Homework Question: Should We Have Homework?

Michelle Li ‘20

Homework. Work for the home. Something that many kids dread to do after eight long hours in a school day. Homework is defined as a set of tasks assigned to students by their teachers to be completed outside of the classroom, and this concept has been around for many decades, even centuries. While many students believe that homework is busy work and takes time away from precious sleep, others argue that homework provides one of the best ways to ensure comprehension on the topics they’ve just learned. So the question still remains: should students have homework or not?


Many Ridge students support the idea of having no or optional homework because they believe that the homework given to them is considered “busy work” and only takes time away from focusing on certain subjects with upcoming exams. Depending on the course level a student is in, there amounts of homework that each individual receives varies. While supplements and review materials are beneficial in driving a student’s success, many believe that extra work that they don’t need to focus on because they already know the topic 100% is considered a waste of time. Meghan Jin ‘20 expresses how everything “depends on the course you are in” and while “some materials are beneficial and helpful” she dislikes “extra worksheets that are not needed.” Many students suggest that if they had the option to choose whether or not they should do the optional homework, then they would gain more independence and make choices that will help lead them towards their own success. 


Furthermore, many students would like to have the choice to have no or optional homework when it comes to time constraints due to extracurriculars. For instance, some sports at our school have games/practices until 9-10 pm. By the time they get home, they have to shower, eat, then focus their time on homework. While these athletes, musicians, and students build time-management skills throughout their high school career, many lose a lot of sleep due to finishing assignments that will be checked the next day. Many students would prefer to choose the assignments that help them with topics prevalent for future studies and would rather finish a review packet on their own time at their own pace.


On the other hand, many Ridge students support the idea of having homework since it allows them to see what subjects they need to spend more time on. When a student struggles with a certain subject and takes the time to work on the review, their grades go up significantly. Anthony Lan ‘20 highlights that homework “should be used as an option to help one’s learning”, but again emphasizes that students should be given the option “try to do what’s best for them.” If a student knows that doing homework will strengthen their learning abilities and will help them in the long run for future assessments, then they should take advantage of what’s given to them. Many studies have proven that if a teenager spends more time reviewing their work and doing their homework efficiently, this correlates with one’s academic success. 


In addition, while some believe that homework consists of busywork that takes away time from other things, others establish that homework gives them the opportunities to find their strengths and weaknesses. If students are able to use their time wisely and figure out which topics are harder for them, they can use this as a sign of whether or not they should reach out for help/advice. Many students utilize these resources and then reach out for a teacher or a tutor if they are confused about a concept. To pinpoint these confusions and misconceptions, homework — taking the time to figure out problems in their own time — allows them to find these mistakes. 


All in all, the debate on whether or not students should have homework depends on the individual and the choices they make. Homework, depending on how the student manages it, can either be a disadvantage or an advantage. While many believe that homework should be optional due to the choices of what students want to focus on, there are still many who view homework as a beneficial resource. In the end, everything is ultimately up to the student and the choices they make in their academic career.