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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)! 

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find: 

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them 
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you . 

So let’s get started! 

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How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

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How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

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If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away. 
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C. 

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels 

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

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This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

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Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, y ou get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. 

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!) 

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Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast 

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.) 

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later. 

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too. 

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What’s Next? 

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!) 

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Do Homework

Last Updated: February 15, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ronitte Libedinsky, MS . Ronitte Libedinsky is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Brighter Minds SF, a San Francisco, California based company that provides one-on-one and small group tutoring. Specializing in tutoring mathematics (pre-algebra, algebra I/II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus) and science (chemistry, biology), Ronitte has over 10 years of experience tutoring to middle school, high school, and college students. She also tutors in SSAT, Terra Nova, HSPT, SAT, and ACT test prep. Ronitte holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 953,415 times.

Even though your parents probably complain about how hard it was in their day, students nowadays have more homework than ever before, even when just starting their first year at middle school. That homework doesn't need to be a struggle now. Learning to plan out an efficient schedule for completing your homework, working on it effectively, and knowing when to get help with difficult assignments can help take the stress out of studying. Don't put it off any longer. See Step 1 for more information.

Working on Homework

Step 1 Make sure you have everything you need before you start.

Once you go into your space and start working, try not to leave until you've got a break scheduled. If you want a quick snack or drink, get it now before you start. Hit the bathroom and make sure you'll be able to work for the amount of time before your next break, uninterrupted.

Step 2 Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

  • It's common that students will try to multi-task, watching TV or listening to the radio or continuing to chat on Facebook or Instagram while also trying to do homework. It'll be so much more fun to do those things after you're already done with your homework, though, and your homework will take half as much time if you're focused on doing nothing but your homework.
  • Check your phone or your social networking sites during your study break, but not before. Use these distractions as a carrot, not as a pacifier.

Step 3 Concentrate on one task at a time.

If one assignment proves challenging and time-consuming, it's okay to switch for a while to something else. Just make sure to save enough time to circle back and give it another shot.

Step 4 Take a break every hour.

  • Try to figure out what works best for you. Some students might like to start their homework immediately after school to get it done as quickly as possible, while it may be better to give yourself an hour to relax before starting in on it and decompress from the long school day. Don't wait for the last minute.
  • While it may seem like a better idea to work straight through and finish, it's possible that the quality of the work you're doing will start to suffer if you don't give your mind a rest. It's difficult to think hard for more than 45 minutes at a time on a particular subject. Give yourself a rest and come back refreshed.

Step 5 Dive back in after study breaks.

  • The first fifteen minutes after a break are your most effective minutes, because your mind will be cleared, and ready to work hard. Give yourself a pep talk and dive back in, refreshed and ready.

Step 6 Create incentives to finish.

  • If you have trouble staying focused, get a parent, sibling, or friend to help keep you honest. Give them your phone while you're working to avoid the temptation to check it, or give them the video game controller so you won't be able to plug in for a few minutes of alien-hunting when you're supposed to be doing your homework. Then, when you're finished, show them the finished product and earn back your fun. Make it impossible to cheat.

Step 7 Let the homework take as long as it needs.

  • You can make yourself take enough time by having your gate-keeper (the person with your phone or video game controller) check over your homework for quality when you're done. If you know you're not going to get it anyway unless it's done right, you won't have any reason to rush. Slow down and do it right.

Step 8 Review your work after you finish.

Planning Your Homework

Step 1 Write out your daily homework in a list.

  • It's common to quickly write out the math problems you're supposed to do at the top of your notes, or scribble down the page number of the English reading on a textbook page, but try to recopy this information into a specific homework list so you will be sure to remember to do it.
  • Write down as many details as you can about each assignment. It's good to include the due date, corresponding textbook pages, and additional instructions from your teacher. This will help you plan your night of homework more effectively. Also, it's a good idea to write about your homework in a planner.

Step 2 Make sure you understand each assignment.

  • Homework doesn't have to wait until you get home. Look through an assignment as soon as it's been given, so you'll have the time to ask your teacher any questions you might have before you leave school for the day.

Step 3 Create a comfortable homework spot

  • At home , a desk in your bedroom might be the best place. You can shut the door and tune out any distractions. For some students, though, this is a good way to get distracted. You might have video games, computers, guitars, and all sorts of other distractions in your bedroom. It might be a better idea to sit at the kitchen table, or in the living room, where your parents can call you out for procrastinating. You'll get it done more quickly without the temptation of distraction.
  • In public , the library is a great place to study and do homework. At all libraries, it's a rule that you have to be quiet, and you won't have any of the distractions of home. The school library will often stay open after school ends, making it a good option for finishing up homework before heading home, or your school may even have an after-school study spot specifically for the purpose. [11] X Research source
  • Try to switch it up . Studying in the same place too often can make work more difficult. Some studies have shown that a change in environment can make your mind more active, since it's processing new information. You'll be able to vary your routine and remember what you learned more effectively.

Step 4 Choose the most important assignments to work on.

  • Try starting with the most difficult homework . Do you really hate the idea of getting into the algebra homework? Does reading for English take the longest? Start with the most challenging homework to give yourself the most time to complete it, then move on to the easier tasks you can complete more quickly.
  • Try starting with the most pressing homework . If you've got 20 math problems to do for tomorrow, and 20 pages to read in a novel for Friday, it's probably better to start with the math homework to make sure you'll have enough time to complete it. Make homework due the next day the priority.
  • Try starting with the most important homework . Your math homework might be difficult, but if it's only worth a few completion points, it might be less important to spend a lot of time on it than the big project for Social Studies that's due in two days. Devote the most time to the most valuable assignments.

Step 5 Make a timetable.

  • Set an alarm or a timer to keep yourself honest. The less time you spend procrastinating and checking your text messages, the more quickly you'll be done. If you think you can finish everything in a half hour, set a timer and work efficiently to finish in that amount of time. If you don't quite finish, give yourself a few extra minutes. Treat it like a drill.
  • Keep track of how long you usually spend on particular assignments on average. If your math homework typically takes you 45 minutes to finish, save that much time each night. If you start plugging away for an hour, give yourself a break and work on something else to avoid tiring out.
  • Schedule 10 minutes of break time for every 50 minutes of work time. It's important to take study breaks and give your mind a rest, or you'll work less effectively. You're not a robot!

Finding Extra Time

Step 1 Start working on it now.

  • Do you really need an hour of TV or computer after school to decompress? It might be easier to just dive into your homework and get it done while the skills are still fresh in your mind. Waiting a couple hours means you'll have to review your notes and try to get back to the same place you already were. Do it while it's fresh.
  • If you've got three days to read an assignment, don't wait until the last evening to do it all. Space it out and give yourself more time to finish. Just because you've got a due date that's a long time away doesn't mean it wouldn't be easier to finish now. Stay ahead of the game. Try either waking up earlier or going to bed later. But don't get too tired!

Step 2 Steal some homework time on the bus.

  • If you've got to read a bunch of stuff for homework, read on the bus. Pop in some headphones to white noise that'll drown out the shouting of other students and tune into your book.
  • The bus can be distracting, or it can be a great resource. Since it's full of your classmates, try to get other students to work with you and get things done more quickly. Work together on the math problems and try to figure out things together. It's not cheating if everyone's doing the work and no one's just copying. Also, you might make some new friends while you're at it!

Step 3 Work on your homework in between class periods.

  • Don't rely on this time to finish homework just before it's due. Rushing to finish your last few problems in the five minutes before you need to turn it in looks bad in front of the teacher, plus it doesn't give you any time to review your homework after you finish it. Rushing is a good way to make mistakes. And always check difficult problems you had trouble with.

Step 4 Work on homework during long waits.

  • Work on your homework while you're waiting for a ride, while you're killing time at your brother's soccer game, or while you're waiting for your friend to come over. Take advantage of any extra time you have in the day.

Getting Homework Help

Step 1 Talk to your teacher about difficult assignments.

  • Asking for help with your homework isn't a sign that you're bad at the subject or that you're "stupid." Every teacher on the planet will respect a student that takes their homework seriously enough to ask for help. Especially ask if you weren't there that day!
  • Asking for help isn't the same thing as complaining about the difficulty of homework or making excuses. Spending ten minutes doing half your math problems and leaving most of them blank because they were hard and then telling your teacher you need help isn't going to win you any favors on the due date. If it's hard, see your teacher ahead of time and find the time to get help.

Step 2 Visit the tutoring center or help desk at school.

  • If there's not an organized homework help group at your school, there are many private tutoring organizations that work both for-pay and non-profits. Sylvan Learning Center and other businesses have after-school hours that you can schedule appointments at to get help studying and completing your homework, while community centers like the YMCA, or even public libraries will often have homework help hours in your area.
  • Getting help doesn't mean that you're bad at your homework. All variety of students visit tutoring centers for extra help, just to make sure they have enough time and motivation to get everything done. It's hard being a student! There's no shame in extra help. Imagine being afraid to ask for anything! You wouldn't be able to ask in restaurants, shops, anywhere!

Step 3 Work with other students.

  • Make sure that your group study sessions don't cross the line into cheating. Dividing up an assigned so your friend does half and you copy each other's answers is considered cheating, but discussing a problem and coming up with a solution together isn't. As long as you each do the work separately, you shouldn't have any problems.

Step 4 Talk to your parents.

  • Some parents don't necessarily know how to help with your homework and might end up doing too much. Try to keep yourself honest. Asking for help doesn't mean asking your parent to do your work for you.
  • Likewise, some older relatives have outdated ways of completing specific tasks and might suggest forcefully that something you learned in class is wrong. Always use your teacher's approach as the correct approach, and discuss these alternative ways of completing an assignment with your teacher if necessary.

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

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Expert Q&A

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

  • If you missed school that day, then you should call a friend to get the notes and/or homework from that day. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure your little study space is well lit, quiet, and comfortable. This will make it much easier to do your homework properly. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Take a piece of paper or wipe board and create a schedule for your homework. Be generous with the amount of time that you give for each task. If you end up finishing a task earlier than the schedule says, you will feel accomplished and will have extra time to complete the next task. It makes homework get done quicker than usual. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Make sure you have what you need handy when you get stuck on homework. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're confused — asking helps you understand things better. And get enough sleep since it's easier to get your work done when you're well-rested.
  • Don't put off starting homework just to have more playtime. Jumping in early leaves more free time for later but ensures you don't miss out on sleep. Plus, the class material is still fresh right after school, so you'll understand your homework better.
  • Do your homework as soon as you get home every day except Fridays. On Fridays, give yourself permission to relax for the evening. Also, take short breaks as you work to help you focus. Play a quick game, eat a healthy snack, or use the bathroom.
  • Ask for help when you need it, but don't rely on others to give you all the answers. The point of homework is for you to practice what you've learned, so try to work through problems yourself before asking for hints or explanations.
  • Write down homework assignments in your planner right when your teacher gives them so you don't forget details later. Knowing exactly what work you need to do keeps you from being surprised.
  • Break big assignments down into smaller pieces that feel more manageable. Taking things step-by-step makes big tasks feel less overwhelming, and helps you stay motivated.

what is the do homework

  • Never leave unfinished homework for the next day because you might have other homework to do and you will have to do both. Thanks Helpful 24 Not Helpful 0
  • If you forget your homework, your teacher might not accept late work or may even give you more homework. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 1

Things You'll Need

  • Writing equipment, such as pencils, rulers, and erasers.
  • Resources that may help you work faster.
  • A comfy place to sit while doing homework.

You Might Also Like

Excuse Yourself from Unfinished Homework

  • ↑ https://www.warnerpacific.edu/5-tips-for-dealing-with-too-much-homework/
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-wealth/201206/10-tips-make-homework-time-less-painful
  • ↑ Ronitte Libedinsky, MS. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 26 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/plan-for-college/college-prep/stay-motivated/take-control-of-homework
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/homework.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/understanding-assignments/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/school/homework.html#a_Create_a_Homework_Plan
  • ↑ https://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Extras/StudyMath/Homework.aspx
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/studying-101-study-smarter-not-harder/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/homework-help.html

About This Article

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

If you need to do homework, find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be distracted. Turn off any electronics, like your TV, phone, or radio, and gather all of the supplies you’ll need before you get started. Work on the most important or hardest assignments first to get them out of the way, and if you have a homework assignment that actually seems fun, save it for last to motivate you to finish your other work faster. Keep reading to learn how to find extra time to get your homework done, like working on it on the way home from school! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Adolescent girl doing homework.

What’s the Right Amount of Homework?

Decades of research show that homework has some benefits, especially for students in middle and high school—but there are risks to assigning too much.

Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school. Decades of research show that the issue is more nuanced and complex than most people think: Homework is beneficial, but only to a degree. Students in high school gain the most, while younger kids benefit much less.

The National PTA and the National Education Association support the “ 10-minute homework guideline ”—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students’ needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

The guideline doesn’t account for students who may need to spend more—or less—time on assignments. In class, teachers can make adjustments to support struggling students, but at home, an assignment that takes one student 30 minutes to complete may take another twice as much time—often for reasons beyond their control. And homework can widen the achievement gap, putting students from low-income households and students with learning disabilities at a disadvantage.

However, the 10-minute guideline is useful in setting a limit: When kids spend too much time on homework, there are real consequences to consider.

Small Benefits for Elementary Students

As young children begin school, the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning, and assigning too much homework can undermine that goal. And young students often don’t have the study skills to benefit fully from homework, so it may be a poor use of time (Cooper, 1989 ; Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). A more effective activity may be nightly reading, especially if parents are involved. The benefits of reading are clear: If students aren’t proficient readers by the end of third grade, they’re less likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school (Fiester, 2013 ).

For second-grade teacher Jacqueline Fiorentino, the minor benefits of homework did not outweigh the potential drawback of turning young children against school at an early age, so she experimented with dropping mandatory homework. “Something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home,” Fiorentino writes . “This inspiring group of 8-year-olds used their newfound free time to explore subjects and topics of interest to them.” She encouraged her students to read at home and offered optional homework to extend classroom lessons and help them review material.

Moderate Benefits for Middle School Students

As students mature and develop the study skills necessary to delve deeply into a topic—and to retain what they learn—they also benefit more from homework. Nightly assignments can help prepare them for scholarly work, and research shows that homework can have moderate benefits for middle school students (Cooper et al., 2006 ). Recent research also shows that online math homework, which can be designed to adapt to students’ levels of understanding, can significantly boost test scores (Roschelle et al., 2016 ).

There are risks to assigning too much, however: A 2015 study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90 to 100 minutes of daily homework, their math and science test scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015 ). Crossing that upper limit can drain student motivation and focus. The researchers recommend that “homework should present a certain level of challenge or difficulty, without being so challenging that it discourages effort.” Teachers should avoid low-effort, repetitive assignments, and assign homework “with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-directed learning.”

In other words, it’s the quality of homework that matters, not the quantity. Brian Sztabnik, a veteran middle and high school English teacher, suggests that teachers take a step back and ask themselves these five questions :

  • How long will it take to complete?
  • Have all learners been considered?
  • Will an assignment encourage future success?
  • Will an assignment place material in a context the classroom cannot?
  • Does an assignment offer support when a teacher is not there?

More Benefits for High School Students, but Risks as Well

By the time they reach high school, students should be well on their way to becoming independent learners, so homework does provide a boost to learning at this age, as long as it isn’t overwhelming (Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). When students spend too much time on homework—more than two hours each night—it takes up valuable time to rest and spend time with family and friends. A 2013 study found that high school students can experience serious mental and physical health problems, from higher stress levels to sleep deprivation, when assigned too much homework (Galloway, Conner, & Pope, 2013 ).

Homework in high school should always relate to the lesson and be doable without any assistance, and feedback should be clear and explicit.

Teachers should also keep in mind that not all students have equal opportunities to finish their homework at home, so incomplete homework may not be a true reflection of their learning—it may be more a result of issues they face outside of school. They may be hindered by issues such as lack of a quiet space at home, resources such as a computer or broadband connectivity, or parental support (OECD, 2014 ). In such cases, giving low homework scores may be unfair.

Since the quantities of time discussed here are totals, teachers in middle and high school should be aware of how much homework other teachers are assigning. It may seem reasonable to assign 30 minutes of daily homework, but across six subjects, that’s three hours—far above a reasonable amount even for a high school senior. Psychologist Maurice Elias sees this as a common mistake: Individual teachers create homework policies that in aggregate can overwhelm students. He suggests that teachers work together to develop a school-wide homework policy and make it a key topic of back-to-school night and the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year.

Parents Play a Key Role

Homework can be a powerful tool to help parents become more involved in their child’s learning (Walker et al., 2004 ). It can provide insights into a child’s strengths and interests, and can also encourage conversations about a child’s life at school. If a parent has positive attitudes toward homework, their children are more likely to share those same values, promoting academic success.

But it’s also possible for parents to be overbearing, putting too much emphasis on test scores or grades, which can be disruptive for children (Madjar, Shklar, & Moshe, 2015 ). Parents should avoid being overly intrusive or controlling—students report feeling less motivated to learn when they don’t have enough space and autonomy to do their homework (Orkin, May, & Wolf, 2017 ; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008 ; Silinskas & Kikas, 2017 ). So while homework can encourage parents to be more involved with their kids, it’s important to not make it a source of conflict.

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

High angle view of young woman sitting at desk and studying at home during coronavirus lockdown

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What’s the point of homework?

what is the do homework

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Homework hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. Most children are still sent home with about an hour’s worth of homework each day, mostly practising what they were taught in class.

If we look internationally, homework is assigned in every country that participated in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012.

Across the participating countries, 15-year-old students reported spending almost five hours per week doing homework in 2012. Australian students spent six hours per week on average on homework. Students in Singapore spent seven hours on homework, and in Shanghai, China they did homework for about 14 hours per week on average.

Read more: Aussie students are a year behind students 10 years ago in science, maths and reading

Shanghai and Singapore routinely score higher than Australia in the PISA maths, science and reading tests. But homework could just be one of the factors leading to higher results. In Finland, which also scores higher than Australia, students spent less than three hours on homework per week.

So, what’s the purpose of homework and what does the evidence say about whether it fulfils its purpose?

Why do teachers set homework?

Each school in Australia has its own homework policy developed in consultation with teachers and parents or caregivers, under the guiding principles of state or regional education departments.

For instance, according to the New South Wales homework policy “… tasks should be assigned by teachers with a specific, explicit learning purpose”.

Homework in NSW should also be “purposeful and designed to meet specific learning goals”, and “built on knowledge, skills and understanding developed in class”. But there is limited, if any, guidance on how often homework should be set.

Research based on teacher interviews shows they set homework for a range of reasons. These include to:

establish and improve communication between parents and children about learning

help children be more responsible, confident and disciplined

practise or review material from class

determine children’s understanding of the lesson and/or skills

introduce new material to be presented in class

provide students with opportunities to apply and integrate skills to new situations or interest areas

get students to use their own skills to create work.

So, does homework achieve what teachers intend it to?

Do we know if it ‘works’?

Studies on homework are frequently quite general, and don’t consider specific types of homework tasks. So it isn’t easy to measure how effective homework could be, or to compare studies.

But there are several things we can say.

First, it’s better if every student gets the kind of homework task that benefits them personally, such as one that helps them answer questions they had, or understand a problem they couldn’t quite grasp in class. This promotes students’ confidence and control of their own learning.

Read more: Learning from home is testing students' online search skills. Here are 3 ways to improve them

Giving students repetitive tasks may not have much value . For instance, calculating the answer to 120 similar algorithms, such as adding two different numbers 120 times may make the student think maths is irrelevant and boring. In this case, children are not being encouraged to find solutions but simply applying a formula they learnt in school.

In primary schools, homework that aims to improve children’s confidence and learning discipline can be beneficial. For example, children can be asked to practise giving a presentation on a topic of their interest. This could help build their competence in speaking in front of a class.

Young boy holding a microphone in the living room.

Homework can also highlight equity issues. It can be particularly burdensome for socioeconomically disadvantaged students who may not have a space, the resources or as much time due to family and work commitments. Their parents may also not feel capable of supporting them or have their own work commitments.

According to the PISA studies mentioned earlier, socioeconomically disadvantaged 15 year olds spend nearly three hours less on homework each week than their advantaged peers.

Read more: 'I was astonished at how quickly they made gains': online tutoring helps struggling students catch up

What kind of homework is best?

Homework can be engaging and contribute to learning if it is more than just a sheet of maths or list of spelling words not linked to class learning. From summarising various studies’ findings, “good” homework should be:

personalised to each child rather than the same for all students in the class. This is more likely to make a difference to a child’s learning and performance

achievable, so the child can complete it independently, building skills in managing their time and behaviour

aligned to the learning in the classroom.

If you aren’t happy with the homework your child is given then approach the school. If your child is having difficulty with doing the homework, the teacher needs to know. It shouldn’t be burdensome for you or your children.

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15 Surprising Benefits of Homework for Students

L K Monu Borkala

  • The importance of homework for students
  • 3 Helpful tips to do your homework effectively
  • 15 benefits of homework

Homework is an important component of the learning and growing process. It is a common practice for students to develop their skills and learn new information.

Homework is simply a general term that we use to describe work that you have to do at home. Typically, it’s assigned by the teacher during school hours and meant to be completed after school in the evenings or weekends.

Homework is loved and hated by many, but it is an integral part of education. It is not just a boring part of the learning process. It has a lot to offer!

The Importance of Homework for Students

So, why should students have homework? According to research conducted by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper , there was a positive relation between homework and student achievement. He found out that homework can help students perform better in school.

This shows the importance of homework in a student’s life. Homework is not always popular with students because it takes away their free time at home.

However, there are many benefits associated with homework.  Homework helps students understand the material in greater depth. Moreover, it allows teachers to assess how much the student has learned.

Tips for Doing Your Homework Faster

It is important to have a homework routine. A routine will help you know what to expect at the end of the day, and it will give you time to digest what you learned.

In addition, a routine will help you to be stress-free because you won’t be worrying about when to start your homework or whether you’re going to finish it on time.

So, here are some tips on how to set up a good homework routine:

  • Find a place in the house where you can study without interruption.
  • Set a timer for how long each assignment should take.
  • Make sure your table is neat and that you have all of your materials ready before starting.

These tips will surely make your student life easier and put you on the right track towards higher grades!

The Benefits of Homework for Students

There are numerous reasons why homework is given in schools and colleges. Students can reap the benefits even in their professional lives.

But what exactly are the benefits of homework and how can it help students? Let us take a look at some of them:

1. Students Learn the Importance of Time Management

Time Mangement

They will learn to balance play and work. Students will also learn to complete assignments within deadlines by learning to prioritize their time.

It helps them understand the importance of time management skills . When they are assigned a project or a test, they will know when it is due, how much time they have to complete it, and what they need to do.

This also helps them in their future careers. Employees must be able to manage their time efficiently in order to be successful.

If a project is due soon, employees should take effective steps to get it done on time. Homeworks in the schooling years teaches this practice of time management.

2. Promotes Self-Learning

Students get more time to review the content and this promotes self-learning . This is a big advantage of homework.

It also promotes continuous learning as students can revise their syllabus on their own. Homework gives them an opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

3. Helps Teachers Assess a Student’s Learning

Homeworks help teachers track how well the students are grasping the content . They can modify their teaching methods based on the responses they receive from their students.

4. Teaches Students to Be Responsible

Students learn to become independent learners as they do their homework without any help from the teacher.

Studying at home also motivates students to study harder in order to achieve better results. This encourages them to take up more responsibilities at home too.

5. Boosts Memory Retention

Homework provides practice time to recall concepts discussed in class, thereby enabling students to memorize facts and figures taught at school.

One of the advantages of homework is that it sharpens memory power and concentration.

6. Enables Parents to Track a Student’s Performance

Parents can assess how well their children are doing with regard to academic performance by checking their homework assignments.

This gives parents a chance to discuss with teachers about improving their child’s performance at school .

7. Allows Students to Revise Content

Girl Revising

Revising together with other students can also help with understanding  information because it gives you another perspective, as well as an opportunity to ask questions and engage with others.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

Doing homework has numerous benefits for students. One of them is that it helps students learn the concepts in depth.

Homework teaches them how to apply the concepts to solve a problem. It gives them experience on how to solve problems using different techniques.

9. Develops Persistence

When students do their homework, they have to work hard to find all the possible solutions to a problem.

They have to try out different methods until they reach a solution that works. This teaches them perseverance and helps them develop their determination and grit to keep working hard.

10. Helps Them to Learn New Skills

Homework is important because it helps students to learn new and advanced skills. It promotes self-study, research and time management skills within students.

It also builds their confidence in tackling problems independently without constant help from teachers and parents.

11. Helps in Building a Positive Attitude Towards Learning

Be positive

12. Students Can Explore Their Areas of Interest

Homework helps in building curiosity about a subject that excites them. Homework gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves in a subject matter.

When they become curious, they themselves take the initiative to learn more about it.

13. Encourages In-Depth Understanding of The Concepts

Homeworks allow students to learn the subject in a more detailed manner. It gives students the chance to recall and go over the content.

This will lead to better understanding and they will be able to remember the information for a long time.

14. Minimizes Screen Time:

Homework is not only a great way to get students to do their work themselves, but it can also encourage them to reduce screen time.

Homework gives students a good reason to stay off their computers and phones. Homework promotes the productive use of time .

15. Helps Develop Good Study Habits

girl studying with laptop in hand

The more they do their homework, the better they will get it. They will learn to manage their time in a more effective way and be able to do their work at a faster rate.

Moreover, they will be able to develop a good work ethic, which will help them in their future careers.

We all know that too much of anything can be bad. Homework is no different. If the workload of the students is too much, then it can lead to unnecessary stress .

Therefore, it is necessary for teachers to be mindful of the workload of students. That way, students will be able to enjoy their free time and actually enjoy doing homework instead of seeing it as a burden.

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20 Reasons Why Homework is Good: Unlocking the Benefits

20 reasons why homework is good

  • Post author By admin
  • October 26, 2023

Explore the compelling 20 reasons why homework is good, fostering skills and knowledge that extend beyond the classroom

Ah, homework – a topic that has fueled countless debates in the world of education. Is it a valuable learning tool or a relentless academic burden?

In this article, we’re going to shift the spotlight onto the often-overlooked positive side of homework. We’ll unveil not one or two, but a whopping 20 compelling reasons why homework is genuinely good for students.

From solidifying classroom knowledge to honing critical thinking skills, homework is far more than just an academic chore. It’s an essential building block of learning. 

So, whether you’ve questioned the purpose of homework or are simply curious about its merits, join us on this journey as we explore the myriad ways homework benefits students of all ages.

Get ready to discover why homework is a treasure trove of learning opportunities!

Table of Contents

20 Reasons Why Homework is Good

Check out 20 reasons why homework is good:-

1. Reinforcement of Classroom Learning

Homework isn’t just a mundane task; it’s your secret weapon for becoming a true subject matter aficionado. It’s the place where classroom theories transform into real-world skills. 

Homework, in all its wisdom, lets you roll up your sleeves and practice what you’ve learned in class, turning those lightbulb moments into permanent knowledge fixtures.

Just like a musician perfecting a melody or an artist refining their masterpiece, homework is your training ground for excellence. So, embrace it, for every assignment is a stepping stone on your path to mastery.

2. Development of Responsibility 

Homework isn’t just about books and assignments; it’s a grooming ground for something equally important – responsibility.

It’s like a trusty mentor, teaching students to take charge, manage their time, and complete tasks independently.

It’s that early taste of adulthood, where you learn that success often depends on your own commitment and effort.

So, think of homework as your guide on the journey to becoming a responsible, self-reliant individual, armed with skills that will serve you well in all walks of life.

3. Improved Time Management Skills 

Homework is more than just assignments; it’s a boot camp for one of life’s essential skills – time management. Think of it as a mini dress rehearsal for adulthood.

Homework teaches students to allocate their time wisely, ensuring they meet deadlines and complete tasks efficiently. It’s like learning to juggle multiple balls, a skill that will serve them well in their adult lives. So, embrace homework as your friendly time-management coach, preparing you for the real world’s challenges.

4. Enhanced Critical Thinking

Homework is not just about finding answers; it’s your secret laboratory for unleashing the power of critical thinking.

It’s the arena where you get to be the detective, dissect problems, and engineer ingenious solutions. Think of it as mental gymnastics, where your cognitive muscles get a thorough workout.

The more you dive into those homework challenges, the sharper your critical thinking skills become. So, consider homework your daily brain boot camp, molding you into a savvy problem-solver with talents that extend way beyond the classroom.

5. Preparation for the Future

Homework isn’t just about cracking textbooks; it’s your sneak peek into the future. Think of it as your personal time machine, where you’re not just solving equations but honing skills that will propel you to success in higher education and the professional arena.

It’s like laying the stepping stones to your dream career. From mastering time management to sharpening critical thinking, homework is your trusted mentor, preparing you for the exciting journey ahead.

So, when you’re poring over those assignments, remember – you’re not just studying, you’re shaping a future filled with possibilities.

6. Encouragement of Self-Discipline 

Homework isn’t just about filling out worksheets; it’s the canvas on which students paint their self-discipline and self-motivation masterpieces.

It’s like training for life’s grand adventure. With homework, you’re the captain, setting sail on a sea of assignments.

Completing homework isn’t merely about meeting deadlines; it’s about cultivating skills that become your secret weapons in the real world.

So, think of homework as your personal training ground for self-discipline, sculpting you into a resilient and motivated individual who’s ready to conquer life’s challenges.

7. Review of Material

Homework isn’t just an additional task; it’s your golden opportunity to revisit and cement what you’ve learned in class.

Think of it as your personal review session, where you go through the key points and solidify your understanding. Just as an artist refines their masterpiece or a musician practices their chords, homework is your tool for perfection.

The more you review and consolidate, the stronger your grasp on the subject matter becomes. So, embrace homework as your trusted ally in mastering the art of revision, making you a confident and knowledgeable learner.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

Homework isn’t a chore; it’s your backstage pass to perfection. It’s like the endless rehearsals of a musician or the tireless drills of an athlete.

Homework is your playground for practice, where you can fine-tune your skills, ensuring you become a true master in various subjects. Just as a chef perfects a recipe through repetition, your homework is the recipe for excellence.

So, when you’re diving into those assignments, think of them as your chance to practice, practice, and practice some more, turning you into a subject maestro.

9. Teacher-Student Interaction

Homework isn’t just about cracking the books; it’s your backstage pass to building strong connections with your teachers.

It’s like sending an open invitation to ask questions and seek guidance. Homework transforms the student-teacher relationship from a formal handshake into a hearty conversation.

When you embrace homework, you’re not just solving problems; you’re forging connections that can last a lifetime.

So, think of homework as your golden opportunity for dialogue, where you can foster positive relationships with your teachers and make your educational journey all the more engaging and rewarding.

10. Parental Involvement

Homework isn’t just a student’s duty; it’s a chance for families to bond over learning. It’s like the thread that weaves the classroom and home together, allowing parents to actively participate in their child’s education.

Homework transforms the learning experience into a shared adventure where everyone can join in the fun. When parents dive into homework with their kids, it’s not just about helping with math problems.

It’s about creating moments of connection, offering support, and sharing in the educational journey. So, think of homework as the gateway to family engagement in education, making learning a joyful family affair.

11. Real-Life Application

Homework isn’t just about hitting the books; it’s your backstage pass to making knowledge practical. It’s like a secret bridge that connects the world of theory with the realm of real-life application.

Homework transforms you from a passive learner into an active doer. It’s where you take those classroom ideas and put them into action, just like a scientist testing a hypothesis or an engineer building a bridge.

So, consider homework your personal laboratory for bringing theories to life, where you turn bookish knowledge into real-world magic, making your education a thrilling adventure.

12. Different Learning Styles 

Homework isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s more like a treasure map that caters to diverse learning styles. Imagine it as a chameleon, changing its colors to suit both visual and kinesthetic learners.

Homework knows that we’re all unique, with our own special ways of learning. For those who thrive on visuals, it serves up graphs and illustrations, while the hands-on learners get to dive into practical tasks.

It’s a bit like having a tailor-made suit for education. So, consider homework your personal guide, offering a learning experience that’s as unique as you are, making education a captivating and natural journey.

13. Time for Creativity 

Homework isn’t a creativity crusher; it’s your chance to let your imagination soar. Think of it as a blank canvas waiting for your ideas to paint it with vibrant colors.

Homework isn’t about rules and conformity; it’s about independent thinking and the freedom to express yourself. Whether you’re crafting an essay, brainstorming a unique solution, or designing a project, homework is your invitation to let your creativity shine.

So, consider homework your personal creative playground, where you can set your ideas free, turning learning into an exciting and imaginative adventure.

14. Enhancement of Research Skills

Homework isn’t just about checking off tasks; it’s your secret lair for honing research skills, those superpowers that will supercharge your success in both academics and the real world.

Think of it as your personal training ground where you become a detective of knowledge, learning to explore, dig deep, and unearth answers.

Whether you’re delving into the depths of the library, surfing the web, or conducting surveys, research-based homework transforms you into a skilled investigator.

So, consider homework your gateway to the world of research, where you unlock skills that will not only power your academic journey but also your lifelong adventures.

15. Test Preparation

Homework isn’t just a mundane task; it’s your secret weapon for conquering exams. Think of it as your personal exam prep coach, crafting a roadmap for success.

Homework lets you revisit, revise, and sharpen your skills, so when test day arrives, you’re ready to shine. It’s not just about finishing assignments; it’s about building your confidence for those crucial exams.

So, consider homework your trusty sidekick on the path to acing tests, making your educational journey an exciting adventure.

16. Increased Engagement

Homework isn’t a homework. It’s more like an after-class adventure that keeps the excitement of learning alive. Think of it as your personal quest, where you get to explore the subjects that genuinely pique your interest.

Homework isn’t about killing time; it’s your ticket to stay engaged with your learning journey, even when the school day ends.

So, when you’re tackling your assignments, remember you’re not just checking off tasks; you’re stoking the flames of curiosity, making education an exhilarating and never-ending journey.

17. Achievement of Learning Objectives 

Homework isn’t just a jumble of tasks; it’s your trusted guide leading you to specific educational victories. Picture it as your personal GPS, keeping you on track to reach those learning milestones.

Homework is where you make the connections, reinforce classroom knowledge, and make your education rock-solid. It’s not just about answering questions; it’s about ensuring you hit those educational bullseyes.

So, when you’re diving into your assignments, remember you’re not just ticking off tasks; you’re on a journey to academic success, turning each homework into a stepping stone toward your goals.

18. Inclusivity 

Homework isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s your versatile tool to celebrate the uniqueness of every student. Imagine it as a buffet, serving up options for both fast learners and those who want some extra practice.

Homework understands that every student is as unique as a fingerprint, each with their own pace and learning style.

For the quick learners, it offers challenges and exciting extensions, while those who prefer more practice can dive into additional exercises.

It’s like a school that dances to your rhythm, ensuring every student has a path to success. So, think of homework as your personal learning adventure, offering choices that fit your taste, making education an exciting and inclusive journey.

19. Fosters Independence

Homework isn’t about spoon-feeding answers; it’s your nurturing ground for independent thinking and decision-making.

Think of it as a playground where you get to flex your decision muscles and spread your intellectual wings. Homework is your training camp for self-reliance, where you take charge of your learning adventure.

20. Overall Academic Improvement

Homework isn’t just a stack of assignments; it’s the secret ingredient for overall academic improvement. Think of it as the magic wand that, when waved effectively, leads to better grades and educational triumphs.

Homework isn’t a mere task list; it’s your strategic ally in the journey of learning. When used wisely, it’s your key to success, a bridge to better understanding and superior educational outcomes.

So, when you’re tackling your homework, remember you’re not just ticking off tasks; you’re paving the way for academic excellence, turning each assignment into a step towards achieving your educational goals.

What are 5 benefits of homework?

Homework is more than just a list of tasks; it’s a powerhouse of benefits that can transform a student’s learning journey. Here are the top five advantages:

1. Supercharging Learning

Homework isn’t about mindless repetition; it’s your secret weapon to reinforce what you’ve learned in class. It’s like a memory boost that makes sure you remember the important stuff for the long haul.

2. Mastering Time and Study Skills

Homework teaches you real-world skills that go way beyond the textbook. It’s your personal coach for time management and setting priorities.

Plus, it’s your go-to guide for developing top-notch study habits like staying organized, taking killer notes, and acing those tests.

3. Fueling Grit and Responsibility

Homework is your training ground for building self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. It’s where you learn to motivate yourself and tackle challenges head-on, no matter how tough they seem.

4. Sparking Creativity and Critical Thinking

Homework isn’t a one-way street. It’s your canvas for thinking outside the box and analyzing what you’re learning from all angles. It’s your chance to bring your unique ideas to the table.

5. Strengthening Home-School Bonds

Homework isn’t just about you; it’s a connection point for your parents and teachers. It’s where they get a front-row seat to your education and can lend a hand when you need it.

But, remember, like any tool, homework works best when used wisely. Too much of a good thing can lead to stress, so strike that balance, and make homework your learning ally.

Who invented homework 😡?

The roots of homework can be traced back to a frustrated Italian educator, Roberto Nevilis, who lived in the 17th century.

He was perplexed by his students’ struggles to retain their classroom lessons, and so, he devised a novel solution – homework.

By assigning tasks that required students to practice and reinforce what they’d learned in class, Nevilis hoped to bridge the knowledge gap. His ingenious idea didn’t stop at the classroom door; it spread like wildfire, first across Europe and eventually finding its way to the United States.

While Nevilis is often credited with inventing homework, history leaves some room for debate. Some scholars argue that homework may have had earlier incarnations in ancient Greece and Rome, although concrete evidence is scarce.

What’s more likely is that Nevilis was among the first to formalize the concept of homework as we understand it today.

No matter its true origin, homework has become an integral part of education worldwide. It spans across the spectrum, from the youngest elementary students to those pursuing higher education.

The purpose of homework has also evolved over time. While Nevilis initially introduced homework to help students retain information, today, its role is multifaceted. It serves as a training ground for critical thinking, problem-solving, and nurturing creativity.

Whether you view homework as a boon or a bane, one thing is certain – it has a rich and varied history, and it’s likely to continue shaping the educational landscape for the foreseeable future.

Why is homework good for your brain?

Homework isn’t just about completing assignments; it’s a brain-boosting wizard. Let’s delve into the captivating reasons why homework is a mind-enhancing elixir:

Fortifying Neural Pathways

Imagine your brain as a labyrinth of pathways. When you learn something new, it’s like carving a fresh trail. Homework? It’s your trusty path-paver, helping you practice and reinforce what you’ve learned. This makes recalling information a breeze down the road.

Mastering Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills are like your brain’s personal assistants. They help you plan, organize, and manage your time effectively.

Homework transforms you into the CEO of your tasks, requiring you to set goals, juggle priorities, and work independently.

Cultivating Cognitive Flexibility

Ever wished you could tackle problems from various angles? That’s cognitive flexibility, a superpower for your brain. Homework serves as the playground where you can flex your mental muscles, applying your knowledge to novel challenges.

Boosting Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is your belief in your own success. Homework is your arena for personal victories. Achieving your homework goals and witnessing your growth over time? That’s a confidence booster like no other.

Stress Alleviation

While homework might occasionally seem like a stress-inducing monster, it’s also your coach for the stress-relief Olympics. How?

It equips you with the skills to tackle challenges and manage your time wisely, ultimately reducing stress in the long run.

But, here’s the catch: balance is key. Too much homework can tip the scales. To maximize the magical benefits, you need to find harmony between homework and other essential activities like sleep, exercise, and hanging out with friends.

In a nutshell, homework isn’t just about completing assignments; it’s your secret weapon for unlocking your brain’s potential. It boosts learning and memory, nurtures executive function skills, hones cognitive flexibility, elevates self-efficacy, and even helps you conquer stress.

As we draw the curtain on our exploration of the twenty compelling reasons that make homework a valuable asset, it’s evident that homework is more than just a to-do list. It’s a treasure trove of advantages that students can unearth on their academic journey.

From fortifying those neural pathways to nurturing independence, and from honing research skills to prepping for the challenges that await in the future, homework is a versatile tool. It’s the canvas where creativity flourishes, bridging the gap between theory and practice, and inviting parents into their child’s scholastic odyssey.

Homework doesn’t just aid in academic mastery; it’s a comprehensive roadmap for personal growth and development. It nudges you towards self-discipline, sprinkles in a dash of responsibility, and offers a slice of the sweet taste of accomplishment.

However, as in any art, balance is key. The right amount of homework, harmonized with other life activities, is the secret recipe for success.

So, as you tackle your next homework assignment, remember this: you’re not just completing tasks; you’re shaping a brighter future, one thought at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is homework always beneficial for students.

Homework can be beneficial when thoughtfully assigned, but excessive or irrelevant homework may have negative effects.

How can parents support their child’s homework routine?

Parents can provide a quiet, organized workspace, offer assistance when needed, and encourage good study habits.

How much homework is too much?

The right amount of homework varies by grade level and individual needs. It should challenge without overwhelming students.

What can teachers do to make homework more effective?

Teachers should assign purposeful, relevant homework, provide clear instructions, and offer support when necessary.

How does homework help prepare students for the future?

Homework instills responsibility, time management, and critical thinking skills, all of which are valuable in higher education and the workforce.

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Homework in America

  • 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education

Subscribe to the Brown Center on Education Policy Newsletter

Tom loveless tom loveless former brookings expert @tomloveless99.

March 18, 2014

  • 18 min read

Part II of the 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education

part two cover

Homework!  The topic, no, just the word itself, sparks controversy.  It has for a long time. In 1900, Edward Bok, editor of the Ladies Home Journal , published an impassioned article, “A National Crime at the Feet of Parents,” accusing homework of destroying American youth.  Drawing on the theories of his fellow educational progressive, psychologist G. Stanley Hall (who has since been largely discredited), Bok argued that study at home interfered with children’s natural inclination towards play and free movement, threatened children’s physical and mental health, and usurped the right of parents to decide activities in the home.

The Journal was an influential magazine, especially with parents.  An anti-homework campaign burst forth that grew into a national crusade. [i]   School districts across the land passed restrictions on homework, culminating in a 1901 statewide prohibition of homework in California for any student under the age of 15.  The crusade would remain powerful through 1913, before a world war and other concerns bumped it from the spotlight.  Nevertheless, anti-homework sentiment would remain a touchstone of progressive education throughout the twentieth century.  As a political force, it would lie dormant for years before bubbling up to mobilize proponents of free play and “the whole child.” Advocates would, if educators did not comply, seek to impose homework restrictions through policy making.

Our own century dawned during a surge of anti-homework sentiment. From 1998 to 2003, Newsweek , TIME , and People , all major national publications at the time, ran cover stories on the evils of homework.  TIME ’s 1999 story had the most provocative title, “The Homework Ate My Family: Kids Are Dazed, Parents Are Stressed, Why Piling On Is Hurting Students.” People ’s 2003 article offered a call to arms: “Overbooked: Four Hours of Homework for a Third Grader? Exhausted Kids (and Parents) Fight Back.” Feature stories about students laboring under an onerous homework burden ran in newspapers from coast to coast. Photos of angst ridden children became a journalistic staple.

The 2003 Brown Center Report on American Education included a study investigating the homework controversy.  Examining the most reliable empirical evidence at the time, the study concluded that the dramatic claims about homework were unfounded.  An overwhelming majority of students, at least two-thirds, depending on age, had an hour or less of homework each night.  Surprisingly, even the homework burden of college-bound high school seniors was discovered to be rather light, less than an hour per night or six hours per week. Public opinion polls also contradicted the prevailing story.  Parents were not up in arms about homework.  Most said their children’s homework load was about right.  Parents wanting more homework out-numbered those who wanted less.

Now homework is in the news again.  Several popular anti-homework books fill store shelves (whether virtual or brick and mortar). [ii]   The documentary Race to Nowhere depicts homework as one aspect of an overwrought, pressure-cooker school system that constantly pushes students to perform and destroys their love of learning.  The film’s website claims over 6,000 screenings in more than 30 countries.  In 2011, the New York Times ran a front page article about the homework restrictions adopted by schools in Galloway, NJ, describing “a wave of districts across the nation trying to remake homework amid concerns that high stakes testing and competition for college have fueled a nightly grind that is stressing out children and depriving them of play and rest, yet doing little to raise achievement, especially in elementary grades.”   In the article, Vicki Abeles, the director of Race to Nowhere , invokes the indictment of homework lodged a century ago, declaring, “The presence of homework is negatively affecting the health of our young people and the quality of family time.” [iii] 

A petition for the National PTA to adopt “healthy homework guidelines” on change.org currently has 19,000 signatures.  In September 2013, Atlantic featured an article, “My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me,” by a Manhattan writer who joined his middle school daughter in doing her homework for a week.  Most nights the homework took more than three hours to complete.

The Current Study

A decade has passed since the last Brown Center Report study of homework, and it’s time for an update.  How much homework do American students have today?  Has the homework burden increased, gone down, or remained about the same?  What do parents think about the homework load?

A word on why such a study is important.  It’s not because the popular press is creating a fiction.  The press accounts are built on the testimony of real students and real parents, people who are very unhappy with the amount of homework coming home from school.  These unhappy people are real—but they also may be atypical.  Their experiences, as dramatic as they are, may not represent the common experience of American households with school-age children.  In the analysis below, data are analyzed from surveys that are methodologically designed to produce reliable information about the experiences of all Americans.  Some of the surveys have existed long enough to illustrate meaningful trends.  The question is whether strong empirical evidence confirms the anecdotes about overworked kids and outraged parents.

Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provide a good look at trends in homework for nearly the past three decades.  Table 2-1 displays NAEP data from 1984-2012.  The data are from the long-term trend NAEP assessment’s student questionnaire, a survey of homework practices featuring both consistently-worded questions and stable response categories.  The question asks: “How much time did you spend on homework yesterday?”  Responses are shown for NAEP’s three age groups: 9, 13, and 17. [iv]

Table 21

Today’s youngest students seem to have more homework than in the past.  The first three rows of data for age 9 reveal a shift away from students having no homework, declining from 35% in 1984 to 22% in 2012.  A slight uptick occurred from the low of 18% in 2008, however, so the trend may be abating.  The decline of the “no homework” group is matched by growth in the percentage of students with less than an hour’s worth, from 41% in 1984 to 57% in 2012. The share of students with one to two hours of homework changed very little over the entire 28 years, comprising 12% of students in 2012.  The group with the heaviest load, more than two hours of homework, registered at 5% in 2012.  It was 6% in 1984.

The amount of homework for 13-year-olds appears to have lightened slightly. Students with one to two hours of homework declined from 29% to 23%.  The next category down (in terms of homework load), students with less than an hour, increased from 36% to 44%.  One can see, by combining the bottom two rows, that students with an hour or more of homework declined steadily from 1984 to 2008 (falling from 38% to 27%) and then ticked up to 30% in 2012.  The proportion of students with the heaviest load, more than two hours, slipped from 9% in 1984 to 7% in 2012 and ranged between 7-10% for the entire period.

For 17-year-olds, the homework burden has not varied much.  The percentage of students with no homework has increased from 22% to 27%.  Most of that gain occurred in the 1990s. Also note that the percentage of 17-year-olds who had homework but did not do it was 11% in 2012, the highest for the three NAEP age groups.  Adding that number in with the students who didn’t have homework in the first place means that more than one-third of seventeen year olds (38%) did no homework on the night in question in 2012.  That compares with 33% in 1984.  The segment of the 17-year-old population with more than two hours of homework, from which legitimate complaints of being overworked might arise, has been stuck in the 10%-13% range.

The NAEP data point to four main conclusions:

  • With one exception, the homework load has remained remarkably stable since 1984.
  • The exception is nine-year-olds.  They have experienced an increase in homework, primarily because many students who once did not have any now have some.  The percentage of nine-year-olds with no homework fell by 13 percentage points, and the percentage with less than an hour grew by 16 percentage points.
  • Of the three age groups, 17-year-olds have the most bifurcated distribution of the homework burden.   They have the largest percentage of kids with no homework (especially when the homework shirkers are added in) and the largest percentage with more than two hours.
  • NAEP data do not support the idea that a large and growing number of students have an onerous amount of homework.  For all three age groups, only a small percentage of students report more than two hours of homework.  For 1984-2012, the size of the two hours or more groups ranged from 5-6% for age 9, 6-10% for age 13, and 10-13% for age 17.

Note that the item asks students how much time they spent on homework “yesterday.”  That phrasing has the benefit of immediacy, asking for an estimate of precise, recent behavior rather than an estimate of general behavior for an extended, unspecified period.  But misleading responses could be generated if teachers lighten the homework of NAEP participants on the night before the NAEP test is given.  That’s possible. [v] Such skewing would not affect trends if it stayed about the same over time and in the same direction (teachers assigning less homework than usual on the day before NAEP).  Put another way, it would affect estimates of the amount of homework at any single point in time but not changes in the amount of homework between two points in time.

A check for possible skewing is to compare the responses above with those to another homework question on the NAEP questionnaire from 1986-2004 but no longer in use. [vi]   It asked students, “How much time do you usually spend on homework each day?” Most of the response categories have different boundaries from the “last night” question, making the data incomparable.  But the categories asking about no homework are comparable.  Responses indicating no homework on the “usual” question in 2004 were: 2% for age 9-year-olds, 5% for 13 year olds, and 12% for 17-year-olds.  These figures are much less than the ones reported in Table 2-1 above.  The “yesterday” data appear to overstate the proportion of students typically receiving no homework.

The story is different for the “heavy homework load” response categories.  The “usual” question reported similar percentages as the “yesterday” question.  The categories representing the most amount of homework were “more than one hour” for age 9 and “more than two hours” for ages 13 and 17.   In 2004, 12% of 9-year-olds said they had more than one hour of daily homework, while 8% of 13-year-olds and 12% of 17-year-olds said they had more than two hours.  For all three age groups, those figures declined from1986 to 2004. The decline for age 17 was quite large, falling from 17% in 1986 to 12% in 2004.  

The bottom line: regardless of how the question is posed, NAEP data do not support the view that the homework burden is growing, nor do they support the belief that the proportion of students with a lot of homework has increased in recent years.  The proportion of students with no homework is probably under-reported on the long-term trend NAEP.  But the upper bound of students with more than two hours of daily homework appears to be about 15%–and that is for students in their final years of high school.

College Freshmen Look Back  

There is another good source of information on high school students’ homework over several decades.  The Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA conducts an annual survey of college freshmen that began in 1966.  In 1986, the survey started asking a series of questions regarding how students spent time in the final year of high school.  Figure 2-1 shows the 2012 percentages for the dominant activities.  More than half of college freshmen say they spent at least six hours per week socializing with friends (66.2%) and exercising/sports (53.0%).  About 40% devoted that much weekly time to paid employment.

Figure 21

Homework comes in fourth pace. Only 38.4% of students said they spent at least six hours per week studying or doing homework. When these students were high school seniors, it was not an activity central to their out of school lives.  That is quite surprising.  Think about it.  The survey is confined to the nation’s best students, those attending college.  Gone are high school dropouts.  Also not included are students who go into the military or attain full time employment immediately after high school.  And yet only a little more than one-third of the sampled students, devoted more than six hours per week to homework and studying when they were on the verge of attending college.

Another notable finding from the UCLA survey is how the statistic is trending (see Figure 2-2).  In 1986, 49.5% reported spending six or more hours per week studying and doing homework.  By 2002, the proportion had dropped to 33.4%.  In 2012, as noted in Figure 2-1, the statistic had bounced off the historical lows to reach 38.4%.  It is slowly rising but still sits sharply below where it was in 1987.

Figure 22

What Do Parents Think?

Met Life has published an annual survey of teachers since 1984.  In 1987 and 2007, the survey included questions focusing on homework and expanded to sample both parents and students on the topic. Data are broken out for secondary and elementary parents and for students in grades 3-6 and grades 7-12 (the latter not being an exact match with secondary parents because of K-8 schools).

Table 2-2 shows estimates of homework from the 2007 survey.  Respondents were asked to estimate the amount of homework on a typical school day (Monday-Friday).  The median estimate of each group of respondents is shaded.  As displayed in the first column, the median estimate for parents of an elementary student is that their child devotes about 30 minutes to homework on the typical weekday.  Slightly more than half (52%) estimate 30 minutes or less; 48% estimate 45 minutes or more.  Students in grades 3-6 (third column) give a median estimate that is a bit higher than their parents’ (45 minutes), with almost two-thirds (63%) saying 45 minutes or less is the typical weekday homework load.

Table 22

One hour of homework is the median estimate for both secondary parents and students in grade 7-12, with 55% of parents reporting an hour or less and about two-thirds (67%) of students reporting the same.  As for the prevalence of the heaviest homework loads, 11% of secondary parents say their children spend more than two hours on weekday homework, and 12% is the corresponding figure for students in grades 7-12.

The Met Life surveys in 1987 and 2007 asked parents to evaluate the amount and quality of homework.  Table 2-3 displays the results.  There was little change over the two decades separating the two surveys.  More than 60% of parents rate the amount of homework as good or excellent, and about two-thirds give such high ratings to the quality of the homework their children are receiving.  The proportion giving poor ratings to either the quantity or quality of homework did not exceed 10% on either survey.

Table23

Parental dissatisfaction with homework comes in two forms: those who feel schools give too much homework and those who feel schools do not give enough.  The current wave of journalism about unhappy parents is dominated by those who feel schools give too much homework.  How big is this group?  Not very big (see Figure 2-3). On the Met Life survey, 60% of parents felt schools were giving the right amount of homework, 25% wanted more homework, and only 15% wanted less.

Figure 23

National surveys on homework are infrequent, but the 2006-2007 period had more than one.  A poll conducted by Public Agenda in 2006 reported similar numbers as the Met Life survey: 68% of parents describing the homework load as “about right,” 20% saying there is “too little homework,” and 11% saying there is “too much homework.”  A 2006 AP-AOL poll found the highest percentage of parents reporting too much homework, 19%.  But even in that poll, they were outnumbered by parents believing there is too little homework (23%), and a clear majority (57%) described the load as “about right.”  A 2010 local survey of Chicago parents conducted by the Chicago Tribune reported figures similar to those reported above: approximately two-thirds of parents saying their children’s homework load is “about right,” 21% saying it’s not enough, and 12% responding that the homework load is too much.

Summary and Discussion

In recent years, the press has been filled with reports of kids over-burdened with homework and parents rebelling against their children’s oppressive workload. The data assembled above call into question whether that portrait is accurate for the typical American family.  Homework typically takes an hour per night.  The homework burden of students rarely exceeds two hours a night.  The upper limit of students with two or more hours per night is about 15% nationally—and that is for juniors or seniors in high school.  For younger children, the upper boundary is about 10% who have such a heavy load.  Polls show that parents who want less homework range from 10%-20%, and that they are outnumbered—in every national poll on the homework question—by parents who want more homework, not less.  The majority of parents describe their children’s homework burden as about right.

So what’s going on?  Where are the homework horror stories coming from?

The Met Life survey of parents is able to give a few hints, mainly because of several questions that extend beyond homework to other aspects of schooling.  The belief that homework is burdensome is more likely held by parents with a larger set of complaints and concerns.  They are alienated from their child’s school.  About two in five parents (19%) don’t believe homework is important.  Compared to other parents, these parents are more likely to say too much homework is assigned (39% vs. 9%), that what is assigned is just busywork (57% vs. 36%), and that homework gets in the way of their family spending time together (51% vs. 15%).  They are less likely to rate the quality of homework as excellent (3% vs. 23%) or to rate the availability and responsiveness of teachers as excellent (18% vs. 38%). [vii]

They can also convince themselves that their numbers are larger than they really are.  Karl Taro Greenfeld, the author of the Atlantic article mentioned above, seems to fit that description.  “Every parent I know in New York City comments on how much homework their children have,” Mr. Greenfeld writes.  As for those parents who do not share this view? “There is always a clique of parents who are happy with the amount of homework. In fact, they would prefer more .  I tend not to get along with that type of parent.” [viii] 

Mr. Greenfeld’s daughter attends a selective exam school in Manhattan, known for its rigorous expectations and, yes, heavy homework load.  He had also complained about homework in his daughter’s previous school in Brentwood, CA.  That school was a charter school.  After Mr. Greenfeld emailed several parents expressing his complaints about homework in that school, the school’s vice-principal accused Mr. Greenfeld of cyberbullying.  The lesson here is that even schools of choice are not immune from complaints about homework.

The homework horror stories need to be read in a proper perspective.  They seem to originate from the very personal discontents of a small group of parents.  They do not reflect the experience of the average family with a school-age child.  That does not diminish these stories’ power to command the attention of school officials or even the public at large. But it also suggests a limited role for policy making in settling such disputes.  Policy is a blunt instrument.  Educators, parents, and kids are in the best position to resolve complaints about homework on a case by case basis.  Complaints about homework have existed for more than a century, and they show no signs of going away.

Part II Notes:

[i]Brian Gill and Steven Schlossman, “A Sin Against Childhood: Progressive Education and the Crusade to Abolish Homework, 1897-1941,” American Journal of Education , vol. 105, no. 1 (Nov., 1996), 27-66.  Also see Brian P. Gill and Steven L. Schlossman, “Villain or Savior? The American Discourse on Homework, 1850-2003,” Theory into Practice , 43, 3 (Summer 2004), pp. 174-181.

[ii] Bennett, Sara, and Nancy Kalish.  The Case Against Homework:  How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It   (New York:  Crown, 2006).  Buell, John.  Closing the Book on Homework: Enhancing Public Education and Freeing Family Time . (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004). Kohn, Alfie.    The Homework Myth:  Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing  (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2006).  Kralovec, Etta, and John Buell.  The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning  (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).

[iii] Hu, Winnie, “ New Recruit in Homework Revolt: The Principal ,” New York Times , June 15, 2011, page a1.

[iv] Data for other years are available on the NAEP Data Explorer.  For Table 1, the starting point of 1984 was chosen because it is the first year all three ages were asked the homework question.  The two most recent dates (2012 and 2008) were chosen to show recent changes, and the two years in the 1990s to show developments during that decade.

[v] NAEP’s sampling design lessens the probability of skewing the homework figure.  Students are randomly drawn from a school population, meaning that an entire class is not tested.  Teachers would have to either single out NAEP students for special homework treatment or change their established homework routine for the whole class just to shelter NAEP participants from homework.  Sampling designs that draw entact classrooms for testing (such as TIMSS) would be more vulnerable to this effect.  Moreover, students in middle and high school usually have several different teachers during the day, meaning that prior knowledge of a particular student’s participation in NAEP would probably be limited to one or two teachers.

[vi] NAEP Question B003801 for 9 year olds and B003901 for 13- and 17-year olds.

[vii] Met Life, Met Life Survey of the American Teacher: The Homework Experience , November 13, 2007, pp. 21-22.

[viii] Greenfeld, Karl Taro, “ My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me ,” The Atlantic , September 18, 2013.

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Wonderopolis

Wonder of the Day #1385

Why Do We Have Homework?

Wonderopolis

SCIENCE — Health and Fitness

Have You Ever Wondered...

  • Why do we have homework?
  • What are the benefits of homework?
  • Is there such a thing as too much homework?
  • classroom ,
  • education ,
  • knowledge ,
  • mathematics ,
  • prioritization ,
  • repetition ,
  • responsibility ,
  • time management ,
  • Classroom ,
  • Education ,
  • Knowledge ,
  • Mathematics ,
  • Prioritization ,
  • Repetition ,
  • Responsibility ,
  • Time Management

Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Nicolas from fort lauderdale, FL. Nicolas Wonders , “ Who invented homework? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Nicolas!

What has eight letters and strikes fear into the hearts of students around the world? No, it's not broccoli, but that was a good guess! Give up? HOMEWORK !

Did you just gasp in fear and anguish ? We're sorry, but homework is a fact of life and it's time we took a closer look at it. Even though it might get in the way of playing outside or watching your favorite television show, it's necessary and, believe it or not, good for you!

Homework creates a bridge between school and home. Parents rarely get to spend much time with you while you're at school. Homework allows them to keep up with what you're doing in your classes on a daily basis. But you don't have homework purely for your parents' benefit . It's good for you, too!

Homework can help you become a better student in several different ways. First of all, homework given in advance of a particular subject can help you make the most of your classroom discussion time. For example, before beginning a discussion of a complex period in history , it can be very helpful to read background information as homework the night before.

Homework also gives you valuable practice with what you've learned in the classroom. Often, the brief period of time you have during class to learn something new is simply not enough. Repeating classroom concepts at home helps to cement in your mind the things you learned.

For example, you've probably experienced the value of homework when it comes to mathematics . A new concept explained in class might seem foreign at first. With repetition via homework, however, you reinforce what you learned in class and it sticks with you. Without homework, a lot of classroom time would be wasted with repetition that could more easily be done outside the classroom.

In these ways, homework expands upon what is done during the day in the classroom. Your overall educational experience is better, because homework helps you to gain and retain more knowledge than would be possible with only classroom work. As you learn more, you know more and you achieve more…and you have homework to thank!

Homework teaches lessons beyond just what's taught in the classroom, too. Bringing homework home, completing it correctly, and turning it in promptly teaches a host of other important life skills, from time management and responsibility to organization and prioritization .

Despite these benefits found by researchers, the topics of who should receive homework and how much homework are hotly debated among educators and researchers. In one study , researchers found that academic gains from homework increased as grade level increased, suggesting homework is more beneficial for older students. Some researchers have found that too much homework can lower or cancel its benefits and become counterproductive , because students become burned out.

How much is too much? That depends upon many complex factors, including the individual abilities of the child, other demands upon time, such as sports, part-time jobs, family responsibilities, and types of classes. If you feel overburdened by homework, the best thing you can do is to open a dialog with your teacher. Be open and honest about your feelings regarding homework and work with your teacher to strike a reasonable balance that helps you achieve your educational goals.

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day feels just like home!

We hope today's Wonder of the Day didn't feel like homework! Be sure to check out the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • While some kids don't like any homework, almost every student has homework that he doesn't mind doing on a regular basis. For some, reading a novel for homework is pure joy, because they love to read. For others, doing group projects as homework is great fun, because they get to have fun with their friends in the process. Make a list of the types of homework that you enjoy the most. Once you have your list, think about ways in which you can encourage your teachers to assign more of your favorite types of homework and less of the types you don't enjoy as much. Opening a dialog with your teacher about homework can be a mutually-beneficial conversation that can increase learning both in and out of the classroom!
  • You know what goes great with homework? Food! It's true. A healthy snack can give you the energy you need to concentrate and tackle your homework as soon as you get home from school. If you need some ideas, jump online and check out After School Snacks To Power Homework . Share what you learn with your friends and family members. What's your favorite after-school snack? Why?
  • Do you have a lot of homework on a regular basis? It can be easy to get overwhelmed. To make sure you make the most of your homework time, it helps to be organized. Setting priorities and sticking to them will help you complete your assignments on time with minimal stress. For help learning how to do this, read through How to Prioritize Homework Assignments: 5 Steps from School Habits. Using what you learn, put a plan into place that will help you make sure you become a homework hero!

Wonder Sources

  • http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar07/vol64/num06/The-Case-For-and-Against-Homework.aspx
  • http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Instruction/What-research-says-about-the-value-of-homework-At-a-glance/What-research-says-about-the-value-of-homework-Research-review.html

Did you get it?

Wonder contributors.

We’d like to thank:

quenton , Jaiden , Leo , Grace and Lenysia for contributing questions about today’s Wonder topic!

Keep WONDERing with us!

Wonder Words

  • responsibility
  • organization
  • prioritization
  • counterproductive
  • overburdened
  • educational

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Hopefully this article helped you realize why homework is helpful, nyiahna. Keep WONDERing with us!

Wonderopolis

Don't get homework at this school. :)

Hopefully this article helped you realize why homework is helpful! 

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yeah me too a lot

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Wow, that's great for those schools! Thanks for stopping by, Mister C.

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You're welcome, Person!

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Thanks for sharing, Joe!

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That's a great way to look at it, Adriana! 

That's a great way to look at it, Adriana! Thanks for sharing! 

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I need to vent

Homework could benefit you. It gives your brain an easier time when you get a surprise quiz.

That's a difficult one, Wonder Friend! 

It certainly is hard to do homework while at play practice! There are so many cool things going on! 

Trying to complete your math homework right after you get home and have had dinner might be the best bet. Good luck! 

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Ellen The Happy Girl!

We're so glad you liked it, Ellen The Happy Girl!

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We like your enthusiasm, tyonna! 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Student! That's an interesting concept. 

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clever-name-or-smth

There's nothing wrong with being a big ol' nerd. 

And, there's nothing wrong with Invater Zim fanfic, either. 

so is checking these comments like a full time job or

Here at Wonderopolis, we do have specific people that check comments, but we do much more than that! 

Wonderopolis

There's a specific amount of time during a school day--and that doesn't make a lot of time for 'independent practice' of skills learned during the school day. 

Also, it's a GREAT idea to share your homework with your parents! 

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Thanks for sharing your opinon, Joe! 

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That's a great question, Brady. You should post it in the Wonder Bank . 

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You're welcome, Chase!

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That's great, loren! Care to share your fun homework hack?

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wegsfvbydgfhnry

Hey, Wonder Friend. We're sorry you think homework is a waste of time. Practice is really important when learning new things. 

Wonderopolis

Hi sofia! 

What's your secret for making homework fun? I'm sure a lot of our Wonder Friends would like to try it out! 

Wonderopolis

That seems to be a common theme, ashley. 

Wonderopolis

We're sorry to hear that, harrison. 

Wonderopolis

wonder i already know...

Yikes! Well, it's important to have good time management skills so you can get everything turned in! 

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Thanks for sharing your opinion, Harold! 

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Thanks for sharing your thought process, Tyrannie! 

Wonderopolis

That's great, Xavier-B-! Make homework interesting! 

Wonderopolis

Hey, Adriana! We have a wonderful Wonder team that works together to accomplish all the Wonderopolis tasks. There is a core group of three currently, but we have people that pop in occasionally to help with things. 

Wonderopolis

my next wonder is how do you know if a boy likes you because i just got a boyfriend and hes really shy.

Make sure you submit it to the Wonder Bank !

That's legit. We totally understand your position!

Wonderopolis

CaptainObvious

Thanks bunches, CaptainObvious! 

Wonderopolis

Lil’ Mousey

Hey, Lil' Mousey--

We have some Wonders about cheese already. Check them out !

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I know right! ☺️

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EverestAndEvetheWarriors

Thanks, E&E!

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Thanks for sharing your opinion, kev.

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Thanks for sharing your opinion, Giani.

Wonderopolis

Jeez bro. It’s boring. All you do is sit there and fill out worksheets and assignments. We already do work at school. Why do we need work at home? It’s boring,bro,it’s boring. That’s why nobody likes it.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Elvisssss. 

None taken. ? And, we're glad you respect homework because it's a great way to practice skills. 

Wonderopolis

It's Crule??

...but necessary!

Wonderopolis

Video gamessssss??????????????

Great reward for finishing homework! 

Wonderopolis

Video games DUH! I have one! Would you rather eat only fried chicken for the rest of your life or suffer from homework every single day for the rest of your life. Plz reply ??

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ChickenFries

I would pick fried chicken because I’m a HUGE chicken fan. Not a homework fan. One time my teacher gave the class a big report that day and said it was due the next day. It wasn’t fair because I had to miss football practice because I had to work on it.

We're sorry that happened, ChickenFries.

Homework. Definitely. 

Wonderopolis

Wonder Friend

I love homework it the best i love not being able to play with my friends and doing my homework call me i will do your homework. [redacted]

Wonderopolis

It may, Catlyn, but practice makes perfect! 

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Homeworkistheworst

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Catlyn smith

Homework is a way for students to practice skills. It takes, on average, doing something right 18 times before it becomes a habit. So, writing a sentence with subject/verb agreement 18 times(ish), means you have mastered that skill. 

Until you get to more complicated stuff.

Wonderopolis

The sources are listed in the left column of the WONDER, ZERVA. 

Homework is the independent practice of a skill teachers need to make sure students can perform on their own. 

We're sorry homework stresses some people out. That's a great subject to bring up with parents and teachers, though! 

Wonderopolis

We're sorry to hear that, Carter. 

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Isohatehomework

Wonderopolis

I'm sure a lot of our Wonder Friends share your opinion! ?

Oh,ha ha ha.???I am not a so called Wonder Friend. Are you a robot?!

? Everyone who comes to Wonderopolis are our Wonder Friends! 

We're not robots. We actually respond to most of the comments made. 

your not one person, your multiple people who are in the "Wonderopolis" company

Oh...sorry about that...I didn’t mean to say that. I’m sorry x100 ☹️????

It's ?

Wonderopolis

We think you're not alone in that emotion!

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Jack McCrea

OMG YOU ARE SO RIGHT. But to be honest I just hate it

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Mason Smolen

That's WONDERful, Mason!

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AnonymousPerson31

We're glad we could be of assistance, Wonder Friend!

Wonderopolis

Maybe this WONDER about expectations will help. 

Wonderopolis

Hi, Lulia! It's important to finish your homework so that you can continue to learn about topics discussed in school! What is your favorite subject in school? 

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Hi, caileigh! Yeah, though homework isn't the most fun activity after school, it will help you learn more about what you learned in school!

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steve savie

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Hi, Sara! We're sorry to hear that you're having homework problems ?.

Wonderopolis

All homework does is make students stressed out and make less time for them to be with their family and relax

Wonderopolis

no homework is based on the work we do in school and you will get better at your work.

We're so sorry to hear that you're having a tough time with homework, Wonder Friend ?.  Homework is important, and time with family and relaxing is important, too!

Wonderopolis

AngryPerson

u think all of our parents help with our homework? some of them dont, they see this as a "student's responsibility" and let them be and btw, if you delete this comment, it is easy to see that you don't want any negative comments about this and want to eliminate the people who think homework is bad

Hi, AngryPerson.  We're so sorry that you're angry.  We do want to hear our Wonder Friends' thoughts here at Wonderopolis.  If you're having trouble with your homework, we hope that you ask your teacher for help.  We appreciate your feedback!

Wonderopolis

This is so true! In my house, homework never connected me to my parents, because like work at school, I saw it as a test of what I could do individually. Thus, as all my time was taken up by homework, I almost never spent time with my parents. Now I feel isolated from them.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kay.  We definitely recommend spending quality time with family, and we hope that learning together is a way to connect with your family!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mii.  And we absolutely agree that spending quality time with your family is very important!!  Perhaps you could tell your family fun facts that you learned at school?  Learning new information is also very important, and it is awesome to share the information you learn with your family so that you can learn together! ?

Wonderopolis

Homework is both emotionally and mentally hurtful...Physically too-

We're sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your homework, Wonder Friend!  We hope that you ask your teacher if you have any specific questions about your homework.

Wonderopolis

Hi, Llamaz! We hope that you are getting plenty of sleep, too! Check out  Wonder 1775: Do Kids Need More Sleep Than Adults?   Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Wonderopolis

Thanks for asking, rather! We ask that Wonderopolis be listed as the author.  Also, since we do not list the publish date for our Wonders of the Day, you may put the date you accessed this page for information.  The following is how you would cite this page:

"Why Do We Have Homework?"  Wonderopolis.    https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-we-have-homework .  Accessed 25 Apr. 2018.

Wonderopolis

Hang in there, Louie! It sounds like you're working really hard on your homework and essays, which is awesome!!

Louie ramirez

We appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, Louie.   We know that homework takes a lot of work, but it's also helping you learn and Wonder!

Hi, Louie! What are you writing about in your essay?

Wonderopolis

Hi, Clara! We have MANY Wonders on these topics!! Our  Explore Wonders tab contains over 2,100 Wonders, and if you scroll down on this page, you can search for Wonders by topics that you're interested in! Have fun WONDERing, Clara!

Wonderopolis

We're sorry to hear that you are having a hard time with your homework, Ben, but we think that you are doing a great job and working hard! Keep up the great work!!

Wonderopolis

Playing games is fun, but make sure you make time for your homework, too, Mitchell! Once you finish your the homework, you should check out   Wonder 1732: How Are Video Games Made?  ?

Wonderopolis

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Benicio.  Though the pros of homework are the focus of this Wonder, the second to last paragraph does list some potential cons:

"Despite these benefits found by researchers, the topics of who should receive homework and how much homework are hotly debated among educators and researchers. In  one study , researchers found that academic gains from homework increased as grade level increased, suggesting homework is more beneficial for older students. Some researchers have found that too much homework can lower or cancel its benefits and become  counterproductive , because students become burned out."

Wonderopolis

Hi, kody! We're glad that you're WONDERing with us!

Wonderopolis

We love hearing that, Jordan!! Thanks for letting us know, and thanks for WONDERing with us!

Wonderopolis

Thanks for WONDERing with us, Miles!

Wonderopolis

Hi, Ameir! It looks like you've really done some research on the subject! 

Hi, ameir!! If you're having trouble with your homework, you may want to discuss specific questions you're having with your teacher.  What is your favorite subject in school?

math and science are my favorite

Those subjects are very interesting!! Have you seen our  Math and  Science Wonders?

Wonderopolis

We're sorry to hear that, UJEY, but we're glad you're WONDERing with us! 

Wonderopolis

It is important to take some time to rest, but homework is also important! We hope this Wonder helps explain why!

Wonderopolis

We're sorry to hear that, Gia, but we hope that this Wonder helps explain the many benefits of homework, too!

Wonderopolis

homework gets in the way of thing i want to do. I think teachers give homework just because they have nothing else to do. like isn't going to school enough work and it takes time away from my family especially my mom who cancer and i would want to spend more time with my mom. :(

We're so sorry to hear that, digeo! ?

Wonderopolis

dogs go moo

school is kid preson!

We're sorry you feel that way! We think school is an excellent place to Wonder!!!

Wonderopolis

why do dogs go moo

Thanks for WONDERing with us!

Wonderopolis

mkewigyjdfo8ueabsn ry7gtcbsh j

We're glad you liked this Wonder!! ?

Wonderopolis

Hi, Luke! Have you seen Wonder 1529:  Why Do Cats Purr?

Wonderopolis

Hi, mew mew! Have you seen our  Wonders about cats ?

jacob baldwin

Sorry, didn't catch that, jacob! Glad you're WONDERing with us though!!

Hello, Bob! We're always looking to hear more from our Wonder Friends!!  ?

Thanks for stopping by to Wonder with us!

dogs say moooooooooooooooooooo

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing! Sometimes it is difficult to balance homework and other activities.  What are some of your favorite things to do when you're not doing homework?

Wonderopolis

We're sorry you feel that way, CN Olson!! We're glad you're WONDERing with us, though!

Wonderopolis

Thanks for joining the conversation, davaeh!

Wonderopolis

im sorry for anyone that feels that way but homework is good for you

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Wonderopolis

Great points, john! We hope you will have some more free time soon!!  Thanks for WONDERing with us!!

Wonderopolis

We appreciate your feedback, jorge! 

Wonderopolis

Agreed aswell

Does your school give homework, bob? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Wonderopolis

xxxtentacion

Sometimes, unfortunately, it does ?. Homework also has benefits too, though! Thanks, gavin!

Wonderopolis

That certainly does add up the majority of the day!  The lessons we learn in school help us to grow up to be thoughtful and intelligent adults.  We do agree that everyone needs a break sometimes, though!  Hope you and our other friends get a few minutes to kick back and relax today!?

Wonderopolis

We should discontinue homework because some kids don’t do it or understand it, therefore kids start stressing and saying to there self I’m gonna get in trouble , I’m gonna get a bad grade and it basically leads in to this whole conflict .

Thanks for sharing, Liv!

Wonderopolis

Sorry you feel that way, Justin, but we're glad that you're WONDERing with us!!

Wonderopolis

Thank you bob, we should change our studies to something actually helpful.

We appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Bob.  Thanks for WONDERing with us!

Wonderopolis

Homework hater

Homework is a disease I think we need a intercontinental cure research lab for it

But, unfortunately, creating this research lab may require some homework! ? 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hi!  It's good to keep the conversation going about the amount of homework that students typically get.

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing that, Caden!  Have you been back to Mars since being born there?

Wonderopolis

Yes, I went there with him I will send you a postcard next time we go. I think Mars is wrecking his brain.

Kai's evil twin

My friend trolled me

? Be safe out there, Caden!

Wonderopolis

Must be a fun class! ?

Thanks for the feedback, Gyanve!  Great to hear from you! ?

Perhaps they also suggested some coping strategies, too?  

OOOOOOOOOOO

Not a roast

Hi again, Kai!  Actually, if you look toward the bottom of the Wonder, under "Sources" you'll see where we got our information.  We appreciate you checking up on us with a critical eye!  It's always good to be a little skeptical and ask for more research and data. You're a smart Wonder Friend!  We Wonder if you could do some research to find support for why schools SHOULDN'T have homework. We're curious to hear what you find!

www.Scholastic.com says that there is no evidence to say that homework benefits kids at all, and Washington Post says that homework on a national level is not related to academic success. Washington post also says that some lower income countries cultures normalize long periods of studying but it is uneffective, nd neotoday.org says that the link between assigned homework and academic achievement is drastically over inflated, What do you have to say about that?(sorry If I was a little harsh in my last two comments I was unhappy at the time) neotoday.org/2014/05/13/should-schools-be-done-with-homework) //www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/09/02/homework-could-have-an-effect-on-kids-health-should-schools-ban-it

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/subarticle.jsp?id=2953

WOW!! You've really done some EXCELLENT research from some reputable sources, Kai!  Our Wonder Salute to you!  One thing to note: in the Washington Post article, they do make a distinction that heavy homework loads in elementary can be negative.  In higher grades, this might not be the case "Homework, in fact, is an important component of education for students in the middle and upper grades of schooling.".  It certainly raises a very good question which is we shouldn't assume homework is helping and adding more homework all the time seems to definitely not be helping.  It's a great question that deserves a lot more thought and research.  Thank you for WONDERing and researching, Kai! 

This might get moderated, but I am curious to see how how many people "talked" with me./?

How many people have responded to my comments

You would just have to look on this comment page and see who "replies" to your comment.  Does that help, Kai?

What do you mean, exactly?  We don't follow.

? Wow, tough review!  Well, research does support that extra practice helps.  We DO discuss the debate over how much homework and what kind.  Truthfully, homework is probably not going anywhere anytime soon, so we wanted to help show our Wonder Friends how it can be beneficial and how one can get the most out of it.  We appreciate hearing from you, Kai!

Wonderopolis

I'd agree with the fact that practice does help learning on a basic level of memory but, in experience as a student, I cannot say that homework could be considered "practice." I've had many-a-teacher that has given homework out and I've had to google search how to do most of it because I was never taught it in class. Homework is more of busy work in the way of doing hobbies, eating, sleeping, and a happy and healthy life style that could possibly be important in "the real world", as if this torture is as easy as petting a bunny. Homework CAN provide help in small, sparatic, doses. If you are bombarded with homework everyday, it really becomes more harmful than helpful.

Great thoughts, Jillian!  Really well said and we appreciate you taking the time to share that with us!  We wish more teachers made time to wonder with their class (and we are thankful for the great ones who do!).

Wonderopolis

jaime lannister

you couldn't be more right school is about seven hours every 5 days a week for about a year and we still get work to take home like school is for learning there needs to be time to separate school life from your life like you can't just do work all day and you also get homework when it's holiday and there are enough going on in childrens lives than homework so this page is bad no one needs homework i learn more from youtube videos than school and children get anxiety enough from life like puberty, family, growing older school is just boring and you need time to settle your mind because in british schools they work you forever and the teachers are tough.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jaime!  Hang in there!

Wonderopolis

I hate homework we do work every day at school teachers know what is is like because they been through homework.Let me put it to you guys i know some people hate homework and some do not.Most teachers just overdo homework.

Good thoughts, Edrick.  Thanks for sharing and glad to have you WONDERing with us!

Do they write those essays in class or at home, Brielle? ?

they write the essays at home

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yuguj!  Glad to have you WONDERing with us on this important topic!

Wonderopolis

I agree so much I am so scared of not doing my homework or my grade might go down and that really isn't fair for me and my peers so great point!!!

That's a great point, Anonymous!  In a perfect world, people would just do the work assigned and see the value in it.  Sadly, it's hard to do away with the consequences and still have full participation.  It's a challenging problem to try and solve, but we are glad you are WONDERing with us!

Wonderopolis

I think homework is a waste of time. it takes away from family time and exercise time.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alisa! We think family time and exercise are important, too. The article did mention some reasons why homework has value, even if it doesn't always seem that way. Hang in there! It will all be worth it someday!

I am a very smart student with a brain to fit an adult, but even i get tired of homework. I have spent all day at school so I want a break. We don' need homework.

Wonderopolis

Yes, I agree and I too get tired of it. In my school they said that HW, was just the same lesson at home than at school. It is just a review. I am smart and don't study (LOL) and yet I have always gotten an A or a B in my tests (BTW, studying is considered homework for some reasons)

The struggle is real, Alisa. We do hope you get some time to give that super-smart brain a break! Thanks for using some of that brain power here with us at Wonderopolis!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kid77! Sometimes in life, the important things are not always the most fun. Some homework assignments might feel unnecessary but (as the article mentioned) there can be many functions of homework. At least in your case, if you learned the material well in class, it shouldn't take up as much time to complete at home. Sometimes, though, that extra practice can make the difference between knowing the information and truly mastering it. Hang in there, Kid77!

Wonderopolis

ethan (murphy)

If you are bullied, tell a teacher, if the teacher is the bully.... I honestly can’t help you there.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, ethan. We're sorry it feels like you are being bullied by your teachers. Have you spoken with your school counselor or your parents? Perhaps they can help you resolve the issues you are facing.

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us, Alexia. We hope you'll keep exploring Wonders to find one you like!

Wonderopolis

Thank you for commenting, Boi. We hope you'll visit Wonderopolis again soon.

Wonderopolis

Thanks for joining the conversation, pretty456 and twanasia! We're glad you stopped by Wonderopolis!

you don't like homework?

Thanks for telling us how you feel, Isaac. We appreciate your feedback.

Wonderopolis

We're glad we could help with your homework, Pusheen! Since we do not list the publish date, standard MLA formatting says that it's OK to list the date you accessed the page for information. Check out the Purdue OWL website for more guidance.

Thank you for WONDERing with us, Isaac! We hope you'll take a look at Wonder #1534. We think it's right up your alley! ?

Wonderopolis

Certainly, Liesel! Thank you for asking. We ask that Wonderopolis be listed as the author of this Wonder of the Day. Since we do not list the publish date, you may use the date you accessed this webpage for information (such as November 27). Cheers, Wonder Friend!

Wonderopolis

We're glad you found this Wonder helpful, sonice! There are both advantages and disadvantages to homework and sometimes those points are contrary to each other. This happens when there are different studies performed by different researchers. Sometimes the results contradict other studies.

I used this source for a case study that I am conducting on homework. I was wondering if I could know who wrote the source and when it was published. If I am allowed to have this information, please respond. Thank you.

Thank you for using Wonderopolis for your homework, Liesel! Please see our response above. ?

Wonderopolis

I know the heather

Thanks for joining the discussion, D. We're glad you visited Wonderopolis.

We're glad this Wonder helped, suicune300, even if it didn't make you like homework any more! It's great that you're WONDERing! We hope you'll stop by again! :)

Wonderopolis

Hi, bill! We're not sure we understand your comment. Do you have homework about autism? If so, head over to Wonder #1346 to explore information about autism.

Wonderopolis

We're glad you joined the conversation, avery! We hope you liked reading this Wonder -- perhaps it helped you understand some of the advantages to homework. :)

Wonderopolis

We're glad you joined the discussion, Bob. Perhaps this Wonder helped to explain why homework is assigned to students. :)

Hi, amez! Sometimes it is helpful to take a break before starting your homework. Thinking can be tiring sometimes, but it's so important! :)

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Thank you for sharing, Wonder Friend! :)

Wonderopolis

lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies

We're sorry you feel this way, bob. Thanks for sharing your opinion. We always value hearing from our Wonder Friends! :)

Hi, Christian. We're sorry you don't agree with this Wonder. We encourage you to also explore the Wonder Sources listed. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wonderopolis

i hate homework

Thank you for sharing your opinion, yazzie! We hope this Wonder helped you to understand some of the advantages to homework, along with some of the disadvantages. :)

Wonderopolis

i really like this article, got an A+ on my report. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great job, Wonder Friend! Keep up the GREAT work and always keep WONDERing! :)

Hi, Wonder Friend! We appreciate you sharing your opinion about homework! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

Wonderopolis

We appreciate you sharing your opinion about homework, nathan! Try to think about all the extra practice! :)

Wonderopolis

hey homework is good for your brain and help you to get smarter

Thanks for sharing your opinion, elroi! 

Wonderopolis

Great question, tyler! If we know who submitted the question the author is listed up by the "Listen" button. This Wonder does not have an author listed. Sometimes people submit anonymous questions! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wonderopolis

Riley & Anna

Thanks for the KIND words, Riley & Anna! We think our Wonder Friends are pretty AWESOME, too! We encourage you to submit your question to the Wonder Bank! :)

Wonderopolis

We appreciate you sharing your thoughts about homework, bob! We're glad you think it is helpful! :)

Wonderopolis

I hate homework

Thanks for joining the discussion and sharing your opinion, Brendon! We're glad you're WONDERing! :)

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Wonder Friend! Spending time with your parents is important, too! We encourage you to share this Wonder with them! :)

Wonderopolis

Antonio yet King

We appreciate you sharing your thoughts about this Wonder topic, too! Thanks for joining the conversation, Antonio! :)

Wonderopolis

Thanks for joining the conversation, Caroline! We appreciate you sharing your thoughts! :)

Hi, Makayla! We appreciate you sharing your thoughts about this important topic! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis! :)

Wonderopolis

Welcome, Dionna! Thanks for sharing your opinion about homework! We're glad you're WONDERing! :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bob! We understand that sometimes it is difficult, but try to also think about the positive aspects mentioned in the Wonder! :)

I notice that none of the evidence presented in the article is backed by any tests or studies to show that the claims presented in the wonder is true.

Oh wow.  You got us, Unknown.  Not a fan of homework, we are guessing?  Did you try clicking any of our sources links?  We appreciate you keeping us on our toes!

Hi, d! We understand it's important for you to have free time, too! We hope you still have time for that! :)

I think you are wrong I have to stay up all night to do my homework then at school I always fall asleep :(

We're sorry to hear that, Jack. Thanks for sharing your connection. Maybe you can talk to your teacher about that. :)

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing your opinion about homework, avry! We appreciate you joining the discussion! Hopefully you learned some of the positive aspects of homework! :)

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Bumble Bee! We understand that there are many different opinions out there about homework. We tried to address both sides, while also stating the positive aspects of homework. We hope you understand and Wonder with us again soon! :)

Wonderopolis

wonderopolis is a lier

no your article is mostly one sided. the side being that homework is good

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Wonder Friend. You can read more about the advantages and disadvantages of homework by reviewing the Wonder Sources we provided above.

Wonderopolis

Hi, Kayla! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We're sorry to hear homework is so stressful. We hope things get better! Stay positive! :)

Wonderopolis

That's GREAT, Emma! We love your enthusiasm for learning! Keep up the GREAT work! :)

Wonderopolis

Trinity Goebel

Hi, Trinity! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about homework. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you have a lot, but try to stay positive! Keep up the GREAT work! :)

Wonderopolis

homework is stupid why why do we have it mmmmmmm i hate it..

Hi, tyson! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We're sure there is some good in homework -- just take a look at the Wonder text above to see! :)

A lot of students don't like homework, ..., and it can be challenging to keep up with homework with everything else going on in your life. The important thing is to do your best, because there are lots of benefits to homework even if it doesn't always seem like it. If homework is a regular problem, talk to your teacher or fellow classmates for help. We're glad you took the time to share your thoughts about homework.

Wonderopolis

To answer your question, Im pretty sure homework is NOT a law, but pretty much every teacher gives you homework. Depending on what grade you are in, usually grades 1-3 get 0-30 minutes of homework each night. grades 4-6 get 0-2 hour of homework each night, and Grades 7 and 8 get 30-3 hours of homework each night..... all of this depends on the student and how he or she learns. but this is what the average student gives to do homework in Elementary school

Thanks for the GREAT explanation, emma! You're right in that there are recommended amounts, but no particular law. We appreciate your comment! :)

Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis for your homework, Maya! Homework is not a law. It depends how much homework you have as to how long it takes. Also, some assignments, like projects, take longer than smaller assignments. We hope this Wonder was helpful in answering your questions! :)

Hi, Maya! No, homework is not a law. It is up to your teacher or school. We hope this Wonder helped explain how homework is helpful for practicing what you learned. We understand it is a pain sometimes, but we hope you understand! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

Wonderopolis

TENNIS is awesome

Hello, TENNIS is awesome! The WONDER mentions some reasons why homework is important, sch as extra practice. We appreciate your comment and you sharing your opinion with us! :)

Wonderopolis

One opinion

Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis

We appreciate you sharing your thoughts, One opinion! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

Wonderopolis

Hello, hahahah! Homework can be time consuming sometimes, but keep thinking positively about all you're learning! :)

We appreciate you sharing your opinion, Goopdi! Sometimes it may seem like a chore, but it is always a good idea to practice what you learned at school. WONDERing is a WONDERful way to learn and have fun at the same time! :)

Wonderopolis

I believe homework is a waste of time!!

Wonderopolis

Shae Skipper

Hello, Shae Skipper! You make some great points to support your opinion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with your WONDER friends! :)

Wonderopolis

Why do we wonder?

That's a GREAT question, Alistair! WONDERing is a GREAT way to learn new things, have fun, and explore the world around us! :)

Wonderopolis

connor essary

Hello WONDER Friend, connor essary! We are glad you enjoyed this WONDER. Here is another WONDER about homework. Wonder #491: Do Dogs Really Eat Homework? Enjoy! :)

Wonderopolis

JoHaunn Mainwood

Hi JoHaunn Mainwood! Thanks for commenting on this WONDER! We appreciate our WONDER friends sharing their thoughts! :)

Wonderopolis

Welcome, Bob! Thanks for WONDERing with us and commenting on the WONDER! :)

Wonderopolis

McDonald's

Hi McDonald's! Thanks for commenting on this WONDER. We hate to hear you hate homework. Homework is another way to learn and show others what you know. Check back for more WONDERS! :)

Wonderopolis

Hi Jaheim! We hate to hear you don't enjoy your homework. Homework is a great way to show your family and friends what you are doing in school. Keep working hard and WONDERing!

Wonderopolis

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sara! You do learn more from doing your homework! Keep up the great work! :)

Wonderopolis

Hi David! We hate to hear you don't like homework because it helps us practice what we learned in school. Homework is different everywhere you go. Keep working hard! :)

Wonderopolis

Hello, Nicole! We hate to hear you hate homework. Homework can be great practice for what you are learning in school. We know you are working hard and doing a great job. Keep it up! :)

Wonderopolis

keandre campbell

Welcome to WONDERopolis, keandre campbell! There are over 1,000 WONDERS for you to explore. Thanks for WONDERing with us. Check back every day for more WONDERful WONDERS! :)

Wonderopolis

That's great, Crazy! Keep up the great WONDERing! :)

Wonderopolis

Wonder frog

Wonderopolis

It is not school is amazing!!!

Welcome, Wonder frog! We hate to hear you don't enjoy school. School is a great opportunity to WONDER and learn new things. Then you can share your new knowledge with your friends. Try checking out Wonder #1268: Why Was School Created? Always keep WONDERing! :)

Wonderopolis

I agree totally!

We appreciate you sharing your opinion about homework, too, Kaytlyn! Thanks for stopping by! :)

We appreciate you joining the discussion, Trinity! We hope this Wonder showed a few reasons why homework can be beneficial! :)

Hello, Jordan! Homework can be great practice. It helps you continue learning! :)

Wonderopolis

Lukas Wozencraft

That's funny, Lukas Wozencraft! What do you think it will be about? Be sure to check back tomorrow! :)

Wonderopolis

Jahkeya from DE

Hello WONDER friend, Jahkeya from DE! What would our world be like if dinosaurs weren't extint? Hmmm...? Something to WONDER about! :)

Wonderopolis

We are glad you enjoyed the video, Jasahn! Homework is very helpful most of the time! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

Wonderopolis

We are glad you liked the video, Makayla! It made us laugh, too! Check out Wonder #1285: What Was Before Dinosaurs? Happy WONDERing! :)

Wonderopolis

Juilo from DE

Hello, Juilo from DE! Cheer up! Homework helps you practice what you are learning. After all, they say practice makes perfect! If you enjoy video games, check out Wonder #1344: Who Invented the First Video Game? Have fun WONDERing! :)

Wonderopolis

Autumn from Delaware

Welcome, Autumn from Delaware! The video was silly! Here is another WONDER about dinosaurs! Wonder #275: How Do Dinosaurs Get Their Names? Enjoy! :)

Thanks for WONDERing with us, Sara! Check back everyday for more WONDERful WONDERS!:)

Wonderopolis

Hello, Gabriel! It sounds like many of our WONDER friends agree with you about the video. We all thought it was funny too! Thanks for commenting! :)

Wonderopolis

Julian from Delaware

Welcome, Julian from Delaware! You stay busy! That shows true commitment and hard work! :)

Wonderopolis

Hi Geyonni! We are glad you liked the video. Can you imagine seeing a dinosaur at school? Check out Wonder #491: Do Dogs Really Eat Homework? Happy WONDERing! :)

Wonderopolis

christina from De

Wonderopolis

I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for commenting, christina from De! You're right, that kids also need time to spend with their family. As the WONDER tells us, it is important to not have too much homework. That leaves time for both! :)

Wonderopolis

Khyan from DE

Thanks for sharing, Khyan from DE! Homework is helpful practice and playing with your friends is important, too. Hopefully you can find a happy medium between the two! :)

Wonderopolis

Kainat from Delware

Not really... :(

im just here because of espark, of all you people you domt kn9w what espark is, well its not homework its just were on oir school ipads amd we do this app that novody wants to do and we have (quests) and are a bunch of activities put togethor.

That could be a very fun way to learn and WONDER, Mitchell! 

Wonderopolis

William Weispfenning

Homework is so fun (not) homework = ?

lol really william

Thanks for joining the discussion, William. There are pros and cons to homework and we hope this Wonder helped you learn about them. ?

We appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Trinity! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis! :)

That's right, Kainat from Delware! Homework is great practice! Keep up the great WONDERing! :)

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Question 1 of 3

Homework plays an important role for parents by creating a bridge between home and what?

  • a school Correct!
  • b parents Not Quite!
  • c coaches Not Quite!
  • d students Not Quite!

Question 2 of 3

Which of the following is NOT an important life skill that can be enhanced via homework?

  • a time management Not Quite!
  • b prioritization Not Quite!
  • c organization Not Quite!
  • d photosynthesis Correct!

Question 3 of 3

How much is too much homework per night?

  • a 30 minutes Not Quite!
  • b 1 hour Not Quite!
  • c 2 hours Not Quite!
  • d It depends upon a variety of complex factors. Correct!

Quiz Results

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11 Surprising Homework Statistics, Facts & Data

homework pros and cons

The age-old question of whether homework is good or bad for students is unanswerable because there are so many “ it depends ” factors.

For example, it depends on the age of the child, the type of homework being assigned, and even the child’s needs.

There are also many conflicting reports on whether homework is good or bad. This is a topic that largely relies on data interpretation for the researcher to come to their conclusions.

To cut through some of the fog, below I’ve outlined some great homework statistics that can help us understand the effects of homework on children.

Homework Statistics List

1. 45% of parents think homework is too easy for their children.

A study by the Center for American Progress found that parents are almost twice as likely to believe their children’s homework is too easy than to disagree with that statement.

Here are the figures for math homework:

  • 46% of parents think their child’s math homework is too easy.
  • 25% of parents think their child’s math homework is not too easy.
  • 29% of parents offered no opinion.

Here are the figures for language arts homework:

  • 44% of parents think their child’s language arts homework is too easy.
  • 28% of parents think their child’s language arts homework is not too easy.
  • 28% of parents offered no opinion.

These findings are based on online surveys of 372 parents of school-aged children conducted in 2018.

2. 93% of Fourth Grade Children Worldwide are Assigned Homework

The prestigious worldwide math assessment Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) took a survey of worldwide homework trends in 2007. Their study concluded that 93% of fourth-grade children are regularly assigned homework, while just 7% never or rarely have homework assigned.

3. 17% of Teens Regularly Miss Homework due to Lack of High-Speed Internet Access

A 2018 Pew Research poll of 743 US teens found that 17%, or almost 2 in every 5 students, regularly struggled to complete homework because they didn’t have reliable access to the internet.

This figure rose to 25% of Black American teens and 24% of teens whose families have an income of less than $30,000 per year.

4. Parents Spend 6.7 Hours Per Week on their Children’s Homework

A 2018 study of 27,500 parents around the world found that the average amount of time parents spend on homework with their child is 6.7 hours per week. Furthermore, 25% of parents spend more than 7 hours per week on their child’s homework.

American parents spend slightly below average at 6.2 hours per week, while Indian parents spend 12 hours per week and Japanese parents spend 2.6 hours per week.

5. Students in High-Performing High Schools Spend on Average 3.1 Hours per night Doing Homework

A study by Galloway, Conner & Pope (2013) conducted a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California. 

Across these high-performing schools, students self-reported that they did 3.1 hours per night of homework.

Graduates from those schools also ended up going on to college 93% of the time.

6. One to Two Hours is the Optimal Duration for Homework

A 2012 peer-reviewed study in the High School Journal found that students who conducted between one and two hours achieved higher results in tests than any other group.

However, the authors were quick to highlight that this “t is an oversimplification of a much more complex problem.” I’m inclined to agree. The greater variable is likely the quality of the homework than time spent on it.

Nevertheless, one result was unequivocal: that some homework is better than none at all : “students who complete any amount of homework earn higher test scores than their peers who do not complete homework.”

7. 74% of Teens cite Homework as a Source of Stress

A study by the Better Sleep Council found that homework is a source of stress for 74% of students. Only school grades, at 75%, rated higher in the study.

That figure rises for girls, with 80% of girls citing homework as a source of stress.

Similarly, the study by Galloway, Conner & Pope (2013) found that 56% of students cite homework as a “primary stressor” in their lives.

8. US Teens Spend more than 15 Hours per Week on Homework

The same study by the Better Sleep Council also found that US teens spend over 2 hours per school night on homework, and overall this added up to over 15 hours per week.

Surprisingly, 4% of US teens say they do more than 6 hours of homework per night. That’s almost as much homework as there are hours in the school day.

The only activity that teens self-reported as doing more than homework was engaging in electronics, which included using phones, playing video games, and watching TV.

9. The 10-Minute Rule

The National Education Association (USA) endorses the concept of doing 10 minutes of homework per night per grade.

For example, if you are in 3rd grade, you should do 30 minutes of homework per night. If you are in 4th grade, you should do 40 minutes of homework per night.

However, this ‘rule’ appears not to be based in sound research. Nevertheless, it is true that homework benefits (no matter the quality of the homework) will likely wane after 2 hours (120 minutes) per night, which would be the NEA guidelines’ peak in grade 12.

10. 21.9% of Parents are Too Busy for their Children’s Homework

An online poll of nearly 300 parents found that 21.9% are too busy to review their children’s homework. On top of this, 31.6% of parents do not look at their children’s homework because their children do not want their help. For these parents, their children’s unwillingness to accept their support is a key source of frustration.

11. 46.5% of Parents find Homework too Hard

The same online poll of parents of children from grades 1 to 12 also found that many parents struggle to help their children with homework because parents find it confusing themselves. Unfortunately, the study did not ask the age of the students so more data is required here to get a full picture of the issue.

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Interpreting the Data

Unfortunately, homework is one of those topics that can be interpreted by different people pursuing differing agendas. All studies of homework have a wide range of variables, such as:

  • What age were the children in the study?
  • What was the homework they were assigned?
  • What tools were available to them?
  • What were the cultural attitudes to homework and how did they impact the study?
  • Is the study replicable?

The more questions we ask about the data, the more we realize that it’s hard to come to firm conclusions about the pros and cons of homework .

Furthermore, questions about the opportunity cost of homework remain. Even if homework is good for children’s test scores, is it worthwhile if the children consequently do less exercise or experience more stress?

Thus, this ends up becoming a largely qualitative exercise. If parents and teachers zoom in on an individual child’s needs, they’ll be able to more effectively understand how much homework a child needs as well as the type of homework they should be assigned.

Related: Funny Homework Excuses

The debate over whether homework should be banned will not be resolved with these homework statistics. But, these facts and figures can help you to pursue a position in a school debate on the topic – and with that, I hope your debate goes well and you develop some great debating skills!

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

What’s the Purpose of Homework?

Finding the right balance between school and home..

Posted November 4, 2014 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader

Steven S./Flickr Commons

Remember the days of sitting in class waiting eagerly for the bell to ring before the teacher said that dreaded word, “homework”? Sighs, rolling eyes, and grunts quickly filled the quiet classroom at the mention of that word. Well, not much has changed today except for the fact that many teachers post assignments electronically. I have yet to see a student jump for joy when the word homework is mentioned, nor have I seen students eager to get home to do their homework (maybe finish it, but not to do it). This brings up the question, “What’s the purpose of homework?”

Research shows mixed results when it comes to homework. Some research has shown that students aren’t doing any more homework than their parents did at their age. In a study, school-aged children and parents completed surveys about how much homework youth have. The results showed that the typical elementary student has 30-45 minutes of homework each night. The average high-school student has about 60 minutes per night. Interestingly, these numbers have remained consistent since 1984!

As an educator, I would like to see a replication of this study. Today's teens are taking college-level courses as early as the ninth and tenth grade. With the push of programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Dual Enrollment, it is amazing that teens are not completely burnt out. No wonder 8% of teen's age 13-18 years meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder. Too many teens are spending a lot of time on schoolwork outside of the classroom. Ask today's teen what has him/her so stressed and you'll find that about 80% of them will say school.

Maarten/Flickr Commons

There are those who argue that homework does serve a purpose . For example, it helps to prepare students for national and statewide exams and tests. It helps to reinforce what’s being taught in the classroom. It enables parents to actively engage in their child’s education . Plus, it helps teach fundamental skills such as time management , organization, task completion, as well as responsibility. What’s more important is students get to demonstrate mastery of material without the assistance of a teacher.

How much homework should your child do each night? Organizations such as the National Parent Teacher Association support giving students about 10 minutes of homework each night, per grade level, starting in first grade. So a middle school student would have a full day in school and then an additional 60 minutes of homework after school. Is that too much? Are these guidelines being followed? I would recommend speaking with high-achieving teens and let them share how much of their time is consumed with homework. Many will tell you that they spend hours upon hours each night studying for tests, and preparing for papers and projects, etc.

According to Stanford University , more than a couple of hours of homework a night may be counterproductive. Researchers looked at students in high achieving communities, defined as a median household income exceeding $90,000, and 93% of the students attended post-secondary institutions. Students in these areas spent an average of three-plus hours on homework every night. So imagine a teen spending an entire day at school, going to work or extracurricular activities, then going home to do three or more hours of homework each night; only to get up the next day to do it all again.

Researchers have found that students who spend too much time on homework experience more levels of stress and physical health problems. Too much homework has also been shown to have a negative impact on students’ social lives. This is no surprise to the parents who rarely see their child because he/she is too busy working on homework, or to the parent who gets up at 12:30 A.M. to check to see if their child has made it to bed yet. Overall, high school students shouldn’t be spending over two hours on homework each night.

Judit Klein/Flickr Commons

According to the Stanford study , too much homework leads to:

•Stress: 56% of the students surveyed considered homework a primary source of stress. Less than 1% of the students said homework was not a stressor.

•Poor health: Many students reported sleep deprivation, headaches, stomach problems, weight loss, and exhaustion.

•Less time for a social life : Students reported that spending too much time on homework led to pulling out of enjoyable activities, quitting extracurricular activities, and not spending much time with family and friends.

OK, I know not all students spend a lot of time doing homework. According to a survey by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics , the majority of youth spend an average of seven hours of homework outside of school each week. So while that doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount, what about the student who spends three-plus hours per night? Where is the happy medium?

what is the do homework

There are definitely pros and cons to doing homework. I think the bigger question that educators need to address is “what’s the purpose of the assignment?” Is it merely a way to show parents and administration what's going on in the class? Is it a means to help keep the grades up? Is the homework being graded for accuracy or completion? If so, then what if the assignment is wrong? Have the necessary skills been taught so the student can master the material on his or her own? I read an article once that stated teachers underestimate the amount of homework they assign by 50%. If that's accurate then there is definitely cause for concern.

In summary, there seems to be no clear answer on the homework debate. I started the blog with a question “What’s the purpose of homework?” I’ll end with the same question. If a teacher who is assigning the homework can’t provide a clear rationale behind this question, then maybe the homework shouldn’t be assigned.

I welcome you to weigh in with your thoughts. Do you think students have too much homework? If you are a teen reading this, how much homework do you have on an average night?

Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

Raychelle Cassada Lohman n , M.S., LPC, is the author of The Anger Workbook for Teens .

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The Cult of Homework

America’s devotion to the practice stems in part from the fact that it’s what today’s parents and teachers grew up with themselves.

what is the do homework

America has long had a fickle relationship with homework. A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed , which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh. This anti-homework sentiment faded, though, amid mid-century fears that the U.S. was falling behind the Soviet Union (which led to more homework), only to resurface in the 1960s and ’70s, when a more open culture came to see homework as stifling play and creativity (which led to less). But this didn’t last either: In the ’80s, government researchers blamed America’s schools for its economic troubles and recommended ramping homework up once more.

The 21st century has so far been a homework-heavy era, with American teenagers now averaging about twice as much time spent on homework each day as their predecessors did in the 1990s . Even little kids are asked to bring school home with them. A 2015 study , for instance, found that kindergarteners, who researchers tend to agree shouldn’t have any take-home work, were spending about 25 minutes a night on it.

But not without pushback. As many children, not to mention their parents and teachers, are drained by their daily workload, some schools and districts are rethinking how homework should work—and some teachers are doing away with it entirely. They’re reviewing the research on homework (which, it should be noted, is contested) and concluding that it’s time to revisit the subject.

Read: My daughter’s homework is killing me

Hillsborough, California, an affluent suburb of San Francisco, is one district that has changed its ways. The district, which includes three elementary schools and a middle school, worked with teachers and convened panels of parents in order to come up with a homework policy that would allow students more unscheduled time to spend with their families or to play. In August 2017, it rolled out an updated policy, which emphasized that homework should be “meaningful” and banned due dates that fell on the day after a weekend or a break.

“The first year was a bit bumpy,” says Louann Carlomagno, the district’s superintendent. She says the adjustment was at times hard for the teachers, some of whom had been doing their job in a similar fashion for a quarter of a century. Parents’ expectations were also an issue. Carlomagno says they took some time to “realize that it was okay not to have an hour of homework for a second grader—that was new.”

Most of the way through year two, though, the policy appears to be working more smoothly. “The students do seem to be less stressed based on conversations I’ve had with parents,” Carlomagno says. It also helps that the students performed just as well on the state standardized test last year as they have in the past.

Earlier this year, the district of Somerville, Massachusetts, also rewrote its homework policy, reducing the amount of homework its elementary and middle schoolers may receive. In grades six through eight, for example, homework is capped at an hour a night and can only be assigned two to three nights a week.

Jack Schneider, an education professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell whose daughter attends school in Somerville, is generally pleased with the new policy. But, he says, it’s part of a bigger, worrisome pattern. “The origin for this was general parental dissatisfaction, which not surprisingly was coming from a particular demographic,” Schneider says. “Middle-class white parents tend to be more vocal about concerns about homework … They feel entitled enough to voice their opinions.”

Schneider is all for revisiting taken-for-granted practices like homework, but thinks districts need to take care to be inclusive in that process. “I hear approximately zero middle-class white parents talking about how homework done best in grades K through two actually strengthens the connection between home and school for young people and their families,” he says. Because many of these parents already feel connected to their school community, this benefit of homework can seem redundant. “They don’t need it,” Schneider says, “so they’re not advocating for it.”

That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that homework is more vital in low-income districts. In fact, there are different, but just as compelling, reasons it can be burdensome in these communities as well. Allison Wienhold, who teaches high-school Spanish in the small town of Dunkerton, Iowa, has phased out homework assignments over the past three years. Her thinking: Some of her students, she says, have little time for homework because they’re working 30 hours a week or responsible for looking after younger siblings.

As educators reduce or eliminate the homework they assign, it’s worth asking what amount and what kind of homework is best for students. It turns out that there’s some disagreement about this among researchers, who tend to fall in one of two camps.

In the first camp is Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. Cooper conducted a review of the existing research on homework in the mid-2000s , and found that, up to a point, the amount of homework students reported doing correlates with their performance on in-class tests. This correlation, the review found, was stronger for older students than for younger ones.

This conclusion is generally accepted among educators, in part because it’s compatible with “the 10-minute rule,” a rule of thumb popular among teachers suggesting that the proper amount of homework is approximately 10 minutes per night, per grade level—that is, 10 minutes a night for first graders, 20 minutes a night for second graders, and so on, up to two hours a night for high schoolers.

In Cooper’s eyes, homework isn’t overly burdensome for the typical American kid. He points to a 2014 Brookings Institution report that found “little evidence that the homework load has increased for the average student”; onerous amounts of homework, it determined, are indeed out there, but relatively rare. Moreover, the report noted that most parents think their children get the right amount of homework, and that parents who are worried about under-assigning outnumber those who are worried about over-assigning. Cooper says that those latter worries tend to come from a small number of communities with “concerns about being competitive for the most selective colleges and universities.”

According to Alfie Kohn, squarely in camp two, most of the conclusions listed in the previous three paragraphs are questionable. Kohn, the author of The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing , considers homework to be a “reliable extinguisher of curiosity,” and has several complaints with the evidence that Cooper and others cite in favor of it. Kohn notes, among other things, that Cooper’s 2006 meta-analysis doesn’t establish causation, and that its central correlation is based on children’s (potentially unreliable) self-reporting of how much time they spend doing homework. (Kohn’s prolific writing on the subject alleges numerous other methodological faults.)

In fact, other correlations make a compelling case that homework doesn’t help. Some countries whose students regularly outperform American kids on standardized tests, such as Japan and Denmark, send their kids home with less schoolwork , while students from some countries with higher homework loads than the U.S., such as Thailand and Greece, fare worse on tests. (Of course, international comparisons can be fraught because so many factors, in education systems and in societies at large, might shape students’ success.)

Kohn also takes issue with the way achievement is commonly assessed. “If all you want is to cram kids’ heads with facts for tomorrow’s tests that they’re going to forget by next week, yeah, if you give them more time and make them do the cramming at night, that could raise the scores,” he says. “But if you’re interested in kids who know how to think or enjoy learning, then homework isn’t merely ineffective, but counterproductive.”

His concern is, in a way, a philosophical one. “The practice of homework assumes that only academic growth matters, to the point that having kids work on that most of the school day isn’t enough,” Kohn says. What about homework’s effect on quality time spent with family? On long-term information retention? On critical-thinking skills? On social development? On success later in life? On happiness? The research is quiet on these questions.

Another problem is that research tends to focus on homework’s quantity rather than its quality, because the former is much easier to measure than the latter. While experts generally agree that the substance of an assignment matters greatly (and that a lot of homework is uninspiring busywork), there isn’t a catchall rule for what’s best—the answer is often specific to a certain curriculum or even an individual student.

Given that homework’s benefits are so narrowly defined (and even then, contested), it’s a bit surprising that assigning so much of it is often a classroom default, and that more isn’t done to make the homework that is assigned more enriching. A number of things are preserving this state of affairs—things that have little to do with whether homework helps students learn.

Jack Schneider, the Massachusetts parent and professor, thinks it’s important to consider the generational inertia of the practice. “The vast majority of parents of public-school students themselves are graduates of the public education system,” he says. “Therefore, their views of what is legitimate have been shaped already by the system that they would ostensibly be critiquing.” In other words, many parents’ own history with homework might lead them to expect the same for their children, and anything less is often taken as an indicator that a school or a teacher isn’t rigorous enough. (This dovetails with—and complicates—the finding that most parents think their children have the right amount of homework.)

Barbara Stengel, an education professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, brought up two developments in the educational system that might be keeping homework rote and unexciting. The first is the importance placed in the past few decades on standardized testing, which looms over many public-school classroom decisions and frequently discourages teachers from trying out more creative homework assignments. “They could do it, but they’re afraid to do it, because they’re getting pressure every day about test scores,” Stengel says.

Second, she notes that the profession of teaching, with its relatively low wages and lack of autonomy, struggles to attract and support some of the people who might reimagine homework, as well as other aspects of education. “Part of why we get less interesting homework is because some of the people who would really have pushed the limits of that are no longer in teaching,” she says.

“In general, we have no imagination when it comes to homework,” Stengel says. She wishes teachers had the time and resources to remake homework into something that actually engages students. “If we had kids reading—anything, the sports page, anything that they’re able to read—that’s the best single thing. If we had kids going to the zoo, if we had kids going to parks after school, if we had them doing all of those things, their test scores would improve. But they’re not. They’re going home and doing homework that is not expanding what they think about.”

“Exploratory” is one word Mike Simpson used when describing the types of homework he’d like his students to undertake. Simpson is the head of the Stone Independent School, a tiny private high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that opened in 2017. “We were lucky to start a school a year and a half ago,” Simpson says, “so it’s been easy to say we aren’t going to assign worksheets, we aren’t going assign regurgitative problem sets.” For instance, a half-dozen students recently built a 25-foot trebuchet on campus.

Simpson says he thinks it’s a shame that the things students have to do at home are often the least fulfilling parts of schooling: “When our students can’t make the connection between the work they’re doing at 11 o’clock at night on a Tuesday to the way they want their lives to be, I think we begin to lose the plot.”

When I talked with other teachers who did homework makeovers in their classrooms, I heard few regrets. Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher in Joshua, Texas, stopped assigning take-home packets of worksheets three years ago, and instead started asking her students to do 20 minutes of pleasure reading a night. She says she’s pleased with the results, but she’s noticed something funny. “Some kids,” she says, “really do like homework.” She’s started putting out a bucket of it for students to draw from voluntarily—whether because they want an additional challenge or something to pass the time at home.

Chris Bronke, a high-school English teacher in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, told me something similar. This school year, he eliminated homework for his class of freshmen, and now mostly lets students study on their own or in small groups during class time. It’s usually up to them what they work on each day, and Bronke has been impressed by how they’ve managed their time.

In fact, some of them willingly spend time on assignments at home, whether because they’re particularly engaged, because they prefer to do some deeper thinking outside school, or because they needed to spend time in class that day preparing for, say, a biology test the following period. “They’re making meaningful decisions about their time that I don’t think education really ever gives students the experience, nor the practice, of doing,” Bronke said.

The typical prescription offered by those overwhelmed with homework is to assign less of it—to subtract. But perhaps a more useful approach, for many classrooms, would be to create homework only when teachers and students believe it’s actually needed to further the learning that takes place in class—to start with nothing, and add as necessary.

Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography

Do your homework.

If only it were that simple.

Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.

“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.

She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.

BU Today  sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.

BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.

Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.

You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?

Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.

Janine Bempechat

What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?

The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.

Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?

Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.

What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?

My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.

Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?

Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.

I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.

The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.

Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.

It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.

Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.

Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?

Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.

Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”

Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.

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Senior Contributing Editor

Sara Rimer

Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

She can be reached at [email protected] .

Comments & Discussion

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There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.

when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep

same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.

Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.

I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids

The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????

I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic

This is not at all what the article is talking about.

This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.

we have the same name

so they have the same name what of it?

lol you tell her

totally agree

What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.

Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.

More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.

You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.

I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^

i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.

I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.

Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much

I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.

homework isn’t that bad

Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is

i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!

i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers

why just why

they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.

So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.

THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?

Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?

Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.

But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!

why the hell?

you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it

This is more of a political rant than it is about homework

I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.

The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight

Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.

not true it just causes kids to stress

Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.

homework does help

here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded

This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.

I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.

Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.

I disagree.

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.

Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.

As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)

I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!

Homeowkr is god for stusenrs

I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in

As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.

Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.

Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.

Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.

As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.

I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.

oof i feel bad good luck!

thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks

thx for the article guys.

Homework is good

I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.

I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.

It was published FEb 19, 2019.

Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids

This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.

There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.

What lala land do these teachers live in?

Homework gives noting to the kid

Homework is Bad

homework is bad.

why do kids even have homework?

Comments are closed.

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What is the difference between "do" and "make" in English?

What is the difference between "do" and "make" in English?

The verbs make and do are some of the most common verbs in English. They have similar meanings, so it can be challenging to decide when to use them—especially since they translate to the same word in many languages! 

Here is a simple memory trick to help you remember their main uses:

Illustration with an orange box labeled "When to use make" and a blue box labeled "When to use do". In the "make" box are the uses of MAKE: money, arrangements, keep, eat. In the "do" box are the uses of DO: daily tasks and occupations. There is an image of Duo the owl dressed as a student with a backpack and baseball cap.

In this post:

When to use make in english, when to use do in english, examples of make and do in english.

The acronym MAKE helps you remember the 4 main uses of the verb make :

And the acronym DO includes the uses of do !

Here are examples of the most common uses of make and do :

Keep making progress in English!

The next time you need to choose between “make” and “do” in English, think about Money, Arrangements, Keep, Eat (MAKE) and Daily tasks, Occupations (DO). This memory trick will help you learn the most important and most frequent uses of these verbs!

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School Life Balance , Tips for Online Students

The Pros and Cons of Homework

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

Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  energepic.com  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

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

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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Privacy overview.

Does homework really work?

by: Leslie Crawford | Updated: December 12, 2023

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Does homework help

You know the drill. It’s 10:15 p.m., and the cardboard-and-toothpick Golden Gate Bridge is collapsing. The pages of polynomials have been abandoned. The paper on the Battle of Waterloo seems to have frozen in time with Napoleon lingering eternally over his breakfast at Le Caillou. Then come the tears and tantrums — while we parents wonder, Does the gain merit all this pain? Is this just too much homework?

However the drama unfolds night after night, year after year, most parents hold on to the hope that homework (after soccer games, dinner, flute practice, and, oh yes, that childhood pastime of yore known as playing) advances their children academically.

But what does homework really do for kids? Is the forest’s worth of book reports and math and spelling sheets the average American student completes in their 12 years of primary schooling making a difference? Or is it just busywork?

Homework haterz

Whether or not homework helps, or even hurts, depends on who you ask. If you ask my 12-year-old son, Sam, he’ll say, “Homework doesn’t help anything. It makes kids stressed-out and tired and makes them hate school more.”

Nothing more than common kid bellyaching?

Maybe, but in the fractious field of homework studies, it’s worth noting that Sam’s sentiments nicely synopsize one side of the ivory tower debate. Books like The End of Homework , The Homework Myth , and The Case Against Homework the film Race to Nowhere , and the anguished parent essay “ My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me ” make the case that homework, by taking away precious family time and putting kids under unneeded pressure, is an ineffective way to help children become better learners and thinkers.

One Canadian couple took their homework apostasy all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. After arguing that there was no evidence that it improved academic performance, they won a ruling that exempted their two children from all homework.

So what’s the real relationship between homework and academic achievement?

How much is too much?

To answer this question, researchers have been doing their homework on homework, conducting and examining hundreds of studies. Chris Drew Ph.D., founder and editor at The Helpful Professor recently compiled multiple statistics revealing the folly of today’s after-school busy work. Does any of the data he listed below ring true for you?

• 45 percent of parents think homework is too easy for their child, primarily because it is geared to the lowest standard under the Common Core State Standards .

• 74 percent of students say homework is a source of stress , defined as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems.

• Students in high-performing high schools spend an average of 3.1 hours a night on homework , even though 1 to 2 hours is the optimal duration, according to a peer-reviewed study .

Not included in the list above is the fact many kids have to abandon activities they love — like sports and clubs — because homework deprives them of the needed time to enjoy themselves with other pursuits.

Conversely, The Helpful Professor does list a few pros of homework, noting it teaches discipline and time management, and helps parents know what’s being taught in the class.

The oft-bandied rule on homework quantity — 10 minutes a night per grade (starting from between 10 to 20 minutes in first grade) — is listed on the National Education Association’s website and the National Parent Teacher Association’s website , but few schools follow this rule.

Do you think your child is doing excessive homework? Harris Cooper Ph.D., author of a meta-study on homework , recommends talking with the teacher. “Often there is a miscommunication about the goals of homework assignments,” he says. “What appears to be problematic for kids, why they are doing an assignment, can be cleared up with a conversation.” Also, Cooper suggests taking a careful look at how your child is doing the assignments. It may seem like they’re taking two hours, but maybe your child is wandering off frequently to get a snack or getting distracted.

Less is often more

If your child is dutifully doing their work but still burning the midnight oil, it’s worth intervening to make sure your child gets enough sleep. A 2012 study of 535 high school students found that proper sleep may be far more essential to brain and body development.

For elementary school-age children, Cooper’s research at Duke University shows there is no measurable academic advantage to homework. For middle-schoolers, Cooper found there is a direct correlation between homework and achievement if assignments last between one to two hours per night. After two hours, however, achievement doesn’t improve. For high schoolers, Cooper’s research suggests that two hours per night is optimal. If teens have more than two hours of homework a night, their academic success flatlines. But less is not better. The average high school student doing homework outperformed 69 percent of the students in a class with no homework.

Many schools are starting to act on this research. A Florida superintendent abolished homework in her 42,000 student district, replacing it with 20 minutes of nightly reading. She attributed her decision to “ solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students .”

More family time

A 2020 survey by Crayola Experience reports 82 percent of children complain they don’t have enough quality time with their parents. Homework deserves much of the blame. “Kids should have a chance to just be kids and do things they enjoy, particularly after spending six hours a day in school,” says Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth . “It’s absurd to insist that children must be engaged in constructive activities right up until their heads hit the pillow.”

By far, the best replacement for homework — for both parents and children — is bonding, relaxing time together.

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What’s the Purpose of Homework?

author avatar

  • Homework teaches students responsibility.
  • Homework gives students an opportunity to practice and refine their skills.
  • We give homework because our parents demand it.
  • Our community equates homework with rigor.
  • Homework is a rite of passage.
  • design quality homework tasks;
  • differentiate homework tasks;
  • move from grading to checking;
  • decriminalize the grading of homework;
  • use completion strategies; and
  • establish homework support programs.
  • Always ask, “What learning will result from this homework assignment?” The goal of your instruction should be to design homework that results in meaningful learning.
  • Assign homework to help students deepen their understanding of content, practice skills in order to become faster or more proficient, or learn new content on a surface level.
  • Check that students are able to perform required skills and tasks independently before asking them to complete homework assignments.
  • When students return home, is there a safe and quite place for them to do their homework? I have talked to teachers who tell me they know for certain the home environments of their students are chaotic at best. Is it likely a student will be able to complete homework in such an environment? Is it possible for students to go to an after school program, possibly at the YMCA or a Boys and Girls Club. Assigning homework to students when you know the likelihood of them being able to complete the assignment through little fault of their own doesn’t seem fair to the learner.
  • Consider parents and guardians to be your allies when it comes to homework. Understand their constraints, and, when home circumstances present challenges, consider alternative approaches to support students as they complete homework assignments (e.g., before-or after-school programs, additional parent outreach).

what is the do homework

Howard Pitler is a dynamic facilitator, speaker, and instructional coach with a proven record of success spanning four decades. With an extensive background in professional development, he works with schools and districts internationally and is a regular speaker at national, state, and district conferences and workshops.

Pitler is currently Associate Professor at Emporia State University in Kansas. Prior to that, he served for 19 years as an elementary and middle school principal in an urban setting. During his tenure, his elementary school was selected as an Apple Distinguished Program and named "One of the Top 100 Schools in America" by Redbook Magazine. His middle school was selected as "One of the Top 100 Wired Schools in America" by PC Magazine. He also served for 12 years as a senior director and chief program officer for McREL International, and he is currently serving on the Board of Colorado ASCD. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Teacher, National Distinguished Principal, and Smithsonian Laureate.

He is a published book author and has written numerous magazine articles for  Educational Leadership ® magazine,  EdCircuit , and  Connected Educator , among others.

ASCD is dedicated to professional growth and well-being.

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Twisted Sifter

Her Husband’s Therapist Assigned Her Homework, But She Pushed Back Because This Was His Therapy, Not Hers

Who wants to do homework as an adult?

And I bet you’re not on board with that idea either, are you ?

So was this woman out of line for what she did?

Check out her story and see what you think…

AITA for not doing the homework my husband’s therapist assigned to me? “My husband and I have been together for over a decade. During this time he’s been in therapy on and off. He had a hard time finding a therapist that was right for him. A few of his therapists early on encouraged him to just medicate (with no regular sessions) and one pushed religion on him. Neither of these worked.
What he needed was someone to meet with him semi regularly, not push their religious beliefs on him, and instead work with him to develop appropriate strategies/talk through issues.

She told him how she feels.

Whenever he told me about one of these more questionable strategies (i.e. pushing ‘just love Jesus’) I said I thought that was inappropriate and he should find a better therapist and go without until then. There have been long stretches where he has gone without therapy because my husband isn’t generally good at taking care of himself. That falls on me.

She has a lot of responsibility regarding him…

I have to remind him to do things to keep him healthy/taken care of. Drink water. Eat more than once a day. There are literally times I have had to tell him he needs to brush his teeth. He also gets anxious making any decisions on his own. I have to help him pick out new clothes, write emails to work colleagues or groups of friends. He can’t make plans for us- I have to make them all. Or, I should say, I have to help him make the plans so then he can say he made them.

She’s tired of this situation.

He’s a good person. He loves me so much. But he is so dependent on me. It is draining. I have to spend an hour at least once a week talking him through whatever crisis he’s having. Sometimes this crisis is over what new collectable to buy. A collectable for him. That I do not have any interest in. I finally demanded that he look into therapists again. I told him I can not be his therapist and he cannot depend on me this much. He needs to start taking care of himself and get a therapist that will work with him to develop these skills. And he did! Which is great.

Then she got a surprising request.

However a month into therapy he said his therapist had homework for me. I was supposed to write out a list of all his great qualities- at least a page or two. (Mind you, this is after YEARS of me carrying all his emotional baggage, essentially mothering him, giving him credit for things I did so he could feel better about himself, and one year, I did in fact write out 100 things that I thought were great about him for a gift.) I was so frustrated. I said no. I said therapy is his work, not mine, and I’ve spent too many years of our lives solving things for him. It wasn’t fair to ask me to sit down and do this homework when the point of his therapy was for him to build his own skills without depending on me all the time.

Things got even weirder…

He was upset but accepted it, and said he understood. Well, just the other day he told me that his therapist doesn’t like me. And thinks I should be thanking and showing him appreciation more. I told him I didn’t care what his therapist thought- they are his therapist. This does have me thinking though, AITA for not doing the homework his therapist assigned to me?”

Check out how folks reacted to this story on Reddit.

This person said she’s NTA…and they think she needs to go to therapy.

Another individual said they’d just get a divorce if they were in her shoes.

One Reddit user had a story to tell.

This reader thinks her husband might be way off the mark.

And one individual said this isn’t something she should have to do.

I mean… it wouldn’t hurt, right?

Seems like she might be a little out of line here…

If you liked that post, check out this story about a guy who was forced to sleep on the couch at his wife’s family’s house, so he went to a hotel instead .

Source: Reddit/AITA/@secretsecretwhisper

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When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

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What is a VPN and why do you need one? All your virtual private network questions answered

david-gewirtz

Whether you work from a traditional office, home office, your iPhone , or on the road, a VPN is one of the best ways to protect yourself from data breaches on the internet, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. 

Also:  The best VPN services of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

But how effective are VPNs, and what's the best VPN for you? What are the downsides to using a VPN? Our VPN guide will answer all your VPN-related questions -- including a few you probably haven't thought to ask.

What is a VPN?

VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. 

The purpose  of a VPN  is to provide you with security and privacy as you communicate over the internet.

Here's the problem with the internet: it's inherently insecure. When the internet was first designed, the priority was to be able to send packets (chunks of data) as reliably as possible. Networking across the country and the world was relatively new, and nodes often went down. Most of the internet's core protocols (communication methods) were designed to route around failure rather than secure data.

Also: The best mobile VPNs of 2024

The applications you're accustomed to using, such as email, web, messaging, and Facebook, are all built on top of that  Internet Protocol  (IP) core. While some standards have developed, not all internet apps are secure. Many still send their information without any security or privacy protection whatsoever.

This leaves any internet user vulnerable to criminals who might steal your banking or credit card information, governments who might want to eavesdrop on their citizens, and other internet users who might want to spy on you for a whole range of nefarious reasons.

A VPN creates a private tunnel over the open internet. The idea is that everything you send is encapsulated in this private communications channel and encrypted so -- even if your packets are intercepted -- they can't be deciphered.  VPNs are powerful and important tools to protect yourself and your data , but they have limitations.

How does a VPN work?

Let's start with the basic idea of internet communication. Suppose you're at your desk and you want to access a website like ZDNET. To do this, your computer initiates a request by sending some packets. If you're in an office, those packets often travel through switches and routers on your LAN before they are transferred to the public internet through a router.

Once on the public internet, those packets travel through a bunch of computers. A separate request is made to a series of name servers to translate the DNS name ZDNET.com to an IP address. That information is sent back to your browser, which then sends the request again through many computers on the public internet. Eventually, it reaches the ZDNET infrastructure, which also routes those packets, grabs a web page (which is a bunch of separate elements), and sends all that back to you.

Also: The best VPN for streaming in 2024

Each internet request usually results in a whole series of communication events between multiple points. The way a VPN works is by encrypting those packets at the originating point, often hiding the data and the information about your originating IP address. The VPN software on your end then sends those packets to the VPN server at some destination point, decrypting that information.

One of the most important issues in understanding the limits of VPNs is understanding where the endpoint of the VPN server resides. We'll talk about that next.

What are the two main types of VPNs?

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a LAN, a local area network. That's the private network inside one physical location -- be it a home, a corporate building, or a campus. But many businesses don't run out of one location. They have branch offices, departments, and divisions that are geographically dispersed.

In many cases, each of these offices also has LANs. But how do the LANs connect? For some very specialized solutions, companies lease private lines to connect the offices. That can be very expensive. Instead, most companies opt to connect separated private LANs over the public internet geographically. To protect their data, they set up VPNs between offices, encrypting the data as it traverses the public internet.

Also: How to check if your VPN is working (and what to do if your VPN won't connect)

This is a corporate or enterprise VPN, and it's characterized by the same organization controlling both endpoints of the VPN. If your company controls the originating point (say a sales office) and the endpoint (like a VPN server at your corporate HQ), you can be assured ( unless there's a bug ) that your data is securely transmitted.

The second type of VPN is a consumer VPN. This is for those of you who compute in hotels or at coffee shops and connect to web applications like social networks, email, banks, or shopping sites. Consumer VPN services help ensure that those communications are protected.

What does a consumer VPN service do?

A consumer VPN service is, fundamentally, a  software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering . The VPN service provides a secure tunnel between your computing device (whether laptop, phone, or tablet) and the provider's data center.

This feature is important to understand. Consumer VPN services protect your transmission from your location to their location, not from your location to the destination application you're using. If you think about it, this approach makes sense -- a consumer VPN service is operated by a completely different company than, for example, Facebook or your bank.

Also: The best VPN services for iPhone and iPad in 2024

The VPN service gives you an app that you run on your local device, which encrypts your data, and it travels in its encrypted form through a tunnel to the VPN service provider's infrastructure. At that point, the data is decrypted and sent on its way.

Two things happen here. First, if you're using an https connection, your data is encrypted by your browser and then by your VPN app. Your data is decrypted only once at the VPN data center, leaving the original encryption provided by the browser intact. That encrypted data then goes on to the destination application, such as your bank.

The second thing that happens is that the web application you're talking to does not get to see your IP address. Instead, it sees an IP address owned by the VPN service. This approach allows you some level of anonymous networking. This IP spoofing is also used to trick applications into thinking you're located in a different region or even a different country than you are located in. There are reasons (both illegal and legal) to do this. We'll discuss that in a bit.

When should I use a VPN?

We've already discussed the use of a VPN when connecting offices. Any time you have two LANs that need to link over the public internet, you should consider using VPN technology or an equivalent method of enterprise protection. In this case, the VPN software will probably run in a router, a server, or a dedicated VPN server hardware appliance.

We talked about two use cases above for consumer VPN services: protecting your data and spoofing your location. We'll talk more about location spoofing later, so let's focus on data protection for now.

Also: The best travel VPNs of 2024

When you're away from home or the office, and you connect to the internet, you'll most often be doing so via Wi-Fi provided by your hotel or the restaurant, library, or coffee shop you're working out of at that moment. Sometimes, Wi-Fi has a password. Other times, it will be completely open. In either case, you have no idea who else is accessing that network. Therefore, you have no idea who might be snooping on your internet traffic, browsing history, or online activity.

I recommend always using a VPN when using someone else's Wi-Fi network. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you're away from the office or home, and you're using someone else's Wi-Fi (even that of a family member or a friend, because you never know if they've been compromised), use a VPN. It's particularly important if you're accessing a service that has personally identifying information. Remember, a lot goes on behind the scenes, and you never really know if one or more of your apps are authenticating in the background and putting your information at risk.

Another reason you might choose to use a VPN is if you have something to hide, which isn't just about folks doing things they shouldn't do. Sometimes people really need to hide information. Take, for example, the person who is worried an employer might discriminate against them because of their sexual orientation or medical condition. Another example is a person who needs to go online, but is concerned about revealing location information to a person in their life who might be a threat.

And then, of course, there are those people in restrictive countries who need to hide their activity merely to gain access to the internet without potentially grave penalties.

Are the free VPN services any good?

There are some good  free VPN services , but  I avoid all free VPNs .

Why? It costs a lot to provide the infrastructure to operate a VPN service, from the network pipes to the servers. That infrastructure has to be paid for somehow. If user fees do not pay for it, advertising, data gathering, or some nastier reason are likely taking up the slack.

Here's another reason not to use a free service, and this one is a lot scarier.  Malware providers and criminal organizations have set up free VPN services  that not only don't protect you but actively harvest personal data, and either use it or sell it to the highest bidder. Instead of being protected, you're being plundered.

What's the best way to choose a VPN service?

To be fair, not all paid VPN services are legitimate, either. It's important to be careful about which you choose. We've put together  an always up-to-date directory  of quality VPN providers. Some are better than others (and that's reflected in their ratings), but all are legitimate companies that provide quality service.

Also: 3 security gadgets I never leave home without

Beyond our directory, it's always good practice to Google a company or product name and read the user reviews. If you see a huge number of old complaints or new complaints suddenly start showing up, it might be that there's been a change of management or policies. When I'm looking for a service, I always base my decision partially on professional reviews and partially based on the tone of user reviews.

Finally, be sure to choose a service with the capabilities  that meet your needs . You may need one or more features only provided by certain services. So, think through your needs as you make a decision.

Can a VPN guarantee my privacy?

Oh,  heck no . A VPN can help ensure you're not snooped on when connecting between your computer and a website. But the website itself is quite capable of some serious privacy violations. For example, a VPN can't protect you against a website setting a tracking cookie that will tell other websites about you. A VPN can't protect you against a website recording information about products you're interested in. A VPN can't protect you against a website that sells your email address to list brokers. Yada, yada, yada.

Also: The best VPN deals right now

A  VPN does help protect you  in the situations we've discussed in previous sections. But don't expect a VPN to be a magical privacy shield that will keep everything you do private and confidential. There are many, many ways your privacy can be compromised, and a  VPN will be of only partial help .

Will VPN software slow down my computer?

That would be a definite maybe. Back in the day, the process of encrypting and decrypting packets would take a toll on CPU performance. Most current CPUs are now fast enough that most crypto algorithms can run without much of an impact on processor performance.

Also: The best cheap VPNs of 2024

However, network performance is another thing entirely. First, keep in mind that if you're using a VPN, you're probably using it at a public location. That public Wi-Fi service is likely to range in performance somewhere between "meh" and unusable. So, just the fact that you're remotely working on a mediocre network will reduce performance. But then, if you connect to a VPN in a different country, the connection between countries is also likely to degrade network performance. Server locations matter.

My rule of thumb is to use a domestic VPN and connect to servers as close to my location as possible. That said, I have had good nights and bad nights getting online. On a recent trip, I found most hotel networks become unusable after about 9pm. My theory is that many of the guests are watching Netflix at that time, completely clogging the hotels' pipes.

Do VPN service providers limit usage and how?

Some do. Some don't.  Look at that directory I mentioned earlier  because that's one of the factors where a service might lose some points.

Some VPN services will limit the total amount of data you can send and receive, either in one connection session or over a month. Other VPN services will limit the speed of the data, effectively sharing less of their pipe with you than might be optimal. That could slow your browsing experience to a crawl or completely prevent you from watching videos through streaming services.

Also:  Five easy steps to keep your smartphone safe from hackers

Usually, it's the free services that throttle your usage in these ways. Some paid services will offer a trial, where you can transmit up to a certain data cap before being asked to sign up as a paying customer. That's actually pretty cool because it gives you a chance to try out the performance of their service before paying, but it also gives the vendor a chance to make money necessary to operate the service.

Many VPN services claim that they'll provide you with unlimited data transmission if you pay their fee and won't throttle your speeds. Generally, this is true, but I'll give you my standard "unlimited bandwidth" warning: it's been my experience that when a vendor says something is "unlimited," it's almost always limited. Somewhere, there will be a note in the fine print or terms of service that allows the vendor to limit you in some way. It pays to read those agreements.

How private are VPNs? Do they log everything I do?

In our  VPN directory , we tracked two types of logging. The first is whether providers log traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. This is pretty nasty stuff. If a VPN service logs this, they would have the information you might choose to hide, like sites you visit, locations where you are, and possibly even information you might be sending.

Also: 7 hacking tools that look harmless but can do real damage

Although the use of these services will still protect you from Wi-Fi spies in your hotel or restaurant, I can't recommend signing up for any service that does DNS, traffic, or IP logging. There are better, more private options.

The second type of logging is more benign. VPN services that log bandwidth usage and connection timestamp data usually do so either to tune their own systems or manage any abuse of their services.

I have less of a concern with services that just monitor bandwidth usage, as long as they don't store any specifics. That said, we gave top marks to those services that don't do any logging. When I choose a VPN service, those are the services I pick for my use.

Is it legal to use a VPN?

That depends. VPN use is legal in most countries, but, according to  VPN provider CyberGhost , VPN use is illegal in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia,  and Russia . Vladimir Putin has recently banned VPN use in Russia. Also, be aware that the so-called  proxy server alternative to VPNs  is also illegal in many countries, which consider any form of IP spoofing to be illegal, not just those services labeled as VPN.

Also:  The best security keys you can buy

Restrictions vary, as do penalties.  China allows certain approved VPNs . In the  UAE, if you use a VPN, you could go to jail or be fined a minimum of more than the equivalent of $100,000.

Definitely research these laws before you visit a country. Many travelers mistakenly believe that just because they're not citizens, and all they're doing is linking back to a corporate system, they should be able to have unrestricted use of VPN software. This is a mistake.

The bottom line is to check the laws of the country you're in before connecting. It's also a good idea to check with your VPN provider, both for insight into whether it knows if there are issues, and whether it'll support connectivity from the country you're visiting.

Do I need to use a VPN if my hotel has a wired internet connection?

Yes. It is almost totally unlikely that each room is on a dedicated subnet, so that means packets are traveling across a network shared by other guests. In addition, you never know whether someone in the front office has set up a packet sniffer for the express purpose of mining guest information.

So, yes, use a VPN, even if there's a hard-wired connection to the wall.

Will a VPN service help me connect securely to my office network?

If you're trying to connect to your on-premises corporate network, you'll most likely be assigned a VPN application by your IT department. This will allow you to establish a point-to-point connection between your local device and a server owned and operated by your company.

Also:  6 simple cybersecurity rules to live by  

But, if your company is cloud-based, and you're connecting to SaaS applications like Salesforce or Google, you should probably use a VPN service since you're not actually connecting to your company but instead to a public cloud application.

If your IT department does not specifically identify a VPN service you should use for accessing their public cloud applications, definitely look at our  VPN directory  and choose one of the higher-rated service providers.

Can I get away with a VPN app, or do I need to bring my own router/bridge/dongle?

Let's talk about what happens when you use a VPN app on your computer or mobile device. Any VPN app will require an existing network connection to be able to connect to the VPN service provider. This approach means that even if you set your VPN app to automatically launch when your device boots, there will be a period when your computer is connected to the internet directly, not through your VPN.

Also:  9 top mobile security threats and how you can avoid them

Some background services can send information across that initial, unsecured connection before the VPN loads. To be fair, the risk is relatively minor for most usage profiles. If you're establishing a connection automatically to your corporate server, you will want to check with your IT team about how they want you to set things up.

If you are interested in an added level of protection, there are intriguing gadgets called  Tiny Hardware Firewalls . These devices range from about $30 to $70 and connect via a network port or a USB slot to your laptop. They make the initial network connection, so your computer's communication is always blocked before it calls out to the internet.

Should I use a VPN on my phone or tablet?

Both Android and iOS come with basic VPN capabilities to allow you to connect to your corporate networks securely. Your IT organization will generally advise you when you should use this feature, but as we've discussed, when away from your home or office, and especially if you're using an open, public Wi-Fi connection, you should.

If you're connecting to web applications, like email or Facebook, you should consider using a VPN service -- particularly if you're connecting via an open Wi-Fi network. Most good VPN services offer both iOS and Android clients.

Do I need a VPN if I'm connecting my phone via LTE?

That depends. Once again, your corporate IT department will let you know their policy for connection directly to their corporate network. Usually, you'll use the VPN client built into your device's operating system for that purpose.

However, the connection also depends on how much you trust your carrier, where you're located in the world, and how secure you want to be. The carriers (net neutrality notwithstanding) can generally be relied upon to provide a secure connection from your phone to their network in the US.

That said, it is possible to compromise wireless phone services with a  man-in-the-middle attack . This situation occurs when a malevolent actor places a device designed to confuse your phone, and cause your phone to connect to what it thinks is the phone network, but is, in fact, a device designed for spying.

Outside the US, the requirement for a VPN depends on what country you're in. If you are really concerned about security, simply avoid bringing any devices into a foreign nation that you intend to use after your trip. Those devices can be compromised in the country or during customs inspections.

Likewise, if you're connecting via a nation's local carrier, that carrier may be intercepting your traffic, particularly if you're a non-native of that nation. In that situation, if you must connect back to applications and services at home, using a VPN is quite literally the least you can do. Also, keep in mind that if you use your phone's hotspot to connect your computer to the internet, you'll want to use a VPN on your computer as well.

Finally, as we covered earlier in this guide, it's worth reminding you that some countries consider VPN use illegal. If you're planning on traveling, be sure to research local laws exhaustively.

What happens if a VPN connection fails while I'm on a remote connection?

A lot depends on what VPN you're using, how it's set up, and where you're connecting. That said, let's look at the most likely scenario.

Recall that when you're online and connected to an internet application through a VPN, a few things are happening. Your data from your computer to the VPN service is encrypted by the VPN. Your data from the VPN service to the internet application may or may not be encrypted via https, but the VPN service does not encrypt it. And your IP address is spoofed. The online application sees the IP address of the VPN service, not of your laptop.

Also:  How to find and remove spyware from your phone

When a VPN connection drops, you might just lose your connection. But because the internet is very good at routing around failures, what is more likely to happen is your computer will reconnect to the internet application, simply bypassing the VPN service. That means that -- on failure -- your local IP address may "leak out" and be logged by the internet application, and your data may be open to local Wi-Fi hackers at your hotel or wherever you're doing your computing.

There is a reasonably robust solution to that problem, and that's next.

What does a VPN kill switch do?

Put simply, a VPN kill switch kills your internet connection if it detects that your VPN's connection has failed. There are generally two types of VPN kill switches.

The first runs in the VPN client app on your computer, so if the VPN connection fails while the VPN client app is running, that VPN client app can turn off the computer or mobile device's internet connection. However, if your VPN connection has failed because the VPN client app itself crashed, then the kill switch may not work, and your IP and data may leak onto the internet.

Also: 8 habits of highly secure remote workers

The second type of VPN kill switch is at the operating system level. These switches are usually driver-level systems that run whether or not the VPN application is running. As such, they provide a bit more protection for your surfing activities.

Given that so many  VPN products we reviewed in our directory  support a kill switch, we recommend choosing a client with this feature. There may be a slight annoyance if you lose your connection, but that's more than made up for in the added security.

What do all those protocol names mean and which one should I choose?

If you've been shopping for a VPN service, you've undoubtedly come across a bunch of names like SSL, OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, PPP, PPTP, IKEv2/IPSec, SOCKS5, and more. These are all communication protocols. They are, essentially, the name of the method by which your communication is encrypted and packaged for tunneling to the VPN provider.

Also:   How to stay safe on public Wi-Fi: 5 tips you need to know

There is a lot of debate  among security purists  about which VPN protocol is better. Some protocols (like PPP and its tunneling variant, PPTP) are old and compromised. Others, like SSTP, are proprietary to one company or another.

My recommendation -- and the protocol I most often choose to use -- is OpenVPN. OpenVPN is a non-proprietary, open-source implementation of a VPN communication layer protocol. It's well-understood, well-regarded, generally quite secure, and robust. Also, it has the benefit of communicating over port 443, which is the standard port for https communication, which means almost all firewalls will allow OpenVPN traffic -- and most won't even be able to detect that a VPN is being used.

Yes, there are certainly other protocol choices, even some that might be more appropriate than OpenVPN in certain situations. But if that's the case, either you've already made that decision, or your IT organization has specified a specific protocol you should use. However, as a default, if you're not sure what to look for, look for OpenVPN.

What does it mean when a VPN service talks about simultaneous connections?

The term "simultaneous connections" generally refers to the number of devices that can be connected to the VPN service and that can talk to the internet at once. For example, when I was driving across the country and working in my hotel room at night, I often had both my MacBook Pro and iPad connected to the internet.

Also:   The best password managers to help you easily maintain all your logins

I used the MacBook Pro for writing, keeping the iPad open to do searches and find supporting information. Both of these were connected to the internet at one time. This was possible because the VPN service I was using allowed up to three connections to open at once.

This form of connectivity is also a good way to provide support for more than one family member on a single subscription. Generally, there's no good reason for a VPN provider to allow less than two or three connections. If your provider only allows one, find another vendor. We gave extra points in our  VPN directory  to those vendors who allowed three or more connections.

When should I choose either dynamic or static IP?

Every device connected to the public internet is assigned an IP address. It's like a phone number for each device. To be able to connect to the internet, each device needs such an address.

The term "dynamic IP address" means that when a device connects to the internet, it's given an IP address taken from a pool of available addresses. While it's possible to get the same IP address on multiple connections, generally, each time you connect, you'll get a different address.

Also: Why you'll need a VPN for the Vision Pro (and other XR headsets)

If you want to hide your address from the web applications you're connecting to, you'll want a VPN service that provides dynamic IP addresses. In our directory,  we list the number of IP addresses each service offers . By using a service with more available IP addresses, the chances of you getting a repeated IP are quite small.

There are some minor disadvantages to using a dynamic IP. If someone who previously had the IP address you've been assigned did something nefarious on a service you use, the IP address might be banned. Usually, VPN providers are cautious about checking their IP addresses against blacklists, so the chances of this being a problem for you are slim.

By contrast, a static IP address is an address that's assigned to you and only you. Most often, this is needed if you're running a server. Usually, static IP addresses are used in corporate situations and are generally not practical for general remote access, like from a hotel or coffee shop.

Unless you have a specific application that you know needs a static IP, you'll want to be assigned a new dynamic IP address for each VPN session you initiate.

What does it mean when a VPN service talks about server switching?

As we mentioned in the previous section, you're usually assigned a dynamic IP address from a pool of addresses when you connect to a VPN service. But where are those addresses located? They're attached to servers located, usually, throughout the world.

Most VPN services allow you to connect to server locations in many different countries. In our VPN directory,  we list both the number of servers the service maintains and the number of countries . By default, you'll usually be assigned a server located in your home country. Still, if you want to obfuscate your location, you may want to connect to a server located in a different country.

Also: The best VPN routers of 2024

Server switching is a feature -- offered by most VPN service providers -- that allows you to change what region or country you're going to connect to. Most providers allow you to switch as often as you'd like (although you usually have to disconnect, then change your configuration, and reconnect). This may be useful if you're trying to hide your location or if you're running into some communications glitches on the server you're currently using.

Can I use a VPN to spoof my location or country of origin?

Because the VPN server you're connected to presents  its IP address  to whatever web application you're using, by choosing a server located in a different country, you can represent your connection as if you're in a different country. This may be illegal in certain regions, so use caution when doing this. 

In my testing, some VPN providers could successfully hide their originating country or the fact that they were VPNs, but others could not. You'll probably want to do some testing. Of the services where I did testing,  NordVPN  and  Hotspot Shield  could successfully hide their VPN origins, while  StrongVPN  and  CyberGhost  could not.

Can I use a VPN to watch a blacked-out program or video?

Sometimes it is possible to watch a blacked-out sporting event or other show, although we certainly can't advise you to do so. Spoofing your location to bypass broadcast restrictions may get you in hot water.

Also: What is the dark web? Here's everything to know before you access it

Also, do be aware that some broadcasters have developed increasingly sophisticated methods to determine whether the IP address you represent is the IP address where you're located. The VPN may be able to protect your original IP address from being seen. Still, there are characteristics of proxy communications (like a slightly longer time to transfer packets) that can be used to identify users who are trying to bypass watching restrictions.

Is it true that a VPN is completely unhackable?

No. No. Did I mention... no.  Nothing is unhackable . As evidence...

In January 2018, Cisco Systems (a very highly respected maker of internet communications hardware)  revealed that a critical bug was found  in its ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance) software that could allow hackers to execute code remotely.

This is a bug in enterprise-level VPN systems used by corporations, so it's severe. Fortunately, responsible IT administrators can patch their systems to fix the bug. However, the incident goes to show how no system can be truly deemed absolutely secure.

Another example was a  bug in Hotspot Shield , a popular VPN service. This bug allowed a hacker to expose private information, including originating IP. Hotspot Shield issued an update, which gives us an excuse to remind you that you should always install updates, especially on your VPN client software.

Who are the key players?

We've done in-depth reviews of the following VPN services. If you're considering a VPN, you might want to read these articles first:

NordVPN review: Sincere about security and privacy

StrongVPN Review: A clear and easy-to-use VPN ideal for coffee shop use

Hotspot Shield review: Here's a VPN that actually lives up to its hype

CyberGhost VPN review: More than just VPN, an all-in-one security kit

IPVanish review: VPN delivers a wealth of options and browsing controls

While there are a tremendous number of VPN vendors out there, we think the following are some of the best:

  • NordVPN : 30-day refund, lots of simultaneous connections 
  • ExpressVPN : Detailed FAQ, good refund policy, Bitcoin
  • IPVanish VPN : Keeps no log files and has support for Kodi
  • PureVPN : Large network, strong technically, good performance 
  • Surfshark : Unlimited device support, whitelisting feature
  • Norton Secure VPN : Company is trustworthy and accountable
  • StrongVPN : Excellent infrastructure, decent price performance 
  • Private Internet Access : Lowest yearly price, most servers
  • CyberGhost : Supports Kodi, good Linux and router support

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz , on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz , on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz , and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV .

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More From Forbes

How to navigate the exit interview and avoid falling into potential traps.

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If you submit to completing the exit interview, ensure to be positive, polite and nice in the ... [+] meeting.

When you apply for a job, you will be required to go through an interview process. White-collar workers will be made to meet with three to 10 people over the course of around three-plus months so that the interviewers can render a decision on whether or not to hire the person.

After a few years or so, it’s likely that the person who previously accepted the opportunity desires to move on to a new opportunity. They may have become unhappy with the boss, the company’s culture or just want to take on a new and exciting experience elsewhere and earn a higher salary, bonus and corporate title.

Over the years, a custom developed in which the departing employee who tendered their resignation is requested — but not demanded — to attend an “exit interview.” There could be a human resources representative, the employee’s now former manager and perhaps another supervisor or executive present. This meeting can take place in person, via a video conference or other mediums. The exit interview isn’t required and there are no laws or rules to enforce this, unless it’s written into your employment agreement.

Do Some Homework Before Having The Conversation

Take some time to think about your experiences at the organization — both positive and negative. Were you treated fairly? Did you enjoy your job, or are you happy to get out of the company and can’t leave soon enough?

There is one big matter you need to keep in mind. If you do this one thing, you may cause irreparable harm to your reputation and will have difficulties finding a new job in the future.

It’s reasonable to believe that you should be totally honest in the exit interview. However, in the real world, you must be incredibly careful. The HR professional or other people involved in the process may try to steer you into saying things about your former boss and colleagues. They can dig, prod and pressure you to give up some dirt on people.

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No matter how much you may have disliked your supervisors and peers, don’t ever throw anyone under the bus. If you fall for their gambit, you might say uncomfortable things about people you cared about. Word always finds its way back to people. Now, you’ve created enemies who will hold an everlasting grudge against you. The next time you interview, they’ll be only too happy to sabotage it and make you look bad so you don’t get the job.

Play The Game During The Exit Interview

If you submit to completing the exit interview, ensure to be positive, polite and nice in the meeting. Only say good things about the company, the C-suite executives and managers. Offer instances when your supervisor was an effective manager and paved the way for your future success. Avoid talking about anything negative.

It’s a no-win situation if you “rat” on your boss. The person that you informed HR about may now be open to becoming the subject of an internal investigation. Your supervisor’s managers will also be subjected to scrutiny for their alleged activities.

By opening Pandora's box, there will be backlash. The company will turn against and won’t offer any references or recommendations. You will lose the trust of your former peers.

How Does This Conversation Play Out?

The context of the conversation is that HR wants to know the reason why you are leaving the organization. If you are going through this, proceed with caution. The HR person will come across as nice and friendly, but they have their own agenda. They want to dig around to see if there are any issues that they should know about.

It’s understandable that they would want to know if the boss was a controlling, micromanaging narcissist. Were your co-workers lazy and shirked their responsibilities? Was anyone involved in inappropriate activities, such as sexual harassment or over prejudicial behavior?

The rationale is that the company wants to know about these and other activities so it can take the necessary actions to improve the situation. The feedback gleaned from the former employee will help offer color and context around their overall experience. If flagrant violations took place, the company will want to try to avoid a public relations fiasco.

The Questions You Will Be Asked

At first, there will be tame general questions, such as:

  • “Why are you leaving the company?”
  • “How was your tenure at the organization?”
  • “What did you like about your job, and what didn’t you enjoy?”

They’ll delve into the corporate culture, how you were treated and whether you would ever consider being a boomerang employee and return again in the future. They will probe into whether the company offered you all the tools needed to succeed, meaningful work and whether you received guidance and advice on how to grow and develop professionally.

They’ll ask how you felt about your immediate manager, the executive team, co-workers and the company’s mission. They may inquire if you would be interested in accepting a counteroffer to stay and what they can do to change your mind.

The Counteroffer

There may be an unexpected twist to the exit interview. The HR professional and manager may want to commandeer the interview into a counteroffer to get you to stay with the company for a variety of reasons, including they desperately need your talents, recognizing that it will be nearly impossible to find a replacement at the same salary and experience level. Also, it’s easier to just hold on to the person rather than embarking on a search for a new employee, which will take time, effort and money.

If you are taken aback by the counteroffer, you have two options. If the company offers a financially enticing compensation package, it might be worthwhile to consider it.

However, be advised, oftentimes counteroffers don’t work out well. For instance, if the firm is only offering more money when you’re walking out the door, it looks like they were taking advantage of you for the last number of years you worked at the company for lower pay. Also, if you remain, over time, the company will view you as a mercenary who extorted more money to stay, which can make for a tense and uncomfortable work relationship, if you were to remain.

If you aren’t interested in staying at the firm, simply say, “Thank you. I enjoyed my time with the organization, but I’m ready to move on to a new opportunity. Also, I signed a contract to join the new company and I feel ethically and morally responsible to honor my word.”

Jack Kelly

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South Florida Parenting | Charity watch: Do your homework before giving |…

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South Florida Parenting

Subscriber only, south florida parenting | charity watch: do your homework before giving | opinion.

Norman B. Gildin

A multitude of donation requests from nonprofits typically take place during the holiday season. For many organizations, 70% of their revenue comes in during the last two or three months of the year. Still, don’t be surprised if you check your daily mail (emails and postal mail) now, well after the holidays, and find that many worthy causes urgently need support more than ever.

According to Giving USA 2023’s “Annual Philanthropy Report 2022,” individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations donated $499.33 billion to U.S. charities in 2022. We are wonderful people who are charitable and kind. This enormous generosity, however, can also lead to abuse.

Frank Abagnale, a former con artist and best-selling author, published a fascinating book, “Scam Me If You Can.” Leonardo DiCaprio stars in “Catch Me If You Can,” a movie based on the “scamploits” (my word) of Abagnale. In his book, he describes charity scams and how to avoid them, especially when charity appeals are abundant. It’s worth a read.

Let the donor beware

Doubtless, most of us are familiar with the email that promises an enormous fortune from a Nigerian prince. You need only mail the prince, or his charity, a sum of money to redeem your riches. There are still many people who fall for this scam, believe it or not. Some people cannot resist the lure — hook, line and sinker. What a shame.

Then there are telemarketers asking for donations to the local boys’ or girls’ club. Sometimes, telemarketers request your sponsorship for the local police benevolent association or another honest-sounding organization. Some are legitimate; others aren’t. Sadly, the naïve among us ante up generous donations without due diligence. This is like pouring hard-earned money into a bottomless pit.

From time to time, disaster relief appeals also relieve you of well-intended, but stolen, gifts. Earthquakes in Turkey, tsunamis in Japan, wars in the Middle East, and the list runs on. Watching images from these areas wrenches our hearts, and we empty our wallets to support counterfeit pleas. These situations provide an ideal opportunity for evil doers to set up bogus charities to entrap unsuspecting people.

In today’s technological age, many philanthropists fall victim to misleading tactics and contribute to nonexistent charities. Despicable individuals often set up GoFundMe accounts, Facebook pages or websites. On a GoFundMe page, a couple raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a “so-called” homeless veteran a few years ago. These scofflaws pocketed the money. Luckily, they were all charged with theft and conspiracy to commit thievery by deception, according to the authorities.

The internet is not the only platform for fraud. Beware of in-person, slick miscreants claiming to represent charities, but without a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To create a nonprofit organization, IRS guidelines require certain steps. In addition, a charity must register in the state where it solicits funds, and sham charities do not.

Authentic eleemosynary institutions rely on your generosity, and they lose out because of crooks who defraud the innocent. You may ask: Is there any way to protect yourself from fraudsters?

Here are some common-sense steps compiled by the AARP . It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s worth considering.

  • Do not give in to pressure to make a gift right away. Charities that are legitimate welcome donations at any time.
  • Avoid letters asking you to renew your gift that include a return envelope for a donation you did not make. Charlatans target the naïve and gullible.
  • There are very few charities that give 100% of their donations to services. You should be skeptical of such a claim.
  • Verify a charity’s legitimacy with nonprofit watchdogs, such as Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.
  • Examine the charity’s track record — make sure it lives up to its promises.
  • Beware of charities with similar website names to real charities.
  • Never divulge personal information such as your birth date, Social Security number or bank account numbers. These are high risk for misuse.
  • Contribute by credit card or check. There are safeguards built into them.
  • Never assume that requests on social media are legitimate.
  • Use caution when clicking on links. These can release harmful viruses or malware that steal your private financial information and even hold you hostage until you consent to their perverse demands.

A final note of caution

Unethical and predatory offenders often exploit emergency situations for nefarious purposes. Criminals manipulate artificial intelligence to produce fake videos, pictures and stories. People of all educational levels can be deceived into contributing to nonexistent charity websites. Don’t dump your hard-earned money in a sinkhole. Unless you can vouch for the charity, investigate it first. The last thing we want is people holding back and not giving to those truly in need. So, when you donate, I ask you, do you want to help victims or become one?

Norman B. Gildin is the author of a book on nonprofit fundraising, “Learn From My Experiences.” He lives in Boynton Beach with his wife, Barbara. Visit normangildin.com .

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  1. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

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  4. Homework

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    Homework 5 (due Feb 29 Thursday at 10am) Instructions: As in previous homeworks. In algorithm design problems, an algorithm is usually best described using pseudocode (not actual ... 1Generally, in a multi-part problem like this, if you are unable to solve (a), you can still do (b) under the assumption that (a) has been solved. 2. Created Date:

  29. Charity watch: Do your homework before giving

    A multitude of donation requests from nonprofits typically take place during the holiday season. For many organizations, 70% of their revenue comes in during the last two or three months of the year.