What is the purpose of homework?

The answer to this question seems obvious: homework helps children learn. However, this simple answer is incomplete and not exactly accurate.

Homework should serve different purposes, depending on your child’s grade level and individual abilities. For primary grades, homework is largely used to improve reading and to review skills taught in class.

Intermediate grade students are given homework to continue with reading skills and to improve a child’s ability to remember, understand, and practice skills learned in class.

Homework for middle school students provides practice of skills taught in class, an opportunity to learn new information, and to demonstrate knowledge obtained. High school students have the added goal of using homework as a way to apply learned principles to new situations, as well as engage in independent learning at home.

Homework is also designed to teach, reinforce, and enhance lifelong skills of responsibility, independent learning, time management, organization, planning, perseverance, and self-discipline.

Homework also provides parents with an understanding of what their child is learning in class. Teachers expect parents of kindergarten through second grade students to be actively involved in their child’s homework. Instilling a love of learning is a primary goal of homework for early elementary students.