Doing Homework: Completing Discussion Questions

Generally, people don’t like to do homework.   They think it’s like school.  They feel they are too rushed or busy.   The prefer to just go, listen, and in discussions give opinions which may be uninformed and certainly without adequate thought before.   Thus, the doing of homework must be continually urged in a firm, gracious way.  Convince them that they will learn much more by reading lessons carefully, answering questions, and coming to class prepared.   Doing homework will strengthen self-discipline of the mind and spirit.   It will promote deeper spiritual understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses.

 

Leaders should collect the homework every week.   Make it an occasion to exhort everyone in the class to do the work, emphasizing “it’s for your benefit,” not ours.   What do you look for in grading and evaluating homework?

 

1.          Correct doctrinal understanding.   Is it weak, confused, reflecting only some personal opinion?

 

2.          Is there a growth in spiritual, Biblical wisdom?   Are answers just copied from the text or thought through and applied?

 

3.          Is there spiritual growth, development in character?   What about their attitude (concerned or complacent)?

 

4.                   Is this affecting their relationships?   With family, work, school mates, neighbors?

 

Grading the Homework

 

Here are some dos and don’ts.

 

Do

 

1.          Generally, encouragingly, giving hope for improvement.

 

2.          Make your suggestions gently, positively, not abruptly, as to discourage.

 

3.          If there is a major problem or hindrance, go to them privately (never publicly) and try to help with humility, not arrogance on your part.

 

4.          Write questions on their homework to promote deeper reflection.

 

5.                   Use the homework to know the student better.

 

Don’t

 

1.          Use grades like A-B-C.

 

2.          Don’t even appear to belittle or make “clever remarks” which can be interpreted as sarcastic “putdowns.”

 

3.          Be very clear; avoid misunderstandings from ambiguous questions (capable of more than one meaning).

 

4.                   Don’t correct grammar, punctuation, spelling.   You are not teaching their language.

 

5.                   Never compare them with others and advise them to avoid comparing.   God doesn’t want this, except comparing ourselves to Christ alone.

 

6.                   Give them hope and encouragement to believe that they are able, by the help of the Spirit, to understand everything God wants them to understand.