5 Things You Need to Know About the Negatives of Too Much Homework

Retention Related to Interest Level

When was the last time you really retained information? Was it when you were forced to learn material in which you were disinterested or downright bored? Usually this kind of information is regurgitated when needed and then promptly forgotten. When we are interested, the information we absorb is much more easily retained. More often than not, children are not interested in homework.

Elementary School Achievement and Homework

According to Harris Cooper, PhD, Psychology Professor at Duke University, and author of "The Battle Over Homework," high school students do improve achievement with homework. However, in a comment to WebMD, Cooper says, "For elementary school students, homework has little impact on how well they will do in school." Even high school homework should be time-limited. Patty Yoxall, Spokeswoman for the National Parent-Teacher Association, recommends a 10-minute rule in which homework is increased by 10 minutes every year, which means that high school freshmen should do no more than 90 minutes of homework and seniors no more than 120 minutes. Further, to increase learning, the quality of the homework itself needs to be enriching and enlightening, rather than tedious and frustrating.

Too Much Homework Robs Children of the Childhood Advantage

One of the primary advantages to being a child is learning through playful interaction, in which they may retain social and problem-solving skills, primary ingredients to success in adulthood. Too much homework robs children of these opportunities. Simple self-motivated play also allows children to build essential cognitive skills such as imagination and intuition, fundamental to problem-solving and relationship. Further, free time allows children to explore their own interests, which will provide the basis for later career choices. Without the provision of time to explore this, it is little wonder that so many college students are lost with regard to career choice.

Too Much Homework Diminishes Quality Parent-Child Interaction

All too often the limited number of hours between school and bedtime are spent battling about homework. Parents, quite naturally concerned with their children's future success, were taught that homework is crucial to that success. Therefore, they get involved and insist on optimum performance in this area. Children, on the other hand, are often bored and angry that they have to use what little time they have for play on this tedious task. So, instead of using these hours for quality time, parents and children are using it wrangling about homework.

Too Much Homework Builds Stress

In today's world in which our children's days are laden with school, homework and various extracurricular activities, busy children are building stress into the routine day. Adults get to monitor how much stress they will allow in their lives, but children are deprived this privilege when they are mandated to perform so many activities that there is little to no time reserved for simple self-motivated activities that reduce stress through fun.