The great homework debate is an ongoing conflict, with some experts saying the take-home lessons should be abolished, while others think they should be limited by age or completion time. Despite the controversy, homework is still a normal assignment for most school-age students to receive. So, what’s the importance of homework in a learner’s life? Well, answering the question of why is homework important for students will also answer the question of why is homework important for parents, too.
10 Benefits of Homework
Acts as A Bridge Between School and Home
Even if teachers and parents aren’t using the margins of a child’s homework to send messages back and forth in writing, a student’s take-home assignments can still be a de facto communication network used by two of the people most responsible for their unassuming courier’s continued learning.
When teachers assign homework, it can help teachers and parents unravel the puzzle that is their student’s learning preferences—an invaluable piece of knowledge to have in their quest to encourage enrichment and progress. Additionally, some parents like homework because it provides a window into their child’s daily lessons.
More Time with Material
Despite a teacher’s best efforts, there are concepts that may continue to elude some students even after ample instructional time and effort. That’s okay—children learn in different ways and at different speeds.
During homework, the additional time learners spend engaged with a subject can be exactly what they need to begin piecing things together and grasping the lesson presented in the day’s materials. Homework affords them all the time they need to explore those ideas without the societal pressures or time constraints they may experience in a classroom setting.
Using Resources to Their Advantage
In an academic setting, knowing something means being able to recall it from memory and prove that knowledge on an exam, in an essay or during a conversation. Knowing how to find that fact using an educational resource like a library, a reference book or the Internet can be an equally useful long-term skill, though.
Working from home and having access to resources outside the classroom helps show a child the best avenue for finding the information they require and teaches them to use those tools when searching for relevant, factual information.
An Environment Conducive to Learning
Teachers can devote a lot of effort to making their classrooms feel like welcoming, safe areas that allow for the exploration and internalization of important academic concepts. However, despite an educator’s best attempts, some students may never be able to feel as comfortable as they do when they’re at home.
For those learners, homework exists as a chance for them to interact with the day’s material in their most open, relaxed state. At home, they’re free of the distractions and hindrances of a public place, allowing them to truly be themselves.
This can help accelerate the development of those children since learning while comfortable and in a good mindset is the best way to internalize and memorize the lesson at hand.
Teaches Students to Efficiently Manage Their Time
We’ve already touched on homework’s ability to familiarize kids with resources available to them beyond those they’ve come to rely on in their classrooms. Time management skills are another secondary lesson that homework can bestow upon young people, and it’s an important one to learn if they hope to make the most of their waking hours.
Self-regulating the task of homework helps kids figure out how to manage their own workloads and increases their ability to act autonomously and responsibly. Homework always has a due date, and taking on this due date—with the responsibility of meeting it—encourages independent thinking and problem solving.
If learned properly, time management is a skill young people will carry with them, first utilizing it to manage multiple facets of their life during any post-secondary educational pursuits before relying on it to get the most out of their adult years.
Whether they’re reinforcing a lesson they’ve already explored or successfully grasping the concepts after a healthy amount of after-school study time, homework can help foster the self-esteem necessary for students to excel in both academics and everyday situations. Taking the lessons learned during class and applying them independently to assignments can do wonders for a child’s self-autonomy and self-reliance. It can also give them the confidence necessary to trust their learning process and fight through failures to their eventual understanding.
Enhances the Next Day’s Lesson
When students explore their take home work, they may find questions they didn’t know they had. This allows each student to have a grasp on the homework and come ready for a class discussion. Effective homework does more than just ask students to complete its tasks before the next class period, it also engages kids and lays the groundwork for an enriching learning session.
Helps Identify Weaknesses
Homework can instill confidence and self-esteem by giving students a safe environment to practice problem solving and self-reliance, but homework can also shine a spotlight on the weaknesses particular lessons may expose in a student’s knowledge. Even if they find these revelations discouraging, identifying areas needing improvement can be just as important—possibly more important—than strengthening self-esteem.
Facing a shortcoming can teach a student how to handle adversity, fixing that shortcoming can help a student learn that progress is possible, and repeating the process can solidify a student’s confidence in their learning process and ability to internalize concepts.
Benchmarks like grades and academic awards may be external motivators and less effective than intrinsic motivation, but these can also be happy secondary effects of healthier motivational styles—and homework can play a big part in reaching those milestones. Keeping up with after school work can improve student’s grades and scores on standardized tests.
Widen Attention Span
When doing homework, students—especially older students—are responsible for managing their own attention span. There aren’t any teachers at their homes yelling about daydreaming, doodling or other self-imposed distractions. Teachers assign homework, then homework teaches some life skills necessary to excel in high school and beyond.
How to Help Your Child with Homework
Praise Hard Work
Making a point to recognize the effort and hard work school students are putting into their out-of-the-classroom learning can help them form a positive relationship with their homework. It can also help craft the act of completing that work into an internal motivation. It’s important to avoid praise that promotes achievement motivation, such as a focus on a specific award or position, but the work a child is putting into those possible achievements shouldn’t go unpraised.
On nights when a large amount of homework seems to be a daunting task, make a plan with your young person to tackle their assignments. Splitting work up into sessions helps make tasks more manageable.
It’s Not Your Homework
Help your learner grasp concepts by supporting them and answering reasonable questions, but ensure they’re learning by making sure they’re the ones completing homework.
A Child’s Home Office
Create a dedicated, well-lit area where students can complete homework without worrying about distractions. Keep the area stocked with items they’re frequently using to complete assignments.
Affix Homework to A Certain Time
Routines can help people maintain responsibilities and get used to doing certain tasks. Figure out the best time for your child’s productivity and deem that period as homework or study time.
Discuss Lessons Before Your Child Tackles Homework
If a child feels like the subject of their homework is a little too difficult for them, they could lose interest in a topic or subject that used to make them excited to learn. Even if you have good communication with your learner, this may be difficult to observe, so it’s recommended you speak with kids about the new subjects they’re learning in school and go through some of their homework with them before allowing them to complete the rest on their own.
Check in on your child periodically and provide help where necessary. While checking in, let them know you’re always there to help and they’re never completely on their own. This safety net can be an important part of the learning process.
Monitor A Student’s Progress
Research consistently shows a link between parental involvement concerning the learning of a child and that child’s achievement in a school setting. Homework is an easy, tangible way for parents to see their child’s progress while taking an active approach to their child’s educational career.
Help Your Child Excel at School
Healthy, positive and productive homework habits with the right amount of parental intervention can push a child’s academic performance to the next level. The at-home lessons don’t have to stop there, though.
Virtual learning materials like Juni Learning’s online courses can supplement homework lessons or become one of a child’s out-of-classroom academic resources. Find Juni Learning’s curriculum overview here and, when you’re ready, browse their selection of courses here. Juni Learning can help your child become a more confident student, inside and outside school.