Doing Homework can be a Test

If only the teacher had stopped her lecture sooner, or if the kids on the bus had stopped goofing around, there would have been time to get everything done. But instead, there are a couple assignments not completed and homework to be done this evening. It would seem that doing schoolwork at home with only four or five people roaming around would be easier than trying to get it done in a room with 20 noisy and active youngsters. But there are plenty of challenges for students trying to work at home as well.

The number-one challenge for them is distractions. There is the television, the computer, snacks, toys, phones, video games – and that’s just for the kids who don’t have older or younger brothers and sisters to deal with, too. Those students also have to worry about Little Brother bothering them because he thinks it’s fun, or pestering them to go outside, or turning the television up too loud – it seems that the list is endless.

In addition to the many distractions at home, students have to worry about all of the things that are in the house and on the table or floor – you know…the comforts of home. Students don’t have to clear out some workspace at school when they need to do something. That is already taken care of for them. And they don’t have to be concerned about laying their papers down in some milk or jelly when they’re in the classroom.

Although it may not seem like as big a problem as what has already been described, a student’s forgetfulness can really hamper the quest to complete a homework assignment. If the student forgets the necessary textbook or brings the wrong one, they don’t have a lot of options. And what if they are working on a math assignment and forget their protractor or compass? If they don’t have something like that at home, then they need to find a neighbor to borrow it from or someone to go buy it for them at the store, or they don’t get their work done.

Perhaps the toughest challenge for a student of any age involves extracurricular activities. Even though they have been told countless times by parents and teachers that they need to do their homework before they worry about having fun and playing games, the schedules of others make that impossible sometimes.

If they are part of a sports or academic team and have a practice scheduled on a day they have homework, a group of people can’t (and won’t) postpone the practice until one person gets his or her homework done. The same is true if the student has a game or other competition scheduled after school. They either have to do part of the work before the activity and the rest after, or – in the case of many out-of-town trips – do it all late at night when they get back home. Either way, it takes an extra effort for the student to get the work finished – and to get it done correctly.

There are other challenges that confront each student along the way as they try to complete their homework, but these are the ones that all of them will encounter at one time or another – maybe every time for those unfortunate few. Perhaps it is these “problems” that leave many students (and some teachers) feeling that a homework assignment is, in itself, a test.