Some of us may have left school long ago but there are surprising benefits to be gained by doing homework, even now.
In recent stories we have been looking at life habits that seem to protect people against experiencing depression, self harm and suicide. These five habits were identified by social researcher Jean Twenge and her team. The most surprising of the five is ‘doing homework.’ So what is it about homework that is good for our mental wellbeing?
The internet is full of teaching resources so it is easy to find the case for homework spelled out from the teacher’s perspective. Some of the benefits might not seem very important to a child, but from the perspective of adulthood, a lot of these points are quite clear!
- Homework teaches students about time management because you need to trade off some of your valuable free time towards something, the long term benefits of which might not seem very clear at the time.
- Homework teaches us priorities. Particularly the value of working towards a distant future in the present time.
- Homework teaches us how to solve problems on our own, or seek assistance from study mates, parents, libraries, online, research etc.
- Homework allows us to pick up on points that we might have missed during the lesson. Call this a kind of ‘reflective practice’, one of the Three Vital Behaviours upheld by Flourish Australia. (Although we don’t MAKE you do homework)!
- Homework empowers us to take our part of the responsibility for our development. Teaching and Learning is not a passive thing. Nor, as it turns out, is recovery from mental health issues.
- Homework teaches us that there are some things it is necessary to do, whether we want to or not!
- Homework helps us to plan, to organise and to TAKE ACTION on our own initiative.
These are just some of the many benefits. We hope that this helps you to see that assigning homework is not just done to annoy us. Our challenge as adults, is to discipline ourselves to achieve these many benefits. This is why Flourish Australia emphasises identifying a person’s strengths and encouraging them to develop these.
By Warren Heggarty, Panorama Magazine
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