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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

online schools without homework

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

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What we know about online learning and the homework gap amid the pandemic.

A sixth grader completes his homework online in his family's living room in Boston on March 31, 2020.

America’s K-12 students are returning to classrooms this fall after 18 months of virtual learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students who lacked the home internet connectivity needed to finish schoolwork during this time – an experience often called the “ homework gap ” – may continue to feel the effects this school year.

Here is what Pew Research Center surveys found about the students most likely to be affected by the homework gap and their experiences learning from home.

Children across the United States are returning to physical classrooms this fall after 18 months at home, raising questions about how digital disparities at home will affect the existing homework gap between certain groups of students.

Methodology for each Pew Research Center poll can be found at the links in the post.

With the exception of the 2018 survey, everyone who took part in the surveys is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the  ATP’s methodology .

The 2018 data on U.S. teens comes from a Center poll of 743 U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 conducted March 7 to April 10, 2018, using the NORC AmeriSpeak panel. AmeriSpeak is a nationally representative, probability-based panel of the U.S. household population. Randomly selected U.S. households are sampled with a known, nonzero probability of selection from the NORC National Frame, and then contacted by U.S. mail, telephone or face-to-face interviewers. Read more details about the NORC AmeriSpeak panel methodology .

Around nine-in-ten U.S. parents with K-12 children at home (93%) said their children have had some online instruction since the coronavirus outbreak began in February 2020, and 30% of these parents said it has been very or somewhat difficult for them to help their children use technology or the internet as an educational tool, according to an April 2021 Pew Research Center survey .

A bar chart showing that mothers and parents with lower incomes are more likely than fathers and those with higher incomes to have trouble helping their children with tech for online learning

Gaps existed for certain groups of parents. For example, parents with lower and middle incomes (36% and 29%, respectively) were more likely to report that this was very or somewhat difficult, compared with just 18% of parents with higher incomes.

This challenge was also prevalent for parents in certain types of communities – 39% of rural residents and 33% of urban residents said they have had at least some difficulty, compared with 23% of suburban residents.

Around a third of parents with children whose schools were closed during the pandemic (34%) said that their child encountered at least one technology-related obstacle to completing their schoolwork during that time. In the April 2021 survey, the Center asked parents of K-12 children whose schools had closed at some point about whether their children had faced three technology-related obstacles. Around a quarter of parents (27%) said their children had to do schoolwork on a cellphone, 16% said their child was unable to complete schoolwork because of a lack of computer access at home, and another 14% said their child had to use public Wi-Fi to finish schoolwork because there was no reliable connection at home.

Parents with lower incomes whose children’s schools closed amid COVID-19 were more likely to say their children faced technology-related obstacles while learning from home. Nearly half of these parents (46%) said their child faced at least one of the three obstacles to learning asked about in the survey, compared with 31% of parents with midrange incomes and 18% of parents with higher incomes.

A chart showing that parents with lower incomes are more likely than parents with higher incomes to say their children have faced tech-related schoolwork challenges in the pandemic

Of the three obstacles asked about in the survey, parents with lower incomes were most likely to say that their child had to do their schoolwork on a cellphone (37%). About a quarter said their child was unable to complete their schoolwork because they did not have computer access at home (25%), or that they had to use public Wi-Fi because they did not have a reliable internet connection at home (23%).

A Center survey conducted in April 2020 found that, at that time, 59% of parents with lower incomes who had children engaged in remote learning said their children would likely face at least one of the obstacles asked about in the 2021 survey.

A year into the outbreak, an increasing share of U.S. adults said that K-12 schools have a responsibility to provide all students with laptop or tablet computers in order to help them complete their schoolwork at home during the pandemic. About half of all adults (49%) said this in the spring 2021 survey, up 12 percentage points from a year earlier. An additional 37% of adults said that schools should provide these resources only to students whose families cannot afford them, and just 13% said schools do not have this responsibility.

A bar chart showing that roughly half of adults say schools have responsibility to provide technology to all students during pandemic

While larger shares of both political parties in April 2021 said K-12 schools have a responsibility to provide computers to all students in order to help them complete schoolwork at home, there was a 15-point change among Republicans: 43% of Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party said K-12 schools have this responsibility, compared with 28% last April. In the 2021 survey, 22% of Republicans also said schools do not have this responsibility at all, compared with 6% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.

Even before the pandemic, Black teens and those living in lower-income households were more likely than other groups to report trouble completing homework assignments because they did not have reliable technology access. Nearly one-in-five teens ages 13 to 17 (17%) said they are often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they do not have reliable access to a computer or internet connection, a 2018 Center survey of U.S. teens found.

A bar chart showing that in 2018, Black teens and those from lower-income households were especially likely to be impacted by the digital 'homework gap'

One-quarter of Black teens said they were at least sometimes unable to complete their homework due to a lack of digital access, including 13% who said this happened to them often. Just 4% of White teens and 6% of Hispanic teens said this often happened to them. (There were not enough Asian respondents in the survey sample to be broken out into a separate analysis.)

A wide gap also existed by income level: 24% of teens whose annual family income was less than $30,000 said the lack of a dependable computer or internet connection often or sometimes prohibited them from finishing their homework, but that share dropped to 9% among teens who lived in households earning $75,000 or more a year.

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

Why Millions of Teens Can't Finish Their Homework

The push toward technology-focused education overlooks the students who lack the resources needed to complete their assignments.

online schools without homework

In decades past, students needed little more than paper, pencils, and time to get their schoolwork done. For the vast majority of students, that's no longer the case. Most schoolwork these days necessitates a computer and an internet connection, and that includes work to be done at home. One federal survey found that 70 percent of American teachers  assign homework that needs to be done online; 90 percent of high schoolers say they have to do internet-based homework at least a few times a month. Nearly half of all students say they get such assignments daily or almost daily.

Yet despite the seemingly ever-growing embrace of digital learning in schools, access to the necessary devices remains unequal, with a new report from the Pew Research Center finding that 15 percent of U.S. households with school-age children lack high-speed internet at home. The problem is particularly acute for low-income families: One in three households that make below $30,000 a year lacks internet. This is despite an emerging reality in which poorer students are attending schools that evangelize technology-based learning while their more affluent counterparts, as The New York Times reported this past weekend, are “going back to wooden toys and the luxury of human interaction.”

It’s a glaring irony that’s also a major force behind class- and race-based discrepancies in academic achievement. In what’s often referred to as the “homework gap,” the unequal access to digital devices and high-speed internet prevents 17 percent of teens from completing their homework assignments, according to the new Pew analysis, which surveyed 743 students ages 13 through 17. Black teens are especially burdened by the homework gap: One in four of them at least sometimes struggle to complete assignments because of a lack of technology at home. And close to half of teenagers in the bottom income bracket have to do their homework on a cellphone occasionally or often.

Read: The futile resistance against classroom tech

From a history-class assignment on the political debate over immigration to required participation in an online discussion board for AP Environmental Science, access to a functioning computer and high-speed internet is all but a prerequisite for success in high school. This is becoming especially true as schools gravitate toward software where students file assignments and papers virtually, as well as schools that equip each student with a laptop or tablet ; one 2017 survey found that half of U.S. teachers have one device for each of their students, up 10 percentage points from the year prior. Close to two in three teachers use technology in their classroom daily, according to a separate 2017 survey .

The homework gap can have major consequences, with some studies suggesting that teens who lack access to a computer at home are less likely to graduate from high school than their more technologically equipped peers. The “challenge to complete homework in safe, predictable, and productive environments can have lifelong impacts on their ability to achieve their full potential,” wrote John Branam, who runs an initiative to provide lacking teens with internet access, in an op-ed for The Hechinger Report last year.

Although the big telecom providers offer subsidies to low-income families, these programs are generally underused . And while disadvantaged students can resort to public libraries and other venues that offer free Wi-Fi, such alternatives are still major obstacles to finishing homework every night. “Your aunt has internet access [at home] but she lives a 40-minute bus trip across town,” Branam wrote, illustrating the roadblocks for teens without internet access. “The public library does, but it has a 30-minute computer use limit and, as a young woman, you don’t feel comfortable there late at night. McDonald’s has free Wi-Fi but it’s noisy, you have to buy food and you can’t linger there forever.”

Read: When students can’t go online

With a team of researchers, the University of Texas at Austin professor S. Craig Watkins spent a year and a half observing and interacting with high schoolers to better understand the digital divide. The researchers’ forthcoming book, The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequality , chronicles the ways low-income students of color get around not having access to the internet and a computer. In what Watkins calls “social hacking,” students often “reengineer their socioeconomic circumstances in order to get access to technology that they otherwise would not have access to.” For example, the researchers observed that students without such resources at home were adept at developing relationships with teachers who could, say, give them special weekend access to laptops and software for use at home. They also tended to rely on other needy classmates to find work-arounds, sharing with one another smartphones and tablets that more affluent students often take for granted, for instance. “It was an inventive way of cultivating social capital,” Watkins says, “but it also created a kind of sharing economy.”

Watkins says the digital divide is an “institutional blind spot” for many school leaders and policy makers. “I suspect that people a pay grade or two above teachers likely don’t understand the depth at which this access- and participation-gap divide still exists,” he says.

While embedding technology into the curriculum is all the rage in some schools, “oftentimes there’s a lack of clarity and vision in terms of what learning should look like with technology,” Watkins says. “There’s this assumption that just by providing access to technology you’re somehow creating a better learning future for kids, but that is not always the case.” After all, technology in schools is going to be of limited success if kids don’t have access to the internet and a computer once the final bell rings.

The ‘Homework Gap’ Is About to Get Worse. What Should Schools Do?

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A program that provides discounted broadband internet service to low-income households is expected to run out of funding by the end of April, a concerning development for school districts with families that relied on the subsidy.

With the Affordable Connectivity Program , eligible families can receive a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service. For those on qualifying tribal lands, the discount is up to $75 per month. The program also provides a one-time discount to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

Nearly 23 million households have enrolled in the program since it launched in 2021, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which runs the program. However, the agency stopped accepting new enrollments as of Feb. 8 and said it will disenroll all households from the program at the end of April, unless Congress provides additional funding.

Schools are increasingly relying on technology for teaching and learning, from learning management systems to multimedia curriculum to internet research. In some cases, schools are turning inclement weather days into remote learning days . So it’s even more imperative that students have sufficient internet connectivity and devices to access learning materials while at home.

‘It’s a huge equity problem’

Educators and advocates say the possible sunsetting of the Affordable Connectivity Program could worsen the so-called “ homework gap ”—a phrase used to describe the inequities between students who have digital devices and reliable internet connectivity at home, and those who don’t and struggle to complete online assignments as a result.

“My fear is that, with this funding running out, we’re going to have either more families not having access to those services, or more families having to go someplace with open Wi-Fi that maybe isn’t as secure as it should be,” said Chantell Manahan, the director of technology for Steuben County schools, a 2,600-student district in rural northeast Indiana. The program’s expiration could also mean more “families away from home, sitting in parking lots like they were during the pandemic, and that’s not a good place for our students and families to be.”

In 2024, [internet access is] not a luxury anymore. This is a necessity to participate in modern society.

The expiration of the Affordable Connectivity Program doesn’t just affect students, but parents, too.

“Many schools rely on online communications platforms to communicate with parents and guardians about their student’s progress, school activities, and other important information. If families lose affordable internet access, this [communication] channel may be compromised,” said Julia Fallon, the executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association.

Sometimes, a school-issued device is the only one available to use at home, so parents also use it to look for jobs, do online coursework, or attend telehealth appointments, Manahan said.

“It’s not just a K-12 education problem. It’s a community problem. It’s a huge equity problem,” she added.

Will Congress provide more funding for ACP?

The Affordable Connectivity Program first launched as the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which was part of a pandemic relief package signed by former President Donald Trump in 2020. The next year, the program was codified as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden.

But the program has run through much of the initial $17.4 billion allocated by Congress, including $14.2 billion from the infrastructure law and $3.2 billion from its emergency predecessor.

Photo of African-American boy working on laptop computer at home.

In January, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill in the Senate and the House of Representatives that would provide $7 billion to keep the Affordable Connectivity Program operational.

It’s unclear how much traction the bill will receive, but several FCC commissioners and advocacy groups have applauded the bill and urged Congress to pass the measure.

Districts look for other solutions

In the meantime, district leaders are having tough conversations about how to provide adequate internet access to students and families who relied on the program.

In Steuben County, Manahan said the district might go back to solutions it used before the Affordable Connectivity Program, such as partnerships with local businesses and organizations that would let families come in and use their Wi-Fi for virtual learning.

The district has Wi-Fi hotspot devices it can lend to students, too, though Manahan is unsure how many of those devices the district can keep after funding runs out. The devices were originally funded through ESSER and the Emergency Connectivity Fund , both of which are also expiring this year.

High angle shot of a man assisting his students at computers

Fortunately, Manahan said, the FCC’s E-rate funding will now cover putting Wi-Fi on school buses .

“It’ll be much more cost-effective for the district to be able to outfit all the buses,” she said. “We know there are some places where we might be able to park those buses and have internet access available.”

Along with school bus Wi-Fi, the district could also extend the reach of the Wi-Fi on school buildings so students, families, and staff can use it in the parking lot, she said.

“I can only hope that if we do see both ACP and ECF sunsetting that they’re going to divert those funds to other programs [that would provide] internet access into all our homes,” Manahan said. “In 2024, it’s not a luxury anymore. This is a necessity to participate in modern society.”

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Editorial: How can kids learn without homework and rigid deadlines? Quite well, it turns out

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The usual system for grading students is, bit by bit, going by the wayside in favor of one that emphasizes learning over traditional measures. It’s a healthy shift, though traditionalists no doubt are raising their eyebrows and muttering darkly about lowered standards and kids skating through school. The skepticism is especially likely now that the changes are being hastened by the realization that the current system puts students of color and those from lower-income households at a distinct disadvantage.

So-called mastery-based grading and a very similar method known as specs (for specifications) grading have been written about in academic circles for decades. But schools have stuck to an outdated system that relies heavily on students’ compliance — completing homework, behaving in class, meeting deadlines and correctly answering questions on a one-time test — as a proxy for learning, rather than measuring the learning itself.

That’s been a disservice to all students, whether they are academically gifted or struggling. It rewards students for grade-grubbing and has them feeling like failures when conditions at home — such as crowding, the need to work a part-time job to help the family finances or caring for younger siblings — make it especially hard to meet all the course requirements on a rigid deadline.

If there were a valid reason for this, that would be one thing. But obeying arbitrary and sometimes unfair rules doesn’t translate into better learning. The goal should be assessing the skills and knowledge students gained and how well they think. Mastery-based education and specs grading, and some of the elements that go with them, put the emphasis back on learning. Imagine that.

It shouldn’t matter, for example, whether students get a sterling grade on the first chapter test on human anatomy, or if they learn from their mistakes and go on to ace a second test. Students who redo an essay, even two or three times, in ways that show they’ve grasped concepts of research and critical thinking, and can write cogent and well-organized sentences, are showing that they’re gaining important skills. That willingness to try and try again until a skill is mastered is something to celebrate, not penalize with points off for multiple efforts.

It sounds vague and perhaps airy-fairy, but education experts point out that, in some ways, this kind of grading is more rigorous. Under the specs model, students are graded pass/fail on their tests, but they don’t pass unless they do well — usually at a minimum level of 80%, or a low B. There’s no passing with a C or D. It’s the opposite of skating by; students don’t move to the next level of skills with minimal grasp of the material.

Rather than being given a grade or a comment that they failed to meet a couple of deadlines, students receive specific information about their progress and what they need to do to move forward. This system transfers more of the responsibility for learning to the student.

Several states, including Vermont and Maine, already have adopted this model for their public schools. A middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., witnessed phenomenal improvement in students’ scores on standardized tests after a few years of mastery-based learning, even though it is in ways the antithesis of a one-time, standardized test. And in case this seems like just the latest instance of touchy-feely liberal thinking limited to the Northeast, Idaho adopted mastery-based education in 2015.

The concept’s roots lie in the 1960s work of Benjamin Bloom , an education psychologist at the University of Chicago who said that given the right conditions, almost any student could achieve at high levels. Now the Black Lives Matter movement has raised awareness that traditional schools are assessing the learning of students — especially Black and Latino children — in ways that both discourage them and fail to hold them to high expectations. In addition, more than a year of remote learning has familiarized students with how to use technological tools to learn; in the classroom, those can be used to individualize instruction so that teachers have a chance to work with small groups.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is shifting toward this new model of grading this year by encouraging teachers to give kids a chance to redo tests or reports and to base grades on what students have learned, not on their work habits. It’s off to a slow start, but that’s the better way to go when introducing an era of assessment so radically different from how it’s been for the last century.

Teachers need time to understand, embrace and start incorporating these practices. And they’ll need training, administrative help and aides to help instruct small groups and track progress.

In other words, careful implementation is as important as the reform. This is where new education initiatives tend to fall apart. Too often, L.A. Unified has used changes in course and grading requirements to lower its standards. Kids can’t infinitely skip school and miss deadlines; that’s not how college or the work world operate. Students should be given extra time to learn, but the schools can’t keep a student in middle school indefinitely, while he or she builds crucial skills.

Mastery-based learning gets students to think about their own progress and encourages them to take their skills as far as they can. If done right — and not as an excuse for lack of progress — it could reinvigorate classrooms and give students a sense of control over their own educational destiny.

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As Classes Move Online, What Happens To Students Without Internet Or Computers?

Debbie Truong

online schools without homework

Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia, offered breakfast and lunch grab-and-go for children 2-18 years old on March 16, 2020. They gave away 144 lunches in an hour. Tyrone Turner/WAMU hide caption

In the chaotic days before and after all public schools in the Washington region shut down for at least two weeks, school systems scrambled to prepare for teaching students from afar.

Some teachers are giving lessons through video conferences on Zoom. Others are uploading materials to online learning platforms such as Canvas, or directing students to educational YouTube videos.

But for students in Prince George's County Public Schools, learning materials won't be provided online. Educators, worried not all children have laptops or Internet at home, printed hard copies of instructional packets for students before campuses in Maryland shuttered last week.

[ Read the latest updates about coronavirus in our region here ]

"We will not be implementing remote learning," Prince George's schools CEO Monica E. Goldson said at a March 12 press conference. "I cannot guarantee that every child has technology and has access to the Internet."

Many school systems in the Washington region, including Prince George's, have so far made schoolwork optional while schools are closed. Students are not learning new material.

But as the new strain of coronavirus paralyzes all aspects of public life , threatening to keep campuses closed for much longer than a few weeks, educators across the D.C. region worry students without access to technology will fall behind.

Last week, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel urged Internet companies to provide WiFi for students as campuses close . In the District, city officials estimate about 25% of homes do not have Internet.

"Schools are closing and so many students are being told that their classes are migrating online," Rosenworcel said. "We need to act immediately so that no child is offline."

Several suburban D.C. school systems have bolstered laptop and tablet supplies in recent years to equip students as early as third grade with their own device.

In Arlington County, each student starting third grade is issued an iPad or MacBook. In recent days, Loudoun County Public Schools ordered 15,000 Chromebooks to ensure older students have devices through the system.

Educators at schools with less technology fear that closures will exacerbate inequities as more instruction moves online.

At Charles Hart Middle School in the District, many of James Isreal's students complete assignments on cell phones by connecting to WiFi. All students at the Southeast school are considered economically disadvantaged.

"Many of them, for the most part, don't have laptops," said Isreal, an English teacher who also sits on the board of the Washington Teachers Union.

Isreal said students without cell phones or data plans normally complete assignments or research at public libraries. But all libraries in D.C. are closed for at least two weeks, as part of an aggressive effort by the city to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

During the closure, Isreal said he plans on uploading materials to Google Classroom and answering students' questions by live streaming on Instagram. Educators at Hart are also printing packets with instructional materials for students who do not have internet.

Before schools closed, D.C. Public Schools was in the process of issuing all students in third, sixth and ninth grade a tablet.

The effort is part of a three-year, $14 million plan to get devices in the hands of every student in the third grade and beyond. Students will not be able to take the devices home.

The school system, which educates more than 50,000 students, is surveying school leaders to collect information about students who do not have access to computers or internet at home.

D.C. school officials said students will be able to download learning materials on Canvas during the closure, which will last until at least March 31. Teachers may also record lessons for students and create video conferences.

Hard copies of materials are also available for students. The system is encouraging families to sign up for free WiFi that Comcast has offered to low-income families during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from D.C. Public Schools.

In Montgomery County, many of the students in Dave Airozo's fourth grade class at Forest Knolls Elementary are English learners from working-class families. He said older students are issued Chromebooks, but they are not allowed to bring the devices home.

Some students at the school in Silver Spring only have internet access through a parent's cell phone or share a laptop with siblings.

"If you have multiple children, learning at multiple levels, then that makes it really, really difficult," Airozo said. "I hesitate to think that this would be equitable. I can't imagine how we could say it's going to be."

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The end of homework? Why some schools are banning homework

Fed up with the tension over homework, some schools are opting out altogether.

No-homework policies are popping up all over, including schools in the U.S., where the shift to the Common Core curriculum is prompting educators to rethink how students spend their time.

“Homework really is a black hole,” said Etta Kralovec, an associate professor of teacher education at the University of Arizona South and co-author of “The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning.”

“I think teachers are going to be increasingly interested in having total control over student learning during the class day and not relying on homework as any kind of activity that’s going to support student learning.”

College de Saint-Ambroise, an elementary school in Quebec, is the latest school to ban homework, announcing this week that it would try the new policy for a year. The decision came after officials found that it was “becoming more and more difficult” for children to devote time to all the assignments they were bringing home, Marie-Ève Desrosiers, a spokeswoman with the Jonquière School Board, told the CBC .

Kralovec called the ban on homework a movement, though she estimated just a small handful of schools in the U.S. have such policies.

Gaithersburg Elementary School in Rockville, Maryland, is one of them, eliminating the traditional concept of homework in 2012. The policy is still in place and working fine, Principal Stephanie Brant told TODAY Parents. The school simply asks that students read 30 minutes each night.

“We felt like with the shift to the Common Core curriculum, and our knowledge of how our students need to think differently… we wanted their time to be spent in meaningful ways,” Brant said.

“We’re constantly asking parents for feedback… and everyone’s really happy with it so far. But it’s really a culture shift.”

Father helping daughter with homework

It was a decision that was best for her community, Brant said, adding that she often gets phone calls from other principals inquiring how it’s working out.

The VanDamme Academy, a private K-8 school in Aliso Viejo, California, has a similar policy , calling homework “largely pointless.”

The Buffalo Academy of Scholars, a private school in Buffalo, New York, touts that it has called “a truce in the homework battle” and promises that families can “enjoy stress-free, homework-free evenings and more quality time together at home.”

Some schools have taken yet another approach. At Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Illinois, teachers do assign homework but it doesn’t count towards a student’s final grade.

Many schools in the U.S. have toyed with the idea of opting out of homework, but end up changing nothing because it is such a contentious issue among parents, Kralovec noted.

“There’s a huge philosophical divide between parents who want their kids to be very scheduled, very driven, and very ambitiously focused at school -- those parents want their kids to do homework,” she said.

“And then there are the parents who want a more child-centered life with their kids, who want their kids to be able to explore different aspects of themselves, who think their kids should have free time.”

So what’s the right amount of time to spend on homework?

National PTA spokeswoman Heidi May pointed to the organization’s “ 10 minute rule ,” which recommends kids spend about 10 minutes on homework per night for every year they’re in school. That would mean 10 minutes for a first-grader and an hour for a child in the sixth grade.

But many parents say their kids must spend much longer on their assignments. Last year, a New York dad tried to do his eight-grader’s homework for a week and it took him at least three hours on most nights.

More than 80 percent of respondents in a TODAY.com poll complained kids have too much homework. For homework critics like Kralovec, who said research shows homework has little value at the elementary and middle school level, the issue is simple.

“Kids are at school 7 or 8 hours a day, that’s a full working day and why should they have to take work home?” she asked.

Follow A. Pawlowski on Google+ and Twitter .

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, complete list of 100+ free online high schools.

Coursework/GPA

online schools without homework

Online high schools can be a way for students to take high school classes and graduate at their own pace, without having to adhere to strict schedules and the distractions of a traditional school. So if you feel that an in-person school isn't right for you for whatever reason, an online school might be the perfect fit. 

In this article, we'll give you a list of all the (tuition free!) online high schools available in each U.S. state . We'll also explain how online high schools work and why an online high school could be right for you. 

So let's get started! 

What Is an Online High School?

An online high school is any school that teaches and takes place virtually, rather than in-person. Some online high schools are hybrid programs where students must spend a portion of their time in a physical location, but a fully online high school program takes place completely virtually.

Students in completely online programs do not go to a physical building to learn each day, but instead are allowed to learn in any place with an internet connection, taking courses online and typically interacting with their teachers via virtual classrooms, through email, and/or over the phone.

A typical school day for students enrolled in online high schools is much like a typical day for other public school students, with about five to six hours spent learning and engaging in classwork, and additional time spent on homework. So, although students can generally set their own schedules with an online school, the amount of time required for coursework and studies remains the same whether the school takes place online or in person.

In addition to the standard coursework, many online high school programs offer school activities, trips, contests, and virtual clubs to help students interact and get to know one another. So online students can often reap many of the same benefits they could get from an in-person school, with all the additional perks of attending school online. 

Different Types of Online High Schools

J ust like physical schools, online high schools can be divided into two broad categories of public and private schools. And just like physical schools, the differences between the two types can be broken down like so: 

Online public high  schools  (which can also be charter schools) use state-licensed and certified teachers, charge NO tuition , follow state education standards, and award you with a legal high school diploma upon completion of the required credits and courses. These schools are government funded, just like physical public schools. 

Online private high schools follow their own education requirements and standards (rather than state standards), charge tuition, and will ultimately award you with a high school diploma once you have completed the program. These schools are privately funded, just like with physical private schools. 

Whether private or public, many online schools require their students to be a resident of the state or a particular school district, while other schools accept students who live in any state or school district (or students who have no fixed address). Other online schools accept out-of-state students, but charge them tuition that in-state students do not have to pay. U ltimately, it's up to the applicant to double-check whether the school of their choice has any restrictions based on a student's address. 

Not every state has an online public school, so students who live in one of these states (or students who have no fixed address) and want to attend high school online must either enroll in an online school that accepts out of state students or in a private online high school. 

However, many states now offer the option to take at least some free virtual classes through your local school district. So if you don’t see a school you like on this list, but like the idea of taking classes online, check your school district website for possible alternatives!

online schools without homework

If money is your main concern, then public school is definitely the way to go.

List of All Free Online High Schools in the US

Because we're focusing on only the free online high schools in this article, we're only listing online public high schools in the U.S. 

After the list of the online public schools in the States, we'll give a breakdown of the benefits of attending an online high school and whether or not it could be the right fit for you. 

To navigate more quickly to your state of choice, click on one of the states below:

Alabama , Alaska , Arizona , Arkansas , California , Colorado , Florida , Georgia , Hawaii , Idaho,   Illinois ,  Indiana ,  Iowa , Kansas ,  Louisiana , Maine , Massachusetts , Michigan , Minnesota ,  Mississippi , Missouri , Nevada , New Hampshire , New Jersey , New Mexico , North Carolina ,  Ohio , Oklahoma , Oregon , Pennsylvania , Rhode Island , South Carolina , South Dakota , Tennessee , Texas , Utah , Virginia , Washington , West Virginia , Wisconsin , Wyoming

[Note: if your state is not listed, it does not currently have a free online high school. The following states however have programs in development through Connections Academy: Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington D.C.]

Click here to skip the list and go straight to reading about reasons to attend an online high school.

Alabama Connections Academy

Alabama Destinations Career Academy

Alabama Virtual Academy

Conecuh County Virtual School/Genesis Innovative School

Alaska Digital Academy

Fairbanks Correspondence

KPBSD Connections

Frontier Charter School

iGrad Alaska

Arizona Connections Academy

Arizona Virtual Academy

ASU Prep Digital (Arizona State)

Catalina Online Learning Experience

Hope High School Online

Humanities and Sciences/International Commerce High School

Insight Academy of Arizona

Pathways in Education

Pinnacle Online High School

Primavera Online High School

Sequoia Choice Distance L earning

Southern Arizona Community Academy

Arkansas Connections Academy

Arkansas Virtual Academy

Compass Charter Schools ( Available for students living in: Contra Costa, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Solano, Sonoma, Tulare and Ventura counties)

California Connections Academy , a consortium of four different schools:

Capistrano  (available for students living in:  Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties)

Central  (available for students living in:  Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties)

North Bay  (available for students living in:  Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Yolo counties)

Ripon  (available for students living in:  Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus counties)

California Virtual Academies

Clovis Online School (Available for students living in: Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, and Tulare counties)  

Delta Charter Online

Gateway Virtual Academy   (Available for students living in: Merced, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Stanislaus, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Tuolumne counties)

Insight Schools of California

iQ Academy of California, Los Angeles   (Available for students living in: Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties)

Keith McCarthy Academy   (Available for students living in the Lake Elsinore School District)

Method Schools   (Available for students living in: Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Kern counties)

Moreno Valley Online Academy   (Available for students living in the Moreno Valley Unified School District)

Riverside Virtual School

70 Online   (Available for students living in the Pueblo County School District 70)

Colorado Connections Academy 

Colorado Preparatory Academy

Colorado Virtual Academy

Destinations Career Academy of Colorado

Grand River Academy

Peak Virtual Academy   (Available for students living in the Montrose School District)

Pikes Peak Online School

PSD Global Academy

Springs Studio for Academic Excellence

World Academy (available for students living in Eagle County) 

Bay Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Bay County)

Calhoun Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Calhoun County)

Clay Virtual Academy   (Available for students living in Clay County)

Coastal Connections Academy

Collier Virtual School   (Available for students living in Collier County)

Florida Connections Academy

Florida Cyber Charter Academy   (Available for students living in Clay, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, and Osceola Counties)

Florida Virtual School

Franklin Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Franklin County)

Glades Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Glades County)

Indian River Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Indian River County)

Jackson County Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Jackson County)

Liberty County Virtual Instruction Program   (Available for students living in Liberty County)

Madison County Virtual School   (Available for students living in Madison County)

Miami-Dade Online Academy   (Available for students living in Miami-Dade County)

Mosaic Digital Academy   (Available for students living in Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties)

MyDistrict Virtual School   (Available for students living in: Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lafayette, Levy, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Putnam, and Union counties)

Nassau County Virtual School   (Available for students living in Nassau County)

Okaloosa County Virtual School   (Available for students living in Okaloosa County)

Osceola Virtual School   (Available for students living in Osceola County)

Polk County Virtual School   (Available for students living in Polk County)

Santa Rosa Online   (Available for students living in Santa Rosa County)

Sarasota Virtual School   (Available for students living in Sarasota County)

St. Johns County Virtual School   (Available for students living in St. Johns County)

Volusia Virtual School   (Available for students living in Volusia County)

Washington County Virtual School   (Available for students living in Washington County)

Destinations Career Academy of Georgia

Georgia Connections Academy  

Georgia Cyber Academy

Thomas County Virtual Program   (Available to students living in: Thomas, Brooks, Mitchell and Colquitt counties)

Wilcox County Schools Online Education Program   (Available to students living in Wilcox County)

Hawaii Technology Academy

Gem Prep Online (available to students living in southeast Idaho)

Icon: Idaho Connects Online School

Idaho Connections Academy

Idaho Distance Education Academy

Idaho Technical Career Academy

Idaho Virtual Academy

iSucceed Virtual High School

Cambridge Academy at Cambridge Lakes Charter School

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired  

Achieve Virtual High School

Hoosier Academies

Indiana Connections Academy

Indiana Connections Career Academy

Iowa Connections Academy

Iowa Virtual Academy

Basehor-Linwood Virtual School

Destinations Career Academy at ISKS

Haven Virtual Academy

Insight School of Kansas

Insight School of Kansas Adult

Kansas Connections Academy

Kansas Virtual Academy

Lawrence Virtual School

Turning Point Virtual Program

Lincoln Preparatory School

Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy

Magnolia School of Excellence

Mentorship Academy

Southern University Laboratory Virtual School

Vernon Parish School District

Maine Connections Academy 

Maine Virtual Academy

Massachusetts

Greater Commonwealth Virtual School

TEC Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School

Insight School of Michigan

Jenison International Academy   (Available to students who live in Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Ionia, Barry, and Allegan counties)

Lighthouse Connections Academy

Michigan Connections Academy

Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy

Michigan Virtual Charter Academy

Westwood Cyber High School

Bluesky Charter School

eMinnesota Online Academy

Falcon View Connections Academy

Insight School of Minnesota

iQ Academy Minnesota

LinK¹² Lakeville

Minnesota Connections Academy

Minnesota Virtual Academy

Minnesota Virtual High School

MN Online High School

VIBE Academy

Wolf Creek Online Charter School

Mississippi

Mississippi Virtual Public School

Missouri Connections Academy

Missouri Virtual Academy

Missouri Virtual Academy–Career Academy

Beacon Academy of Nevada

Nevada Connections Academy

Nevada Learning Academy

Nevada Virtual Academy

Northeastern Nevada Virtual Academy

North Star Online School

Odyssey Charter School

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Virtual Academy

Virtual Learning Academy Charter School

People’s Prep Charter School (Available to students residing within the city of Newark)

Destinations Career Academy of New Mexico

eCADEMY Magnet High School

New Mexico Connections Academy

New Mexico Virtual Academy

Pecos Cyber Academy

North Carolina

North Carolina Cyber Academy

North Carolina Virtual Academy

North Carolina Virtual School

Virtual Districts –Students from 52 school districts in North Carolina now have fully-virtual class options. A downloadable list is available at this link.

Cincinnati Digital Academy

Ohio Connections Academy

Ohio Digital Learning School

Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy

Ohio Virtual Academy

Great River Connections Academy

TRECA Digital Academy

Epic Charter Schools

E-School Virtual Charter Academy

Insight School of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Connections Academy

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy

Albany Online!

Bend-La Pine Schools Online   (Available to students in grades K–12 residing in the Bend-La Pine district and surrounding areas.)

Cascade Virtual Academy

Crater Lake Charter Academy   (Available to students residing in Jackson County School District and neighboring districts)

Frontier Charter Academy

Hermiston Online Program   (Students from Hermiston district preferred, but will accept out of district students)

Insight School of Oregon—Painted Hills

MEWA Online School

North Wasco Virtual Academy

Oregon Connections Academy

Oregon Charter Academy

Oregon Virtual Academy

Wilamette Connections Academy

Pennsylvania

21st Century Cyber Charter School

Achievement House Cyber Charter School

Agora Cyber Charter School

Bald Eagle Area Cyber Academy   (Available to students who reside within district)

Bangor Area School District Cyber School   (Available to students who reside in Bangor, East Bangor, Portland, and Roseto, Lower Mount Bethel, Upper Mount Bethel, and Washington.)

Berks Online Learning   (Available to students residing in Berks County.)

Boyertown Area School District

Brandywine Heights Area School District

Carlisle Area School District

Central PA Digital Learning Foundation

Conestoga Valley Virtual Academy   (Available to students residing in Conestoga Valley School District)

Ephrata Virtual Academy   (Available to students residing in the Ephrata Area School District)

Insight PA Charter Cyber School

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School

Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School

Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School

Reach Cyber Charter School

Southeast Delco School District

Steelton-Highspire School District   (Available to students in the Steelton-Highspire School District)

Tulpehocken Virtual Academy   (Available to students in Tulpehocken Area School District.)

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Connections Academy 

Rhode Island Virtual Academy

South Carolina

Cyber Academy of South Carolina

Lowcountry Connections Academy

Odyssey Online Learning

SC Whitmore School

South Carolina Connections Academy

South Carolina Preparatory Academy

South Carolina Virtual Charter School

South Dakota

Black Hills Online Learning Community

Chester Area Cyber School

Northwestern Cyber High School

Oglala Lakota County Virtual High School

South Dakota Virtual Academy

South Dakota Virtual School

Wessington Springs High School Cyber School

Pathways in Education–Tennessee

Tennessee Connections Academy 

Tennessee Online Public School

Tennessee Virtual Academy

eSchool Prep

iSchool Virtual Academy

iUniversity Prep Magnet School

Premier High School Online

Texas Connections Academy @ Houston

Texas Online Preparatory School

Texas Virtual Academy

Texas Virtual School Network

University of Texas High School

Lumen Scholar Institute

Mountain Heights Academy

Statewide Online Education Program

Utah Connections Academy

Utah Online School

Utah Virtual Academy

DoDEA Virtual High School

Virginia Connections Academy

Virginia Virtual Academy

Insight School of Washington

Internet Academy

Mid Columbia Partnership

North Franklin Virtual Academy   (Available to students residing within North Franklin District)

Washington Connections Academy

Washington Virtual Academies

West Virginia

West Virginia Virtual School

Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin

eAchieve Academy

iForward Online Charter School

Insight Wisconsin

Mighty River Virtual Academy

Online High Schools Wisconsin

Sparta Area School District

Wisconsin Connections Academy

Wisconsin Rapids Virtual School Program   (Available to students residing in Wisconsin Rapids School District)

Wisconsin Virtual Academy

Wisconsin Virtual Learning

Cowboy State Virtual Academy (This school is only free to some students, so check their website for eligibility requirements)

Washakie #1 Online   (Available for students living in Washakie #1 County school district)

Wyoming Connections Academy

Wyoming Virtual Academy

online schools without homework

Reasons to Attend an Online High School

Attending high school online isn't right for everyone, but for some, it can be the best way to earn a high school diploma. If you're thinking about enrolling in an online public school, you may want to think about whether these reasons apply to you and your circumstances. 

Schedule and Study Flexibility

Taking courses online, rather than in person, allows students to set their own study schedules. As long as you engage in the school program for the necessary number of hours per week and complete your assignments, most programs allow you to study when and where you want.

So if you're someone who has an outside interest that takes considerable time nonnegotiable commitments--dedicated athletes, artists, people working full time, or anyone else who has to commit hours outside of school every week--attending high school online can give you the necessary flexibility to balance school with your other activities. 

Set Your Own Learning Pace

Online high schools allow students to learn at their own pace, whether that pace is faster or slower than that of a typical physical public school. Because the courses in an online program are self-directed, this allows students to set their own learning speed,  rather than feeling frustrated that a class is going too fast or too slow based on the needs of a whole group of students.

So if you are an academic achiever who wants to get ahead of your grade/age level, or a re someone who is falling behind academically and need to slow down from your grade/age level, an online high school experience might be the right fit for you. 

Study From Home or on the Move

There are endless reasons why taking classes and studying from home may be preferable to taking classes at a physical school. For these people, taking classes online is the perfect way to stay in school without being beholden to attending school physically. 

Perhaps you have a family that frequently moves and so cannot stay in one place for long enough to attend a physical school. Perhaps you are someone who d oesn't have easy access to a physical school or feels that nearby schools are unsuitable for whatever reason. Or perhaps you are someone with a chronic medical condition or someone who needs to be otherwise home bound. 

In these life situations and many others, online high schools can provide the accommodation and adaptability that so many students need to complete their studies. 

Option for People Who Never Finished High School

On average, people who receive a high school diploma earn more than those who receive a GED. If you're someone who never attended or completed high school for any reason, you might think about earning an official diploma rather than testing out for your GED. 

An online high school program could be the right fit for you if you never completed high school, but still want the full high school experience and an accredited diploma to show for it.  

What's Next?

Want to learn more about online high school programs? Check out what it means for a high school to be accredited and how to avoid non-accredited online schools . 

Still undecided whether or not an online high school is right for you? Learn more about  the pros and cons of attending an online high school . 

Thinking about different kinds of alternative schools (other than online)? Check out our guide to alternative schools and how they might be the right fit for you . 

Courtney scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT in high school and went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is passionate about bringing education and the tools to succeed to students from all backgrounds and walks of life, as she believes open education is one of the great societal equalizers. She has years of tutoring experience and writes creative works in her free time.

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Should More Schools Adopt a “No Homework on Weekends” Policy?

stressed kid doing homework

“No homework tonight!” From time to time, some teachers surprise their students with that announcement at the closing bell of class. In some schools, though, that’s becoming the norm rather than the exception—at least on specially designated weekends.

A Seasonal Gift for Some

Fall is the season to give thanks and be merry. It’s also the countdown to college admissions due dates. And it’s a great time to land a seasonal job and make some extra money at the end of the year. In states such as Maryland , several schools have designated homework-free weekend periods this fall. It allows over-stressed kids to catch up with other responsibilities—or simply take a breather. The main reason for the break, though, is that college priority and early admissions deadlines for many top colleges in the region occur in the fall.

Schools in Princeton, New Jersey, began implementing one homework-free weekend each semester in 2015, in part to give students more time to pursue interests and passions outside of school. Other New Jersey schools limit the number of minutes students should spend on homework each night. In Hinsdale, Illinois , one high school began offering seniors one homework-free weekend in October “to give harried seniors a little break to prepare for their futures . . . and make sure they have enough time to work on their college applications.” Similarly, schools across the country offer a no-homework weekend at year’s end.

Not Without Downsides

Unfortunately, homework-free weekends sometimes create an unwelcome side effect: extra-homework weekdays. Teachers are still tasked with finishing their lesson plans, and homework is often an important part of that. For students who are working on projects with pending due dates, not working on those projects for an entire weekend may not be feasible. And there’s always the risk that students who are afforded extra time to catch up on college admissions and pursue positive endeavors may simply waste the free time bestowed upon them.

Is homework helpful or harmful?

Some teachers and school districts have taken a blanket approach and banned homework entirely. The value of homework as a whole has been a topic of much debate. In one study , researchers at University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education concluded that math and science homework didn’t lead students to achieve better grades , but it did lead to better standardized test results.

A Stanford researcher concluded that excess homework increases kids’ stress and sleep deprivation. She emphasized that homework shouldn’t be assigned simply as a routine practice; it should have a concrete purpose and benefit. Homework, especially thoughtful homework, is valuable, and eliminating it entirely may be counterproductive to the goal of attending school in the first place: mastering the subject matter.

What do you think?

It’s a safe assumption that most students would strongly favor a homework-free-weekends policy. We’re curious how parents feel about the idea. How would you feel if your child’s school implemented a “no homework on the weekends” policy? Would you worry that your children might fall behind peers in other schools without a similar policy? Or do you think it would encourage your children to engage in more valuable extracurricular activities, get jobs, spend more time completing their college admissions packets, or simply catch up on much-needed sleep? We’d love to know what you think.

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Best Online Homeschool Programs

The 7 best online homeschool programs for you and your child

Homeschooling curriculums have advantages. For one, using a curriculum can help you ensure your child meets national standards for their age group. And with an abundance of homeschooling resources available, some curriculums can also provide opportunities for you and your child to explore new learning styles.

If you’ve never taught your child at home before, it might seem like a daunting task. But not to worry: There are plenty of high-quality, interactive homeschool programs that you can easily use on your tablet, smartphone, or laptop. 

Whether you’re looking for SAT prep for your high school student, ways to keep your toddlers engaged and educated, or hoping your elementary-aged kids won’t fall behind in their studies, we’ve come up with a list of the best online homeschool programs on the market. These picks are interactive, user-friendly, and cost-effective.

7 Best Online Homeschool Programs of 2023

  • Best Budget: ABCmouse.com
  • Most Customizable: K12.com
  • Best for Structure: Time4Learning
  • Best for Community: Connections Academy
  • Best Free: Khan Academy
  • Best for College Prep: edX
  • Best for Math and Science: CK-12 Foundation
  • Our Top Picks
  • ABCmouse.com
  • Time4Learning
  • Connections Academy
  • Khan Academy
  • CK-12 Foundation
  • See More (4)

Final Verdict

  • Compare Programs

Methodology

Best budget : abcmouse.com.

 ABCmouse.com

  • Price : $12.99 per month
  • Grades : Preschool-2
  • Subjects : Reading, math, science, social studies, art, music

Kids aged 2 to 8 will have no trouble staying motivated to use ABCmouse.com; engaging activities and an interactive learning map will encourage them to keep going.

Levels based on age and grade level

Rewards system lets kids collect “tickets” for virtual prizes

Art & Colors curriculum for the youngest users

Desktop or tablet use

Works better as a curriculum companion

Kids have to be able to navigate a computer or smartphone

May not be challenging enough for some kids

At around $13 per month, a subscription to ABCmouse.com is the most budget-friendly educational purchase you can make for your early learner. ABCmouse.com’s Step-By-Step Learning Path is accessible on tablet, smartphone, or computer for kids ages 2 to 8. 

Spanning 850 lessons across 10 levels, this award-winning curriculum includes a comprehensive reading system (from letter recognition and phonics to reading full-length books), as well as math, science, social studies, and even art (including both drawing and painting).

Music, read-aloud stories, puzzles, and educational games round out the ABCmouse.com library, making it a solid choice as a supplement to an existing homeschool curriculum and for a comprehensive educational system. 

ABCmouse.com is also gamified, meaning your little ones can play it like a video game, complete with a ticket system that rewards them for completing levels successfully.

As they sharpen a particular skill set, they’ll receive tickets they can use to buy virtual treats, like fish for the online classroom aquarium. Built-in incentives allow your kids to move at their own pace and make the learning experience more enjoyable and engaging. 

Most Customizable : K12.com

  • Price : Varies; has tuition-free public school, fee-based private school, and other courses on an individual cost basis
  • Grades : K-12
  • Subjects : Standard

K12.com is a highly customizable homeschool option, allowing you to fully enroll your child in an online school curriculum or cherry-pick only the subjects you want.

Full public school curriculums offered

Access to individual teachers and tutors

Available for kids in grades K-12 and includes all subjects

You may live in a different state than the school you enroll in

Some programs require long hours online for completion

Some users complain about customer support and website issues

Notable for its comprehensive and ultra-customizable approach, K12.com is a one-stop shop for online learners and their families.

K12’s online homeschool options include tuition-free, virtual public schools for students in grades K-12 taught by state-certified teachers. There are options for three different tuition-based private schools, and a variety of summer school, intensive, and standalone course offerings for kids with special interests or subjects they’d like to brush up on. 

If you’re not looking for a full-time homeschool program, you can draw from K12 Digital Literacy Solutions—a free library of literacy tools and over 24,000 e-books—to boost your child’s reading ability, or sign your teenagers up for one of K12’s several free camps centered around high-interest areas like coding, marketing, or information technology.

Free, game-based learning is available for kids in grades K-8 through K12’s program STRIDE. And, if there are subject areas in which you don’t feel comfortable homeschooling your child, K12's state-certified teachers offer live, online tutoring sessions in math, world languages, English, science, or social studies.

Best for Structure : Time4Learning

 Time4Learning

  • Price : $24.95 per month for PreK-8 (for one child; $14.95 per month for additional children); $34.95 per month for high school
  • Grades : PreK-12
  • Subjects : Language arts, math, science, social studies

For parents who want to 100% homeschool online, Time4Learning is a full-fledged curriculum that takes all the planning and guesswork out of setting up your child’s grade level work.

Full online-only homeschool curriculum

Adjustable grade levels and self-pacing

Wide variety of approaches, including online and offline activities

You lose access to your records if you close your account

You need constant internet access

Your child may need supplemental lessons on certain topics

Time4Learning is a comprehensive, subscription-based online homeschool curriculum. It’s reasonably priced, at around $24.95 per month (and about $14.95 per month for each additional child) for preK-8 students and approximately $34.95 per month for high school students. This is one of the best programs if you want to keep your kids in a more traditional educational setting, even when they’re learning remotely.

Your child’s curriculum will include hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of animated lessons, activities, quizzes, worksheets, and full-length tests, all suited to each student’s grade level and your particular state’s learning standards. In contrast to some of the other curriculum resources on this list, Time4Learning offers a combination of online and offline, printable worksheets and other hands-on activities. 

Additional resources that make Time4Learning stand out are the many lesson-planning tools and learning style guides that can help you track your kids’ progress.

Best for Community : Connections Academy

 Connections Academy

  • Price : Free

This tuition-free homeschool curriculum gets high reviews from parents, plus it emphasizes socialization through a variety of online clubs and peer activities.

Tuition-free, online public school

Offers one-on-one counseling and clubs

Curriculum designed for online learning

Only available in 31 states

Usually requires attendance in live classes

If you’d rather enroll your child in a full-fledged online school than teach them yourself, Connections Academy is a great option for elementary, middle school, and high school students. 

At this tuition-free, online public school, your children will be taught according to your state’s educational standards by certified teachers. Even textbooks and other instructional materials are provided free of charge. 

True to its name, Connections Academy might be one of the best online homeschool programs for your family if you’re interested in building a connected community with fellow parents, students, and educators.

The online school encourages you to be directly involved with your kids’ education as a "Learning Coach." Online live sessions with teachers and classmates, in addition to extracurriculars like online clubs and activities, allow kids to foster meaningful connections with peers. 

What’s more, your kids don’t have to miss out on many of the perks of a brick-and-mortar school, like career counseling, one-on-one sessions with a guidance counselor, standardized test prep, and college prep advising . These resources are all offered at Connections Academy. 

Best Free : Khan Academy

 Khan Academy

  • Subjects : Standard, advanced placement (AP) classes, test prep, computing, economics, and life skills

Khan Academy stands out for its free video lessons, quizzes, and tests that cover a massive variety of subjects, from kindergarten through 12th grade (and beyond).

Standard or advanced placement (AP) courses available

Unique classes like storytelling, growth mindset, and coding

Parents can learn alongside kids at their own level

No community or one-on-one attention

Some students can’t learn via video instruction

Interactive instruction unavailable for all ages

Khan Academy, an award-winning nonprofit that offers free educational resources for students, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers, first garnered international attention for its high-quality, completely free SAT prep materials—an attractive alternative to its much pricier peers. But Khan Academy has since expanded to include curriculum pieces for children and teens of all ages. 

Simply select your child’s grade level and subject—the advanced placement (AP) or standardized test they’re preparing for, or the specific skills they need to boost—and send them off to gain “mastery points” as they progress. Easy-to-follow video lessons accompany practice quizzes and unit tests that help you track your kids’ progress. 

This resource is notable not only because it’s free, but also because of the sheer variety of the content available. Khan Academy’s materials include many niche topics for adult learners and high school students that aren’t offered by many other online learning programs.

The virtual academy’s unique subjects—like computer programming and animation, personal finance and entrepreneurship, art history, college admissions, and English as a second language—solidifies it as one of the best online homeschool programs. 

Best for College Prep : edX

  • Price : Most courses are free; completion certificates vary in price
  • Grades : 9-12 and above
  • Subjects : Standard, plus specialized college-level courses

There is a broad range of subjects to dive deep into at edX, a site offering college-level courses for teens hosted by top universities like Harvard and MIT.

Courses offered by prestigious worldwide universities

Many courses are free or low-cost

Some credits may transfer to college

Only for teens and adults

Not the right choice for students wanting to explore many subjects at once

If you’re going to get an at-home education, you might as well get it from Harvard, right?

If you're looking to help with your teen’s college prep, consider enrolling them in one of the many classes at edX , a platform that partners with high-ranking institutions such as NYU, Harvard, and MIT (as well as international universities, including Oxford and Australian National University) to offer over 3,600 college-level courses. Some are self-paced and available for college transfer credit, while others are taught by qualified instructors—most of whom have doctorates in their fields. 

You and your teen can choose from a variety of standalone courses across the arts and humanities, STEM fields, music, computer science, education, and more. Most courses, even credit-eligible ones, are free, with completion certificates that have a wide price range from $50 to $300. 

Particularly proactive high school students looking to get a head start on their college career while at home can enroll in an edX MicroBachelors program in popular majors like computer science, for just $166 per credit. Or, they can start earning college credits by attending the Global Freshman Academy . It offers common, foundational first-year courses like pre-calculus, or college algebra and problem-solving through edX’s partnership with Arizona State University. 

Best for Math and Science : CK-12 Foundation

 CK-12 Foundation

  • Subjects : Standard, with a focus on STEM

Although other subjects are offered, CK-12 focuses its curriculum on STEM courses, using games and interactive activities to boost learning.

Interactive online textbooks make learning engaging

Comprehensive, deep-dive lessons

You may need to supplement with other material 

Some students could struggle with navigating the site alone

May be too advanced in presentation for some students

If you’d like your child to beef up their math and science skills, look no further than the wealth of interactive learning tools at the CK-12 Foundation . This free resource offers one of the best online homeschool programs for STEM subjects. It’s also one of the most advanced resources available in terms of its seamless use of technology and cutting-edge approaches to learning.

While writing, spelling, and social studies are available, math and science topics (from arithmetic and earth science to calculus and engineering) are where CK-12’s creative curriculum really shines. 

Simulations and the Play, Learn, Interact, Explore (PLIX) series integrate graphics and games into lessons about STEM concepts. Meanwhile, CK-12’s FlexBooks—interactive online textbooks that allow students to learn as they play and play as they learn—distill complex concepts into digestible pieces.

Check out your kids’ central dashboard to follow along with their adaptive practice progress, which tracks the skills they need to boost and those they’ve already mastered in order to tailor their upcoming lessons.

For the most homeschooling options, K12.com is a hub of resources and opportunities where you can pick and choose how much—or how little—you learn online. If all those choices are overwhelming for you, a more focused program like Time4Learning may be a better fit. Parents concerned with socialization will like the community approach of Connections Academy , and teens looking to prep for college can take advanced classes through edX . 

Compare the Best Online Homeschooling Programs

Frequently asked questions, what is homeschooling.

Homeschooling is an educational option in which parents educate their children at home rather than sending them to a traditional school. Most homeschooling families cover subjects that are taught in traditional schools, but they may also include independent study programs, college or co-op classes, volunteering opportunities, and more.

What Are Some Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

Pros of homeschooling include getting to decide how and what your kids learn, ample one-on-one attention for the student, and flexible scheduling. Cons include the high level of parental commitment and the potential loss of income that may result from it. Some parents also deal with stress and lack of confidence about being responsible for their child’s education.

How Much Does Online Homeschooling Cost?

The cost of homeschooling varies depending on the curriculum, interactivity, and level of support. Some online homeschooling programs are completely free. Others require a paid monthly or yearly subscription or tuition, or charge a flat rate per class. Prices can range anywhere from $10 a month for a subscription to $7,000 for yearly tuition at a private online academy.

How Do Homeschoolers Socialize?

Homeschool support groups, co-ops, field-trip groups, public library programs, and park playdates all offer opportunities for kids to socialize and make friends. The local public school may also be another option for activities, as some states require public schools to allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurriculars at the school they would have attended. 

Is Homeschool Best for ADHD?

Homeschooling is a personal decision for every family, and children with ADHD can potentially benefit from the flexible homeschool program and untraditional learning environment. With homeschooling, parents are able to set a curriculum that best matches the interests and learning style of the student, and kids can learn at a more flexible pace and in a creative format.

Choosing a homeschool program that’s right for your family is a process as unique as your family itself, but we think all online homeschooling programs should have some things in common. We searched for programs that were highly customizable, allowing you to choose your coursework and grade level, as well as programs that were no- or low-cost. Lastly, we made sure all the programs listed here feature the full range of subjects your child would have access to in a traditional school setting.

Verywell / Illustration by Madelyn Goodnight

By Sarah Bradley Sarah Bradley has been writing parenting content since 2017, after her third son was born. Since then, she has expanded her expertise to write about pregnancy and postpartum, childhood ages and stages, and general health conditions, including commerce articles for health products. Because she has been homeschooling her sons for seven years, she is also frequently asked to share homeschooling tips, tricks, and advice for parenting sites.

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How to reach students without internet access at home? Schools get creative

Amadou Diallo is a journalist, playwright and photographer whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wirecutter, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America and The Christian Science Monitor. He has been a regular contributor to The Hechinger Report since 2017. A former musician and composer, he is a graduate of New York University and is always happy to weigh in on just which of Miles Davis’ classic quintets was the best.

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On the Friday before spring break at Meigs Middle School, special education teacher Matt Coe was busy preparing new lessons for his students now that schools were set to close due to the coronavirus crisis. But while many districts around the country have moved to remote learning platforms like Google Classroom, Coe was using the school’s copy machine to put together printed packets for his students to take home. In this rural Tennessee county of just 12,000 residents, online learning simply isn’t an option for most families.

NBC News

“A lot of our kids don’t have internet access,” said Coe, who knows students who routinely head to the library or the town’s McDonald’s to get online.

The Federal Communications Commission estimates that about 21 million Americans lack broadband access, with an independent research group indicating the actual number is twice as high. As the coronavirus crisis forces schools across the country to grapple with the challenges of providing remote learning, many schools and districts have had to get creative with low-tech forms of instruction and delivery that don’t require internet connections or digital devices.

Related: Helping kids who are feeling isolated and anxious after schools shut down

In Arkansas, where 23 percent of households lack internet service, and schools will be shut for the remainder of the school year, the local PBS affiliate is now providing daily television programming tied to the state’s distance learning curriculum. They got the idea from a similar arrangement that the Los Angeles Unified School District made with its own local PBS stations back in mid-March.

“We saw what California was doing,” said Arkansas PBS executive director Courtney Pledger. “We wanted to localize it even more by bringing in actual teachers to address the kids.”

students without internet at home

The result is five hours of weekday programming for pre-K to eighth grade students, available to any household with a TV, hosted by a roster of Arkansas educators, all former state teachers of the year. Recording remotely from their homes or empty classrooms, the teachers introduce each episode of PBS content by welcoming students to “class,” sharing how excited they are to meet everyone and talking briefly about the upcoming show; a recent lineup included “Peg + Cat,” a math program aimed at elementary-age kids, “Odd Squad,” which focuses on problem-solving and teamwork, and a “Nature” episode on the biomechanics of hummingbirds. At the end of each episode, the teachers came back to talk about some of the lessons and topics explored. Pledger added that the state’s education department approved all of the broadcast content and that the benefit goes beyond academics.

“Community engagement is a big element that kids are missing during this time, so to have an actual face of a teacher on the TV seemed like a good idea,” she said.

In addition to showcasing real Arkansas teachers, the programming incorporates some interactive elements to keep kids engaged. One popular feature is a weekly vocabulary bingo game, with students on the lookout for specific words highlighted during the broadcasts. Students who collect all of their words for the week receive shoutouts or other tokens of recognition from their individual schools.

“I’ve gotten texts and emails from families saying, ‘Hey, we’re watching this morning. Thanks for doing this,’” said math teacher Joel Lookadoo, one of the hosts. “That’s really cool to know that you’re having a positive impact. It’s a great way to start the day.”

“We are heartbroken that we can’t be with our students right now,” added Courtney Cochran, another host, and an Arkansas teacher for 11 years. Being on TV for them “just brings back that little bit of that connection since we can’t be there physically.”

Cochran, now a high school principal, is able to film her segments for grades three to five in her school’s now-empty art room. “We are a small rural school with only 270 students. And they are bursting at the seams with pride over seeing their classroom on TV, even though this [pre-K to eighth grade] programming isn’t even for them.”

The state contracts with a separate vendor for its high school distance learning program, which does not provide a TV option.

online schools without homework

Over-the-air educational programming is also being made available through Boston’s PBS affiliate, WGBH, which has devoted weekday afternoon broadcast hours on its WORLD television channel to science and social studies-themed shows aimed at middle school and high school students. As with the Arkansas effort, the schedule draws from existing PBS programming, and includes long-running series like “Nature” and “American Experience.” The channel is available to more than 170 PBS affiliates nationwide.

“For students who don’t have online access, we’re happy to be able to provide this,” said Seeta Pai, executive director of education at WGBH. In Massachusetts, she said, more than half of the households watching the WORLD channel during the first week of educational programming were those with incomes of less than $25,000 a year, a group far less likely to have reliable internet access.

“For the most part, we’re just trying to survive.” Matt Coe, special education teacher, Tennessee

In an effort to minimize screen time now that students are home all day, Rhode Island state education officials are promoting reading for leisure, with an at-home challenge for students to spend 20-60 minutes every day reading a book. Several public libraries in the state are providing curbside delivery of books to support the initiative, with many schools and districts offering a free book pick-up service with the help of local literacy advocacy groups.

Related: Evidence increases for reading on paper instead of screens

In South Dakota, the Aberdeen School District has put physical drop boxes at school entrances so that students who are receiving their classwork via printed packets can hand in their homework. Texas’ Palestine Independent School District has partnered with the local paper to use unlocked newspaper vending machines as pickup stations for its instructional packets.

Recognizing how important it is for students to maintain a sense of structure amid the upheaval of school closings, the Council Bluffs Community School District in Iowa has distributed a suggested daily schedule to its roughly 9,000 students, with time blocked out for physical exercise and quiet time, as well as household chores.

online schools without homework

Another low-tech resource schools are tapping? School buses. Drivers in many districts continue to travel their regular routes, delivering meals and homework at their stops.

This is especially true in rural areas where many families are unable to make the trip to designated pickup sites. Students rely on the food and paper packets delivered to their driveways in the small Mary M. Knight School District in Washington state, said the district’s sole principal, Michael Marstrom.

“There are kids that live miles down a dirt road, and that just gets them to a paved road. There’s no sidewalks here,” he said. “There’s just not as much infrastructure. We don’t have internet. We can’t do any of that online stuff.”

Related: Should schools teach anyone who can get online — or no one at all?

For rural communities that are committed to providing all of their students with options for digital learning, the transition is often a multistep process. At Lincoln Middle School in West Virginia, where principal Lori Scott estimates that students without internet access at home make up about a quarter of the school’s 458 kids, the district made its first set of instructional packets available at schools designated as meal distribution locations and also mailed some to students’ homes. Buoyed by a large turnout at these locations, the district now plans to deliver future packets electronically by expanding those schools’ Wi-Fi signals to cover their parking lots, allowing families to drive up and download the materials without having to leave their cars. To accommodate students without digital devices, the district has been making iPads available. For those not able to make the trip, school buses have been converted into mobile hot spots, and will be stationed in communities throughout the district, offering free broadband for those without internet service.

While these efforts are important and meaningful, everyone acknowledges that the learning challenges facing students extend beyond simply receiving educational materials, whether they come on paper, over the airwaves or in gigabytes.

“There’s a lot more distractions when kids are at home than when they’re sitting in a classroom,” said John Windhausen, executive director of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition, an advocacy group for wider internet access. “Many of them may not have a quiet area at home where they can concentrate.”

“We are heartbroken that we can’t be with our students right now.” Courtney Cochran, high school principal, Arkansas

A large part of students’ social and emotional learning occurs through the many personal interactions that occur in the school building, including with their teachers, who can be some of the most reliable adults in many students’ lives. Teachers also keep track of where students are academically and anticipate what they will need next to continue to succeed, a skill even the most attentive parents may not have.

For children with special needs, the problem is even more acute. Parents across the country are grappling with how to duplicate, on their own, the specialized care their children were receiving in school from trained specialists and therapists. Many parents lack the time and expertise to continue this work. It’s something Coe, the special education teacher from rural Tennessee, was conscious of when assembling work materials for his students.

“It was kind of a challenge to put those packets together with work that I felt my students could do, because we weren’t going to be there to modify it for them,” Coe said. Because of the wide range of needs in his class, no two student packets were identical. In his math lessons, some students are just learning how to read a menu and find the prices. Others can easily calculate the taxes and a tip.

Coe knows that districts, schools and teachers are all doing their best, but worries about his students’ progress, both academically and emotionally. All he can do, he said, is try to provide whatever semblance of continuity he can.

“For the most part, we’re just trying to survive,” he said.

Reporting contributed by Neal Morton.

This story about students without internet access at home was produced by The Hechinger Report , a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter .

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online schools without homework

Attending an Online High School: What to Consider

Students needing a flexible schedule are often drawn to online high schools, experts say.

Attending an Online High School

An aerial view of a teenage girl attending a zoom class using her laptop and studying from her bedroom at home.

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An online high school student's social life may look at little different, but certainly not non-existent.

Recent technological advancements and a growing desire for flexibility have increased the popularity of online learning, experts say. While colleges have offered online degree pathways for decades, there are also various options for students to earn their high school diploma online.

Many local public school districts offer an online version of their curriculum, and students can also choose from private and independently run public options. Some offer students the ability to attend full time or part time.

“It’s really nice that there are more options, especially for students with health issues," says Nellie Brennan Hall, a senior private counselor at education consulting firm Top Tier Admissions. "I would say a lot of students go into it thinking, ‘This is going to be great. I’m going to be at home and I can sit in my pajamas and do online school.' But there are a lot of things to be aware of before you select that route."

Consider these

Experts say students should ensure any program is accredited and awards a legitimate diploma. Beyond that, students should take time to research and find the program that best fits them and consider the trade-offs of attending high school remotely versus in person, experts say.

"This online environment is not for everybody, but it is for some," says Richard Savage, superintendent of California Online Public Schools, a network of six tuition-free online charter high schools. "And for some, they thrive in this environment."

Here are some questions students should ask when deciding whether to attend an online high school.

Does Online High School Match My Learning Style?

Students who tend to do best in an online learning environment are independent learners and self-starters, experts say. Online instruction offers more autonomy than traditional school settings, but with that comes more responsibility for students to maintain their own schedule, keep track of deadlines and practice self-advocacy.

Some students may struggle without a live, in-person instructor in front of them, Brennan Hall says. “It takes a little bit more self-awareness and ability to sit down and do things on your own."

Students who are prone to procrastination, struggle with organization or have a learning difference may not fare as well in an online setting, experts say.

“The kids that we find that are successful in our program do really well in college because they know what needs to be done, they understand deadlines and they meet those deadlines," Savage says.

One misconception about online programs, Savage says, is that the relationship between teacher and student is diminished in an online setting. In many cases it's the opposite, he says, because online teachers aren't bound to a bell schedule like those in traditional settings, allowing them to have more flexibility to meet one on one with students who need extra help.

Does My Lifestyle Require a Flexible School Schedule?

Many students choose the online high school path because it allows them to create a schedule that fits with the demands of sports or other activities that they've chosen to pursue and potentially make a career out of, Brennan Hall says. For these students, being in school during traditional school hours isn't feasible.

For example, when she was associate director of admissions at Brown University in Rhode Island, Brennan Hall says she often screened applications from tennis recruits who earned their high school diploma online. An online pathway allowed them to spend the majority of their days training at an elite level while completing school work on their own time.

Similarly, Savage says some of the students at CALOPS schools are television actors, so completing their school work online allows them to attend casting calls, rehearsals or recordings without having to miss instructional time or feel stressed about completing schoolwork.

“If you want to do all your math for the whole semester in the month of January and you want to focus on English in December, that can be done," he says. "We don’t encourage it. We’d really prefer that you do the work along the path that your teacher is going to be helping you."

What Are Social Trade-offs of High School Online?

One of the biggest differences in attending high school online versus in person is the social interaction aspect, experts say. Online courses are often completed independently rather than in a class of peers, and attending school online often precludes students from experiencing traditional high school activities like lunch room conversations, pep assemblies, field trips and school-based extracurricular activities.

Students who have been bullied or harassed may find the online setting preferable from a social standpoint. But others may find it isolating and feel like they're missing out on experiences with classmates and friends.

Students training for a sport are likely socializing with other students they train with, Brennan Hall says, and religious groups, community organizations or jobs also provide avenues for students to interact with friends and peers.

Online students may also be able to play sports for their resident high school, and policies often vary by state, district and individual school.

If the social aspect is an important factor, students should research opportunities a prospective online school provides. For example, CALOPS provides a prom for their students, with one for Northern California-based students and another in Southern California. It also organizes field trips, a winter formal dance, college visits and two in-person graduations, Savage says.

Attending high school online doesn't have to spell the end of a student's social life – it just might look a little different and take a little more effort, Brennan Hall says.

“They have to be careful to schedule things in, almost like a homeschooler , making sure they’re finding other outlets where they can connect with peers their age," she says.

How Much Does an Online High School Cost?

Online high school programs vary in cost. CALOPS is public and tuition-free, and some other local district online offerings are also free of charge.

But private online high schools may have price tags anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 per year, says Sasha Chada, founder and CEO of admissions consulting firm Ivy Scholars. He often recommends students research whether their local district is compatible with Florida Virtual School, which would provide another free option.

"If that’s not an option, it’s worth it to explore local district options," he says. "Really try to talk to parents and students who participate, and even then you’re getting very myopic views of it."

In addition to tuition costs, students need to consider the cost of technology used and any software necessary to complete schoolwork. Students may be able to find scholarships to help reduce costs.

"The other thing you might want to consider is you might need to hire outside tutors, like an in-person tutor, so that would add to expenses as well," Brennan Hall says.

What Is the Curriculum and Instruction Like?

A high school education is intended to prepare students for their next steps, whether that's college, a career or military service. Those considering an online high school should ensure the curriculum is rigorous and will help them achieve their long-term goals.

One potential benefit of online high schools is a wide variety of career pathway elective courses, Savage says. At CALOPS, students can choose from several computer programming electives, such as video game design and HTML, as well as introductory courses on law enforcement, tourism and emergency medical services.

"We have a wide variety because we’re not tied to a bell schedule where that one course, we’re having to pay a teacher to teach that one course and it’s taking up space on a traditional setting," Savage says. "A lot of times, those electives kind of run themselves and the teacher needs to make sure the students are making progress and help them out with any specific concepts, but for the most part it just doesn’t cost us as much money."

Many online high schools use tools like Zoom or Google Meet to hold some class sessions and small group breakouts, and use virtual discussion board assignments to foster classroom discussions. Chada says he's seen good and bad programs, and the good ones tend to simulate the in-person classroom experience as much as possible.

"I think it’s pretty important to maintain that class coherency for having students discuss in a peer setting," he says. "The best programs I’ve seen take advantage of the online modality by having students use collaborative tools to work together."

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New York City schools went online instead of calling a snow day. It didn’t go well

New York City’s plan to have students go remote instead of a snow day didn’t go quite as planned. Many students, teachers and administrators were unable to log in to their accounts. City officials blamed on a technology contractor. (Feb. 13) (AP Video: Joseph B. Frederick)

A woman plays with a child that is sledding in New York's Central Park Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Technology glitches kept many New York City teachers and students from virtual classes Tuesday — the first attempt by the country's largest school system to switch to remote learning for a snow storm since the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A woman plays with a child that is sledding in New York’s Central Park Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Technology glitches kept many New York City teachers and students from virtual classes Tuesday — the first attempt by the country’s largest school system to switch to remote learning for a snow storm since the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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A person works to clear wet and heavy snow from a sidewalk during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NEW YORK (AP) — When New York City officials got wind of the major winter storm headed their way, they rewound the clock four years, reopened their coronavirus pandemic playbook, and announced that instead of canceling school, teachers and students would once again meet online. No snow day.

Mayor Eric Adams said it was important to give children enrolled in the nation’s largest school system stability considering the massive upheaval to education the pandemic had caused throughout the country. Some school districts in other states have done the same since adopting the technology essential in 2020 to make virtual school days possible.

Unfortunately for Adams, the plan didn’t go so well: Many students, teachers and administrators were unable to log in to their accounts — a problem that city officials blamed on a technology contractor.

Naveed Hasan, a Manhattan resident, said he struggled to get his 4-year-old daughter logged on because of the district’s technical issues even though his 9-year-old son was able to gain access. He hoped to take both out for sledding later in the day.

Nelson Taylor, of Providence, R.I., left, uses cross-country skis while making his way along a residential street, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Providence. Parts of the Northeast have been hit by a coastal storm that's dumping snow and packing strong winds in some areas, while others aren't getting as much snow as anticipated. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“It honestly worked out for the best,” Hasan said. “I’d rather not have the youngest on a device all day anyways.”

Schools nationwide shuttered classrooms for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and some did not reopen fully for more than a year. Some children barely logged on , and many struggled with the social isolation.

The months spent with online education were marked by widespread learning losses . Young students often struggled with the technology, and some parents said online learning was a factor in their decision to delay enrolling their kids .

In a November 2020 survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, 39% of district leaders said they had converted snow days to remote learning. Another 32% said they would consider the change. But in recent years, some districts, including Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, have reverted to prepandemic snow day policies. School systems in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, among many others, closed in response to Tuesday’s storm.

Connecticut does not allow remote learning on a snow day to count toward the minimum 180 learning days in the school calendar. The state weighed factors such as the challenges of setting up remote classrooms on short notice, and local officials also reported that parents and students wanted traditional snow days, said Irene Parizi, chief academic officer for the state Department of Education.

“Let them have their snow day and go sledding and have their hot chocolate and things like that,” Parizi said.

With schools closed in Columbia, Connecticut, Susan Smith spent the day at home with her three children, ages 14, 11 and 8. She said she likes traditional snow days, but would also like to see remote learning on some bad weather days.

“I still remember being a kid and really looking forward to snow days, so I don’t want to completely wipe that off the map with remote learning,” Smith said.

Adams defended the decision to have NYC schools operate virtually.

“Using this as a teaching moment to have our children learn how to continue the expansion of remote learning is so important,” the mayor said in an interview on WPIX-TV Monday evening. “We fell back in education because of COVID. We cannot afford our young people to miss school days.”

Gina Cirrito, a parent on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, said she appreciated the structure the remote classes provided for her three sons, even if Tuesday morning was a bit of rough sledding in her household.

“I know people around the country get really frustrated with the idea of these remote days and not just letting the kids have a day,” she said. “But I don’t think the teachers are asking above and beyond and to be honest, they’re so far behind. If there’s a way to keep their (students’) brains a little engaged, I’m all for it.”

Cirrito said the family had to work through some early morning logistics, including making sure everyone had a functioning computer and a quiet spot in the apartment to work — only to run into the district’s login issues.

By about 9:15 a.m. her sons — ages 10, 13 and 17 — had settled into the day’s routine.

“For the kids, it’s like riding a bike. Like, ‘Here we go again,’” Cirrito said.

New York City officials did not say how many students were prevented from accessing online classes but they blamed the problem on their technology contractor, IBM. While both teachers and students recently participated in simulations to prepare for remote instruction, IBM was not involved in those walk-throughs, officials said at a news conference.

“IBM was not ready for prime time. That’s what happened here,” said New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks.

In a statement, IBM said it had been “working closely with New York City schools to address this situation as quickly as possible.”

“The issues have been largely resolved, and we regret the inconvenience to students and parents across the city,” the statement read.

The morning technical glitches only added to the stress for teachers already scrambling to pivot lessons and assignments to remote work, said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, which represents roughly 200,000 NYC public schools teachers and staff.

But Mulgrew said educators anticipated trouble after their experience with distance learning during the pandemic. He noted that by 12:30 p.m., 900,000 students and teachers were utilizing the district’s remote learning system — a testament, he said, to how teachers were able to keep their classes engaged despite the morning challenges.

“It’s also a good lesson for students,” he said. “This is what happens when things go wrong. You don’t get frustrated or angry. You got to figure it out.”

Mulgrew added that this year’s school calendar only allows for one or so snow days, “so you want to save that, just in case.”

Still, Hasan, a software developer, wondered whether students and teachers alike would have been better served with a snow day, even as he acknowledged Tuesday’s accumulations in the city might not have warranted it in a bygone era.

“It’s like a mental health day for kids to just go and play,” he said. “It’s already enough of a challenge for parents to figure out how they are going to do their work.”

Ma reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writer Jake Offenhartz in New York and Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

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Q&A: Do Online Students Have Homework?

Answer: In most online schools, your child will receive weekly assignments that are due by a specified day of the week. It will be up to your child to be responsible for completing each of these assignments on time. Occasionally, this will require your child to work on assignments beyond the school day. In many virtual schools, however, it is possible for students to finish their weekly (or daily) assignments within a timely manner only working during their scheduled school day.

The homework load will depend on your child's grade level, the school that you decide to attend, and the student's teacher. Schools don't all utilize the same curriculum and some of these curriculums require more work than others. Also, within a school, different teachers may hold different expectations of their students or have different homework requirements.

In some school districts, there is a specified homework time allotment. For example, in the district in which I reside, students are permitted 10 minutes per grade level. So, a third grade student should only be assigned a maximum of 30 minutes of homework each night.

If you feel that your child is spending too much time on their weekly assignments and working well into the evening hours, I would suggest contacting the school and sharing your concerns. It is important that your child is working at a comfortable pace in which they are not becoming overwhelmed or starting to feeling incapable of completing their work. The school administrator and/or teacher should be willing to set up a conference with you and your child to develop an individualized plan to help ensure your child's success.

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What Does School Look Like Without Tests? Tekkie Uni.

A.J. O’Connell

Homework and tests — no one really enjoys either. Kids avoid studying in their own time, parents dread having to nag their kids about it and teachers aren’t thrilled about grading. But homework and tests are a traditional part of school; the accepted wisdom is that both are necessary and many people can’t imagine what school would be like without either.

Research suggests, however, that accepted parts of school — homework, exams and grouping kids by ability — don’t contribute to students’ love of learning and may, in fact, be making it more difficult for kids to learn.

The trouble with homework

Testing, homework and ability tracking can actually impede learning if used incorrectly.

online schools without homework

According to a study from Stanford University , homework can negatively impact kids. Some children may have in excess of three hours of homework a night, causing stress and sleep deprivation, neither of which is conducive to good learning. The study also found — unsurprisingly — that kids with more homework have less fun. The more homework a child has, the less likely they are to see friends and family, participate in extracurricular activities or engage in the hobbies they enjoy.

Meanwhile, research from Harvard found that high-stakes testing can make instruction worse as teachers — under pressure to produce high test results — devote large periods of class time to preparing kids for exams.

Much of this isn’t the teachers’ fault. Teachers are often required by law to test students and sometimes homework is the only way to squeeze in much-needed instruction and practice time. Nor can teachers help it when schools sort children into groups based on kids’ level of ability, ( something the National Education Association (NEA) wants eliminated, because it can lead to discrimination).

But the fact that schools are set up this way doesn’t mean it’s good for kids.

“In traditional schools, no matter what subject the kids are learning, most of the curriculum, lesson plans and teachers, tend to restrict kids’ learning process,” says Julieth Macol Tobar Lima, an Uruguay-based teacher.

Macol, who teaches programming at Tekkie Uni, has worked in several schools since she began her teaching career. Traditional education, she says, can sometimes hamper kids’ learning.

online schools without homework

“The structures used in most traditional schools are very rigid and kids have few chances to think outside the box and be active in their own learning process,” she says.

How Tekkie Uni structures classes

At Tekkie Uni, we believe that kids learn best when they’re driven by their own interests and curiosity, guided by a caring teacher and working with supportive peers.

“The relationship between students and teachers in schools is in some ways restricted by laws and instructions,” says Batool Zyoud, a Palestine-based Tekkie Uni teacher who has also taught in traditional schools. “But at Tekkie Uni, the relationship between the instructors and students is close to friendship.”

online schools without homework

Our classes meet online, two hours a week for nine months. One of the two weekly hours of instruction is a practice session, so students do all their classwork while they’re actually in class. If they want to come back to it and work on their projects outside of class, it’s entirely up to them and there’s no pressure associated with it.

online schools without homework

“In general, there’s no homework,” says Zyoud. “But when it rarely happens, they know that they won’t be punished if they don’t do the homework.”

The work in Tekkie Uni’s courses is also entirely project-based, so there are no tests. During practice sessions, kids can ask questions about their projects and receive feedback from the teacher. If a project isn’t working the way a student would like, they can ask for help during practice. They can do this through their microphone, or if they want to ask for help privately, they can open a live text-based chat with the teacher. They can also open text-based chats with one another to make friends and help each other with projects.

“What’s good about Tekkie Uni is the chance it gives kids to work on their creativity,” says Macol. Kids work on open-ended projects, which allows them the freedom to be imaginative, creative and really explore the subject matter in the assignment, she says.

online schools without homework

Encouraging a lifelong love of learning

The only thing that gets tested in a Tekkie Uni course is whether or not a project works as intended. Because everyone wants student projects to work, students don’t feel like they’re at odds with the course material, their teachers, or even other children.

Part of the reason kids aren’t in competition with one another is because they’re not separated by ability. Everyone learns together and at their own pace, so there’s no pressure to keep up, nor is there a “gifted” or a “remedial” group.

“When kids don’t feel pressure and they are not stressed about grades and tests, they tend to enjoy the learning process more,” says Macol. “Without homework, tests and grades kids are encouraged to learn at their own pace and there’s a high probability that they feel less frustrated when they make a mistake.”

online schools without homework

A.J. O'Connell is an EdTech writer, journalist, and former adjunct who lives in New England. She's written for Campus Technology, Electric Literature, and The Establishment.

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https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2024/02/19/mobile-phones-in-schools-are-they-being-banned/

Mobile phones in schools: are they being banned?

mobile phone ban

By the age of 12, 97% of children own a mobile phone, but the use of mobile phones in school can lead to distractions, disruption and can increase the risk of online bullying.  

Many schools have already introduced rules which prohibit the use of phones at school, to help children focus on their education, and the friends and staff around them.   

We’re introducing guidance which encourages all schools to follow this approach, so that more pupils can benefit from the advantages of a phone-free environment. Here’s everything you need to know.  

Are you banning mobile phones in schools?  

The new guidance says that schools should prohibit the use of mobile phones, but they will have autonomy on how to do this.  

Some may allow phones to be brought onto the premises but not to be used during school hours, including at breaktime.  

This brings England in line with other countries who have put in place similar rules, including France, Italy and Portugal.  

Will this apply to all pupils?   

The guidance sets out that there will be some limited cases where pupils should be exempt from the rule.  

While the majority of pupils won’t be allowed to use their mobile phones during the school day, we know that some children need their mobile phones for medical reasons, or because they have special educational needs and/or disabilities.   

How will prohibiting mobile phones work in schools?  

Schools will be able to choose an approach to prohibiting mobile phones which suits them.  

This could include banning phones from the school premises, handing in phones on arrival at school, or keeping phones locked away.   

What else are you doing to improve school behaviour?  

We’re investing £10 million in Behaviour Hubs across the country, supporting up to 700 schools to improve behaviour over three years.  

Behaviour Hubs help schools that have exemplary positive behaviour cultures to work closely with other schools that want to turn around their behaviour, alongside providing access to central support and a taskforce of advisers.  

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Order bidding, are there schools without homework.

schools without homework

In modern schools there is a clear tendency toward the ever-growing volume of homework. Starting with primary classes, students spend an hour every day, and even more, on homework. Unfortunately or fortunately, in this situation, Americans are not alone. Recently in Spain, parents announced a four-week strike – they massively wrote notes for teachers explaining the lack of exercises performed. For information, in Spain, students spend an average of seven hours per week on doing homework. So, is it possible to find schools without homework nowadays?

One of the participants explains her boycott by the fact that her sons are occupied with homework for almost all of their free time, and therefore they do not have time to communicate with friends and family, to engage in an interesting hobby, or to relax. In addition, the problem is also in the exercises themselves: they are monotonous and tedious, for example, rewriting large texts in a notebook from a textbook.

Due to the fact that teachers give too much homework, family leisure has to be adjusted for it, such as canceling picnics and walks and not going to the movies or cafes, as children need to do homework. Spanish mothers also believe that exercises for self-fulfillment should be more fun and creative – creating different crafts, a photo report on plants or insects learned in the class, etc.

how much time students spend on their homework

Moreover, a hard homework workload negatively influences students’ physical and mental health. Many even feel burnout from various assignments and use “ write essay online ” services to have time for themselves.

As the demand for alternative learning approaches grows, some schools adopt policies to minimize or totally eliminate traditional homework. Alternative schools have developed unique techniques in the educational system that include no grades and homework.

Who Supports No Homework System

British moms and dads support this view. Anne, the mother of two sons, believes that school assignments kill their love of reading. Teachers are required to read the literature daily from the program, and the kids do not like it, although they spend hours with their favorite books. In addition, children often want to move, play, and walk, but instead adults force them to go home and prepare for lessons. Moreover, many parents believe that it is not necessary to do homework every day, and in return, it is much better to give the student a rest and study the world freely.

In this context, the experience of Dana from California, USA, is interesting. Her children study at one of the schools without homework in the lower grades. Studying is built interactively – through interesting projects or activities, and with complete absence of cramming. Because of this, sincere interest and curiosity in the new material is formed in children, and they really want to gain knowledge. Adults, of course, should at the same time spend a lot of time with them, talk about everything, and support their hobbies.

Unfortunately, Romanian children are in a less enviable position. Craig, whose sons are studying at a municipal school, is dissatisfied with the fact that the oldest son finishes his assignments only by midnight. Classes are overcrowded, held in two shifts, and the program is much more complicated than in developed countries. As a rule, the schoolchild spends more than an hour to repeat the notes of the lesson, and only afterward begins to do homework.

Six-year-old son Zeynab from London also devotes an enormous amount of time to his studies. In school, he is given voluminous and complex projects, for example, creating a school newspaper on the theme of the First World War. Because of excessive load, children are constantly in a state of stress, and they are nervous and afraid of failing to pass exams. Such pressure on kids discourages them from the desire to learn, leaving only the fear of being worse than others and getting a low grade.

Also, students and their parents try to lower the stress from homework by hiring an essay writer online so that children can care about themselves without losing grades.

Positive sides of no homework

The Opposite Position

However, there are also parents who hold the opposite position. Alex of Swansea in the UK claims that his twelve-year-old son is not asked to do enough homework, and it is poorly organized – there is no clearly defined goal and control by the teacher. As a result, the child perceives homework as unnecessary and spends all his time playing in online games or watching cartoons.

Edward moved from London to Denmark, and is surprised by the contrast in approaches to education between the two countries. Scandinavian schoolchildren are not assigned homework in junior classes, and instead they spend their free time on games, walks, and entertainment, while the overall level of education in countries remains high.

And on the contrary, Edward’s daughter, living in London, gets homework that can not be done on her own, as it is an unsuitable volume and complexity for her age. For this reason, moms and dads constantly have to prepare for lessons with the child. Adults are nervous because their children may lag behind in studies, so they constantly monitor their academic performance. Edward believes that, on the one hand, you do not ask for no more homework at all, but it should be much less, and it should be comparable to skills and abilities at the appropriate age.

Negative sides of no homework

Problems With Homework among Students

Thus, it can be seen that in many countries students face problems with homework – too many or too few, too complex, or very boring. A single solution is not here and can not be. Each student is unique, and everyone needs one or another approach. One needs clear control and interest from the mom and dad, and the other, on the contrary, requires independence during homework. In any case, adults need to limit pressure on children and try first of all to interest them in their studies.

It is not difficult to do this. In every child there is a desire to learn new things, and this is what parents need to use. Parents should communicate with them more, discuss new topics that have been covered in school, and help with lessons if necessary. If bad grades start to appear, it is necessary to solve this issue as soon as possible, otherwise they will get used to low grades and stop trying to improve.

There may be several reasons. First, the teacher’s lack of professionalism can lead to the fact that schoolchildren do not learn the material and therefore can not cope with the load. Secondly, now there are many educational programs, and they often do not correspond to the capabilities of children – for example, they try to teach a creative person on a system with in-depth mathematics or, conversely, a future technician attends the humanitarian class. Third, the quality of education is influenced by relationships with classmates: if a child is bullied, then because of stress, he or she may simply be embarrassed to ask the teacher about what is unclear and ultimately does not learn the topic. Finally, if the case may be of a personal dislike between the teacher and student, then this predictably leads to a decline in academic performance. Parents can understand the reason for the problem by trying to do homework with the child and talking to him or her, but at the same time, in no case should they try to blame their child for problems and compare with more successful classmates.

What Researchers Think about Homework

While homework remains a pretty debatable topic among parents and educators, let’s look at the research results in this field. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study has shown that elementary students don’t offer a significant difference in academic achievement with the rise in homework load. Researchers point out that the main factors for elementary students’ development are high-quality teaching methods, active classroom learning, and a supportive learning environment at home. Other research from Duke University has shown the same results. The study has compared the benefits of homework between elementary and secondary school students and showed that elementary students have minimal benefits from homework. But in the context of senior classes, students who have more assignments at home show better performance and test scores.

Also, we should consider that such research has certain limitations and may vary from one school to another. The number of students in class, educational goals, and structure of classroom activities dictate significant factors that influence the need for homework. If talking about primary school, education should be aimed at fostering improved classroom activities, sports, and independent study habits among students. Homework tasks for senior classes should be well-developed and versatile to keep students engaged in the learning process and improve their skills from various sides. The homework load should be balanced in order to avoid physical and psychological student fatigue.

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Student slain on UGA campus identified as Augusta University nursing junior

Athens-Clarke County police block traffic and investigate at the UGA intramural Fields after the body of a women was found with visible injuries in the woods around Lake Herrick in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

The woman slain at a recreational area on the University of Georgia campus has been identified as Augusta University College of Nursing student Laken Hope Riley.

Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said Friday that an autopsy is underway at the State Crime Lab to determine the cause of death. Riley, 22, resided in Athens near the intramural fields, where she was killed.

Riley attended the satellite campus of the Augusta University in Athens, where she was a junior and on the Dean's List. The school is located in a shopping center off Barnett Shoals Road.

UGA Today, an online media outlet for the university, posted on Friday that Riley attended UGA through the 2023 spring semester, when she transferred to the college of nursing.

UGA police chief: No suspects in slaying of woman at intramural fields

Video: Woman found dead at IM fields was student but not at UGA, police say

Riley’s body was discovered before 1 p.m. by a University of Georgia police officer in a wooded area behind Lake Herrick at the intramural fields off College Station Road, according to police.

Riley was at the location to run and when she didn’t return home, a friend called UGA police shortly after noon, according to police.

The cause of death has not been released. Police said late Thursday they do not have a suspect.

Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel issued a statement expressing sorrow about Riley's death.

"The receipt of this news this afternoon was shocking to all of us," said Keel, who cancelled classes at the campus in Athens. UGA also cancelled classes on Friday.

Officials have asked that due to the continuing investigation that visitors avoid the forest area of the intramural fields.

Anyone with information about the death should contact the UGA Police Department at (706) 542-2200.

The homicide on campus grounds is the first since Jan. 8, 1996, when a newborn baby was slain inside the Oglethorpe House dormitory. That slaying remained unsolved until early last year, when UGA police announced the infant’s mother killed her child. She committed suicide eight years later.

There was another death investigated on campus at Brumby Hall on Wednesday, but foul play is not suspected and police said it is not connected with Thursday’s homicide case.

Check back on this story for updates.

COMMENTS

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  28. Are There Schools Without Homework?

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  29. Woman, an AU nursing student, killed at UGA intramural ...

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