I’ve often heard mums say that they don’t believe that young children in their first few years of school should have any homework at all. I’ve also heard how having homework really helps the children by reinforcing classroom learning. To be honest, until very recently it’s never actually affected me enough to have an opinion either way.
My eldest son is now in year 1 (average age 6-7) and we are really starting to struggle to find the time to do all his homework. I use the royal ‘we’ when referring to his homework, because at his age it really does involve me too. He is not quite old enough yet to be left to his own devices to just ‘get on with it’.
Across the week he is expected to read a ‘home reader’ book every night, learn 20 spelling words for a test on Friday, complete two math’s tasks and an online ‘reading egg’ task. It’s not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things and he is very good at doing it once we actually get down to the task in hand. However, the problem that I am finding is the right time to do his homework. After a full day at school he just wants to get out of his uniform and head out to play. Trying to get him to do homework at this time is hopeless as his concentration level is zero – and to be honest I don’t blame him. After he’s burnt off some steam and had a good play, we’re then heading straight into my favourite time of day……the dinner time, bath time chaos – or the witching hour as I prefer to call it.
This is an even worse time for homework as I now have three children who are tired, cranky and HUNGRY!!! I need to get dinner on the table quickly and get them all ready for our evening routine. I just don’t have the time to give him the one on one attention he needs from me at this time of the day. Leaving it too late in the evening can be just as disastrous as he is now exhausted and those concentration levels are no better.
Some days we get it right and we manage a good bite size chunk of the weeks work, but all too often it often ends up in a huge battle between him and I, which I’m pretty sure is not good for anyone.
So I guess my question is ‘when is a good time to do homework at this age and how much is too much?’ I completely agree that homework really does help reinforce all that they have been learning at school, but at such a young age, after a full day of school, is it just a bit too much to fit into their day – every day?
I would love to know how you feel about all the homework that has snuck its way into your daily routine. Are you for or against it? Or is there some kind of compromise that I’m missing?
Should primary school homework be banned?
(This article, written by me, was originally seen on the Parenting Files)