Ask A Professional: Should Homework Be Banned In Schools

As crazy as it may sound initially, banning school homework is an idea that has been mulled by school districts nationwide for many years now. As far back as the 1920’s, doctors had reservations about the amount of time children were spending doing homework and its affect on their health. At that time physicians believed children required up to seven hours a day of outdoor activity. The benefits or drawbacks of this practice were never truly observed, however, as the theory behind it never provided conclusive evidence in practice.

Socioeconomic divisions are playing a larger role in the efficacy of homework now more than ever.

Modern realities

  • The homework assigned looks far different at school than the form it takes once it reaches home.

  • Economic disparities between the home lives of students offers a bleak and stark assessment of the conditions students are studying in.

  • The playing field is not level for students outside of the classroom. While some students are able to go home to caretakers and other advantages, some students go home to be the caretaker for younger siblings.

  • The internet has also become a homework aid and an advantage to those with access to it. Once again, all students are not able to afford internet access.

Beyond the glaring economic issues is the need for time spent with family and family activities. This places the family model in an uncomfortable and risky conundrum. It presents several questions on what sort of expectations parents have for their children as well as for the values they want to instill as part of their own legacy.

Who controls our children?

  • Parents can accept their children devoting six to eight hours a day for what is considered the school “day”.

  • Questions and difficulties arise when the amount of time it may take to study or complete an assignment conflicts with activities revolving around the family or other important pastimes.

  • How are the children at the center of this debate to feel? As children or as students? What sort of pressure are we putting these young minds under?

  • What are the dangers of having our children pulled in several directions?

There are benefits to homework, enough to discard the notion of banning it completely. However, the key to happy, healthy, and productive children is a proper balance between school, social, and family life.