The History of Homework

The History of Homework

The argument as to whether homework is necessary is almost as old as the idea of teaching and learning. Perhaps most students hate that person who invented the concept of homework.  They feel it stripped them of their evening time and weekends.

Have you ever wondered in moments of desperation who invented the concept of homework and why? If yes, then this article might just be the answer to the questions on your mind. 

Who Invented Homework?

From Google and many beliefs, the history of homework can be traced back to Roberto Nevilis. He invented the idea of homework to punish his lazy students. This history can be dated back to 1905. His intention for creating homework is to spoil the evenings for his lazy students. But is this the real history of homework?

The answer is NO. No one can correctly pinpoint when homework truly started. The only thing Google knows of this Roberto Nevilis is that he introduced homework in schools. No other information about Roberto Nevilis exists on Google. It shows that there is a high chance that this person never existed at all. Moreover, homework has likely been introduced before 1905.  

The history of homework date back to as long as education itself.  Singing, reciting old poems, playing musical instruments, are processes that require additional practicing and memorizing outside of the classroom.

So, who was homework invented by? First of all, it is almost impossible to pinpoint who originated homework. Some may point to Pliny the Younger, who told his students to practice public speaking at home so they could get more fluent and confident. Others may look to some other Roman and Greek teachers who encouraged their students to practice whatever skill they were taught.

However, regular school homework can be linked to the first systems of schools. When schooling became accessible to everyone (not only the rich), then possibly the concept of homework emerged.

Why Was Homework Invented?

Why was homework invented? Is it that valuable? Is it to improve student’s performance or just a means to punish students by stripping them of their evenings? Well, the truth is only specific amounts of homework help enhance learning.

Besides, for homework to be beneficial to students, it has to be within their scope of abilities. It should not be too complicated for the students to do on their own.

So, back to our question, why was homework invented? There are several reasons why homework was introduced. We have highlighted a few of these reasons below:

  • Topics and ideas taught in class are forgotten fast, recall practices through homework help them stay in mind longer.
  • Repetition is the mother of learning. When concepts and ideas are revised, they are assimilated much better.
  • Homework helps develop your imagination and creativity.
  • Homework helps you learn at your own pace
  • Homework teaches you how to work independently.


Homework is essential and can indeed boost learning if done rightly. Homework would help you teach some vital skills which you will need to do well in life. Teachers, however, need to be educated on what type of homework they should give to students.