Homework Alternatives To Better Help Students
Homework can often feel like a drag to students. But there are many alternatives to the old and boring homework tasks they typically get. And using these other options will go a long way towards keeping your students engaged and interested.
So take a look at these homework alternatives to find ways to make sure your students are having fun while they also learn.
Traditional Homework VS Homework Alternatives
The normal kind of homework a student does is in the form of homework assignments. These are typically things like math problems, fill-in-the-blank sheets, essays, and so on. That is usually assigned to students so they can work on their skills and reinforce what was taught in class.
This type of homework does help them advance academically, but it also has some drawbacks. For example, many students find it to be tedious and dull. It can also take a lot of time to complete homework assignments, especially if it’s something like math problems that require students to work out each step. And when work is both hard and unsatisfying, it's easy to see why it leads to burnout and low grades.
Homework Alternatives To Try
Luckily, there are ways to offset the hard and boring work. These homework alternatives are much more engaging and can be tailored towards meeting the needs of a variety of students. You don't need to do this for all homework, of course. But if you notice that homework is getting your students down, it's worth a try.
Play Video Games
Instead of homework assignments, try using video games as homework. There are a lot out there now that actually have educational benefits in them. For example, The Oregon Trail is an RPG game where you need to prepare for and then journey across the country with your wagon train during the 1800s. It’s challenging but can teach students about history and economics.
Another popular homework alternative is to use a program like Minecraft which encourages creativity, problem solving, collaboration skills, and spatial reasoning. Plus, there are a lot of resources out there that can help teachers use these games for homework in the classroom as well.
Watch A Youtube Video
Another homework alternative is to require students to watch a Youtube video. These can be about nearly anything. But if you want your student’s homework assignment to relate back specifically to the topic of class, that's possible too.
For example, if your students are learning about Ancient Greece, then they could watch a video on the history of Queen Cleopatra. Or if you’re teaching them how to make pasta from scratch, have them watch a Youtube tutorial instead.
The next day, you could have your students get into groups and discuss the video that was watched. Then you relate the video to your lecture that day.
Write About A Favorite Topic
One homework alternative is to have students write about a favorite topic. This could be something they learned in class or it can be completely off-topic and out of the blue. The goal here is to explore their thoughts, feelings, and connections with the subject matter without any pressure from the teacher. For example, if your student loves to read, then he could write about that. Or if your student is passionate about the environment, they can share their thoughts on this with you through homework.
The good news with this homework alternative is there's no right or wrong answers. So they don't feel like their homework will be graded in a harsh way.
Do Something Fun And Share Why It Was Good For Them
Something else is to do is letting them try a fun activity and then share about it. This could be anything from going for a walk, watching an episode of their favorite TV show, or making art. The point here is that students are doing this homework not because they have to, but because they want to. Essentially, because it was satisfying in some way. And then they can talk about what made it satisfying in the homework assignment.
Use Homework Alternatives To Keep Students Refreshed And Happy
It's not always easy keeping students engaged with homework, especially if it's something like math. But following these non-traditional homework alternatives will prevent tired students and help keep their interest.. And that will make homework more effective in the long run.
But you know what else helps students feel better about school? The skill to type well! After all, when work feels effortless, you're more likely to do it. So it'll go a long way if you help them improve their typing skills with programs like those found at KeyboardingOnline.