Sunday, September 5, 2010

Homework: Good or Bad? The Solution?

Homework. The mere mention of the word brings about so many emotions, opinions, ideas and theories from students, parents, teachers and administrators. If one does a Google search for “Article: Homework”, pages and pages of articles will come up. There are articles about the benefits of homework; how it helps students learn, helps to develop a student’s personal responsibility for their own education, promotes initiative and creativity, etc. Then there are other articles that explain how horrible homework is, how it harms students, has no real value, is a waste of time, robs children of their time for real-world exploration, etc.

So, what exactly is the purpose of homework? Homework is supposed to be an extension or continuation of the learning environment found in the classroom. Smart teachers introduce new ideas or concepts during class time and make sure the students understand them. Then, they may assign some homework so that the student can practice these new concepts on their own and thereby gain familiarity, skill and confidence in their use. Other teachers may start students on a project, get them enthused about it, ensure the students all have an understanding of the material presented as well as the expected final result for the project. Then, homework may be assigned for the students to continue or complete the project on their own, thereby bringing about in the student creativity, initiative, accomplishment and pride in a completed project.

Sadly though, some teachers do not have the right viewpoint of homework; they don’t know how to utilize homework as an extension of their own teaching. Instead they assign pages and pages of “busy work” which does not benefit the student. Worse, some teachers don’t ensure that all of their students fully understand the material covered in class and then assign homework for the students to do with the hope that somehow, miraculously the students will acquire an understanding of the material.

Regardless of whether a teacher really knows how to utilize homework correctly or not and regardless of one’s viewpoint or opinion about the value of homework, the simple fact remains that almost all children have homework which is expected to be completed and turned in on a daily or weekly basis. Parents often are not quite sure what to think about homework beyond the fact that it is required of their children and that it is somehow supposed to help them in school. They may not be sure how it will help them but if it is required, then their child should do it.

Additionally, parents often feel frustrated because usually they don’t have the time to help their children with homework; and if they do find the time to help their child or children, they can often be dismayed to find that they themselves do not really know how to do it. Then it really becomes a problem. They don’t want to fall off of the pedestal of the “all knowing parent” in the eyes of their children. They don’t want to feel humiliated and admit they don’t know the answers or how to do the assignment. Nor do they want to guess wrong and give their children the wrong information. They would not want to blame themselves for “helping” their children to come up with the wrong answers. Yet, if they don’t know how to do the homework, how can they expect and insist their child to do it? On the other hand, they know that it is required and as a parent they need to insist their child does his or her homework whenever it is assigned. Wow! What a dilemma!

So, what is the answer? The answer is: Take you child to Success! Tutoring for their after school Homework Help. Students can go to the Success! Tutoring study center and do their homework immediately after school (from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday) in an atmosphere set up for study. There are dictionaries and other reference material available including supervised internet access if needed. Additionally, a professional tutor is available to help students by answering questions they may have or assisting them as needed. This low-cost service is available for students in second grade through the sixth grade. What could be better? Call Success! Tutoring today for more details and to schedule an appointment with Vicky. (818) 557-7379.

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