Researchers in Canada just released the results of the first study ever on homework and concluded that homework has no value through 6th grade. “”For elementary school, especially for the primary grades, I am down on homework entirely,” said Linda Cameron, one of the authors of the study and a former kindergarten teacher. According to thestar.com, the study also found:
* Not only does homework cut into family time, it becomes a primary source of arguments, power struggles and is disruptive to building a strong family, including putting strain on marriages.
* A large number of children in kindergarten are assigned homework, most of it “drill and practice.”
* 28 per cent of Grade 1 students and more than 50 per cent of Grade 2 students spend more than 20 minutes on homework daily.
* While there’s no real difference in the attitude of children toward homework, Ontario parents definitely feel more negative about it than others across the country.
* More than three-quarters of parents with children in Grade 4 and under help their children with homework. But, by Grade 4, only half of parents feel they are competent enough to do so.
* Parents are unsure about the benefits of homework; by Grade 5, just 20 per cent of parents feel it has a “positive effect on achievement.”
* Half of children in junior kindergarten are enthusiastic about homework; by Grade 6, it drops to just 6 per cent and by Grade 12, just 4 per cent.
The researchers also came across several themes from parent comments – that homework is too difficult or the assignment unclear, that it cuts into family time and causes stress at home and that children are left with little time to play.