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Homework for young students may not be needed

Wednesday - 3/28/2012, 12:53pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Students are saddled with homework every day across the world -- but it might not be helping them.

A new study from Sydney University in Australia finds that doing homework in elementary and middle school doesn't have any real benefit, reports Australia's Herald Sun .

In countries where kids do the most homework, research shows that their achievement results go down. Richard Walker, an associate professor from Sydney University's education faculty, says it's because students are unhappy about being overloaded when there are other valuable activities they want to do.

Homework only seems to pay off for high school juniors and seniors, the study found. But homework is still given to younger students, partly because parents want it.

And students aren't the only ones doing the work. Parents frequently help their children with homework. Walker says a little bit of homework can be helpful because it encourages students to become self-directed learners. But he says that only happens when students are given some assistance with it.

Do you think homework is a good thing for your kids, whether they like it or not? Or is there a case to be made that it's too much of a good thing? Is the work load your kids bring home after school too heavy a load?

Join the conversation on Twitter at #wtoptalkback.

Read more on the Herald Sun's website .

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)