Homework is a necessary part of education

Matthew Hovelsrud

In an age where some believe that homework takes away from a child’s free-time, it is important to remember how vital independent work is to a student’s success. Some schools have even started to consider ending the long-practiced tradition of assigning homework. However, homework is a vital part of a student’s educational process, and provides extra practice and learning, independence similar to college, and proficiency in school.

The two factors that will ultimately determine a student’s grade are their ability to retain information and problem solving skills. When students do extra work at home, it helps them to remember information and successfully apply that knowledge to tests. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “[homework] is important because it can improve children’s thinking and memory.” Without homework, students are expected to retain all the information they learned in class, only by listening and practicing during that class.

During a seven-period day at Edina High School , classes are approximately 49 minutes long. With such a short amount of time, it would be impossible for students to learn, practice, and master information solely in class. Teachers often use the full class period to teach lessons or assign activities. If homework was removed, a teacher would have trouble finishing their year-long plans in time. If EHS adapted a no homework policy, students would no longer receive the benefits of an excellent high school education.

The famous saying “practice makes perfect” provides an additional example of how homework is vital to students’ success. Without practice, it is unrealistic to expect a student to master a skill. Part of life is about learning and remembering material on your own in an effective way. At home assignments have been used as a tool to accomplish this since 1095. According to Home, a small educational blog, an Italian teacher named Roberto Nevilis invented homework because he experienced little improvement in his students’ knowledge after hours of work in the classroom, which exemplifies how homework improves class performance.

Some arguments for why students should not have homework include the feelings that  homework causes too much stress, doesn’t allow kids to be kids, and is just busywork. However, not one of said arguments is valid or realistic.

The first example hurts students more than it helps. Homework does cause stress, but that’s what school is supposed to be: difficult, but still enriching. Life is hectic and students are expected to manage stress as an adult, but without homework, they will never be taught how to effectively manage stressful situations.

The second argument appears the most warranted, due to the lack of homework younger students receive. By removing homework, students in elementary school and middle school will gain between one to two hours of additional free time. However, the argument is valid in high school, because the homework load increases drastically. Although, the cons of removing homework assignments far outweighs the extra free-time, because without homework kids would never excel or learn valuable life lessons in school.

The final argument is not valid because it does not account for the nuances of homework. Although some classes and assignments may appear to be busywork, most homework only helps students to learn the material and master the course. If homework was to be taken away completely, teachers would lose valuable class time to teach many of their lessons.

Overall, homework is a necessary part of every student’s education that helps them learn information in the long term, perform well on assignments and tests, and be successful in school and the world as an adult. Getting rid of homework would cause future generations to lack intelligence and valuable life experience.