In truth, homework ranks quite low on a list of activities that consume children’s time at home.
They spend large chunks of time watching television (13 1/2 hours a week), playing (12 1/4 hours a week), performing personal care, or participating in sports (each 8 hours a week).
Studying (2 1/4 hours a week) comes in next to last, nearly on a par with passive leisure activities such as board games and collecting baseball cards.
It’s true that more homework does not always produce more learning. Homework is too often comprised of projects that add little to a child’s knowledge and skills.
It’s also true that some teachers assign large amounts of homework and that some children are regularly overburdened. Objective research concerning homework agrees with the Brown Center’s findings.
The typical student, even in high school, spends one hour or less per day on homework.About half of all schoolchildren have no homework at all.These facts are especially important given the declining quality of education in America’s K-12 schools and the spate of state and federal “fixes” aimed at reversing the situation.Conventional wisdom is that the higher academic standards, which form the bedrock of NCLB, have caused a substantial increase in assigned homework.But the studies on which media reports have been based actually show little change in homework over a period of years—a fact suggesting that the media have been misled or misinterpreted the research on the subject.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. 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).Still, policymakers should remember that despite exceptions, most students at all grade levels are neither overburdened with homework nor overworked during the school day.To the contrary, the broad trend in student use of schooling opportunity is in the direction of decreasing efficiency: Youth literacy rates have remained flat or declined despite longer school days, longer school years, and higher expenditures.The Education Consumers Consultants Network is an alliance of experienced and credentialed educators dedicated to serving the needs of parents, policymakers, and taxpayers for independent and consumer-friendly consulting. America has long had a fickle relationship with homework.