Homework – A concept that has been heard of over the years. Referring to the schoolwork given to a learner to be completed at home.
With the challenges facing parents today as regards time management, Homework assistance has become a debatable topic with some ‘for’ and others ‘against’. While the proponents advocate for homework to be given, the others mention one of the downsides as “depriving the family of adequate time to bond”.
Having conducted research on this aspect of learning, Cathy Vatterott in her book titled, Rethinking Homework, had the following points to note:
- Homework should be designed in such a way as to result in meaningful learning.
- Should help the learner deepen their knowledge of the topic. A form of reinforcement.
- When it comes to Homework, parents and guardians should be the best allies.
To Dr. Robert Walker of the University of Sydney, “homework tends to focus on three things: student learning and achievement; the development of student learning skills; and parental involvement.”
From the above points, we can deduce that Homework isn’t just about the learner- the child, but also about creating a form of interaction between the parent and the child, bringing about bonding.
Every country has its own educational policies reflected in its curriculum and mode of instruction. In Nigeria, a child returning home from either the early years, basic or secondary school daily with homework is not new and parents have become very used to this lifestyle.
So used to the lifestyle that we now often relegate it to the background and in fact, begin to get upset at the mention of the word Homework. Is this justifiable? Yes and No!
Yes, because according to Vatterott, in giving homework to children, the teacher ought to understand their constraints, circumstances, and challenges faced at home, then consider alternatives to ensuring the completion of each work. This means that the emotional state of the parent is just as important as the homework given. Which further implies that it is only a mentally stable parent that would be able to guide the child right.
And No, because, the primary role of the parent is to care for the child, and assisting with Homework is a form of care. Implying that the parent who is indisposed at the time ought to provide an alternative guide to ensure the work given is properly attended to.
Remember, educating the child isn’t and shouldn’t be one-sided: there is the teacher, the parent and of course the child working together to make the learning process successful.