Huh! Homework again? It is indeed a big deal to your school going students, and even the biggest one for you as parents, when you see your young one muddling over and getting overburdened with homework. Soon, you tend to forget your hectic day, where every moment you thought, ‘I wish, I could have a recliner’. Even the preparation for the next day presentation takes a back seat.
Whether you believe or not, over generations our children have become smarter. Some of them, even including your child, come up with these innocent excuses, or ‘valid reasons’, they call it, for not being able to complete the homework. Here is a compiled list of some of them.
- The most tried one – ‘I was not well’
Our children request their teachers on this note, and it often works. However, to a matter of fact, this bad health condition is mostly a runny nose, or a series of coughs.
- The ones always blamed – ‘Oh these unwanted guests’
I was about to start my homework, and suddenly the doorbell rang. It was, ‘Uncle, aunt, cousins….and….’. The ‘and’ thing remains to be figured out till the teacher says. ‘It’s Ok, submit it tomorrow’.
- Tried by the intelligent ones – ‘Just one question left’
‘Yes ma’am, the last question, it’s too lengthy, but I will submit it tomorrow… God promise!!’. Quite often, this one question is not less than ten questions.
- The most popular one – ‘I forgot to bring the notebook today’
‘I was so absorbed in the questions till midnight, that at the very last moment, I forgot to keep the notebook in my bag’. This one is the traditional and followed over generations. In fact, while reading this, we recollect the days when we were students and we used this, at one time or the other.
Though not liked by most of the students, yet whether to have homework or not, has always remained a controversial conversation. Some say, it pressurizes the children, while some say, it is necessary, as it is a way of revising and practicing.
Well, homework should not be scraped off but, the entire exercise can be streamlined. There are several advantages of homework.
- Homework lets the concepts learnt in school sink in the brain
It is indeed necessary. Think a new concept that your child has learnt in the school. What if, he or she does not manage to study it after the school? The reason could be lack of time or it could be lack of interest. If it is the later one, then it is a serious matter of concern. However, if a thing called homework exists, your child will have to go through the taught concept to solve the questions.
- The presence of homework is a consistent approach to study compared to its absence which is a gradual one
Whether or not we support the concept of homework, we all believe in this. A famous saying fits well here, ‘slow and steady wins the race’. Yes! This slow and steady pace here is compared to regular study combined with regular homework.
- It helps you to get insights of your child’s understanding
Though you stay updated with your child’s academic progress, yet the exercise of spending sometime everyday through homework is not actually a bad idea. It also gives you a fair amount of understanding that how is the teacher teaching in the school.
- It prepares your child for college
These days, assignments have become a must in higher education. With a homework kind of thing in place, children are reinforced on discipline and commitment that make them complete the task, they are expected to within a stipulated time frame.
- It proves to be a medium of regular assessment
Yes, homework is an assessment. The assessment could be of the concepts taught in the class. The homework could be solving questions giving at the end of a chapter in the textbooks, or of the questions a teacher prepares.
Homework is actually a constructive activity. In a holistic manner, it sets a tone for self-study. Self-study is an integral part of academic preparation. The regularity of that can be achieved through homework in one of the most efficient way.
However, there are certain areas which the honorable framers of education must look into. These areas, if given a thought can improve the perseverance of homework and would definitely lead to academic excellence of our children.
- Homework should include the topics taught in the class only
This should be followed by all teachers. Homework should never include new concepts. The definition of homework should be ‘a practice of what you already know’.
- Not more than three subjects should have homework on a single day
This is very essential one. In fact, freezing the days for homework for each subject will make the entire curriculum smooth. This will also prevent burden on the children. In fact, selecting subject wise alternate days for homework can be a good move here.
- Schools should grant at least 30 minutes of physical activities for each student
‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’. We won’t want to make our children ‘Jack’. Certainly not!! If they are taking out some of the time of their physical activities after school exclusively for homework, then the teachers should also ensure that they get the same at the school.
- Weekend should not mean extra homework
Weekends supposedly are believed to be the time when a child can do more homework. This belief needs to be broken with an immediate effect. Weekends are meant for recreation and rest. The volume of homework on weekends should not differ from weekdays.
- Homework should include some DIYs
‘The best done is the best learnt’. This ‘Do It Yourself’ thing can actually bring a whole new dimension in the concept of homework. It could be inflating a balloon simply by tying it on the mouth of a jar containing a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or a visit to the museum.
Homework, if perceived in a positive manner can really do wonders for students travelling on the road to academic excellence. Teachers, educational consultants and curriculum designers should come together in this direction.