- What are the pros of homework in school?
- What are the cons of homework in school?
- How much homework do UK students get?
For decades (and even centuries, according to some anthropological evidence), homework has been considered an essential part of formal education. It’s believed that it provides you with the opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ and test and apply what you’ve been taught during school hours.
However, some modern studies suggest that the practice of homework in schools might not be as helpful as we think it is. According to statistics on homework, homework over a certain level (the 10 minutes per grade standard) has been linked to excessive stress and disruption of personal and social habits in adolescents. It may surprise you to find out that the average amount of homework that kids from countries like the US, UK, France, and Germany currently get is above the standard limit. 😮
If you’re currently a student in the UK, you may be wondering whether homework actually does kids and teenagers any good. Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of homework.
What are the pros and cons of homework in school?
Homework encourages practice
The primary purpose of homework in schools is to reinforce the habit of practising what you’ve learned in school. Some subjects like maths and languages require daily practice even outside of school hours for you to strengthen the fundamentals you’re learning.
Practising these subjects regularly from a relatively young age can help equip you for secondary school and college courses like economics and literature, which require a strong knowledge of the basics. Also, independent learning in your own time is a fantastic way for you to identify the subjects you’re most interested in – who knows, you may even find your preferred field of study at an early age through homework! 👍
It allows your parents to be actively involved in your
A healthy learning environment requires your parents to take an active interest in your education. Your parent or guardian helping you with your homework can help you gain a better understanding of what you’re learning and working on, since you’ll benefit from having anything you’re unsure of explained to you by someone other than your teacher at school.
Helping you with your homework also makes it possible for your parents to stay involved and keep track of your progress in school in a non-intrusive manner. Additionally, it fosters good communication as you’ll talk to your parents more about the classes you’re attending and other school-related activities that they should know about. ✔️
It’s a great lesson in time management
Homework in secondary school can be a great way for you to learn how to manage your time better. Older students are often actively involved in academics, sports, and several other extra-curricular activities that facilitate their all-round development.
Therefore, completing homework outside of school from an early age can help you learn beyond the classroom and gradually get used to managing your time and responsibilities well. ⏰
Homework research encourages independent critical thinking
Many schools are now opting for homework research as opposed to the traditional practice homework. In fact, it forms the very base of the flipped classroom structure where the students are given review materials before the class to grasp the concepts more quickly once they’re in school.
Homework research allows you to conduct your own research on a topic and form your own thoughts and opinions on what you’re learning. It encourages independent critical thinking from a young age, which is very beneficial for you. 💡
Not every child has a supportive enough home environment
While most kids in school might have a supportive and peaceful home environment that allows them to study, some children and teenagers aren’t that lucky. Difficult domestic environments can be extremely stressful for kids, which can make independent learning outside of school challenging.
It might be difficult for kids without strong support at home to muster up the time and concentration needed to do the kind of homework that requires independent research and critical thinking.
It adds to an already packed day
Homework in schools, especially secondary school, often adds to your already busy days. While time management is an important virtue to learn, homework in secondary school can feel nearly impossible to manage with all the extra-curricular tasks you’re expected to juggle. 😰
Stress related to school can have a negative impact on young people’s mental health. If you find yourself struggling with your workload at school, you should speak to your parent or caretaker, or bring it up with your teacher so that you can get some extra support to help you through it. It’s not unusual for kids and teens to sometimes feel overwhelmed in their learning journey, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help!
There’s no evidence that suggests the extra work produces better academic results for younger kids
A study conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that younger children (below 12 years of age) benefit more from activities such as reading for pleasure and not stipulated school homework. In fact, school homework might lessen the chances of a child reading or writing outside of school as a hobby.
Research suggests that in many cases, kids having too much homework assigned to them stunts their overall personality development.
How much homework do UK students get?
Research on homework shows that the average British school student spends around 3.5 hours on their homework per week. Of these, primary students spend 2.2 hours; secondary students spend 4.3 hours; and sixth form students spend 5.3 hours on homework per week on average. While these numbers aren’t worrisome, they are still over the standard limit prescribed by most child health bodies. ☝️
It’s important for children and young people to communicate with their caretakers if they find that their workload is excessive. If you find yourself getting worried or stressed out over school, we would recommend speaking to your parents or bringing it up with a teacher. The most important thing is your wellbeing, and you need to be able to cope with your homework and make academic progress without increasing your stress levels.
At GoStudent, we believe learning is a two-sided process that involves active participation from both students and tutors. We have thousands of top tutors available, so if you need any help with learning and homework, GoStudent may be just the ticket. Book a free trial lesson today to try us out!