Extend learning outside classroom

A.M. Khan

Educationists stress on assigning homework to students in every educational setting. The assignment features merit that’s flexible but time-bound, interesting, challenging, creative and engaging for one who will be doing it. The nature of assigned task, however, remains to be different in sync with physical, mental, psychological or emotional level and understanding of a child.

Introducing first time a child to a new environment (school) and keeping them bound there for a couple of hours is not that simple for a child to adjust, parents to schedule the new routine and the teacher to keep and engage kids in the classroom. For the teacher, to provide an engaging, interesting, secure and loving environment is much challenging than parents in motivating one’s child for school for daily attendance. And motivating those children being paranoid of a class from first day remains to be an arduous task.
The society, ecology, learning environment, societal and formal institutions and their managements, peer group, class, school, and teacher forms a person in the given ecosystem.
What is needed today is to have the skills and growth mindset, smart in learning, ability to mark target(s) out of distractions, curious, valuing time, passionate for reading and writing, thinking critically, enabling and contributing to society. There are many factors in any environment that influence and interact to creating situations for one reacting to it. Environment has been and remains to be an impact factor in school, outside in society, and at home for a child to grow healthy and sound.
There is no denying that learning after formal schooling at home and during vacations, is also important. Once a child is enrolled in preprimary and primary level s/he is to struggle primarily with reading and writing skills. A child must understand alphabets and their sounds, blended words and their pronunciations, numbers and basic numeracy with their writing in stages.
The nature of homework should remain to be creative and engaging for school-going children in early stages with creative and exploratory tools to basic skills i.e. listening, reading, writing, numeracy, blending and understanding words.
Homework doesn’t mean to engage a child at home but a way of extending learning outside classroom. Studies have found that students develop good homework habits tend to be receptive to the idea that learning does take place outside school, and learning opportunities are not limited in formal classroom setting. Home assignment informs to develop independence in doing work, achievement gains, reinforce responsibility, organization, time management and good study habits in a child.
It is also important to know how to assign effective work to children for home. Well-designed and carefully constructed home assignment has a positive impact on students learning. It features preparation, practice, study and elaboration of anything studied to complete individual work to expand their knowledge of it. Summarily effective home assignment:
  • Relates to the material already taught to review and reinforce the skills taught previously
  • clear in purpose to enhance students’ learning outcomes
  • Provides students with the opportunity of choices and use of creativity
  • Differentiated to individual students learning needs
  • Learners-friendly and makes quality a focus 
  • Balance in quantum of work and frequency.

This is also worth noting that each home assignment must followed by feedback provided by the teacher or tutor. Otherwise it remains to be something routine or busywork for children without any purpose.

For the winter zone schools, summer vacations are due after a week or so. Keeping students engaged in carefully tailored activities during vacations, teachers must navigate through the resources, context, time, opportunities, challenges and facilities available to the students before assigning homework. It must be paced with frequency, triggers creativity, maintains quality, targets set learning outcomes, reviews and reinforces topics/concepts/skills or themes, and remains to be kid-friendly in order to achieve learning outcomes/targets even during vacations.

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