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Sarah Curtis
Mrs. Pettay
English 112, 2B
16 March 2015
Homework
Students have and always will complain about homework. Homework has been around
for a long time and sadly I do not think anyone can say they genuinely like homework.
Unfortunately, it is something that wont go away. Even though there is research that shows
homework is not beneficial in elementary school, it is for teaching useful skills. With that said,
homework, in whatever class it may be, can help students grow in some way. I tend to agree that
homework is essential for teaching time management, resourcefulness, and responsibility needed
for adult life.
Although I support homework and believe it teaches time management, resourcefulness,
and responsibility, others do not. According to Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth: Why
Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, homework emotes frustration, exhaustion, family
conflict less time for pleasurable activities, and diminished interest in learning. Kohn does
make a valid point in stating that there is less time for activities. Students already go to school
for seven hours and then have to come home for a second shift (Kohn). This can often cause
children to feel like they must choose between homework and activities.
Kohns claim that homework takes up free time is not a predominant issue, however.
Although homework does take up time, I believe having homework and activities leads to
learning time management. Dividing up the day to accomplish tasks is an important skill to learn.
Students who have a clearly defined routine around homework are more likely to believe they

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can overcome challenges while doing homework, says Erika Patall, an assistant professor of
educational psychology at the University of Texas. I have a busy schedule, and I know from
experience that time management works best. When I force myself to complete homework at a
certain time I am more relaxed and accomplish it quicker. When students do not have a set plan
for homework, they become stressed and believe there is not enough time for everything.
However, in reality there is, they just have to find it.
Another argument that Kohn pointed out was that having homework leads to adolescents
feeling frustrated and ultimately defeated. Jessica Lahey, a contributing writer at The Atlantic,
thinks the opposite. She writes that when children are presented with frustration and challenge
while learning, they tend to perform better. She believes they can change fleeting, short-term
learning to long-term, durable learning (Lahey). Having challenging homework teaches
resourcefulness also. When presented with a problem, one needs to find a way to solve it. There
are several challenges adults must face in everyday life. I believe that children learn best through
experience. Homework is a challenge that kids can learn to face and defeat at a young age, so
they can apply it to future events.
Sara Bennett, co-author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting
Children and What Parents Can Do About It, opposes the idea that homework teaches
responsibility. She insists that homework initiates a pattern of dependence instead of instilling
responsibility and self-discipline (Bennett). Her claim suggests that children would not even
attempt homework without constant reminders or help from their parents. I can see why others
agree with this statement because parents are constantly nagging their children about homework,
but it is the way homework is presented that actually teaches responsibility. When kids feel like
homework has a value and doing it is their own choice, it will seem more interesting and lead to

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greater achievement, explains Patall. Understanding that homework is a choice but doing it
contributes to better grades and better understanding of material, helps kids learn that they are
responsible for it. I found that taking responsibility to do homework helped me have a clearer
understanding of the subject. In one of my classes, I seem to be the only one out of all my friends
to actually do the homework. Coincidentally, I also seem to be the only that can pass the tests.
With all that was said, homework is a good thing. It installs tools and aspects in young
minds needed for life. Time management, resourcefulness, and responsibility are always required
and demanded. Students can complain all the want about homework, but the matter of the fact is
that it is never going away. Even if it just seems like busy work, it is an easy way to boost a
grade up a couple of points.

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Works Cited
Bennett, Sara. "Dont Bother, Homework Is Pointless." New York Times. New
York Times, November 2014. Web. 14 November 2014.
Kohn, Alfie. "The Homework Parent Trap." New York Times. New York Times,
November 2014. Web. 14 November 2014.
Lahey, Jessica. "Autonomy Works Best for the Classroom." New York Times.
New York Times, November 2014. Web. 14 November 2014.
Patall, Erika. "Help Children Form Good Study Habits." New York Times. New
York Times, November 2014. Web. 14 November 2014.