Is Homework Harmful or Helpful?

Homework is one of the most annoying issues for students of all ages. In fact, there is hardly a single person who has never complained about having too many assignments, including nerds. Does homework help you learn or simply waste your time? Is it reasonable to give homework from the teacher’s point of view? And from the student’s?

As any other educational means, homework has its pros and cons, and only under certain conditions it can and will be efficient.

Let’s start from cons, for a change. As a matter of fact, homework can be harmful. Usually, it happens when a teacher has no strategy of assigning it and neglects to make sure that it corresponds to what has been learned in class. In this case home assignments not only fail to deepen and enforce one’s knowledge, but also confuse a student. Hence worse understanding of the material and ultimately lower academic performance. If the principle of consistency is not complied with, homework is not only useless – it is even harmful.

The same rule applies to oversized home assignments and the related accomplishability principle. Even if the consistency is respected, excessively large home assignments put additional strains on students and reduce their productivity in class. Also, they deprive them of doing extra-curricular activities and leading normal well-balanced life.

Last but not least, while some teachers feel that they have to assign some homework, they don’t really understand its purpose and come up with completely useless assignments. Only a half of the projects assigned at school serve any purpose besides keeping one’s students busy. In this case, homework is simply a waste of time for every person involved.

On the other hand, home assignments can serve as a powerful educational means. When a student revises and elaborates on what he has learned during the class, it leads to better and deeper understanding. Besides, some of the assignments (essays, to name one) are simply not designed for classroom settings (except of the ones that are included in written exams). That’s why it is simply logical and reasonable to leave them for home. Finally, homework can adjust a student to self-discipline and time management, which are two crucial skills for a person in the modern high-efficiency world.

Obviously, homework as a theory is not useful or harmful. It is only a tool, much like a technical device that can be used properly or misused. If a skillful person wields it, homework will serve to extend knowledge and develop one’s skills. If not, it can easily lead to adverse outcomes such as anxiety, stress and lagging behind the class. That’s why every teacher should follow the principle of relevance, accomplishability and consistency when assigning homework to his students.