Homework has always been a topic of debate, and has been discussed across almost every media publication and social media space.
So why does ‘homework’ split opinion?
Homework is a controversial topic, an issue which has experienced renewed dispute as a result of Kirsty Allsopp’s tweet and the Irish President calling to ban homework in schools.
Some people argue that homework is beneficial while others consider it to be a burden for students. Some parents are against homework because they believe their child should not have to do anything after school other than rest and play with friends. On the other hand, some teachers think that without doing homework, students cannot learn new concepts or skills properly at home and hence become behind compared to their peers who do assignments after class hours.
The definition of homework often takes a negative angle in many debates. Stories of schools “forcing” children to do up to 4 hours every day is not the homework approach that we are about to discuss. When homework is part of a healthy, after-school routine and is practised regularly, many children engage with little resistance and actually enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Homework becomes strenuous when there are learning gaps from previous years or key stages. This can make homework more challenging and strenuous for everyone at home.
However, by setting up the right conditions for homework, which might include a set time for homework to be complete, a storage box with all of the equipment needed for specific tasks, a comfortable space e.g at a table, and a set amount of time. Creating a routine is one way on aligning your family values, helping to create an expectation that homework is a routine that is part of family life.
Homework is a vital part of the education process.
It can be used to reinforce learning from lessons, as well as develop skills and knowledge in key areas such as Maths, English and Science. Homework creates a time to quietly reflect on the lesson at school and recap on what is taught when you return back home. Homework also helps builds children’s resistance, helping them become independent learners who are able to tackle their own problems independently, rather than relying on their teacher or parents for help.
Students who do not have homework may be less motivated in class and may lose confidence in their abilities to complete their studies on their own. If a student does not receive practice at home, it is likely that he or she will struggle when attempting to complete an assignment without help from an instructor.
Is homework beneficial to students?
Homework is beneficial in many ways and can be seen as an opportunity for students to apply their learning and develop study skills, as well as reinforcing concepts which they have covered in class.
The quality of the homework needs to be of a good standard to provide appropriate challenge. For example, the right amount, for the right age with the right amount of time. Consider spending 10 mins for Y1, 20mins for year 2, and so forth.
Homework is also a great way to involve parents in their child’s education and provides the opportunity to help children develop study skills and learn about the importance of completing tasks on time and working effectively under pressure. Both skills needed for adulthood. Parents can show their children how they studied for their own classes in school, as well as explain why certain habits are important (e.g., keeping a calendar).
If there’s upset for the child on a regular basis, it is worthwhile talking any issues through with their teacher as there might be a mismatch between what the student is capable of and the teacher’s expectations.
If your child seems overwhelmed by homework he or she has to complete, try looking over some sample assignments together so that you both know what’s expected. Remember that your child’s teachers are there to support and reaching out to them to address any issues will always provide a helpful outlet and ensure your child is being supported in the best way.
Homework is an important way to feedback to the teacher on how a student is progressing and if they have grasped a concept. It is also meant to be enjoyed, which will be easier if your child understands their tasks!
Would it be more beneficial studying areas such as tech/common affairs rather than what children learn at school?
It is important to have a good balance between the two.
Learning subjects at school equip you with skills such critical thinking, which can be achieved studying maths and literacy subjects. These skills come hand in hand with grasping concepts in the outside world, such as tech. Without a grounding in this foundational knowledge, would make the handling of tech quite difficult.
Also, the development of these skills as you progress through school and further education can lead to advanced careers in tech, such as coding. It is now more than ever more accessible in becoming more specialised in your chosen field, which can be aided with the consistency of acquiring this foundational knowledge.
Our opinion on homework
Of the thousands of students that use Estia to support their maths and English learning at home, we can see the impact of consistent learning. Over 77,500 lessons have already been completed with Estia Tuition in Jan 2023 alone!
Our programme focuses on addressing each individual student’s learning gaps and creates a study plan to address these. This results in a confident student, eager to progress and undertake homework!