What Benefits Does Homework Have?
It has become a long standing controversial topic in nearly all school districts across the country, at all age levels: why do students receive homework? Teachers claim it is necessary to reinforce the material learned that day in class, although students and parents declare it is taking away from the afternoon and evening activities. Monday through Friday, students attend school typically for six hours, then they return home with another few hours of school work to complete for the next day’s class; this is true for the weekends, as well. The normal work and school week is also a prime time for extracurricular activities, which some students are unable to participate in due to homework obligations.
All of the homework troubles could be remove if school districts were to insert a designated homework time into the daily school day. This would give students a chance to complete the homework assigned by teachers before they even leave school property. A large portion of state laws across the United States require children in public school to attend Monday through Friday, anywhere from 8AM-3PM for one hundred and eighty days. For those six hours, students are placed in classrooms where they absorb the material being taught, participate in group activities, complete tests and quizzes, and create projects. When the bell rings, signaling the change to a new class, students get a dreadful reminder from their teacher to pick up the homework assignment on the way out. Most middle to high school students attend six to seven classes daily.
Suppose each homework assignment given takes a student 30 minutes: students are now looking at an extra three and a half to four hours of additional school work to be completed after school hours at home. Students request that homework should not be received for valid reasons. By law, students are required to attend school; they are not required to basically still be in school when they are at home. Why should teachers be able to give homework to students after they have just spent their entire day in school? Students should be able to return home after their school day and relax or attend extracurricular activities, not worry about the excessive amounts of homework they are yet to complete. Extracurricular activities vary from clubs to sports, all the way to participating in the school play.
Many students wish to participate in these as a way to get involved in something they enjoy, but also to hang out with their friends. Most extracurricular activities begin directly after school or within reasonable time after the final bell. At the minimum, students lose at least one hour out of their afternoon that could be spent on homework. At the most, students who participate on a sports team and have away games could return home, five to six hours after the school day ends. Therefore, there are students who physically cannot get started on their homework until 8PM when the bus returns to the school.
Students who are members in the school play could potentially have rehearsal for three to four hours and not return home to begin their homework until 9PM. Wilmington High School, sophomore Caroline Johnston expresses her opinion in a recent interview, “Play rehearsal starts at 5PM and normally runs until 7 or 8PM, on top of that, some nights I have band rehearsal which seems to go on forever into the night. It can be 10PM some nights before I even start my homework,” Some students that have participated in extracurricular activities that had to make the tough decision that they must cut back because they fail to complete their homework. Although that is a responsible choice by a student, he or she should be able to enjoy extracurricular activities without homework getting in the way. Once again, the time students receive after school should be used for relaxing and participating in enjoyable after school activities.
Students should not have anxiety or panic about having time to complete their homework that evening. Although it seems to be a large problem, there can be one simple fix to the homework situation. School districts could design a designated homework time into the daily schedule. Teachers would set aside the last fifteen to twenty minutes of class each day to start or even complete that evening’s homework. This would also give students the opportunity to ask their teacher questions that arise while starting the assignments in class. Therefore, now when students return home that afternoon, or after their extracurricular activities, two thirds of their classes’ homework is completed and they will have minimal work to finish.
This gives students an opportunity to participate in all activities they wish without having to panic about their homework because the majority of their work is already completed. The dilemma long faced by teachers of whether to assign homework or not, has challenged schools across the country for many years. Although teachers say it is necessity to make sure students truly understand the concepts learned in class that day, parents and students argue that students should use their time for relaxation and extracurricular activities. Students are required to attend school five days a week, for approximately six hours, and then return home with even more work that was taught that day. Due to homework obligations, students are forced to drop their extracurricular activities to ensure completion of homework.
The worst part of the homework situation is how simple the remedy is. The debate of homework could be solved if school districts were to simply insert a homework time period into each daily class for the students benefit.