Homework Ban: Failure in Class or a Recharge Before Next Day’s School?
Disputes about homework and its amount will probably exist as long as education itself. Students oppose it, teachers and some parents enforce it, and some parents begin to doubt the practice and ask questions about how exactly this additional workload is going to help their children to be curious thinkers if all kids want to do every day is to get a bit more sleep.
This gloomy picture made us come up with two issues up front: first, we will scrutinize real pros and cons of heavy homework load, and second, we will offer you a solution to your ordeal. If today’s tasks are just impossible (as if other daily tasks are much easier!) just let us know, and we will help you out of any written task you can think of. We have been dealing with stressed students and abundant assignments long enough to know how to accomplish them efficiently and not to compromise your grades.
Now back to the question of homework.
What Science Has to Say About Homework Role in Students’ Academic Success
Scholars including biologists and children psychologists have long studied how kids’ bodies and minds function and arrived at a conclusion that home task does not essentially improve learning outcomes of students. Only certain limited amounts of work at home do boost learning and make students more confident in applying their theoretical gains to real-life challenges. But the tradition of abundant homework with heavy stress on memorization dates back to times ages ago when kids’ needs were not taken into account and adults treated kids in ways they believed were right, not in ways that were actually right. Since then the education system was thoroughly overhauled, both for the benefit of students and the country, but the concept of homework did not change much.
Moreover, in various countries approach to homework is different, in some teachers assign loads of it, and in some kids have plenty of time to rest and enjoy themselves after school, and their academic level does not trail behind the US students level. Recently, the debate has moved to the public sphere, with thoughtful arguments in media both for and against homework. HuffPost claims that only 30 minutes of work is allowed. The Atlantic takes the more measured stand and calculates what load suits what age. Teachers, parents, and experts all voice their sincere beliefs and facts to support their positions. But can these debates be boiled down to some concise lists? Actually, yes. We will begin with a more inspiring part:
10 Solid Reasons Homework Should Be Eliminated
(or at least heavily limited in amount). Unfortunately, the existence of these facts will not make colleges and schools skip home tasks overnight, but at least you will be equipped to support your position about homework when asking a teacher to give fewer tasks for home studies. And these arguments will be related neither to laziness nor to boredom (these two are too easy to dismiss).
- Stealing home time that can be spent resting, communicating with parents, siblings or friends – or just engaging in enriching things that you really like.
Students spend in school long hours that can be compared to a full workday – and they are required to do more work at home. In adults’ world it is called overtime and is paid for at double rates, and here it is considered a benefit for students just for the sake of its own.
- Unnecessary work that does not actually impact knowledge or academic success.
For homework to be useful and impact study outcomes positively, many factors are to be taken into consideration while tasks are assigned. Namely, the age of students, the total load of homework for the day, the complexity of the material, its familiarity to students, and many more. But usually, tasks are just dumped on a student’s plate, both discussed and undiscussed in class. What a teacher did not manage to cover in class is supposed to be mastered by students on their own. This is not what homework should be like, experts say.
- Making students fail at next day tests.
Long hours of afterschool work exhaust students even more, and the next day they feel fatigued and distressed, and they hardly remember things they need to pass tests (especially if large home tasks were in a different subject). So they fail, and instead of benefiting from homework they have low scores in tests as well.
- Pressure on mental health and a negative impact on mood. It is obvious that additional challenging work is no good for developing self-perception and attitudes to the world.
- The unnecessary challenge to students who have other tasks like job, sports or looking after siblings.
Instead of pursuing healthy pastime or hobbies that can develop into careers, students spend time doing useless tasks. And then they are expected to know for sure what they want to do in the future!
- No assistance in doing tasks. One of the biggest problems with homework. Students have no one to ask if they have troubles with homework, and so they just repeat their mistakes over and over.
- Standardization of ways students has to learn things. People are wired for different channels of learning, and while some can learn by reading, others just physically need to listen or to watch a video to understand something.
- Writing is not everybody’s talent. Yes, writing in itself is challenging. Not everyone can come up with a decent essay in, say, history or sociology. Just skip it.
- The content of tasks does not coincide with the content covered in class. One more improper way to give home task. The lack of time in class and overly packed curricula are not the problems of students, they are problems of boards and educators who design curricula without knowing what goes on in real classrooms. But since teachers are required to meet milestones, they dump the load on students to study at home. This is a total no-no from a scientific viewpoint, but it happens often.
- Artificial reason for bitter arguments between parents and kids. Yes, teenage is hard, and fights over homework only aggravate already tense and complex relations between parents and kids.
8 Facts That Show That Homework Can Be Useful (Under Certain Conditions)
- Helps to reduce time spent on gadgets in time of digital intoxication. Yes, maybe, it does not require browsing the web for a couple of hours and typing a paper for three more hours.
- Helps to learn time management (if given in reasonable amounts). Yes, if a load is manageable then time distribution planning is important. But today homework just consumes all waking time of students. No management needed.
- Helps master critical thinking and train memory. Yes, if a material was already covered in class and discussed. Then going over it can help students see the connection they did not notice or ask questions that go beyond the surface of events. If they see the material for the first time, they have more questions than answers – and no one is here to answer them.
- Gives a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. Yes, if work is manageable then completing it before doing something for fun makes kids feel responsible and proud.
- Boosts research skills. Yes, if students have a framework of knowledge already and are required to elaborate it through research.
- A doubtful benefit, as researches show today. But anyhow, creating a written project does require research planning, drafting and creating a final version. This is a good training session in switching between tasks.
- Topics for discussions with parents. Cool, if parents can participate and help children grasp the topics better.
- Refreshing study materials in memory before tests. Yes, but home task should include only the subject related to the next day’s test. Then it will not divert time and attention and will help to understand and memorize stuff better.
So, What Is the Conclusion About Homework?
As any medicine, it has its proper dosage and plans of administering. If everything is observed carefully, a home task is a valuable tool to boost learning and develop students’ thinking. But if the load is too big or too complex, it poisons minds, exhausts bodies and in general makes school a gruesome place. So it is up to teachers (and education boards and committees) to manage homework amounts more carefully and so inspire kids’ curiosity and openness to learning. If nothing else helps, we are the last bastion that will take a punch and save your grades by delivering fast and high-quality homework assistance. Remember that.