Do your homework

AbelTiony_Web16Homework has been around my school life for as long as I could say the word. Most of the time I hated doing it and I still do. Homework works the same way everywhere even in my home country Kenya where most middle schools and high schools are boarding  and  students spend most evenings doing homework.

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) reports  that the idea of homework started a century ago to encourage students to read and write. Over the years it has generated a lot of debates with proponents and opponents making strong arguments for their theories. Today homework is short of being a law, and students get it in all academic units. The question I’m trying to ask myself is, why do we need homework? As a student I could be naive about it and say we don’t, but we do.

You might remember from grade school your parents’ two favorite phrases were, “eat your veggies” and “do your homework.” In the topic of nostalgia, I apologize for sounding like your parent, but please do your homework.

If somebody told me parents invented homework, I would probably believe it. Think of your childhood and remember how many weekday evenings did you spend at home doing your homework and how many did you spend bonding with your parents? If your answer is close to mine, then you will know that homework is a great parenting tool. I spent a long time at home doing homework, and my parents were not even helping me; they were sitting down watching TV. Homework is a great parenting tool because instead of a parent being a judge and a referee to doll fights, the children are doing their homework away from trouble.

Most students are procrastinators. We wait till the last day to study for a test. Homework is not just important, it is practical. It is there to remind you that you are still a student and not to revel too much in the little freedom adulthood brings you. The college minimum requirement is a ‘C,’ and if you do the homework and go through it at least once a week you will not need the exam-eve cramming marathon. When you do your homework you will be studying and revising in the process especially in math, a unit that needs a lot of practice. Something else I noticed is that, in most subjects, homework makes part of the final score, some awarding up to 20 percent of the final grade to homework. Without that 20 percent, the best anyone can get is a ‘C.’

If you think college homework is too much to ask, let me tell you something about college in Africa. There are no multiple choice questions, no open book exams and no extra credits. You are on your own and homework ends in grade school. If you don’t know an answer to a question you can’t guess and if you miss a test you can’t say you had jury duty and get a makeup. So do your homework and pass because doing your homework will actually help you pass!

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