How much homework is too much
In the last few years, there has been a heated debate with regard to how much homework school teachers should give to students. Many stakeholders, including parents, see that kids are coming from school with extra work to do and they are so tired. So, they wonder if the extra work is really worth doing.
This post will discuss the question of “how much homework is too much?” in-depth.
How assignments can help kids to learn
From the perspective of teachers, there are compelling reasons why children are sent home with an assignment. For teachers, this extra work can help students recall what they learned in the class, develop critical life skills such as: time management, autonomy and problem-solving. It creates many opportunities for parental guidance and support where parents are actively involved asking their kids about their daily school and provide necessary support. Basically, homework is practice and practice makes perfect. Practice is so important to help learners make their skills so automatic.
What challenges do teachers face when giving homework?
Home assignments stop students’ learning when they are done wrong. If they are very challenging, students can’t do them alone. So, an opportunity of learning is lost. If they are too easy, students won’t benefit from them.
As a teacher, I have seen when students make the same mistake throughout the same homework. In such cases, homework is not helping them to learn. Most of the time, the homework is not checked by the teacher, so many of those mistakes will be internalized by students and repeated in the future. To stop this, after each homework, teachers should provide timely, clear and specific feedback to learners to help them learn the correct form.
Another problem is that most of the time is well-designed and this can be deleterious to students’ learning. It should challenge the learner and add to their knowledge constructively. Many times, teachers give homework, because they feel there wasn’t enough time for more practice or the session didn’t go well. So, the students sometimes feel that the homework is unproductive and helpless. It is very important for teachers to assign carefully-designed homework questions that are quite challenging and close the gap between what students know and what they don’t know.
How Much Homework Is Too Much?
The most important thing in giving a homework is that teachers should be very intentional. Teachers should assign homework if they see that students can benefit from it. To do this, teachers should look for ways to share constructive feedback or design free homework that doesn’t require practicing a skill. In doing so, teachers can give students some time, to watch a movie, or play a game, to relax, to reflect on the work they did.
Teachers should not assign overwhelming tasks and they should be very flexible about when students should turn in the homework. This way, it is possible for students to have more time to work on the tasks and make other commitments. This way also assures that many assignments won’t be brought on the same day. If a student is given a less overwhelming homework, but has a presentation on the same day, it will be hard to do both tasks.
Experts in the field recommend that students have no more than 50 minutes homework per day. Having two extra hours an evening to play, relax or see a friend would have a remarkable impact on the student’s quality of life.
Generally speaking, for the homework to have a positive impact on students’ learning, it should be less overwhelming in terms of time and quantity. It should also be purposeful. It must help students express their opinion on the value of the homework and constitute an important part of their learning.
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