jueves, 17 de mayo de 2018

Is Doing Homework a Must?

                                                                                                                                                                           By Zarela Cruz

 When this topic arises, we may harbor mixed feelings: as teachers we do know that doing homework is beneficial: as parents, we may not want to add another item to our kids’ or our own long daily to-do list.

There is not a single answer to this question. Children, teenagers and adults all have different routines and different schedules as we well know.

      Let’s start by children: nowadays children stay long hours at school and most of them take part in different extracurricular activities.

      Besides, we all know that when arriving  home from school , children do need a break. On the other hand, research shows that it is best to create study habits since childhood. Most children do homework before dinner, after dinner or before going to bed.

When parents arrive home, probably the last thing they want to know about is the loads of work their children have pending for the next day. However, they want their children to be considered compliers and responsible students. So, some of them actually do the homework for them. This is not good at all. At any rate, what parents should do is supervise, lead, advise, but not carry out the assignments themselves. When exam time comes, this kind of parents is more stressed than ever, since they feel as if it were their own exam time! And the real students don’t get any benefit from the homework done!

What about adults? Most probably they have a fulltime job. If they take daily courses, it is unrealistic to expect them to do homework; if they take classes twice or three times a week, things do not look much brighter. They prefer to come to class some minutes earlier to take a quick look at what was done the previous class or to catch up if they were absent.

   Now, let’s analyze some reasons why it is convenient that homework
   SHOULD be done:

1. It allows teachers and students to stay tuned with the topics viewed in class.
2. It can bring the family together since support is given when needed not only by parents but also by siblings or other members of the family. There will always be a helping hand when needed.
3. Practice makes perfect.  The more we  practice, the  more we learn
and master.
4. It helps learners develop and assume responsibilities. It also helps them to work on their punctuality by handing on assignments on time.
5. It is an excellent way to perceive how our kids learn and what the teaching style is.

    Let’s take a look at some reasons why homework SHOULD NOT be assigned:

1. We all need time to relax and to refresh mind  
     and body.
2. It restricts the family time both parents and children can spend together.
3. It can be a source of strain for the members of the  family.
4. It can end up in cheating as a shortcut  to finish all the assignments 
    on due time.
5. Teachers may be too busy to grade homework  promptly, so
     feedback  may be delayed  and the  work turn useless.

   Nowadays there is a strong controversy about this topic. You may have seen letters on the social media asking parents to get more involved in their children’s education as well as parents demanding teachers not to add more stress to their lives. For the time being it all depends on the school, institute or university our children or we ourselves are attending.

And now your turn:
               Is doing homework necessary to learn?
              Are we overloading children with assignments?
              How much homework do you assign to your students?

Retrieved from:

Zarela Cruz graduated from Ricardo Palma University as a translator.  She also finished her master’s studies in Linguistics and took some specialization diplomas in the Teaching of English and Spanish. She has also completed some online certificates:  Teaching the Working Adult, Online, Hybrid and Blended Education, among other self-study courses. She has taught different courses, programs and levels and has been a teacher trainer, a lecturer and online instructor for more than 25 years. She is currently studying a master’s degree in Translation. This article aims to reflect on the convenience of doing homework to optimize the student’s learning process.

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