Why is Homework Important — Importance of Homework in Learning Process to Student Success
Ask any nine-year-old if he or she likes homework, and you’re likely to see a vigorously shaking head and hear a resounding and strongly emoted: NO! When the novelty of school wears off after kindergarten, many children become disenchanted with this time-honored, but sometimes annoying mainstay of education.
While there’s no surprise that most kids would rather spend their time playing Roblox or riding bikes, what do grown-up experts have to say about the importance of homework in the learning process? You might be surprised to find out that the answer is somewhat complicated.
In recent years, the educational world has been rocked by school districts, parents, teachers, and educational researchers who have been voicing their concerns over the effectiveness of homework. On one hand, many districts around the country have been moving towards eliminating it altogether at the elementary level. On the other, researchers have shown that the right type of assignment can help students succeed academically and on standardized tests.
School might be out of session for the summer, but in just a couple of months as the fall semester begins, the debate will be heating up all over again as students head back to the classroom. Let’s take a closer look at both sides of the debate and come to a more balanced perspective on this growing hot-button educational topic.
The Great Homework Debate: What’s the Issue?
Homework has gotten a bad rap lately. Since the turn of the century, there has been quite a bit of negative talk, especially with the publishing of multiple books that critique its efficacy, like Alfie Kohn’s The Homework Myth: Why Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing. In his book, Kohn states his belief that there is no evidence that it helps elementary students succeed.
No matter which book or study you read, the main arguments against home-based assignments seem to revolve around the following ideas:
- It encroaches on important family time at home. Parents and researchers alike have noted that homework cuts down on the already limited time that parents have to spend with their children. In America’s past, many women stayed home to tend to the kids. But times have certainly changed, with many non-traditional one-parent households, and many nuclear families now consisting of two-parent earners both with jobs outside the home.
- Many homework assignments are checked for completion and not accuracy. Teachers are time-strapped and burdened as state funding gets slashed and class sizes soar. This often means that educators are unable to keep up with a workload that includes individualized feedback on differentiated homework assignments. In turn, this results in educators that simply check it as completed or not, earning students a participation grade instead of receiving much more meaningful feedback.
- Can be seen as “busy work” if it does not relate closely enough to a specific lesson. As a parent, you might have seen this before when working with your kindergartener or 1st grader on a “menu” that includes topics that the children haven’t even reviewed in class! In this way, some assignments can be seen as merely “busy work” assigned by the teacher because the campus or district says that a certain number of tasks must be given per week.
- For older kids and teens, it can contribute to sleep deprivation and stress. As students begin to earn a GPA and work towards class rank, school becomes much more competitive. Even in the older elementary years, too much homework can be seen as a major factor for a student’s lack of sleep or their stress related to earning a particular grade.
- Some say it lowers motivation and intrinsic interest in academic subjects. Some parents and experts call homework a “chore” and blame assignments for destroying their child’s love for learning. For instance, many rue the forced reading lists or sustained silent reading because kids usually do not respond well to an activity in which they’re made to do something without little choice in the matter.
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself, is homework important or not? It’s important to note that many educators and researchers do believe in the concept of homework. After all, a debate needs at least two sides! Let’s flip the coin to see the other side of the argument.
Why is Homework Important?
The case laid out above might seem to seal the deal on the argument, as it does offer valid arguments, but facts and statistics are hard to come by when the educational system varies across the country as much as it does. However, there are many teachable aspects of homework that are often looked over in the rhetoric against the assignments.
Here are 10 reasons why homework is important to student success:
- Helps build responsibility. Some current buzzwords and phrases in the educational community are all about making students accountable and taking ownership of their learning. Homework helps kids do just that because they learn to take responsibility for their actions. When completed, they get the reward of earning a good grade, but face consequences in learning and in class when leave it by the wayside.
- Develops work ethic from an early age. Children need to understand the value of hard work and to form the obligation and self-regulation to commit to their projects and see them through. That said, homework can help students form a hardy work ethic that they will take with them to college and beyond.
- Improves time management. From kindergarten to senior year, kids and teens struggle to manage time and prioritize their to-do list. For young children, parents tend to these assignments to guide kids to develop this important skill. The goal for high school students means eventually learning how to manage multiple tasks to fit it in their schedule, and plan which will take longer or shorter depending on their skill level, strengths, or weaknesses.
- Gives students confidence. Sometimes kids need to attempt problems or exercises on their own and realize that failure is an important part of the learning process. In working through math problems or constructing essays, students gain confidence and hone creative problem-solving skills.
- Enhances self-esteem. Once children gain confidence that they can complete an assignment or perform a skill independently, they build a healthy self-esteem, which is important to many aspects of everyday life.
- Teaches study habits. Students don’t enter kindergarten already knowing how to study. In fact, many kids still struggle with study habits when they enter high school! Consistent homework can help children realize the importance of practice, especially if their teachers provide timely feedback and offer tasks that directly relate to the unit quizzes or tests.
- Can offer valuable feedback. When used correctly in the classroom, home assignments can result in meaningful classroom discussions or conferences. Teachers can meet one-on-one with students to discuss observations about progress, or use generalized whole-class feedback to offer students tips on how to improve.
- Gets parents more involved in a child’s education. Like it or not, as a parent, homework forces us to stay on the same page with our children as they work through units and lessons. It also allows parents to contact the teacher if they notice their child struggling with any one subject or topic. Especially in the younger grades, at-home work can keep mom and dad informed about their children’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing for ample intervention opportunities, if necessary.
- The link between homework and standardized test achievement. According to some recent studies, there is a modest positive link between students who successfully complete homework and success on state standardized tests. When taken further, it’s not hard to believe that students who take their work seriously and value their education naturally perform better on not only state testing, but in classwork as well.
- Prepares students for professional careers. While most professions don’t require workers to take tasks home, there are indeed deadlines in the real world. Home assignments can help children prepare for the real world by teaching them to meet their obligations on time.
A More Balanced Approach
So how important is homework to student success, and what to kids really need to succeed? Ask most educational theorists, and they probably agree that homework, when given in moderation when and where appropriate, can be a useful tool to help kids learn and grow. The old adage “quality over quantity” applies to any home-based assignment, and timely feedback must be given to assist students learn the desired concept or skill. Students must understand the purpose and realize the relevancy for any assignment, whether done at home or in the classroom.
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Why Is Homework Considered To Be So Important?
Students who were assigned homework outperformed 69% on standardized tests (standardized tests have been part of the American education system since the 80s) and grades than those who didn’t have homework.
One meta-study on homework’s impact shows 64% while on the other states that 72% take homework effectively improves academic achievement.
Is Homework Necessary?
Boundaries are there for a reason, and certain limits are reasonable to have; otherwise, overdoing anything can lead to an unpleasant result. For example, dying hair over and over again will result in rough, unhealthy hair.
Homework is not just given because the teachers love to put students in misery; there is a thought process behind it.
The debate on is homework necessary or not is one that still does not have a substantial verdict. However, the things that homework undoubtedly help with are:
- Helping students gain a sense of personal responsibility
- A better understanding of topics
- Recapping what has been taught
- Better memory
- Improvement in researching skills
- Learning how to work independently
These work assignments aren’t meant to dampen students’ moods and take away from their free time. Instead, they are intended to enhance their skills.
Repercussions Of Avoiding Homework
Whether the students like it or not, they need to complete their assignments, no matter how many there are. Otherwise, be ready to face the music.
Students dread homework, but there is no way they can dodge this bullet; instead of running away from it or being stressed over it, why not figure out why is it important to do your homework?
- No homework is useless. It is usually based on what the teachers think is important and should not be skipped
- It gives students an idea of what to expect in upcoming tests
- Sadly, homework does affect your overall grade. So skipping homework might affect your overall grade
- Time management skills are put to the test, which can help you later on
- When homework is being done, a person realizes their shortcomings, the areas where they excel, and what requires assistance or more of their time. It gives you a good idea of where you stand
Homework does help one with personal growth; it acts as a mirror that allows one to evaluate themselves. It is not just about the grades but also your understanding of different subjects.
Moreover, following a homework guide can significantly help students get their assignments done quickly and efficiently.
Importance Of Homework
Why should students have homework? As students carry their backpacks home or, in today’s time, be assigned with work online, they often wonder, “why should we work even outside of school timings?”
Here are a few of the reasons why students should have homework:
One of the reasons why students should have homework is that they get better at time management and can always reward themselves later with a victory dance or sweets as they accomplish their tasks. (Source: Unsplash)
Time Management Skills
Every assignment comes with a deadline, giving students the challenge of completing their work within the given time frame. What does that do?
It helps the child realize their potential. But, can they do the work efficiently, or do they have to put in the extra effort? Do they require help, or can they manage independently?
This even teaches them how to prioritize and take accountability for their work.
Moreover, they become more responsible and learn how to manage time. Time is money, and when this realization hits them at an early age, it makes them know the value of time.
Time management is a vital skill required for a successful life.
Builds Their Self-Esteem
Since they are very young, students are encouraged to succeed in life. However, they often leave out the part about how failure is inevitable and helps you grow.
For example, when it comes to homework, the child knows he might get it wrong, but he will see positive results after improving in that area.
That process of hitting rock bottom before achieving the goal is crucial.
The child learns that there is nothing to be ashamed of if they cannot do something; they can always try again, ask someone for help or try another method.
Homework opens up the possibilities of broadening your horizon and seeing things from a different perspective.
That feeling of accomplishment after completing a task successfully will also help boost their self-confidence.
There are several reasons why students should have homework, like the fact that it gives them the freedom and time to explore subjects and learn more. Moreover, it also helps them learn how to organize themselves better. (Source: Unsplash)
Working Outside Their Comfort Zone
A child knows that when they are in a classroom, they have to work because that is what is expected of them.
However, the setup is entirely different at home, making it harder for the kid to work in. But, this is precisely what is needed to make sure they can work in any circumstances.
Anyone can stay in their comfort zone and do great, but the real work begins when the situation around you is not up to your comfort level.
Students from affluent backgrounds may have more distractions back home, whereas those from the lower class might have less space at home to work.
In both cases, when the child needs to get their homework done, they have to overcome certain obstacles to meet their goals, and this is where homework helps once again.
Overcoming hurdles and getting the job done can boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
In professional life, this ability helps a lot as it makes this “do or die” mentality in your head, enabling you to get the job done no matter what.
Why is it important to do homework? Because routine makes everything easy! Similarly, when a child is used to doing homework, they have a set routine. This makes it easier for them to prepare for any upcoming tests or exams.
Someone regular with their homework will find it easier to stick to new habits. Moreover, it will help them adapt to a schedule making it easier to access learning materials.
Overall, homework will instill time management skills and discipline within the student, which will help them study more efficiently and improve their grades.
Extend Learning Skills
In the classroom, there is a limited time appointed to every subject. This makes the chances of concepts not getting cleared a lot more possible.
Moreover, the student may be too shy to ask their teacher questions or daydream too much, so they end up wasting class time.
While doing homework, the pupil can further explore the subject they are interested in and ask their parents or other sources for help.
This way, their learning skills are polished, and they also figure out where their interest lies.
Improves Academic Performance
As mentioned above, there is limited time allocated in classrooms whereas at home one can give more time to a particular subject.
Self-study helps immensely in improving grades, performing better and also helps one become more independent.
Increases Attention Span
The teacher might keep calling the student out at school if they zone out, but there is no one to observe that at home. Some parents do help, but as one grows older, that dependency on parents reduces too.
Your concentration is put to the test when you’re doing homework. This helps your attention span grow, making it easier to process information.
If you believe you cannot concentrate for any reason, you can reach out to a professional and get the help you require.
You can also ask professionals within the education sector how long it should ideally take to complete your homework and work towards achieving that.
Develops Problem-Solving Skills
When someone realizes the responsibility of getting their work done lies solely on them, they start using their brain in more than one way to come up with solutions.
Thus, homework helps with critical and problem-solving thinking. Moreover, assignments challenge students to find a solution for every problem. This also allows them to discover their true potential.
Once the homework is done and submitted, the student has to own it, regardless of their shortcomings.
They are responsible for their homework, and they know that they will be held accountable for what they present.
The student consequently will make sure to give their best effort to get the result they want.
Through homework, students learn that you reap what you sow, and every action has a reaction. This lesson alone makes one a responsible individual.
One of the reasons why students should have homework is because it teaches students accountability. Also, they have the time to grasp the key concepts of their classroom lessons fully. (Source: Unsplash)
Enjoy All The Benefits Homework Has To Offer!
When talking about homework, one cannot even wrap their head around how this task which seems like a headache, can have many benefits.
Homework is essential because of what it makes one achieve in their academic career. In addition, it grooms for the professional life yet to come.
The importance of homework is beyond just grades. It is about helping an individual learn interpersonal skills. Then, later in life, they will surely be thankful for the misery they were put in at a young age.
It seems like if someone digs deeper, there are many layers to the things we are expected to do. And Superprof can help you uncover all that is beneath the surface.
Are you interested to know more or reaching out to experienced homework tutors? Then, go on Superprof and be assisted by the best!