Homework: How Does It Help Students?
Unlike the rest of the world, students in Singapore spend about 9.4 hours each week on homework. This is definitely more than their counterparts usually spend on their homework and it arguably, is also one of the reasons why the educational system in Singapore is also considered as the best in the world. Essentially, homework is given to students to retain and apply the knowledge they have learned in the classroom on their own with activities and exercises they can do outside of the classroom. Studies have indicated that through the help of effective and adequate homework, children can learn independently, understand the concepts of their lessons better, and practice their problem-solving skills.
However, as with everything else, too much of something can also be bad and that’s the same with homework. Too much homework given to students can become too stressful for them to complete and thus, may lead to a possible burnout. Too much homework can also cause them to lose time for spending with their family and also growing in other areas outside of the classroom and academics such as socially and emotionally. Homework should be given in moderation to ensure students can also allocate time for other activities and interests.
This doesn’t mean however that homework is ultimately bad. They can be one of the banes of every student’s academic life but they also serve a purpose for them. With that being said, let’s look at the ways how homework can also help students.
1. Enhancing their skills
As already mentioned above, homework helps students in developing and honing their skills as they grow older. Aside from the usual academic knowledge they develop in doing their homework, they will also learn other skills such as organizational and planning skills. As such, doing their homework on time and sticking to their homework schedule will also help instill a sense of responsibility in the students. With the belief of honing their skills, students will also associate their skills and learning to their academic success. This wouldn’t be as effective if homework is significantly reduced or eliminated as students will then be deprived of the chance to develop their skills further than just inside their classroom.
2. Improves student achievement
As homework nurtures students’ learnings from school, it can also be said that it can also enhance students’ achievements in terms of exams, grades, and even the likelihood of them attending college. Because students will get more time in understanding the concepts they are learning in school through their homework, they will also improve through time. It has also been indicated that students who spend ample time doing their homework in a routine every day will have better chances of scoring higher in exams than their counterparts who do not.
And with that, students who do their homework on a regular basis will also have a higher chance of achieving higher GPAs and thus, adding to their probability of attending the university or school of their choice.
3. Get the extra help
Aside from the lessons that students have in school, homework can also be a means for them to get the help they need to fully understand the topic. Of course, it’s understandable that many students may find it difficult to find time to study and do their homework while also judging other activities and extracurricular. If the student is struggling with this, it can also be used as a time to hire extra help for the student. by hiring a private home tutor, parents wouldn’t just help their child with getting the extra help they need but tutors can also share to the student techniques and tips they can use, whether it be for exams or for finishing their homework.
With a tutor helping your child with their homework, they will not only learn academic skills but others as well like revising their work, organizing, and time-management. Additionally, hiring a private tutor will lift some of the burdens from the student so they can also accomplish other tasks and activities while still staying on top of their homework schedule, thus helping them develop in other areas as well.
4. Mastery through practice
There is a phrase that goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Assigning students with homework is a great example for them to apply what they have learned in class and practice it. Practicing serves several purposes for students and their parents.
As an example, homework gives the students the opportunity to reinforce what they have learned. They can practice the concepts they have learned through their homework through different sets of activities that use the concepts they have learned in different ways. As such, the more they practice and get used to the concept, they will learn more and through time, master it. This will heavily contribute to their grades and can be used as a guide for a student’s learning experience as well.
If a child is constantly having trouble with their homework while the concepts used or topics are still the same, this can also be used to inform the student’s teacher or tutor about their difficulties and set for a plan to effectively overcome this. However, there are also some factors that parents should consider before talking about their children’s difficulties to their teachers or tutor. Consider that homework is to improve a student’s understanding of the lesson. This wouldn’t be the end result if the homework given is too difficult or something that can cause stress to the students, an example would be a newly introduced topic to the class, and homework is already too complicated.
With this, instead of reaping the benefits of homework, it can become a source of frustration among students. This may be the time they will start to hate doing homework and doubt the advantages of it. In the worst forms of cases, they may even become a source of incorrect skills or information for students. Doing something repeatedly is a good thing as it becomes second nature and through time, master it. However, it’s only good if it’s targeted and informed, and done consistently.
5. Increase parental involvement
Parental involvement is also another key aspect of homework. Singaporean parents are generally very meticulous when it comes to their children’s future. They want the best for their children and so, they also understand the implications and importance of homework in achieving that. On average, a student may spend at least a couple of hours on their homework every day. However, how a student uses those two hours can also become the basis of separating an achiever and a student with weaker tendencies.
This is why it’s important for parents to also get involved in their children’s time for homework. They should make sure that the time spent on homework is well-spent and productive. Their homework time should be used to practice so they can excel in school and reach their academic goals. This is even more significant now with online education, where students have limited interaction with their teachers and classmates. Parents have to increase their role in order to help guide their children through the education process.
6. Build good study habits
Homework isn’t just for academic benefits. Of course, homework also benefits a student’s study habits. The more students do their homework regularly, the more they will get used to the routine and build their study habits from it. But that doesn’t end there. As mentioned before, homework may also help students in other ways than just those limited to their academics. Students can also develop key skills they can use for life through homework. These can include skills like accountability, discipline, autonomy, self-direction, time-management, problem-solving, and even critical thinking. Aside from the skills that students will develop, this can also lead to better motivation for them.
Homework may not be something that every student likes doing. Some may claim homework to be a waste of time and a source of unhappiness for students. However, giving high-quality and effective homework does have a purpose and benefits for students to reap. These will help them improve and develop their academic skills and also allow them to develop other skills they can use later on to live independently. As such, homework also gives parents the chance to monitor their children’s learning and keep track of their progress, academically or otherwise.
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