Consider the following two homework scenarios…
Student A arrives home from school, has a snack and tells her mom about her day. She heads to her room, completes her homework and reports back in thirty minutes that she finished. She states that she doesn’t understand why homework is even assigned because it is just so EASY!
Student B arrives home from school, has his snack and immediately begins complaining about his homework. He is full of dread and states that he just doesn’t understand why he has to complete it. He talks about how HARD it is going to be and how long it is going to take. He hates homework! His afternoon and evening is spent working on his assignments.
Do either of these sound familiar? Maybe your child falls somewhere in the middle. Regardless of how our children feel about homework, the level of difficulty, or how long it takes, it will be assigned. Students and parents alike will continue to ask the question…
Is homework really worth the time and effort?
Homework can provide an increased understanding of concepts taught at school. Giving students extra practice, allows those concepts to be committed to each student’s long term memory. Good homework reinforces what is taught at school. When homework follows the 10-minute rule (10 minutes of homework per grade level), these benefits are the greatest for high school students. Good study habits develop because of daily homework. Children may also gain a sense of personal responsibility and increased independence because they learn to manage their time and expanding their organizational skills.
If homework levels exceed the 10 minute rule, students begin to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. Too much homework causes stress for the student and family. Kids become burned out because excessive amounts of homework takes away from family time and extra curricular activities. Homework can be difficult for some students due to lack of resources and parental support in their own homes. Other students struggle with homework as a result of individual learning differences. Often students feel defeated because they didn’t fully grasp the concepts when they were introduced in class.
No Definitive Answer:
Ultimately, whether homework impacts a child negatively or positively, depends on each situation. There are too many factors involved to truly know which children benefit, or to say that all homework is beneficial for all students. The type of homework, the amount of homework assigned, the type of learner, and the availability of home support all contribute to each student’s homework experience. The best we can do, is to provide a supportive environment to teach children how to navigate homework. Courtney Evenchik’s article, “Homework and Power Struggles” has great advice for setting students up for success at home.
Written by: Elizabeth Hipwell, M.Ed.
Certified Barton Reading & Spelling Tutor Dyslexia Consultant