Is Homework Beneficial? The Pros and Cons

Is homework harmful or helpful for students? This is a controversial subject. Of course, the average high schoolers and elementary students are against it. But, the real debate goes much deeper than that. This topic isn’t about kids who would rather be playing video games or those who think they should buckle down just because. The debate over the benefits of doing homework vs. the benefits of not having homework involves parents, educators, even mental health professionals.

Here, we will explore both sides of the issue. First, how is homework beneficial for students? Next, what are the potential downsides? Get ready as we debate the pros and cons of homework.

Common Benefits of Homework

Students may be dismayed by this, but there are some good arguments for homework. These views deserve some consideration. So, what are the benefits of homework?

  • Homework helps ensure things are committed to memory
  • Parents who help with homework better understand where their kids are
  • Homework can put struggling kids at an advantage
  • Kids who do homework build time management skills
  • Homework assignments prevent time wasting and excessive screen time

Why is Homework Not Beneficial?

As we consider ‘should teachers give out homework pros and cons,’ it’s important to lay out the negatives. Here are some good reasons for ditching the practice altogether.

Kids Are Overscheduled Already

Kids need free time for better mental health. They develop problem-solving skills, social skills, creativity, and other important traits when they are left to their own devices. They also need family time. Unfortunately, younger kids often have their schedules micromanaged in a series of school related activities, scheduled play dates, athletics, and lessons. Even teenagers don’t get enough downtime. By including mandatory homework in the mix, kids often go to bed at night without having had any unscheduled time.

It Takes Control of Family Time Away from Parents

Imagine being the parent of a child who has had a horrible day, is emotional, and melting down. You know that the best thing for them at that moment is an early bedtime, so they feel better in the morning. Unfortunately, you’re faced with getting them through an hour of homework instead. Now, imagine being a parent who is trying to plan a fun family activity. Once again, your plans are disrupted by homework.

While it may not be realistic for parents to expect their kids to have no school related obligations at home ever, homework is often assigned in a way that provides no balance. Parents are left spending evenings managing homework schedules instead of choosing how the evening will be spent. No wonder that there are so many articles against homework.

Children Who Have a Negative School Experience Will Also Feel Poorly at Home

Considering less homework pros and cons, one should admit that, sadly, school isn’t a safe nurturing space for all kids. Some kids are bullied. Some struggle with academics or simply find school to be less than a positive place to be. Coming home should be a bit of a respite for them. Unfortunately, this relative peace of mind goes away if they have to spend time struggling with homework.

Not All Students Have the Same Support and Resources

In many cases, homework assignments reveal social and economic disparities among families. All too often, homework assignments are given by teachers who assume that all kids have access to school and art supplies, reliable internet connections, a reasonable workspace, and parental support. This simply isn’t the case. The result is that rewards in the form of grades are given to privileged students who are better equipped to complete these assignments while students who are not struggling. This creates even more of an academic gap.

Other Important Questions

Should homework be given or banned for students and schools? And how does homework benefit students, if it does? The debate may never be settled. Instead, the best path forward is to make small beneficial changes to homework policies. Part of that is asking the right questions. 

  • Is homework in kindergarten beneficial?

Studies show that assigning homework in early elementary has very few academic benefits. However, kindergarteners might benefit from the occasional fun, optional assignment to be completed at home.

  • What is the right amount of homework?

Some people believe in the ten-minute rule. This means ten minutes of homework for each grade level. However, this guideline doesn’t really address the variety of circumstances that might make any amount of homework problematic or students who simply don’t need homework to succeed at school.

  • Should homework be mandatory?

There may be some instances where a student needs to do schoolwork at home. For example, if they’ve missed class or didn’t complete a mandatory assignment. However, there isn’t much benefit to assigning homework on a regular basis as a matter of course.

  • What are warning signs that homework is too much?

It’s pretty easy to see when homework is too much. Here are some clear indicators:

  • Students are unable to participate in family time or activities.
  • There is stress or family conflict.
  • Bedtimes must be put off due to homework.
  • Disciplinary issues arise that can’t be attributed to anything but homework issues.

Conclusion

There are certainly many arguments for and against homework. Of course, those are irrelevant if you are the student facing a busy schedule and other struggles. In that case, you have to consider the cost of doing homework vs. the cost of finding an alternative. So, the best measure of the economic cost of doing your homework is less time for work, less social time, less family time, and fewer moments to simply enjoy yourself.

Even if you think that homework is generally a good thing, it’s easy to see how your time might be spent doing other things. In that case, consider getting homework assistance. There are plenty of paid and free resources to help you, and we provide reviews to help you make the best choice.

Posted by Diana B.

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