Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Homework is defined as tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are intended to be carried out during non-school hours. Homework is designed to reinforce what students have already learned. Homework is a word that most students dread hearing.
Pros and Cons of Homework
The teachers assign homework to the students as they believe that homework will help the students to recollect the topics that were covered in the class. There are some lessons that are perfect for the classroom environment, but there are also some things that children can learn better at home. So homework helps to maintain the balance between them.
Generally, homework includes reading, writing, or completion of a certain problem which will improve the overall performance of the student. This means that kids who do homework are more committed to doing well in school.
Purpose of Homework
The most common purpose of homework is to have students practice material already presented in class so as to reinforce learning and facilitate mastery of specific skills. It is found that appropriate homework in the right amounts can enhance younger students’ learning and prepare them for a routine of studying as they get older.
Homework impacts students’ academic achievement—test scores. Homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness, and independent problem-solving skills.
Preparation assignments introduce the material that will be presented in future lessons which helps students obtain the maximum benefit when the new material is covered in class.
Should Students Have Homework?
The type and amount of homework given to students have been debated for over a century. For years, teachers and parents thought that homework was a necessary tool when educating children. But studies about the effectiveness of homework have been conflicting and inconclusive.
Proponents of homework say that it improves student achievement and allows for independent learning of classroom and life skills. Also, homework allows parents to monitor their child’s learning. Opponents of homework say that too much may be harmful to students as it can increase stress, reduce leisure and sleep time, lead to cheating, and is not proven to be beneficial for younger.
According to Harris Cooper, a professor at Duke University, there is a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school.
As a general rule, the maximum amount of time that a student should spend each day on lessons outside of school is 10 minutes per each grade level. This means a first grader should spend 10 minutes daily on his homework while a senior high school kid should spend about 2 hours.
Should students have homework or not? Let’s discuss some of the key pros and cons of the homework.
Pros of Homework
1. Homework Encourages Practice
One of the positive effects of homework is that it helps to encourage the discipline of practice. Repetition is necessary to get better at skills. Practising the same problem over and over helps to reinforce the discipline of practice. Homework helps make concepts more clear and helps to build a career in the future.
2. Keep Track of the Progress
Homework allows teachers to track students’ progress, meaning that homework helps to find out the academic strengths and weaknesses of children. Homework can also help clue teachers into the existence of any learning disabilities their children may have, allowing them to get help and adjust learning strategies as needed.
3. Improved Academic Outcome
Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs.
It has also found that students who regularly do homework have scored better in standardized tests than other students who didn’t do homework at all.
4. Teaches Time Management
When homework is assigned to the students, students are able to manage their time and make effective study plans. Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks but also teaches time management skills.
It helps to manage study time by completing all assignments on time. Time management is a necessary skill that a student must have which is very useful not only in school life but also in the future.
5. Parents are Involved in the Learning Process
Parents need to know what their children are learning in school. Homework helps parents to track down what their children are learning at school and their class performance. By sending homework from the school, it allows the entire family to encounter the assignments that their kids are doing when they are in school during the day. A study shows that parental involvement in homework can improve class performance.
6. Creates Communication Bridge
Homework helps to create a communication network between student, teacher, school, and parents. Teachers are unaware of the lives of the students at home and the parents are unaware of their lives at school. Communication helps to understand each other in a better way, as teachers get to know the needs of students and parents about their children’s strengths and weaknesses.
7. Provides More Learning Time
School hours aren’t always enough for students to grasp the core knowledge. Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. Setting homework allows students to revise content learned during the day and also helps to get things thoroughly because there is sufficient time for research and also there is less disturbance in the home.
Cons of Homework
1. Encourages a Sedentary Lifestyle
As the students get long assignments/homework, hence require much time to complete it. If students are given more homework, then they get less amount of time for extracurricular activities and also affect social development. A sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity.
2. Causes Unnecessary Stress
With a large workload and difficult tasks, homework causes students to feel anxious and stressed. Unnecessary stress causes demotivation. In some cases, homework may even be assigned over term breaks or the summer holidays.
This causes severe stress for some children, leading to issues such as sleep deprivation. This causes behavioural changes in students and also ingraining homework as a negative aspect of school life.
3. Eats up Free Time
Free time allows children to not only relax but also discover the world. Childs spend hours completing the assignment which eats up the valuable time kids have to spend with their family, attend extracurricular activities, and catch up with friends. During that time kids can learn many things like riding a bike, reading novels, attending social activities, attending family functions, etc.
4. Not Always Effective
A study found that homework creates a negative attitude towards schooling and the education system. Research by John Hattie, Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne, has found that homework in primary school has a negligible effect on students’ academic growth, as students are completing separate and unrelated projects rather than reinforcing learned knowledge. Homework doesn’t necessarily help to improve students’ academic performance rather it puts a burden on students.
5. Discourages Creative Endeavours
As we know homework eats up the leisure time because students spend hours completing their assignments. During that time students might like to do creative works that they are interested in such as, painting, singing, playing games, learning an instrument, etc. There might be a case where a student is much interested in doing creative work rather than spending hours on homework.
Concluding the article, both the pros and cons of homework are valid. Teachers and parents find homework as a necessary task for the children’s academic success while students find it as a burden or headache. The main purpose of homework is to bridge the gap between children’s learning at school and at home.
On the one hand, homework is an effective way to reinforce the concepts that were learned at school which helps to improve the academic outcome of the students. On the other hand, homework puts a burden on the student and the time that homework demands would be better spent with meaningful activity.
Thus, a good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.