Homework: The Good and the Bad


Reagan McManus, Journalist

Written by: Reagan McManus (for), Lindsey Powell (against)

Homework allows students to have a better grasp on subjects:

While many students would rather spend their time watching television or scrolling through social media, homework provides several opportunities for mental and developmental growth. Homework allows students to become acclimated to the process of properly managing their time and encourages self-discipline. Giving students assignments to complete on their own time, by their own will, allows them to begin working on the time-management skills that they will need later in their lives. Homework also gives teachers the opportunity to distribute learning time. Ninety minutes of class time is not enough time to genuinely understand a process. Teachers acknowledge this and assign homework so that their students get to have more practice with the material before an upcoming test.

Some teachers use additional work in order to directly benefit their students, not just slowly and subtly give them tools for their future. If done correctly, homework gives students an opportunity to increase their overall grade so that if they did poorly on a test, they are able to make up for that through additional work. When grades drop because of a lower grade on a test, giving high effort in homework gives students the chance to make up for that grade, raising their average. 

Homework can also guide teachers in their instruction, allowing the content focus to be tailored to the needs of the class. When teachers assign homework, they are able to see the areas in which students may be struggling. Using this information, teachers can adapt their instruction to further the students’ understanding. Teachers can also use homework assignments to evaluate a student’s understanding outside the confines of a standardized test.

Additionally, for teachers to adequately prepare their students for any exams that may be given at the end of the class, students must be willing to put in the work. Teachers are given an average of ninety minutes for ninety days per semester to give students everything that they need to know for a class credit. If teachers rigidly stick to this limited time, they are not giving students every possible opportunity for success. Giving students additional work to complete on their own time allows students to create success for themselves.

When asked about homework, most students would likely groan and roll their eyes but learn to appreciate these tasks in the future. Homework allows students to further their education both directly and indirectly. It can be tedious at times, especially when many assignments are conflicting, but most teachers have their hearts in the right places and are making decisions that will benefit their students. 


Homework adds unnecessary stress to students:

Students constantly face the pressure of a seven hour school day and the work that comes with it. While some may argue that the addition of homework is a necessity, protecting students’ mental and emotional well-being is also necessary.

Oftentimes homework added to assignments completed or intended to be completed in class can cause an exorbitant amount of stress for students. Many high schoolers already juggle the responsibilities of part-time jobs or extracurriculars such as sports and clubs. This makes it difficult for students to balance their time to fulfill their commitments to the best of their abilities. Although time-management could be used to argue against this point, time-management for many high schoolers means depriving themselves of sleep. This one factor alone can cause harm in multiple areas of students’ lives, impacting their mental and physical wellness along with their grades.

Homework is sometimes used to give students the ability to bring up their average grade in a class. While this could provide an opportunity for a student to make up for a poor test grade, the mandatory aspect of the assignments may end up negatively affecting students instead. A more appropriate alternative could be extra credit opportunities. Students would still be able to boost their grade, while not feeling the same obligations and stress that come with the requirements of homework.

Teachers use homework as a tool for measuring the progress and understanding of the class so they can better adjust their instruction methods; however, classwork assignments are just as beneficial in allowing students to fully express their comprehension of a subject. If students are struggling in an area of study, there are numerous resources for them to receive extra help. Many teachers have schedules that accommodate for tutoring before or after school, and peer tutors are also available.

With an average of ninety minutes over the span of eighteen weeks, teachers are expected to set their students up for success to help them receive credit for their classes. Teachers implement methods of instruction that prove most beneficial to their students, so the class can be thoroughly prepared for any tests or exams. Students need to put forth effort in order to retain and master various topics during a semester, but if their energy is used towards classwork assignments, homework should not be a detrimental factor in developing their understanding of a subject.

While homework does have its merits, it usually ends up creating more conflict than comfort. Students have numerous obligations in addition to school, and homework can become another source of stress in their overwhelming lives. Allowing students time to disconnect from schoolwork after school hours could increase their productivity and focus during their classes, and improve their overall mental and physical health.