To learners, homework can seem like an unnecessary waste of time, or a race on the teacher’s part to make it through the curriculum in time for exams. But homework is an essential cog in the learning process. Results from studies have shown that from sitting in class, learning new concepts, to walking out of class at the end of the lesson, our brains only remember 60% of the information! If learners go home and don’t do their homework, by the next day, they will only have remembered 30% of what was previously covered! However, if it’s done on the same day, and practised again the next day, learners will remember 80% of what they learnt in class!
Some subjects, like maths and physical science, seem harder to grasp than other subjects, even when homework is done. This is because doing homework is only part of the equation. We often see that learners do well at classes they enjoy. If they love reading and writing, their home language is often their strongest subject. Others are good at life science because they find it interesting. The difference between these subjects, and maths and physical science is the motivation a learner has to work through the subject. Some learners are just not motivated and it affects their marks. It has been proved that from starting to learn something, to full mastery, everyone follows the same procedure:
Step 1: Get motivated! It may seem hard to be motivated for maths and physical science, but just being motivated to get good marks will be enough to get this process going. The most important thing is to show interest.
Step 2: Practise! Just attending class and listening is not enough. Learners need to practise by working through examples (this is where homework fits in) and asking questions – learning through trial and error. It’s like riding a bicycle, no one gets it right the first time!
Step 3: Advanced practice: if learners keep practising, they will gain confidence in their abilities, and be motivated to try more and more difficult problems, to test themselves.
Step 4: Skill. This is the stage when learners start to enjoy what they are doing. This is often the result of all their practice!
Step 5: Refinement. Refinement comes from hard work and the improvement of skills learnt. When learners get to this stage, they feel a sense of accomplishment and are able to solve problems creatively.
Step 6: The last stage is mastery. This is when learners can recognise what they are dealing with, without struggling. They are able to successfully teach concepts to others, as they understand what they are talking about.
So homework is the first step to success!
Get ahead early in the year by doing your homework and revision daily. These are two essential elements of success! An early start on the year’s work and your revision, including seeing your homework as part of you revision exercises, is a recipe for success.