One problem with more homework

More homework, please!

There was a notification for teacher staffs recently, asking for the teachers to give 5-questions homework per meeting. Apparently, there was some talk from parents that their children look too-relaxed, said they don't have homework and no tests.

While I agree on the spirit of endorsing children to learn, I myself don't find giving homework is pleasing. Here's my case. On weekly basis, I give my students some homework, which don't have to be submitted (unless occasionally, in random, I would ask to). And still on weekly basis, I give quiz, which is based on the questions in the homework I have given.

There will be an advantage for those who work on their homework well. They would recognize which part they haven't acquire a complete knowledge on and ask me their questions. While the others who just like to copy the previous ones, will be in benefit of not having to really think about how to do it yet it's done. And naturally, these latter students can't give good answer later even if the questions in the quiz are exactly the same (which they are) as in the homework.

Aside from weekly quiz, I give them test each for every chapter. Simply put, my students don't really have that kind of leisure of saying "I don't have homework nor test". Because they do.  Trust me, if they said that to you, it should be either it's a holiday week or I was absent. Therefore I am rest assured that the soft-pat about homework endorsement is not pointing at me.

And you know what? Also on weekly basis, I have lots of paperwork! Giving out lots of homework and ask the students to submit them will backfire on me to an obligation of having to examine and return them right away. Enough with weekly quiz and end-of-chapter test, thank you. So when I'm lacking of giving homework, I actually am drilling them due to more quizzes. I hope my taking another route is forgiven ๐Ÿ™‚

too much homework

On the student's side of the story of homework

I learn that, being a student long time ago (sheessh… I feel old!), I used to buy myself some leisure time by delaying to do homework (if not drop it all the way, sorry, it's just natural). Thus if my parent asked, I chose to give a true answer yet not revealing the whole truth, "I won't have test tomorrow".

But oh my lovely mom… I can't remember if she even asked the question! Being a bookworm, I always dwell in books. And drawing comics. Or other books. I always looked busy that mom often said, "Don't you have holiday? You always go to school or somewhere."

So… without any harsh intention on pointing at some people and said they are liars, but students may and can lie, too. Yes, to the parents also. Come on, don't you wish to have some easy night in bed and just letting those chemistry and math books lie abandoned on the table?

I'm not saying that I'm endorsing students to lie. I'm just saying to an extend, we -the elders- are the one to give some slack. At home. Mostly if at school they already have to deal with my weekly homework and quiz -then EoC test- and we're just talking about one teacher only! [And if any student by chance reading this writing, that doesn't mean I will lessen the tone at school, yo! I stick with my pace.]

I enjoyed my days of no homework, giving me some time of having me-time and making the most of my life (yea… lurking in bookstores, going out with friends, not too much hype actually, but still was fun). I found that enough time to breath will let myself to be more forgiving and creative.

Parents, please. When in some -maybe rare- days you see your child(ren) are enjoying their afternoon with friends, going out for a movie, or just sacking themselves in bed, let them be. 6.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m. school hour is a long time, mate!

Please don't say "They're just studying, they don't have to do what we parents do. They have lesser burden, so they couldn't be fed up like we (the parents who work) are! Cuma belajar apa susahnya, sih?". When you, parents, are about to say this, just take a minute to RECALL how it feels when YOU are the one who have to endure that long stay at school.

I went to this same school I teach now. I had 7 a.m. – 3.30 p.m. school hour to endure. I didn't feel scrutinized even if it was Monday to Saturday (at least for me, I don't know if others did). If you only see the hour band, oh how you are fooled.

Current Indonesian students must take more subjects than we did in our year (back in 90's). And mostly, these students (at my school) take cram school or private lessons after school. At least 2-3 times a week, if not on daily basis. Can you imagine how 'full' their heads are? How exhausted their body can be? You can stop saying those bad words to your children now, if you still do.

Yet, I still force my students to listen and dig deep in my subject, in our meeting. So that they understand well. So that they can lessen their private lessons and cram school that take their resting time away. They should enjoy their time. Masa muda tak akan berulang ๐Ÿ™‚

And again, in order to be able to enjoy this while still have good scores (or even flying colors) you really should do everything you could at school. And keep the 'ruckus' at school only, leaving you with long sigh, deep breath and air of relieve at home.

Don't forget to play!

Thus, when early in this year, a parent asked me of "Tip to survive in this (highly-competed) school", I answered, "Don't forget to play". As expected, she went awed and speechless. I guessed she was measuring if I'm insane, kidding, or what? Then I went on explaining. That forcing every energy out without having time to breath in and have fun is suicidal. You need to breath in and breath out. Not just one.

Therefore I strongly recommend students to pay really good attention in class, be active, proactive (not just when teachers ask to) and make the most of their teachers at school. And when they go back home, they can just enjoy their life outside the school. No cram school, no private lessons, no bimbingan belajar. At least not until the 12th grade, when they are facing university entrance exam which tests are in slightly different way than they are used to at school.

This has become my mantra. And I suppose my students should start reckon that I often saying that, too.

"Di sekolah belajar yang serius, sampe ngerti. Di rumah ya santai aja. Main sana! Jangan dibalik. Di sekolah tidur, atau main, atau asik dengan laptop/iPod/Blackberry, atau ngobrol. Pulang sekolah, karena ngga ngerti materi pelajaran, trus les. Lah, gak efisien banget. [Ngapain sekolah kalo gitu? Fungsinya kebalik. Rumah buat belajar, sekolah buat main. Guru dicuekin, emang enak? Emang sopan? Emang gitu ya orangtuanya ngajarin? Buang-buang waktu aja. Berhenti sekolah aja. Ambil Kejar Paket C.]"

Disclaimer: Don't take my whole words as a mere advice or endorsement. There are sarcasms here and there. Read thoroughly, take a good consideration and the rest is your own risk. Viewer's discretion is highly advised.

15 Comments

  1. danu

    October 26, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    nice bgt miss terutama yg terakhir “don’t forget to play!”

    1. Lita

      October 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm

      I’ve said that several times in your class, no?
      Get your ass worked out at school. By the time the bell rings, go out and play ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Nancy

    November 26, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    salam kenal bu Lita, sy tau blog ini dari karena cari tau ttg susu uht di yahoo. Thanks infony good bgt. Ank ke2 umur 1.5thn lg beralih ke uht.
    Abt hmwork, juga setuju bgt. Disekolah kan uda belajar, uda byr mahal supaya ank diajar pintar. Ngapain ya dirumah ortu hrs stres ngajar ank lagi, do hw? Ngapain sekolah, mending hm schooling skalian!

  3. Lita

    November 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Mbak Nancy, boleh ya saya tidak setuju ๐Ÿ™‚
    Menurut saya, PR itu salah satu tujuannya supaya anak bisa belajar mandiri, lho. Tidak dimaksudkan untuk menyusahkan orangtua.

    Dan tidak berarti kalau sudah bayar lalu tanggung jawab pendidikan lepas dari orangtua kan, ya. Kan belajar tidak hanya di sekolah. Justru anak belajar lebih banyak dari pergaulan/lingkungan dan orangtuanya.

    Sekarang ini, guru lebih kepada fasilitasi, mendorong anak untuk mengembangkan diri sendiri. Supaya lebih mandiri dan lebih siap terpapar pada masalah. Pintar hanya satu ‘efek samping’ dari proses belajar yang anak lakukan.

    Kalau ibu/orangtua membayar sekolah lalu anak di sekolah ternyata menyia-nyiakan waktu dengan bercanda/tidak memperhatikan pelajaran, tidur, main game atau lainnya yang menyita perhatiannya dari guru, apakah bunda akan tetap menyalahkan guru dan institusi sekolah jika sang anak tidak dapat menyelesaikan (contoh) persoalan sederhana (seperti PR)?

    Guru membimbing di sekolah. Orangtua adalah pendidik utama di rumah. Kalau stres tentang PR, bisa dibicarakan dengan gurunya. Tapi pastinya tidak akan ketemu kalau basis pembicaraannya dimulai dari ‘sudah bayar mahal supaya anak diajar pintar’.

    Terimakasih sudah mampir, ya.

  4. Nancy

    November 28, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    thx lho bu uda dijawab, nga apa nga setuju, malah sy senang kalo tau salah langkah. Jadi mau curhat deh… Ankku br msk kls 1sd tahun ini. Tp rasanya koq ibunya yg sekolah, buat pr, buat prakarya, belajar utk ujian tiap mg. Ya memang nga semua anak sama cerdasnya, ada sih temannya yg bs mandiri. Tp itu 1ank dr 100 kali ya. Bgm dg yg sisanya? Kalo dr pihak sekolah cuma kasi bahan dan pr, trus ujian, ortu drumah yg sibuk ngajar, apa nga mending beli paket C aja? Toh sama aja, ortu ngajar dirumah kmdn ank tinggal test dan lulus. Mslh pergaulan sih, sy malah kuatir dgn lingkungan sekolah jaman skrg. Kalo ank nga tabah pintar2 jaga diri dan kuat iman, wah jadi apa… Baru 1/2thn di sd aja uda tau siapa kuat dia menang dan blm lagi urusan dgn kakak kelas. Sptnya uda budaya ya masalah senioritas. Habis kls1 kan plg kecil, digedung yg sama dgn ank smp sma.

    1. Lita

      November 29, 2009 at 7:20 am

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Maaf, komentar mbak Nancy yang kedua ini nyasar ke kotak spam.
      Untung sempat melongok ke sana jadi ngga terhapus.

      Mbak Nancy ngga sendirian.
      Banyak kok ibu-ibu yang bingung dengan pendidikan dasar sekarang, yang dirasa sulit sekali. Dan sangat terasa perubahan tingkat kesulitannya dibandingkan dulu saat sang ibu masih bersekolah di tingkat yang sama.
      Ibu saya termasuk salah satunya, saat saya punya adik di usia lebih dari 17 tahun. Ibu kelihatan sibuk. Padahal kalau diingat-ingat, dulu waktu saya masih sekolah ibu tidak sesibuk itu membantu saya hehehe…

      Banyak yang masih terlewat dari ideal di sistem pendidikan kita. Terutama ya masih melesetnya tujuan dengan kenyataan.
      Idealnya anak bisa mandiri lewat PR, tapi kalau mata pelajarannya saja belasan kan fokusnya sulit, ya. Kebayang aja kalau sepertiganya saja memberi PR di hari yang sama, pasti banyak banget PRnya. Ini perlunya koordinasi antar guru. Jadi bisa dibuat ‘jadwal memberi PR’ untuk masing-masing kelas. Jadi bisa dipastikan anak belajar mandiri di rumah tapi tidak kelebihan beban. Mungkin mbak juga bisa bantu memberi solusi untuk kesulitan anaknya di sekolah.

      Tentang bullying, itu sedang jadi isu hangat ya, mbak. ‘Dibuka’ saja di sekolah. Satu dampak dari disatukannya beberapa tingkat pendidikan di satu lokasi, ya. Walaupun di sisi lain sangat memudahkan dan lebih efisien untuk yang sudah ‘sreg’ dengan sekolahnya, jadi tidak perlu pindah-pindah.

      Saya pribadi, mbak, kalau memberi PR jarang dikumpulkan. Namun karena akan dijadikan bahan quiz, mau nggak mau ya anak akan belajar. Tapi kan SMA, ya, jadi sekalipun mau melibatkan orangtua sudah ‘tidak bisa’, setidaknya sangat minimal, karena bahan ajar Advanced-level memang setara perguruan tinggi tingkat 1-2. Anak harus punya keberanian untuk bertanya jika tidak mengerti (dan akan selalu saya bantu, kecuali saat ujian) dan berinisiatif untuk menemui guru di luar kelas (misalnya waktu istirahat atau sepulang sekolah) jika dirasa mendesak untuk dibantu.

      Di luar kondisi persaingan yang semakin tinggi, saya merasa kalau saya seharusnya tidak melindungi anak terlalu banyak. Mereka harus belajar untuk menghadapi kenyataan bahwa hidup memang diwarnai kesulitan pergaulan dan permasalahan. ‘Menara gading’ sekolah sejak SD hingga perguruan tinggi sebisa mungkin dihindari, agar tidak gegar dan manja. Miris rasanya kalau mendengar anak laki-laki, SMA, kalau tidak dijemput tidak mau pulang sendiri (sekadar contoh sederhana). Ke mana-mana harus bersupir. Duh… anak laki-laki kan harus lebih mandiri daripada anak perempuan, ya?
      *lho, kok saya jadi ikut curcol :mrgreen:

  5. Retty

    December 3, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Untung dari FB sempat nengok ke blog…ternyata baca yang ini jadi jelas duduk masalahnya…
    Memang anak SD sekarang minta ampun pelajarannya, dan terkadang tidak ada catatan atau worksheet, yang ada hanya spiderweb untuk dikembangkan (untung bukan di sekolah anak saya…) Jadi masalah perburuan sekolah memang benar-benar penting, cari info selengkap mungkin sebelum investasi untuk anak. Hanya, setiap sekolah juga pasti ada kelebihan dan kekurangannya….kalau sudah siap dengan hal itu ya siap tempur deh!

    Karena pakai dua sepatu (satu sebagai ortu, satu sebagai guru) saya bisa memahami kedua belah pihak…

    Kalau soal PR, apalagi Kimia…wakakak angkat tangan deh…zaman SMA saja nilai saya dikatrol sama guru saya supaya bisa lulus…jasanya tidak terlupakan (http://khazanahpikir.blogspot.com/2009/10/thanks-to-teachers.html)…dan itu gara-gara ibu saya yang lebih suka anaknya masuk IPA (sst…jangan kedengeran beliau hehehe).

  6. BananaTalk ร‚ยป One problem with more homework | kejar paket c

    December 14, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    […] Read the rest here: BananaTalk ร‚ยป One problem with more homework […]

  7. joseph white

    December 16, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Miss, got any tips to stay focused in lectures and not get distracted too easily? Got this thing called (klo gak salah) short-span attention…thx b4..

  8. Lita

    December 16, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I don’t know how the expert really manage it but I believe you can practice it.
    I use drawing & mind-mapping. To keep focused, I need distraction. Odd, yes. But keeping just one thing to do for some time easily make me bored.

    I choose an easy activity for distraction so I can ‘come back’ to the original activity without pain. I’m not saying drawing comics, because when I did it I wasn’t able to do something else. Too absorbed. Easy sketch or making notes using pictures would be very helpful. You get both in one time.

    The least thing is, since we are grown up already, our own will. If you’re interested on the matter, you will stay focused on no cost. Even if you’re sleepy. But whatever the lecture is, if you’re not interested, it would be easy to be distracted.

    Your will roots in your own thought. So… this one is up to you to decide ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope that helps.

  9. josephwhite

    December 20, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Yupp, it helps..thx miss ^^ anyway, what’s ur expectation bout our A Levels??

  10. Lita

    December 21, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Not too high, actually, due to the long *kinda unexpected* holiday. That hindered the A-level preparation lectures.
    Had you study your own at home at high pace without my knowing, that would be better. I hope you all exceed my expectation, then ๐Ÿ™‚

    I didn’t say *and won’t say* “Kamu pasti bisa” because you can only manage to get to your goal only by sufficient preparation. Being realistic doesn’t mean pessimistic. But dreamy and being optimistic only differs by thin line.
    So I would say “Kamu pasti bisa kalau usahamu sesuai dengan yang kamu inginkan”, given appropriate time and effort.

    All in all, it’s His bless, however. Even when you don’t get what you want, already with hard work and all, maybe it’s the best for you. His plan is always the best plan. Something He keeps from you for later on, then ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep doing the good work, dear ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. student

    January 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Can I repost..?

  12. Lita

    January 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Uncut? Including the disclaimer at post script? Yes, you may ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Tita

    May 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Dear miss Lita..
    nice post you have here…
    i remember my mum used to complain to me about my lil brother (12th grade) about how he never studied at home and sleep too much (or sometimes playing games on pc)
    Later i talked to him, asking whether i can trust him on taking care of his study himself..he said yes.
    so i tell my mum to let him be, he has used almost all of his day to study at school and private lesson, he need rest and relax too, don’t worry about enrolling university, he is a smart kid…
    she wouldn’t believe me and still complaining once in a while, so I encourage my bro to ignore her complain and keep playing (LOL)
    Guess what? Now my brother has been accepted in the best two universities in Indonesia, both at very promising major, so he is having difficulties to choose which one he would take ๐Ÿ˜›
    And my mom, i can say that she still didn’t believe his success…she told me once ” I finally believe that I’ve been granted with very smart son” I can’t help but answered, “see, i’ve told you!” LOL

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