Learning at home: 5 good things about homework

Teachers and governments in several Western economies are coming under mounting pressure about the validity of homework and whether there really are benefits to asking children, who already spend so much of their time in class to study at home. Don’t even get me started on mom and dad, struggling to hold down two jobs and having to ensure that their child fulfills their obligations. Of course, the establishment is holding firm on this. Imagine the headlines if this were to be suddenly scrapped!

On a serious note. Homework gets such a bad press, and in my opinion the criticism is misguided. Here are just five of many reasons that I could cite as to why it is a jolly good thing!

  • It promotes independent study
  • Having to research topics and dig out information outside of class, when all you want to be doing is watching television or shooting some baskets with your buddies, promotes independent learning within kids. Not only this but it puts in place the building blocks in which further learning can be placed. For example, a child that is capable of researching and studying independently out of school, should be just as capable of replicating this process in school.

  • It facilitates the curriculum
  • Regardless of whether parents think this is a great idea or not, it is a fact that doing some work outside of school hours means that more can be taught in class. This enables kids to discover and learn about a much broader range of topics than would otherwise have been possible if every scrap of work had to be done within the class. This has got to be a great thing!

  • It encourages discipline.
  • Being disciplined enough to work out of school on a project for school when you don’t want to, is the basis for a whole series of life skills that children will take forward into later life. If this kind of discipline is instilled young enough, then it will stand children in perfect stead, to be fully productive members of society. We all have to do things that we don’t like in the real world, why should kids be any different?

  • It gives parents an opportunity to be part of their child’s education.
  • While walking in through the door after a busy day in the office and having to help junior with their studies might seem like the proverbial pain. Having an opportunity to discuss with your child their curriculum strengthens the parental bond and is emotionally reassuring for young people.

  • It keeps them out of trouble.
  • Without studies outside of class, many kids evenings and weekends would be without structure, which could lead them to make bad choices.

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