I have come across many students who hate homework so much and try to avoid it in every possible way.
In 2007, Happy Teens Club of Hong Kong Christian Services conducted a survey from August to October. The survey revealed that seven in 10 schoolchildren have negative feelings toward homework while the majority of parents believe students should be given a break from homework once in a while.
Of the more than 700 respondents, 40 percent were students while the rest were parents. Over 70 percent of the students regarded homework as “annoying” and “boring”, while more than half of the parents regarded homework as one of the causes of family conflicts.
About 60 percent of the parents said students should have no homework at least one day every week while 55 percent said they should not be given homework at least one day of each month.
Nearly 60 percent of the students and over 40 percent of the parents surveyed said they were unable to relate homework to any positive reference.
Only 17 percent of the students thought homework is useful in learning, developing critical thinking skills, and helping them memorize information. More than 70 percent of the students said they should not be given homework during long holidays such as Christmas and Lunar New Year.
Over the years, I have seen many students and parents argue that homework is a waste of time. They complain that it takes too long and that they have other things to do when they get home. These students feel that the work should be covered during regular class. They also complain that homework is boring since it just covered the same material taught during class.
I have heard students made the following statements as regards homework: “The amount of stress that homework caused us is ridiculous! “Our teachers just pile it on top of us, not realizing that we have lives outside of school and need time to relax!” “I have had so much anxiety over homework that I have not slept in a year.”
However, it should be noted that, homework reinforces the skills that have been covered during the school day. Students only spend about an hour in each class each day, and during that time, a teacher has to review lessons taught earlier, introduce a new concept, and make sure that the students understand that concept.
Due to time constraint, it may be difficult for an educator to make sure each student has mastered a skill. Hence, homework provides an easy way to give students the extra practice they need, and it helps to make sure that the skills taught earlier become ingrained in the students’ minds.
Homework is also a tool for evaluation. Although giving tests and quizzes are important in monitoring each student’s progress, however, they can hurt a student’s average. Instead of just using tests, a teacher can determine the class understands a concept by assigning and checking homework. By assigning and checking homework, the teacher can identify what skills need to be re-taught, and which students need help.
Having students do homework teaches them how to teach themselves, be independent learners and develop life-coping skills. The teacher is placing them in a position of responsibility by assigning an activity that is to be completed outside of school. No longer is the teacher alone accountable for the learning process.
Homework makes the students active participants in their education. Homework also forces the student to think about what they learned in class. It helps students to develop critical thinking ability.
Homework helps students learn beyond the scope of a class. Example problems from teachers and textbooks show students how to do an assignment.
It shows you what the teacher thinks is important to learn, so you will have a better idea of what to expect on a quiz or test.
By choosing to complete an assignment, the students are not only getting the extra practice needed to reinforce a skill or concept, but they are learning to be self-motivated. As the students become more independent and self-motivated, they become better prepared for other challenges like going to college or holding down a job.
Despite the complaints given by students that homework is time-consuming and a waste of their valuable time, homework helps in many ways. It is an essential tool in the learning process. It is a great way to reinforce the skills that have been covered earlier by providing students with the opportunity to do more practice.
Homework can also be uses as a tool for evaluating students’ progress. It gives the teacher a chance to identify the students that need help with skill, and it also helps to pinpoint areas that need to be re-taught.
By completing homework, students become independent learners and active participants in their education.