They stood to benefit more from reading or pursuits away from the classroom.
Homework also serves to build skills beyond just the work itself.
A 2017 study revealed that homework helps children become more conscientious—dedicated and diligent about their efforts not just in what's assigned, but elsewhere in their lives. As an adult in the labor force, much of an individual's success stems from being a good problem solver—the ability to quickly work out issues and move on to what's next.
All of that is without even mentioning if the student chooses to participate in any extracurricular activities.
Alfie Kohn has authored 14 books about education and parenting, including the "The Homework Myth," and agrees with the negative, unintended impacts that homework can bring.
Homework spread across multiple disciplines does well to emulate this. The comfort of a classroom or group setting won't always be there once a student graduates.
Depending on the workload, a student acquires valuable time management skills from a nightly load of math equations and reading assignments.
Cooper added that "even for high school students, overloading them with homework is not associated with higher grades." The research does show though that there is still some benefit, and as Cooper points out "the amount and type should vary according to their developmental level and home circumstances." Other research points to similar conclusions, and that perhaps the concerns over homework stem from its one size fits all nature.
A 2013 study by Adam Maltese of Indiana University, focused on high school sophomores, reflected that homework helps a student perform well on standardized tests.
So what about other virtues, such as the vital life skills we mentioned earlier?
It turns out that after-school assignments could actually prove more harmful, and not just for a student's attitude toward school.