The average impact of homework is positive across both primary and secondary school. There is, however variation behind this average with homework set in primary school having a smaller impact on average (see below).
The quality of the task set appears to be more important than the quantity of work required from the pupil. There is some evidence that the impact of homework diminishes as the amount of time pupils spend on it increases. The studies reviewed with the highest impacts set homework twice a week in a particular subject.
Evidence also suggests that how homework relates to learning during normal school time is important. In the most effective examples homework was an integral part of learning, rather than an add-on. To maximise impact, it also appears to be important that students are provided with high quality feedback on their work (see Feedback).
Pupils eligible for free school meals typically receive additional benefits from homework. However, surveys in England suggest that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to have a quiet working space, are less likely to have access to a device suitable for learning or a stable internet connection and may receive less parental support to complete homework and develop effective learning habits. These difficulties may increase the gap in attainment for disadvantaged pupils.
Homework clubs can help to overcome these barriers by offering pupils the resources and support needed to undertake homework or revision. Broader evidence suggests that homework should not be used as a punishment or penalty for poor performance.
The average cost of homework is expected to be very low with the cost to schools largely based on teacher training and resources. Implementing homework will also require a small amount of staff time for planning and feedback.
As with any evidence review, the Toolkit summarises the average impact of approaches when researched in academic studies. It is important to consider your context and apply your professional judgement when implementing an approach in your setting.
Tasks are easiest to accomplish when tied to specific routines. By establishing daily routines for homework completion, you will not only make homework go more smoothly, but you will also be fostering a sense of order your child can apply to later life, including college and work.
Step 1. Find a location in the house where homework will be done. The right location will depend on your child and the culture of your family. Some children do best at a desk in their bedroom. It is a quiet location, away from the hubbub of family noise. Other children become too distracted by the things they keep in their bedroom and do better at a place removed from those distractions, like the dining room table. Some children need to work by themselves. Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise. Ask your child where the best place is to work. Both you and your child need to discuss pros and cons of different settings to arrive at a mutually agreed upon location.
Step 2. Set up a homework center. Once you and your child have identified a location, fix it up as a home office/homework center. Make sure there is a clear workspace large enough to set out all the materials necessary for completing assignments. Outfit the homework center with the kinds of supplies your child is most likely to need, such as pencils, pens, colored markers, rulers, scissors, a dictionary and thesaurus, graph paper, construction paper, glue and cellophane tape, lined paper, a calculator, spell checker, and, depending on the age and needs of your child, a computer or laptop. If the homework center is a place that will be used for other things (such as the dining room table), then your child can keep the supplies in a portable crate or bin. If possible, the homework center should include a bulletin board that can hold a monthly calendar on which your child can keep track of longterm assignments. Allowing children some leeway in decorating the homework center can help them feel at home there, but you should be careful that it does not become too cluttered with distracting materials.
Step 3. Establish a homework time. Your child should get in the habit of doing homework at the same time every day. The time may vary depending on the individual child. Some children need a break right after school to get some exercise and have a snack. Others need to start homework while they are still in a school mode (i.e., right after school when there is still some momentum left from getting through the day). In general, it may be best to get homework done either before dinner or as early in the evening as the child can tolerate. The later it gets, the more tired the child becomes and the more slowly the homework gets done.
Step 4. Establish a daily homework schedule. In general, at least into middle school, the homework session should begin with your sitting down with your child and drawing up a homework schedule. You should review all the assignments and make sure your child understands them and has all the necessary materials. Ask your child to estimate how long it will take to complete each assignment. Then ask when each assignment will get started. If your child needs help with any assignment, then this should be determined at the beginning so that the start times can take into account parent availability. A Daily Homework Planner is included at the end of this handout and contains a place for identifying when breaks may be taken and what rewards may be earned.
Many children who are not motivated by the enjoyment of doing homework are motivated by the high grade they hope to earn as a result of doing a quality job. Thus, the grade is an incentive, motivating the child to do homework with care and in a timely manner. For children who are not motivated by grades, parents will need to look for other rewards to help them get through their nightly chores. Incentive systems fall into two categories: simple and elaborate.
Building in breaks. These are good for the child who cannot quite make it to the end without a small reward en route. When creating the daily homework schedule, it may be useful with these children to identify when they will take their breaks. Some children prefer to take breaks at specific time intervals (every 15 minutes), while others do better when the breaks occur after they finish an activity. If you use this approach, you should discuss with your child how long the breaks will last and what will be done during the breaks (get a snack, call a friend, play one level on a video game). The Daily Homework Planner includes sections where breaks and end-of-homework rewards can be identified.
Building in choice. This can be an effective strategy for parents to use with children who resist homework. Choice can be incorporated into both the order in which the child agrees to complete assignments and the schedule they will follow to get the work done. Building in choice not only helps motivate children but can also reduce power struggles between parents and children.
Step 1. Describe the problem behaviors. Parents and children decide which behaviors are causing problems at homework time. For some children putting homework off to the last minute is the problem; for others, it is forgetting materials or neglecting to write down assignments. Still others rush through their work and make careless mistakes, while others dawdle over assignments, taking hours to complete what should take only a few minutes. It is important to be as specific as possible when describing the problem behaviors. The problem behavior should be described as behaviors that can be seen or heard; for instance, complains about homework or rushes through homework, making many mistakes are better descriptors than has a bad attitude or is lazy.
Homework is something every child has had to go through during their schooling. It may have been preparing a presentation, drawing up a poster or completing a worksheet. This is one subject that guarantees vastly varying opinions. Some believe there should be none at all and others find a reasonable amount of it quite useful. Some think less should be set, some think more. So, what is the reason for such contrasting opinions? What is the significance of homework?
Through completing their homework students can gain several important life skills to make themselves more responsible. Homework gives pupils the responsibility of completing the given task by a given time. This encourages them to become more independent and disciplined.
This may involve planning out their after-school time and deciding to complete a homework task in a given time limit. For example, the pupil may plan to spend 20 minutes on their maths homework, take a ten-minute break, and then spend 30 minutes on geography. This is something they will find fundamental during exams as well as in their future career.
Alternatively, often when a pupil fails to complete the classwork that they were meant to, due to distraction or absences, it will be set as homework. This is a reasonable solution, especially if the work done class will be essential in future lessons or tests.
Often homework can become a daunting task. A major counter argument to setting homework is the stress it places on young student. So how can a student handle their out-of-school workload without it affecting their mental health?
To maintain a distraction-free zone, some common ideas consider placing your phone in a different room, listening to songs without lyrics. Find some other useful tips and tricks to improve your focus and concentration at this Think Student article. This can help you deal with any homework stress or anxiety that you may facing.
During lockdown, the entire world collectively suffered from a complete shift in our lifestyles. Most schooling (including primary, secondary and university) was moved online. Teachers began to set homework online, such as on OneNote, or Word Documents. This means getting distracted is much easier. For some people, it may even make remembering or learning much harder since they cannot physically complete it. 2b1af7f3a8