By – John Bishop
“I hate homework.”
How can parents eliminate the nightly tug-of-war over homework?
In general, students are not excited about the homework they get assigned because they are bombarded with other options that seem far more exciting. Let’s face it – homework is no more exciting today than when we were kids. It was tough for us to do homework and we did not have nearly as many distractions as today’s students.
Their world includes instant communication, multi-tasking, cell phones, exciting video games, texting, and social networking. Homework is vying for your child’s attention against some tough competition.
Some students think homework is a waste of time. Others understand the intrinsic value of homework and take responsibility for doing it correctly and handling it in on time. However, the majority of students are somewhere in between there extremes.
The students that do their homework without a nightly battle view their education differently. They understand that for a couple of hours, schoolwork is the priority, and then they can move on to something more exciting. They understand that homework teaches them where their strengths are and where they need to spend more attention.
For most students, the problem may not be the homework, but in how they look at it. In the “good old days”, we did our homework because it was expected, and because there were far fewer options for our time. Parents should not compete head-on with today’s distractions, but rather try a different tactic.
To compete with the distractions, parents must get more buy-in on the importance of homework. Your job won’t be easy, but perhaps this list can help.
10 Benefits of Homework
- Homework teaches students about time management.
- Homework teaches students how to set priorities.
- Homework helps teachers determine how well the lessons and material are being understood by their students.
- Homework teaches students how to problem solve.
- Homework gives students another opportunity to review the class material.
- Homework gives parents a chance to see what their child is learning in school.
- Homework teaches students that they have to do things, even when they don’t want to.
- Homework teaches students how to take responsibility for their part in the educational process.
- Homework teaches students how to work independently.
- Homework teaches students the importance of planning, staying organized and taking action.
School and homework show students the important life lessons, such as how to read and communicate with others, that they will use as an adult. Homework also teaches students how to problem solve, think independently, and build an understanding and interest for the issues in our society.
We have to show our children and students that homework is not boring and is not a waste of time. We have to show them that there are numerous benefits of not only doing homework, but handing it in on time! If we allow students to only participate in video games of social media after all their homework is done, then homework becomes a win-win situation for parents and their students.
Background Information on John Bishop:
John Bishop is the Executive Director of Accent On SuccessÃ‚Â® and author of the Goal Setting for Students Ã‚Â® book which has recently won three national book awards.
John Bishop went to a parent-teacher conference at a “magnet” school in the St. Louis Public School system. There were essays on a bulletin board in one of his granddaughter’s classrooms entitled “The Night”. One seventh grade girl wrote:
“I’m not afraid of the night. I’m not even afraid when I hear bullets. I take my brother and we lay down in the bathtub until the shooting stops.”
This was the night Mr. Bishop dedicated himself to doing something to help students. With the help of over twenty-five professionals with advanced degrees in education and curriculum development, he wrote the Goal Setting for Students Ã‚Â® book, in order to get children involved in school and education even if there are outside, negative influences holding them back.
For more inspirational teaching moments:
E-Mail John Bishop !
The Importance of Homework
It’s the bane of many children’s lives, but homework does serve an important educational purpose and it’s helpful for parents to encourage a healthy attitude to homework from an early age.
Going to school all day is enough for some children, so coming home and having to do more work isn’t much fun. However as much as they hate homework, it is an important part of their education and learning. It can be hard work cajoling children into sitting down and dutifully doing any homework they’ve been set, but in the long run it’s definitely worth persisting with it.
As parents, you can play a role by trying to encourage a healthy attitude to homework. Rather than focusing on the negatives (having to sit down and work when they want to go out and play) try and help children see that homework can be fun.
When they’re young, homework won’t be long and arduous and there may be tasks set that you can all join in with and offer insight into. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you do their homework for them, but you can get actively involved in helping them find answers, do research or work through problem-solving activities.
If your child is still very reluctant to do any work at home, then it may also help to offer small incentives. For example, this could be allowing them to go out and play, play a computer game or watch television when they’ve done their homework. It’s probably best to avoid large incentives, such as monetary payments, especially for young children.
Why Is Homework Important?Homework is an important extension of classroom learning. It helps to cement the ideas that children learn at school (or should be learning!), helping things sink in further and expanding their knowledge. Homework can take various forms, consisting of:
- Solving problems of a mathematical or scientific nature.
- Answering a series of questions.
- Writing creative prose and short stories.
- Keeping a journal of holiday or weekend experiences.
- Writing an essay.
- Preparation for a test, such as a spelling test, where you need to learn certain word spellings.
- Looking things up in an encyclopedia or on the Internet to improve research skills.
- Finding things out about themselves or their families.
Some schools promote the use of homework diaries, which are ideal for making a note of what homework you’re supposed to be doing. Without them, there are always some children who forget to write down the details or miss what was being said. Not handing in any homework can get them into trouble at school and isn’t a pattern or habit that you want them to caught up in.
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