What Is The Main Purpose Of Homework In Elementary School?


This is a question that has been hotly debated and discussed for decades - What is the purpose of homework in the lower grades? Children would much rather play outside than do more schoolwork once they return home for the day, and parents have spent hours of their lives cajoling, bribing, arguing, and punishing in order to get it finished. This article is meant to help you understand the why and types of homework that are assigned to students in elementary school.

The purposes of assigning homework

There are usually considered to be four main purposes that are served by sending home work with children. The ultimate purpose is to help students increase their learning skills, academic success, and to assist them in positively developing character traits such as self-discipline and responsibility.

  1. Preparation: One of the main reasons that work is sent home is so that kids are able to prepare for an upcoming segment of the class. For example, they may be required to read an article, text, or book so that they will be able to participate in the discussion during school.
  2. Practice: It gives the students an opportunity to practice the concepts, formulas, vocabulary, and spelling words that they are currently working on in class.
  3. Integration/Creation: This allows the student to combine a number of skills that they have learned to construct something new, such as a report or science fair project.
  4. Extension: Students are able to use what they have learned and apply it to new situations in their everyday lives.

Homework Types

Depending on the purpose that the teacher is working toward, assignments are created which best serve their goal. Some of the assignments that will routinely be assigned to students at the elementary level include:

  • Extra credit activities
  • Writing and reading assignments
  • Practice exercises
  • Work from class that was not completed
  • Test preparation
  • Research reports and activities, both long- and short-term
  • Collection of data
  • Media assignments, such as gathering information from the newspaper, radio, or TV
  • Hands-on projects, such as arts and crafts, models, mobiles, etc.
  • Interviews

From the teacher's perspective, homework is important because it helps them to judge how well a student is able to grasp the material that is being studied. This is vital is discovering areas in which certain students may require extra help. Many assignments are also factored in as part of the final mark they receive for the year.

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