As a kid, I hated school assignments and take-home projects. I would always be the student who came to school early so I can work on my assignments a few minutes before the flag ceremony bell rang. This went on until I was in college and was staying in a dorm – I would (probably) be the only person reading a book or listening to music on a “moratorium” night when the rest of the dorm’s population are busy burning the midnight oil for the finals. I passed my grade school, high school, and college education in spite of this rather negative behavior towards doing homework. But somehow I felt that had I spent more time studying at home and learning at my own pace would have helped me earn better grades and, well, be a more disciplined adult (haha!).
That is probably why I was oddly surprised to learn that my silent cry for a “no-homework-please” school night is now being passed as a law. Wow!
Why are they doing this?
According to the lawmakers, homework limits the time a child is able to spend with his parents and siblings. It keeps the child from enjoying quality rest, relaxation, and interaction after school hours. To ensure that kids are not made to do schoolwork during weekends, the bill also includes that textbooks should be left in the classroom before the students leave for home.
There were actually two bills filed by two different lawmakers; one imposes a fine of Php 50,000 or imprisonment of one to two years on teachers who will insist on having students work on assignments at home.
What are my thoughts on this?
I don’t agree! Even if I hated working on assignments as a kid (probably even as a young adult in college), I know in my heart that I could not support this bill. I learned so much from not doing my assignments and realized how much I missed because I let that bad habit stay with me up until I finished college.
- Working on your assignments at home allows you more time to analyze and understand the day’s lessons.
Sometimes, a topic would seem complicated when we are only listening to our teacher’s lecture. But if we study at our own pace at home (which we are compelled to do when we have homework due the next day), we are able to understand what was discussed and appreciate the lessons from the lecture. Without an assignment, a kid will not intentionally review his notes and read his books and therefore, completely miss out on the opportunity and ability to learn on his own.
- Homework helps develop self-discipline.
Ignoring the homework in your schoolbag may buy you more TV and idle time, but it will completely rob you of your chance to develop the virtue of self-discipline.
- Homework time can also be family time.
My parents loved helping me out with my assignments – that I can remember. They didn’t always know the answers but they loved researching with me, going through our encyclopedias (the ‘80s and ‘90s version of Google!), and typing my papers for me.
They said it was fun helping us kids with our assignments, especially during weekends, because it keeps us from going out and spending, haha!
So there, if it were up to me, I would rather that kids be given homework and take-home projects. I just think that there is so much more than “quality family time” that a child will lose if we deprive him the opportunity to develop the kind of self-discipline and responsibility that one learns by diligently working on school assignments.
How about you? Are you in favor of prohibiting schools from giving students homework? I’d love to hear your thoughts.