Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?


Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

In recent years there have been too many homework assignments, and children’s complaints seem to be true and honest. Homework doesn’t allow for the child’s abilities and knowledge and is the same for everyone.

Many parents tend to have full control of their children. Their views and behavior in building parent-child relations are affected by teachers’ opinion that if the demands of the society have drastically changed, so the educational standards need to alter as well.

These ideas have an impact on the education program, teachers’ behavior, and the homework itself (meaning the amount and complicity of the latter). So, who is right - children, parents, or the education system?

When searching for material for this article, we came across a post from a mother whose son is attending school. She wrote:

Yes, I am a bad mother! I do not want to do homework with my son in the evenings. When we come home, we only desire to have some rest. We like to talk and have fun, prepare dinner together, watch a movie or read a book. But no…! We need to do your homework!!! Why? The evening is a time for joy!

It’s not that this woman is wrong, especially since so many people supported her words.

homework help

By the way, the government does not make homework mandatory. In schools, the amount of homework and the homework itself solely depend on a teacher. 

Experts say, the time spent on homework should be as follows:

  • Kindergarten - half an hour (an hour is a maximum for really interesting and creative tasks);
  • Middle school - one-two hours; 
  • High school - two-three hours;  
  • College\University - daily homework routine tasks should not take more than three and a half hours.

The challenges teachers face when giving homework

Elen Marks, the certified expert in postgraduate education considers the following: 

Educational standards have changed. Prior to this, the teacher had to give students tasks to study at home no more than one-third of the material studied at school. Now our priority is not to give a set of knowledge, but to form a common sense and competencies that will allow children to look and find this knowledge themselves.

Difficulties connected with homework occur in families where parents do not trust their children. In such families, children are patiently waiting for parents to come home to help with the homework. It’s not the right way to raise a child if we want to make progress here - a child needs to be given independence from the very first grade. In no case can one do homework for children.

Homework is often a source of parents-children conflicts. Now it is hard to find the right balance. There are many reasons why school (or college\university) children need to spend more time on their homework. Here we can mention the topical ones:

  • an increase in the amount of new material a teacher needs to present in a lesson; 
  • lack of gadgets and relevant class equipment (here we are talking more about chemistry, physics and other difficult and profile university subjects);
  • tight time-frame for a full presentation of new material. 

The teacher needs to assume the content, volume, and time a child should spend on homework. And a clever teacher should know the individual abilities of every student in class and if necessary, prepare individual assignments for everyone. This method applies in private schools, colleges, or home education system. 

In public educational entities, such teacher should differentiate the task, realizing that the quantity not always determines the quality of the homework which needs to be done referring to general educational standards. Parents can and should help the child learn.

But this assistance should be always smart. The tips here are the most trivial and common. The task for parents is to create and boost the child’s inner feeling that he or she will succeed. And if they fail, they should not perceive it as a tragedy. 

We all know that the school education program is now complex. School sometimes causes stressful situations in a family. Most parents remember and try to practice their outdated methods when helping their children do homework.

But over the past time, the volume of information provided within the study course has grown tremendously. Not every teacher can thoroughly explain all the required material during the lesson, so students have some part of it for independent study. So, finding the right balance is always the best way.

Expert advice:

How to cope with the volume of tasks at home? The first thing is to determine the goal to be achieved by fulfilling one task or another. If your child is fond of algebra - you should gently guide him or her to it.

The process of learning should be smooth, bring joy and happiness when a child is fully engulfed in the process of creating and dealing with something new. However, it can be a disaster when parents try to get full control of the process.