If kids are doing homework, they are probably not actively moving around. The number one argument I hear from teachers on why they give homework is to teach responsibility. Homework does not teach responsibility. If we are really concerned with students being responsible and if we are also concerned about them being healthy and well rounded I propose we sign students up for sports instead.
Homework is out of control. In some schools homework is averaging 3.1 hours per night. That is on top of the 7 hours that students were at school. Kids are being assigned more homework than ever. The 10 minute per grade level rule was not based on research and it is not being followed in most cases. For elementary school children, in particular, there is little benefit.
“All of our results indicate that homework as it is now being assigned discriminates against children whose parents don’t have a college degree, against parents who have English as a second language, against, essentially, parents who are poor.”
Homework leaves less time for kids to spend with their families, causes stress in families, deprives kids of sleep, and makes it harder to participate in co-curricular activities. Is the “value” of homework worth more than spending time with family? Worth more than being active? Worth more than being involved in the community?
There are many benefits to students participating in sports. They are physically active, they learn to work on a team, they demonstrate increases in academics, and an increase in self-confidence and concentration.
There is a lot of research to support the benefits of activity and sports. Let’s listen to the research that homework is not that helpful but sports are. Homework causes stress. Physical activity relieves stress. How about we stop giving kids homework so they can choose healthier options.