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Should homework be mandatory?
Homework is a tool for teachers to make sure that their students have learned the things that they taught in school that day.
In many subjects, such as natural sciences, expanding on school lab exercises at home ensures students have grasped the concept of a lesson.
Practicing skills and revising knowledge from that day's class is essential for their retention. That evening they are still relatively fresh, and thus easier to commit to memory.
Homework doesn't provide any proof that the child understood the topic. At home, children can ask for help, or copy the answers. It would be rather useful to have a small test at the end of the day, during school time, without stealing the child's free time.
Because children get stressed about their homework, they start disliking school, and will have a harder time retaining information.