It is impossible to imagine an effective educational process without homework assignments that a student is supposed to do at home without a tutor help or assistance. While many think that learning won’t be a success without a self-guided work, you will be surprised to know that piling on the homework doesn't help kids do better in school.
In fact, it can even lower their test scores and kill their interest in studies. That's the conclusion that Australian researchers came to after exploring the relationship between students' academic performance and their time spent on homework. So what’s the hack? What’s wrong with homework assignments? Are they good or bad for your child? Let’s dive into the hard reality.
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Homework can work, but...
Homework motivates students to think beyond what is taught in class; it teaches them discipline and self-guided work. However, as school practice found, there is not-so-good news as well. These benefits are only possible when students are engaged in the education process and are ready to learn, which is not always the case.
Balance matters here - the more homework students get, the less they want to do it. Due to the tough curriculum, students are getting too many home assignments, which leads to sleep disorders, unhealthy levels of stress, and related health problems. This list is not complete. So why is homework not so effective and can be even dangerous to your child?
Is harmful to health
Academic workload is constantly getting higher, leading to a stress test and hitting children's health. Due to intense loads and extra assignments, students sleep less. They stay up late over textbooks, do home assignments at night hours, and worry about the grades. It is no wonder that we have almost no healthy schoolchildren, and many college students suffer from sleep deprivation. Myopia, chronic fatigue, impaired posture, and stress-related illness - these are some of the health problems modern students have.
Bombarded with too many assignments at school and at home, students may feel anxiety and pressure about failing to deliver a task on time. Instead of being stressed struggling with a self-guided work, they should learn educational material in a classroom setting and explore other things when outside school.
Consumes too much time
Modern children are busy as never before. They spend too much time at school; then many of them run to tutors, participate in an extracurricular activity, and explore their talents. The schedule is strictly regulated; every hour is counted and planned. Adding an extra item to this to-do list will simply eat up the time of a student. And this is what home assignments do. They take students’ time away from their families, friends, jobs, and other activities necessary to refresh their minds and bodies.
Is less important
Children learn foreign languages, programming, mathematics, and many other disciplines, but they have no time to explore the world and learn practical life skills. Our learning resource is quite limited; a child is not able to learn too much information no matter how much we want him to do. Little kids need no more than twenty minutes of additional classes, while for adults, this time is equal to one and a half hours. With the amount of homework assigned to students, they do not have a chance to process all the information and deliver tasks on time.
School/ university education has nothing to do with real life. After many years of studying, graduates lack practical life skills and do not know how to cope with some standard real-life situations. Homework doesn’t add value to the education process; it even complicates the situation and eats up more time of the already busy children.
Kills the interest to learn
Doing homework is associated with either solving school examples or reading a few paragraphs; it has nothing to do with the development. There are hardly any interesting tasks that stimulate a child to investigate the subject more deeply. As a result, homework turns into a heavy duty, and a child loses interest in studying. What is more, a student needs a break from the educational material so that he doesn’t burn out or lose the desire to learn.
Affects relationships with parents
While teachers do their best to engage children with lots of tasks, it’s hard to see the real value in the home assignments kids take home. It often happens that parents do homework tasks, and they not always bring an A because:
- The school program has altered, and the knowledge of parents has become outdated;
- Many parents do not remember educational material from the school program and try to complete tasks from an adult's point of view;
- Parents are not always good educators. They are not experts in explaining the material, so such home training is sometimes worse than failing with the task;
- Homework is a constant conflict. Children do not want to do it, and parents do not know how to motivate their kids. Joint activities lead to a dead end, resulting in quarrels and conflicts.
This means that the benefits of home tasks as the learning tool are entirely lost. And the percentage of those thinking that homework should be banned is increasing every year.
It has been reported that homework can have negative effects on the academic performance of a child. It forces the one to make time management decisions, sometimes putting a child in a no-win situation. If the list of academic assignments to be delivered the same day is long, a student needs to decide whether to take the time to do the homework or spend it doing tasks for another subject. None of the solutions will work at 100% and can potentially hurt the grades even if a student aces the tests and understands the subject.
Are you still up for homework assignments?
Assigning homework can be outright bad for students. Apart from losing their value, multiple home tasks can even lead to psychology and health related problems. If children spend too much time doing homework assignments, they tend to lack social skills, lose interest in studies, and simply do not have a chance to explore the world and refresh their brains. Instead of controlling that every task is properly done, let your child spend time outdoors and do things he is interested in.
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