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Who and Why Invented Homework?

Who and Why Invented Homework?

Published by on 2021-07-09 08:22:16

Many people believe that homework has already become an atavism we should eliminate since it is completely useless and stressful, but maybe it has been invented for a reason.

Students are used to their homework so much that it is hard to imagine that there was a time when it didn't exist. People face it almost from their first days in school when they need their parents' assistance to cope even with trifles. The older they become, the more complicated issues they deal with. Many young people imagine how it would be great to live without it or even opt for homework writing services to reduce the burden. Nowadays, some modern non-public schools try to attract new visitors exactly with a promise not to provide homework. Whether it is an atavism or not, it helps a lot go deep down the question and improve certain skills. So, it seems the person who created homework knew something unavailable for us. However, maybe it is all about a tremendous number of assignments modern students get weekly in college, so they have neither time nor desire to deal with it. So, they ask themselves the question, "Was homework invented as a punishment?". Let's find out.

How Long Has Homework Been Around?

You might agree that it is quite hard and even impossible to say for sure who started homework. Issues like that are always covered with many theories, myths, and rumors. However, if you search for this question on the web, you will come across one common statement that Roberto Nevelis was the person students can blame for their sufferings. According to this theory, it happened at the beginning of the 19th century, when Nevelis introduced homework as a punishment for his learners. Nonetheless, some other people claim that the history of homework dates back to the first century AD, and Pliny the Younger was the pioneer in this case. He was obsessed with a desire to make his followers improve their speaking skills, so he asked them to practice at home too. As you might have guessed, even if homework was invented many centuries ago, it has become popular exactly since 1905. Thus, if someone asks you the question, "When was homework invented?" you will know what to answer.

Why Have They Popularized Homework?

Even though, according to one of the theories, homework was invented as punishment, it was not the reason for its popularization worldwide. Of course, students may think otherwise, especially those who get stressed every time they proceed to home tasks. Anyway, the 19th century became a turning point in the education system. It was proved that students' academic performance depended on how often and what kind of homework they got. Thus, work on home tasks was considered a key component of training that stimulated development. After a range of experiments, they've concluded that effective fulfillment of homework is possible under the following conditions:

  • it shouldn't be complicated;
  • it should be easy-to-follow;
  • it should be provided after working on the subject in a classroom.


Why was homework invented? It was designed to enhance students' academic performance and deepen their knowledge of the subject. A teacher cannot cover all the moments during the lecture, and young people have a different pace of comprehension of new info, so homework helps fill these gaps. In addition, it is a universal tool that helps improve the learning process, develop personal qualities, imagination, and problem-solving skills. 

Advantages of Homework

Every coin has two sides, and homework is no exception. If you still cannot get what you can get from staying late at night and working on various assignments, let's talk about the benefits homework can provide you with. We'll highlight only key moments since everyone can find something special about it for themselves. 

1. Promotes discipline

You might have heard that discipline is the key to success. It doesn't matter how gifted you are, but if your discipline leaves much to be desired, you will hardly achieve high results in the long run. Repetition is the mother of learning, and homework helps cope with this task. When you start independently working on the same subject, you look at it from a new perspective and inevitably sharpen your skills. Moreover, you can go deep down the question since you can re-read the material as many times as you need to get to the core. Besides, working this way, you develop your general discipline, and this skill will come in handy in other life spheres as well. 

2. Develops time-management and research skills

Poor time-management skills are one of the main weak spots of many young people. Homework helps improve this situation since students learn how to allocate their free time effectively. When you are young and active, you want to find time for hobbies and social connections, so homework teaches you how to prioritize and focus on the goal. Many students come up with a schedule that can help cope with all the tasks and leave some room for pleasant things like hanging out with friends. In addition, some assignments are aimed at developing research skills in young people that will inevitably come in handy when they will be writing research papers and other academic assignments. 

Research skills


3. Creates comfortable conditions for studying

Every person has their own pace of learning, and while one student can adapt on the fly, another one needs some time to achieve the same result. Even though an academic institution has been created as a perfect place to study, it is full of distractions. Many young people are more interested in interaction with peers than working on assignments. However, you can create suitable conditions at home. 

Disadvantages of Homework

Well, people call homework a leftover for a reason. Even though academic institutions will hardly reject it in the upcoming future, there is a wide range of demerits that may tip the scale. Let's look at the main reasons why excessive homework may bring more harm than good.

1. Sedentary Lifestyle

Many doctors will tell you that some diseases have become 'younger.' If only old people developed them before, they are common for students today. It is all the result of the sedentary lifestyle people lead from childhood. They lack time to get involved in physical activity because they are overwhelmed with assignments and have to stay home around the clock. Students have to work on research papers, numerous essays, and other tasks that leave no room even for a walk after college. Such a lifestyle results in obesity, diabetes, musculoskeletal diseases, and mental health disorders. However, most curriculums are designed in such a way, so students have to work on a big part of the material in their free time and even on weekends to stay on track and get high grades.

2. Little Time for Holidays

If a student goes to study abroad, they should be ready for the fact that they will have no time to meet with their family on holidays. Even when spring break is around the corner, they still have to stay in dorms and complete all the tasks they've got in college. Some professors increase workload before holidays so that students can learn some additional material on the subject. It is one of the reasons why so many young people get exhausted and feel overwhelmed. The sad news is that they will never use a big part of the knowledge gained in college because many things will already change until they graduate.

3. Increased Load for Working Students

Unfortunately, not all students can afford to focus on the college curriculum only. Many young people have to combine studying with a part-time job to make their living. Homework becomes a real burden for those people because they have to sacrifice their sleep for it. Thus, they have neither time nor health nor desire to enjoy their youth and student years. Of course, some of them turn to specialized writing services to free up their schedules and find time for sleep, but it is rather an exception to the rule. 

Was homework invented as a punishment?

4. Plagiarism

It is not a secret that plagiarism is a pain in the back in an academic environment. There are many reasons students decide on such a step, but one of the widespread is the lack of time. Young people get so many various assignments, so they stop bothering about the quality of papers they hand in. Such a misstep will result in low academic performance in the best case and expulsion in the worst one. That's why everything should be in moderation. 

5. Constant Stress

All the things mentioned above result in trouble sleeping and the development of serious mental issues. You can come across many cases when straight-A students ended up committing suicide because they couldn't tolerate that pressure anymore. Young people are often afraid to disappoint their parents or look worse in their peers' background, so they do their best to meet all the challenges. However, human abilities are not limitless, and accumulated stress will find its way out sooner or later.