Homework a Headache, but Studies Show Value of It

Students complain about homework all the time, saying they don’t have time for it because of sports, music or work.

Sophomore Lauren Moyer sums it up by saying, “It’s hard to balance school work, especially with a social life and basketball practice.”

Of course, there are also those who just don’t want to do homework or see no purpose to it.

Studies have shown there actually is a positive outcome of doing homework. However, the studies also point out that making time for activities and family has value.

One major study was done in 2007 was published in the Educational Leadership magazine. The other, which studied a group of students in 1990 and 2002, was done by in 2012 and published in the High School Journal.

Basically, the studies found that on the positive side, homework:

-contributes to a corporate style, competitive US culture

-improves the grades of standardized tests

On the negative side, the studies found that homework:

-contributes to a corporate style, competitive US culture

-can be detrimental to personal and familial well-being

-harms health and family time

-penalizes economically disadvantaged students because their environment makes it hard to complete homework

In addition, the 2007 study said homework should only be assigned “if assignments are beneficial” and that teachers are not well trained on how to assign homework.

So what is a “beneficial” homework assignment?

BASH Math Teacher Miss Melissa George said she gives homework as a way to reinforce the topics discussed in class.  “With math problems, it often takes practice for the concept to stick,” she said. “It looks easy when the teacher does the problem but it’s another story when the student is trying the problems on his/her own.”

She said she also gives homework as a way to review old material.  “It is easy to forget things that were discussed in the beginning of the year,” she said. “Homework is a good way to keep the concepts fresh in your mind.”

Despite its value, some students still complain about homework. Sophomore Eddie Wagner said he feels somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of studying he has to do and that it is hard to finish because he has baseball at least a few times a week.

“As a student taking all academic classes, I spend about one to two hours doing homework,” he said. “Most of my time is spent on biology because we’re preparing for The Keystones.”

Students in honors classes feel even more overwhelmed.

“I feel as though the amount homework given in academic and honors classes is the same, but the content of the homework is very different,”  Sophomore Madison Spence-Moore said. “The homework for my honors classes is a lot more challenging.”

Students might find it hard to balance school work with family and other after-school activities, but they should know that overall it has value.