Ask your average teenager about their thoughts on homework and there’s an exceedingly high chance that their answer will be somewhere along the lines of “I hate it,” or “I wish we didn’t have it.” Being a teenager myself, I can say that I fit in the majority who hate it. However, I do believe that the existence of homework is something that shouldn’t be completely casted away. It’s my belief that rather than getting rid of homework completely, or leaving it to stay as it is, we should instead change the properties of homework to better fit students.
One way in which I believe we should change homework to better fit students, is making it optional rather than mandatory. Instead of making homework a part of a students class grade, instead we should make homework optional as a means of earning extra credit. Students should be free to learn subjects in school and choose whether or not they would like to build on their understanding on said subjects by their own volition. Many students, especially in high school, have many extracurricular activities to attend to which only add to their list of things to take care of after school. When the majority of their classes have their own homework to worry about, being behind on just one nights worth of homework can easily lead to a snowball effect resulting in the demolition of their grades one class has a constant stream of homework to deal with, missing one or two nights wouldn’t result in anything substantial to your grades. It would also be relatively easy to catch up as well. Although that may be the case if you were only to have one class to worry about, realistically a student deals with having homework assignments from multiple different classes covering a multitude of different subjects. Getting behind in homework for just one day can snowball into being multiple days or even weeks behind leading to your grades becoming a catastrophe.
Some would argue that the removal of homework being mandatory from standard classroom curriculum may result in an advantage to students who studied their subjects compared to a student that chose not to do homework. While this argument does have good reason behind it, I propose that instead you should let those students who understand the subjects progress forward and help those who fall behind. Even in the case that a student did their homework, they might still not fully comprehend the subject, and vice versa. There could also be a student who, although they did not do their homework, completely understands the subject and can progress further with ease. Because of these circumstances, I feel it would be most appropriate to incentivise teaching students subjects in class and ensuring their understanding, rather than covering a new subject, assigning homework, and assuming that they understand what has been taught and moving on.
Overall, it’s my belief that removing homework from being necessary in standard education would be beneficial to students not only by giving them equal opportunity to learn and be educated but also by allowing those who have other issues in their lives to deal with to do so without having to worry about being behind in homework.
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