Is Homework Really Necessary?
We Asked Students Their Views on Homework
From 8:05 a.m. to 2:53 p.m., every Monday through Friday, NHS students sit in the classroom learning new material on different subjects. Whether it be math, English, science, history, business, music, art, and any other NHS classes, students obtain new knowledge every day from teachers. However, when school is over, students are still required to do the work at home for the next class. The real question: is homework really necessary?
Sometimes homework could be a drag, however, studies show that homework is actually beneficial for students. Not only does homework help students with their academics, but it also helps them become better people for the future. According to Newsweek, “kids who do their homework diligently tend to be more conscientious than their peers, according to researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany. After-school assignments don't just have academic effects—they also are linked to kids' motivation to do the right thing and work hard.”
It’s not actually the homework problems that you are solving that helps create your personality, it’s just doing the homework itself. Knowing that you are putting in the time and effort to do the homework makes you more motivated to do other things. It makes you a hard worker and a more motivated person. Whether it be homework or not, you are at least putting some sort of effort into what you are doing, which makes you want to put more effort into other things as well.
Homework also helps students in four aspects. According to the website, Memphis Parent, “your child is gaining several simple skills each time she sits down to do work at home.” Those simple skills are responsibility, time management, perseverance, and self-esteem. For each skill, there is a reason.
Responsibility: It is the students’ responsibility to do their own homework, and if they don’t do it it’s their own fault. This helps them learn that they have to take responsibility for what is required from them and the consequences if not done.
Time management: Homework allows kids to organize themselves and learn to time manage between different things. Whether it be sports, band, choir, or extracurricular activities that interfere with homework (as a student-athlete, I understand the struggle and have learned to manage), it helps the kid figure out how to manage between whatever it is they have to do plus homework.
Perseverance: After finishing time-consuming projects or extremely hard algebra problems, once it is all over it feels great knowing you accomplished it. It’s a sense of both relief and pride when such difficult tasks are completed. It also makes you feel better knowing you are actually able to do it instead of giving up.
Self-esteem: Everyone should have confidence in themselves no matter what it is. With students and their homework, if they don’t trust their self to do it or to actually get it right, it causes more problems with homework and eventually leads to not doing it at all. With guidance, there will be progression and a kid’s self-esteem will boost. When they feel more confident knowing that can actually do it without a problem, it motivates them to work harder just so they can have that feeling of “Hey, I actually know what I’m doing!”
According to the NHS Vice Principal (Academics), Mr. Joseph Materia, he agrees that homework is necessary for students’ education. “Homework is necessary because it gives students an opportunity to practice independently and identify what they do not understand; here, the student is then expected to ask for help,” says Materia. “Teachers need to see the results from homework under the umbrella of assessment in order to determine areas for growth for the class and/or particular students.”
Homework may claim to be useful for students, however, there are still some things we don’t know about. As well as homework being beneficial, it still has its downsides. Nancy Kalish, author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It, says that many homework assignments are "simply busy work" that makes learning "a chore rather than a positive, constructive experience.’”
Gerald LeTendre, of Penn State’s Education Policy Studies department points out that the shotgun approach to homework, when students all receive the same photocopied assignment which is then checked as complete rather than discussed individually with the student, is not very effective. He says, "If there’s no feedback and no monitoring, the homework is probably not effective."
Along with both sides of the argument, every student’s mind is different. It really depends on the student doing the homework. One student may respect the idea of homework and use it for their advantage to try and get better on a subject. However, one student can argue saying that homework is a big waste of time that no one even cares about and it doesn’t help them whatsoever.
Amanda Gibney, a sophomore at NHS, insists that homework is not a necessity and should not be given. “Personally, I believe that homework isn’t necessary because we spend six hours in school and do work the entire time. And many students, including myself, do sports that take up a lot of time,” argues Gibney. “So after going to school and going to practice, homework is just added stress that isn’t necessary.”
Jennifer Slanovec, a sophomore at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, claims that homework is actually beneficial and helps students’ realize either their mistakes or strong points while doing homework. “I believe that homework is beneficial to students learning new materials because it solidifies the information that was just taught and it also allows the student to notice if they are making mistakes,” states Slanovec. “Although I think homework is beneficial, I think it shouldn’t be a certain amount of problems because some students can comprehend the information faster and might not need as much practice as others.”
Homework is a very controversial subject. It’s either helpful or not, and it all really depends on the student. Not all students are the same, and not all homework is neither. Yes, homework could be a drag sometimes with both outside activities and schoolwork, however, it all works out in the end, no matter if it helps you or not.