Some children do loads of homework but have yet to produce expected results whereas other children do less yet achieve so much more. What should we do?The following are ways to utilize homework to encourage effectiveness in a child’s learning process.
1) Create Masterpieces, not Quantity
This is particularly true for work that requires creative thinking and careful consideration like essay writing. Producing four masterpieces over a month is better than writing ten pieces of average quality work in a week. Spend time correcting and improving on the drafts until a certain standard has taken place. Consult with a mentor on how the work can be perfected. Only move on to the next piece of work if the previous one is good enough for an A*.
2) Discover and Share!
Children are naturally curious! If we allow them to be curious, they will be led into the habit of discovery. Let children research on topics of their interests on the Internet or at the library. Spend time listening to their discoveries. Praise them to encourage further meaningful discoveries. Constant discovery creates the habit of proactivity, which leads to long-term positive learning habits. Self-directed learning becomes a pleasant consequence!
3) Understand, Recall, Explain
Once our child understands any kind of concepts, regardless of their speed of understanding, our child should jot it down in their notebook in a way that they can understand, even when they read it again in the future. This is a slow but essential process. They should then recall those information daily to retain what they understood. Encourage them to explain to you or to their friends what they have understood. It is pointless remembering huge chunks of information without knowing how to apply them and how to explain them to a third party.
4) Practice makes Permanent, not Perfect
Left-brain dominant subjects such as Maths, Accounting and Computing requires consistent practice. Their logical and accurate applications are crucial to scoring well in exams. However, we must understand that not every child has the same aptitude in such subjects. Expecting them to complete a certain number of questions daily from a standardized workbook or exam papers does not necessarily help to perfect those skills. Assess the capability of our child and give appropriate work starting from a suitable difficulty level onwards. Be patient as the mind takes time to develop.
Just like how a one size fits all shirt is not for everyone, there is no particular one set of homework that benefits all! Assigning suitable homework to facilitate effective learning depends on the needs of the respective child. Therefore, we encourage parents and private educators to take on a mentoring role. Be a mentor who celebrates creativity, curiosity, diversity and patience in inspiring children to learn!
Mr Linus Lin
Principal, L-intelligent Horizons Eduhub Pte Ltd