The debate against homework is quite common among students, parents and teachers. Most of the teachers run the risk of complaints if they assign too much homework. On the other hand, they might be labeled as ‘soft’ or not dedicated enough if they give less or no homework at all.
For students, it becomes quite difficult to focus on the heavy pile of homework after tedious school hours. They get stressed and might fall sick due to overburden of studies. So, parents end up blaming the teachers for assigning excessive homework.
Despite innumerable problems, homework is still an inescapable part of every student’s life. There has to be an alternative to help students complete the homework without putting a toll on their health.
Apart from parents, advocates have also raised the concern for the elimination or reduction of homework to nullify the stress it creates on the students and their families. Lawyers from all around the world have come forth to highlight the inefficient ways in which homework can interfere with the extracurricular activities of a child. They have also raised a substantive question regarding the quality of the homework and whether it genuinely helps a student to learn something important.
According to teachers and professors, the main motive of homework is to help the students master the tasks that they do not enjoy. This would help the students maintain self-regulation strategies. But, is self-regulation a part of learning? Here are the benefits of homework.
The students must feel engaged in the process of doing the homework. If they do not feel interested or if the homework fails to involve them properly, they would lose their focus and learn nothing. Hence, letting them choose their favorite subject or topic for the homework can help foster the sense of ownership. Doing the homework just for the sake of it is not okay, it never was. The students must learn something significant while doing the task and feel that the time invested was worth it.
Many students lose the focus on their homework due to the lack of knowledge or the subject matter. This usually happens when the homework is assigned without stating its purpose. Make students understand why he/she is required to do the homework on a certain topic. Using proper facts and theories will ease communication, which is an essential aspect to clarify doubts between teachers and students.
Assigning homework because you have to is not a good idea. Quality homework must be relevant to the student’s skills. The homework must help the students to develop their general knowledge and sharpen their skills. According to scholars, homework seems to be more engaging for students when it includes real and relevant problems.
A good quality homework tends to honor and use the energy generated from children when they engage and discover their own skills, strengths, passion, hobbies, etc. The homework will not drain their energy, rather it should sharpen their skills and help them to grow and have an amazing academic and professional career.
Is it possible to change the negative perception of homework and use it to benefit the students? When children are forced to do homework that has no relevance to their lives, interests or passion, it stresses them out. Researchers have derived some solutions to make homework fun and useful.
According to latest research, more than two hours on a homework can increase stress and decrease achievements. Whether at night or right after school, give the homework an overall of two hours and focus completely on solving the task. Two hours is the right amount of time to strategize and solve problems without stressing yourself.
Not all students will have similar strengths and weaknesses. So, the teachers need to identify or let the children discover their abilities and interests and assign related homework to let them hone their skills. It will help the students to master the basics of the subject they have a liking for and can also help them improve the subjects they are not good at.
School hours are for learning new things and homework is for honing your skills and abilities. Do not merge the two. Teachers can try assigning homework that cannot be done during the school hours, for instance, reading some chapters of a book, interviewing someone for the history project. This will help the students to make the most of their spare time and develop their knowledge.
The research also states that parents and teachers should respect the children’s working style and let them focus on the homework. Also, they must make sure that the children are not overburdened and that they get proper sleep at night. These factors keep the kids fresh and motivate them to do the homework enthusiastically.
But, how many students get homework that can meet a wide variety of family cultures, time constraints and expectations? Do the children enjoy a perfect balance of work and fun? Let’s find out.
According to Stanford University’s recent study about the effects and benefits of homework that sampled almost 4317 students from 10 high-end private and public schools, the result revealed that every student spends at least three hours on homework each night. The average time for homework should be approximately 2 hours or even less.
They have also found out that students focusing on such heavy loads of homework usually experience exhaustion, weight loss, weight gain, stomach pain and sleep loss. Less time for family and other activities is also a matter of concern. It is quite exhausting for students to focus on homework after spending eight hours in school, listening to and being engaged in different tasks.
A recent report from the Brookings Institution has revealed that loads of homework hasn’t changed much in the past three decades. So, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in schools and colleges to change the system of homework and prioritize the interests and environment of the students.
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