Advice Column, Child, Education, Parenting, Tween & Teen

Is homework still relevant

A student’s high school career is far more than mastering subjects. The goal is to facilitate the development and transformation of adolescents into independent young adults, prepared to deal with the 21st century challenges. The adult world demands self-study, discipline and independent thought. Entrenched behavioural patterns are difficult to change; hence, instilling a good work routine whilst at school is essential for future success.

• It teaches a student to work independently. Engaging with the content on their own allows them to find solutions and formulate opinions without the prompts or cues from teachers, peers or parents.

• It teaches a student to take responsibility for his or her work. The student must be an active participant: it is conducive to confidence building and encourages self-reliance.

• It allows a student to review and practise what has been covered during the lesson. Extensive research has been done on the memory retention of information over a period. Regular reviewing allows a broader knowledge base when applying the minds to new content. Any potential misunderstandings or lack of comprehension can be addressed far sooner.

• It helps a student to get ready for the next day’s lesson. Being prepared for the lessons allows the student to feel more in control and this in turn boosts their confidence and aids the development of a positive self-image.

• It encourages a student to explore the subject content far more thoroughly than class time permits. This is vital for giving depth to the work they are grappling with and leads to discoveries, making connections and problem solving.

• It allows a student to extend learning by applying skills to new situations. Doing their homework properly establishes a strong foundation. Successful attempts to solving higher order questions are only possible once the content has clearly crystallised in their mind.

• It is part of the revision and consolidation process in adequately preparing for tests and examinations. Practice makes perfect! Clichés are clichés because they hold a lot of truth.

Author: Andre Moolman, Principal at Abbotts College Century City.

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