The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Children should not have homework.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 633 times Debate No: 101087
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Children spend too much time in school and not enough time outside and exploring their individuality, which school does not offer them. It causes emotional and psychological problems as children grow up because they spend the majority of their time inside, sitting on a chair and not being able to expend their energy physically or creatively as they like. It's not progressive or healthy for children to be inside all day for hours only to go home and have to do it further. I support children not having homework at all. The majority of childhood should not be remembered as being stuck inside on beautiful days doing paperwork. They are children, not robots. They need playtime. Let all the learning be done in schools and let the children have a break at home.


Since the resolution is that children should not have homework, I can have any position ranging from: homework should be lessened, homework remaining the same, to homework increasing.

I'm not going to state what my position is, simply that I oppose pro's position.

I believe every single one of pro's argument they offered in round 1 can have the solution of making sure that not too much homework is assigned. Children can still have free time to go outside if, for example, they have just 1-2 hours of homework each night. Suppose school is 5 hours long in a day, I believe that's typical. Then homework is 1-2 hours a day. That leaves, subtracting 8 hours for sleep, 10-11 hours of free time. Maybe another total hour would be spent eating the other two meals a day that don't take place at school. That leaves 9-10 hours of free time to explore their individuality, to be outside, etc.

I think it's more typical, however, to have a little homework than that nowadays, maybe 3-4 hours of homework a day is what children are getting. Even if that's the case, that leaves 6-7 hours of free time, which I think is plenty. Not to mention, there would be weekends in which they have no school, so they would, in reality on those days, have 11-12 hours of free time, assuming that they also have 3-4 hours of homework they need to do each day on the weekend.

In order for there to be no free time that Children have, close to 12 hours of homework a night would need to be assigned, and I don't know of any school that assigns that much homework, or even close to it.

I believe I've offered logic pointing out that getting rid of homework completely, as my opponent is arguing for, is unnecessary.

Now, here are reasons why they should be given homework:

-It helps them learn important concepts in school that they will use in everyday life or potentially in their future careers.
-It helps them get into a routine of things and learn time management skills. These are important skills to learn especially if you plan on having a family one day and working. You need to be able to fit in time to spend with the family around your work schedule.
-Homework helps children perform better in school, all scientific studies performed on the matter have a consensus regarding this[1], granted there is less correlation for homework helping elementary school students.

Debate Round No. 1


Give the Kids a Break!

The Legatum Prosperity Index of 2016 ranks Finland at 3rd in 2016 with the United States in 8th place [1.], that accounting for a lot of factors, nonetheless, here are other sources that keep Finland among the highest of educational systems in the world. We can learn a lot from examples like Finland and the successes of their educational achievements. They, however, have taken the education of their future generations very seriously. Finland hasn't always had the best numbers in education, but they worked hard for them. Finland's educational standards for having no homework is one of many progressive choices they have made towards improving the educational system for children.

Mary C Lamia Ph.D. attempts to put it into perspective, " Most often, what motivates a child to do his or her homework are negative emotions. Negative emotions, like distress, fear, anger, disgust, and shame, will motivate a child to do something to avoid them, or urge a child to do something that will relieve their effects," [4.]. She is not the only psychologist that has spoken up about the obstacles homework poses to children. One psychologist explains, "What hasn"t been researched as thoroughly is the association between homework and misery. Homework and lost opportunities for joy. As a child psychologist, I see this up close every day, where over-tired kids and stressed-out parents regale me with problems that could certainly be improved if families had more time to relax and reconnect" [5]. Psychologists aren't the only ones speaking up for the children, Texas teacher Brandy Young is well known for being a strong supporter of no-homework. "If something"s not working as an educator, you need to change it. You"re here to help these kids," says Young [6.] It is my opinion that the emotional and psychological well-being of children should be taken more seriously. It is these observations that have led me to believe that keeping children inside and limiting their free time is unhealthy for their development.

Homework is not in the best interests of children and I wish to speak up for them in hopes to spread this awareness to encourage other to stand up for change. I have lost precious moments of life stressing over grades and homework and it is not a life that should be forced on those who are not given a choice. For anyone who grew up spending most of their childhood inside a school, remember the moments when you questioned the authenticity of your time spent there. Let's listen to the children and give them one less reason to stress over by eliminating homework indefinitely.
For those who worry about the emotional and psychological risks that homework can add to the stress of child education, the evidence is substantial. For those who worry about children being less prepared for business success in society, we don't need to rush them into growing up so fast.

Homework robs children of their free time, time that can better be spent on more engaging and fulfilling activities. Former school teacher Jessica Smock lists a range of activities that children could rather be doing, than homework, and explains why, including; talking with parents, digging in the dirt, and playing dress up. [7]. There is no definitive proof that when children are left to do homework themselves it does not teach them self-discipline, time-management, work habits, because they don't have an example; there is no one there to correct them or guide them. These lessons can be learned in school. After spending the most substantial hours of the day being crammed with information they are expected to go home and do it some more.

Free time should be free time.
I will focus on the time table I had when I was in high school. At the end of the day I had only 6 hours before I needed to go to sleep or risk being tired when I woke up early for the bus, which if neglected, severely inhibited my performance at school. The weekends didn't make up for the stress of studying for tests, writing papers, and being stuck for agonizing hours inside with lack of social and stimulating educational engagement. When you get to high school, homework builds up from multiple classes becomes overwhelming and what adds to the stress, is big assignments that require time for research.
House chores, basic necessities (eating, baths etc.), getting dressed (+1 hour) sleep (+8 hours) bus ride to and from (+1.5 hours) time spent at school (+6 hours) homework (+2 hrs unless there is a big project or essay due).This is how I remember high school. I was tired, and felt like I had little time to do what I wanted. I wasn't the only one. It was psychologically and creatively oppressive. If the school system was improved I may be inclined to accept homework, but not without significant modifications to the whole educational system. I'm curious how you calculated 10 " 11 hours of free time. Is this in a school day or during the weekends? Not all children experience the same time tables, but one should not

No one can deny that homework can be a factor in kids staying up late to take the free time that school has robbed from them. Do adults want to spend the day at work only to come home and do more work? One could argue it would prepare them for potential future jobs, but is their childhood worth that sacrifice? Don't they have a right to be children before their imminent ascent into adulthood? Children aren't adults yet, and should enjoy their time as children while they have the opportunity. It takes time to develop relationships, interests, and an understanding of "who I am" and "what am I here for" and adults want to further control the time children spend on school-work than on themselves.

Leave home time as a time children can feel free from the forced responsibilities from school. As an adult, I am certain that homework did nothing beneficial for me as a child and a teen. Homework was worth the sacrifice moments of my childhood which I can never get back. One has to ask, is homework essential for the growth of children or is it causing them more stress than they deserve. I'd like to point out the very few children coming forth defending having homework as something they themselves feel comfortable and confident about. Isn't it time we started listening to the children? Psychologist Dr. Stephanie Smith says in her own words, "I am always hopeful that teachers and administrators keep in mind that each minute a child spends doing homework is one less minute they can spend: exercising, spending quality time with family, engaging in music lessons, volunteering in the community, preparing healthy meals, relaxing, engaging in imaginative play, and/or getting the sleep they need to grow and thrive. Is the homework assigned more important than those things?" [3]

Alleviates a component that adds to stress.
Gives their mind a break from repetition and their body freedom from poor postures and inactivity.
Gives kids more time to be kids.



I'll offer rebuttals to my opponents arguments now. I'll bold a summarization of their arguments, and then for quotes by my opponent I'll offer in italics.

Now, I have another solution to one of the problems my opponent talked about in round 1 regarding the psychological problems of having children cooped up inside most of the day. Another solution, other than lessening homework, would be to assign homework that requires the children to go somewhere.

RE: Finland and ranking in Legatum prosperity index
Where are you getting that Finland assigns no homework? My source suggests they assign an average amount of 2.8 hours of homework a week[2]. Additionally, while one of the countries that score high in the legatum prosperity index have little to no homework, what about all of the other countries? Finland could simply be an anomaly. Additionally, the fact that they do assign some homework definitely doesn't help your cause.

Mary C Lamia Ph.D. attempts to put it into perspective, " Most often, what motivates a child to do his or her homework are negative emotions. Negative emotions, like distress, fear, anger, disgust, and shame, will motivate a child to do something to avoid them, or urge a child to do something that will relieve their effects,"

I think this problem has to do with homework generally being unenjoyable. To solve this problem, as well as everything you bring up in this same paragraph, each teacher needs to think about the homework they are assigning and how to make it enjoyable. I'm in college now, and the professors here seem to be a lot better at making doing homework enjoyable, in comparison to elementary school teachers, etc. Of course, part of that might be because I'm now an adult and when as a child, you need everything to have a certain child-like fun to it. So, I don't think the solution to this problem is necessarily to get rid of homework, but rather to try to make it more enjoyable, if that's possible.

RE: Homework is not in the best interests of children
I think one way to make it in the best interests of children is to allow the children a voice in education. I actually would support a libertarian socialist means of educating people: which is one in which doesn't have a teacher that tells the children what to do and how to do it, but rather, guides them through possible solutions that they come up with on their own. It would stress on the importance of choice and having a voice in what you get to learn. I personally like the John Dewey organization for education and doing education through his ideas, if you're familiar with them. Children would choose whether or not to have homework, and if they choose to have it, why not have it? You can read more about Dewey's ideas on education here[3][4]

Homework robs children of their free time, time that can better be spent on more engaging and fulfilling activities.
However, this time is used for something important: for better understanding of a topic or subject. How is someone supposed to learn more about a subject, or grasp it, without practice?

If the school system was improved I may be inclined to accept homework, but not without significant modifications to the whole educational system.
Yes, the education system needs major reform, as I said. Now, in regards to the calculations you had, 1 hour for necessities, 8 hours for sleep, 1.5 hours for commuting to and from school, 6 hours for school, and 2 hours for homework, you have roughly 5.5 hours of free time on weekdays. The 10-11 hours I mentioned was for weekends. However, I didn't take into account the need for bathing and getting dressed and such. Either way, you can see there is actually a lot of free time still even with homework.

No one can deny that homework can be a factor in kids staying up late to take the free time that school has robbed from them.
I suppose it might, but homework doesn't usually need to take time away from sleeping. As I pointed out, you should have 5.5 horus of free time on the week days, and then more like 11 hours on the weekend days. If it's taking time out of sleeping, that's because the child is either poor at time management skills, or is spending too much time for free time.

Now, I was someone who always got to bed late. I could never explain why until I took a psychology class where we briefly went over how some people's core temperatures peak at a certain time of the day, and fall around the time you're supposed to go to sleep. I am gussing mine peak sometime during the night, for whatever reason, and doesn't fall until late in the night.

Due to that, one change I would make for school would be to allow the option of taking night classes in secondary and primary education. Right now, there is literally no option for elementary-high school but to take classes that go from about 9 am to 3 pm. That sucks for us night owls who are biologically made to stay up late. I love college for this other reason: I can take night classes. I'm currently taking night and late afternoon classes only.

So, ultimately, I don't think homework needs to be eliminated, but more likely that it should be changed to reflect the interests of the children.


Debate Round No. 2


It is true not all grades in Finland are free from homework but there are some without and that was my point. Visiting Finland myself and asking people about life in school is not enough to convince people of the truth and it could very well be possible that Finland has the most homework in the world and every child goes home with homework. Since you are far better at finding hard evidence than I, I'll let you do the honors. I am proud of myself for trying and I did my best but I'm glad I realized this direction of debate was not for me as I always felt it was too much effort to try to persuade people based on facts that could never truly represent the whole. I was wrong to think that homework for every child could only go one-way.

Through some careful contemplation I realized that not every child is the same. That homework can be right for some and not others. Now as I go into a more philosophical direction, who is anyone to say what is right for the whole? I can honestly say homework was not right for me. But was it that it was extra school work at the end of a day full of school work, or was it just that it wasn't something I was invested in with all my heart? Had it been martial arts, or astrology, which were my interests in high school, I would have loved to dedicate extra time to it, because it would not be viewed as work to me. Having the freedom to choose how I spent my time was not a choice I had in school. I am certain I was not the only one who felt that way and perhaps you can find some statistics that can back up that claim. It was full of false support and encouragement for dreams that weren't mine. School had succeeded in holding me back from preparing myself for the life I wanted to live. I am certain that many children enjoyed the time they spent studying for what they believed would help them get where they wanted to go in the future. Perhaps there are a few studies somewhere or a graph that can show the trend of students who went to school and claim homework helped them achieve their dreams and not the dreams of others.

Who is to say what is right for someone else? Can we truly trust parents and adults to decide what's best for a another human being when it is not their future to live? Many say that children don't know what's best for themselves but is it right to make choices for them without their consent? Is giving children a little more extra time to be children too much to ask? I think to better prepare children for the future of responsibility we need to let them make their own choices towards in their education including whether homework is right for them.

I also agree with a change in the education systems granting teachers to be more animate with their children and making learning fun and I agree with a lot of your suggestions that could support a more enriching and stimulating environment for children.

"However, this time is used for something important: for better understanding of a topic or subject. How is someone supposed to learn more about a subject, or grasp it, without practice?"
Practice can be done in school with teachers that can answer their questions.

"Either way, you can see there is actually a lot of free time still even with homework."
What if the only family time they have is on the weekends and activities are planned for the whole weekend?

"If it's taking time out of sleeping, that's because the child is either poor at time management skills, or is spending too much time for free time."
In regards to the notion that that amount of free-time is not enough invigorate their creative, social and overall, free-time needs so that time goes into later hours which would keep them up later. And who is to say too much free-time is wrong for children?

I agree with having the options of taking night classes but I still agree that homework should be an option.



Since my opponent has mostly dropped their position, and it's with a logical position: for some students, homework is good and others it is not.

There is good logic in that. My opponent did ask about how students view homework, and this is what I found through a quick search: 65% of students view homework as a waste of time, 50% view homework as being overly challenging or simply too difficult, and 29% of the students believed homework was interesting[5]

Now, this may not be able to tell us too much, because this is based on how homework currently is. These numbers would likely change if homework was made in such a way where the students got to have a say over what was involved in the homework. I think teachers should just have a overall guideline on what students need to know, and then the students could then create their own homework that teaches them this topic. This would likely increase the amount of students who would find homework interesting(as it's low) since they would get to have a say in what the assignment is.

Thus, to reiterate some things, homework shouldn't be completely elliminated, but it should have input from the students so that the students get to do what they believe is most beneficial for them. We don't all learn things the same way, and that would be most beneficial in my opinion, Maybe some students would choose to go without homework, and I think that is fine.

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by jedi_scum 1 year ago
Up to high school, includes high school.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
I would assume it means someone who is younger than the legal adult age, however. That is the usual common definition of it, I think
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Messer: well they said Children. Granted, they didn't define the term children. There are number of interpretations/definitions that could be used for children, here they are in order of lowest age cut-off to oldest age cut-off
1) Someone younger than a pre-teen
2) Someone who is younger than a teenager(defined as the age group 13-19, as each of them have "teen" in the numbers)
3) Someone younger than the age of consent
4) Someone younger than the legal adult age
5) Someone younger than when the brain is fully developed(usually in the mid-20s)
Posted by MesserMessesUpEverything 1 year ago
Does this include college and highsschool?
No votes have been placed for this debate.