Homework might seem like a form of homeschool, though lesser, and it is. By sending students home with work to finish, it extends the learning experience into the home environment. Moreover, it also gives traditional school children a chance to finish learning a subject. So, how does that translate to homeschool? Do you get homework after class when you learn at home? It’s an intriguing question, and doubtless, some parents or guardians do assign post-class-time work. However, homeschool also gives students the ability to do targeted learning and get all the work completed during their classes. Thus homeschoolers also have the opportunity to do more play and other afterschool activities. I’ll explain in more detail why this system works, and how homeschool students get a high-quality education without needing to continue school after the normal school time is finished.
Do you get homework when you’re homeschooled? You do not get homework when you are homeschooled because it’s not necessary. Learning is a circular process where lessons are covered again later in the curriculum. Additionally, homework is as much for parents as it is for the children. By bringing home some extra assignments, those traditional school parents get to see that their children are indeed learning, which satisfies them, and provides busywork during the off-school hours.
Homeschool Parents Don’t Need Homework Reassurance
Homeschool parents are both teachers and administrators, so they don’t need to assign extra homework outside of class. Instead of busywork, or completing unfinished work, the student can finish in class. The tailored approach of homeschool means never having to worry if a subject has been learned. A parent can take all the class time they need to cover a subject in the normal course of studies.
Students who work on subjects at home with their parent/guardian have more opportunities to reinforce learning through other, more entertaining activities. Instead of homework, the home teacher can discuss the subject, play a game, or do an activity that brings that learning into a real-world setting with ease. This creates a different form of integrated circular learning.
When a traditional school student comes home with a page, book, or homework packet, it shows their parents what that child is learning. This gives the parents confidence that the teachers are covering the necessary topics. Moreover, it buys extra time at home for those parents to cook a meal or handle their own concerns. Homework doesn’t give the kids time to unwind and relax after a long day of work.
Brittanica’s Pro-Con shows some intriguing examples of how homework impacts traditional students. While the positives include the previously mentioned ability to involve a family in students’ success, the cons include the fact that, for younger students, homework is less helpful than what they learn while not doing homework. Moreover, too much homework negatively impacts students.
Meanwhile, when a homeschool parent wants their kids to continue learning about a particular topic, they have the opportunity to bring toys, shows, and other materials into the evening hours that reinforce the days learning. In this sense, they do have homework, but only when you define homework as learning that is not done in the context of a classroom.
For example, if a worksheet talked about caring for the environment and preserving endangered species, those home learners could easily watch a documentary about endangered species that evening. Thus, deepening the understanding without makework. Likewise, they could play a game with toys that are geared toward animal care, like dressing up as a vet, or rescuing stuffed animals from ‘deforestation.’
What Makes Homeschool So Effective
You may find yourself wondering how a homeschool student can spend less time doing work and still get a good education. Without homework time, wouldn’t these kids fall behind on subjects? Does no homework mean they aren’t finishing the learning on time, and does that mean they won’t graduate on time? If this is your first time homeschooling, or you’re thinking about starting homeschool, these are sensible questions.
When your child goes to a traditional school, there is one teacher, or perhaps several if your student is in Junior High or High School. Their classes have ten to thirty kids in them. Each time someone needs the restroom or has a question, the teacher has to stop for just that student. Some children are disruptive, and others are shy and don’t ask questions when they need more information. All of this adds up to a general approach that gets most of the information to most of the students most of the time.
Homeschool students have one or two teachers, and typically no more students than they have siblings. It’s rare for classes to have more than one to four students. The bathroom doesn’t require a special pass, and a shy student will get noticed, while a troublemaker is more likely to get a time out. In short, the kids get a lot more attention and spend far more time learning. Homework is not important in this setting, and many students advance faster than you might expect.
Homeschool & Time Management
Parents who don’t homeschool have a limited understanding and involvement in what their children are doing in class. By helping with homework, it allows those traditional school parents to become active in education, without a huge time commitment. Assisting kids in finishing their classwork is rewarding for both the parent and child, and it brings learning into the home in a way other parts of traditional schools do not.
For homeschool parents, time management works differently. Since they are present for all of the learning, it’s much easier to leave off a subject when the time is up, because they can revisit it as needed. Plus, many homeschool parents need the after class time to handle things they didn’t get to do during the day as they were busy teaching.
Work at home parents may need those evening hours to log into remote jobs, or otherwise finish their own tasks. Instead of adding homework into the post-class part of the day, they can revisit that subject during school. If a student didn’t finish an assignment, they can do it the next day instead of later at home.
Time management is one of the most important aspects of homeschool. By setting a schedule and sticking to it, parents help homeschool students to learn this skill for themselves. Setting goals is one of the most important aspects of time management, and this is integral to homeschooling. Moreover, they are preparing those children for the realities of college or work life, where adults are required to self regulate and keep track of the time they have to complete assignments.
This form of self-discipline is what leads many homeschool students to be incredibly successful. Not only do homeschool kids do well with higher education, but they become reliable employees as well. Even prestigious universities consider a homeschool student’s ability to manage their goals and schedule as a serious advantage when looking at admission applications.
For many homeschool parents, there will come a time when one subject is particularly difficult for the student. Fortunately, there are several ways to handle this issue, and none of them involve homework. Hiring an outside tutor is often the best solution for learning and reviewing difficult topics.
Getting A Homeschool Tutor for Tough Subjects
Instead of having your homeschool student do more work outside their usual study time, why not have someone else bring a fresh perspective? Just as a dedicated parent might engage a tutor for a traditional student who has fallen behind in a subject, homeschool parents can avail themselves of this clever solution as well. Beyond learning a language or playing an instrument, homeschool students often benefit from a new instructor.
Family bonding is vital and it can be delightful. However, some parents struggle to find ways to teach some subjects. Meanwhile, other parents need more time in their day for outside activities, or they wish to include another educator to help expand on a topic. If you are considering hiring a tutor I highly recommend doing so.
There are a plethora of places to find good tutors for your home learners. One of my favorites is Upwork. You’d be surprised at the breadth of knowledge and skills people on this unique freelance worker site has to offer. From students who are in school for degrees in teaching to retired university professors, it’s easy to find a highly-skilled educator to help your children get the most out of their homeschool curriculum.
Furthermore, a good tutor can help overworked homeschool parents to plan an outstanding class schedule. Having another adult to bounce ideas off of, or ask questions about how best to approach a difficult topic can make a huge difference. Not only does it take some of the weight off of your shoulders, but you can get a unique viewpoint, and ideas you might never have considered on your own for course work.
In my opinion, as a former educator, homework is essentially only there to satisfy administrators and parents who are not involved in the education process, or to finish work they didn’t have time to do in class. In short, it’s either not necessary at all, or the subject needs more coverage during school time. Instead of doing more work after their school day is done, homeschool students can take advantage of focussed class time and tutors’ assistance.
There is no reason to continue teaching after school at home because a home teaching parent/guardian already has a solid grasp of what their children have learned. Homelife provides an environment where extra lessons can be integrated into life activities. Since parents know what their kids need to work on most, it makes doing so easier.
Homework for homeschoolers is mostly pointless. If your homeschool student needs more assistance with a subject, hire a highly qualified tutor for a new perspective instead.