As described by Wikipedia (n.d), homework, or a homework assignment, is a set of tasks assigned to students by their teachers to be completed outside the class. Common homework assignments may include required reading, writing or typing project, mathematical exercises to be completed, information to be reviewed before a test, or other skills to be practiced.
Ramos (2018) narrated that homeworks started in Venice, Italy in 1095. It was first introduced by a strict teacher whose name is Roberto Nevilis as a form of punishment after being disappointed on his students. It is also has a purpose of helping the students learn and master the lesson he was teaching.
As stated by Cooper (1989), homeworks has an objective that are the same as schooling: developing the knowledge and skills of the students, preparing them for a new lesson which is more difficult or complex, to know how they will use it in new situations, and to enhance and maximize their abilities by using different knowledge and skills to accomplish one task.
Needlmen (n.d) also noted that assignments are a good opportunity for parents to help their children learn. It is designed to know what did the students learn and how much have they learned.
Epstein & Voorhis (2010) enumerated the purposes of teachers on why they are assigning homeworks. It includes practice, preparation, participation, personal development, parent–child relations, parent–teacher communications, peer interactions, policy, public relations, and punishment.
The researchers knew how homeworks have been a great part in teaching techniques. It is because of various purposes that aim to develop and improve a student’s knowledge and skills. In addition to that, it also aims to give opportunity for parents to help their children on their academics.
Homework and Time Management
Globeteacher.com (n.d) wrote that punctuality is a major factor to consider in every output. Point deductions, denying to consider the homework, or other such penalties on failing to meet the deadline are what pressure the students in doing their homework. Therefore, students must learn how to manage and organize priorities to meet the requirements needed. Besides, these students will face employment in the future wherein they need to beat several deadlines and these homeworks will serve as a training for future purposes and needs.
In addition to that, homework improves the time management of the students because they shall know their limitations in doing several things. Students can have leisure time, socialization time, and lazy time, but they should know where to draw the line.
Zimmerman (1998) stated that it is important as a student to have self-regulation skills such as time management, setting goals, effort and persistence in completing difficult tasks, and self-monitoring one’s performance. It is also a primary factor to consider in the lives of successful professional writers, athletes, artists, and scientists. In addition to that, Zimmerman (2002) also emphasized how teachers play an important role in developing self-regulation skills of the early grade students. However, as students grow up and rise to another grade level, the instructors gradually reduce their support to enhance the independency of the students.
As stated by Zimmerman (1998), “in the absence of the teacher, students take responsibility to self-regulate their learning and decide where, when, how, why, and what to do with the assigned homework”
On the other hand, According to Oxford Learning (2016), social life, grades, and health are some of the factors that can be affected by homework. Spending too much time in class and also being bombarded with assignments may lead to students feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.
Schnurmacher (2012) once narrated, “One mother of a 7-year-old girl was practically in tears when she told me her daughter, who used to love school, now hates it. Why? Because she is forced to do 90 minutes of homework assignments every day! No wonder she hates school. She is seven, for heaven’s sake. The child gets up at 7:30 in the morning. She’s in school all day long. The bus picks her up at 3:45 to take her home. By the time she is dropped off, it’s nearly 5:00. That day is long enough. She should not be forced to work for another hour and a half.”
Dell’Antonia (2014) reported the results of a research in California which tackles the impact of homework to the students’ lives. The researchers of the study asked 4,317 students from 10 different schools and it the results show that the students spend an average of 3.1 hours nightly. They also added comment such as, “There’s never a break. Never.” and “It takes me away from everything I used to do”.
Dell’Antonia (2014) also noted that Pope, the researcher of a study about the impact of homework to the students’ lives, stated how homeworks cause sleep deprivation and stress. Students feel out of control because they have no idea when a teacher will assign a homework affecting personal plans such as family gatherings. Pope also noticed that homeworks dominate family evenings and it places stress to the family’s relationship.
The researchers thought that homeworks consume a huge part in a students’ time and time management is the key in accomplishing it all. Homeworks teach the students how to manage their time well for it will be useful in the future. However, the researchers also learned how time management is not always the answer in accomplishing heavy homework load.
Homework and Family Time
Kim (2019) observed some negative effects of homeworks to a student’s life and time management. She stated that massive homework load will can reduce and take away productive family time. This is mostly prevalent to families who are not capable of assisting their family member in doing their assignment. Due to this, stress level may increase, which can result to fight and conflicts, making family quality time reduced.
Dell’Antonia (2014) reported the results of a research in California which tackles the impact of homework to the students’ lives. The researcher, Ms. Pope, narrated that spending too much time in doing homeworks are destructive to family relationships because there is little to no time left to spend together, particularly when an extracurricular activity adds up and consumes a significant number of hours.
Thompson (2018) also provided a scenario wherein if a student spends several hours in doing his/her homework, he/she might not be able to eat dinner with her parents. If this situation remains to be constant, it may disrupt family time and routines.
The researchers are aware that homeworks negatively affect the students’ family time. Too much exposure to homework has an impact to their family relationship, interaction, and also with their bond. It also may increase the conflicts because stress is building up inside the house.
Homework and Leisure Time
According to Oxford Learning (2016), homeworks has its own benefits to the students, but being too exposed to it will negate the possible advantages it will give to the students. Learners that are too exposed in doing their assignments may eat too much of their time which will cause imbalance, affecting their other needs like being physically and socially active. Too much homeworks might took away the opportunities for the students to experience some extracurricular activities, which are good to refresh their minds and bodies. It may also affect the quantity of time for the students to interact with their families and friends. Consequently, these disadvantages may leave them feeling isolated and without a support system. Without having a time to relax and socialize, it might lead to stress, impacting one’s life at school and home.
Cooper (n.d) stated that teachers and parents are bothered that the students will find spending too much time in academics boring. Homeworks will take away leisure time and other community activities that are in fact beneficial to the students because it teaches other important life skills. He also observed that having shorter but frequent assignments are better than distributing longer but fewer homeworks.
As per Hood (2017), 16 out of 19 students agreed that assignments gives them stress and takes away the time they’re supposed to spend on things that they’re encouraged to do, such as sports, extracurricular activities, and family time. They want to participate in these kind of activities because this is where they are passionate about and it provides them a feeling of happiness. Furthermore, Sports and exercise is proven to relieve stress, homework adds stress and if time for this stress reliever is taken away that just means more stress, this can cause more problems in many aspects of their lives.
He also stated that, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, teens in today’s generation are less physically active than the teens 20 years ago. Heavy homework loads is a major contributing factor to the lessening of teens’ time for physical activities.
As reported by O’keefe (2017), studies from the U.S National Education Association says that because of the homework loads that are assigned in the weekends, stress has been building up, when in fact it is the time for the students to relax and unwind. This is also the same as giving assignments over the holidays.
It is observed by the researchers having excessive amount of homeworks can consume the leisure time of the students. Also, too much homework might took away the opportunities to do other things that they love to do. The researchers agree that sometimes we need leisure time just to refresh our mind or ‘unwind’ and be away from stress.
Homework and Sleep Hours
Kim (2019) She also reported that excessive homework has been known as a cause of digestive issues, sleeping problems, headaches, weight loss, and generalized stress. In fact, The Journal of Adolescent Health states that 8% of high schoolers in the US get the recommended 9 hours of sleep each night. They also state that 23% of high school students get 6 hours or less of sleep and 10% get 5 hours or less.
Hood (2017) also stated that according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, adolescents must get 9 to 9 ½ hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, because of homeworks and other after school activities consuming their time, they are having a hard time to get the right amount of sleep which can affect their academic performance and cognitive abilities.
Additionally, O’keefe (2017) pointed out that the amount of homeworks given to students led to sleep deprivation and other health-related problems. He reported that the researchers concluded that excessive amount of assignments results to headaches, exhaustion, and most of all, sleep deprivation.
Dr. Capanari (2012) narrated, “A few years ago, I had a sixteen year old come into sleep clinic for insomnia. He was a hard-working student in a good school district. I asked him to describe his sleep problems to me. “I finish my homework at midnight every night,” he said, “and I can’t fall asleep by 12:10 AM.” Each of his Advanced Placement classes had 1-2 hours of assigned homework per night and he was not routinely finishing homework until 11 PM or 12 AM. This may be an exaggerated case [and note that the details have been changed a bit to protect patient privacy.] However, let’s do the math. The typical school day for a high school student in this country is between 6.5-7 hours per day. Most school districts start between 7-8 AM for high school students. Thus, kids are getting out of school between 2-3 PM. Many students do extracurriculars for a few hours after school and cannot start homework until after dinner (say 6:30 PM). The maximum recommended homework for a high school senior is three hours per night; for younger children, it is ten minutes per grade. If the student goes to sleep at 10 PM and gets up at 6 AM ( a typical wake time around here for high school students), this allows 8 hours of sleep. However, the typical teenager requires between 8.5-9 hours of sleep per night, so even a teen with good sleep habits generally sleep deprived.”
Gillen‐O’Neel et al. (2012) showed the results of their study which suggests that the no matter how many hours a student spends in studying, it will be useless if the learner sacrifices sleep time because he will have a hard time grasping what he/she is studying and will also struggle on schoolworks the following day. Students are likely to sacrifice sleep just to study when they have reached the latter years of high school, which is a negative dynamic that becomes more prevalent as time passes by.
The researchers observed that a student’s exposure time to homeworks hinders many opportunities and necessities. It also includes sleep hours, in which if the students spend too much time in doing their homework, they might sacrifice their sleep just to finish those loads, which is bad for their health. It is not only bad for their health, but also for their cognitive abilities.
Homework and Family Roles
Kim (2019) noted that other researchers pointed out how homeworks take away the chance of the students to learn about the importance of personal responsibilities that are not academically-related. This may hinder their opportunity to possess and hone new skills that will be beneficial in the future.
The researchers are aware that having too much homeworks can also take away the time of being responsible on their own house chores. These circumstances can be a hindrance in making them learn non-academic skills. This is because they cannot do the assigned task to them for they have homework loads to do.
Homework and Socialization
Kim (2019) said that being overwhelmed with homework could have an indirect relationship to depression because of the stress it brings to the learners because of the imbalance it might cause. Also, not having a time to ‘unwind’ and spend time with friends could take away significant experiences of a student.
Thompson (2018) emphasized that homeworks take opportunities away. This is because students’ with massive loads of assignments have less interaction time with their friends and families, when in fact regular social interaction plays an essential role in one’s brain development. On the other hand, a learner who has plenty of opportunities to interact with friends and family can also learn skills and lessons that aren’t found in books such as conflict management and impulse control skills. The exposure time to homeworks and social development are directly proportional.
Limitations and Suggestions for Homework Distribution
Cooper (n.d) reported that The National PTA and the National Education Association suggests that homeworks for K-2 students are more effective if it is just needs ten to twenty minutes each day. For students who are in grades three to six, it is recommended to give assignments that needs thirty to sixty minutes exposure daily. High school students may benefit from more time on homework but it must vary from night to night. These effective recommendations are consistent with past researches.
Dell’Antonia (2014) said that Ms. Pope, a researcher, suggests that educators may provide homeworks that a student can spread out and schedule over a week, rather than distributing a huge amount of assignments that are due tomorrow which can affect family plans negatively.
O’keefe (2017) also mentioned that schools in Finland assign little to none homeworks, which is also a contributing factor in removing competition inside the classroom. The students exhibit cooperation from helping each other’s hardships. This lessens their stress, which helps them in boosting their memory and relationships with others.
Health News (2015) reported that The American Journal of Family Therapy published a 2015 study that surveyed more than 1,100 parents in Rhode Island with school-age children. The results showed that first and second graders are exposed to homework for about 28 to 29 minutes every night. While kindergarten students are given 25 minutes of homeworks nightly. Contrary to this, according to the standards set by the NEA and NPTA, they should not receive any assignment at all.
According to the National Education Association suggests that homeworks are more effective if it just needs to ten to twenty minutes. The researchers agreed with the statement suggested because that kind of time can be good in their time management; the shorter time, the more can do different things in that specific day. Also, the researchers also agree that as the grade level increases, homework load also increases significantly, but must have variation.