For some years now, education experts have been discussing the amount of homework teachers should assign students. Some parents get worried about seeing their kids bring home a lot of assignments from school. Their main concern is whether these kinds of tasks truly improve learning. Well, homework only enhances learning when it is of quality and deliberately given. Now let’s look at how take-home assignments can help learning.
Teachers mostly assign homework with a reason. Though there have been complaints about how effective they are, some studies have shown that it reinforces learning by increasing knowledge retention. It is also said to imbibe life skills like independence, time management, and critical thinking. Homework also creates an atmosphere for parents to involve in their children’s education.
The Challenges Educators Face When Giving Homework
With all the mentioned benefits about homework, the practice becomes ineffective when assigned the wrong way. For it to be beneficial, it should challenge students’ thinking and make them apply multiple skills set. However, giving homework can sometimes be very challenging for teachers.
Determining which kind of task would be useful at a given point is not easy. Sometimes certain assignments may never work, and as a teacher, you can know that when marking. You would notice that students keep repeating the same mistakes throughout the assignment. When this happens, you should know that the work wasn’t effective. The worse thing about this is that it would reinforce the wrong information if students do not receive quick feedback.
Another challenge is the lack of monitoring. When a teacher fails to monitor students, he/she cannot determine whether homework is too challenging or not. Such assignments never benefit students. If it is too challenging, it frustrates students, and they end up abandoning it. On the other hand, when it is too easy, students don’t accord it the seriousness it deserves.
A poorly designed and unproductive homework can affect the parent-child relationship at home. Some parents contribute to their kids’ homework, and through that, they teach them life essential skills like taking responsibility, showing commitment, and work ethics. As such, they would want them to show some seriousness towards it. However, when kids are given unproductive tasks, parents become indifferent about it and even find it difficult to tell their kids to do it.
How Much Homework Is Too Much?
Assignments should always be given on purpose, something many teachers fail to do. The right amount of homework should be something that is deliberately given to benefit students. It should be something that is on the edge of challenging.
So, how much homework is too much for students? For a student, anything that can be completed in a reasonable time is ok. To achieve this, teachers can adopt measures like giving feedback on time for students to know their efforts and time were worth it. Also, they can extend submission dates to give students enough time to complete their tasks. With this, students can engage in other extracurricular activities instead of solely doing their homework after school. Also, teachers can liaise with each other to prevent students from receiving many assignments in a day, and all of them having the same submission dates.