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Why Homework Is Actually Good For Kids

Most kids don't love doing homework, but it provides many benefits that will linger long after the lesson is learned.

The Basics

Your child is gaining several simple skills each time she sits down to do work at home. All four will help her as she matures. 

Responsibility. The homework assignment is your child’s responsibility (not yours). When students assume responsibility for their homework and complete an assignment, it is only then that they learn to be accountable for their actions. 

Time management. Students complete their assignments or projects on time when they are organized. Turning the project in on time has it advantages because points are not deducted and your child won’t suffer consequences.

Perseverance. Homework teaches kids how to deal with adversity. Your child can take pride in finishing an assignment regardless of difficulties or problems.

Self-esteem. Completing homework in a timely manner will help your child develop trust and self-confidence. The inspiration to work harder on the next project occurs when kids feel good about their accomplishments. 

9 How-to-Study Tips

Parents are team members on the homework front. You can create a positive atmosphere for your child by following these nine simple tips.

• Organization is a must. Get your child organized by developing a schedule for homework assignments, projects, and tests. Post all homework assignments and projects on a wall calendar (or the refrigerator, as I did) for easy viewing. Share your email address with teachers in order to stay up-to-date on important assignments, special projects, and tests. Check your school’s website regularly for homework updates. Also frequently check your child’s backpack for handouts and messages from the school.

• When your child does homework, you do homework. Show your child that the skills he is learning now are related to things you do later on as an adult. If your child is reading, you read too; if your child is doing math, balance your checkbook. In other words, work together in harmony and demonstrate as a parent how these new skills relate to adult duties and responsibilities.

• When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers. Giving answers means your child will not learn the material. Too much help teaches your child that when the going gets rough, someone will do the work for him or her.  As parents, we always strive to teach honesty, integrity, and good character. 

• When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, do it. Cooperate with the teacher because it shows your child that the school and home are working jointly as a team, and follow the directions given by the teacher. Speak positively about your child’s school and never ever criticize the teacher or principal in front of the child.

• If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, stay away. Too much parent involvement can prevent homework from having some positive effects. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.

• Stay informed. Talk with your child’s teacher weekly. Make sure you know the purpose of homework and what your child’s class rules are. Additionally, a parent-teacher conference is an excellent time for important people in a student’s life to talk about how that student is doing in school, including conduct, grades, tests, and homework assignments. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions about the class or your child’s progress. 

• Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration. Let your child take a short break if he is having trouble keeping his mind on an assignment, and provide plenty of positive reinforcements daily. Also, encourage your child when a task has been completed wrongly. While reprimanding him may be your first response, think carefully before acting. You’ll likely get better results if you provide love and support as you firmly, yet gently correct the issue. 

• Reward progress in homework. If your child has been working hard or is successful in completing work, celebrate that success with a special event. Enjoy a pizza together, a walk, or a movie to reinforce positive effort.  

• Pledge to spend quality time with your child.  Yes, as parents we’re faced with financial challenges, underemployment, busy schedules, and other issues that can threaten family time. However, regardless of what you face, remember to spend some quality time with your children each day and ensure that proper “home-learning” takes place.

 — Glenda Faye Pryor-Johnson is a retired Memphis City Schools counselor

 

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Oct 29, 2012 04:56 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Using this for help on a debate project about why homework is good or bad

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Nov 9, 2012 06:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm also using this article for my debate project but I do agree with the person that posted about doing homework after school and all weekend. I am always in the same situation every week. The only days I have off are holidays but not even, because as he/she says, "to teachers, those are days reserved for the most work, like projects and essays, which take up most of the day."

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Nov 10, 2012 06:55 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

As a kid who adores homework AND is student body president i agree

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Nov 27, 2012 09:18 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Personally, I think this is completely invalid. I wouldn't mind it if the teachers told the kids that it was to gain life skills, but they don't. They tell them that it is to "reinforce their learning". But it doesn't help their learning in any way. And every year teachers assign more and more homework to students. It keeps kids up late, adds to their stress, and takes away from time that could be spent elsewhere.

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Feb 5, 2013 11:38 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Using this as a reference for a school project. Very nice!

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Apr 15, 2013 07:49 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm using this for a school project, and this really helps! Thnx! :)

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Apr 24, 2013 07:06 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Used this for a debate in school

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May 1, 2013 09:01 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I disagree because if more homework is given, students may begin to resent all of these "benefits." Teachers never explain to us these purposes, so we have no desire to do the work.

Great for my research paper though, thanks.

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Sep 5, 2013 04:13 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

When you say "kids" what age group are you speaking of? Because my 5th grader has no time for family time or activities at night aside from homework, reading, studying for spelling tests and the list goes on. An overabundance of work at home leaves him feeling frustrated because he has no time for anything he wishes to do. He enjoyed reading in the summer when it wasn't an expected amount of time. He knows how to read. Why on earth would he have to log 20min a night? It's very disruptive to any family activates because if homework is not prioritized he gets points taken off, so homework comes over all other things and that is not how it should be.

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Feb 27, 2014 08:33 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

homework sucks

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