Although the purpose of homework is to help retain knowledge, research has shown that teachers give bigger chunks of take-home assignments than is necessary, which be stressful and have other adverse effects. Research has also shown that students who are stressed due to homework do not do well in school; they may not have a balanced life. Additionally, it may affect their self-esteem and make them deficient in social skills. Excessive homework may stress out a whole family, especially families where the parents are partially educated and lack the confidence to discuss schoolwork with their kids. When students spend more time on homework than necessary, they may not be able have an all-round development; some may even end up abusing drugs to deal with stress.
Despite its adverse effects, we cannot wholly write-off the purpose of homework, which is designed to retain knowledge and development. Homework should have a purpose and an advantage for it to be effective. The quantity of homework matters less than quality. Quality of homework helps the teacher to understand the ability and weakness of students truly. But, excessive assignments may not be a true reflection of the student’s abilities.
Homework may be bad for the following reasons:
- When homework is excessive, its purpose is defeated. This is because a student is supposed to read for pleasure, which is already defeated by stress. More homework is not equal to higher achievement.
- Young students are known for short attention span, forcing them to solve homework beyond the attention span is putting a child under duress. It may cause difficulty in the mental development of the child. Also, students are often tired and restless after school; the purpose of the assignment may be lost under stress.
- The theory that homework should be for reinforcement would not be necessary if the teacher takes time to teach students in class effectively. If a student does not understand the teaching in class, then homework will force the student into repetitive errors, and he may never learn to do it right.
- Parents may also not be available to guide their kids in solving their homework, which is necessary for support and correction.
- A student may resent homework and learning generally, because he feels overwhelmed by the bulk of work he has to do and learn, without which he would not receive approval. Many students end up ignorant thinking education is not their fit; since they can see their colleagues meet up with learning challenges.
Remember, we’re not saying you should ditch homework totally. We’re only giving guidelines to help prevent burnout and other negative side effects. It is easy to cross the line from “enough” to “too much”, especially when we want the young learners to know it all. In essence, balance is key.