Does Homework Really Suck?

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Homework. It’s the one word that goes to the core of students everywhere, from kindergarten to college. For as many reasons that exist to either show the value of it or to prove its detriment, students have strong feelings about homework. They either love it or hate it, and it’s hard to find a lot of those who are in that first category.

Generally, those who love doing homework are the super achievers; the ones who will study hard to get the good grades they want, and they know that by doing their homework, and doing it well, they are contributing to that lofty goal. They don’t necessarily love doing the required work, they just know that it is a means to an end; the end being their high ranking in class. That is what they are striving for and they know that homework is a major component of getting where they want to be.

The operative word in this matter is ‘reinforcement’. Teachers don’t generally give homework just for the sake of assigning it; they give it to reinforce the subject matter that is brought about in the classroom. In order to get the students familiar with certain ideas and concepts that teachers are trying to present, a fair amount of work done outside the classroom is necessary to keep them involved in the subject matter. Just coming to class everyday and listening to the lecture may do well for that hour or so, but a lot of it can be lost when not in that very environment. Yet, when the student is challenged to do work on his or her own, it takes on a whole new meaning and understanding.

Homework itself has its own connotations and the very idea of doing homework can come from others involved with the student. They need to convey to the student that homework is important and that handing in assignments on a timely basis can have a major impact on their final grade in the class. An “A” student who doesn’t hand in the required assignments on time won’t be an “A” student for long.

When a student is constantly chanting ‘I hate homework’, it could be a signal to something else that needs to be looked at. For example, why is that sentiment being expressed? It could be as simple as the fact that the student isn’t grasping the ideas that are being discussed in class and is falling behind because of that. This could be the reason that homework is taken to the level of being dreaded by the student because they lack confidence in their ability to keep up with the class and need help, but are afraid to ask for it. For parents, it may be time to see if that is the case, and if so, how they can manage to get the student back on track. There are ways and tools parents and students can utilize to help them with homework. Read more about these tools and methods in our article on Homework Answers.

The moans of ‘I hate doing homework’ are something every parent hears at one time or another. This should signal a red flag to the parent to see if the student is just saying this because they would rather be out with friends doing something fun or if it is a sign of something more serious. The lament of ‘Homework, oh, homework! I hate you! You suck!’ is definitely something that needs to be looked into as to why it is being said. Is it just typical childhood moping, laziness or is it a cry for help, without actually asking for help?

Doing the homework is not all that students need to worry about. You can read more about this in our article here. There have even been situations where the homework will get done, because the parents see the completed work, but then the child refuses to hand it in on time, or at all. The student may not feel confident enough to let the teacher correct it, which is a whole other problem to deal with.

All of these signs coming from the “non-homework doers” demand attention and need to be analyzed. This may be a good time to open up some honest communication with the child about what’s going on. It may be eye-opening to the parents as well, especially if they weren’t aware of the child’s problems in school.

The subject of not doing homework at all is one that has been discussed with no absolute, definitive answer. There are experts who are on both sides of the fence concerning this issue. The homework debate is one that has people divided into two camps, with some who endorse the idea and some who don’t. Here is an example of a teacher’s pro-homework opinion on TheAtlantic.com, and an opposing and equally compelling one on TheHuffingtonPost.com.

So, when you hear your child voice that homework is pointless, it may not be coming from them; it may be something they heard being discussed. It’s a known fact that kids will mimic adults to suit their own needs, so don’t always take everything you hear from your child as being something they thought for themselves. It could very well be something they picked up and now think they are the originator of.

The great homework debate will probably continue to be a hot topic among parents and educational leaders. People are vehemently loyal to their sides of the issue; some believe that homework strengthens the concepts and ideas that are brought about in the classroom. Within that realm, if your child is lucky, they will have a teacher who will assign work that is creative in nature, yet builds on the ideas of the subject matter being taught. This can meld both the idea and the creative nature of the child, making it a fun activity, while learning at the same time.

Yet, there are others who feel that, as long as a child is able to grasp the ideas that are being presented in the classroom, why subject them to more of it after school hours? The problem can be that the teacher may not always know immediately who has a handle on the subject matter and who doesn’t. In time, they will, through tests, quizzes and other measures, but the time lost in making that determination isn’t doing the student any favors as they continue on the downslide. They could soon find themselves so far down that they can’t effectively get back up, and that’s when the real disaster occurs.

Until educators and parents agree on a viable homework alternative, it is safe to say that homework is not going to be replaced anytime soon, much to the chagrin of students who try to convince their teachers and parents otherwise.

 

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