One of the hottest topics in education today is the issue of homework. It affects teachers, parents and students alike. Homework does have a purpose but in recent years teachers have abused its application. If teachers would return to the proper use of homework, I believe homework would no longer be such an ugly word.
So, what is the proper use of homework?
Well, first let’s discuss what homework isn’t. Homework isn’t a way for the teacher to make up for not having taught properly during class time. It is the teacher’s responsibility to teach, guide and finish the lesson. If the teacher doesn’t finish, it shouldn’t be dumped on the students as homework. The teacher needs to re-evaluate the situation and adjust her plans.
Although, homework is abused by many teachers to make up for their lack of preparation or ability to teach. There are legitimate uses for homework.
- Practice and
Support homework are assignments like answering a set of prepared questions, completing a crossword puzzle or writing sentences for the latest spelling words. Support homework should be short and should reinforce what has already been done in class.
Practice homework would be assignments like math problems, chemical equations or flashcards that give extra practice in a certain skill. These types of assignments serve a very important purpose and a teacher should never misuse them.
Preparation homework would be reading assignments or maybe an internet assignment preparing your students for the new up and coming topic. The teachers expectations of the assignment should clearly spelled out so there is no misunderstandings.
All three of these are legitimate uses of homework. However, the teacher needs to keep the assignment short and specific. Large amounts of homework are usually signs of a poor teacher.
If you suspect that your child is getting excessive homework due to the teacher’s poor classroom performance. Don’t run straight to the principal. First, approach the teacher and let him know that you feel your child is receiving to much homework. Then, if you and the teacher can’t solve the problem take it to the principal. But always give the teacher the opportunity to correct it himself.
Homework done properly is wonderful teaching tool, but when it is misused it creates nothing but trouble.