Is Homework Helpful for Children?
Some teachers are in favor of homework while others are against it. What are the different arguments supporting each side? What do parents think about this?
Homework fulfills the function of reinforcing what children learn in class. However, is homework helpful? There are many contrasting opinions on this topic.
Each family is different. The attitude that parents have towards homework depends on their own views, work and personal circumstances. Children often view homework in the same way their parents do.
It’s traditional for teachers to assign homework to students and for students to have to complete it. But until teachers and schools find a new way to deal with this issue, the debate will continue.
Is homework helpful or counterproductive?
For many parents and teachers, homework is the same thing as working overtime. If adults make demands for their labor rights, why shouldn’t students be able to make the same demands?
Children have their own specific needs: enjoying free time after a long day in the classroom is one of their needs.
That’s why some people think it’s incomprehensible for children to spend more than two hours doing homework when they should really be outside playing.
Some people believe that homework doesn’t make any pedagogical sense. Traditional school assignments such as copying long paragraphs from a book are actually useless and they don’t encourage creativity.
A large number of parents who work long hours cannot accompany their children when it’s time for them to do their homework. This generates inequality with students whose parents are able to dedicate time to help them finish their homework.
Students without parental accompaniment might receive poorer grades and ridicule from their classmates. This frustrates them and it also creates negative results in the long term.
Homework is usually the same for all students. It doesn’t contemplate their specific needs or particular limitations. Children who fail to meet the objective of their homework may become stressed or depressed.
Exhaustion from their daily tasks
Excessive homework can exhaust children. The fact that they may spend the whole afternoon sitting until they finish their homework can upset them since they won’t have any time to play and disconnect.
One of the consequences of this is that children start to develop negative feelings towards education. In some cases, it can lead to students dropping out of school in the future.
Homework can also be exhausting for parents who work all day. They may not have enough time to help their children do their homework. This is especially true when parents have more than one child.
As a result, homework goes from being a good lesson to being an obligation which causes stress at home.
Ultimately, those who are against excessive homework appeal to article 31 of the children’s right charter. The article says that children need time for rest, recreation and play. They also need time to have fun and to participate in other activities.
“Excessive homework can exhaust children. The fact that they may spend the whole afternoon sitting until they finish their homework can upset them since they won’t have any time to play and disconnect.”
Why is homework helpful?
Those who are in support of homework argue that homework helps children learn to be disciplined. It also gives them motivation to reach their objectives.
Homework is said to encourage the development of good habits that will help students in the future if they decide to pursue higher education. The satisfaction of fulfilling their duties and responsibilities will also accompany them throughout their lives.
Homework helps children learn to balance their free time and study time. This gives them the satisfaction of reaching their objectives. It allows them to enjoy their free time without feeling guilty.
In addition, the homework that children do at home can help reinforce the knowledge they acquired in class. By doing homework, children are encouraged to discover new content on their own.
The important balance
Considering both sides of the argument, is homework helpful? Some schools have implemented a system to avoid overloading students with homework.
“Homework encourages the development of good habits that will help students in the future, if they decide to pursue higher education.”
With a previously established schedule, teachers should organize work at school to avoid assigning too much homework on the same day. By using this method, children will be able to reinforce the knowledge they gain at school without feeling overloaded.
The debate continues. It’s good for teachers to have some limits about how much homework they demand from their students. Although this depends on the child’s age, according to experts, homework shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes a day.