Giving students school homework has been a controversial topic since the late 19th century. Even today, experts and parents often debate about its significance in education. Some people think of homework as a vital learning tool, while others consider it detrimental and something that can negatively affect the students’ academic performance and overall well-being.
So how do we know for sure whether students should have homework or not?
Let’s dive deep into the pros and cons of school homework and have a closer look at the key arguments on both sides to help you decide for yourself.
There will be an important poll at the end where you can place your vote!
Pros Of Homework
Improves Academic Achievement
Studies have shown that students who regularly do homework have higher test scores on standardized tests and acquire better grades than students who didn’t do homework at all. Students who do homework also have higher chances of attending college.
But researchers have also discovered that its effectiveness will vary, depending on the amount of homework and the student’s developmental level. For example, the recommended time spent on the tasks for first graders is 10 minutes per night, while second graders should spend about 20 minutes each day, and so on until kids study for 2 hours a day in 12th grade.
It will encourage a better learning experience and prevent students from experiencing burnout.
Develops Study Habits
Homework also helps students develop study habits by enhancing their discipline and time management skills that they can apply in their everyday lives, which are essential and valuable in the future.
Since all tasks need to be completed on time, students are encouraged to plan, organize, and set priorities to meet the deadlines. It also helps them build a concrete routine by creating a study schedule, which further improves productivity, maximizes learning, and helps achieve a better school-life balance.
Develops Independence and Responsibility
Students who do homework also learn to be more independent and responsible, since teachers most likely require them to complete tasks without external help (although occasionally asking for help as needed is expected).
It also enables students to make decisions and practice autonomy or self-reliance, which can help enhance their problem-solving skills and apply these skills independently when issues arise in the future.
Homework also hones in on the students’ sense of responsibility and accountability since they are aware that they need to adhere to deadlines and complete their homework correctly to achieve good grades.
Enhances Student Learning
Doing homework reinforces student learning and helps them remember essential information by reviewing their previous materials at home. It also helps them better understand subjects and concepts they have difficulty with through extensive research and relearning at home.
Allows Involvement of Parents with Children’s Learning
Parents can also help observe their children’s academic progress and identify their learning strengths and weaknesses by assisting them with their homework. It enhances parent and child communications, and it can be a way for the family to bond when helping students complete tasks.
Cons of Homework
Homework can cause stress to students because of the huge pressure they feel to complete the tasks every night. Students are also more likely to experience anxiety, especially if there are deadlines and heavy school workloads to meet and their subjects are difficult.
It may also result in sleep loss and other health problems since students will spend hours finishing all assignments and are more likely to feel overwhelmed. It will further negatively impact their mental health or overall well-being.
Because of that, students won’t be able to focus better, learn effectively, and do better on their tests because they’re already tired and unmotivated to learn because of unnecessary stress and feelings of anxiety.
Consumes Free Time
Since students require long hours and are more focused on getting things done, homework eats up most of their time to do other things, such as extracurricular activities, getting rest, and socializing. As a result, they won’t have enough time to pursue their hobbies or other creative works.
Encourages Inactive Lifestyle
In addition, due to the long amount of time spent completing homework, students have less physical exercise, which may result in health problems, such as obesity.
They are also more likely to see studying or learning as less enjoyable because they see homework only as a means to get better grades, further discouraging learning and lowering academic performance.
Affects Home Life
Doing homework may also affect home life if the parents pressure their children to perform well, get good grades, and complete the tasks at an unrealistic pace. In addition, parents unfamiliar with the topics, homework material, and their children’s learning approach may also cause confusion and frustration in the family.
Homework may also interfere with the schedule of family members, especially working parents.
Incorporating homework has always been an ongoing debate because of the different impacts.
Homework Causes Economic Inequality
Students from poor families have a significant disadvantage when it comes to homework. Some may not even have internet access needed to complete the assignments, or their internet speed may be too limited to properly access things online, like educational videos. Wealthier families may hire tutors that can assist kids with their homework, or even do it for them, giving them an edge. Poorer families may not have the time to help their kids because they need to work multiple jobs.
Discourages Natural Curiosity
Homework makes everyone study specific topics which can limit a students natural curiosity about the world. Curiosity and discovering new things is a very important skill for society. Curious people are often the ones who invent new things that help all of us.