Is homework necessary? There is evidence that homework is effective in secondary college, but not so much in primary school. A study conducted by University of Melbourne showed that it had about zero effect on primary students (Good Schools). Does that mean we should not be giving primary students any homework at all? Well, it depends what you consider to be homework.
From experience, we have had parents express their concern that not enough homework is given. We also have parents inform us that there is too much homework at school already, they shouldn’t be completing additional homework from tutoring! Homework has always been a controversial topic; we even use it as a topic for essay writing for primary students!
You might be wondering, “How much homework is enough homework?” Perhaps you should rephrase that question to, “What kind of homework is more effective?”
Research shows that homework should be short based activities that directly relate to what has been taught in school. If their homework is an unrelated project, it will have very little affect on their learning (Education Endowment Foundation). Furthermore, homework should be based on recalling information from school, rather than rereading material. This is known as retrieval practice, which is the act of finding the information in their own mind and applying it to the problem at hand. You can follow someone to your destination many times and yet you may never remember the route. The only way to remember is to be able to get there on your own (Dr Efrat Furst).
Many schools require their students to read a book a week. Reading is a great way to improve a child’s literacy and still constitutes homework. Instead of rereading a book they read in school, students can select a book they’re interested in to further enhance their reading skills at home.
Yes, homework can be effective to primary students depending on what it is, but please remember too much homework can be detrimental to their social development, health and mental well-being (American Psychology Education, 2016).
At Lore Tuition, we include homework that is related to the course material studied in class. We ensure that it should not take the whole night to complete. We highly encourage our students to complete the homework to benefit their studies; however, we are flexible with parents’ decision on the matter.
Pros and cons of homework. Good Schools Guide. https://www.goodschools.com.au/insights/parental-advice/pros-and-cons-of-homework
Homework (Primary). The Education Endowment Foundation. https://evidenceforlearning.org.au/the-toolkits/the-teaching-and-learning-toolkit/all-approaches/homework-primary/
Retrieval practice. Efrat Furst. https://sites.google.com/view/efratfurst/retrieval-practice
Is homework a necessary evil? American Psychology Education. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/homework#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20too%20much%20homework,of%20sleep%20and%20increased%20stress.