Written by: Klaire Tan
Homework is a daily burden teenagers deal with as students. However, for a handful of “lucky” students, homework isn’t a staple of the daily to-do list. While the majority of teachers assign homework, a few designate homework as optional. In other words, homework doesn’t need to be completed and does not count toward your grade. For most students, the notion of optional homework is worthy of support. While homework can be dull, annoying and straight-out boring, it still undoubtedly remains a must for us as students and should not be optional.
The reasoning is simple. Homework plays an essential role in the learning process. It’s intended to help students understand the class material. To understand a concept, students need to immerse themselves in it; to be able to apply and use calculations in the case of math or science classes, students need to practice. If the material is not reinforced, students forget what they learn in the classroom. This is most clearly seen at the start of school when students suffer a loss in knowledge after a summer without practice and material review. Homework combats this and promotes retention of knowledge by making students practice regularly.
Unfortunately, the sad reality of the teenage world is that homework is hardly considered to be a priority. The majority of students lack the motivation to complete optional assignments. Aware of this lack of internal motivation, teachers assign homework for credit in order to ensure that students are completing their homework and actually practicing what they have learned. Without the regular practice that homework provides, students would find it more difficult to understand additional class material and simply be involved in the class. As this continues, confusion rapidly multiplies, and the overall level of understanding in a class drastically drops. Ultimately, schools would be rendered unable to fulfill their single function: to educate.
The benefits of homework also extend outside the classroom and can outlast a semester. Besides helping us learn and understand class material, homework can build character. Learning to consistently finish your work at an early age will be a skill you’ll need throughout your life. Homework is no different from work done for a job. However, at work, the consequences for failing to complete your work are much more drastic. Choosing to not finish what you’ve been assigned won’t mean the loss of a few points. Instead, it will mean losing your job. In addition, those who fail to complete their work in the adult world are labeled as slackers. The poor references and ill reputation which result only make finding a job that much harder.
By assigning homework for credit, educators send us the indispensable message that finishing our work, whether we want to or not, is important. They teach us to work hard even when we wish otherwise. This lesson helps combat laziness that is often inherent to high school students who lack responsibility and motivation. Mandatory homework helps bestow students with a crucial philosophy necessary for success.
In short, homework is crucial to students’ lives both as a learner and an individual. As such, teachers should be encouraged to assign homework for credit to ensure students complete it. Being assigned homework for credit allows students to learn to complete mandatory work and to face consequences when we don’t. This simple lesson of working is one which will allow individuals to succeed, both in school and the real life world. It’s essential to success in the competitive world today.
In short, the next time a teacher assigns homework, whether it’s a 200-point report or a one-page worksheet, stop groaning and just remember that “nerds will rule the world one day.”
Now, go do your homework.