Homework is a word that can send shivers down your spine. If you’ve left school you might remember a particularly tough assignment, and if you’re still in education, you might feel like your list of homework never ends.
The issue of homework has long been a divisive topic in the world of learning, and there are arguments from both sides about whether it is useful for the development of skills and knowledge, or whether it is harmful or a waste of time.
At Tutorful, we believe that setting homework can have some superb advantages and especially when a student is working with a 1-to-1 tutor. When it comes to private tuition, it is important to be able to track the progress being made, understanding that the extra lessons are working, or where they need to focus on next.
Homework does not have to be scary. There is no rule saying that every homework task has to be writing a lengthy essay or feeling the pressure of a practice exam. Even setting a few simple questions to be completed before the next lesson can help tutors assess and plan upcoming lessons, and can help students learn in a variety of ways.
There are very few people who can hear something once and remember it. Most of us will learn best from repetition and homework is a superb way to do this. Most homework tasks are based on the concept of revisiting a topic that’s already been covered, and by taking in the information, again and again, it has a better chance of being stored in long-term memory.
Homework gives learners the chance to go over the information or topic outside of the lessons. This extra time dedicated to looking at the task can make all the difference as the brain tries to lock down the facts, figures or skills, and have them ready for exam time, or when they’re most needed.
Homework teaches a student much more than just the subject on the sheet of paper. Being set a piece of homework will require the student (and sometimes the parents) to develop time management and organisational skills in order to complete it.
Entrusting a student to prioritise their work from multiple subjects is a simple way to teach them how to be more responsible and be more accountable if they do miss the deadline.
Classrooms have become more welcoming over the years, but for many students, the comfort of their own home will be more beneficial for their learning. If they are more relaxed and happier at home, the information being learnt is much more likely to stick in their mind.
Working at home can also offer a chance to learn without distractions. A loud classroom or talking to friends can break concentration which can be maintained much better at a designated place at home to complete homework. Homework also gives students the chance to work at their own pace and not be rushed along or slowed down by the working speed of others in the class.
It’s no surprise that by completing homework, a student is more likely to understand the subject better. Even if they get some questions wrong, they can learn from a mistake, or speak to their teacher/tutor and highlight the things they are struggling with. A better long-term understanding can lead to better test results and overall attainment.
Even a small task like completing homework can give students a much-needed boost in self-esteem. Regardless of getting full marks, the accomplishment of finishing their homework can aid in improving the mental and physical health of a student.
Parents get fed up with asking “what did you do in school today?” and getting “I don’t know” as a response. Homework is a welcome window into the schoolwork of a student and gives parents a better understanding of the learning journey and where their child is succeeding or struggling.
Having a parent assist with homework can be a superb way of creating a greater bond and shared experience with one another, as well as an opportunity for parents to model good behaviour like commitment and perseverance. Setting and feeding back from homework improves communication channels between parents, students, and teachers and creates a better understanding for all parties.
Homework teaches students that in life, you sometimes have to do things you don’t want to do. As a student, you’d rather do anything else other than homework, and as an adult, there are tasks you are required to do as well. Regardless of enthusiasm, things like cleaning, admin, or even projects at work are unavoidable, and homework teaches students to get used to that feeling.
Discuss with your tutor whether setting homework would be beneficial for the learning journey of you or your child. It can be useful, but it is not always the right time for every student or every subject. Looking for a tutor? Start your search today.
Tutorful have recently launched a new homework feature, allowing tutors to select and assign questions to their students all using the Tutorful platform. Take a look at our FAQ for homework to learn more.