Whether or not homework actually improves academic achievement actually depends on the child to some extent as well as the amount of homework. Children who excell are more likely than others to work hard at their homework and improve academically, whereas children who do not excel may try to get out of it more than anything, and you may not see much improvement.
Teachers and parents can help with this by making homework more than just ‘more school’. If homework is not over done and the child makes an effort, it will definitely help them academically. Teachers cannot possibly teach a child everything they need to know during classroom instruction time. With the number of children and the amount of information they need to absorb, homework is almost always a necessity.
Another reason homework can help your child academically is through review. Homework is a good discipline for children that ‘sets’ what they have learned in the classroom and gives them a review to make them ready for the next day. It is a form of chunking that allows a child to think over what they have learned that day instead of forgetting it until the next day. I found this method very helpful in my college studies. I would study hard for a while and then take a break, coming back for a brief review later. Studying this way helped me more than other methods I had used, and it can help the young student as well.
If your child is having difficulty with homework, have a discussion with the teacher to get ideas on how you can work together to help him or her. If others are ‘getting it’ and they are not, they will fall further behind over time. Sometimes this might require a ‘homework tutor’ even if it’s mom and dad. Go to your child’s teacher if you have questions about how much homework your child has as well. If you can’t come to a resolution, involve the principal or a mediator of some kind. Frustration is an intrinsic part of learning, but too much frustration will have a deleterious effect.
Moderate homework is a great way to help improve academic achievement. To help your child do her very best, create an adequate, quiet place for them to do their homework. Try to have them do it at about the same time every day, and stay close in case they need help (and to keep them on task) so they can make the most of their homework time.