Is Homework a Punishment?

The Italian pedagog, Roberto Nevilis, who invented homework, initially used it as a form of punishment. However, the practice later evolved to become part of the educational curricular. Despite its enormous benefits, some experts believe it is counterproductive and harmful to students’ health. According to them, take-home assignments are stressful and overburden students. What do you also think? Is homework a punishment? Now let us try to find answers to this question.

When Homework for children started

Until the 20th century, children were exempted from homework. Their learning started and ended in the classroom. The phenomenon changed when experts concluded that the brain is a muscle, which could be strengthened with mental exercises. Consequently, homework was adopted for all levels of the education ladder. The practice has since been amended in many ways with some additions and subtractions.  The National Education Association (NEA) and National PTA (NPTA) adopted standard practice for homework is 10 minutes per grade level. However, teachers mostly disregarded this standard.

Why homework is punishment for kids

Imagine bringing unfinished office work home almost every day and virtually turning your house into an office extension. Even as an adult, you would not want to continue your office jobs at home. The best practice has always been, the time you close from work should be your last connection with work. Any other thing must wait until the next day. This is important because you need a fresh and rejuvenated mind for the next day’s work.

Kids also have the same feeling when given take-home assignments. After spending about 8 hours in the classroom, the brain is already tired of extra work. At that point, the only thing they deserve is enough rest for a revitalized mind and not additional loads of work. They also need to undertake extra-curricular activities like socializing and building their skills and talent.

Conclusion

Research has proved the importance of homework for children's development. The truth is, there is a connection between it and students' achievement. Nonetheless, it failed to address the possibility of children achieving the same or better results when allotted an hour of school hours to do their assignment.

It is not to say that kids should be freed from continuing the learning process whiles home, but what is the need for overburdening them. Why should kids be given about two hours, take-home assignments? What happened socialization and playing with friends? What about pursuing their interest, which is also core in kids’ development. They need to play games, watch their favorite programs, and help their parents at home. 

Learning is good, but several other important aspects of life make childhood complete. Let us not forget about the health implications of too many assignments. Stress and its related symptoms like headaches, weakness, sleeplessness, and fatigue can push the kid into using drugs later. So in all, educators must reduce the amount of homework they assign kids. Parents should also be involved in advocating for the same during the PTA meeting.