General Question

sweetythang's avatar

I need help figuring out why we need homework?

Asked by sweetythang (16points) September 22nd, 2009

i have so much homework my bag is ripping from alll the books i have to carry. i mean we wrok too much at school already. Help me understand.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

Ivan's avatar

Homework gives you practice with the material and teaches you responsibility.

trailsillustrated's avatar

well, you spelled work wrok. maybe thats why. my kids say the same thing. the internet is your friend. use it for homework.

dpworkin's avatar

School days are not long enough to teach you all that is required, either, so homework is one way to extend the time you spend in structured learning.

J0E's avatar

What grade are you in?

Shuttle128's avatar

Actually, in order to transfer short term memory to long term memory it is very important that you review what you have learned (fairly soon after first seeing it) in order to embed the concepts in long-term memory. Without practicing, the information you learned in class is lost very quickly after first observing it. Short-term memory is on the order of several seconds so it is important to study and do homework afterwards.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Shuttle128 is 100% correct, however I do believe they could shorten class days to make up for the amount of homework that is sent home. Many people agree that homework amounts have risen in ways that are not necessary. I also disagree with the argument that school days are too short to teach you everything you need to know. There are many alternative teaching methods that do not require so much time in class but allow for even faster education and acquisition of learning materials. Anyhow that is a long answer when a perfectly good one was give to you by @Shuttle128

photographcrash's avatar

It’s repetition and practice. Without doing stuff over and over again, you never learn it. Atleast I don’t.

A tip: when I was in high school I suffered from the same problem.. a thousand books to carry and ensuing back problems.. try photocopying homework problems or the relevant chapter to have at home, and leave your books at school. It does cost money and takes a bit of effort.. but it makes it much easier for your body to handle ;)

YARNLADY's avatar

In addition to the excellent answer from @Shuttle128 you are also being exposed to the skills of time management, accepting responsibility for seeing a task through, and setting priorities.

Shuttle128's avatar

I have to agree with YARNLADY. In high school there was too much homework for me to get it all done without sacrificing some much needed free time. Many of my classes had homework that was not graded so I had to use the time I set aside for homework in a productive way without completely ignoring the ungraded assignments. It was a lot to expect of a 17 year old, but once you get a good schedule going things tend to run smoothly.

Tink's avatar

I had this question in my mind yesterday!
I think teachers just give us homework because it’s “traditional”, not because they actually care about us turning it in. And all they get in response is frustated because most of us don’t even do it.
I mean, can’t they just give us classwork instead? Why give us homework if it doesn’t do much for us. “It helps you understand the material”, if we didn’t understand it before why would we understand it after doing it?

Ivan's avatar


If you go over one math problem in class, do you automatically understand how to do every single math problem of that type? No, you need to do a bunch of them as practice before you fully understand. That’s what homework is for.

Facade's avatar

@Ivan Practicing in class, like kids do anyway, would not suffice?

Tink's avatar

@Ivan Not that many percentage of kids do their homework anyways.

dpworkin's avatar

@Tink1113 You even seem to have a hard time retaining some of the answers you have seen in this thread. I think it would be useful to you if you read it over a few times.

Ivan's avatar


Two things. 1, there isn’t enough time to do all of the necessary practice in class. 2, students need to work things out on their own rather than just copy stuff from the teacher in order to learn it.


Well that’s their fault, not the teacher’s.

Facade's avatar

@Ivan I feel there is enough time if the teachers use effective methods

Shuttle128's avatar

As I said before. It is a matter of retaining the information that is learned. Without practice over an extended period of time the information doesn’t transfer into long-term memory. You could practice in class, but some form of study or homework would still be beneficial to moving the information into permanent storage in the brain.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I never did my homework in school. Yet I always got A’s on my tests. I kind of feel homework is meant for those who cant retain what they are told as well so homework drills it in. There are others though who can hear/see something once and remember it.

Ivan's avatar


Hmm. Let’s take differential calculus as an example. There are a ton of different “rules” about differentiating different sorts of functions. You have to know how to differentiate simple polynomials, logarithms, exponentials, trig functions, etc. A teacher could go over one example for each of those categories, but you would still need to do a bunch of problems in each in order to really learn it. I don’t think a teacher can go over a dozen examples in each category in the amount of time given.

Facade's avatar

My fantastic and wonderful pre-calc teacher did an excellent job at maximizing class time and minimizing homework. I have not taken and do not plan to take a class involving differentials, but I imagine there are a similar amount of rules to go over in that and pre-calc. If not, I still feel that bogging kids down with homework is not the answer.

Ivan's avatar

I don’t think the goal is to bog kids down. By all means, if a teacher can get their students to understand all of the material within the span of the class, that’s great. But that’s not always possible, especially in college.

Facade's avatar

I had the impression we were discussing grade school…

Ivan's avatar


tiffyandthewall's avatar

it’s to reinforce what you’ve already learned. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve thought i understood something until i got home and tried to do it on my own.
also, most teachers go over it the next day. it’s to make sure you’re understanding what you’re working on. or you just didn’t have enough time to get through things in class.

of course, some teachers just give it as punishment/to be a jerk.

nikipedia's avatar

I think you are asking a very good question. The answers above are dead on: you need to be exposed to the material again in order to really learn it, and you need to try practicing it yourself—doing it on your own is very different from watching someone else do it.

But I bet you already knew that. I think what you are really asking is, “Why do we need so much homework?” The correlation between amount of time spent on homework and academic performance is moderate. It turns out that there are optimal amounts of homework, and the right amount changes depending on how old you are. I am guessing you’re in high school, right? For high school students, 7 to 12 hours per week is ideal. Students who spend more time than that tend to do just as well or worse.

Kraigmo's avatar

Homework is every bit the fraud you suspect it to be. It does you very little good for the time spent. It does a lot of harm as well.

A teacher who creates an interesting lecture and maintains your attention, will cause you to learn more than homework does. Some people here point out the virtues of homework. Well, you could achieve all those virtuous benefits with 5 minutes per class, homework a day. Instead of thirty to 60 minutes or more per day, per class.

Homework and tests are pointless, generally speaking, in the magnitude that schools rely on them.

efritz's avatar

It hit me in 7th grade that all we do in school is fake work. We’re not actually accomplishing anything (except gaining/retaining knowledge, supposedly).

galileogirl's avatar

@sweetythang First is it the homework that is the problem or the weight of the books that is the problem?

If it is the latter, textbook companies are providing websites where the books and other resources can be accessed on line or textbooks are on discs. In other cases the teacher can have a class set and distribute books to students to keep at home for homework.

If the question is why you have to do homework. it depends on the type of homework. There is a great deal of reading that has to be done if you are going to understand the material. It would be a waste of time to read during class time. The teacher can build on the basics and class time can be spent on putting that knowledge to use with group work or projects.

Some subjects, for example math and languages, require a lot more practice than what can be accomplished in class. As part of my history, civics and economics classes I require students keep up with the news outside of class time. Students have to put their knowledge into practice by writing which also cannot be done efficiently in class.

You might want to remember that when preparing lessons and assessing your work. the teacher is doing homework too. In fact if you see a career in your future you can expect to put in twice the time than the 30 hours (6classes X 5 days) the average hs student spends. Even a full time college class is set up so that for every hour spent in class, 3 hours should be spent on outside study.

mangeons's avatar

To show that you can actually do the work instead of just cheating off your classmates or having help from the teacher.

And this is coming from a freshman in high school, so I’m not biased in any way.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther