We hate to have to give home work in the sense that it is commonly understood. So let us understand its role and define the purpose.
- Let the children not feel that class-work and learning are compartmentalised and confined to school. Relate class learning with what is happening outside, e.g. at home. In order to link these, ‘home-work’ will have to be designed.
- Some drill-work is a necessary part of learning (not-rote-learning), e.g. learning tables, spellings, aspects of grammar etc.
We do give home work. However, an attempt is made to ensure that it is linked with classwork with guidance provided by the teacher. Variations in forms are introduced in an effort to minimize the boredom of repetition. It is to be done independently, using commonly available resources.
The Nature of Home Work
Let children do something at home; thus, school time can also be used for valuable activities that children cannot participate in, if left on their own. Such as-
- Compulsory music for all, right through the primary classes.
- Frequent tours to places of interest.
- A great numbers of regular cultural activities as part of the weekly school programmes.
- Compulsory games.
- Compulsory art and craft.
- ‘Practicals’ and hands-on experience from Class II onwards.
All these activities are of immense educational value as they create a lively interest in the world around, develop an aesthetic sense, scientific attitude, a spirit of enquiry, tolerance, co-operation and team work ; they also help us spot talent, impart leadership training from a very young age. In short, they help develop a healthy, all-round personality.
Also doing a little home work on one’s own is a good habit to be inculcated in the pupil. It needs to be anything difficult; rather, it can take the form of drill exercises, or include a habit as simple (and yet as important) as reading lessons aloud. It may include an activity like making or observing something, collecting an item, looking around the market or asking questions to people in order to gather information from a primary source.
Such activities help children programme their time, teach them to interact with unfamiliar adults, work out strategies, learn to concentrate and be on their own. Their confidence and self-reliance develop with this, and their self esteem goes up as well. We have worked out a time table for home work for Classes I to V bearing in mind certain principles.
- Mathematics is a subject that needs regular practice.
- Children should form the habit of reading on their own, hopefully leading to a life-long passion for reading for pleasure.
- Children should form the habit of sitting on their own in a quiet corner and doing a piece of work unassisted. They can thereby acquire confidence in their own ability to organise and execute a small piece of work.
- Being able to concentrate for a span of time is a very essential training.
- Week-ends should be the time when small children should be left free of any assigned home task.
- Home work should not be drudgery nor should it be confined to the three ‘R’s. Rather it should take the form of making charts, drawing and collecting interesting specimens. Work should not be dull and according to strict specifications but should rather be fun, enabling the child to explore his or her creativity and originality.
Your child should have his/her own home work time-table and a specific place from where to do it. Do ensure that he/she completes it regularly in time specified for his/her age-group. Time given is envisaged for an average child. If your child puts it away in a shorter time, may be he/she is just very quick or very careless, or simply does not do everything that is supposed to be done. If your child takes much longer over it, do come and meet the concerned teacher to discuss the possible reasons.