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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is homework necessary?

Every afternoon a Maenad’s dance is required to get my nephew to do his homework. I am very sure I am not alone and there are many others who are sailing in the same boat.
It is an arduous task to get 98 percentage of the children to do their homework. From the time of yore, it is seen as a burden and the purpose never understood.
Work done at leisure to revise what’s taught during the day is homework. But isn’t it done for the sake of it?
In most cases how is it done? Over the phone, copied from guides or classmates, by parents or tuition teachers or not done at all.
What’s the reason behind this? Over burdening the children with homework which cannot be accomplished within the time frame. In some cases the home work does not cover the portions taught in class but from portions not taught. So this becomes a night mare to the child who tries to work, he racks his brain in vain because it is beyond his power of understanding and tries the above mentioned method to avoid a negative remark.
Speaking of parents’ contribution, it is immense. Here it is not the child who is learning but the parent because it is their turn now, for their parents’ would have pitched in when they had faced the same scenario. Given an assignment, it is an open competition for the parents. Here the child is an onlooker; he would for sure get an opportunity to do his child’s homework some day in the future.
What can be done? Teachers should keep in mind that Jack needs some time to play too. As I’ve observed in many schools, high school students are deprived of their physical education classes. A child cannot do justice if homework is given in all the subjects every day. Keeping the caliber of the child in mind the school authorities should frame a special homework timetable.
The homework given must be made interesting and designed to trigger the child’s thought process.
Homework must not be given to please the management, the parents or to complete the syllabus.
Team work must be encouraged. While doing assignments in teams it is better done during school hours. This keeps the competitive parents at bay.
All the more, isn’t it time to think of doing away with homework once and for all. Let’s ask ourselves, Is homework really necessary?

1 comment:

  1. 1) It is so true that homework is a nightmare in students life( made in such a way to be ).There is a point missing in this post about homework, which flashed in my mind while I was half the way reading through.

    All arguments about parents doing the homework, copying, not doing at all kind of stuffs are mostly true. But the story of the "HOMEWORK-MONSTER" (homework becoming a monster in a students thought) begins because of the non-cooperative or non-interactive practice between the teachers handling different subjects in assigning the homework.

    By the statement above, the thing I would like to throw light on is this; in every students life, he/she has to go through different kinds of subjects which makes up his course of study. It includes at least the five mandatory courses - Maths, Science, English, Social science and a Second language. Now that there is a different teacher for each subject, each one of them consider (in a good way) that a student must excel in their subject and thus, come up with an idea of loading the children with homework. Now that every teacher does the same thing without knowing that the other teachers of the same student have done the same. Now begins the nightmare for the student and a hatred towards homework.

    If only there was a scheduled timetable even for the homework, such that the student gets to do only one homework(one particular subject) per day in a week, the student would(in most cases) try to enjoy doing the homework.

    2) Another interesting thing I noticed was about the way teachers give homework beyond what they teach in class and the student gets over his thinking limits. This is the practiced scenario in Bachelor's level of study and is needed then. As a Masters student now, I am surely for this method of studying which does help us in so many ways like improving reading, understanding, researching abilities and the crave to learn new things. But practicing this method in school level is surely a mistake, as school is the place where knowledge must be implanted. There is no use staring at the soil,waiting for the flower to bloom, without even planting the seed!!