Homework, or a homework assignment, is a set of tasks assigned to students by their teachers to be completed outside the class. Common homework assignments may include a quantity or period of reading to be performed, writing or typing to be completed, problems to be solved, a school project to be built (such as a diorama or display), or other skills to be practiced.

The basic objectives of assigning homework to students are the same as schooling in general: to increase the knowledge and improve the abilities and skills of the students.[1] However, opponents of homework cite homework as rote, or grind work, designed to take up children's time, without offering tangible benefit.[2] Homework may be designed to reinforce what students have already learned,[3] prepare them for upcoming (or complex or difficult) lessons, extend what they know by having them apply it to new situations, or to integrate their abilities by applying many different skills to a single task. Homework also provides an opportunity for parents to participate in their children's education.

Amount of Homework RequiredEdit

A review by researchers at Duke University of more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 showed that, within limits, there is a positive interaction between the amount of homework which is done and student achievement. The research synthesis also indicated that too much homework could be counterproductive. The research supports the '10-minute rule',the widely accepted practice of assigning 10 minutes of homework per day per grade-level. For example, under this system, 1st graders would receive 10 minutes of homework per night, while 5th graders would get 50 minutes' worth, 9th graders 90 minutes of homework, etc.[4]

Harris Cooper,[5] a professor of psychology and chairman of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke, said the research synthesis that he led showed the positive correlation was much stronger for secondary students --- those in grades seven through 12 --- than those in elementary school.[4]

Many schools exceed these recommendations or do not considered assigned reading in the time limit worthwhile.[6]

In the United Kingdom, recommendations on homework quantities were outlined by the then Department for Education in 1998. These ranged from 10 minutes daily reading for 5-year-olds, to up to 2.5 hours per day for the pupils in Year 11 aged 15 or 16.[7]