Homework is that well-known burden that follows us all the way from kindergarten to post-graduate years and acts as a source of stress for everyone involved, students, parents and even teachers. Therefore, for some years now, the benefits of homework are being debated where some people think that homework assignments are doing more harm than good by producing unnecessary stress for everyone, while others believe that it plays a crucial part in children’s path to achieving independence and responsibility outside the classroom.
Here we will analyze some of the main arguments from both sides and try to find out whether it is good or bad for children to do homework.
The benefits of doing homework
- Homework is a great way to develop traits like independence, responsibility, and discipline. Doing homework teaches kids how to work on their own and use the resources at their disposal when they face a challenge. It also teaches them punctuality by having to complete the assignments within the deadline.
- Another benefit is that it can bring families together. When a children get stuck with their assignment they will ask for help from their parents or siblings. That way, not only will children get the necessary homework help from their family members but it will also provide the parents with insight in their child’s educational life.
- Doing homework will also create a connection between students and teacher. Children can approach their teachers before or after class and discuss their homework with them and receive an explanation for every problem they have. In that manner, teacher and student will act together as a homework solver.
- Homework assignments are a significant part of students prepare for important tests. First of all, homework assignments will show them what their teacher thinks is important to learn and give them an idea what to expect on the test, and secondly, when they do their assignments wrong they will not be punished as they would be if they did their test wrong.
The potential harm of homework
- The main reason why a lot of people are against homework is that it produces an unhealthy level of stress. The pressure that is imposed on children to complete their assignments every night is quite unnerving for most of them and they need the time to relax their mind and bodies. The research conducted on more than 4300 students shows that around 70% of them are often or always stressed over schoolwork where 56% of them listed homework assignments as a primary source of stress. More than 80% of surveyed students reported having at least one of the stress-related physical symptoms such as headaches, weight loss, sleep deprivation, stomach problems, and exhaustion.
- Excessive homework significantly reduces the amount of free time that children need to spend with their family, friends or attending extracurricular activities in order to refresh and improve their psychophysical condition. Research also shows that a big number of students fail to develop other, crucial life skills due to an overwhelming amount of homework assigned to them. They tend to sacrifice leisure activities, stop seeing friends and not participate in hobbies.
- Homework can even create conflict between parents and children especially when parents are limited in their education and consequently lack the confidence in their ability to help their kids with that difficult science homework. Studies show that family fights about homework are about 200% more likely when parents do not have a college degree.
- Another serious problem is that too much homework encourages kids to cheat where they end up copying from one another or searching for homework help online in order to finish their assignments on time. Nowadays they usually turn to the internet for help and find a suitable homework help desk where they can ask academic experts for assistance.
- Finally, teachers also suffer from a large amount of homework. A number of them usually do not have the time to grade those homework assignments because they are too busy designing lesson plans and consulting teaching literature in order to just manage lessons. Thus by the time the papers are back, the class has moved on to a new lesson.
Obviously, there are plenty arguments that support both views. The only things that are certain are that homework always was and is today an integral part of the educational system and on the other side, it really is true that children nowadays have an excessive amount of homework they are obligated to face with in order to achieve academic success.
Maybe the only action that can prove that either one of those two theories is correct is the complete exclusion of homework assignments from educational system for a certain amount of time. That way researchers can measure te impact of homework on children’s mental state as well as their knowledge level and make a final decision on whether homework is good for children or not.