Do your children need help with their homework? Are you at your wits end trying to help? Has your help ended with fights and confusion, yet still no improvement in grades? This use to be me until I stepped back and took a different approach. It seemed that once middle school started our lives went haywire. The amount of homework and extra curricular activities increased. Homework went from taking 20 minutes to 60+ minutes, my son hated it and so did I, but what is alternative-
I was surprised to learn that in Finland this is the case. They went from having the worse education system to being ranked #1. They are showing the world that kids can excel with less school and no homework. The focus is on learning how to learn and not to take a test. Watch below Michael Moore interviews the Minister of Education and Culture, Pasi Sahlberg, as part of his documentary “Where to Invade Next”
Would this system work in the US? – Probably not.
School is a job for most kids and as parents we constantly tell them. I guess it makes sense why many don't want to do homework after hearing that. When you go to work all day, the last thing you want to do is bring more work home. We would have to revamp our entire education system to model what Finland does and I just don't see that happening. The children of Finland only go to school for a few hours a day up until roughly age 7.
I have to admit that Homework does have several benefits when used properly.
1. Teachers and students develop positive relationships when they discuss assignments or any problems they might be having. While in High School I leaned on several of my teachers and as they became accustomed to my learning style, they really helped me excel.
2. It can bring families closer together When students feel comfortable to ask their parents or siblings for help on their homework it creates an avenue for conversation. Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework. It is a great way to show kids that what they do is important, while allowing the parent to monitor and encourage.
3. Homework prepares students for tests. If a child does poorly on an assignment then it serves as an indication that they have not mastered the material. consider it as an opportunity to practice what was taught during the day.
4. Develop responsibilities. My children know that getting their homework done is their responsibility and I will ask about it especially if I see them trying to watch television or surf the net.
5. Homework allows parents to see how their children are being educated. This is also when you can make suggestions to the teacher. Maybe the teacher does not realize that doing 50 math problems, 100 spelling words and a reading assignment is too much for one night. I believe it it takes longer than 30 minutes per subject something is wrong.