” Ms. Khachatourian said. “This is going to be a lifetime scar on kids who aren’t going to graduate.”

Ms. Moss, the Columbia parent, had similar sentiments but said that the adversity the Class of 2024 had faced over the past four years would be good for them in the future.

“I had to stop and say, ‘She’s going to be OK,’” Ms. Moss said of her daughter. “The whole class is meant for something more.”

Jenna Russell contributed reporting.

Claire Fahy reports on New York City and the surrounding area for The Times. She can be reached at [email protected]. More about Claire Fahy

Our Coverage of the U.S. Campus Protests

News and Analysis

G.W.U. : Hours before the mayor of Washington, D.C., was scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill about the city’s handling of a pro-Palestinian encampment at George Washington University, police moved to break up the encampment .

U.C.L.A. : A police consulting firm will review a violent confrontation  at the University of California, Los Angeles, in which a group of counterprotesters attacked demonstrators  at a pro-Palestinian encampment while security guards and police officers failed to intervene.

UChicago : Police officers removed the pro-Palestinian encampment  at the University of Chicago, a move that was sure to be closely watched because the school has long considered itself a model for free expression on campus .

Remembering the 1968 Protests:  As Chicago prepares to host the Democratic National Convention , it wants to shed memories of chaos from half a century ago even as the campus protests are growing.

Protests in Europe:  In countries across Europe, students have staged their own pro-Palestinian sit-ins and protests  on the lawns of their universities. And in several instances, the authorities are taking a similar approach to their U.S. counterparts: shutting them down.

Outside Agitators:  Officials in New York City have blamed “external actors” for escalating demonstrations at Columbia, but student protesters reject the claim .

A Spotlight on Student Journalists:  Columbia’s radio station and other student-led news outlets have provided some of the most detailed coverage  of the turmoil engulfing campuses.


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  11. Students' and Parents' Perceptions about Homework

    Parents hold relatively consistent views regarding the value and purpose of homework, with the majority believing that it is important for learning and academic achievement (Cooper et al., 2006 ...

  12. PDF Doing Homework: Listening to Students,' Parents,' and ...

    influenced by their own views toward homework (Bryan, Nelson, & Mathur, 1995; Cooper, Lindsay, Nye, & Greathouse, 1998). What is particularly missing from much contemporary homework litera-ture is the line of research that explicitly compares students' attitudes toward homework with those of parents and teachers (Warton, 2001). This line of

  13. (PDF) Parental Involvement in Homework

    Parental involvement in student homework is thus associ-. ated with several student attitudes, skills, and behaviors im-. portant to school learning and achievement. Many of the. studies offer ...

  14. Teachers' perspectives on homework: manifestations of culturally

    These three themes concern the existence of homework, the purpose of homework and teachers' views on the role of parents in homework's completion. In the following, we present each theme, with evidence from Sweden followed by evidence from England. In so doing we acknowledge a key difference in the ways the two sets of teachers refer to the ...

  15. The Value of Parents Helping with Homework

    Parental involvement with homework and engagement in their child's education are related to higher academic performance, better social skills and behavior, and increased self-confidence. Parents helping with homework allows more time to expand upon subjects or skills since learning can be accelerated in the classroom.

  16. Swedish parents' perspectives on homework: manifestations of principled

    Parents views on reading homework. Irrespective of which school their children attended, reading homework was not only given to all children but was well-received by all parents. For example, of the four parents who generally spoke negatively about homework, Sub 7, noted that her son "gets reading homework (and) should read 10 minutes a day ...

  17. Homework Emotions in Children and Parents

    A homework assignment can be a stimulus for any number of emotions. Erroneously, many children, parents, teachers, and even psychological researchers believe that children should be interested in ...

  18. (PDF) Views of Students, Parents, and Teachers on Homework in

    The teachers' number of years on the job ranged from one to 36 years. (M=13.7, SD=10.57). Age range: 5 th-6th grade students (aged 10-12), parents and teachers with an age range of 25-65. An ...

  19. ERIC

    The current study seeks to examine the perception of the three main populations that have a part in the educational and pedagogic domain: teachers, parents, and elementary school students, while comparing between religious and secular schools. The major hypothesis of the study is that teachers, parents, and students do not have congruent views on the aims and effectiveness of homework.

  20. Views of Students, Parents, and Teachers on Homework in Elementary

    The current study seeks to examine the perception of the three main populations that have a part in the educational and pedagogic domain: teachers, parents, and elementary school students, while comparing between religious and secular schools. The major hypothesis of the study is that teachers, parents, and students do not have congruent views on the aims and effectiveness of homework. Another ...

  21. Teachers' perspectives on homework: manifestations of culturally

    the role of parents in homework's completion. While homework was unproblematic for all English teachers, half the Swedish cohort ... Patall et al., 2008) views on homework, teachers have been largely neglected. Indeed, "few studies have focused on the teacher's role in the homework process" (Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2001, p. 181) or given ...

  22. Is Homework Bad? Here Is What Research Says

    Homework is a controversial topic and the object of differing opinions among teachers, parents, and educators . While some highly value it considering it key in scholarly achievement and academic performance, others view it as a nuisance to students' independence and a cause for unwarranted emotional and physical stress for kids. The controversy surrounding homework…

  23. Swedish parents' perspectives on homework: manifestations of principled

    Following the approach used to elicit Swedish teachers' views on the role of homework in year-one children's learning of number (Sayers et al., 2020), schools' principals were approached to elicit their support for the project and invited to act as conduits through which parents could be contacted.

  24. Teachers Are Sharing Parenting "Red Flag" Behaviors They ...

    2. "I was a teacher for 15 years, and I still work in schools, but now, I'm a school behavior specialist. I help kids who need behavior management plans, and I respond to kids in crisis or conflict.

  25. The Forgotten Voices in Homework: Views of Students

    Pamela M. Warton. Adults, whether educational policymakers, teachers, or parents, hold consistent views about homework. According to them, it has many purposes among which are (a) the encouragement of academic learning, and (b) the development of skills and attributes such as student responsibility, learning autonomy, and time management.

  26. How Parents of College Seniors Are Reacting to Campus Disruptions

    "Last year, it was, 'I found my people, it feels like home,' and this year it's 180 degrees different," he said. "I tell her to find strength in the turmoil, that the world is not an ...