One of the more controversial topics of my teaching days was whether or not homework is truly necessary. Homework has been part of the teaching method for a very long time, but is that an argument for it or against it? Here are 4 reasons why students need to do their homework and 4 reasons they don’t.
4 Reasons Homework Is Good
First of all, homework serves as a reminder and a way for students to process themselves what the topic was all about. Incidentally, I had a colleague once that perfectly summed up the need for homework to her students and their parents: “First, we do the lesson here. When you do your homework, you go over the lesson at home, and when we check your homework next time we meet, we go over it the third time.” It’s much easier to memorize and understand the lesson at hand with so many revisions.
Secondly, by doing homework and repeatedly going over the same lessons, the student will need to spend very little time cramming for a test. By extension, if a student does their homework on a regular basis, there will be significantly less stress surrounding certain tests than with the students that choose to cram at the last minute.
Thirdly, it helps the parents track the progress of the students as well as the curriculum. This is valuable information, as it helps the parent and the teacher cooperate and coordinate their efforts in helping the student solve any problems that might arise.
Finally, it is a great tool that teaches responsibility. Just because you are done with the school building for the day does not mean that your responsibilities are over. This is a lesson I’ve seen many adults struggle with, as they believe that once they clock out from their jobs, they should not be expected to do anything, including chores, shopping, paying bills, and so on.
4 Reasons Homework Is Bad
Many teachers believe that their students really do not have a challenging task if they are expected to do some homework. However, the big problem here is that there are many different subjects and with enough teachers giving abundant amounts of home assignments, the student can become overwhelmed and overworked.
Homework also cuts into other aspects of the student’s life, like family time, time with friends, me-time, and other obligations. Putting homework first sets a bad precedent for their future relationships where they are likely to put their work ahead of their loved ones.
The method of giving home assignments only works if the student understands the subject matter or can easily acquire more information. Otherwise, it’s a lesson in futility and stress. If not done properly, homework can only make the student resent the subject or learning in general, rebelling against the teachers and the parents.
Last, but not least, if all students have the same homework, those that don’t understand the lesson are likely going to cheat and copy in the hopes of getting a reward or avoiding punishment, which defeats the purpose of assigning homework, to begin with.