Is homework beneficial? Should kids have homework? The short answer is “YES”.
There are a number of aspects to consider for each argument, which are listed below.
From book reports to algebra assignment and term papers, the nature and quantity of homework that students should be given have been a hot button issue with no end. And you know what, this debate started long ago; about a century ago. In this post, we are going to wade into this complex debate and weigh the pros and cons of homework.
The Homework Debate: Where Did It Begin?
To understand the complex homework debate, let us go back to the 1900s when it began. Early in the 1900s, some education theorists put on a spirited fight against homework. They cited the negative impacts on students’ mental and physical health.
For example, Brian Gill and Stephen Schlossman, education scholars at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote a paper entitled “A sin against childhood: Progressive education and the crusade to abolish homework.” Most education theorists of the time argued that children below the age of 15 years should not be given homework.
So serious was the homework debate that some states such as New York banned homework for kids. Indeed, even media entities such as the New York Times ran aggressive campaigns that advocated against homework. However, the public pointed out that the benefits of homework should not be watered down because of a few cons. But even with these highly conflicting sides, the debate has never been put to rest. This is why it rages on.
Exploring the Benefits of Homework
The question in a lot of people’s minds is, is homework beneficial? Why is homework beneficial? Why is homework good? People are interested in knowing if homework is good. Although there are many and varied opinions on the subject of giving students homework after an entire day of school activities, there are still certain benefits that have been identified with giving and doing homework.
Why is homework helpful? While a good number of people might disagree and need to know more on why homework is helpful, there are significant benefits with giving students take-home assignments. Homework is good for students as it provides them an additional time to ponder on what they had learnt previously. Also, homework is helpful as it buys them extra time to reflect and in the process, gain additional knowledge they might not have had the opportunity to gain while in class. Most people might regard homework as the school home-based extracurricular activity.
- Homework serves as an additional learning experience: Aside from engaging in learning in school, there are certain things students can pick up outside of the class when they commit to homework and homework research.
- Academic reflection exercise: Learning is in continuum. And while students get to engage mostly in learning in school, outside school, homework gives them opportunity to reflect on previously gained knowledge.
- Homework helps to improve the achievements of students: Does homework improve academic achievement? The answer is, “yes.” Research has demonstrated that students who use homework well achieve better grades and have a higher likelihood of advancing to college and university. In one of the researches at the High School Journal, researchers established that students who use between 30 and 90 minutes on homework daily score 40 points higher compared to those who do not. When students are given some assignments to complete at home, they have an opportunity to practice and enhance their knowledge. It is one of the best methods to help reinforce what they were taught in class.
- Homework helps in the development of life skills and good learning habits: You are perhaps familiar with the phrase “practice makes perfect.” The phrase means that when you try doing something many times, you become a pro. This is what homework does. It provides students with an opportunity to practice what was taught in class. And that is not all! When a student works on homework, he also develops special skills such as accountability, discipline, and time management. These are special traits that will come in handy in the student’s life at school and at home. They will also come in handy later in their careers.
- Homework is an opportunity for parents to be involved: If you have a kid, what is the news that you want to get from school? You want to hear that the child is doing fine and is attaining better grades. When a student comes home with homework in the evening, it is your opportunity to have a look at how he/she is solving problems, working on essays, or interpreting different concepts in academia. And that is not all! A parent can chip in to assist the student in understanding different concepts. For example, you can assist your child in learning more about time management and being responsible. If the child has some weaknesses, you can also help him.
Does Homework Help? Exploring the Demerits of Homework
Regardless of the previously listed reasons why homework is important to students, there is no denying that it has its own demerits to students as well. The question continues, Is homework useful? Is homework helpful? Should students have homework? Is homework beneficial? Now that we have looked at the positive aspects of homework, we will now explore the dark side to answer the two questions.
- Excess homework can be harmful: While the benefits of home assignments have been cited in many places, it is also important to appreciate that it can be harmful when done excessively. If students are given too much homework, most of them end up suffering from sleep deprivation and stress, especially in these times when there are higher expectations when students do homework online.
In one of the studies done in California schools, about 59% of students indicated that they were being given too much homework that resulted in stress.
- Students do not have ample time for recreational activities: When students have excess homework, they do not have ample time to do personal things. After spending the day in class, students should have some time to play at the end of the day. This could also stand on the way of the students’ ability to discover their talents.
- Lack of empirical evidence that homework assists young children: When it comes to kids, data is lacking on how homework is beneficial.
Professor Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek of Temple University argues that for young learners, homework is not the ideal tool for learning.
She asserts that young kids will learn more skills when interacting and playing compared to when working on their homework.
- Little-to-no time for extracurricular activities and relaxation: Having time to rest and reset is important for continuous learning. Not giving children the chance to unwind from previous school work can be detrimental to their ability to function properly in their academics. Students need time away from books and school material to connect back to themselves. This is unarguably essential for academic excellence too.
- Repressed productivity: Another con of homework is repressed productivity. Constantly bombarding students with homework to the point of exhaustion can be counterproductive. According to research from Stanford University studying the issue against homework debate, it came to the conclusion that too much homework has the tendency to negatively impact students. Through a survey data analysis, the research examines how homework conflates students’ well-being and performance in academics. The result obtained from over 10 high schools in California shows how homework causes stress on students, reduces health performance, and distorts their time from disengaging from learning. From this result, it becomes obvious that when students are continually encouraged to do homework, it has the greater possibility of repressing their ability to actively perform or engage with the assignment. Therefore, for better productivity, students need time away from learning or doing homework.
- Physical health challenges: This is one of the reasons why homework is bad for students. Certainly, learning is a mental task and physical health is affected when the mental capacity to function is relatively low. When students are not offered the chance to live away from school activities like homework, this builds up stress within the students, making it impossible for them to function effectively. And, one of the resulting factors to stress is the breakdown of the body. If students are to have impressive school records, doing that under stress will never achieve the intended purpose.
So, Should Students Have Homework? Homework Is Useful
The answer is ‘yes.’ Taking a closer look at the homework debate, we have established that it has great benefits that no one would want his/her child to miss. The emerging studies are not refuting the benefits of homework. Instead, researchers are concerned about quantity. Therefore, the answer to the question is that students should have homework, but in the right quantities.
Is homework necessary for young kids? Is homework beneficial? Again, the answer is “yes.” However, teachers should look for the types of homework that can help the kids understand their environment.
For example, a teacher can ask the kids to identify items in the environment and write their colors. He could even ask them to paint the items in their respective colors.
Even though we agree with the fact that the benefits of homework surpass the demerits, we are not out of the woods yet. It is important to move a step ahead and determine what quantity is enough. Teachers should consider giving learners assignments that will take at most one hour so that they can use the rest of the time playing and doing personal activities.
Benefits of Homework: Making the Assignment Enjoyable
Is homework harmful or helpful? As the debate rages on, one fact that you need to appreciate is that all learning institutions use homework. Therefore, no matter how you view it, it is prudent to be prepared to handle the assignments that come your way, right.
If you find the assignments complex or feel you lack the skills to do it, the best option is seeking homework help. For others, the deadline might be very tight or have other engagements that make it hard for one to complete the assignments. Professional homework assistance is provided by writing experts who understand how to write the best papers, will provide the best online homework solutions and guarantee you top grades. Therefore, no need for stress anymore!