Homework: Is it a Good Thing?

I used to be a non-believer when it came to homework.  I used to think that my students work long and hard enough during the day, and that their evenings should be as comfortable and stress-free as possible.  I believed that beyond reading practice, the only work Primary kids should do after school is help their parents with chores such as setting the table and maintaining a clean room.

Homework can be nothing more than a device in keeping kids busy.  It can, if administered improperly, do precious little to extend the child and develop their skills.  But what I’ve found is, homework, when properly considered and developed, can help students revise and build on concepts covered in class.  For example, worded questions featuring relevant, everyday situations, can be a great homework activity to complement maths skills taught in class.

Whilst I still think that the best work a child can do at home is contribute to the running of the house, that really isn’t any of my business.  Realistically speaking, kids tend to waste a lot of time watching television and surfing the internet.  A few follow-up questions on concepts learnt in class seem both fair and beneficial to the child.


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6 Responses to “Homework: Is it a Good Thing?”

  1. mjcache Says:

    I have had six kids go through the Australian education system: three still “cruising through”. After initially finding homework just anther thing I had to assist them, I can seen the benefit and value in it. Anything that gives them a break from the relentless social network (damn Facebook) T.V and other general mindless activities and forces them to consolidate knowledge acquisition and the learning process is great. You are a teacher! How do you find time to write a blog? I’m married to a teacher I know how hard you guys work.

    • Michael G. Says:

      Thanks for your great contribution. I can answer as to how I find the time to write a blog in one word – insomnia. I’m also using this blog as an inventive way to help market my unpublished book to publishers, by displaying some expertise in the themes of my book (divorce, self-esteem, bullying, body image) and showing them that these themes are of great interest in the wider community.

  2. RJK Says:

    As a high school teacher, I saw so many American kids who were unable to handle the concept, reason being they had been so programmed since they were little and they had to endure far too much homework during their lifetimes that they couldn’t deal with it anymore. If it is not busy work, it is good. It must be meaningful. Part of the problem is that many parents don’t know how to involve their children in the daily household tasks and then they spend too much time on the Internet. It is complicated. Love your blog!

  3. renaissanceguy Says:

    Homework should be used to. . .

    1. introduce a concept that will be taught the next day
    2. review a concept taught that day
    3. extend a lesson a further
    4. practice skills already acquired
    5. prepare for upcoming exams

    Other than that it is busy work and burdensome.

    I know of schools in America that use a 15-minute rule. Students in their first year are given no more than 15 minutes’ worth of homework. Students in their second year get no more than 30 minutes’ worth. And so on. I think it works well, and it forces the teacher to be deliberate in assigning homework.

  4. kloppenmum Says:

    I’m going to disagree. Perhaps some very QUICK reading practise or finishing off things from school – otherwise children need to be outside playing. That’s if we want to have any emotional intelligence in the next generation!

    • Michael G. Says:

      Thanks for your contributions. I enjoy reading replies that disagree with my posts because they offer food for thought, and sometimes inform my future take on the issue.

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