Why Homework Actually Matters
Nobody actually likes doing homework (except for maybe Hermione Granger). But the fact that we don’t like it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
As the weather starts to get warmer and the end of school is in sight, it can be more tempting than ever to blow off your homework. But there are quite a few reasons why doing your homework is important.
Watch this video about why doing your homework makes sense.
Here we offer a few more reasons, along with a list of good habits to incorporate into your homework routine.
Why It Makes Sense To Do Your Homework
- Doing Homework Earns You Easy Points
Did you know that almost all teachers give you a grade for just doing your homework, even if you get some of the answers wrong? In many classes, homework can count for 10 to 20 percent of your grade, so if you don’t turn in any homework, that’s like getting a zero on a test. And even if your teacher does grade your homework and you get half of the answers wrong, you’ll still get a 50% in the grade book rather than a zero, which will make a huge difference in your overall score for the class.
- Doing Homework Makes a Good Impression
Teachers are very aware of which students turn in their homework (especially on time) and which ones don’t. When you do your homework on a regular basis, you send a message to the teacher that you are responsible, eager, and willing to learn and that you take school seriously. All of that goes a long way when your final percentage in the class is right on the border between two letter grades and your teacher has to make a judgment call on whether to round up or down!
- Doing Homework Helps You Retain Information
Sure, homework can sometimes just seem like a lot of annoying busywork, but the truth is, practicing a new skill or working with a new concept is a great way to cement that information permanently in your brain. That means you’ll do better on the tests as well!
Good Homework Habits to Help You Learn and Succeed
- Always Read the Instructions
You never want to go through the trouble of actually doing homework only to find out that you didn’t do it the way the teacher asked and, therefore, might not get full credit. So before you begin, make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them (even if they seem kind of obvious).
- Write Your Assignments Down in An Assignment Notebook
Don’t rely on your teachers to update their websites or online calendars. Instead, when you are given an assignment in class, make sure you write it down yourself in an assignment notebook or planner. Include how long you think it will take you to finish each task so you can plan out how the evening will go when you get home.
- Ask Questions
If there’s anything you don’t understand about the assignment, make sure to ask the teacher to explain it before you leave for the day. Don’t wait until you’re at home to figure out whether you really get it.
- Do Your Hardest Assignments First
It can be really tempting to start with the subjects you like the most, but it’s better to do your harder assignments first while you’re focused and alert. And don’t save all of your reading for right before bed (or when you’re in bed); it’s way too easy to fall asleep! If you’re getting too tired to focus, take a 15 minute nap and tackle it again. Or if you’re a morning person, go to bed and get up early to finish your assignments before school.
- Turn Your Homework in On Time
Many teachers take points off for homework that’s turned in late, or they may not accept late homework at all, so make sure you hand your homework in on time. Remember to pack everything in your backpack the night before so you don’t leave homework at home, and if you miss a day of school, take responsibility for turning in assignments that were due while you were gone.
- Make Use of Your Resources
Sometimes life gets in the way and makes it hard to do our homework, but you should still do your best to be resourceful and overcome any roadblocks you encounter. For example, if your computer isn’t working, you can always handwrite the assignment. If your printer’s not working, go to school early the next day to print it out. Forgot the book? Call a friend to borrow it. Don’t understand the assignment? Call a friend or email the teacher for help. Part of being a successful student is learning how to overcome obstacles rather than using them as convenient excuses.
- Be Accountable
If you haven’t done the homework, don’t blame your circumstances for it (see above), and never, ever lie about why you didn’t do it. Instead, just be honest with the teacher that you haven’t done the homework and then ask if you can get partial credit for turning it in the next day or if you can make up the missed points. Even if you won’t get points for turning it in late, it’s still a good idea to do the assignment and turn it in — your teacher will be very impressed.
It’s hard to adopt a bunch of new habits all at once, but if you take on one habit at a time, they’ll start to build on each other. Before you know it, these good habits will come naturally to you and you’ll be on your way to reaping all the rewards homework actually has to offer.