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Not surprisingly, more than 70% of homework assignments by teachers at all levels of schooling are designed for the purpose of students finishing classwork or practicing skills (Polloway, Epstein, Bursuck, Madhavi, & Cumblad, 1994).Homework in the early grades should encourage positive attitudes and character traits, allow appropriate parent involvement, and reinforce simple skills introduced in class (Cooper, 2007).
These discrepancies are just one example of homework communication problems among all parties involved.
Overall, like many education issues, a percentage of students at all grade levels (5% of 9-year-olds, 8% of 13-year-olds, and 11% of 17-year-olds) spend a lot of time on homework ( 2 hours per night); others complete none at all or fail to complete assigned work (24% to 39%); and many are right in the middle, completing less than 1 hour (28% to 60%) or between 1 and 2 hours per night (13% to 22%; Perie & Moran, 2005).
Homework requires students, teachers, and parents to invest time and effort on assignments. On a positive note, 90% of teachers, students, and parents believe homework will help students reach important goals.
Yet, 26% of students, 24% of teachers, and 40% of parents report that some homework is just busywork, and 29% of parents report homework is a “major source of stress” (Markow, Kim, & Liebman, 2007, p. It is critical, then, to improve current practice and for educators and researchers to examine the emotional and cognitive costs and benefits of homework for students, families, and teachers (Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2001; Van Voorhis, 2004, 2009, in press; Van Voorhis & Epstein, 2002).
For example, students in the elementary and middle grades should be assigned roughly 10 minutes multiplied by the grade level (i.e., 30 minutes for a third-grade student), while high school student assignment time varies by subject.
The time differences also raise some questions about different purposes and content of homework across the grades.Students reported working with their parents on schoolwork between one and three times weekly.However, students reported that teachers asked them to request parental assistance only one to two times per month on tasks such as checking homework, studying for tests, or working on projects.TIPS students and families responded significantly more positively than controls to questions about their emotions and attitudes about the homework experience, and TIPS families and students reported higher levels of family involvement in the TIPS subject.No differences emerged in the amount of time students spent on subject homework across the homework groups, but students using TIPS for 2 years earned significantly higher standardized test scores than did controls.Although results vary, meta-analytic studies of homework effects on student achievement report percentile gains for students between 8% and 31% (Marzano & Pickering, 2007).If homework serves a clear benefit for students, it is puzzling why there are persistent discussions and contention about its practice (Bennett & Kalish, 2006; Kohn, 2006; Kralovec & Buell, 2000).This paper presents the results of three 2-year longitudinal interventions of the Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) homework program in elementary mathematics, middle school language arts, and middle school science.The findings suggest that the benefits of TIPS intervention in terms of emotion and achievement outweigh its associated costs.Homework represents one research-based instructional strategy linked to student achievement.However, challenges abound with its current practice.