After a long day at school, homework is the last thing any student wants to do when they get home. No child is ever in the mood for homework as long as homework feels like a chore. Furthermore, many parents often feel their children are burdened by the afterschool work their teachers demand—although they do admit that doing homework is an educational necessity.
Yet, many are still wondering if homework is helpful at all, while some see the benefits of doing it. Most parents agree that some degree of afterschool work is helpful, but how much homework is necessary to positively impact academic achievement? And how much homework is too much homework? We’ll tackle these pressing questions below.
Homework for middle school students
Generally, middle school students benefit from less homework than their older peers. Research has shown before that traditional homework does not boost their academic achievement level, although it may be helpful for students struggling to complete classroom tasks. Likewise, homework is helpful for students preparing for a test as it helps them memorize problem-solving methods or concepts and keeps them fresh in their minds.
Ideally, middle school students should receive homework limited to only 30 minutes per day. This time period should increase as students advance in higher grades. However, more than an hour a day can be quite detrimental and hinder, rather than elevate, a student’s ability to learn.
A more effective way to consolidate a child’s knowledge and help them improve their skills is to enroll them in an individual tutoring program where they practice what they’ve learned in an engaging and interactive way that feels effortless rather than draining. Likewise, a tutor can help with homework, showing students the best ways to do it based on their academic level.
Homework for high school students
If middle school children should spend less time on homework, things change a little in high school—especially if we’re talking about math which is a cumulative subject that relies on practice. Studies conducted on high school students show that homework helps them achieve a higher academic rate. However, the right amount of homework is yet again up for debate.
The time high schoolers should spend on homework should also be reasonable and appropriate for their learning and academic levels. Ideally, high school students should spend no more than two hours per day doing homework and reviewing classroom materials. But doing afterschool tasks is extremely important as they prepare for their final graduation exams or work on end-of-term assignments.
Homework is not as beneficial when amassing new content though. Rather, in such situations, students need time to process and store that information without exhausting their minds. However, short-term retention for exams and constructive activities like problem-solving requires extra practice and in such cases, doing homework is always a good idea.
Why math homework is important
Not all subjects are created equal. Although all subjects require some degree of practice for students looking to hone their skills, skipping homework every now and then won’t be as detrimental as it would be for a subject like math.
Since math is a cumulative subject, excelling at it requires consistency and practice. Otherwise, it may hinder progress as a shaky math foundation does not facilitate further learning. So, math homework should provide the right amount of practice based on a student’s academic level in order to boost performance and achievement rates. The right amount of math homework based on a student’s true academic level can help:
- Improve memory and develop mathematical thinking which is a valuable ability in today’s digital-focused world;
- Instill a sense of discipline which enables students to work independently, something that will benefit them greatly as they go to college and then work;
- Boost exam and test rates by enabling the practice and memorization of problem-solving methods and formulae;
- Promote expansive learning, with math being at the basis of many other disciplines including IT, economics, and more.
Reviewing classroom material and practicing problem-solving through different math exercises is very helpful for students who want to excel at math. With the right tutoring program, students can benefit from doing their homework in effortless ways that get the task done while also elevating their academic performance to the next level.
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