PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.

author image

Coursework/GPA

feature-homework-stress-biting-pencil

Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you .

So let’s get started!

body-stack-of-textbooks-red

How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

body-procrastination-meme

How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

body-busy-meme-2

If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away.
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C.

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

body-unmotivated-meme

This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

body-focus-meme

Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)

body-hand-number-two

Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later.

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too.

body_next_step_drawing_blackboard

What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

author image

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

how to make homework more effective

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”

Internet Explorer is no longer supported

Please upgrade to Microsoft Edge , Google Chrome , or Firefox .

Lo sentimos, la página que usted busca no se ha podido encontrar. Puede intentar su búsqueda de nuevo o visitar la lista de temas populares.

Get this as a PDF

Enter email to download and get news and resources in your inbox.

Share this on social

Strategies to make homework go more smoothly.

Routines and incentive systems to help kids succeed

Writer: Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP

Clinical Expert: Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP

Here is the best guide to helping kids do homework successfully that we’ve seen, published by the National Association of School Psychologists on their website, NASPonline.org . Our thanks to NASP for sharing it with us.

There are two key strategies parents can draw on to reduce homework hassles. The first is to establish clear routines around homework, including when and where homework gets done and setting up daily schedules for homework. The second is to build in rewards or incentives to use with children for whom “good grades” is not a sufficient reward for doing homework.

Homework Routines

Tasks are easiest to accomplish when tied to specific routines. By establishing daily routines for homework completion, you will not only make homework go more smoothly, but you will also be fostering a sense of order your child can apply to later life, including college and work.

Step 1. Find a location in the house where homework will be done. The right location will depend on your child and the culture of your family. Some children do best at a desk in their bedroom. It is a quiet location, away from the hubbub of family noise. Other children become too distracted by the things they keep in their bedroom and do better at a place removed from those distractions, like the dining room table. Some children need to work by themselves. Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise. Ask your child where the best place is to work. Both you and your child need to discuss pros and cons of different settings to arrive at a mutually agreed upon location.

Step 2. Set up a homework center. Once you and your child have identified a location, fix it up as a home office/homework center. Make sure there is a clear workspace large enough to set out all the materials necessary for completing assignments. Outfit the homework center with the kinds of supplies your child is most likely to need, such as pencils, pens, colored markers, rulers, scissors, a dictionary and thesaurus, graph paper, construction paper, glue and cellophane tape, lined paper, a calculator, spell checker, and, depending on the age and needs of your child, a computer or laptop. If the homework center is a place that will be used for other things (such as the dining room table), then your child can keep the supplies in a portable crate or bin. If possible, the homework center should include a bulletin board that can hold a monthly calendar on which your child can keep track of longterm assignments. Allowing children some leeway in decorating the homework center can help them feel at home there, but you should be careful that it does not become too cluttered with distracting materials.

Step 3. Establish a homework time. Your child should get in the habit of doing homework at the same time every day. The time may vary depending on the individual child. Some children need a break right after school to get some exercise and have a snack. Others need to start homework while they are still in a school mode (i.e., right after school when there is still some momentum left from getting through the day). In general, it may be best to get homework done either before dinner or as early in the evening as the child can tolerate. The later it gets, the more tired the child becomes and the more slowly the homework gets done.

Step 4. Establish a daily homework schedule. In general, at least into middle school, the homework session should begin with your sitting down with your child and drawing up a homework schedule. You should review all the assignments and make sure your child understands them and has all the necessary materials. Ask your child to estimate how long it will take to complete each assignment. Then ask when each assignment will get started. If your child needs help with any assignment , then this should be determined at the beginning so that the start times can take into account parent availability. A Daily Homework Planner is included at the end of this handout and contains a place for identifying when breaks may be taken and what rewards may be earned.

Incentive Systems

Many children who are not motivated by the enjoyment of doing homework are motivated by the high grade they hope to earn as a result of doing a quality job. Thus, the grade is an incentive, motivating the child to do homework with care and in a timely manner. For children who are not motivated by grades, parents will need to look for other rewards to help them get through their nightly chores. Incentive systems fall into two categories: simple and elaborate.

Simple incentive systems. The simplest incentive system is reminding the child of a fun activity to do when homework is done. It may be a favorite television show, a chance to spend some time with a video or computer game, talking on the telephone or instant messaging, or playing a game with a parent. This system of withholding fun things until the drudgery is over is sometimes called Grandma’s Law because grandmothers often use it quite effectively (“First take out the trash, then you can have chocolate chip cookies.”). Having something to look forward to can be a powerful incentive to get the hard work done. When parents remind children of this as they sit down at their desks they may be able to spark the engine that drives the child to stick with the work until it is done.

Elaborate incentive systems. These involve more planning and more work on the part of parents but in some cases are necessary to address more significant homework problems. More complex incentives systems might include a structure for earning points that could be used to “purchase” privileges or rewards or a system that provides greater reward for accomplishing more difficult homework tasks. These systems work best when parents and children together develop them. Giving children input gives them a sense of control and ownership, making the system more likely to succeed. We have found that children are generally realistic in setting goals and deciding on rewards and penalties when they are involved in the decision-making process.

Building in breaks. These are good for the child who cannot quite make it to the end without a small reward en route. When creating the daily homework schedule, it may be useful with these children to identify when they will take their breaks. Some children prefer to take breaks at specific time intervals (every 15 minutes), while others do better when the breaks occur after they finish an activity. If you use this approach, you should discuss with your child how long the breaks will last and what will be done during the breaks (get a snack, call a friend, play one level on a video game). The Daily Homework Planner includes sections where breaks and end-of-homework rewards can be identified.

Building in choice. This can be an effective strategy for parents to use with children who resist homework. Choice can be incorporated into both the order in which the child agrees to complete assignments and the schedule they will follow to get the work done. Building in choice not only helps motivate children but can also reduce power struggles between parents and children.

Developing Incentive Systems

Step 1. Describe the problem behaviors. Parents and children decide which behaviors are causing problems at homework time. For some children putting homework off to the last minute is the problem; for others, it is forgetting materials or neglecting to write down assignments. Still others rush through their work and make careless mistakes, while others dawdle over assignments, taking hours to complete what should take only a few minutes. It is important to be as specific as possible when describing the problem behaviors. The problem behavior should be described as behaviors that can be seen or heard; for instance, complains about h omework or rushes through homework, making many mistakes are better descriptors than has a bad attitude or is lazy.

Step 2. Set a goal. Usually the goal relates directly to the problem behavior. For instance, if not writing down assignments is the problem, the goal might be: “Joe will write down his assignments in his assignment book for every class.”

Step 3. Decide on possible rewards and penalties. Homework incentive systems work best when children have a menu of rewards to choose from, since no single reward will be attractive for long. We recommend a point system in which points can be earned for the goal behaviors and traded in for the reward the child wants to earn. The bigger the reward, the more points the child will need to earn it. The menu should include both larger, more expensive rewards that may take a week or a month to earn and smaller, inexpensive rewards that can be earned daily. It may also be necessary to build penalties into the system. This is usually the loss of a privilege (such as the chance to watch a favorite TV show or the chance to talk on the telephone to a friend).

Once the system is up and running, and if you find your child is earning more penalties than rewards, then the program needs to be revised so that your child can be more successful. Usually when this kind of system fails, we think of it as a design failure rather than the failure of the child to respond to rewards. It may be a good idea if you are having difficulty designing a system that works to consult a specialist, such as a school psychologist or counselor, for assistance.

Step 4. Write a homework contract. The contract should say exactly what the child agrees to do and exactly what the parents’ roles and responsibilities will be. When the contract is in place, it should reduce some of the tension parents and kids often experience around homework. For instance, if part of the contract is that the child will earn a point for not complaining about homework, then if the child does complain, this should not be cause for a battle between parent and child: the child simply does not earn that point. Parents should also be sure to praise their children for following the contract. It will be important for parents to agree to a contract they can live with; that is, avoiding penalties they are either unable or unwilling to impose (e.g., if both parents work and are not at home, they cannot monitor whether a child is beginning homework right after school, so an alternative contract may need to be written).

We have found that it is a rare incentive system that works the first time. Parents should expect to try it out and redesign it to work the kinks out. Eventually, once the child is used to doing the behaviors specified in the contract, the contract can be rewritten to work on another problem behavior. Your child over time may be willing to drop the use of an incentive system altogether. This is often a long-term goal, however, and you should be ready to write a new contract if your child slips back to bad habits once a system is dropped.

Click here to download the homework planner and incentive sheet .

Was this article helpful?

Explore popular topics, subscribe to our newsletters.

" * " indicates required fields

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Don’t Miss Out

Sign up for more articles and parenting tips direct to your inbox.

MiddleWeb

  • Articles / Homework

Smart Homework: 13 Ways to Make It Meaningful

by MiddleWeb · Published 08/04/2014 · Updated 11/17/2019

In the first installment of Rick Wormeli’s homework advice, he made the case for take-home assignments that matter for learning and engage student interest . In Part 2, Rick offers some guiding principles that can help teachers create homework challenges that motivate kids and spark deeper learning in and out of school.

These articles are adapted and updated from Rick’s seminal book about teaching in the middle grades, Day One & Beyond: Practical Matters for New Middle Level Teachers . Rick continues to offer great advice about homework, differentiation, assessment and many other topics in workshops and presentations across North America. Check back in Part 1 for some additional homework resources.

RickWormeli-hdsht-130

I’ve been accumulating guiding principles for creating highly motivating homework assignments for many years — from my own teaching and from the distilled wisdom of others. Here are a baker’s dozen. Choose the ones most appropriate for students’ learning goals and your curriculum.

1. Give students a clear picture of the final product. This doesn’t mean everything is structured for them, or that there aren’t multiple pathways to the same high quality result. There’s room for student personalities to be expressed. Students clearly know what is expected, however. A clear picture sets purpose for doing the assignment. Priming the brain to focus on particular aspects of the learning experience helps the brain process the information for long-term retention. Setting purpose for homework assignments has an impact on learning and the assignment’s completion rate, as research by Marzano and others confirms.

2. Incorporate a cause into the assignment. Middle level students are motivated when they feel they are righting a wrong. They are very sensitive to justice and injustice. As a group, they are also very nurturing of those less fortunate than them. Find a community or personal cause for which students can fight fairly and incorporate your content and skills in that good fight— students will be all over the assignment.

perky-homework

4. Incorporate people whom students admire in their assignments. Students are motivated when asked to share what they know and feel about these folks. We are a society of heroes, and young adolescents are interested in talking about and becoming heroic figures.

5. Allow choices, as appropriate. Allow students to do the even-numbered or odd-numbered problems, or allow them to choose from three prompts, not just one. Let them choose the word that best describes the political or scientific process. Let them identify their own diet and its effects on young adolescent bodies. Let them choose to work with partners or individually. How about allowing them to choose from several multiple-intelligence based tasks? If they are working in ways that are comfortable, they are more likely to do the work. By making the choice, they have upped their ownership of the task.

6. Incorporate cultural products into the assignment. If students have to use magazines, television shows, foods, sports equipment, and other products they already use, they are likely to do the work. The brain loves to do tasks in contexts with which it is familiar.

7. Allow students to collaborate in determining how homework will be assessed. If they help design the criteria for success, such as when they create the rubric for an assignment, they “own” the assignment. It comes off as something done by them, not to them. They also internalize the expectations—another way for them to have clear targets.

With some assignments we can post well-done versions from previous years (or ones we’ve created for this purpose) and ask students to analyze the essential characteristics that make these assignments exemplary. Students who analyze such assignments will compare those works with their own and internalize the criteria for success, referencing the criteria while doing the assignment, not just when it’s finished.

how to make homework more effective

9. Spruce up your prompts. Don’t ask students to repeatedly answer questions or summarize. Try some of these openers instead: Decide between, argue against, Why did ______ argue for, compare, contrast, plan, classify, retell ______ from the point of view of ______, Organize, build, interview, predict, categorize, simplify, deduce, formulate, blend, suppose, invent, imagine, devise, compose, combine, rank, recommend, defend, choose.

10. Have everyone turn in a paper. In her classic, Homework: A New Direction (1992), Neila Connors reminded teachers to have all students turn in a paper, regardless of whether they did the assignment. If a student doesn’t have his homework, he writes on the paper the name of the assignment and why he didn’t do it.

sleepy-homework-2

11. Do not give homework passes. I used to do this; then I realized how much it minimized the importance of homework. It’s like saying, “Oh, well, the homework really wasn’t that important to your learning. You’ll learn just as well without it.” Homework should be so productive for students that missing it is like missing the lesson itself.

12. Integrate homework with other subjects. One assignment can count in two classes. Such assignments are usually complex enough to warrant the dual grade and it’s a way to work smarter, not harder, for both students and teachers. Teachers can split the pile of papers to grade, then share the grades with each other, and students don’t have homework piling up in multiple classes.

There are times when every teacher on the team assigns a half-hour assignment, and so do the elective or encore class teachers. This could mean three to four hours of homework for the student, which is inappropriate for young adolescents.

13. Occasionally, let students identify what homework would be most effective. Sometimes the really creative assignments are the ones that students design themselves. After teaching a lesson, ask your students what it would take to practice the material so well it became clearly understood. Many of the choices will be rigorous and very appropriate.

happy-girl

This is one reason I always recommend that, as a basic premise, we avoid Monday morning quizzes and weekend or holiday homework assignments. Sure, there will be exceptions when long-term projects come due. But if we are really about teaching so that students learn and not about appearing rigorous and assigning tasks to show that we have taught, then we’ll carefully consider all the effects of our homework expectations. Our students will be more productive at school for having healthier lives at home.

▶ More resources from Rick Wormeli:

Although Rick never mentions the word homework in this article about helping adolescent students improve their “executive function,” you will immediately see the connections! At the AMLE website .

NEXT: In our final excerpt from Day One & Beyond, Rick Wormeli shares his approach to homework assessment – with an clear emphasis on maintaining teacher sanity.

Rick-at-AMLE

His books include Meet Me in the Middle ; Day One and Beyond ; Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom ; Differentiation: From Planning to Practice; Metaphors & Analogies: Power Tools for Teaching Any Subject, and Summarization in Any Subject , plus The Collected Writings (So Far) of Rick Wormeli: Crazy Good Stuff I Learned about Teaching Along the Way .

He is currently working on his first young adult fiction novel and a new book on homework practices in the 21 st century.

Share this:

Tags: Day One & Beyond grading homework homework homework guidelines homework policies Rick Wormeli why homework

' src=

MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great 4-8 resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents. And be sure to subscribe to MiddleWeb SmartBrief for the latest middle grades news & commentary from around the USA.

4 Responses

  • Pingbacks 0

' src=

This is a really great article. It has helped me tremendously in making new and better decisions about homework.

' src=

Fabulous sage advice! Although I love every single suggestion you’ve included, I am particularly fond of the elimination of the “homework pass”. As a former middle-level teacher and administrator, I too found the homework pass diminished the importance of follow-up work – a necessary component in determining the level of student understanding.

' src=

I do give 2 passes, but they just extend due date by a day. And if not used, they may be returned at the end of the 9 weeks for extra credit.

' src=

Rick Wormeli’s ideas and tips in this article continue to be stimulating and useful. That said, it’s been more than a decade since the first edition of his book on grading, homework and assessment, Fair Isn’t Always Equal appeared.

In the intervening years, Rick’s thinking about homework has benefited from his work with teachers and in schools and plenty of debate. In April 2018, he published a new 2nd edition of Fair Isn’t Always Equal that includes an even deeper discussion of homework and its relationship to best practice, differentiation, and the moral obligation of educators to insist on effective homework policies.

Visitors to the Stenhouse page for the new book can preview the *entire* text for free, so be sure to check that out.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the new book:

Tenet: Homework should enable students to practice what they have already learned in class and should not present new content for the first time. Principled Responses:

• I will not assign homework to students who do not understand the content. • I will give homework to some students and no homework or different assignments to others, depending on their proficiency. • I will use exit slips and formative assessment during class so I can determine proper after-school practice for each student. • I will not give homework because parents and administrators expect me to do so, or assign homework because it’s a particular day of the week. • I will assign homework only if it furthers students’ proficiency in the field we’re studying.

Thanks to Rick for giving us permission to share this!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

  • Popular Posts
  • Recent Posts
  • Recent Comments

how to make homework more effective

Articles / Writing

Give Students Writing Feedback That Works

how to make homework more effective

Book Reviews / Gifted Education

Coaching That Builds GT Teacher Capacity

how to make homework more effective

Articles / Deeper Learning

Try This UDL Higher Order Thinking Strategy

how to make homework more effective

Articles / Mathematics

Math: the Perfect Place to Teach Character

how to make homework more effective

Articles / Picture Books

What Picture Books Add to a Middle School Class

how to make homework more effective

Book Reviews / World Languages

Building Skills in the World Language Class

how to make homework more effective

Collaboration / Making Questions Count

Nurturing Students As Collaborative Contributors

how to make homework more effective

Equity / The Unstoppable ML Teacher

Equity for MLs Begins with Equitable Schedules

how to make homework more effective

Articles / Literacy

Teach Students to Read (and Write with) Video

how to make homework more effective

Articles / The Teaching Life

7 Principles of a Heart-Centered Classroom

  • Karin Hess says: This approach provides a needed balance between decoding words to get...
  • Sunday Cummins says: So helpful! Thank you!
  • K. Sunday Cummins says: This is so inspiring! Thank you!
  • Judith Wilson says: Write On! I've always believed in the power of watching, analyzing,...

Sign Up & Receive the Latest News about Our Content…

Email address:

First Name:

Read our Privacy Policy

BOOK REVIEWS

how to make homework more effective

Mapping Out Diverse Gifted Programs

how to make homework more effective

Using 100-Word Stories for Expansive Writing

how to make homework more effective

What to Expect from AI in Class and Beyond

how to make homework more effective

Strategies for Teaching Against Disinformation

how to make homework more effective

The Democratic Roots Essential to Literacy

how to make homework more effective

How to Reclaim Your Energy, Passion, & Time

how to make homework more effective

A Leadership Blueprint for Growth and Success

how to make homework more effective

A How-to Guide to Better Engage Your Students

how to make homework more effective

10 Tools to Help Kids Develop Their Talents

how to make homework more effective

The Reading Strategies Book Gets an Update

how to make homework more effective

Opportunities for Swift Achievement Gains

how to make homework more effective

Teaching for Retention, Application and Transfer

how to make homework more effective

Strategies to Adjust ‘Up’ What Students Know

how to make homework more effective

Assuring Just, Inclusive Learning for Newcomers

how to make homework more effective

Building Bridges That Cultivate Teacher Growth

how to make homework more effective

SEL, Civic Engagement, & a Healthy Democracy

how to make homework more effective

An Enhanced Edition of ‘When Kids Can’t Read’

how to make homework more effective

Shifting to Asset-Based Literacy Assessments

A community blog focused on educational excellence and equity

About the topic

Explore classroom guidance, techniques, and activities to help you meet the needs of ALL students.

most recent articles

how to make homework more effective

Shaking Up High School Math

how to make homework more effective

Executive Functions and Literacy Skills in the Classroom

how to make homework more effective

Connecting and Communicating With Families to Help Break Down Barriers to Learning

Discover new tools and materials to integrate into you instruction.

how to make homework more effective

Culture, Community, and Collaboration

how to make homework more effective

Vertical Progression of Math Strategies – Building Teacher Understanding

how to make homework more effective

“Can I have this? Can I have that?”

Find instructions and recommendations on how to adapt your existing materials to better align to college- and career-ready standards.

how to make homework more effective

To Teach the Truth

how to make homework more effective

Helping Our Students See Themselves and the World Through the Books They Read in Our Classrooms

how to make homework more effective

Textbooks: Who Needs Them?

Learn what it means for instructional materials and assessment to be aligned to college- and career-ready standards.

how to make homework more effective

Let’s Not Make Power ELA/Literacy Standards and Talk About Why We Didn’t

how to make homework more effective

What to Consider if You’re Adopting a New ELA/Literacy Curriculum

how to make homework more effective

Not Your Mom’s Professional Development

Delve into new research and perspectives on instructional materials and practice.

how to make homework more effective

Summer Reading Club 2023

how to make homework more effective

Synergy between College and Career Readiness Standards-Aligned Instruction and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

how to make homework more effective

Children Should be Seen AND Heard

  • Submissions Guidelines
  • About the Blog

Designing Effective Homework

Best practices for creating homework that raises student achievement

Claire Rivero

Homework. It can be challenging…and not just for students. For teachers, designing homework can be a daunting task with lots of unanswered questions: How much should I assign? What type of content should I cover? Why aren’t students doing the work I assign? Homework can be a powerful opportunity to reinforce the Shifts in your instruction and promote standards-aligned learning, but how do we avoid the pitfalls that make key learning opportunities sources of stress and antipathy?

The nonprofit Instruction Partners recently set out to answer some of these questions, looking at what research says about what works when it comes to homework. You can view their original presentation here , but I’ve summarized some of the key findings you can put to use with your students immediately.

Does homework help?

Consistent homework completion has been shown to increase student achievement rates—but frequency matters. Students who are given homework regularly show greater gains than those who only receive homework sporadically. Researchers hypothesize that this is due to improved study skills and routines practiced through homework that allow students to perform better academically.

Average gains on unit tests for students who completed homework were six percentile points in grades 4–6, 12 percentile points in grades 7–9, and an impressive 24 percentile points in grades 10–12; so yes, homework (done well) does work. [i]

What should homework cover?

While there is little research about exactly what types of homework content lead to the biggest achievement gains, there are some general rules of thumb about how homework should change gradually over time.

In grades 1–5, homework should:

  • Reinforce and allow students to practice skills learned in the classroom
  • Help students develop good study habits and routines
  • Foster positive feelings about school

In grades 6–12, homework should:

  • Prepare students for engagement and discussion during the next lesson
  • Allow students to apply their skills in new and more challenging ways

The most often-heard criticism of homework assignments is that they simply take too long. So how much homework should you assign in order to see results for students? Not surprisingly, it varies by grade. Assign 10-20 minutes of homework per night total, starting in first grade, and then add 10 minutes for each additional grade. [ii] Doing more can result in student stress, frustration, and disengagement, particularly in the early grades.

Why are some students not doing the homework?

There are any number of reasons why students may not complete homework, from lack of motivation to lack of content knowledge, but one issue to watch out for as a teacher is the impact of economic disparities on the ability to complete homework.

Multiple studies [iii] have shown that low-income students complete homework less often than students who come from wealthier families. This can lead to increased achievement gaps between students. Students from low-income families may face additional challenges when it comes to completing homework such as lack of access to the internet, lack of access to outside tutors or assistance, and additional jobs or family responsibilities.

While you can’t erase these challenges for your students, you can design homework that takes those issues into account by creating homework that can be done offline, independently, and in a reasonable timeframe. With those design principles in mind, you increase the opportunity for all your students to complete and benefit from the homework you assign.

The Big Picture

Perhaps most importantly, students benefit from receiving feedback from you, their teacher, on their assignments. Praise or rewards simply for homework completion have little effect on student achievement, but feedback that helps them improve or reinforces strong performance does. Consider keeping this mini-table handy as you design homework:

The act of assigning homework doesn’t automatically raise student achievement, so be a critical consumer of the homework products that come as part of your curriculum. If they assign too much (or too little!) work or reflect some of these common pitfalls, take action to make assignments that better serve your students.

[i] Cooper, H. (2007). The battle over homework (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

[ii] Cooper, H. (1989a). Homework .White Plains, NY: Longman.

[iii] Horrigan, T. (2015). The numbers behind the broadband ‘homework gap’ http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/20/the-numbers-behind-the-broadband-homework-gap/ and Miami Dade Public Schools. (2009). Literature Review: Homework. http://drs.dadeschools.net/LiteratureReviews/Homework.pdf

  • ELA / Literacy
  • Elementary School
  • High School
  • Mathematics
  • Middle School

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author: Claire Rivero is the Digital Strategy Manager for Student Achievement Partners. Claire leads the organization’s communications and digital promotion work across various channels including email, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, always seeking new ways to reach educators. She also manages Achieve the Core’s blog, Aligned. Prior to joining Student Achievement Partners, Claire worked in the Communications department for the American Red Cross and as a literacy instructor in a London pilot program. Claire holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Public Policy from Duke University and a master’s degree in Social Policy (with a concentration on Education Policy) from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Stay In Touch

Like what you’re reading? Sign up to receive emails about new posts, free resources, and advice from educators.

Your browser is not supported

Sorry but it looks as if your browser is out of date. To get the best experience using our site we recommend that you upgrade or switch browsers.

Find a solution

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to navigation

how to make homework more effective

  • Back to parent navigation item
  • Collections
  • Sustainability in chemistry
  • Simple rules
  • Teacher well-being hub
  • Women in chemistry
  • Global science
  • Escape room activities
  • Decolonising chemistry teaching
  • Teaching science skills
  • Post-lockdown teaching support
  • Get the print issue
  • RSC Education

Three cartoons: a female student thinking about concentration, a male student in a wheelchair reading Frankenstein and a female student wearing a headscarf and safety goggles heating a test tube on a bunsen burner. All are wearing school uniform.

  • More from navigation items

Do your homework

Thandi Banda

  • No comments

Help your students succeed in exams with these targeted and teacher-tested homework strategies

shutterstock_1916933567 [Converted]-01

Source: © Natalia Smu/Shutterstock

Targeted homework tasks can be a student’s (and their teacher’s) best friend when it comes to exam performance

Homework plays a vital role in consolidating in-class learning. Effective science homework provides the extension to learning that students need to succeed, and gives us vital data to inform our planning. An EEF study on the impact of homework in secondary schools  says that regular homework can have the same positive effect as five additional months in the classroom, as well as ‘enabling pupils to undertake independent learning to practise and consolidate skills and revise for exams’. That said, getting students to complete homework is no mean feat.

There are multiple strategies we can implement to ensure homework has meaning and students appreciate the benefits of homework in their learning. This is especially useful when they’re preparing for exams.

Strategies to engage your students

A few strategies have worked well for me with exam classes.

I deliver the homework in chunks (eg half termly), clearly explaining the rationale. As an example, my year 11 chemistry students performed poorly on electrolysis and titration calculation in their mock exams so, after reteaching, I wanted to ensure they rehearsed the concepts. As part of the homework they had to repeat tasks on these concepts. We then reviewed and adjusted the plan as a class to focus on their weaker areas.

I give praise often. Students love rewards in whatever form. I always discuss what rewards the class prefers. You can use stickers, certificates, etc.

It’s important to be flexible. An exam year can be a stressful time for students and so flexibility is key. I ask my students about the minimum they could manage. They feel valued and part of the decision-making process, making them more likely to complete it.

Identify students/parents/carers who need support. With some of my students, I had the most success in this area by meeting with or emailing their parents/carers and providing strategies for completion, such as doing the homework every Saturday at a specific time. An email every so often to check how they are doing goes a long way.

Using online platforms

When I was a faculty lead, homework was a key focus for our department and so we did some research into online retrieval platforms which were easy to manage, self-marking and provided both students and teachers with information on learning gaps. We found several platforms to fit our criteria, such as quizzing platforms,  Kay Science  – great for missed learning catch up, revision and intervention for small groups – and  Carousel – that helps students embed long-term knowledge. We then took a few key steps to increase buy-in.

Often students struggled with passwords, regardless of ease, so we booked laptops for all classes and the teacher modelled logging in, and checked every student could log in and complete a task. At times students would say they didn’t know the answers, but often this was because they’d not watched the videos. So we reminded them to do that first. There was also a short video of how to log in on the school’s homework platform for extra support.

We mapped homework to the curriculum. Students had to be familiar with the content, so homework tasks supplemented in-class learning.

We did everything we could to minimise barriers. All students who had a record of incomplete homework were encouraged to attend homework club and we allowed extensions in case they just forgot. The barriers to completing homework varied between households and sometimes a conversation to identify them and offer support was all that was needed.

The senior leadership team knew what platform we were using, so they could discuss it with all students, parents and governors. We also presented the chosen retrieval platform to parents and carers to increase buy-in.

Over time we noticed a spike in submissions as students got more familiar with the platform. Teachers praised students who showed the most progress, which meant previously disengaged students felt successful and motivated to complete more tasks.

Thandi Banda

Thandi Banda

  • Developing teaching practice
  • Digital skills
  • Learning styles
  • Lesson planning
  • Working independently

Related articles

An illustration of a pencil taking notes growing into a tree with graphene in its shadow

5 ways to use structure strips effectively

2024-05-08T05:08:00Z By Kristy Turner

Bolster your students’ ability to write independently with these effective strategies 

A series of keys with general knowledge and chemistry icons

Escape the classroom: and revise chemistry knowledge

2024-05-03T09:21:00Z By Hayley Russell

Challenge your students to break out of the lab and prepare for exams

A female engineer inspects a turbine in a nuclear power plant

Fuel curiosity in science careers

2024-04-17T05:02:00Z By Mustafa Mahmoud

Help foster the next generation of scientists by linking teaching topics to real-world events and career pathways

No comments yet

Only registered users can comment on this article., more from ideas.

A teacher interacting with a robot on a screen who has written a question given four optional answers about the standard formula of alkanes

Use AI to successfully assess students’ understanding

2024-03-20T05:00:00Z By David Paterson

Discover how to quickly and effectively generate multiple choice questions on key chemistry topics 

An old wooden molecule modeling set

5 ways to successfully teach structure and bonding at 14–16

2024-03-06T10:33:00Z By Kristy Turner

Strengthen students’ grasp of the abstract so they master this tricky topic and effectively tackle exam questions

A cartoon of a small woman sitting on a giant laptop interacting online with a bot

Reduce your workload with ChatGPT

2024-02-07T09:32:00Z By Dan Beech

Use these tried-and-tested tips to save time and boost your teaching practice

  • Contributors
  • Print issue
  • Email alerts

Site powered by Webvision Cloud

  • Skip to Nav
  • Skip to Main
  • Skip to Footer

Landmark College

How Can We Make Homework Worthwhile?

Please try again

Do American students have too much homework, or too little? We often hear passionate arguments for either side, but I believe that we ought to be asking a different question altogether. What should matter to parents and educators is this: How effectively do children’s after-school assignments advance learning?

The quantity of students’ homework is a lot less important than its quality. And evidence suggests that as of now, homework isn’t making the grade. Although surveys show that the amount of time our children spend on homework has risen over the last three decades, American students are mired in the middle of international academic rankings: 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math, according to the most recent results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

In a 2008 survey , one-third of parents polled rated the quality of their children’s homework assignments as fair or poor, and 4 in 10 said they believed that some or a great deal of homework was busywork. A recent study , published in the Economics of Education Review, reports that homework in science, English and history has “little to no impact” on student test scores. (The authors did note a positive effect for math homework.) Enriching children’s classroom learning requires making homework not shorter or longer, but smarter.

Fortunately, research is available to help parents, teachers and school administrators do just that. In recent years, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and educational psychologists have made a series of remarkable discoveries about how the human brain learns. They have founded a new discipline, known as Mind, Brain and Education , that is devoted to understanding and improving the ways in which children absorb, retain and apply knowledge.

Educators have begun to implement these methods in classrooms around the country and have enjoyed measurable success. A collaboration between psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis and teachers at nearby Columbia Middle School, for example, lifted seventh- and eighth-grade students’ science and social studies test scores by 13 to 25 percent.

But the innovations have not yet been applied to homework. Mind, Brain and Education methods may seem unfamiliar and even counterintuitive, but they are simple to understand and easy to carry out. And after-school assignments are ripe for the kind of improvements the new science offers.

“Spaced repetition” is one example of the kind of evidence-based techniques that researchers have found have a positive impact on learning. Here’s how it works: instead of concentrating the study of information in single blocks, as many homework assignments currently do—reading about, say, the Civil War one evening and Reconstruction the next—learners encounter the same material in briefer sessions spread over a longer period of time. With this approach, students are re-exposed to information about the Civil War and Reconstruction throughout the semester.

[RELATED READING: Parents Wonder: Why So Much Homework? ]

It sounds unassuming, but spaced repetition produces impressive results. Eighth-grade history students who relied on a spaced approach to learning had nearly double the retention rate of students who studied the same material in a consolidated unit, reported researchers from the University of California-San Diego in 2007. The reason the method works so well goes back to the brain: when we first acquire memories, they are volatile, subject to change or likely to disappear. Exposing ourselves to information repeatedly over time fixes it more permanently in our minds, by strengthening the representation of the information that is embedded in our neural networks.

A second learning technique, known as “retrieval practice,” employs a familiar tool—the test—in a new way: not to assess what students know, but to reinforce it. We often conceive of memory as something like a storage tank and a test as a kind of dipstick that measures how much information we’ve put in there. But that’s not actually how the brain works. Every time we pull up a memory, we make it stronger and more lasting, so that testing doesn’t just measure, it changes learning. Simply reading over material to be learned, or even taking notes and making outlines, as many homework assignments require, doesn’t have this effect .

According to one experiment , language learners who employed the retrieval practice strategy to study vocabulary words remembered 80 percent of the words they studied, while learners who used conventional study methods remembered only about a third of them. Students who used retrieval practice to learn science retained about 50 percent more of the material than students who studied in traditional ways, reported researchers from Purdue University in 2011. Students—and parents—may groan at the prospect of more tests, but the self-quizzing involved in retrieval practice need not provoke any anxiety. It’s simply an effective way to focus less on the input of knowledge (passively reading over textbooks and notes) and more on its output (calling up that same information from one’s own brain).

[RELATED READING: Redefining 'Cheating' With Homework ]

Another common misconception about how we learn holds that if information feels easy to absorb, we’ve learned it well. In fact, the opposite is true. When we work hard to understand information, we recall it better; the extra effort signals the brain that this knowledge is worth keeping. This phenomenon, known as cognitive disfluency , promotes learning so effectively that psychologists have devised all manner of “ desirable difficulties ” to introduce into the learning process: for example, sprinkling a passage with punctuation mistakes, deliberately leaving out letters, shrinking font size until it’s tiny or wiggling a document while it’s being copied so that words come out blurry.

Teachers are unlikely to start sending students home with smudged or error-filled worksheets, but there is another kind of desirable difficulty — called interleaving — that can readily be applied to homework. An interleaved assignment mixes up different kinds of situations or problems to be practiced, instead of grouping them by type. When students can’t tell in advance what kind of knowledge or problem-solving strategy will be required to answer a question, their brains have to work harder to come up with the solution, and the result is that students learn the material more thoroughly.

Researchers at California Polytechnic State University conducted a study of interleaving in sports that illustrates why the tactic is so effective. When baseball players practiced hitting, interleaving different kinds of pitches improved their performance on a later test in which the batters did not know the type of pitch in advance (as would be the case, of course, in a real game).

Interleaving produces the same sort of improvement in academic learning. A study published in 2010 in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology asked fourth-graders to work on solving four types of math problems and then to take a test evaluating how well they had learned. The scores of those whose practice problems were mixed up were more than double the scores of those students who had practiced one kind of problem at a time.

The application of such research-based strategies to homework is a yet-untapped opportunity to raise student achievement. Science has shown us how to turn homework into a potent catalyst for learning. Our assignment now is to make it happen.

Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography

Do your homework.

If only it were that simple.

Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.

“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.

She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.

BU Today  sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.

BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.

Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.

You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?

Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.

Janine Bempechat

What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?

The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.

Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?

Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.

What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?

My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.

Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?

Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.

I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.

The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.

Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.

It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.

Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.

Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?

Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.

Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”

Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.

Explore Related Topics:

  • Share this story

Senior Contributing Editor

Sara Rimer

Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

She can be reached at [email protected] .

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.

when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep

same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.

Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.

I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids

The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????

I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic

This is not at all what the article is talking about.

This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.

we have the same name

so they have the same name what of it?

lol you tell her

totally agree

What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.

Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.

More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.

You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.

I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^

i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.

I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.

Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much

I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.

homework isn’t that bad

Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is

i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!

i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers

why just why

they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.

So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.

THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?

Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?

Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.

But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!

why the hell?

you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it

This is more of a political rant than it is about homework

I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.

The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight

Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.

not true it just causes kids to stress

Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.

homework does help

here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded

This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.

I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.

Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.

I disagree.

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.

Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.

As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)

I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!

Homeowkr is god for stusenrs

I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in

As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.

Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.

Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.

Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.

As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.

I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.

oof i feel bad good luck!

thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks

thx for the article guys.

Homework is good

I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.

I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.

It was published FEb 19, 2019.

Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids

This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.

There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.

What lala land do these teachers live in?

Homework gives noting to the kid

Homework is Bad

homework is bad.

why do kids even have homework?

Comments are closed.

Latest from Bostonia

American academy of arts & sciences welcomes five bu members, com’s newest journalism grad took her time, could boston be the next city to impose congestion pricing, alum has traveled the world to witness total solar eclipses, opening doors: rhonda harrison (eng’98,’04, grs’04), campus reacts and responds to israel-hamas war, reading list: what the pandemic revealed, remembering com’s david anable, cas’ john stone, “intellectual brilliance and brilliant kindness”, one good deed: christine kannler (cas’96, sph’00, camed’00), william fairfield warren society inducts new members, spreading art appreciation, restoring the “black angels” to medical history, in the kitchen with jacques pépin, feedback: readers weigh in on bu’s new president, com’s new expert on misinformation, and what’s really dividing the nation, the gifts of great teaching, sth’s walter fluker honored by roosevelt institute, alum’s debut book is a ramadan story for children, my big idea: covering construction sites with art, former terriers power new professional women’s hockey league.

  • Our Mission

Research Trends: Why Homework Should Be Balanced

Research suggests that while homework can be an effective learning tool, assigning too much can lower student performance and interfere with other important activities.

Girl working on her laptop at home on the dining room table

Homework: effective learning tool or waste of time?

Since the average high school student spends almost seven hours each week doing homework, it’s surprising that there’s no clear answer. Homework is generally recognized as an effective way to reinforce what students learn in class, but claims that it may cause more harm than good, especially for younger students, are common.

Here’s what the research says:

  • In general, homework has substantial benefits at the high school level, with decreased benefits for middle school students and few benefits for elementary students (Cooper, 1989; Cooper et al., 2006).
  • While assigning homework may have academic benefits, it can also cut into important personal and family time (Cooper et al., 2006).
  • Assigning too much homework can result in poor performance (Fernández-Alonso et al., 2015).
  • A student’s ability to complete homework may depend on factors that are outside their control (Cooper et al., 2006; OECD, 2014; Eren & Henderson, 2011).
  • The goal shouldn’t be to eliminate homework, but to make it authentic, meaningful, and engaging (Darling-Hammond & Ifill-Lynch, 2006).

Why Homework Should Be Balanced

Homework can boost learning, but doing too much can be detrimental. The National PTA and National Education Association support the “10-minute homework rule,” which recommends 10 minutes of homework per grade level, per night (10 minutes for first grade, 20 minutes for second grade, and so on, up to two hours for 12th grade) (Cooper, 2010). A recent study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90–100 minutes of homework per day, their math and science scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015). Giving students too much homework can lead to fatigue, stress, and a loss of interest in academics—something that we all want to avoid.

Homework Pros and Cons

Homework has many benefits, ranging from higher academic performance to improved study skills and stronger school-parent connections. However, it can also result in a loss of interest in academics, fatigue, and a loss of important personal and family time.

Grade Level Makes a Difference

Although the debate about homework generally falls in the “it works” vs. “it doesn’t work” camps, research shows that grade level makes a difference. High school students generally get the biggest benefits from homework, with middle school students getting about half the benefits, and elementary school students getting few benefits (Cooper et al., 2006). Since young students are still developing study habits like concentration and self-regulation, assigning a lot of homework isn’t all that helpful.

Parents Should Be Supportive, Not Intrusive

Well-designed homework not only strengthens student learning, it also provides ways to create connections between a student’s family and school. Homework offers parents insight into what their children are learning, provides opportunities to talk with children about their learning, and helps create conversations with school communities about ways to support student learning (Walker et al., 2004).

However, parent involvement can also hurt student learning. Patall, Cooper, and Robinson (2008) found that students did worse when their parents were perceived as intrusive or controlling. Motivation plays a key role in learning, and parents can cause unintentional harm by not giving their children enough space and autonomy to do their homework.

Homework Across the Globe

OECD , the developers of the international PISA test, published a 2014 report looking at homework around the world. They found that 15-year-olds worldwide spend an average of five hours per week doing homework (the U.S. average is about six hours). Surprisingly, countries like Finland and Singapore spend less time on homework (two to three hours per week) but still have high PISA rankings. These countries, the report explains, have support systems in place that allow students to rely less on homework to succeed. If a country like the U.S. were to decrease the amount of homework assigned to high school students, test scores would likely decrease unless additional supports were added.

Homework Is About Quality, Not Quantity

Whether you’re pro- or anti-homework, keep in mind that research gives a big-picture idea of what works and what doesn’t, and a capable teacher can make almost anything work. The question isn’t  homework vs. no homework ; instead, we should be asking ourselves, “How can we transform homework so that it’s engaging and relevant and supports learning?”

Cooper, H. (1989). Synthesis of research on homework . Educational leadership, 47 (3), 85-91.

Cooper, H. (2010). Homework’s Diminishing Returns . The New York Times .

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.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Ifill-Lynch, O. (2006). If They'd Only Do Their Work! Educational Leadership, 63 (5), 8-13.

Eren, O., & Henderson, D. J. (2011). Are we wasting our children's time by giving them more homework? Economics of Education Review, 30 (5), 950-961.

Fernández-Alonso, R., Suárez-Álvarez, J., & Muñiz, J. (2015, March 16). Adolescents’ Homework Performance in Mathematics and Science: Personal Factors and Teaching Practices . Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication.

OECD (2014). Does Homework Perpetuate Inequities in Education? PISA in Focus , No. 46, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). Parent involvement in homework: A research synthesis . Review of Educational Research, 78 (4), 1039-1101.

Van Voorhis, F. L. (2003). Interactive homework in middle school: Effects on family involvement and science achievement . The Journal of Educational Research, 96 (6), 323-338.

Walker, J. M., Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Whetsel, D. R., & Green, C. L. (2004). Parental involvement in homework: A review of current research and its implications for teachers, after school program staff, and parent leaders . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.

US South Carolina

Recently viewed courses

Recently viewed.

Find Your Dream School

This site uses various technologies, as described in our Privacy Policy, for personalization, measuring website use/performance, and targeted advertising, which may include storing and sharing information about your site visit with third parties. By continuing to use this website you consent to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use .

   COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.

Enter your email to unlock an extra $25 off an SAT or ACT program!

By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., 8 easy ways to finish your homework faster.

Spend less time on homework

How many times have you found yourself still staring at your textbook around midnight (or later!) even when you started your homework hours earlier? Those lost hours could be explained by Parkinson’s Law, which states, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you give yourself all night to memorize those geometry formulas for your quiz tomorrow, you’ll inevitably find that a 30 minute task has somehow filled your entire evening.

We know that you have more homework than ever. But even with lots and lots to do, a few tweaks to your study routine could help you spend less time getting more accomplished. Here are 8 steps to make Parkinson’s Law work to your advantage:

1. Make a list

This should be a list of everything that has to be done that evening. And we mean, everything—from re-reading notes from this morning’s history class to quizzing yourself on Spanish vocabulary.

2. Estimate the time needed for each item on your list

You can be a little ruthless here. However long you think a task will take, try shaving off 5 or 10 minutes. But, be realistic. You won’t magically become a speed reader.

Free SAT Practice Tests & Events

Evaluate and improve your SAT score.

3. Gather all your gear

Collect EVERYTHING you will need for the homework you are working on (like your laptop for writing assignments and pencils for problem sets). Getting up for supplies takes you off course and makes it that much harder to get back to your homework.

The constant blings and beeps from your devices can make it impossible to focus on what you are working on. Switch off or silence your phones and tablets, or leave them in another room until it’s time to take a tech break.

Read More: How to Calculate Your GPA

5. Time yourself

Noting how much time something actually takes will help you estimate better and plan your next study session.

6. Stay on task

If you’re fact checking online, it can be so easy to surf on over to a completely unrelated site. A better strategy is to note what information you need to find online, and do it all at once at the end of the study session.

7. Take plenty of breaks

Most of us need a break between subjects or to break up long stretches of studying. Active breaks are a great way to keep your energy up. Tech breaks can be an awesome way to combat the fear of missing out that might strike while you are buried in your work, but they also tend to stretch much longer than originally intended. Stick to a break schedule of 10 minutes or so.

8. Reward yourself! 

Finish early? If you had allocated 30 minutes for reading a biology chapter and it only took 20, you can apply those extra 10 minutes to a short break—or just move on to your next task. If you stay on track, you might breeze through your work quickly enough to catch up on some Netflix.

Our best piece of advice? Keep at it. The more you use this system, the easier it will become. You’ll be surprised by how much time you can shave off homework just by focusing and committing to a distraction-free study plan.

Stuck on homework?

Try an online tutoring session with one of our experts, and get homework help in 40+ subjects.

Try a Free Session

Explore Colleges For You

Explore Colleges For You

Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you.

Career Quiz

Career Quiz

Take our short quiz to learn which is the right career for you.

Connect With College Coaches

Get Started on Athletic Scholarships & Recruiting!

Join athletes who were discovered, recruited & often received scholarships after connecting with NCSA's 42,000 strong network of coaches.

Best 389 Colleges

Best 389 Colleges

165,000 students rate everything from their professors to their campus social scene.

SAT Prep Courses

1400+ course, act prep courses, free sat practice test & events,  1-800-2review, free digital sat prep try our self-paced plus program - for free, get a 14 day trial.

how to make homework more effective

Free MCAT Practice Test

I already know my score.

how to make homework more effective

MCAT Self-Paced 14-Day Free Trial

how to make homework more effective

Enrollment Advisor

1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 1

1-877-LEARN-30

Mon-Fri 9AM-10PM ET

Sat-Sun 9AM-8PM ET

Student Support

1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 2

Mon-Fri 9AM-9PM ET

Sat-Sun 8:30AM-5PM ET

Partnerships

  • Teach or Tutor for Us

College Readiness

International

Advertising

Affiliate/Other

  • Enrollment Terms & Conditions
  • Accessibility
  • Cigna Medical Transparency in Coverage

Register Book

Local Offices: Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM

  • SAT Subject Tests

Academic Subjects

  • Social Studies

Find the Right College

  • College Rankings
  • College Advice
  • Applying to College
  • Financial Aid

School & District Partnerships

  • Professional Development
  • Advice Articles
  • Private Tutoring
  • Mobile Apps
  • Local Offices
  • International Offices
  • Work for Us
  • Affiliate Program
  • Partner with Us
  • Advertise with Us
  • International Partnerships
  • Our Guarantees
  • Accessibility – Canada

Privacy Policy | CA Privacy Notice | Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information | Your Opt-Out Rights | Terms of Use | Site Map

©2024 TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University

TPR Education, LLC (doing business as “The Princeton Review”) is controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, a firm owned by Chinese nationals with a principal place of business in Hong Kong, China.

Smart Classroom Management

A Simple, Effective Homework Plan For Teachers: Part 1

So for the next two weeks I’m going to outline a homework plan–four strategies this week, four the next–aimed at making homework a simple yet effective process.

Let’s get started.

Homework Strategies 1-4

The key to homework success is to eliminate all the obstacles—and excuses—that get in the way of students getting it done.

Add leverage and some delicately placed peer pressure to the mix, and not getting homework back from every student will be a rare occurrence.

Here is how to do it.

1. Assign what students already know.

Most teachers struggle with homework because they misunderstand the narrow purpose of homework, which is to practice what has already been learned. Meaning, you should only assign homework your students fully understand and are able to do by themselves.

Therefore, the skills needed to complete the evening’s homework must be thoroughly taught during the school day. If your students can’t prove to you that they’re able to do the work without assistance, then you shouldn’t assign it.

It isn’t fair to your students—or their parents—to have to sit at the dinner table trying to figure out what you should have taught them during the day.

2. Don’t involve parents.

Homework is an agreement between you and your students. Parents shouldn’t be involved. If parents want to sit with their child while he or she does the homework, great. But it shouldn’t be an expectation or a requirement of them. Otherwise, you hand students a ready-made excuse for not doing it.

You should tell parents at back-to-school night, “I got it covered. If ever your child doesn’t understand the homework, it’s on me. Just send me a note and I’ll take care of it.”

Holding yourself accountable is not only a reminder that your lessons need to be spot on, but parents will love you for it and be more likely to make sure homework gets done every night. And for negligent parents? It’s best for their children in particular to make homework a teacher/student-only agreement.

3. Review and then ask one important question.

Set aside a few minutes before the end of the school day to review the assigned homework. Have your students pull out the work, allow them to ask final clarifying questions, and have them check to make sure they have the materials they need.

And then ask one important question: “Is there anyone, for any reason, who will not be able to turn in their homework in the morning? I want to know now rather than find out about it in the morning.”

There are two reasons for this question.

First, the more leverage you have with students, and the more they admire and respect you , the more they’ll hate disappointing you. This alone can be a powerful incentive for students to complete homework.

Second, it’s important to eliminate every excuse so that the only answer students can give for not doing it is that they just didn’t care. This sets up the confrontation strategy you’ll be using the next morning.

4. Confront students on the spot.

One of your key routines should be entering the classroom in the morning.

As part of this routine, ask your students to place their homework in the top left-hand (or right-hand) corner of their desk before beginning a daily independent assignment—reading, bellwork , whatever it may be.

During the next five to ten minutes, walk around the room and check homework–don’t collect it. Have a copy of the answers (if applicable) with you and glance at every assignment.

You don’t have to check every answer or read every portion of the assignment. Just enough to know that it was completed as expected. If it’s math, I like to pick out three or four problems that represent the main thrust of the lesson from the day before.

It should take just seconds to check most students.

Remember, homework is the practice of something they already know how to do. Therefore, you shouldn’t find more than a small percentage of wrong answers–if any. If you see more than this, then you know your lesson was less than effective, and you’ll have to reteach

If you find an assignment that is incomplete or not completed at all, confront that student on the spot .

Call them on it.

The day before, you presented a first-class lesson and gave your students every opportunity to buzz through their homework confidently that evening. You did your part, but they didn’t do theirs. It’s an affront to the excellence you strive for as a class, and you deserve an explanation.

It doesn’t matter what he or she says in response to your pointed questions, and there is no reason to humiliate or give the student the third degree. What is important is that you make your students accountable to you, to themselves, and to their classmates.

A gentle explanation of why they don’t have their homework is a strong motivator for even the most jaded students to get their homework completed.

The personal leverage you carry–that critical trusting rapport you have with your students–combined with the always lurking peer pressure is a powerful force. Not using it is like teaching with your hands tied behind your back.

Homework Strategies 5-8

Next week we’ll cover the final four homework strategies . They’re critical to getting homework back every day in a way that is painless for you and meaningful for your students.

I hope you’ll tune in.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

What to read next:

  • A Powerful Way To Relieve Stress: Part One
  • A Simple Exercise Program For Teachers
  • The Best Time To Review Your Classroom Management Plan
  • Why Your New Classroom Management Plan Isn't Working
  • 27 Things That Make Your Classroom Management Plan Work

21 thoughts on “A Simple, Effective Homework Plan For Teachers: Part 1”

Good stuff, Michael. A lot of teachers I train and coach are surprised (and skeptical) at first when I make the same point you make about NOT involving parents. But it’s right on based on my experience as a teacher, instructional coach, and administrator the past 17 years. More important, it’s validated by Martin Haberman’s 40 years of research on what separates “star” teachers from “quitter/failure” teachers ( http://www.habermanfoundation.org/Book.aspx?sm=c1 )

I love the articles about “homework”. in the past I feel that it is difficuty for collecting homework. I will try your plan next year.

I think you’ll be happy with it, Sendy!

How do you confront students who do not have their homework completed?

You state in your book to let consequences do their job and to never confront students, only tell them the rule broken and consequence.

I want to make sure I do not go against that rule, but also hold students accountable for not completing their work. What should I say to them?

They are two different things. Homework is not part of your classroom management plan.

Hi Michael,

I’m a first-year middle school teacher at a private school with very small class sizes (eight to fourteen students per class). While I love this homework policy, I feel discouraged about confronting middle schoolers publicly regarding incomplete homework. My motive would never be to humiliate my students, yet I can name a few who would go home thinking their lives were over if I did confront them in front of their peers. Do you have any ideas of how to best go about incomplete homework confrontation with middle school students?

The idea isn’t in any way to humiliate students, but to hold them accountable for doing their homework. Parts one and two represent my best recommendation.:)

I believe that Homework is a vital part of students learning.

I’m still a student–in a classroom management class. So I have no experience with this, but I’m having to plan a procedure for my class. What about teacher sitting at desk and calling student one at a time to bring folder while everyone is doing bellwork or whatever their procedure is? That way 1) it would be a long walk for the ones who didn’t do the work :), and 2) it would be more private. What are your thoughts on that? Thanks. 🙂

I’m not sure I understand your question. Would you mind emailing me with more detail? I’m happy to help.

I think what you talked about is great. How do you feel about flipping a lesson? My school is pretty big on it, though I haven’t done it yet. Basically, for homework, the teacher assigns a video or some other kind of media of brand new instruction. Students teach themselves and take a mini quiz at the end to show they understand the new topic. Then the next day in the classroom, the teacher reinforces the lesson and the class period is spent practicing with the teacher present for clarification. I haven’t tried it yet because as a first year teacher I haven’t had enough time to make or find instructional videos and quizzes, and because I’m afraid half of my students will not do their homework and the next day in class I will have to waste the time of the students who did their homework and just reteach what the video taught.

Anyway, this year, I’m trying the “Oops, I forgot my homework” form for students to fill out every time they forget their homework. It keeps them accountable and helps me keep better track of who is missing what. Once they complete it, I cut off the bottom portion of the form and staple it to their assignment. I keep the top copy for my records and for parent/teacher conferences.

Here is an instant digital download of the form. It’s editable in case you need different fields.

Thanks again for your blog. I love the balance you strike between rapport and respect.

Your site is a godsend for a newbie teacher! Thank you for your clear, step-by-step, approach!

I G+ your articles to my PLN all the time.

You’re welcome, TeachNich! And thank you for sharing the articles.

Hi Michael, I’m going into my first year and some people have told me to try and get parents involved as much as I can – even home visits and things like that. But my gut says that negligent parents cannot be influenced by me. Still, do you see any value in having parents initial their student’s planner every night so they stay up to date on homework assignments? I could also write them notes.

Personally, no. I’ll write about this in the future, but when you hold parents accountable for what are student responsibilities, you lighten their load and miss an opportunity to improve independence.

I am teaching at a school where students constantly don’t take work home. I rarely give homework in math but when I do it is usually something small and I still have to chase at least 7 kids down to get their homework. My way of holding them accountable is to record a homework completion grade as part of their overall grade. Is this wrong to do? Do you believe homework should never be graded for a grade and just be for practice?

No, I think marking a completion grade is a good idea.

I’ve been teaching since 2014 and we need to take special care when assigning homework. If the homework assignment is too hard, is perceived as busy work, or takes too long to complete, students might tune out and resist doing it. Never send home any assignment that students cannot do. Homework should be an extension of what students have learned in class. To ensure that homework is clear and appropriate, consider the following tips for assigning homework:

Assign homework in small units. Explain the assignment clearly. Establish a routine at the beginning of the year for how homework will be assigned. Remind students of due dates periodically. And Make sure students and parents have information regarding the policy on missed and late assignments, extra credit, and available adaptations. Establish a set routine at the beginning of the year.

Thanks Nancie L Beckett

Dear Michael,

I love your approach! Do you have any ideas for homework collection for lower grades? K-3 are not so ready for independent work first thing in the morning, so I do not necessarily have time to check then; but it is vitally important to me to teach the integrity of completing work on time.

Also, I used to want parents involved in homework but my thinking has really changed, and your comments confirm it!

Hi Meredith,

I’ll be sure and write about this topic in an upcoming article (or work it into an article). 🙂

Overall, this article provides valuable insights and strategies for teachers to implement in their classrooms. I look forward to reading Part 2 and learning more about how to make homework a simple and effective process. Thanks

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Privacy Policy

  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

Student Opinion

Should We Get Rid of Homework?

Some educators are pushing to get rid of homework. Would that be a good thing?

how to make homework more effective

By Jeremy Engle and Michael Gonchar

Do you like doing homework? Do you think it has benefited you educationally?

Has homework ever helped you practice a difficult skill — in math, for example — until you mastered it? Has it helped you learn new concepts in history or science? Has it helped to teach you life skills, such as independence and responsibility? Or, have you had a more negative experience with homework? Does it stress you out, numb your brain from busywork or actually make you fall behind in your classes?

Should we get rid of homework?

In “ The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong, ” published in July, the Times Opinion writer Jay Caspian Kang argues that homework may be imperfect, but it still serves an important purpose in school. The essay begins:

Do students really need to do their homework? As a parent and a former teacher, I have been pondering this question for quite a long time. The teacher side of me can acknowledge that there were assignments I gave out to my students that probably had little to no academic value. But I also imagine that some of my students never would have done their basic reading if they hadn’t been trained to complete expected assignments, which would have made the task of teaching an English class nearly impossible. As a parent, I would rather my daughter not get stuck doing the sort of pointless homework I would occasionally assign, but I also think there’s a lot of value in saying, “Hey, a lot of work you’re going to end up doing in your life is pointless, so why not just get used to it?” I certainly am not the only person wondering about the value of homework. Recently, the sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco and the mathematics education scholars Ilana Horn and Grace Chen published a paper, “ You Need to Be More Responsible: The Myth of Meritocracy and Teachers’ Accounts of Homework Inequalities .” They argued that while there’s some evidence that homework might help students learn, it also exacerbates inequalities and reinforces what they call the “meritocratic” narrative that says kids who do well in school do so because of “individual competence, effort and responsibility.” The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students. Calarco, Horn and Chen write, “Research has highlighted inequalities in students’ homework production and linked those inequalities to differences in students’ home lives and in the support students’ families can provide.”

Mr. Kang argues:

But there’s a defense of homework that doesn’t really have much to do with class mobility, equality or any sense of reinforcing the notion of meritocracy. It’s one that became quite clear to me when I was a teacher: Kids need to learn how to practice things. Homework, in many cases, is the only ritualized thing they have to do every day. Even if we could perfectly equalize opportunity in school and empower all students not to be encumbered by the weight of their socioeconomic status or ethnicity, I’m not sure what good it would do if the kids didn’t know how to do something relentlessly, over and over again, until they perfected it. Most teachers know that type of progress is very difficult to achieve inside the classroom, regardless of a student’s background, which is why, I imagine, Calarco, Horn and Chen found that most teachers weren’t thinking in a structural inequalities frame. Holistic ideas of education, in which learning is emphasized and students can explore concepts and ideas, are largely for the types of kids who don’t need to worry about class mobility. A defense of rote practice through homework might seem revanchist at this moment, but if we truly believe that schools should teach children lessons that fall outside the meritocracy, I can’t think of one that matters more than the simple satisfaction of mastering something that you were once bad at. That takes homework and the acknowledgment that sometimes a student can get a question wrong and, with proper instruction, eventually get it right.

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

Should we get rid of homework? Why, or why not?

Is homework an outdated, ineffective or counterproductive tool for learning? Do you agree with the authors of the paper that homework is harmful and worsens inequalities that exist between students’ home circumstances?

Or do you agree with Mr. Kang that homework still has real educational value?

When you get home after school, how much homework will you do? Do you think the amount is appropriate, too much or too little? Is homework, including the projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or, in your opinion, is it not a good use of time? Explain.

In these letters to the editor , one reader makes a distinction between elementary school and high school:

Homework’s value is unclear for younger students. But by high school and college, homework is absolutely essential for any student who wishes to excel. There simply isn’t time to digest Dostoyevsky if you only ever read him in class.

What do you think? How much does grade level matter when discussing the value of homework?

Is there a way to make homework more effective?

If you were a teacher, would you assign homework? What kind of assignments would you give and why?

Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column . Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Jeremy Engle joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2018 after spending more than 20 years as a classroom humanities and documentary-making teacher, professional developer and curriculum designer working with students and teachers across the country. More about Jeremy Engle

  • Order Status
  • Shipping & Delivery
  • Order Cancellation
  • Size Charts
  • Promotions & Discounts
  • Product Advice
  • Send Us Feedback

Popular Search Terms

  • Air Force 1

Top Suggestions

Members: Free Shipping on Orders $50+

Sale: Up to 50% Off

Look for Store Pickup at Checkout

Smelly Shoes? How to Remove Odor From Shoes

Product care.

We all have a favorite pair of sneakers that have a little bit of a stink. Fortunately, there are some ways to deodorize your shoes and make them smell good again.

How to Remove Shoe Smell and Make Them Smell Good

  • Baking Soda
  • Essential Oils (optional)
  • Spray bottle

Smelly shoes are an all-too-common issue. It can be annoying; no matter how clean your feet are, they still end up making your sneakers smell. At worst, it can be downright unpleasant, forcing you to ask, “How can I remove the smell from my shoes?” Bacteria are the culprit of stinky shoes. They grow in large numbers on your feet, producing organic acids — methanethiol, isovaleric acid, and propanoic acid — as waste products. While these types of bacteria aren’t harmful, they can leave a lingering stink. For example, methanethiol is produced as a byproduct of Brevibacterium, the primary bacteria found on the feet. This organic acid has a distinct sulfuric stench that resembles rotting cabbages and smelly socks. Even with the best foot hygiene, your feet may still smell. That's partly because your feet contain more sweat glands per square inch than anywhere else on your body. While sweat itself doesn’t smell, those bacterial waste products do. This makes shoes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, because they trap sweat and moisture, creating an environment for bacteria to thrive.

8 of the Best Ways to Remove Shoe Smell

1. baking soda.

Want to deodorize your shoes with a home remedy? Use baking soda. It’s a natural deodorizer that absorbs smells and bacteria. There are two different ways to use baking soda to deodorize shoes:

  • Mix ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of baking powder, and ½ cup of cornstarch. Put the mix in a pair of cotton socks or sprinkle the mixture in both shoes and leave overnight. For an extra scent booster, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Alternatively, if you want to keep it simple, sprinkle straight baking soda directly into the shoes and leave them for at least 24 hours.

2. Spritz of Vinegar

Vinegar neutralizes odors and fights bacteria in shoes. Just mix white vinegar with water in equal parts into a spray bottle. Spray the solution inside the shoes after use and allow it to dry. Doing this to your running shoes after every run will keep them smelling fresher for longer.

Tip : To maximize the effect, clean your shoes thoroughly inside and out before applying the solution.

Another home remedy to remove sneaker odor is to drop a bar of soap into each shoe and leave it overnight. Soap kills bacteria and the smell they produce. Plus, soap is porous, so it’ll absorb the smell and replace it with a clean, soapy scent. Tip : Make sure your bars of soap aren’t wet before adding them to the shoes, as moisture will only encourage bacteria.

4. Sunshine

Drying out any excess moisture from shoes is an easy and effective way to rid them of odors. Put your shoes in direct sunlight for a few hours after a run to let them dry completely before their next wear.

5. Wear Socks

Going sockless is a surefire way to make shoes smell. Socks absorb sweat and moisture produced by warm feet. This is particularly important if you’re prone to sweaty feet.

Tip : Consider a pair of Nike socks made with cotton — a breathable and sweat-absorbing fabric that will help keep your shoes smell-free.

6. Essential Oils

Tea tree, clove, and cedarwood essential oils are all popular natural deodorizers with antifungal properties. For example, one December 2007 study published in Mycobiology found that clove essential oil strongly inhibits bacteria growth on the feet to eliminate odor. These oils are a triple threat: fighting bacteria, eliminating odor, and leaving a nice scent. Put a few drops of essential oil directly into your sneaker and let it air out. Alternatively, you can mix essential oils with other home remedies like baking soda or vinegar.

7. Good Foot Hygiene

It’s important to take extra care when cleaning your feet. Make sure to apply soap or a cleanser between each toe and across the sole of the foot and rinse well. Here’s a few more foot hygiene tips to eliminate shoe odor:

  • Only wear socks once between washings.
  • Change out of your socks and shoes straight after a workout to avoid any unnecessary smells getting trapped.
  • Once finished cleaning your feet, make sure to dry them fully. Any moisture left on your feet will encourage bacterial growth.
  • Let your feet breathe by going shoeless and sockless when you can. This will help air out any sweat without spreading bacteria.

8. Check the Insoles

If you’ve been wearing the same insoles for years, it’s probably time to replace them. Often, insoles are the source of smelly shoe odors. You might just find that a new pair of insoles "magically" gets rid of that persisting funky smell.

Shop Nike Socks

Training Crew Socks (6 Pairs)

Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned

Training crew socks (6 pairs).

Training Ankle Socks (6 Pairs)

Training Ankle Socks (6 Pairs)

Training Crew Socks (3 Pairs)

Training Crew Socks (3 Pairs)

Training No-Show Socks (3 Pairs)

Nike Everyday Plus Cushion

Training no-show socks (3 pairs).

Cushioned Crew Socks (3 Pairs)

Nike Everyday Plus

Cushioned crew socks (3 pairs).

Cushioned Crew Socks (1 Pair)

Cushioned Crew Socks (1 Pair)

Cushioned Crew Socks (1 Pair)

Nike ACG Everyday

Outdoor Cushioned Crew Socks

Outdoor Cushioned Crew Socks

Crew Socks (3 Pairs)

Crew Socks (3 Pairs)

Originally published: October 25, 2021

Related Stories

Choosing the Best Athletic Socks for Your Performance Needs

Buying Guide

Choosing the Best Athletic Socks for Your Performance Needs

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

The Best Gear for Running in the Rain

Waterproof Running Gear for Rainy Day Runs

What to Wear With Sweatpants

Styling Tips

How to Style Nike Sweatpants

The Best Winter Workout Clothes by Nike

What to Wear for Outdoor Winter Workouts

Your doctor (and ChatGPT) will see you now. A peek into AI-assisted medical visits.

Generative ai and chatbots offer promise for medical visits.

how to make homework more effective

BOSTON ‒ Dr. Rebecca Mishuris remembers her mother, also a doctor, bringing home her patients' medical charts every night and working on them long after she'd gone to bed.

For years, Mishuris, a primary care physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, repeated the ritual herself.

But no more.

Since last summer, she's been piloting two competing software applications that use large-language models and generative artificial intelligence to listen in on, transcribe and summarize her conversations with patients. At the end of a patient visit it takes her just two to three minutes to review the summary for accuracy, cut and paste a few things into the patient's health record and hit save.

"I look at my patients now (during a visit)," said Mishuris, who oversees the pilot project across 450 Mass General--Brigham-affiliated providers and plans to expand to 800 within the next month. "It's a technology that puts me back in the room with my patient as opposed to putting up a barrier between me and the patient."

Mishuris, chief medical information officer and vice president of digital at Mass General Brigham, is among the earliest adopters of artificial intelligence in medicine, a field known for being slow to adapt to change. ("Legit, there's a fax machine at the front of my clinic," she said.)

While some other doctors have incorporated AI and large-language models, such as ChatGPT that analyze reams of online language, into their practices, Mishuris and a team 200 miles away at NYU Langone Health are among the few who have opted to study its use.

They want to ensure the technology improves overall care before they adopt it more widely.

"We're not racing to get this out there. We really are trying to take a measured course," said Dr. Devin Mann, strategic director of digital innovation at NYU Langone's Medical Center Information Technology. "We really like to understand how these tools really work before we let them loose."

The much-maligned electronic health record

No one wants to make a mistake that will lose the trust of patients or doctors when using this technology.

After all, digital technology has disappointed both before.

Electronic health records have become essential tools in medicine, replacing the rooms full of paper documents that were hard to maintain and subject to fires and other losses.

But patients hated the shift to electronic health records.

Rather than building a relationship with a physician, they felt they were now talking to the back of a caregiver's head as they listened to clacking fingers rather than making eye contact and listening to the murmurs of someone paying close attention.

Doctors disliked them even more.

Dr. Christine Sinsky, vice president of professional satisfaction at the American Medical Association, calls the shift to electronic health records the "great work transfer." Physicians, rather than nurses, medical assistants or clerical workers, were suddenly responsible for recording most of their patients' data during clinic visits.

In a 2016 study, Sinsky and her colleagues showed that after "the great work transfer," doctors were spending two hours on desk work for every hour face-to-face with patients.

"It is time on (electronic health records) and particularly time on physician order entry that is a source of burden and burnout for physicians," she said.

Burnout hurts everyone

Burnout leads to medical errors, increases malpractice risk, reduces patient satisfaction, damages an organization’s reputation and reduces patients’ loyalty, according to Sinsky, who worked as a general internist in Iowa for 32 years.

She calculated the cost of a doctor leaving the profession due to burnout at $800,000 to $1.4 million per physician. The lost funds include the cost of recruitment, a sign-on bonus and onboarding costs.

In a recent survey of doctors, nurses and other health care workers conducted by the AMA, nearly 63% reported symptoms of burnout at the end of 2021, up from 38% in 2020.

Inbox work also contributes to burnout, Sinsky said.

The volume of inbox work rose 57% in March 2020, as the pandemic set in, "and has stayed higher since that time," Sinsky said. Meanwhile, the rest of their workload hasn't dropped to compensate for the increase, so physicians are working more during their off hours, she said.

The amount of time doctors put in during their personal time ‒ commonly called "work outside of work" or "pajama time" ‒ is often a good predictor for burnout. Doctors in the top quarter of pajama-time workers are far more likely to feel burnout than those in the lowest quarter.

Among the other new requirements adding to burnout is the expectation doctors will be "texting while doctoring" ‒ typing throughout a medical visit. This experience is as deeply unsatisfying for the doctor as it is for the patient, Sinsky said.

Note-taking means synthesizing

Still, she's not convinced that generative AI and large-language models are the only or best solution to all these problems.

In her former practice, Sinsky said, what worked well was having a nurse in the room with the physician, sharing information, pulling up additional information from the electronic health record and entering orders in real time. That way, the doctor can focus on the patient and the nurse will be familiar enough with the patient's care to answer most follow-up questions that may arise between visits.

"When we build systems that synthesize care and consolidate care and prioritize the relationships among the people ‒ between the doctor and the patient, between the doctor and the staff ‒ that's when the magic happens. That's when quality is better, cost is lower," she said. "I see AI as a technology solution to a technology problem and its balance of risks and benefits hasn’t yet been determined."

Sinsky said she worries that something will be lost when doctors completely stop dictating or writing their own notes.

As anyone who writes regularly knows, it is in the act of writing that you truly begin to understand your subject, she said. Without that connection, that requirement to synthesize the material, Sinsky worries doctors will miss clues about their patients' health.

"How much (AI) is going to help and how much it's going to distract us, that's TBD," she said. "I fear that some physicians may just accept the AI output and not have that pause and that reflection that then helps you consolidate your understanding."

Offers of hugs and other signs of promise

Still, early responses to the AI notetaking technology from Mass General Brigham and NYU Langone have been positive.

"Some people say it's okay, but maybe not for them," Mishuris said, while most are more effusive. Many have reported "drastic changes in their documentation burden," saying in some cases that they've been able to leave their clinic for the first time without paperwork hanging over them, she said. "I've had people offer to hug me."

Mishuris' study also measures how much time doctors spend on their visit notes, in the electronic health records after clinical hours, and how much they change the AI-drafted notes. If the doctor makes a lot of changes, it suggests they are unhappy with the drafted note.

Each doctor participating in the study fills out a survey after using one of two technologies for two weeks, then after eight weeks and again at three months. At this point, participants are just about to hit the 8-week mark, so the data about burden and burnout is coming soon, Mishuris said.

She hopes studies like hers will determine whether the technology is useful and for whom. "It might be that the technology is not right for an oncologist yet," she said, or maybe it's not appropriate for every visit, "but that is what we're trying to determine."

At NYU Langone, where the AI experiment is happening on a smaller scale, early results show the technology was able to translate visit notes, which doctors typically write at a 12th grade level or above, to a 6th grade level ‒ which is more understandable to patients, said Dr. Jonah Feldman, medical director of clinical transformation and informatics for Langone's Medical Center Information Technology.

When the doctors wrote the notes, only 13% broke the content into simple chunks, while 87% of the Chat-GPT4 notes were written in easy-to-understand bits, he said.

Feldman said the goal of using AI is not to put anyone out of work ‒ typically the greatest fear workers have about artificial intelligence ‒ but to get more done in the limited time allotted.

That will allow doctors to spend more quality time with patients – hopefully improving interactions and care and reducing burnout, he said. “We’re focusing on making the doctor more efficient, making the experience in the room better,” Feldman said.

Mann, who oversees digital innovation at NYU Langone, said he hopes to avoid AI-written notes that read awkwardly and waste clinicians' time on "double-work," spending more time rewriting notes than they would have spent writing them in the first place. For this to work, he said, "It's got to be a lot better, a lot easier."

The Langone team is also experimenting with using AI to respond to patients' emails. Mann said providers want the email to sound personalized, so a doctor who previously would have sent patients "haikus" doesn't suddenly start sending "sonnets."

Next, the team wants to expand to home monitoring, so that someone who has been instructed, say, to check their blood pressure at home every day and upload that information to their doctor, can get questions answered via AI, rather than "chasing us down with phone tag," Mann said. "A lot of quick answers can be done faster, so we can put our limited time and energy into more complicated things."

He's also focused on providing these kinds of services first to people with limited resources since they are often the last to receive technological advances.

Ultimately, the success of this kind of technology will come down to whether doctors are willing to adopt it and patients are comfortable with it.

A recent Mishuris patient, Rachel Albrecht, had no problem with AI listening in on her medical appointment.

"It sounds like a good tool," Albrecht, 30, an accountant from Boston, said at the end of her appointment. She liked the idea of getting an easy-to-understand summary of results after a visit. "I'm pro-AI in general."

Karen Weintraub can be reached at [email protected].

Cart

  • SUGGESTED TOPICS
  • The Magazine
  • Newsletters
  • Managing Yourself
  • Managing Teams
  • Work-life Balance
  • The Big Idea
  • Data & Visuals
  • Reading Lists
  • Case Selections
  • HBR Learning
  • Topic Feeds
  • Account Settings
  • Email Preferences

The FTC’s Noncompete Ban Was Long Overdue

how to make homework more effective

Empirical evidence backs up the argument that trade secrets can remain protected even as talent is freely mobile.

The FTC’s new noncompete rule adopts a comprehensive prohibition on the use of noncompete clauses in any U.S. industry with any worker, including those at senior executive levels. The rule is promulgated using the FTC’s authority to determine practices that are unfair methods of competition. For those who have long argued against the use of noncompetes, this moment has been a long time coming. While the rule already faces legal challenges, company leaders would be well advised to make sure they understand what’s in the rule, its potential impact, and what it could mean for employees. Far from being an anti-business rule, the ban on noncompetes stands to spur innovation and grow markets.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made history last week when it passed a new rule that fundamentally alters the landscape of employment agreements across the U.S.  The agency’s noncompete rule adopts a comprehensive prohibition on the use of noncompete clauses in any industry with any worker, including those at senior executive levels. The rule is promulgated using the FTC’s authority to determine practices that are unfair methods of competition. For those like me who have long argued against the use of noncompetes, this moment has been a long time coming.

  • OL Orly Lobel is the Warren Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Employment and Labor Policy (CELP) at University of San Diego and author of The Equality Machine: Harnessing Digital Technology for a Brighter, More Inclusive Future (PublicAffairs), Talent Wants to be Free Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids and Free-Riding (Yale Press), and You Don’t Own Me (Norton).

Partner Center

Experience new growth possibilities with Microsoft Advertising today >

Introducing Microsoft pubCenter: Empowers small and medium-sized businesses to earn more from their website

Nicholas bolt.

how to make homework more effective

It’s an understatement to say life is busy for small and medium-sized business owners. As a founder, blogger, or SMB innovator, you juggle a lot—meaning everything: from creating a product to offering a service, managing a team, and developing ad content to promote your product or website.

Money is going out to bring money in. Money is coming in, but never fast enough. You want more traffic to your site. You crave more time with your family and friends. With work often being a 24/7 lifestyle, you’re always seeking new ways to easily bring in more income.

Created with you in mind, we developed Microsoft pubCenter. It’s a simple way for creators and small to medium-sized publishers to earn money from their site with a code-on-page ad solution.

Sign up today  and start earning more with Microsoft pubCenter.

Microsoft pubCenter: A simple and effective way to monetize your content

Here’s how Microsoft pubCenter works: you enable ads to be shown on your site, advertisers from the Microsoft Advertising Network compete for your ad space, and when ads serve on your website—you earn money.

For example, a blogger has been building their audience with awesome content about where to hike in their community. But operating their website is starting to get expensive. They can use Microsoft pubCenter to monetize their site with ads to help offset costs.

Or a small business owner has already been monetizing their site with Google AdSense and is now interested in trying another ad network. They can easily get started with Microsoft pubCenter, enable mediation with their existing Google AdSense account, and increase the money they make from advertising.

Monetize your website with highly personalized and relevant native and display ads that match customer intent and profiles. Unlike other programmatic platforms, you can easily get started with Microsoft pubCenter.

Display and native ads with Microsoft pubCenter.

With Microsoft pubCenter you earn with every ad served

Your goal as a business owner is to attract new customers and retain your loyal audience. When people engage with impactful native and display ad formats that complement your site, you create a seamless customer experience, which in turn builds brand affinity.

Plus, as a creator, you’re in control. With Microsoft pubCenter you have the flexibility to decide how many ads go on your site and where your ads are placed. And because you know your audience best, you can easily block content that won’t resonate.

Microsoft pubCenter serves ads that drive higher engagement and more revenue for you. We offer flexible mediation—simply use our ads in the same units with Google AdSense, and we’ll only serve our ads when we can predict a higher bid for you. You can also place the Microsoft ad code on the same page alongside your other ads.

Access demand from across the Microsoft Advertising Network, including both Microsoft Invest and the Microsoft Advertising Platform with thousands of advertisers.

Drive more engagement on your site with relevant ads

More traffic to your site means more revenue. Engage your audience with impactful ads that consumers are more likely to click. It’s all in your hands—you decide how to manage and direct your inventory.

Choose your ads. Paste website code. Earn.

Start monetizing your content right away with no sign-up costs, revenue minimums, or volume requirements to get started. Just select your ad format, place one piece of code on your website, and get back to doing what you really love—building your business. And the millions of other tasks on your to-do list.

Get started in Microsoft pubCenter

Sign up today  to maximize your content and earn more with Microsoft pubCenter.

In this pilot release phase, we welcome all business owners in the United States—and we’re excited to offer Microsoft pubCenter globally in the coming months.

Our vision is to empower all founders and creators to achieve more. Let’s take your business and income to the next level.

Stay informed

Sign up for the Microsoft Advertising Insider newsletter to keep up with the latest insights, product news, tips and tricks, thought leadership, customer case studies, and resources.

SENIOR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER, MICROSOFT ADVERTISING

Nicholas Bolt

Recommended for you

Maximize your holiday revenue with microsoft monetize.

Maximize your revenue opportunity and make the most of the holiday season with three key insights from Microsoft Advertising.

November 08, 2023

Four coworkers sitting and talking while holding laptops.

How to decide advertising spend for your small business

Discover how to decide advertising spend for your small business with this article from Microsoft Advertising. Learn how to create a robust advertising budget.

June 02, 2021

how to make homework more effective

Emerging trends impacting small businesses

Learn about the transformation in online consumer behavior. Visit our small business hub to get powerful strategies & tools to maximize your business impact.

May 07, 2021

how to make homework more effective

IMAGES

  1. How to Establish a Great Homework Routine

    how to make homework more effective

  2. Homework: An Effective Approach

    how to make homework more effective

  3. Complete Guidance on how to do your homework faster

    how to make homework more effective

  4. Tips for How to Create an Effective Homework Plan?

    how to make homework more effective

  5. Best Effective Ways on How to Make Homework Fun For Kids

    how to make homework more effective

  6. Techniques to Make Homework Go Exceptionally Easily

    how to make homework more effective

VIDEO

  1. 6 Tips to Make Homework More Fun!

  2. How To Make Homework Writing Machine At Home

  3. Experiencing Digital Homework with Cephable

  4. How to Make Homework in Infinite Craft

  5. Ways to make homework easier👍#tips #shotrs #tricks #youtube

  6. how to make homework on quest 2/3

COMMENTS

  1. Better Homework: Three Proven Strategies

    According to research findings, the answer is "yes." Try these three unusual-sounding but effective strategies: Spaced repetition. Typically a teacher presents an entire lesson, students take notes and complete class work, and then they do homework to reinforce learning. Once the lesson is over, the student may not need the information again ...

  2. How to Improve Homework for This Year—and Beyond

    A schoolwide effort to reduce homework has led to a renewed focus on ensuring that all work assigned really aids students' learning. I used to pride myself on my high expectations, including my firm commitment to accountability for regular homework completion among my students. But the trauma of Covid-19 has prompted me to both reflect and adapt.

  3. How to Create Effective Homework

    But to get those elements to work, said Fires in the Mind author and speaker Kathleen Cushman, students must be motivated to do their homework in the first place. One example Cushman gave was creating a project so interesting and involved, students naturally wanted to keep working on it after the bell rang. She pointed to a chapter in the book ...

  4. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    Here's how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break.

  5. Strategies to Make Homework Go More Smoothly

    Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise. Ask your child where the best place is to work. Both you and your child need to discuss pros and cons of different settings to arrive at a mutually agreed upon location. Step 2. Set up a homework center.

  6. 13 Ways to Make Homework More Meaningful and Engaging

    The brain loves to do tasks in contexts with which it is familiar. 7. Allow students to collaborate in determining how homework will be assessed. If they help design the criteria for success, such as when they create the rubric for an assignment, they "own" the assignment.

  7. Designing Effective Homework

    Reinforce and allow students to practice skills learned in the classroom. Help students develop good study habits and routines. Foster positive feelings about school. In grades 6-12, homework should: Reinforce and allow students to practice skills learned in the classroom. Prepare students for engagement and discussion during the next lesson.

  8. Effective strategies for homework success

    Effective science homework provides the extension to learning that students need to succeed, and gives us vital data to inform our planning. An EEF study on the impact of homework in secondary schools says that regular homework can have the same positive effect as five additional months in the classroom, as well as 'enabling pupils to ...

  9. PDF Assigning Effective Homework

    Designing Effective Homework To achieve a positive impact on student learning, homework assignments must be well-designed and carefully constructed. Some speci˛c research ˛nd-ings include: ˝ Homework is most e˚ective when it covers mate-rial already taught. However, giving an assignment on material that was taught the same day is not

  10. Effective Practices for Homework

    Effective Practices for Homework. By: Kathy Ruhl, Charles Hughes. A review of the research on the effective use of homework for students with learning disabilities suggests that there are three big ideas for teachers to remember: (1) the best use of homework is to build proficiency in recently acquired skills or to maintain skills previously ...

  11. PDF Practice and Homework Effective Teaching Strategies

    Strategies for practicing new learning include visualization, mnemonics, quick writes, and effective questioning. Finally, tips for homework completion are provided for both teachers and parents. It is important to make sure that all students understand the content that has been taught. Practice and homework are effective instructional ...

  12. What's the Right Amount of Homework?

    The National PTA and the National Education Association support the " 10-minute homework guideline "—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students' needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

  13. Homework challenges and strategies

    The challenge: Managing time and staying organized. Some kids struggle with keeping track of time and making a plan for getting all of their work done. That's especially true of kids who have trouble with executive function. Try creating a homework schedule and set a specific time and place for your child to get homework done.

  14. How Can We Make Homework Worthwhile?

    Enriching children's classroom learning requires making homework not shorter or longer, but smarter. When we work hard to understand information, we recall it better; the extra effort signals the brain that this knowledge is worth keeping. Fortunately, research is available to help parents, teachers and school administrators do just that.

  15. Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

    Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That's problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

  16. Research Trends: Why Homework Should Be Balanced

    Research suggests that while homework can be an effective learning tool, assigning too much can lower student performance and interfere with other important activities. ... (Cooper, 2010). A recent study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90-100 minutes of homework per day, their math and science scores began to ...

  17. PDF Increasing the Effectiveness of Homework for All Learners in the ...

    this question and creating effective homework assignments, the debate for and against homework becomes a moot point (Voorhees, 2011). "When teachers design homework to meet specific purposes and goals, more students complete their homework and benefit from the results" (Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2001, p. 191).

  18. 8 Keys to Effective Homework

    8 Keys to Effective Homework. H Has a clear purpose. O Opportunity for success. M Makes quality the focus. E Extends, reinforces, or previews content. W Work is done independently or with appropriate support. O Ownership felt by students. R Receives feedback of some type. K Kid-friendly.

  19. Homework

    Homework that is linked to classroom work tends to be more effective. In particular, studies that included feedback on homework had higher impacts on learning. 4. It is important to make the purpose of homework clear to pupils (e.g. to increase a specific area of knowledge, or to develop fluency in a particular area). ... In the most effective ...

  20. 8 Easy Ways to Finish Homework Faster

    Evaluate and improve your SAT score. 3. Gather all your gear. Collect EVERYTHING you will need for the homework you are working on (like your laptop for writing assignments and pencils for problem sets). Getting up for supplies takes you off course and makes it that much harder to get back to your homework. 4.

  21. A Simple, Effective Homework Plan For Teachers: Part 1

    Second, it's important to eliminate every excuse so that the only answer students can give for not doing it is that they just didn't care. This sets up the confrontation strategy you'll be using the next morning. 4. Confront students on the spot. One of your key routines should be entering the classroom in the morning.

  22. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column.Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom. Students 13 and ...

  23. How to Remove Shoe Smell and Make Them Smell Good. Nike.com

    Use baking soda. It's a natural deodorizer that absorbs smells and bacteria. There are two different ways to use baking soda to deodorize shoes: Mix ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of baking powder, and ½ cup of cornstarch. Put the mix in a pair of cotton socks or sprinkle the mixture in both shoes and leave overnight.

  24. Increasing the Effectiveness of Homework for All

    The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of homework research, outline the elements of effective homework, and provide practical suggestions for classroom applications. Increasing the effectiveness of homework is a multifaceted goal. Accommodations, organization, structure of assignments, technology, home-school communication, and ...

  25. AI, ChatGPT show promise in making medical visits more effective

    A peek into AI-assisted medical visits. BOSTON ‒ Dr. Rebecca Mishuris remembers her mother, also a doctor, bringing home her patients' medical charts every night and working on them long after ...

  26. The FTC's Noncompete Ban Was Long Overdue

    The FTC's Noncompete Ban Was Long Overdue. Summary. The FTC's new noncompete rule adopts a comprehensive prohibition on the use of noncompete clauses in any U.S. industry with any worker ...

  27. Monetize your content with Microsoft pubCenter

    Money is going out to bring money in. Money is coming in, but never fast enough. You want more traffic to your site. You crave more time with your family and friends. With work often being a 24/7 lifestyle, you're always seeking new ways to easily bring in more income. Created with you in mind, we developed Microsoft pubCenter.