Homework, you may love it or loathe it but will our children really be better off without it? Of course, that very much depends on their ages, young children should be playing and creating and having fun, absolutely. But, once our children are in older and heading for exams, homework has its place as part of their development.
Many motivated, driven children will, most likely, continue their studying at home whether ‘homework’ is given or not. Sadly, the same can not be said for those who are not so motivated, need direction or simply are not in an environment at home that encourages good learning discipline. Homework can provide all those things. So, we have put together five reasons that we believe homework does have a place.
- Successful Education needs to be a triangle of communication between school, pupil and home. Meaningful homework can help parents and carers understand the work their children are doing and provide support and relevant input from home. Education doesn’t stop at the school gates. The world is a competitive place; going the extra mile will help your children get ahead and have a good work ethic.
- Our children spend 6-8 hours away from us at school each day but spending time with them is bonding. It might be that the ‘h’ word causes grumbles, moans and even arguments but, putting a positive spin on it, this is all communication. On an even more positive note, giving our children special time so we can help with homework, guide and support them is far more valuable than doing the ironing!
- The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve shows that information is only retained for a very short time if it is not reinforced very quickly after a lesson. Homework is the ideal way for teachers to use the time to help pupils move information from their short term to their long term memory.
- If the homework set is meaningful and pupil ability appropriate then it can be turned into family time or a family activity. Homework does not always need to be slaving over a text book; it could be watching a relevant documentary, playing a specific board game or doing a quiz, all of which can become family activities and certainly won’t be boring!
- Homework gives us the chance to use different resources to reinforce learning in a fun and creative way. It is also a great time for teachers to give pupils differentiated work without them feeling uncomfortable in class. High achievers can be stretched and challenged. Less able pupils can be supported with more relevant resources. Constant reinforcement and repetition is especially necessary for lower ability pupils and using a variety of tools to present the same information is invaluable. Homework time can be structured to allow time, without peer pressure, for these pupils.
Finally, here are five things we think homework should be:
and Marked….there is little point in giving work and then pupils not getting feedback on it quickly.