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Benefits of Homework

Manali Oak
How does homework benefit your child? As a parent, what is your role in convincing your children of the homework's benefits? Are projects better than practice assignments? Read on to find the answers and get to know the benefits of homework.

For Younger Children

Homework should be short, and should involve activities like sports and reading high-interest books. It should be a way of developing better time management skills by learning to avoid distractions.
Homework has been a topic of debate for quite some time now. People have been going back and forth, when it comes to considering the upsides and downsides of homework.
Supporters of homework believe that it is important, because it prepares children for the competition that they have to face in their life. Proponents also believe that homework helps reinforce the concepts taught in school. But disputants believe that the extra time that children get at home, can be used for some co-curricular activities, thus introducing them to new realms of life and expanding their horizon.

Benefits in a Nutshell

▸Homework encourages student initiative and builds a sense of responsibility and commitment towards schoolwork.
▸It serves as a practice of the school curriculum and prepares the students for school tests and competitive exams.
▸It establishes a communication link between students, parents and teachers.
By definition, homework constitutes the out-of-class or at-home activities that the teachers assign to students. These activities are an extension to schoolwork. Homework can include practice assignments that emphasize newly acquired skills.
It can be in the form of preparation assignments to make students ready for class activities. Projects that have to be worked on in parallel with schoolwork also form a part of homework. The project work may continue throughout the term or the entire academic year.
In these activities, students apply their academic skills to create a piece of work through research.

Gone are the days when 'completing homework' used to be the only option available. Today, children have many distractions and they have to win the battle against those, and it's not easy!
Perhaps, reading the benefits of homework enlisted here, will help you out of the dilemma. (Read this out to your children too.)

Homework Teaches Children...

Children initiate study.
To Take Initiative
Homework makes them take the initiative. Teachers get the schoolwork done from students whereas students initiate doing homework. There is a sense of responsibility associated with completing their homework and a feeling of accomplishment after completing it.
To Develop Time Management
Children start allotting their time to study and play, thus learning to complete their scheduled tasks in the time they have. They learn to set priorities and also to do things on their own. They manage their time and complete their work independently. Homework encourages self-discipline in the kids.
Homework builds confidence in their minds.
To Learn with Interest
Teachers give comments on the work students do. Teachers' positive remarks boost the students' confidence and encourage them to keep up with their good work. They learn to follow instructions and complete their assignments with responsibility.
They need to explore various topics, refer to research material, and search for information in order to do the home assignments. Thus, homework helps in developing an aptitude for exploring and learning.
Students get an opportunity to apply their skills and enhance them. Homework gives students a chance to learn from their mistakes and improve on their weaknesses.
To Improve the Grasp on Subjects
Home assignments provide them with a platform to express what they know or have newly found out, and exhibit their talent. Homework gives students the practice of whatever they learn in school, thus helping in the reinforcement of the concepts learned. This helps them score better in class tests and eventually improves their academic results.
Be it assignments or projects, completing them requires planning, organizing and acting upon them. The task of completing the homework on time and regularly, helps generate in the child, a sense of proper planning.
The Importance of Planning
Managing time and planning are two terms with a thin line of difference between them. While proper time management allocates a fixed time for sitting down for homework, planning involves ways to get all the homework done - subject by subject one after the other, based on their levels of difficulty.

Homework should be Proportionate to the Students' Age and Mental Ability

Obviously, it is the amount of homework that governs its benefits. Homework that gradually increases every year enhances academic achievement but it should not become a punishment. The amount and difficulty level of homework assignments should match the age and ability of the students.
Homework proves to be beneficial only if it does not put the students under stress or pressure. It is not good to burden them with assignments and expect them to do well in studies.
The motivation offered by homework should be accompanied by parent involvement.
Parents should Encourage Homework
Some say that homework serves as a link between the school and home. Parents must strengthen this link by taking interest and supporting their children in their home assignments. Parents play an important part, when it comes to showing children that homework is not boring and that it is definitely not a waste of time.
I believe in the benefits of homework. But according to me, homework in the form of projects is more helpful than practice assignments. Students should be encouraged to work creatively. A project on a topic outside the school curriculum leads students to explore new subjects and learn new and interesting things they didn't know about.
It encourages general reading. Studies do not remain monotonous. Children think, research and innovate. This results in an added advantage of homework that studies do not remain confined to textbooks. Children realize that there's a world beyond. 'Good' homework is their window to this world.