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Due to the ongoing research on stress caused by homework, schools are going homework less from the UK to the US. Although this trend might sound alarming especially for parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance at Harvard, Stanford, or Yale. There is evidence that eliminating homework in grade school might have great benefits, with regard to educational equity.

The fact is eliminating homework could be a surprise to many of us, the argument is not new. Parents and educators have been discussing the subject for the last century, whether to continue with homework or eliminate homework.

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

One of the main ignored problems with homework is how excessively impacts students from less wealthy families. The American Psychological Association (APA) described it as Children from wealthier homes are apt to have resources like computers, internet connections, study rooms to do schoolwork, and educated parents available to assist them with complicated assignments. Children from underprivileged families are most likely to work at afterschool jobs or to be at home without supervision while their parents work multiple jobs.

Students from privileged areas are likely to play sports, participate in other recreational activities after school, or receive further tutoring, while students from underprivileged areas are likely headed to work after school, and take care of siblings while their parents work for a better living. Adding schoolwork into the mix is another thing to deal with, and if the student is struggling, the homework assignment can be too much to consider after a long day at school.

Research shows that excessive homework is associated with high-stress levels and physical health problems in children’s lives. and 56% of the students mentioned homework as a major stressor in their lives. Children growing up in poverty are at risk for several diseases is both intuitive and well-supported by research. When it comes to stress and health, excessive homework for children at both ends of the spectrum can be harmful. This leads to our next question:

How Much Homework Is Too Much Homework?

The National Parent-Teacher Association and the National Education Association suggest that students on average spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework. That implies first graders students should spend 10 minutes on homework, while second graders spend 20 minutes, and so on. A study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more homework. While 10 minutes per day doesn’t seem like much, that immediately adds up to an hour per night for sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics finds that high school students per week get an average of 6.8 hours of homework.

How Teachers Can Help

To assist students in finding balance and success, teachers must start the homework conversation, both inside their school and with parents. But to effectively advocate on behalf of students, teachers ought to be well educated on the subject, with a full understanding of research and the outcomes that can be accomplished by eliminating the homework burden. And for teachers looking into a more in-depth approach, formal education may be the best route.

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