There has been a recent backlash against homework by the parents of elementary

schoolchildren. Some believe that children should not be spending so much time on

schoolwork outside of school while others believe that it takes time away from

extracurricular activities. Still others dislike the nightly hassle and struggle regular

homework assignments bring into the home. However, homework is an essential part of

your child’s education and is a proven way to improve achievement and build important

life skills.

First and foremost, homework allows children to review and retain information learned

during the school day. Developing basic skills, such as reading, writing, and analytical

thinking, take practice and homework offers children an opportunity to hone their skills

outside of school.

Secondly, homework allows students to work on long-term projects that cannot be

completed during a regular school day. Children can take their time and work at their

own pace while writing a story or essay, assembling a science project, or preparing for an

in-class report.

Homework also gives parents a chance to participate in their children’s educations. While

parents should not be completing their children’s homework assignments, they should be

taking part in the homework process. Parents can give their children different

perspectives on what they are learning in school, help them understand concepts that they

did not grasp in class, and offer their general support and guidance. Participating in

homework activities with your children also makes certain that you know what your child

is learning, whether your child is engaged, and if your child has special gifts or special


Finally, regularly completing homework assignments also builds responsibility,

confidence, independence, and other positive characteristics. While children are usually

led through activities in school, homework gives children the opportunity to take their

time, explore a subject, solve problems on their own, and work through distractions and

obstacles. Learning independent study skills allow children to achieve in college and


There is such a thing as assigning too much homework, especially during the elementary

school years. You might talk with your child’s teacher if your child has been staying up

late completing assignments, feeling stress about homework, or spending all of his or her

time at home working. However, most studies show that today’s children are doing the

same amount of homework as in past decades. While homework has increased for

children K-2, from no homework to about 20 minutes per day – that increase is based on

research showing the benefits of homework at that age range.