If you ask the question… is homework a waste of time to an academically inclusive group of students, chances are, you will most likely receive a range of answers and those responses would depend on the specific grade level of the student you are asking. While most students, parents, and yes, even teachers feel that homework can sometimes be a waste of time at the elementary, middle, and high school level, you will probably get a very different reply from a college or graduate student. At the lower levels of education homework is deemed necessary for grading purposes, yet the popular opinion seems to believe homework at these education levels simply, for the most part, consists of a significant amount of 'busywork'. The homework which is assigned to these students is, more often than not, meaningless mundane assignments that provide no value to the students who are required to complete these assignments. Many times homework assignments will involve no critical thinking or independent learning, and are completed recklessly or copied simply so a student can receive a grade by turning them in.
However, at the higher levels of education homework is considered far from being a waste of time. For these students homework can be exceptionally effective at reinforcing the understanding of material taught during a lecture or lesson on that given day. It can also be useful in many subjects, such as Math, because doing practice problems can be quite effective in helping a student grasp difficult formulas or challenging math concepts. Science homework can be equally beneficial in the same manner as Math because it works on the principle of 'practice makes perfect'. Reading homework is essential for a better understanding of any material, as well as if there is a discussion in class which requires your participation and that participation is being graded on.
So is homework a waste of time? A debatable question for certain. I guess it just depends who you are asking. Unfortunately, homework at any level will be considered a waste of time if the assignments are only required as a means of receiving a grade rather than as a meaningful method to better understand, comprehend, and master the material the student is being taught.