Is homework still important?

Only four months ago, a survey by education not-for-profit Varkey Foundation revealed that Australian parents ranked 23rd out of 29 countries when it came to time spent helping their children with homework. In an age of BYOD and personalised learning, it does raise an interesting question – what is the relevance of homework in 2018?

The topic has always been a point of conjecture among academics, teachers and parents, but what is the justification for these respective positions? To clear things up, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of homework, and not just from the perspective of students. 

Pros of homework

Solidifies knowledge 

It’s a pretty basic premise and the foundation of the homework – by revising and practicing concepts learned in the classroom outside of school hours, students will strengthen their knowledge. Whether it’s reading a novel, attempting math equations or memorising the periodic table, homework reinforces what students have learned at school. 

Develops a routine

Not only does homework ensure students are constantly learning, it helps them get into a routine that will hold them in good stead down the track. For those students wishing to study at university in the future, one of the biggest challenges is organisation and time management, so building these skills at an early age will be advantageous. 

Cons of homework

Soaks up time

This is a massive one for children, parents and even teachers. With some children expected to spend three hours per night on homework, it doesn’t leave much time for anything other than eating dinner and heading straight to bed, which can be stressful for parents who want their kids to do something other than study all the time. Teachers are also affected, having to mark entire classes, which adds to their workload outside of school hours. 

Saps passion for learning

It’s inevitable that if students are spending a whole day at school and then backing up with a stack of homework, they can become a bit fatigued. This is where too much homework can be an issue, as it carries the risk of sapping enthusiasm for learning. 

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