Homework - is it really worth it?


Our two girls are now back into the swing of school after the long summer break.  Homework started last week for the eldest, and this week for the youngest.  Both are expected to read each night, and record what they read to show the teacher.They also have spelling words to learn each week, and Maths and English work too.  This homework, together with after school activities makes for a busy time - but there is still plenty of time for play, and I am happy with the amount of work they are doing.

There are state policies on the subject of homework. I had a read of our Queensland policies and saw that in Prep (the first compulsory year of school here) generally no homework is set.  I remember our youngest daughter wanting homework when she was in Prep as her older sister (2 years age difference) was then getting homework.  At that age, homework can sound like fun.  I remember wanting the same as the youngest child - and our teacher giving us homework like - "bring in as many different types of paper as you can"  or we made a paper basket in class, and we had to fill it with as many things beginning with 'b' as we could! Fun homework!
As the school age increases, so does the expected amount of homework.

I know many people don't like the idea of homework - there are arguments both for and against.
While researching these arguments, I found an entire book written about the case against homework! which states that,

"it is a hidden cause of the childhood obesity epidemic, creating a nation of "homework potatoes."

Personally I think this is a bit extreme - but then that's my opinion

 based upon the homework our girls get, and remembering my own

 experiences of homework as a child.


I believe that homework is an important way for children to

 reinforce things they learn at school, and also a way for parents to

 see their child's progress and what they are learning at school. It 

also provides the children with a chance to work independently.

Sometimes, children may not have understood explanations and

 concepts in class, and then difficulties arise when they have to

 complete tasks for homework.  But this provides an opportunity to

 learn about consequences - the importance of listening in class;

 learning to ask questions when you don't understand things; and

 even learning to research things yourself - asking parents for help,

 checking in books or online for help.


I think there are many things that will influence how you feel about

 homework. Each country and indeed school will set differing 

amounts of homework for children, and have differing 

expectations.  


What do you feel about homework? Do your children get enough?

 too much?  What about your own memories of homework from

 when you were a child?






2 comments:

  1. Our kids have enough homework and I am pro homework. I also like to challenge them to do more then what is set. We also have kids that are tied up doing scouts and sports yet they manage to get their home work done. As for being a couch potato and obesity... I am afraid you would find the parents against homework are the ones that have the big screen TV the latest video consoles and the kids have a collection of happy meal toys in their rooms. I know this is a broad generalisation. However, obesity is born out of our society of convenience our need to have things now. Homework is hard work that sees you earning rewards a concept fast being lost in today's society. It is like having a home cooked meal verse a calorie laden 6 nuggets and chips. Vote one for homework. As long as it is done Mon-Fri the weekend is ours :).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Frank! I think you're right and in general the concept of hard work for rewards is a dying thing! Kids expect things to be handed to them too much! (and I'm sure our parents said the same about us....)

    ReplyDelete