Homework—an important part of reaching goals

Remember when you were a student and wished the teacher would say, “No homework today. Go home and have some fun!” You may have loved the lectures and the learning, but dreaded the tests and homework assignments. Well, you’re not alone. Most young people would rather play with their video games than sit down to read The Great Gatsby or work on statistics. But any goal worth achieving takes hard work. Work that takes place in the classroom and at home. In addition to reaching academic goals, doing homework teaches young people to follow directions, manage their time, and work on their own. Homework is Asset 23 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who spend at least one hour on homework every weekday are more likely to grow up healthy, stay committed to learning, and achieve their goals. About 47 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report doing at least one hour of homework every school day, according to Search Institute.

Tips for building this asset

All you may hear about homework from young people is that they hate it, don’t have any, or have too much the night before a test. Sometimes, young people actually lack essential homework skills. Once they get the hang of homework basics—organization, time management, and study skills—they can be more creative with their study strategies. Encourage them to keep trying.

Also try this

  • In your home and family: Turn off the TV during study time and create a quiet area in your home for your child to do homework. Make yourself available if your child has questions or needs help.
  • In your neighborhood and community: Consider starting a “homework house” in your neighborhood. Each day a different home can provide space, encouragement, and help with young people’s homework.
  • In your school or youth program: Make yourself accessible—through e-mail, a Web site, or the phone—so students and parents can contact you if they have questions about an assignment.

Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.