Homework can be loosely defined as the academic assignments undertaken outside the classroom. The purpose of homework is to reinforce or apply newly acquired knowledge as well as to hone necessary skills of independent study.
Based on performance statistics from the Ministry of Education, most rural schools tend to perform poorer than urban ones. In my opinion, one of the major reasons for this is the lack of concentration and devotion to homework activities by children and teachers the in rural areas.
Regardless of the amount of homework assigned, many unsuccessful children and those struggling in school spend little time engaged in homework.
It is not surprising that children spending less time completing homework may eventually not perform as well as those who complete their homework.
Uwamahoro Clementine is an administrator at Cyarwa primary school in Huye district. She says that homework is one of influential factors in school success.
However other variables such as class attendance, motivation and teaching quality influence the time children spend on homework.
‘Many children and their parents have told us they experience less difficulty being motivated and completing homework in classes in which they enjoy the subject, the instruction, the assignments and the teachers’, she said. She adds that the benefits of homework are the greatest for students who complete it and do so correctly.
Thus, children who devote time to homework are more probably on a path to improved achievement than those who don’t. This path also includes higher quality instruction, greater achievement motivation and better skill levels.
Homework is important because it is at the intersection between home and school. It serves as a window through which one can observe their children’s education and express positive attitudes towards the children and their education.
It can always be noticed that as children grow older, the amount of time engaged in homework increases in importance. For teachers and administrators, homework is an effective way to provide additional instruction in practice.
Through practice and participation in learning tasks, homework can improve the child’s performance. Thus, it would be expected that if homework were completed accurately, not only would the child’s general knowledge and grades improve but he would also increase mastery of basic academic skills, such as reading, writing, spelling and mathematics.
Homework can provide other benefits such as the child’s ability to bring an assignment home gather and organize necessary materials to complete the assignment, return the assignment and receive a grade.
It also strengthens his or her sense of responsibility. Time management skills are also learnt here. When homework is done in a cordial and pleasant manner, this activity can positively influence the relationship between the child and his parent or teacher.
Although one may not consider that homework serves a school administrative role, it offers schools an opportunity to let parents know what their children are learning. Thus, homework can play a crucial role of keeping parents informed about class activities and policies.
Homework can also fulfill an administrative role in helping schools achieve their overall mission of improving student’s achievement.
Homework is a bridge that joins schools and parents. From the school’s perspective there is the opportunity to monitor students’ independent progress.
For parents there is the potential to gain a greater appreciation of education and to express positive attitudes towards their children’s achievement.
Sometimes when assigning homework, the child’s teachers may struggle to create a balance between ability, level of difficulty of the task and feedback.
However it should be noted that the input and feedback on a daily basis is an essential component in helping the child benefit from the homework.
Children should at least receive one to three assignments per week, taking them no more than fifteen to twenty minutes.
This however depends on the grade of the child because children in higher grades can receive two to four assignments per week, lasting between fifteen and forty-five minutes. At this time, the primarily goal of homework is to help the child develop the independent work and learning skills that will become critical in the higher grades.
In the upper grades, the more time spent on homework the greater the achievement gains. For high-grade children, there are greater overall benefits from time engaged in practicing and thinking about schoolwork.
These benefits do not appear to depend as much upon immediate supervision or feedback as they do for children in lower classes.
It is important to note that school administrators and parents should be actively involved in the development and promotion of homework activities.
The school staff should make sure that pupils understand and know how to complete assignments successfully. This opportunity should be provided during regular class time to monitor the children’s’ understanding of the assignment.