If you were asked about the first feeling that comes to your mind when you hear, “Homework”, what would you say?
Dread? Fear? Panic? Unsettling worry? Anxiety?
Kids (and parents alike) from all over the world don’t want to do anything with homework. In fact, making your kid eat up leafy greens at mealtimes is often easier than getting them to finish their homework.
And not surprisingly, studies reveal there’s no love lost between students and homework worldwide.
How Bad Is It Actually?
Homework and lack of sleep:
A study by Better Sleep Council, among others, reports drastic influences of pending homework assignments on the sleep schedules of students. It also states that those who maintain a proper sleep schedule are more likely to do well in studies than those who stay up late, even to finish homework.
Question to think over: Is your kid clocking in enough hours of sleep?
Homework as a primary stressor in students:
Some of the biggest factors inducing early onset of stress in kids is homework and deadlines, as studies reveal. Psychologists from all over the globe report homework and grades among the two leading causes of stress in students.
Question to think over: Does your kid stress over homework?
Homework and the alarming rise in student suicides:
The National Crime Records Bureau reports that every hour, a student passes away to suicide in the country. While this may be an uncomfortable conversation, it is becoming increasingly important to gradually open up about the all-around mental wellness of your kids.
Question to think over: Are grades and homework really worth ruining your kids’ mental health?
Is Homework Evolving?
But homework does not have to make you feel that way. The times, they are a’changing. And slowly but surely, the homework scene from around the world is evolving alright.
Homework in post-Covid world:
Schools all over the globe are looking to decrease homework burden on kids in the post-pandemic world. Sure, the education sector stumbled a little at the beginning of lockdown impositions, but new-age technology and remote learning has picked up the pieces alright. In the light of these hands-on learning approaches, homework is all set to be quite different from as we know it.
When homework made dreams come true:
In this heart-warming true story, it was a normal evening for Victor Cordoba. Coming from the poorest areas in the Moche district in Peru, Victor usually completed his homework sitting on the kerb under the streetlamp as his home did not have electricity. Yaqoob Mubarak, a businessman travelling to Peru, spotted the boy and was moved by his dedication for studies. Mubarak, one who had a similar childhood, has built a two-storey house for Victor and his family so that he can continue his studies uninterrupted.
High-tech learning curve for low-tech schools:
Closer home, our country is gradually waking up to the idea of technology and its multifaceted implications on education. From learning apps to online tutor helplines, edtech is making a splash to revive future-ready education in India. Kids are expected to be more involved in immersive technology both inside and outside of classrooms. And that means more good news for homework!
So, How Can You Help?
Setting unusual tasks for homework:
Take a page out of this Irish school’s book that assigned random acts of kindness as homework. Encourage your kid to learn beyond the textbooks. Let them help you with household chores, reach out to the elderly people in your neighbourhood, take care of plants at home, go on a quick cleaning drive in the locality and so on.
Making the most of homework:
A Stanford study reveals strategic use of resources may help in doing well in homework assignments. All you have to do is find out what works best for your kid. Are they more attentive in after-school hours or do they like to focus on their homework in the mornings? Instil a habit of keeping a checklist or quick notes handy. Help them make the most of their homework assignments.
Improvising homework for enhanced engagement:
Tap in to the innate imaginative side of your kid. Help make homework fun by coming up with quirky ideas for homework. For example, penning a DIY sonnet for English, going for a walk in the park for science and helping you measure ingredients in the kitchen for mathematics can be a few fun ways to help them enjoy doing homework.
Embracing the holistic homework experience:
Finally, treat homework as a part of life that needs to be embraced. Set aside specific tutoring time, reach out to experts or peer groups online, and sign up for interactive lessons and homework coaching. If you are working from home, create a dedicated study space close to your workstation to set the right mood and help them feel like they’re doing something worthwhile.
These are just a few ways that you can try to diminish some of the dread associated with homework. Let us know how you help in making homework fun for your kid in the comments. Watch this space for more resources and fun facts about making learning fun!