The answer to whether homework is harmful or helpful would usually depend on the perspective of the person answering it. A proponent of the practice would say it is helpful while an opponent would say it is harmful. Even educators have their own opinions on the subject matter, and schools are not exceptional. The specific time frame children must spend while doing homework has been one of the main subjects of debate. However, we need to find the level ground and make an honest judgment with such vital issues. We can only make a judgment by listing the pros and cons of homework.
Why home task is Good
A supporter of homework believes the practice is beneficial to students as it allows them to revisit topics or materials treated during lessons. Through homework, they can repeatedly go over the problem and understand it better through self-teaching. It is also a known fact that continuous practice improves skills. The principal of Signal Hill School in Voorhees, NJ, Sharon R. Stallings has emphasized on the need for students to always practice to become perfect.
The CEO of Philadelphia Green Woods Charter School, Jean Wallace, has stated, for teaching and learning to become effective, students must be able to apply what they learn in the classroom outside the school. If teaching and learning are effective, there should be a knowledge application. That is, students must be able to apply what they learn in school everywhere. One of the ways to achieve this is through homework. Many other supporters of home tasks have expressed the same views.
Most parents are oblivious of what their children learn in school. Homework, therefore, presents the right platform for parents to know what children learn in school. Some assignment requires extra help and parents can be the best source of this help.
Homework can teach students essential life skills like time management, research skills, self-discipline, and independence.
Students make good use of their time
Instead of engaging in unbeneficial activities, a student can use spare time to do homework. At least they can spend time on books than on television and playing games.
Why Homework can be Harmful
A critic of homework and author of The Homework Myth, Alfie Kohn, has opined that “Homework has been a major source of exhaustion, frustration, restriction on kids to pursue extra-curriculum activities, family conflicts, and, lost of interest in education.” He added, “It may be the greatest single extinguisher of children’s curiosity.” According to him, there is no proof that homework is beneficial to children at the elementary level.
Kohn also debunked assertions that homework promotes life skills. He said homework has little or no effect on children’s development, and it’s an illusion that it improve work ethics or self-discipline.
Studies have shown that too much homework can be counterproductive and affect children’s health. In recent research, some students complained of sleep deprivation, high-stress level, weight loss, and exhaustion. Some also admitted to using drugs to cope with the stress.