In the article "How Important Is Homework," a summary of the U.S. Department of Education's stance on the issue provided by Kid Source Online nicely summarizes the subjective benefits of homework:
It serves as an intellectual discipline, establishes study habits, eases time constraints on the amount of curricular material that can be covered in class, and supplements and reinforces work done in school. In addition, it fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility, and brings home and school closer together.
Harris Cooper (1994) presents immediate and long-term effects of homework:
Immediate: Students retain information and understand material better. Critical thinking and concept formation are increased. Information processing is improved, and the curriculum in enriched.
Long-term academic: Learning is encouraged during leisure time. Attitude toward school is improved. Study habits and skills are better.
Long-term non-academic: Students have greater self-direction and self-discipline. Time management is easier for students. Students are more inquisitive and participate in more independent problem solving.
Even though the objective statistics claim homework in the elementary level has little effect on testing, Diana Brown suggests that a reasonable amount of homework for younger students has benefits. Self-responsibility is cultivated when a student completes and hands in an assignment, no matter how small. In addition, the simple assignment of reading at home has shown to have a positive effect on student achievement.
Nancy Paulu (2000) indicates that parents can reap benefits from homework, also. The assignment of homework can help them learn about and become involved in their child's education. They can also communicate more with their children and their schools. Perhaps most importantly, parents who promote homework can assist teachers in creating a lifelong love of learning.