The Burden of Homework
There are many children who realize how important a good education is to secure a decent career. They are the ones who are trying their best to keep up academically. But, they are tired, stressed and frustrated. They are burdened with homework and the demands on their time.
Time is man’s greatest enemy. We live in an information era that is fast paced with things (like technology) that are always changing. While adults manage to organize themselves and cope with the hectic schedules on hand, children are battling to find enough time for schoolwork, sport, recreation and relaxation. And we all know how important and healthy balance is. There are those who will reason that homework doesn’t promote academic achievement. Others believe that homework does more harm than good. In the end one needs to define homework.
1. What is homework? Homework is a supplement to work done in the classroom on the same day.
2. Why is homework important? Homework helps to reinforce concepts, information or skills.
3. How does a student benefit from doing homework? Homework is beneficial because it stimulates the brain. It is also an intellectual discipline and it serves to instill a sense of responsibility.
Homework is not the problem. Teachers often give homework to keep children busy. They give homework to punish their students. Sometimes homework is given because time in class is not enough to do all the work assigned. There are times that children sit at home with work that has never been explained or discussed in class.
Teachers should categorize homework. Homework is important in three ways: for the purpose of
- preparation for the next lesson;
- practicing new skills; and
- understanding concepts and information through additional information.
Homework should never take up too much time. Let’s take the example of ten minutes per learning area, per afternoon. For children who have fourteen learning areas, this in effect would mean that time set aside every afternoon for homework is two hours and twenty minutes. On the other hand, if children spend an hour doing mathematics homework, where would they find the time, energy or optimism to do the homework assigned for their other thirteen subjects? Official school hours differ from one country to the next. Let’s say they average between five to six hours per day. With a two hour homework schedule, children would be spending seven to eight hours per day academically.
To ease the burden, parents need to take a greater interest in what their children are doing. Communication is very important between the three parties involved: parents, children and teachers. If parents share the same concerns as their children regarding the amount of homework given, it will help the young ones to realize that there is a sense of justice.
Schools can assist children with homework policies. These policies will set the guidelines with regard to the amount and types of assigned homework. Most school policy guidelines for homework are set at a maximum of twenty to forty minutes for all learning areas.
Homework will never be popular. Children will continue to see it in a bad light. They need to be encouraged constantly so that they will have a positive attitude towards education. Children are our future. We need to put them first, because a negative and uneducated future can only be detrimental to society on the whole.