“Homework should be banned!”
Why kids share this sentiment and how we can overcome it.
One of the biggest complaints kids will have about their life is the homework they get. Granted, some students actually love doing homework, but recent studies have shown that students are feeling stressed out from the amount of work they receive. Studies even pointed out that kindergarteners are spending 25 minutes a night on homework!
Homework can be a sensitive topic to some parents and teachers. We believe that it’s necessary to reinforce what they’ve learnt. However, too much homework ends up becoming ineffective and even counterproductive. As students face the mounting pressure to complete the work that keeps piling up every day, they will lose sight of what makes learning interesting.
One of our earlier blog posts highlighted why teaching intrinsic motivation is something that should be done at a younger age. Primary school students being overburdened with worksheets or essays every day is a sure-fire way to kill that spark. They miss out on quality time with family, they can’t pursue their own interests and most importantly, they don’t have time to rest. All this will end up creating a negative impression on homework, school and learning.
A common rule of thumb educators follow is the ‘10-minute rule’, whereby students are given a total of 10 minutes of homework per night according to their year. (So students in year 1 will have 10 minutes of homework for all subjects combined, year 4 will have 40 and so on) Some studies have shown that homework becomes more effective the older students are, as they develop study skills to retain what they learn. The main principle still persists: students must not feel overwhelmed by their workload in order for it to be effective.
Overall, the quality of homework matters over the quantity. Students need to receive homework that is relevant to the lesson, and doable without too much assistance. Their tasks need to be interesting and encouraging, to help them notice their improvement and increase in knowledge. Only then, will homework help rather than harm a student’s knowledge retention.
Teachers at PrepWorks Online Primary School understand the value that homework can bring. Our classes and materials work to incorporate values and help students apply their knowledge to their surroundings, making it interactive and engaging. Sign up for our Online Primary School this month for a 20% discount!