No Assigned Homework!
Children need time to participate in family, sports, and community activities. Excessive homework can rob children of these activities, as well as result in poor sleep habits. Research has not been able to demonstrate a consistent, positive correlation between homework, learning, and improved test scores at the elementary level. For this reason we do not have assigned homework. A parent may choose to have a student work on a Foundations class at home or while traveling, but we will not require it.
Ideas for Fun Family Activities
We offer parents ideas for fun, hands-on activities they can do with their children that are connected with their current learning modules. These activities are not graded, assigned, or even turned in. They are provided as a resource for parents who would like to participate in their children's learning experiences at home.
Research supports our position that homework is not effective for elementary school-aged children. Below is a sampling of papers on homework research. What is missing from the body of research is any research study demonstrating an empirical benefit to homework for elementary school-aged children. Some studies propose a theory on why homework could be helpful, but none have actually provided evidence for those theories. Instead, we have found a lack of evidence for why students and their parents should engage in the nightly homework battle. The majority of scholarly research on homework is geared for teachers on how to design better homework. Our position is that designing better homework for elementary students is the wrong thing to focus on and teachers instead should be focusing on maximizing the six-plus hours a day a student spends at school.
- Bryan, T., & Nelson, C. (1994). Doing homework: Perspectives of elementary and junior high school students. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27(8), 488-499.
- Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003. Review of educational research, 76(1), 1-62.
- Cooper, H., Lindsay, J. J., Nye, B., & Greathouse, S. (1998). Relationships among attitudes about homework, amount of homework assigned and completed, and student achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(1), 70-83.
- "At lower grades (2 and 4), teacher-assigned homework was related to negative student attitudes."
- Cooper, H. (1989). Synthesis of research on homework. Educational leadership, 47(3), 85-91.
- Cooper, H. (2006). The battle over homework: Common ground for administrators, teachers, and parents. Corwin Press.
- "The average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement was substantial for secondary school students. For elementary school students, it hovered around zero." (page 30).
- Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge.
- Muhlenbruck, L., Cooper, H., Nye, B. et al. Homework and achievement: Explaining the different strengths of relation at the elementary and secondary school levels. Social Psychology of Education (1999) 3: 295. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009680513901
- Palardy, J. M. (1995). Another Look at Homework. Principal, 74(5), 32-33.
- Problems with homework include completion difficulties, uncoordinated assignments, interference with important out-of-school activities, fostering of undesirable student behaviors and attitudes, uniform assignments for all students, and lack of teacher feedback. (abstract)
- Trautwein, U., & Köller, O. (2003). The relationship between homework and achievement—still much of a mystery. Educational psychology review, 15(2), 115-145.
- Vatterott, C. (2009). Rethinking homework: Best practices that support diverse needs. ASCD.
- Xu, J., & Corno, L. (1998). Case studies of families Teachers College Record, 100(2), 402-436.
- "Homework was a challenge for children and parents, was at times emotionally draining, and limited family participation in other activities." (abstract)