Does Homework Build Character?

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“The essential thing is not knowledge, but character” – Joseph Le Conte

Let’s face it: Learning is hard. Sure – it can be fun, pique our curiosity, motivate us, and give us a sense of accomplishment. However, it can also be overwhelming, discouraging, and leave us feeling drained. So how can educators and parents keep students progressive? I believe that the answer lies in realizing that at the heart of each lesson, character building is just as essential as intellect.

As parents, we may look at our child’s assigned homework, and think it’s over the top. Perhaps it seems like pointless busy work – or like it unnecessarily takes away from family time. While I agree that there needs to be acceptable guidelines in place for how homework is assigned, there also may be some hidden benefits that are not apparent on the surface. Perhaps homework is about much more than the details of an individual assignment…maybe it is about building character. Even as adults, we all have to learn how to complete things that we just don’t want to do. That is part of taking responsibility and being a productive person. Likewise with education: homework is about much more than completing a task – it is also about giving our students the skill-set to live life successfully.

When teachers assign homework, they are giving each of their students the ability to practice and learn:

  •         Accountability
  •         Time Management
  •         Self-Discipline
  •         Conscientiousness
  •         The Opportunity to Experience Success and Build Confidence

Each of these are character traits that lead to a path of success in a child’s future. As I stated before – learning is hard – but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the extra work. As a parent, you are the main role model in your child’s life. Get involved – and on a daily basis, check-in with your child about their homework, and make sure that they are taking full advantage of this opportunity to build their character, and experience long-term success!

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