I have spent quite a few years as a teacher, and during that period, I got a chance to meet many parents who loved to discuss about various topics. Out of all those topics, one of their favourite and the most elaborately discussed topics was 'homework'.
Almost every parent had to say something about homeworks, though each one of them differed in their views. Some parents thought it was a good idea to give homeworks, whereas others thought it was a complete waste of time and energy. A few parents suggested that homeworks can be burdensome if they are not planned properly and they might lose their actual objective (a relevant point). A kind and humble parent also came up with creative ideas to keep homeworks interesting. So you see, each parent-teacher meet was a kind of enlightening session for the teachers. However, this often left the teachers a little confused about 'homework'.
I personally feel that though homework should not be exhausting, banishing it all together will also not serve the purpose. So, there is a need of well-planned, objective-oriented assignments that focus on the overall development of the students while also keeping them interested.
A properly planned homework has considerable benefits:
Helps the child to revise what is taught in the class: Homeworks like read the lesson, complete the answers, complete the exercise, etc. help the child to go through the concepts taught in the class. These definitely help them in understanding better and keep the students motivated.
Makes kids more responsible and desciplined: Well-planned homework encourages the students to go through their books regularly. They develop a sense of responsibility towards the work that has been given. This kind of discipline results in better performance not only in academics but in all phases of life.
Helps the teacher to know how much the child has understood: Homeworks of different kinds help the teacher to analyse the understanding of the students. If the child faces difficulty in completing the work, the problem can be sorted out by the teacher and this can lead to better learning experience.
Helps parents to know what is being taught in the class: Homework on a regular basis helps parents to know what concepts are being taught in the class. It will also enable them to understand how the child is performing.
Helps in enhancing the thinking skills and creativity of the kids: Homeworks like make sentences, story writing, essays, projects, model making, puzzles,etc. increase the thinking abilities of children. They slowly learn to be more creative and imaginative.
Helps create special parent-child bond: Homework allows the parents to spend time with their child. It enables them to work together. This helps them to connect better.
Having enlisted the benefits of homework, I would also like to give a few tips to the students so that homeworks do not seem like a task to them.
Pay attention in the class: If proper attention is paid in the class, it is easier for the students to understand and complete the homework.
Plan your work: It is important to plan your work. Make a priority list and focus more on the work that is important. This will help you to learn organising skills.
Do not keep your homework pending till the last day: If you have got three days to complete a work, it means the work is lengthy. So, divide your work accordingly and complete it slowly to avoid last-minute rush. This will keep you stress-free and also lessen the errors.
Take adequate rest before completing the homework: A tired mind and body will not be able to think properly. Take rest for sometime and then start completing your work. Adequate rest will help you to focus better.
Proper nutrition is a must: Some students do not focus on their diet. This leads to lethargy and loss of focus. Take care of your diet so that you feel energetic most of the time.
Don't hesitate in asking for help: If a particular assignment is difficult, feel free to take the help of your parents or teachers. Ask them to explain the concept and guide you through the work.
Take the help of technology: Internet is a treasure of ideas. Use it judiciously. (Younger kids need assistance in this case)
Homework is designed to enhance the learning abilities of the students, so teachers need to take utmost care while planning. Here are a few tips:
Homework should be short, keeping in mind that kids need some real time off books.
Adequate time should be given to complete the assignments.
Homework should focus on the overall development and not just rote learning.
Homework should not seem as if it is simply a completion of work. It should be interesting.
Monotonous homeworks like copying the exercise from books to notebooks, copying answers from books, etc. should be avoided.
Homeworks can sometimes be custom designed according to the learning abilities of the students. This makes it challenging and keeps the interest rolling.
Motivation rewards should be given to students who are regular with their work.
Imagination and creativity should find place in the homework.
We must understand that a child's overall development is only possible when parents and teachers walk hand in hand. So, let us all work together and make education a lot more fun.