Studies have proven that homework does improve the stability of students in school. According to Cooper’s much-cited review of homework studies, there have been 20 studies since 1962 that compared the achievement of students who received homework and achievement of students who did not. Results are that 14 of the studies showed benefit in doing homework, while 6 did not. This further strengthens the statement “Time spent completing homework is time well spent.".
Homework is an important and valuable component of learning. It teaches the students important life skills that they will need to apply even when they become working adults, especially time management, prioritizing work, as well as values, namely responsibility and self-discipline. By doing homework, they will start to develop time management. They will start to allocate their time for leisure pursuits and completing their homework. Through this, the students will be able to learn the value of self-discipline as they try to refrain themselves from playing until they have completed their assignments. They will also develop a sense of responsibility by knowing the need to finish homework in time and contributing to group work or projects. If homework is not given at all in school, when students enter the working life, they will not be adapted to the heavy workload and deadlines set by their bosses.
In addition, the number of hours spent in school is only a few hours, which is most likely insufficient for the teachers to cover fully and properly the topics that students need to study. Hence, some students may not fully understand the topics that the teachers taught in school and they might have problems learning well and coping with the syllabus. Setting homework and assignments extends the student’s study beyond what they learn in school and allows for a wider and deeper understanding of the topic. With homework, school hours are also put to good use in which teachers can spend their time teaching well instead of giving the students class work to do, and students can avoid distractions from others when they attempt their work at home. They can also catch up on missed classes by doing homework.
Homework is useful to inform teachers of the students’ weaknesses in certain topics, giving them a chance to improve and acquire new skills. If there is no homework, teachers would have to base majority of the students’ standards on tests alone, which is not reliable at times. In fact, teachers should plan lessons according to the students’ abilities; this can be effective as students will be able to learn more efficiently and not do the same homework planned for the whole level. It will be of not much use as it does not cater to the students’ needs. However, we understand that the undesirable situation is present, especially in Singapore schools where students are ‘spammed’ with homework and not given any leisure time. But keep in mind that this situation does not happen across the globe. Actually, we should ‘blame’ those teachers that are not that receptive to ideas and refuse to cut down the workload. Only real (caring) teachers will change for the students.
Homework provides students with sufficient practice for what they have learnt in school so that they can build a good foundation for that topic. With a good foundation, they can progress better in school and achieve better results for their tests and exams. It also lets students revise and recap what they are taught and more importantly, homework gives an early warning to students who do not understand certain key concepts so that they are aware of it in the future. However, if there is no work assigned, most students would not listen in class. They would not bother about studying or revising what they have learnt and this is certainly not beneficial to them. Having homework keeps the student busy so there is equilibrium between leisure and studying time. If there is too much leisure time, students would only play, go out with friends or have nothing to do instead of studying.
Having homework also lets students explore about the topic themselves and even learn more about it which is not being taught in class. They will also learn how to use certain resources such as the internet or library to research for information to aid them in their homework. Through this, students can gain additional knowledge outside school hours and be able to apply them in future.
However, I agree that homework should not given to an extent that students have no time at all for their leisure activities and deprives them of their sleep. Too much homework can indeed increase the stress of students and this can affect their mental health greatly. Hence, homework should only be given to a moderate extent, not totally abolished, as it does help students in their learning.
Thus, homework is indeed very beneficial to students as it can affect one's learning and even his or her future. We cannot deny the fact that the benefits of homework far overshadow its cons. Despite this fact, there are many people suggesting the abolishment of homework. Why is such a ludicrous question posed when having homework is what it takes to succeed in school and perhaps when students grow up?