Last week, I attended a Parent-Teacher meeting at my daughter’s school. One of my concerns was the little homework that the teachers have been assigning lately. My daughter is approaching her senior year in primary school. In my opinion, the level where she is requires a level of discipline, dedication, and hard work.
On my way home, I wondered why most parents including myself believe that homework is the key to academic success. Is it proven that children who are given homework on a daily basis do better than those who are not?
A poll conducted by Associated Press in January 2006 found that about 57% of parents felt that their children were assigned the right amount of homework, another 23% thought it was too little and 19% thought it was too much.
In the United States, the accepted homework guideline is the 10-minute rule. Children should have no more than 10 minutes of homework each day for each grade. In 1st grade, children should have 10 minutes of daily homework; in 2nd grade, 20 minutes; and so on to the 12th grade, when on average they should have 120 minutes of homework each day, which is about 10 hours a week.
Experts say there is value in homework even for younger students if it is done right and the key to effective homework is keeping assignments related to classroom learning and tailoring the amount by age.
Below are reasons why homework is beneficial to children.
Repeating a task multiple times can feel laborious, but it’s necessary to help increase your child’s skill and understanding of a subject. Regular homework will make certain concepts easier to understand
Homework goes beyond just the task itself; it helps children take control of their workload and increase their time management skills. Homework is set with a deadline and taking ownership of this deadline helps them think independently. Time management is a vital life skill that helps children throughout higher education and their careers.
Homework acts as a bridge and can help teachers and parents learn more about how students like to learn, providing a deeper understanding of how to approach their learning and development. Many parents also want their children to receive homework so they can understand what they’re learning at school and be able to track their performances easily.
Some children struggle to learn outside of their comfort zone, and while classrooms are designed to be warm and welcoming, there is often no place like home. Homework is an opportunity to learn and retain information in an environment where they feel most comfortable, which can help accelerate their learning and development.
Regular homework helps children discover a pattern that will help them when they’re required to study for important tests and exams. Children who are familiar with a routine of completing homework will find it easy to adapt to a schedule of doing regular revision at home. Skills such as accessing learning materials, computer websites, and reference materials will help improve how children revise, and ultimately, improve their grades.
Children learn at different paces, and the time spent in the classroom might not be enough for some students to fully grasp the key concepts of a subject. Having additional time for learning at home can help children gain a deeper understanding than they would if they were solely reliant on their time in school.
Homework helps students learn how to problem solve by providing them with practice in recalling information and applying them in new situations. Additionally, it allows students to explore different ways of approaching a problem and to think outside the box.
Understanding why homework is important and oftentimes necessary helps improve both motivation and productivity in young children. It also makes parents aware of the role they can play in supporting them.