The idea of assigning homework is taking a bad rap nowadays. Parents are complaining that young children should be allowed to enjoy their time at home rather than tackle lessons from school.
They say that their kids can also do educational things at home if only the teachers would stop assigning homework.
Why removing homework will not work
Although parents mean well, the reality is that if homework is not given to children, supplementary learning will probably not occur at all. Here are some reasons why.
- Parents are too tired to monitor kids.
Perhaps the biggest reason is that parents are too tired at the end of the day. After a long day at work, most parents would rather enjoy their “me-time” instead of checking on their children. They often only inquire if there is homework to do. But if homework is taken away, then chances are the kids will be allowed to do what they want.
- Supplementary education will be set aside if there is no homework.
In relation to #1, something parents do not like dealing with is whining children. Similar to how gadgets are given to children to keep them quiet, if homework is not mandatory, parents will probably let kids play instead of requiring them to read or do something educational.
- Educational apps are limited.
Yes, there are a lot of educational apps out there. The problem is that most have limitations that are not enough to replace homework. App developers base their assumptions on global views about learning. So many times, the content might not be appropriate to the location of the child. And of course, it takes a lot of person-hours to create a very detailed app. Since there is so much competition out there and no guaranteed contracts with specific schools, most apps are only good for basic lessons. After that, it just repeats itself, meaning it is not enough for children.
- Parents often assume that the lessons now are the same as in the past.
Many parents assume that what is taught now is the same as what was taught to them before, which is why parents often purchase educational items that are similar to what they did when they were young. However, school lessons today are much more advanced than before. Kids are being taught more complex topics at younger ages. Even the reading materials are more advanced, with stories discussing recycling and pollution rather than just fairy tales. So if homework is not given, parents will be holding their children back because the lessons at home will not match that of the classroom.
It is nice that parents want their young children to enjoy their childhood, especially when it comes to enjoying time at home with the family. However, removing homework should not be part of that equation. If it is, then learning may suffer because parents will not be able to give supplementary lessons at home. It must be assigned by the teacher for it to work.