Indeed, perhaps it would be best, as some propose, to eliminate homework altogether, particularly in these early grades.
On the contrary, developmentally appropriate homework plays a critical role in the formation of positive learning beliefs and behaviors, including a belief in one’s academic ability, a deliberative and effortful approach to mastery, and higher expectations and aspirations for one’s future.
But in families of limited means, it’s often another story.
Many low-income parents value homework as an important connection to the school and the curriculum—even as their children report receiving little homework.
The Homework-Achievement Connection A narrow focus on whether or not homework boosts grades and test scores in the short run thus ignores a broader purpose in education, the development of lifelong, confident learners.
Still, the question looms: homework enhance academic success?These findings suggest a causal relationship, but they are limited in scope.Within the body of correlational research, some studies report a positive homework-achievement connection, some a negative relationship, and yet others show no relationship at all. Researchers point to a number of possible factors, such as developmental issues related to how young children learn, different goals that teachers have for younger as compared to older students, and how researchers define homework.Parental concerns about their children’s homework loads are nothing new.Debates over the merits of homework—tasks that teachers ask students to complete during non-instructional time—have ebbed and flowed since the late 19th century, and today its value is again being scrutinized and weighed against possible negative impacts on family life and children’s well-being. In some middle-class and affluent communities, where pressure on students to achieve can be fierce, yes.As the educational psychologist Lyn Corno wrote more than two decades ago, “homework is a complicated thing.” Most research on the homework-achievement connection is correlational, which precludes a definitive judgment on its academic benefits.Researchers rely on correlational research in this area of study given the difficulties of randomly assigning students to homework/no-homework conditions.As noted above, findings on the homework-achievement connection at the elementary level are mixed.A small number of experimental studies have demonstrated that elementary-school students who receive homework achieve at higher levels than those who do not.For middle-school students, Cooper and colleagues report that 90 minutes per day of homework is optimal for enhancing academic achievement, and for high schoolers, the ideal range is 90 minutes to two and a half hours per day.Beyond this threshold, more homework does not contribute to learning.