How often do you assign homework in an average school week?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
How often do you assign homework in an average school week?
1 day - a week
2 days - a week
3 days - a week
4-5 days - a week

View Results

The responses to this poll would make most students shudder. The majority of teachers, almost 50%, report that they assign homework 4-5 days per week, while less than 10% said they never assigned homework. This is a student's worse nightmare come to life.

Homework can be given for a number of reasons. Homework is a way to ensure that students receive more practice on a particular subject. Mathematics is one subject that requires practice and repetition in order to be fully confident that students understand the steps involved. Many math classes have students do some of the questions during class and the remainder to be done as homework.

Another reason for homework assignments is to allow students to practice more in depth research and presentation projects that cannot be accommodated during classroom hours. Unless there are enough computers for every student it is impossible to complete research projects at school.

Perhaps the best reason to assign homework is to instil good study habits into students. Even if there are no projects to be completed or work to finish, students should be encouraged to review class notes. Daily review helps cement course material in a student's mind. Elementary students can also be encouraged to read on a daily basis. Mastering fundamental reading skills plays a huge role in academic success.

From a student's perspective, homework is a terrible thing and it doesn't matter whether the student is at the top of the class or struggling to keep up. Even most straight A students dislike assigned homework because it takes time away from leisure pursuits such as sports or video games. Students who struggle with school subjects dislike homework even more. Spending six hours or so in a classroom trying to keep up is bad enough without the thought that more of the same is waiting when they get home.

With larger class sizes and student's not being able to receive as much individualized attention as teachers would like, homework is often a necessary evil. Teachers can assess student progress through homework assignments in a way that may not be possible in a classroom setting. So for the time being things will continue on with little change. Teachers will probably continue to assign homework, and students will continue to shudder at the thought.