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No Homework, that's great isn't it?

September 25, 2017
Written By: Stephanie Dunaieff

No.  Homework is an important part of the learning process. By skipping homework students are missing out on reinforcement, time to reflect, and respond.

Reinforcement: Concepts need to be reinforced over and over again for the students to be able to remember them.  For learning to happen the dendrites on the neuron must become more stable so that the neurons can build the neural network.  Reinforcement does not have to be boring though.  A great way to reinforce a concept that has to be memorized is by creating flashcards or playing concentration.  After this activity it is good to follow up with a quick review sheet.  It should be something that only focuses on the most important concepts and should be relatively easy for the students to figure out what to do. The students shouldn't spent an hour doing 3 questions. 
It takes up to 2 weeks for the information to be moved from working memory to long term memory.  During this 2 week period the information needs to be practiced.  Many times in school, the teacher moves onto another topic the following day that uses the information from the previous day.  If a student is still struggling with the work from the day before, they are going to fall further behind. 

Reflection: Homework gives the student the time to reflect on what they learned.  It is much easier to do the work when someone is talking you through the problem, then when you are doing it on your own. While the student is doing the homework they should be thinking about whether or not they understand the work and what they still need to practice.   When the students are younger, the parents can help them learn how to reflect by asking them questions to guide that self-reflection.  

Response 
Homework can give an immediate response to let the student, teacher, and parent know if the student is struggling with a particular concept.  The student can then attend extra help or get additional help before the next test.  The sooner a student gets helps and is able correct his or her mistakes the better it is.  When students make the same mistake over and over again, they are reinforcing the mistake and learning the mistake.  The student will therefore have to unlearn the mistake and learn the correct answer.  This is a longer process and many times will not be realized until the test.

Categories: Homework, Learning
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