Survey a few adults and ask about their memories of school homework. Most will roll their eyes and make a disparaging comment or two about their experience. Most have memories of banal exercises, repetitive worksheets, contracts, or worse still, projects that were supposed to polish up their time management skills. Years later a few are able to convince themselves of the virtues that must have been ingeniously embedded in homework, but admit it was difficult to appreciate this when they were seven, nine or thirteen years of age.
Let's be honest. The thought of tackling homework after a day at school is not exhilarating stuff, especially when there are so many other distractions, interests and passions outside of school. Those who want homework say it encourages good study habits and recaps on the day's learning. They deem that the earlier students start the better. They also argue that secondary school students have too much work to be covered during lessons making homework necessary. Those parents arguing against homework say it obstructs family life, contributes to family tensions, accelerates burn-out, and because of its sedentary nature, is in part responsible for growing childhood obesity. They insist that the pressure of homework each night (sometimes as much as five and six hours in senior years) results in their children having to curtail healthy, balanced lives. There is also an argument that homework discriminates against students. Students with reliable and structured home environments, strong parental support, their own room, a desk, a computer, rapid internet connection, and abundant software reference material have a distinct advantage over students without these.
As for students, they generally fall into three categories. They either like homework, comply or reject it.