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Manners and Discipline Topics..

You are here : home > Manners and Discipline > Homework Woes > The Horrors of Homework

The Horrors of Homework

Is it for parents or for children?

Today homework has become a nightmare for both parents and children. In a time when it seems that every child needs to be a superachiever to survive, the pressure on them to excel not just academically but otherwise is tremendous. While children have never been enthusiastic about doing homework in the first place, they now view homework as being the last straw that broke the camel's back as they try to juggle school, tuition classes and other extracurricular activities. 

Every parent probably echoes Sheila George's complaints about the homework situation. She says, "I almost dread coming home from work because I know that I'll have to sit with Rishi and do homework. But I have no choice. If I don't sit with him, nothing is going to get done. At the end of the day I'm tired and irritable and it doesn't help that I have to sit down to algebra and fractions, which I have long forgotten."

Vinod Daswani finds that homework is always a contentious issue between his son and him. He says, "Akash is usually such an obedient child, but the minute I mention the word 'homework', he becomes a monster. He will do almost anything to avoid doing his homework. He'll run around the house; he'll suddenly remember an urgent phone call or errand; he'll procrastinate and think of a hundred excuses. In short, he drives me crazy. I try to make him understand that if he spent half the energy on his homework, it would all be over in about an hour and he could go down to play."

In Megha Basu's opinion, homework is an unnecessary burden on children. She says, "Children really have a rough time these days. The workload is just too much. Between school and extra-curriculars my daughter just can't cope. I have sat up many nights finishing my daughter's projects because she just couldn't keep her eyes open. I think schoolwork should be confined to school hours."

However, this is a bit of an extreme view. The premise behind setting homework is to reinforce and drive home what is taught in class. That is why all boarding schools have 'prep time' after class. After all, revision does lead to better learning. 

Tips for dealing with homework hassles

  • Appoint a specific time to do homework every day. Parents should try to ensure that they are around at this time so that they are on hand if they are needed. 
  • Parents should find out the schedule of tests planned for the week and help their children organize their homework time so that they are well prepared.
  • Avoid power struggles. Confronted with a whining, tantrumatic child, a parent should first try to maintain her cool. She should try to lighten the atmosphere, offer help is she thinks the child needs it, or just leave the room, leaving the child to his own devices. But she should brook no arguments from the child and be uncompromising about the fact that the homework must be done, and done immediately. 
  • Parents should regularly encourage their children and praise their efforts. When a child does well on a test, for instance, parents while applauding his achievement should remind him that doing his homework properly and being prepared made the difference. 
  • Parents should make their children feel that they are interested in their work and offer to help if necessary. But at no point should parents do their children's work for them. This will adversely affect a child's motivation and initiative, as he will feel that at the slightest difficulty his parents will bail him out. 
  • Remember that if a child is cheating on schoolwork and blindly copying homework from others, it may be a sign that she is feeling unduly pressured and afraid to admit that she cannot cope. In such a case, it is advisable that parents speak to the teacher or the school counselor.
  • Make provision for a special place in which the child can do her homework, as if it were her personal office.

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Rishabh.5 years ago
Thank God at Orchids they don’t give much homework!
Payal.5 years ago
My kid much more disciplined in doing the homework within a time frame everyday. I am thankful for the wonderful articles posted in India Parenting. It really helps all the parents who are seeking for the best solution.
payal.5 years ago
Kids keep playing while doing their homework. Gaining their attention is really hard sometimes. I am there.
Ashish.5 years ago
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mar.9 years ago
home work is an unnessesary burden because it takes up time that children could be outside home work can cause obestity from children not beeing active that would become a problem in the home or in the childs life
nara.9 years ago
homework ..... in a teacher's opinon is the only way of retaining whats bee taught .... do your job as parents
Marshawn Simon.9 years ago
i think it is dull and kids could be playing and having there fun time and get there groove thang on
silence.9 years ago
what do we do when the child does not want to do homework and all he does is sit down and stare blankly in front of him until time runs out and he has to go home and didn't finish his himework?
neha sahai.9 years ago
it's just stealing children's golden days of childhood & it's too developing the tendency of taking tension & being stressful in so early age. definitely it is drawing adverse impact on children's sound development.
DISHA CHAHAL.9 years ago
homework is an unnessesary burden given
to the children.children are not having
time for physical activities and therefore becoming dull.children should
not do homework beyond their interest.
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