Students often complain about how homework is pointless when it only makes up a small percentage of their total grade, especially in math and science classes. Others would even say homework should be graded on effort and not completion. Regarding homework, I believe hard work should be rewarded.
Homework is essential to a student’s learning experience. Like many students, I usually forget lessons when I don’t spend time practicing the concepts. Homework is one way to practice concepts and skills the teachers demonstrated in class.
American actress Lily Tomlin said, “I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” While I like those kinds of teachers as well, I also believe homework helps me reflect on what I’m learning in class. Homework also helps me prepare for and do well on exams because it reflects what will eventually be tested.
Tests are designed so teachers know whether students made an effort to learn the material. Teachers usually give homework to train students on skills they need to do well on tests. If students have attempted to complete their homework thoroughly, the tests should reflect their efforts. Since tests influence students’ grades considerably, it’s logical for students to do homework.
Today, I see more students just finishing their homework rather than trying to understand what the material. Students should try to finish homework no matter the difficulty level; however, it should be a combination of hard work and understanding. If students still don’t understand how to solve specific problems, they can go over it in class or ask for extra help. While effort is harder to recognize than completion, it is a much more valuable habit. Therefore, if students have attempted to solve each problem and have shown work, teachers should give them the full grade. As more teachers embrace this concept, more students will be willing to complete homework. Furthermore, teachers can measure individual effort by giving simple daily quizzes that require students to write down the steps to solve certain problems.
I believe lack of motivation influences students to avoid homework. Since homework only makes up around 10 to 25% of a student’s class grade, an average student who gets C’s on tests and quizzes would have to do every assignment to keep a C average. I do believe that the homework percentage should be low enough to force students to excel on tests, but it should also be high enough to motivate them to actually learn. I think around 35 to 40% is a fair percentage, since the ‘average’ student can earn a B if he or she does their homework. This potential scenario would influence many to do homework; and, more importantly, students would be able to retain information longer and succeed in school.