Homework can be fun too!

Homework can be made more interesting by relating topics learned in class to activities like research, project work etc.

Education has come a long way. The stick is no longer necessary and we have expanded far beyond the three Rs – Reading, (W)riting, and (A)rithmetic.  Education today, is more comprehensive, aiming at the total development of the child, taking into account not only the child’s aptitude but also its talents and traits. Educationists keep driving the point home that learning should be fun. Yet, we often come across complaints that today’s school-going youngsters are overburdened with a heavy load of school work. Even at home they spend many hours completing homework which leaves them with little time for other creative activities. Lately, many journals have carried features on the burden of work carried home from school. This certainly gives teachers food for thought and introspection. There is little that a teacher can do about a heavy syllabus but proper planning in her annual, weekly, and even day-to-day activity can make a lot of difference. Sometimes in the rush to complete the syllabus before the examinations, part of the school work is given over to home tasks.

A good teacher will try her best to avoid this, as this is not really the best kind of homework. Regular learning has to go on but apart from this, the teacher can use her imagination to make homework more interesting and research-oriented. For instance, after a literature class, the children can be asked to find out more about the life and work of the author or poet they learnt about. The next day they can read out their findings to the class. The same can be done after a history lesson too.

A child opening a book or an encyclopaedia is finding out things for himself. Sharing with others what he has discovered will give him a sense of pride and confidence. Similarly, after a science class, children could be given the task of looking for unusual specimens of plants and writing down their observations. In mathematics, students in the primary classes can be asked to accompany their mothers to the grocery or vegetable vendor. They could be asked to ‘interview’ a vendor about his business – how much the vegetables cost him and how much he sells every day. They can then work out a sum in profit and loss that is based on these details. In economics, older children can find out the outputs of various products manufactured by various firms, list the products that are in demand in the market and the various reasons for this. They can prepare interesting quizzes on current international affairs and world markets. Projects in almost all subjects can be done by groups living in or near the same neighbourhood. Such homework can span a whole week.

Teachers can come up with many more ideas such as these. If homework is made more creative the little ones will not only be busy but have fun as well.

This article, written by Monica Rauth, first appeared in Teacher Plus, Issue No.3, November-December 1989 and has been adapted here with changes.

Comments

meera's picture

This is a good way of making homework interesting and fun. We also talk about connecting our learning to our day to day life. Learning through experiencing can create a permanent image in ones mind.

prianka's picture

I couldn't agree more, Monica has shown us some realy good tipps

Emmy Walter's picture

Kids today can be stubborn when they don't want to do their homework. This is one problem of the parents because of other distractions like computer games and alike. Parents can do something creative to push their kids to finish and complete their homework. Like giving a reward after doing the homework.

prianka's picture

Dear Monica Rauth,

Just wanted to let you know that you are a great article writer, but I guess that you already know that :)

Keep up the great work and have an awesome day
Regards
Prianka

ClarenceGadapati's picture

I am honored to post these comments as a former student of Mrs. Rauth at Little Flower High School in Hyderabad. She was my class teacher and taught me English and Social Studies. It's been more than two decades since I've graduated from high school but still remember some of her lessons, plays and more importantly how she taught in her classroom. Mrs. Rauth was never rushed in the classroom, there was never any frantic writing before the class bell rang. She would end her teaching a few minutes before the bell, to give us enough time to finish our notes, assimilate the learning and put away our books. She developed a love of learning and particular for me, a love of the English language. I've lived in America for the last 20 years and many Americans ask me where I learned to speak and write the language so well. I love telling them about this teacher I had in Hyderabad, India - her name is Mrs Monica Rauth!

Guru Sakshat Para-Brahma; Tasmai Shri Guravay Namah!

Thank you Ma'am for being my Guru!

Regards,
Clarence

lfhs's picture

Clarence.. You beat me to it. Mrs Rauth was my class teacher for 5th at LFHS and taught social studies and english. She not only taught me great language skills and presentation skills making me a champion debater at both school and college levels, she supported me during really tough times in my life. An amazing woman who probably does not realize the impact she had in transforming a raw ill mannered boy into an executive at a major firm. She is the best teacher I had and probably will ever have.
Guru Sakshaat Para Brahma ..absolutely describes her.. Thank you ma'am for being a part of my life and would love to seek your blessings in person.

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