Homework has been a widely accepted form of education for so long that there is a serious struggle to convince parents and educators that it may be outdated. Homework does have merit but research suggests that it is specific to certain ages. Harris Cooper, the lead researcher on homework's effectiveness, has conducted over 180 studies into different aspects of the subject.
The studies showed that at the elementary level homework had no effect on information retention and success. In middle school, homework's effects were nominal at best. Only in high school and college does homework have have a positive effect.
As homework has no real effect on children, the pressure and time are negative for the growing adolescents. It causes stress in the families as parents fight and force children to do their assignments. As parental discipline is often a necessary element to the completion of homework, kids become dependent on their parents and other adults for the necessary discipline to complete assignments.
Schooling can detract from childhood's be eating up vast amounts of time and energy from the children. After a long school day they have assignments to complete. This time should be used in extracurricular activities, play, personal exploration and development. Instead of continually cramming facts down their throats, they should be developing their unique personal skill sets and perspectives.
Cooper suggests that there should be a 'ten minute rule'. First grades will have a maximum of ten minutes worth of homework and second grades twenty and so on. This will teach responsibility and allow appropriate levels of free time.