Is doing homework beneficial to children? Are there pros and cons of it, and how can both students and teachers have the best of it? This piece seeks to establish the pros and cons of homework.
The amount of homework assigned to students has been a subject of debate for decades. Even proponents of the practice believe there should be a limit to avert any negative impact on students’ lives. On the other hand, progressive education theorists have since the 1900s lamented the adverse effects of homework on students’ mental and physical well-being. Consequently, California banned homework for students under 15 years. However, during the 1950s, the debate resurrected, and public opinions favored school assignments.
Fast forward, students are now overburdened with homework. Children in kindergarten to fifth graders receive an average of 2.9 hours of home task a week, 3.2 hours for sixth to eighth-graders, and 3.5 hours for ninth to twelfth graders per each teacher. So if a student has five teachers, then the average hours are times five.
Pros of Homework
- According to studies, homework improves cognition and enhances student’s achievement. Published research in the High School Journal revealed that students who did homework performed better than 69% of students who didn’t undertake home tasks.
- Homework is believed to reinforced learning and knowledge acquisition. As practice makes one perfect, the more students relearn what was taught in school, and they absorb what they lost during class hours. That aside, they can acquire skills like self-discipline, independence, problem-solving, and time management.
- One of the essential advantages of homework is that it allows parents to be involved in their kids’ education. When kids bring tasks home, parents can analyze what they are taught in school. Also, as the kid seeks help at certain points, parents can identify their strengths and weaknesses. According to data, the academic performance of children improves when parents get involved in their education process.
- Causes health problems
Assigning students with too much homework can harm their mental and physical development. In a poll of Californian high school students, about 59% believed they were given too many home tasks. Also, 82% of them said they were stressed by homework. Too much homework can cause sleep deprivation, weight loss, headache, and other health-related conditions.
- Affect low-income students
In most low-income communities, children are expected to assist their parents at work after school. Some even pick up part-time jobs in other to pay their tuition. So imagine assigning such students with long hours of homework. In the US, about 41% of kids are from low-income families. These families may find it difficult to access resources that may help children complete their tasks, including computers and internet service.
- Homework does not help kids
There is no evidence that homework improves academic performance in kids at the elementary level. According to Temple University Professor Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., an assignment is not the best tool for acquiring and applying new information among kids.