Question Of The Day: Are Schools Without Homework Possible?

Firstly we need to ask, what is the purpose of homework?

  • Helps students take responsibility for their learning. Even the youngest child can take some responsibility for their learning, it may be as simple as remembering to take their reading book home or complete worksheet, but it is their responsibility.
  • Review work done in the day. It is essential that a student knows how to apply the knowledge they have learnt in the classroom to other situations or problems that way they become more confident of the information.
  • Prepare for the next lesson. This may involve reading a chapter of a book or gathering information in preparation for learning a new math technique such as a the production of graphs.
  • Sets good work habits ready for college. Independent research, planning and timekeeping are all skills that are needed in Further and Higher Education and ultimately in the workplace.

Why homework is a chore

  • Tired at the end of the day at school. Many students have worked hard all through the day and if they have to travel back and forth to school as well they can be too tired to do homework.
  • Cuts into leisure time. This can be quite difficult especially for students who take part in many after school activities and sports. It can also be quiet difficult if there is a planned family celebration during term-time.
  • Some of the homework does not seem to have a purpose. This can be difficult when there seems to be no apparent reason why the work needs to be done, especially if it does not have links to the curriculum.
  • Why do we have to prepare for the next lesson? It can seem difficult enough to review work already covered in the lesson, but for some doing work in preparation for something that they have not yet covered can be quite challenging.

So, are schools without homework possible?

Weighing up the arguments, it is not possible to seriously have a school with no homework. How wold students practice their reading and math skills, how would they get the opportunity to review class work? Without homework, how would students develop revision skills in preparation for exams?

But it could be said that it is possible to have such a school, it would just mean that the students will not have been challenged to work independently, nor would they have the chance to develop their own sense of responsibility for their own learning.