How to Make Homework Enjoyable
It is an undeniable fact that most students hate homework and wish it never existed in the school curricular. This is contrary to many parents’ and teachers’ belief that home tasks are critical academic activities.
My colleagues call me “anti-homework” due to my strong opposition towards the practice. I am not totally against home assignments but believe that it needs a total overhaul to be effective as intended.
Despite my stance, I openly engage with proponents of the practice who try to convince me on why home tasks improve learning. Nonetheless, I’ve still maintained my stance that changes are imminent. I am against homework for the following reason:
- No research has proven that homework is beneficial to elementary students and has little effect on higher-level student performance.
- It stresses students
- The cheating involved is high because some parents do the tasks for their kids.
- It makes the home an extended classroom for children
- It interrupts with family binding
- Children have less or no time to engage in extracurricular activities
How to make it work
As already said, homework can achieve its purpose if restructured to meet students’ needs. Educators need to do more by exploring other workable means of assigning home tasks. Below are a few steps to make the experience better.
Providing feedback on your assigned work is critical to ensuring students take the next batches seriously. Students spend a lot of hours doing their homework, and they can be discouraged if teachers avoid that. To keep students interested in assignments, teachers must spend time assessing their work and provide feedback.
Tell them the purpose of the homework
As teachers, we should have reasons for assigning any particular work to students. Telling students why you’ve given them the assignment encourages them to complete it without hesitation. For example, if you are introducing a new topic in the next day’s lesson, you may need the kids to read about the said topic. With this, you can tell them to read on the topic to have foreknowledge and prepare questions if they don’t understand anything.
Assignments should not always be take-homes. Taking tasks home increases cheating among students because they would look into textbooks to provide answers. Teachers can introduce topic discussions as a form of assignment during class hours or by electronic means on platforms like Google Classroom, Seesaw, Voxer, or Class Dojo. In this, they can debate the spread of Covid-19 and workable measures to contain its spread. Such innovations can sharpen the kids’ debate and communication skills while learning more about health.
Thanks to the advancement in technology, students hardly explore the environment and things around them. They would instead want to spend time on social media and other electronic devices like smartphones and computers. As a teacher, you can assign observation tasks where students get to study their environment, architecture, landscaping, and the changes they have observed. Such works can get them acquainted with nature and the happenings around them.