By: Mario M. Abdolowleh

Recently I had a lot of conversation & meeting with some parents/teachers, concerning if we should give students home work everyday why & why not. I personally have mixed feelings, and my career revolves around intense homework help to school aged children.

I think that homework every night is fine, as long as there is some variation in what they are doing, and that someone is helping the children with their assignments. Some children get so much homework, that even the above average students spend 1 – 2 hours working on it. That being said, imagine what the afternoon is like for the significantly below average student who gets the same assignments. Then imagine what it is like for the student that gets no help to complete those assignments.

So many parents are busy working or are not capable of helping the child with their assignments that the idea that it will help the child build skills goes out the window. Then the child spends the next day giving excuses about why it was not done, gets labeled a problem child and probably loses recess or some other relaxing activity so they can do the assignment they couldn’t do the night before…(imagine you spent seven hours at a job you hate and lose your lunch time…if you know what that is like, then you can sympathize with the child in that same predicament, and at least their is the instant gratification of a paycheck after you suffer at work.)

Homework should at least be used to teach responsibility, but when a child goes home with assignments every day that they can no do, all the child is learning is to stop trying. If the teacher varies what the children have to do each night, then it will help them to find some successes in life and at least develop some sense of confidence so they might approach the hard ones.

Of course, homework is something that should be given in moderation. An alternative way to ensure that children retain the things they learn in class is to encourage revising for spelling tests, or asking that they practice reciting their times tables. Not only does this improve memory and leave them prepared for their next day of classes, but it ensures that parents are involved with the education process, and that they can see how their kids are doing.

I believe that too much homework can result in children being overworked, and this might mean that they get tired and lose the ability to concentrate when they are in school. After all, how would you feel if you had spent six hours in the classroom but had three more hours of paperwork to tackle in your bedroom? It can be frustrating, and it’s important that children have time to relax and play out with their friends, enjoying their youth. All work and no play can be counter-productive, and may leave a child disinterested in their educational career.

So I guess, in a nutshell, I think the idea of homework every night should depend on the teachers’ goal. If it is to provide discipline, as well as enhance learning, then I am okay with that. If it is supposed to be a teaching tool, then generally have negative outcomes. I also think that if teachers do that, then resources need to be made available to children who need help, and these resources should not ruin Child’s social experiences. Social experiences are important for learning as well.

What do you think? Please add your comment.