It’s not any news that most children hate homework and it always seems to be a burden for them. But even so, most schools have the same approach as they had decades ago without changing anything.
Only a few countries (take Finland for example) changed the educational system as they ascertained that children are more receptive and eager to learn if they don’t receive grades, and, of course, if they are not obliged to do homework (or similar things against their will).
Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori (veteran teacher and principal in a Finnish school) “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?”
No homework: is this a good approach?
If you compare the results of children who learn while doing less homework and the ones that still do a lot of it, we’ll see that the first ones are more relaxed and fond of many subjects in school, whereas the latter lose their interest and associate school with a mandatory institution which is against them.
So, yes, I’d say that teachers who don’t put pressure on children with a large quantity of homework are wiser and closer to determine children learn in a more enjoyable way.
Psychology professor, Harris Cooper, explained this with an undreamed of analogy.
”A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. If you take too little, they'll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you'll get better.”
If there is no homework, how do Kids learn out of school time?
Well, there are so many ways to learn at home or outside school. And the key to learning and engaging at the same time is through games or fun activities.
Let’s take, for example, economy or business management. If you want to teach a child business management (it’s just an example, I know they are too young to be prepared for that, even though it could be a great exercise for them) don’t teach them rules and long boring definitions. Instead, let them imagine they own a business (like a small local shop) and let them create their own system by showing them what should they have in mind: employees, rent, authorizations, inventory, customers’ preferences and so on. It would be fun and educative too. Plus, they will remember for the rest of their lives - because it would be their idea.
Nowadays, most schools’ problems came from the lack of practicability. So, children learn for tests and grades and after a few days, they instantly forget what they have learned because they won’t use that information ever again. Isn’t that a waste of time, energy, and resources? I think it is.
In a nutshell: Kids hate homework because it’s boring, it’s stressing, it occupies their free time, and above all it’s mandatory. If we replace homework with fun and educative activities, we have more chances to engage them in learning actions and more reasons to believe that we really contribute to their education.