Homework is the bane of many people’s lives. As a student, I hated doing it. As a teacher, I hated chasing up students who hadn’t done it, and as a parent, I hate helping my kids do stuff that they simply don’t know how to do.
Yet, I still believe that homework is worthwhile, and it isn’t because I was dropped on my head as a baby (although that may explain a few other things).
A review of research shows that homework can have a real impact on your students’ subsequent results.
However, you need to keep in mind that effect that homework has depends on a range of other factors.
For example, homework has a huge impact on how well Year 12 students do, but only a minimal impact on for students in Year 2. The effect that homework has grows as students get older. Therefore, teachers of the younger grades should not be overly concerned with homework.
But what about the rest of us?
We need to take heed of the fact that homework is more effective when it involves students practising things that they have already learnt how to do.
One of the leading causes of kids hating homework is that they get frustrated with work they don’t know how to do. This then leads to parents trying to help their already reluctant kids (something they shouldn’t have to do), and to teachers chasing up kids for not doing work that wasn’t worth doing in the first place.
The Simple But Potent Tip to Make Homework More Worthwhile
If your students haven’t learned how to do it class, don’t set it for homework.