Any books brought to and from school were bound with a leather strap and carried at the hip. Children in early American schools had very little homework because they had responsibilities at home or on the farm. All of their academic learning took place during the school day only. Consequently, unless the family could afford books, the only reading a student did was at school with the limited resources found there.
Today, books and other school supplies are commonly brought to and from school in a backpack. Homework is considered a vital component of a comprehensive education and is expected of most students, even in the early grades. It is believed that taking advantage of evening and weekend hours will increase the content and skills children acquire. College-bound students commonly have several hours of homework each evening. In some areas, this has led to a backlash: some communities are cutting back on homework, claiming it interferes with family time.
Then & Now: