Homework is an assignment that students are given to do at home. It might be a continuation of classwork or a new piece of work. It may also be preparation for the next class. The amount of homework school students get varies a lot not only from country to country, or from school to school, but often from day to day. For most the amount of time spent on homework gets longer as we go through our school lives. At the start of primary school we get almost no homework but it is often several hours a day by the time we finish secondary school.
The most important thing in this debate is not so much how much time is spent on homework but whether that time is wasted. If it is time well spent then having a lot of homework to do may not be a bad thing. The debate should therefore consider what else school children would do with that time. Another angle would be to look at whether school could replace homework with something that makes better use of time. For example in Britain the education secretary (the member of the government who controls education across the whole country) wants schools to scrap homework and instead have longer days in school.
Time is valuable. We all need some time to ourselves. School already takes up a lot of time and it is necessary to have time which does not involve concentrating on learning. Education is not the only important activity in everyone’s day; physical activity, play, and time with family are just as important as all teach life skills just in different ways. The internet makes it possible to be learning at home, there are even many computer games that help with learning. Homework clashes with these other activities. It can damage family relationships as it means parents have to try and make their children do their homework.
Homework does not only take up time doing the homework at home but also takes up time in class. First there is the time that the teacher takes when explaining the task. Then more time is taken going through the homework when it is done and marked. This time could be better spent engaging with the class to find out what they do and don’t understand. The answer to this is to have more time in class rather than boring homework.
We are not the only ones who take a lot of time on homework, our teachers do as well. The teacher needs to design the homework, explain it, mark each piece individually, and tell everyone what they got right and wrong. If all this is not done then the homework loses its value as we need to be told individually what our mistakes are to be able to learn from homework. Teachers could as easily use the classwork to find out who knows what they are doing and who are making mistakes and it would save them time.
Especially if we get too much homework it can take the enjoyment out of learning. No matter how engaging the teacher is in class homework will almost certainly be stressful, boring and tiring. It is simply much harder to make homework engaging and interesting as it is often done on our own. We know that there is no direct link between how much homework is set and grades. Studies done on this come to different conclusions so teachers should only set homework when they are sure it is needed. When we only get homework occasionally we will consider that piece more important and a better use of time.