Is Homework Beneficial for Students in Reality?

27 Jun Is Homework Beneficial for Students in Reality?

Is homework beneficial? – is one of the questions that come up so regularly in the minds of students, parents and teachers as well.

Most people will tell you that homework is significant as it serves as an opportunity for reviewing study materials which are taught in the classroom.

One of the quotes of the principal of Signal Hill School in NJ goes like “You need to practice in order to become proficient”, which is indeed true. Teachers become aware when they find some students are not able to finish the homework and so they guide students for future lessons.

Some profound teachers are of the opinion that to make learning and teaching effective, the application in case of classroom lessons must occur beyond school hours as it happens in school.  Homework must not be too much and it should help in reinforcing the topics they learned in class during the day.

To know is homework beneficial or not, you must learn that parents usually see their kids struggling with homework at times. But then there are the “Wow” moments where a student feels so accomplished once they do the homework on their own. So in the initial part when a child learns to read and write homework poses as a challenge, but with years as the children get confident in schoolwork, they do it quite independently.

Some believe that a gradual rise in homework as student progresses from eight to twelve years in school helps in preparing students better to build required skills in time management and they also feel responsible for their own learning.

Does homework turn harmful?

Alfie Kohn, who wrote the book “The Homework Myth”, is a strong critic for at-home projects or works. He feels that homework has frequently become a source of exhaustion, family conflicts, frustration and shortage of time for students who wish to pursue other hobbies or interests.

Some researchers on the advantages and disadvantages of homework, point out saying that there has been no research which has ever shown any benefits in assignment of homework in any amount or kind more specifically in elementary school. They find it as all pain with no gain. They are of extreme views and claims that homework fails in promoting any good habits like say self-discipline or independence.

There are some important questions about homework which you can validate before concluding is homework beneficial or not.

Have a look at the below-mentioned points to understand in a better way:

  • The time required for completion

In any book or school in the world there are no set golden rules or guidelines which determine how long a student can study, more so because every student is different from other in terms of learning speeds.

The main motto of assignments should be leading to better learning with positive results. If the assignment encompasses this, it must balance effectiveness and efficiency. If the assignment is more efficient, it can cover more learning and material through study course of the year.

But there is the rub. Homework and assignments given must not be too long that it starts provoking boredom neither it should be too quickly such that the topic is not mastered. Homework must be a balance in between the two that all should seek.

  • Does homework consider all level of learners? 

Generally, teachers create the assignments keeping in mind the average or middle-pack kids and assume the time taken by them.

However, some struggling students may take up as much as triple or double the time taken by other students when completing an assignment. Teachers must not only consider the cases of the general learners but also give assignments considering the requirement and level of all students, which is quite a difficult target to achieve.

  • Do assignments encourage success in future?

A long or bulky assignment makes sense and is justified only if it’s meaningful. Homework which helps in building confidence and opening doors for future success is definitely the need of the day.

Worthy and useful assignments enhance students to participate in further activities instead of discouraging. It is the duty of teachers to explain the advantages of doing homework such that pupils are sold on the benefits. If students are not aware of the objectives of the work they will consider assignments like busy work.

  • The assignment must place the material in context of real life 

The answer to- Is homework beneficial is ’Yes’ and if the classroom teaching can be transferred out of the school walls.

Like say when teaching area, do students measure area of a fridge shelf for determination of the size of cake that fits? While learning types of clouds, students need to observe it in the back yard. This makes learning applicable to daily life and assignments should promote this instead of theoretical knowledge.

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