Most of us (and by that, I mean all of us) remember those torturous days filled with heavy backpacks and substantial amounts of homework. I still cannot comprehend why I brought home a 750-page history textbook to answer three questions about the War of 1812.
Nevertheless, homework – much like death and taxes – remains one of the few certainties in life. Students must do it and you must deal with it by proxy. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones if your child has never requested your assistance for long-division or an American Literature essay. As a blogger with an inquisitive mind and longstanding curiosity over the importance of homework, I’m here to evaluate its pros and cons. In other words, is the juice worth the squeeze? Here’s my hot take.
A student’s ability to solve a math problem or write an essay depends on two things: aptitude and attitude. The general idea behind homework is that the extra practice will increase a student’s aptitude. I wholeheartedly agree with that notion; however, I believe that superfluous homework has a negative impact on a student’s attitude.
Our brains, albeit very complex, love to make simple associations between context and emotion at a given time. Students despise homework because it takes them away from Netflix, Instagram, Snapchat and other shenanigans. Whether your children realize it or not, while they are completing their homework assignment, their brain is establishing a negative association with school. In other words, your children’s apathy towards school can be linked to excess, sometimes unnecessary homework.
Let’s not get carried away. I’m not advocating for your children to skip homework assignments. I just want to stress that students’ attitudes towards school is just as important as their aptitudes. Learning needs to be engaging and fun. If teachers giving less homework is a solution, perhaps it should be explored.
Less homework for your child does not necessarily mean more time for him or her to mindlessly surf the Internet. Fewer monotonous homework assignments allow more time for family and other important extracurricular activities.
I promise that your child will benefit more from volunteering at a soup kitchen than completing repetitive math worksheets, which may not even be checked by his or her teacher. When you send your child to school every day, you want him or her to blossom into a well-rounded person, not just a great student.
Nevertheless, my utopia without homework is idealistic and impractical given the current construct of our bureaucratic education system in the United States. Teachers, parents, and administrators are set in their ways. All I can do is shout from my metaphorical mountaintop and hope that my message does not fall on deaf ears.
Until my educational revolution is implemented, we must deal with the system at hand. Studies have shown that small group tutoring is the best way to prepare for tests. Small group tutoring encourages proper study skills, prevents procrastination and prepares students for the real world, where they will be forced to work in groups. Moreover, students who self-study see material from only one perspective. Small group tutoring is a great avenue to introduce multiple perspectives when practicing concepts.
I’ve made my case. Homework is a passing idea that will soon be a thing of the past like floppy disks, bell-bottom jeans and Magnum P.I. Until then, small group tutoring is your best bet.
So who’s J.D.? Our resident BrainStorm blogger – bringing education focused articles, current events and resources that are valuable for any parent – all with a BrainStorm twist.
This entry was posted in Brain Food, BrainStorm’s resource center for parents.
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