Normal daily school activities begin by 7.30 or 8 am to 2pm in our public schools and up to 3pm or 4pm in most private schools. This period of course is the most active part of the day when the pupils are engaged in different types of learning both curricular and extracurricular. For pupils whose homes are far from the school, their days begin even earlier than that, some wake up as early as four o clock in the morning. This category of school children sleep almost during the first two lessons.
The teachers are expected to teach the pupils both new topics as well as refresh their memories about previous topics as is contained in their curriculum. Engaging in home lesson after the day’s full academic work, one asks: is home lessons really necessary or is it a trend in modern parenting?
What is home lesson? This is a continuation of the day’s lesson from the school, at home. It goes like this a child comes back from school in the evening and meets another teacher waiting to continue where the one in school stopped, he or she quickly changes the school uniform, eats (if lucky) and settles for another one or two hours of more brain work.
I was prompted to the above question because of what I witnessed at a friend’s house recently. I came with her after picking the children from school to meet lesson teachers for the children (basic two and four) waiting for them. We were still inside the car waiting for the gate to be opened while the children seated at the back were busy making plans on how to skip the lesson. The elder one said “Nk, immediately we get upstairs I will quickly enter the toilet in our room and pretend to be pressed, while you start your own lesson , I will stay long at least to reduce the period I will do the boring lesson” Me too , I will enter before you, my own lesson is more boring than yours, the teacher will just give me work to do and start pressing his phone” I quickly called my friend’s attention to the conversation going at our back. She admitted that she does not check what the teachers teach them , she believes they are good having being teachers of her friend’s children who are doing very well in school, For my friend home lesson is a trend, there must be a continuous teaching and learning, so that the pupils do not forget what they are taught.
For Mr Chukwuemeka an economist, home lesson is a necessity for a child preparing for common entrance examination into secondary school. According to him, home lesson will give the child the opportunity to learn in a more relaxed atmosphere, having the freedom of expression of any academic difficulty. He however frowned at engaging a home lesson teacher on daily basis, such will make a child to see learning from an unproductive angle like the case with my friend’s children.
Another contributor, ‘’if you are talking of continuing from where the teachers stopped in school as a parent, it is a necessity, I must have to look into what my children do in school. That is the only way I will discover their weakness and strength, but to engage home lesson teachers to still come home after spending more than eight hours in school will amount to over stressing of the young brain! Just in primary school’’.
While parents may have different reasons for engaging their children in home lessons it will be important to think of the effects on the child/children. What is the response, is the lesson yielding the desired effect? probably a child is deficient in a particular subject that child should be made to understand that the lesson is to assist him or her solve the problem, by so doing such child looks forward to lesson days with enthusiasm not as another academic pressure or bore coming from mummy and daddy’. For those parents who see home lessons as a new trend in education, believing that it is a continuation of the school activity, they should realise that the brain having being engaged as early as the child wakes up needs to shut down from serious academic work apart from home work, in the evening, to enable the brain relax so as to be as receptive and effective as is necessary for the next day’s learning.
A seasoned education instructor cautions that constant home lesson, without allowing the child study on his own at home) makes the child so dependent, such child grows up thinking he or she must be aided academically, thereby lacking self-confidence.
Therefore it will be wise and beneficial to know why we engage in home lessons for our primary school children, is it because my our friends and/or neighbours are doing It, or because my children have problems in some subjects that they need close attention?, or is it a modern education trend?.
Remember if the action is necessitated by genuine reasons, very positive results will be achieved but if not the result will not be helpful to the children.