The Purpose Of Homework: What Experts Have To Say

Almost everyone complains about homework, even students who genuinely enjoy learning. Homework starts in late elementary school, and continues all the way until college. Until you enter the working world, it’s often impossible to “leave your work at work,” because once you get out of class, you’ll still have assignments that you need to complete. Although the flexible hours and course loads of college make this more manageable, it can be especially demanding in high school. Gifted students often take multiple college level classes, and you might spend most or all of your days doing school work. It often doesn’t leave enough time for things that you actually enjoy.

Although it’s unpleasant, homework really does exist for a reason. Educational curricula are designed by experts who study human learning processes, finding the best ways to make sure that students learn the things that they need to know. Assignments that need to be completed at home are actually an integral part of the learning process for a number of very good reasons:

  • Classroom time is intrinsically limited. It’s only possible to spend so much time in a classroom, whether you’re an eighth grader or a college student. Unfortunately, an hour a day five day a week of lecture time isn’t enough to really understand a subject in enough depth to meet educational standards. Because of this, extra work is required. This is especially true for subjects like math and writing, which require a lot of repeated practice to really master.
  • Homework ensures that you can answer questions and solve problems independently. Following along in a classroom isn’t the same as solving problems by yourself. At-home assignments make sure that you can do the work independently, which demonstrates real understanding of what you’ve learned. If you don’t do your assignments, even if they don’t count toward your grade, you probably won’t do well on the exams.
  • Homework strengthens cognitive skills. Take-home assignments provide you with work and practice that can actually strengthen your cognition and problem solving skills. This is especially important for younger students, whose cognition is still undergoing important development.
  • Homework helps you learn how to manage your time. When you do assignments at home, you have to set your own schedule and manage your own time. This is actually a very important life skill that will benefit you in the future, so it’s important to start learning time management at a young age.