Why We do Homework

Homework is something we all have to do, and has been around as long as education. Every so often we find a gem that catches our interest and sparks creativity.  Other times it’s busy work intended on beating a lesson into memory.

There are many types of homework.  Sometimes teachers don’t get through a whole lesson, and it ends up on you to finish your work. Other times it’s more effective such as when you obtain background knowledge as a base for your next lesson.  Projects are often assigned so that you do a portion at home as well.

This puts the necessity of homework into question.  When is it appropriate to assign homework?  Do teachers feel obligated?  Some students don’t mind a grade booster here or there, but most students would agree that homework is more of a drag.  That being said, some homework is needed simply to improve the students own skills.  Mr.Krieger says that “…homework is intended to improve the classroom,” meaning that he won’t “assign homework for the sake of it”.

Stress is a factor in a lot of students’ lives.  Many high school students either play sports, join clubs, have after school jobs, or in many cases more than one.  These students often don’t get home until after dinner, leaving little time for homework.  This leads to mediocre work, copied assignments, or unfinished worksheets.  This is why it is important to assign appropriate homework, where the bulk of the learning is done in class.               

Some teachers offer a more unique approach.  This is the case  as in Mr. Plienes’s world history class.  In this instance, homework is assigned once a week.  That being said, all the work for that week is included.  This leaves it up to the student to manage his or her time effectively.  This is different than when a large project is assigned where you have to complete either a portion or the whole thing at home.  Here the project is given one grade, as opposed to five or so homework grades.

When asked about the purpose of homework, fifteen out of twenty-four students said it was just for practice, five said it was for students to learn new things, and the remaining four said it was simply cruel and unusual punishment.  When asked about their grade, these kids did not answer.

This brings me to my conclusion.  Homework comes in many types of forms, from the guided reading, to the mindless worksheet.  Although not everyone is as effective as the next, they have one thing in common:  they all take time out of your day.  That being said, the most useful and effective homework, not necessarily the most interesting, is assigned to help improve the classroom.