Pros And Cons Of Homework
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Homework advantages and disadvantages
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In block scheduling—unlike a traditional school day that typically has six minute classes—the school might schedule two traditional days a week, with six minute classes, and three nontraditional days, with only four classes that meet for 80 minutes each. Another type of block schedule that many schools use is called the 4X4 schedule , where students take four classes instead of six each quarter.
Each yearlong class only meets for one semester. Each semester class only meets for a quarter. There are pros and cons to block schedules compared to traditional school scheduling. In block scheduling, a teacher sees fewer students during the day, thereby giving him or her the ability to spend more time with each one. Because of the increased span of teaching time, longer cooperative learning activities can be completed in one class period. There is more time for labs in science classes.
Students also have less information to deal with during each school day, but over the course of a semester or quarter, they can delve more deeply into the curriculum of four classes, instead of six. Because of the decreased number of classes, students also have less homework on any given day. The teacher is able to provide more varied instruction during class, and he may find it easier to deal with students with disabilities and different learning styles. Planning periods are longer, allowing educators to spend more time preparing for classes and doing the administrative work required for teaching, such as grading, contacting parents, and meeting with fellow teachers.
In a block schedule, teachers typically only see students four times a week —such as Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday—which means that students lose continuity on the days they don't see a given teacher. If a student misses a day under the block schedule, he is actually missing the equivalent of nearly two days compared to the traditional minute-class schedule. No matter how well planned, on many days, the teacher can end up with 10 to 15 minutes of extra time, where students often begin their homework. When all of this time is added up at the end of the semester, the teacher covers less information and curriculum. In the 4X4 schedule, the teacher has to cover all of the required information in one quarter.
In an economics class at a typical high school, for example, if the quarter happens to be during football season and while homecoming is occurring, the teacher can lose valuable class time due to interruptions. In the 4X4 schedule, it is especially difficult to cover the necessary material for Advanced Placement courses in the time allotted.
To compensate, many schools have to extend United States history so that it is a two-part course and lasts the entire year in order for the teacher to cover all of the required material. When used in the proper setting with the right students and a well-prepared teacher, block scheduling can be very useful. However, schools need to keep a close eye on such things as test scores and discipline problems to see if the schedule has any noticeable effect. It encourages the discipline of practice. Repeating the same problems over and over can be boring and difficult, but it also reinforces the practice of discipline. To get better at a skill, repetition is often necessary.
You get better with each repetition. By having homework completed every night, especially with a difficult subject, the concepts become easier to understand. That gives the student an advantage later on in life when seeking a vocational career. Looking at Common Core math can be somewhat bewildering to parents. By bringing homework to do, students can engage their learning process with their parents so everyone can be involved. Many parents actually want homework sent so they can see what their children are being taught in the classroom.
It teaches time management skills. Homework goes beyond completing a task. It forces children and parents, to some extent to develop time management skills. Schedules must be organized to ensure that all tasks can be completed during the day. This creates independent thinking and develops problem-solving skills. It encourages research skills. It also puts parents and children into a position where positive decision-making skills must be developed.
Homework creates a communication network. Teachers rarely see into the family lives of their students. Parents rarely see the classroom lives of their children. Homework is a bridge that opens lines of communication between the school, the teacher, and the parent. This allows everyone to get to know one another better. It helps teachers understand the needs of their students better.
Together, an educational plan can be developed that encourages the best possible learning environment. It allows for a comfortable place to study. Classrooms have evolved over the years to be a warmer and welcoming environment, but there is nothing like the comfort that is felt at home or in a safe space. By encouraging studies where a child feels the most comfortable, it is possible to retain additional information that may get lost within the standard classroom environment.
It provides more time to complete the learning process. The time allotted for each area of study in school, especially in K, is often limited to 1 hour or less per day. That is not always enough time for students to be able to grasp core concepts of that material. By creating specific homework assignments which address these deficiencies, it becomes possible to counter the effects of the time shortages. That can benefit students greatly over time. It reduces screen time. On the average school night, a student in the US might get hours of screen time in per day. Homework might be unwanted and disliked, but it does encourage better study habits. It discourages time being spent in front of the television or playing games on a mobile device.
That, in turn, may discourage distracting habits from forming that can take away from the learning process in the future. It can be treated like any other extracurricular activity. Some families over-extend themselves on extracurricular activities. Students can easily have more than 40 hours per week, from clubs to sports, that fall outside of regular school hours. Homework can be treated as one of these activities, fitting into the schedule where there is extra time.
As an added benefit, some homework can even be completed on the way to or from some activities. Children benefit from playing. Being in a classroom can be a good thing, but so can being on a playground. Low levels of play are associated with lower academic achievement levels, lower safety awareness, less character development, and lower overall health. It encourages a sedentary lifestyle. Long homework assignments require long periods of sitting. A sedentary lifestyle has numerous direct associations with premature death as children age into adults.
Obesity levels are already at or near record highs in many communities. Homework may reinforce certain skills and encourage knowledge retention, but it may come at a high price. Not every home is a beneficial environment. There are some homes that are highly invested into their children. Parents may be involved in every stage of homework or there may be access to tutors that can explain difficult concepts. In other homes, there may be little or no education investment into the child. Some parents push the responsibility of teaching off on the teacher and provide no homework support at all.
Sometimes parents may wish to be involved and support their child, but there are barriers in place that prevent this from happening.