Homework completion cannot guarantee that a person is ready move to the next academic level; however, homework can be a strong indication of whether or not a student understands what is being taught. A student should be using a homework assignment to practice and absorb what was taught in class. Homework requires concentration and commitment to completing a task, but not all homework that is assigned is useful. Some homework assigned by teachers is actually “busy work” that is disguised to look helpful when it is in actuality a useless assignment that occupies more of a student’s spare time than necessary and interferes with family time and personal plans.
When a teacher assigns homework it is understandable if a student is attending a class only once per week because the homework is helpful for reinforcing the concepts learned until the next week’s class. Classes that are held five days per week are more frequent, so, there shouldn’t be a need to assign a lot of homework each night. The time spent in class each day learning the material that is being taught should be enough time to work on assignments. There are at least 6 hours each school day when a student has the opportunity to ask the teacher for help and work on assignments; should be plenty of time to focus on the schoolwork during class time leaving the time after school to focus on other interests, right? Wrong; there are several reasons why homework is assigned instead of devoting class time to learning the material needed.
One common reason why teachers assign homework instead of allowing students to complete the assignments during class is because the amount of students in public school classrooms is quite high. One teacher for every 30 students per classroom is becoming increasingly common. Teachers don’t have the time to help each student to fully understand the material, so, they toss homework assignments at the students in efforts to avoid having to teach what should have been covered in class. It is unrealistic to expect a student to do well on a homework assignment if she was struggling to understand the concept during class time. A student who is struggling to understand concepts in class will have a difficult time understanding the work at home.
Certain homework assignments are understandable; a piano student’s homework to practice his songs and scales is reasonable because the only way to succeed as a pianist is to practice. Homework issued by teachers because they did not have time to teach the concepts will not help a student improve academically. If anything, a student will find the homework to be overwhelming and difficult to understand if the lesson was not taught properly. Academic achievement is not based upon homework completion alone, especially if the homework is material that the student needs more tutoring in. Children need down time when they get home from school; inundating them with homework interferes with their opportunities to relax at home, pursue hobbies, and spend time with their family and friends. Useless busy work disguised as homework is not beneficial to a student’s learning, especially if the instruction wasn’t helpful for understanding the lesson.