Disbenefits Of Homework Sheets

Homework is something that occupies students all around the globe, but it is also the source of an ongoing controversy between parents, teachers, and educational higher ups. Most people agree that homework is useful for teenagers over about the age of 15, but what about for everyone else? The basic question that is being asked is this: Do we really need homework? 

How much time should children spend on homework? Courtesy of The Guardian

The Pros of Homework

Numerous studies have shown that homework that is assigned, marked, and handed back (such as a worksheet on long division) is effective in increasing knowledge of a subject matter. Homework has other positives too! 

  • Some students like doing their work at home better than completing work in class because at home it may be easier to create ideal working conditions based on a student's particular learning needs (for example, some students might want to listen to music while doing work, while others might need total silence in order to focus). 
  • There isn't always time to complete all work during the school day. Homework can be an opportunity for a student to delve deeper into a subject than they would be able to during classroom hours. 
  • Homework can help a student learn responsibility; it is up to you to schedule a time to do your homework and complete it within the parameters given by your teacher. Learning how to do this could help you with time management later in life. 
Listening to music helps a lot of people focus on their work!Courtesy of schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au

The Cons of Homework

Funnily enough, different studies have shown that homework does not necessarily increase a student's knowledge base, and is not an effective learning and teaching tool. Let's look at why that might be. 

  • Homework gets in the way of family time. If a student cannot attend a family event or spend time with family because he or she must complete a homework project, he or she is being prevented from forming meaningful connections, engaging in stress-relieving activities, and possibly even exploring new experiences. 
  • A lot of the time homework is simply busy work. How much will you really learn from a standardized worksheet? If homework does not provide opportunities for meaningful learning experiences, it's unlikely that most students will get a lot out of it. 
  • All students have different learning needs, but homework is usually the same for every student, meaning that it doesn't address the needs of every student. This might mean that some students who do not learn a lot from sitting down and doing a worksheet might find themselves in academic trouble simply because their homework is not appropriately designed for them. 
Homework might be keeping you from doing things with your family. Courtesy of neatoday.org

As you can see, there are a lot of varying views on the necessity and even helpfulness of homework, especially for children, pre-teens, and early adolescents. What you should take away from the information above is that not all homework is created equal; ideally, every learning experience you engage in should be meaningful and include components that cater to various learning styles.

Have Your Say!

What do you think about homework? Comment and let us know! 

I believe that the question is asking about potential disadvantages to assigning students a worksheet for homework.  

One possible disadvantage is that the worksheet is likely asking only questions that the worksheet creator considers important. A student might have a really creative idea or interpretation for a concept, but the worksheet might not ask about that part; therefore, the student never gets to voice his or her unique viewpoint.  

Another disadvantage is that...

I believe that the question is asking about potential disadvantages to assigning students a worksheet for homework.  

One possible disadvantage is that the worksheet is likely asking only questions that the worksheet creator considers important. A student might have a really creative idea or interpretation for a concept, but the worksheet might not ask about that part; therefore, the student never gets to voice his or her unique viewpoint.  

Another disadvantage is that worksheets are often very objective in nature. That's great for the repetitive drilling of concepts, but it doesn't often (if ever) require higher levels of thinking on the part of the student.  

One thing that I don't like about pre-made worksheets is that they don't always ask a question in a way that makes sense to students. Students will ask for clarification, and I will reword the question so it reflects the way I taught something. Generally, the student then asks, "Why didn't the question just ask it that way then?" Making my own worksheets would eliminate this issue, but creating all of my own worksheets would be an incredibly time-intensive process, and is not realistically possible. 

One more disadvantage of worksheets is that they are frequently lost. This may sound a bit absurd, but I'm basing it on thirteen years of teaching experience. Whether intentionally fed to the dog or not, there is always a small percentage of worksheets that have to get redistributed because a student can't find the worksheet. Those copies add up over the course of the school year. Multiply that across dozens of teachers on campus, and there is an increased cost of paper that the school must pay. Some schools even place annual limits on the number of copies a teacher is allowed to make. If the teacher wants more, that teacher has to pay for it.

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