Do you set homework?

Do you set homework?

Setting homework and the amount of homework is a contentious issue. However, there is ample evidence to support the fact that students who consistently make a concerted to complete homework perform better at school than those who don't. 

This is not to suggest that homework is the reason for good school performance but I think everyone would agree that we remember a new concept better when we revise it within a few days. This is the function of homework - to consolidate the understanding of concepts.

In general, schools are very mindful of the type of homework set and the quantity of it.  At Year 7, it is not unreasonable to expect a student to complete a total of 30 mins - 1 hour of homework nightly. This increases throughout the secondary years with many Year 12 students completing at least 2-3 hours of nightly homework. 

When students struggle to understand the concepts taught at school or have difficulty recalling what they did, they will also struggle to complete their homework. Many students will avoid doing their homework simply because they don't know what to do, or how to do it. 

This is where tutors can be invaluable. Private instruction provides students with the opportunity to revise the concepts so that they can complete their homework independently. Tutors can also help students with time management.

Should the tutor also provide additional homework, this added burden on students may mean that homework in other subjects may suffer due to less time now available. It may also result in overly tired students trying to complete homework from two sources and students developing a reliance on "procedure" rather than "conceptual" understanding. 

Learning through repetition has its place. For example, learning the time's tables. However, if maths is consistently learnt through repetitive tasks ie doing lots of practice questions, then there is an increased risk of a student developing a reliance on the procedure without developing a firm understanding of the underlying concepts. 

We believe that it is a tutor's role to support a student to be able to independently complete their homework by focusing on conceptual understanding. Tutor's can also support students by assisting with time management for all school homework. 

It is quite empowering for a student who has been struggling to finally submit their homework on time and to a good standard.