The distractions are keeping students from being successful. If you need to use a calculator, use a calculator - not a phone. If you have to look up vocabulary words, use an actual dictionary.
An ongoing debate for many years has been the importance or irrelevance of homework. For the longest time, homework has been a way of practice to ensure that a student understands the lessons taught. However, some have been challenging this view, believing that homework today is not helpful anymore.
The following are the perceived advantages and disadvantages of homework.
Though teachers try their best to present the lesson well, much of what is taught is quickly forgotten. The brain naturally plays a role in this as it cannot retain everything, which is why students need to take notes. But distractions in the classroom or a student’s mind can also affect their understanding of the lesson. Thus, homework forces students to look at their notes so they can review what was discussed in class.
Another use of homework is to prepare students for what is coming next. Teaching is difficult, especially when students have no idea what the teacher is talking about. But preparatory homework that requires students to read or research in advance helps give them advanced knowledge so that the next lecture is more meaningful. Students will appreciate it when they understand what the teacher is talking about.
Perhaps the biggest reason why students dislike homework is that it takes away their free time. Most students spend a minimum of six hours at school, where they listen quietly, do seatwork, and many other things in between. So when they get home, they just want to relax and have time with family. Homework, however, interferes with that as they must study instead of having fun.
Something that parents do not like is that their presence is needed to help their children with homework. Many parents complain that lessons today have become much harder than before. Topics that were once taught in much later grade levels are now discussed a grade or two earlier. Blame it on global competition, but that is the reality today. So if students cannot figure things out, many parents feel they must help out, adding to their daily stress.
Until someone in the school system revises the process, there is not much parents can do except to strengthen their children’s habits. They should ensure that a routine is established so that homework is done early. In this way, if help is needed, children and parents will not be too tired to figure things out.
However, always allow the children to try their assignments themselves. They must believe that they can do things on their own. Parental help should only come later. And when helping, parents should remember the tough times they faced as students before. Reminding themselves of this may give them more patience and understanding if their children struggle with the lessons.
There is a good and bad side to homework that both students and parents have to deal with. But until the school system changes, parents need to prepare themselves and their children to confront the reality of homework.