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HOMEWORK: A necessary evil or a valuable learning tool?

Homework is a task assigned to learners by schoolteachers intended to be carried out during non-school hours, usually at home.


This dreaded pastime has always been up for debate, but since the implementation of lockdown and alternative teaching days, it has become a major area of debate and consternation.


It is the norm for both parents to work, so homework supervision and free time at the end of a long day are scarce.


The validity of homework can be seen as ‘not important’ as parents feel it often infringes on important family time. Furthermore, as teachers check for completion of work but seldom check for accuracy, it is a potential ‘waste of time and effort’.


Therefore, both teachers and parents need to carefully re-evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of homework and maximize the usefulness of this age-old tradition.


A more balanced approach will result in the following advantages:


Advantages

  • It helps learners build responsibility

  • Develops a work ethic from an early age

  • Improves time management

  • Enhances and improves the learner’s confidence and self-esteem

  • Encourages parents to become more involved in their child’s education

  • Trains learners to problem solve


Parents do not be tempted to do the child’s homework for them as the benefits of this learning tool are lost completely.


Teachers try to remember the saying “quality over quantity”, the value of relevancy and the necessity of timely, accurate feedback.




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