Teachers decide whether homework helps to learn material or steals childhoods, and students hate homework, regardless of the conclusions of adults. The American teacher Brandy Young decided to cancel homework for her class. Most students think, “I don’t want to do my homework,” but what are the real disadvantages of doing your homework?
In the United States, obligatory meetings with teachers are held: parents come to school, get acquainted with teachers, and see what is going on at school and how. At one such meeting, Brandy, who teaches second-graders, gave parents scraps with deadly information: homework will not be assigned until the end of the year. At home, a student just needs to finish what he or she did not have time to finish in the classroom. The teacher suggested parents to use students’ time to spare: have family dinners, read a book with the whole family, walk more in the street, and go to bed earlier.
Let’s find out why we shouldn’t have homework.
- Homework is bad for health.
This is said by all parents: the constantly growing academic burden and stress testing are hitting students’ health.
- Because of the huge number of assignments, students sleep less. They sit up late at their textbooks and worry about their grades, and eventually they have problems with sleep.
- We have almost no healthy students. Myopia, gastritis, chronic fatigue, and posture disorders – students often have something of this.
So, don’t you want to forget homework and grades and do something more useful? We know why we shouldn’t have homework.
- Homework takes time.
Today, students are more busy than ever, says Peter Gray, a professor at Boston College. They spend too much time at school, and then they still run to tutors, and on the way back they visit the library section. The schedule is tightly regulated, every hour is taken into account.
Psychologist Harris Cooper conducted research which proved that tasks at home are not very effective: too much information is lost by the student. Children need no more than 20 minutes of additional lessons, and senior students need one hour and a half.
For comparison: according to our sanitary rules, an hour and a half is the volume for the second class. Graduates can spend three and a half hours for doing homework. It is almost half of the working day, and this is after school. And when should you live?
- Homework does not affect academic performance.
Alfie Cohn, one of the main critics of education, wrote in 2006 the book “Myths About Homework.” In his book, he says that there is no connection between the amount of homework and achievements in study for schoolchildren. In high school, this connection is so weak that it is almost gone if we were to use more precise methods in research.
However, not everyone agreed with this. Tom Sherington, a teacher and defender of assigning homework, made a conclusion that the benefit of homework is really low for schoolchildren, but when talking about high school students, homework helps to get excellent results.
The long-term benefit from the abolition of homework is not really measured. The research center of TMISS found out how much time students spend on homework in different countries. So, in the fourth grade, only 7% of pupils do not do their homework. It is a small number for analysis.
- Homework doesn’t teach anything.
School education has nothing common with real life. After long years of learning a foreign language, for example, students can’t say anything. Homework continues this tendency: students memorize facts that they can’t use. Think about how you study and compare the process with lessons at a Swiss school. If homework helps to reduce the gap between school and life, then there is a sense. However, it is not true.
- Homework kills the desire to learn.
Homework still means either doing some exercises or reading through several pages. In fact, the teachers assign what they did not have time to cover in class. It’s so dreary that homework turns into a heavy duty. Only “creative” tasks are worse than this boredom which boils down to drawings and presentations in PowerPoint.
- Homework spoils relationships with parents.
Many parents do homework with their children or instead of them. However, it doesn’t work for everyone.
- The curriculum has changed, so parents’ knowledge has become outdated.
- Many parents don’t remember even the most simple examples from the school curriculum, and they try to do assignments from the point of view of an adult person. Children can’t do it in such a way.
- Parents are not teachers. They did not learn to explain the material, to present it correctly and check it. Often such teaching is worse than no teaching at all.
- Homework gives regular conflicts. Children don’t want to do it, parents can’t motivate them, cooperation while doing homework doesn’t help, and all this leads to quarreling.
What Is Good in Homework
The problem is not in homework itself, but in the amount of homework. The problem is not in the fact that homework is almost useless, but large quantities only destroy time and health. You can get good results from doing homework if you change the approach to it.
Homework is done in convenient conditions, so you can find the answer to the difficult question and understand the material at home. Of course, it can work in case you need time and strength. If each student has individual homework, then he or she can understand topics which are difficult to them and develop stronger traits.
Rarely parents do not interfere with the process of doing homework. And while some parents are limited to a “guiding” role, others with all selflessness take on the mission of the main performer. Because of this, every evening in thousands of families across the country, performances are played in the name of helping the child do homework.
In trying to cope with the problem of timely implementation of homework, parents use a variety of methods: persuasion, reasoning, gifts, blackmail, threats, screams – in short, everything that they think could work in this case. There is no doubt that the goal is the most beneficial – well, what can be wrong with natural parental concerns? However, they often do not help children, but quite the contrary – they are a strong source of stress for children. Psychologists are unanimous: always sitting behind the back of the child and controlling the performance of each task is the wrong tactic! The best tactic for the student is to get professional help.
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