Who among us at least once has not dreamed about canceling homework? And in Europe they started talking about it seriously: British and French parents of junior students no longer want to see their children in the evenings over textbooks. We have looked over some homework studies and have seen advantages and disadvantages of doing homework.
What Is Homework
What is homework? Homework is a form of independent work for students, organized by the teacher with the purpose of strengthening and deepening knowledge, speech skills, and abilities received in the lesson, and sometimes for independent solutions of feasible cognitive tasks that are part of the curriculum defined by the program.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Homework
Opponents of homework give out a number of arguments. First, if homework is canceled, the child will have more free time to communicate with parents and to do other useful activities. After five or six hours spent sitting at the desk, the unhappy kid comes home and starts doing homework. In fact, the child is enrolled in a system of life imprisonment. You come from school tired, but you are not free. You have to make a lot of meaningless examples of algebra and write a stupid essay on literature.
The abolition of the homework removes some of the differences in the level of preparation. After all, often an excellent student is not the one who is smarter, but the one with whom parents sit for hours on their homework. Lack of homework allows you to understand which of the children is really smart. And finally, without homework, teachers will become more responsible to their work – if they do not give the necessary knowledge, the child will not be able to fill in the gaps at home. They will be more careful to ensure that children are not distracted and learn all the rules.
If the child did not do the task at school, then there is no reason why he or she will be able to do it at home. Generally, teachers transfer part of their work to outsourcing for parents free of charge via homework. Of course, mom and dad should monitor the child’s progress in school and answer some of the questions, but the discussion of subjects can take place in another format, not necessarily in the form of homework. We believe that a child can learn everything in the classroom if the teacher is good.
The main argument in defense of homework is that without repetition, the student will not learn the material. The child, especially in primary school, forgets 70% of what he or she learned at the lesson. Therefore, without homework, each lesson will have to be started almost from scratch. Let’s say that the teacher has 15 hours allocated for a topic. And without homework, the same topic requires 30 to 40 hours to be spent. Moreover, the abolition of homework does not mean that those parents who used to spend their evenings with beer at the TV will begin to communicate more actively with their children.
Theoretically, the lesson should be enough to grasp the topic, but in practice everything turns out to be more difficult. There are topics in the curriculum that are studied very fast, and without additional exercises, they are difficult to grasp. Another thing is that homework can be asked not for all subjects, but only for basic ones – mathematics, English, physics, chemistry, etc. Or they can be limited in the amount – in some schools, for example, homework is not assigned for the weekend. In addition, there are schools that have tasks that differ – there is a basic set of tasks, and advanced students can take home more complex exercises. A teacher can give individual assignments to students who were left behind in the material that will help them catch up.
A lot of people believe that homework is needed in our education system. There are students who are embarrassed to ask the teacher to explain what they did not understand. And at home, doing the exercises, students can consult with parents, and, by the way, learn something new. When children discuss tasks with parents, they get a more versatile look at the subject.
Homework studies show that often children do homework for a long time not because it is difficult, but because they find it difficult to concentrate, and they begin to get distracted. And that’s why homework is useful – it teaches schoolchildren self-organization. In some schools, the task is given at once for a week, and the child must correctly manage his or her time so as not to do everything at the last moment.
We understand why British parents raised this issue – in English schools classes last until 4:00 pm (16:00). And in other countries children may finish studying by 2:00 pm (14:00). And without additional fastening of knowledge at home, they will not master the subject. If you want to cancel homework, let’s increase the number of lessons in the school.
The funny thing is: while adults are struggling with a fateful problem, most of the students solved it. Please note that our children are self-organizing. When they are overwhelmed with homework, they know what tasks can not be done with less, so to speak, losses for the grades. And if they are loaded too much, they just forget about everything and do not do lessons in the evening at all. The exception is the five percent of perfectionists (they are also schoolchildren with “excellent worker syndrome”), who sit until midnight to memorize every line of each paragraph.
The rest do not bother and find time to communicate with friends, and to play computer games. So we would set the problem in a different way: how can we make homework interesting and useful to do? How can we make history homework supplement the homework of literature, and physics homework to supplement mathematics? Nowadays, in textbooks on different subjects, the same phenomena are called differently.
The question of where students will do homework is quite necessary to consider. We are the supporters of a full-time school, where there is a library, information centers, and sports classes. Modern educational technology allows you to get away from homework, but the school in this case should be modern. Many schools have begun to avoid the practice of giving homework such as learning a couple of paragraphs. This gives a lot of information about the professional preparedness of teachers, about parental expectations, and about the system of constructing the lesson as a whole. Homework is very important for junior students. Children have one peculiarity of memory – if they do not fix the knowledge they gained a few hours ago with the help of homework, they forget most of the information they received.
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