Homework is often a time of dread for both the parent and student. Seen as evil by most students, most teachers do not assign homework to keep students busy after school. Homework can be a valuable asset for teachers to use to assess their program and the knowledge level of the students in the class. There are various reasons that teachers assign homework.
Homework is a way to review previously taught concepts. A teacher can assign homework as a quick check of how well students recall a particular topic. If students do poorly on the assignment, the topic may need to be taught again. Further, it can provide an assessment of knowledge before a cumulative test. A conscientious student can recognize the areas where further review is required by how difficult he or she finds certain problems on the homework.
One of the subjects in which teachers often assign homework is math. As many of the skills taught in math need practice in order to be learned, homework is one way to do this. The homework should not take a long time, but should provide students with the opportunity to practice what was learned in class that day or in that particular unit.
Extend the Learning
Homework provides the opportunity for teachers to extend the learning to other areas. A research project or a report will give a student the chance to practice the research skills he or she is learning how to use. Science projects give a student the chance to show off all of the things they have learned about a particular concept.
Doing research on the computer also teaches computer skills. It is not enough to type a phrase into a search engine. Students must practice discerning good sources from those that are not as useful.
Adults have to work both individually and in groups. Homework gives an opportunity to practice both of these skills. A teacher may assign a group project to allow students the opportunity to work with other peers. A teacher may select the groups in order for students to learn to work with different people.
Assigning homework also gives the chance to work independently. This is also an important skill for all students to learn. When assigned a project as an adult, it is important to be able to work alone and finish the assignment.
A teacher who assigns homework correctly may do so for any of the above reasons. It is important to realize that while most students abhor homework, they are learning many valuable lessons each time they complete an assignment.