The first time my son heard the word “Homework” he screamed, ran to his bedroom, slammed the door and locked it.
He was three years old and his older sister decided it was time he got some homework too so she told him she was going to give him homework. That’s when the screaming began.
What does it really mean when schools, teachers, and advocates cry, no homework?
We’ve all either been there or seen it. Seemingly endless hours of homework awaiting you. The desire to turn away from it burns so fiercely that you actually shove it to the side and watch TV instead. Maybe you just go outside and play games or just lie there on the ground thinking of creative ways to get out of ever having to do it at all.
As a parent and a teacher, I always feel conflicted about any subject involving homework.
On the one hand, I’ve been up until midnight, helping my child finish homework because the teacher never even taught the lesson assigned for homework. I know this because the teacher admitted it as if it was perfectly acceptable to do such a thing.
On the other, I’ve considered the whole idea of assigning nothing for homework and I do that but only sometimes. However, the bottom line remains that there isn’t enough time in the classroom to reinforce and cover everything. The other problem that now exists involves social media and electronics.
You see, savvy parents and teachers know something very important about homework. Without it, our children won’t read books, and they certainly won’t relinquish the highly addictive realm of electronics. In fact, most children become so lost in this world that it’s almost a losing battle to try and take it away from them.
Homework fixes that fast.
Parents and teachers who are truly honest with themselves know this.
So when I look at all the books and arguments that pundits such as Andy Khon make against homework, I really do sympathize with the argument for no homework, but I can’t agree.
The real problem is teachers who don’t support children or give them a chance to make up work. The real problem is an educational system that doesn’t understand a child’s life may be very difficult so too much homework won’t help them.
Andy Khon makes some good points about just how disconcerting the system is.
However, without homework, children lose too much.
So, what then is homework for?
- They need to read and not just in school. Without reading assignments, many parents just won’t encourage children to read. They’re too busy and tired, so it’s very easy to just allow them to play video games or play on their iPad—where they watch endless hours of YouTube, which can be valuable and can also be a bottomless pit of nonsense, some of it shocking depending on the perspective.
- They need reinforcement. There are a few ways teachers know how well their students understood the material taught in class. One very valuable tool is homework. Through that, I can help them better understand vocabulary or concepts that I thought they understood but didn’t.
- They need training. They are growing so fast that soon they will need to set aside time to study for quizzes and tests. How do they learn to do this? By getting bad grades? Or, by doing some homework? It’s the same thing.
- They need opportunities. If handled the right way, students use homework to raise their grades and learn creatively through projects and guided assignments that help them flourish.
Social media has a way of making us believe ideas are great momentarily. We like it. We share it. We reblog it. We repeat it. We follow it.
When, in reality, all these naysayers had to do homework to be able to write and speak the way they do. Many of them don’t have to grapple with the day-to-day problems parents, who work until late at night and can’t spend time with their children, have to deal with.
If teachers and parents work together, homework actually benefits children and helps them grow and become better in every subject, which in turn helps them find their purpose in life, whatever that may be.
What’s your argument?
9 thoughts on “No Homework. An Argument in the Social Media Circus.”
I am for homework. All cannot be done only in the classroom. I like your treatment of the prompt. You may like to read mine. Check here: https://yoursuccessinspirer.com/2016/10/08/argument-in-marriage/
Definitely. The emphasis should be on the re-enforcement, not overload.
That is right.
I agree with you. Homework serves. It is when it is too much homework that an unhealthy line is crossed. My 7th grade daughter is working on a big project as I write, due on Monday, and as stressful as it is, one thing she learns from these projects is the skill of time management which is essential to life. The project has an art, research paper and oral report component to it, and each serve. It is still stressful, but if she didn’t have it, truth be told, she would be inside that vast electronic realm more than I would like. It’s the reality of the digital world we now live in. It’s just a question of balance.
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Yes, I know how you feel about the projects. You watch them fumbling around and hope for the best. Sometimes you can help and sometimes they simply have to learn time-management with some “annoying” parental nudging.
I definitely believe to work together with schools and teachers. We all, including parents are the educational system. Not everything can be taught in school , and by helping our children, we may then help to increase their interest in learning because they see their parents are interested in what they learn and how they learn it. I believe we need a system to reinforce learning, and is partly done by giving relevant homework and not just something to do. Good points!
Yes, relevant is the key.
My son once had a science project. I had to buy the poster board and jars and ingredients to do it . It took a few weeks and he had a lot to do on it. He took it to school and got an F because he forgot to write one part of it. It made me so mad because we put in a lot of time and money. He should have at least got some grade for the effort. I told her that I should have saved my money and not did anything for an F.
I agree! Homework is important. It sets the stage for future habits and discipline. I take a Yoga class once a week but I do some Yoga on my own every day. I do my homework. It makes all the difference!