Is homework necessary or a pointless waste of time?



This question had been asked to me in my school years when I was a child, I would have said ‘No’ in a very loud voice. But now, when I am a parent of two wonderful kids, saying direct ‘No’ to homework is very difficult for me. With time, I have come to realize that homework has some good parts to play in a child’s life. But children often fail to understand it, and it is exactly what I did when I was a kid.

But when I grew up, and myself became a teacher, some questions on a frequent basis haunted my mind like: Is homework harmful or helpful? Is homework a waste of time or practice for the best? Importance of homework essay, what are the positive effects of the homework and vice versa? Why is homework stressful for some students? Here, in this article, I'll try to discuss the good and the bad side of the homework. With the points that follow, you can yourself decide if homework is good or bad for the growth of your children.

Let us first start by understanding what is exactly meant by homework? Homework is a work that happens after school hours in the way instructed by the teacher. There is no restriction in taking help from your parents or friends for completing the homework. Yet, if the teacher has prohibited taking the help, you must do so, as a teacher often prohibits it sometimes for your benefit only. There is always a motive for giving any homework. Some students understand it and take homework as a serious task. While some others take it as a burden and find it meaningless. An Individual’s psychology here plays an important role. Homework starts since

Is homework necessary debate, has taken place in various parts of the world. No constructive solution can ever produce from any of the debates. The debate can be endless. Without any prejudice, I am here highlighting some points in favor and against homework which I have learned. Let me start first by highlighting the positive aspects of the homework.

Why is homework good?

There are more positive reasons than the negative ones which prove that homework is good for any child. Here, I am giving the top 15 reasons why homework is important. Some of the best points given in favor of homework, which is true:

Top 15 reasons why homework is important:

1. An opportunity to test if they have learned right in the class:

When we get in-class guidance, for a moment we perceive that we have understood all. But, when we go home and again practice the in-class guided concepts, we sometimes come to know that we have not followed the concept that well. To bring about this realization, doing homework is very important. If a child ignores the homework, it may happen that at the very last level of the exam he gets a realization that he did not understand the concepts well. This is very detrimental to a student’s result. Doing homework improves the understanding of the child whether the child has learned right in the class or not. This also enhances the test score that has taken the year meanwhile.

2. Doing homework makes you feel independent and confident:

You must have realized that when you do your homework, you somehow teach yourself. Some types of homework demand you to use various resources like libraries, textbooks, public depositories, etc. These days’ students sometimes take help from different websites. Isn’t learning about how to use the resources well boosts confidence in itself? This way of learning makes them up-to-date. When you do homework, most of the time you do it on your own without the help of your teacher or parents (if you are not a kid). This develops a sense of independence and confidence that you can solve the problems and questions on your own without depending on anyone.

3. Homework sometimes helps to learn some concepts and theories which are beyond the scope of the class:

Let us take an example of parts of a flower. In science classes, you learn parts of flowers on board. Sometimes a flower or two are also brought by the teacher for the practical explanation of the parts of a flower. After this, some teachers assign the homework to the students to collect at least 5 more flowers. Then observe the parts of those flowers and label them. When a student does so, there may be some changes, that in flower he observes some part which has not explained earlier in the class or is difficult to identify. She/he can then discuss it with a teacher to know more about it. Teachers can give students some extracurricular activities to do for hours a day. By this, they can sharpen up their hidden talent. This takes the students learning beyond the scope of a class. The intent is to prepare students for a very practical approach. The world’s most prestigious research universities including Duke University too, approaches that students should be exposed to practical areas of knowledge.

4. Homework helps to reduce the tendency of procrastination:

At the tender age, students often have the tendency to procrastinate the things, whatever it is. This nature is detrimental for exam preparation. A student cannot grasp all at the very last moment of the exam. Can a nursery student learn to write A, B, C, D, etc. alphabets in only one day? No, it is impossible for them. Similarly, senior students also cannot learn trigonometry, geometry, biology, English grammar, etc. in a few days. To succeed in the exam, continuous practice of all the concepts is necessary. Exams are actually conducted to test how hard they have learned, practiced, and mastered the concept. When a teacher gives regular homework to their students as a necessary part of education, they cannot procrastinate for long.

5. It involves a guardian in the learning process of the child:

Without homework how will a parent be able to connect to the child in his learning? Homework lets the parents know, what is going on in the class of the child. At the same time, it also gives a hint to them about what is going on in the mind of the child. If any parent helps a child in his/her homework, it helps them to know where their child is making a mistake and what the mental state of their child is right now.

6. Homework at the end teaches the life lessons of responsibility and accountability:

When a teacher gives homework, it shoulders a responsibility on the children to do it well. If the child continues to do the homework without responsibility, he/she often meets some disciplinary actions by the school authorities and teachers. By and by, he/she starts to do homework with responsibility. It increases the student’s achievement. So what does it teaches a child? If you go into the in-depth psychological analysis, you will find that it teaches a lesson of life to the child that if anyone gives you some responsibility with a faith that you will do it with efficiency and with responsibility. You should do it well, or the world will not respect you for not keeping their faith. Isn’t it so?

When a student does his/her homework well, he should submit to the teacher for inspection. Here is where he/she learns the accountability lesson. The student is accountable to the teacher, and the teacher is accountable to the children for giving proper feedback in the form of praise, identification, and rectification of the mistake, etc. So here, the student learns the basic lesson of responsibility and accountability from an earlier age.

7. Homework teaches Time Management:

You must have seen school students planning their day. I will do this from this time to this time. Then I will go to play, and after coming home, I will do the remaining work from this time to this time. What is all this planning? Actually, it is time management. Children are the future leaders. They need to learn all the skills right from an early age, including the practice of prioritizing things and time management.

8. Practice makes a man perfect, and homework reinforces the practice and concepts:

The more one practices, the more efficient one becomes. In a student’s life, homework reinforces the learning of concepts and lessons. With this reinforcement, the student develops confidence in learning.

9. Homework helps to build self-esteem:

Some students, who underperform in the exams, often suffer from low self-esteem. Sometimes it becomes very difficult for teachers and parents to raise the self-esteem of such children again. Homework is a good way of not letting such students get things so much out of control that they lose their self-esteem. A student is able to perform, at least, as an average performer if he/she had regular homework habits.

10. Homework develops a strong support network outside of the school:

In doing homework, when sometimes a student finds himself incompetent as sometimes only learning in school is not enough for some reason. In this situation, he/she searches for some outside support. This outside support may come from a friend, guardian, parent, classmate, sibling, etc. This helps to connect your near and dear ones with your education as well as yourself. This builds a strong bonding and support network for a student which helps him in the worst and the best time. Have you ever viewed the benefit of homework from this perspective?

11. Homework provides an idea of what could be important from the Teacher’s point of view:

It gives you a hint about what may be important for your teacher in exams. If you do regular homework, you get a fair idea about what your teacher may ask you in a quiz or test.

12. Prepares a student well for the next day class:

Helps a student to prepare for the next day's classes. Actually, they plan the classes in succession. Whenever a particular lesson is being taught, what they taught in the previous class relates to the next class. A regular homework pattern reinforces the previous concepts. It prepares the student for the next day.

13. In an Indirect way it helps in memory training:

Homework sharpens the memory and thinking of the student. Homework is practice, and any practice always sharpens the memory to some extent.

14. Always keeps a student in touch with the course books and teachers:

Keep the students in touch with their books and teachers. If there is a complete absence of homework, some of the students will never feel any need of keeping in touch with their teachers. Even if they have doubts about something, an absence of homework will not motivate them to clarify their doubts. In the meantime, they will forget all.

15. Helps to get good grades:

Homework gets good grades for sure. We cannot deny the importance of grades in a student’s life. Though we discuss every now and then that grades are not a final verdict for life. But for sure it does have some impact on the life of a student. Moreover, homework is a better option for getting good grades.

Why is Homework bad?

1. The children do not like it, and they do it with a heavy heart and disinterest. They think homework is a waste. All the minutes of homework which they invested in doing it, feel like wasted.

2. Some get depressed by their inability to handle the amount of homework given to them. All children have different capabilities. How can one expect that all the students in the class will be able to handle the same work pressure, in this case, homework?

3. Some students consider homework as the main reason for their parents becoming harsh with them. Their parents pressurize them to do the homework in all the correct and the wrong ways. Parent’s involvement makes them introverted as some students are afraid of their parents.

4. Parents or teachers assume that homework favors a few. Generally, in a class, the student who does his homework well and in time, he gets a preference of superiority by all. This instills a feeling of inferiority in them who are unable to do their homework for some reason or the other.

5. Those who are against the philosophy of homework raise the logical point that homework instills memorization and not education. They here make a case. They say that if a student is able to do the homework, it means that he has no need to do homework. If he is unable to do homework, it means that he has not learned anything from the class study. For them, homework is only a means to know what you know and what you do not know.

6. Sometimes teachers give homework with the intention of covering what they were unable to teach in the class.

7. Excessive homework sometimes makes a student homesick. It stops the physical activities like sports, hiking, etc. which needs to do at this age.

8. Homework sometimes reinforces bad learning habits. The pressure of homework gives them an option for choosing some illogical and bad manners of learning. The examples are letting your friend write a lesson for you, following the same pattern of learning at the college after leaving school, etc.

9. It puts a burden on the teacher. They have to check the homework, and it takes a lot of their time. Instead, if they invest this time in developing some ways of teaching. If they try to explain some concepts in a more effective way, this helps the student more.

10. Homework causes stress and fear in the child. Sometimes this constant fear becomes a cause of their bad health. This is not expected.

Conclusion:

It is very much clear to you by now that the importance of homework looked upon in different ways by different people. It depends on the individual preferences and psyche, on which we do not have any control.

The homework depends on two things:

(a) Teacher: It is up to the teacher to decide what they give for the homework with which motive.

(b) Student: How a student approaches homework.

I am not making a case for or against homework. But I have a strong belief that when it comes to homework, time management is everything. Those who manage the time well can get its benefit. Those who cannot struggle in school, not doing homework is not going to help any student anyhow. Doing it with a positive approach is sure to help a student in one way or the other. Both the students and teachers must see homework in a positive light. One should make it moderate so that, even the most average student could do it. And the student must see it as an essential part of his/her development in life.

If the habit of doing homework start from the elementary school, then kids will be habitual with it, and it will not create a feeling of burden.


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