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 articlewritten by me, was originally seen on the Parenting Files)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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15 comments on “Should Primary School homework be banned?”

  1. I haven’t got to this stage yet but have wondered how I will find the time to do it with my kids. I remember when I was in grade one we just had to read a book each night. Are we getting bogged down with too much learning. I’m looking forward to hearing what other parents think. 🙂

  2. As a mum of three and a teacher, I hear you! I don’t think anybody *likes* homework. As a mum, homework is a battle ground and time waster. As a teacher, it’s tedious to set, collate and mark and I wish it were gone… except… homework really is so valuable. As a parent, I’ve come to realise just how valuable it is – it helps us keep in touch with what our kids are learning *and* lets us know how they are coping in class. It also gives kids a chance to self-evaluate: Have I got it? Do I need to ask for more help? Yay, me – I can do it myself! Why not let homework be special time for your eldest – maybe do it after the others have gone to bed, or early in the morning before school when he is ‘fresh’ and it is likely to take less time?

  3. Homework is all behind me now. My kids are all at uni nowadays and I don’t really get involved in their work, tho sometimes I proof read for them. I personally think homework is too much for at least Years 1, 2 and 3. They are still littlies and concentrating and sitting still all day at school is enough to ask of them. They’re tired when they get home from school. They need to chill out, watch tv, run in the backyard, whatever it is they need to relax and just be kids. From about Year 4, I think maybe a little homework to help start them getting used to it. There is no escaping the fact that LOTS of homework is required in high school and like it or not, they need to be prepared and have a little system developed. I think years 4-6 – maybe 15 to 30 mins and by year 7 an hour of homework in preparation for high school. If they start high school with no homework in their past and no homework routine in place – they will struggle. Of course if there were no homework in high school, I’d say NO to homework at primary school at all. I’m no teacher but as a mother those are my thoughts! 🙂

  4. My girls are in Prep and Yr 1 this year and we have really struggled! They both need my help and attention while they do their homework and get very bored listening to each others readers etc. I feel that they need some time to run around outside and have afternoon tea when they get home – but if we leave it too late, it runs into dinner preparation time and so on. I haven’t nailed a ‘system’ that works for our family yet – and we have many years of it ahead of us! I understand your concerns completely.

  5. I have six kids in school – 4 in high school of which 2 are ‘finished’ now apart from their HSC exams starting next week – and two littlies in primary school.

    I hate homework with a passion. Only one of my kids has ever done her homework no worries with no breakdowns. They all get home and just want to chillax and unwind from their day, and I completely get that. When I worked out of home all I wanted to do was chillax when I got home too!

    So I’m not a pusher of homework. If I can get them to do two days of homework a week, that’s enough in my eyes. Childhood goes too fast, and I want them to enjoy the time they aren’t at school by natural learning and being free to play.

    MC xo
    #teamIBOT

  6. I’m not sure if my comment worked! lol So I copied it just in case 🙂

    I have six kids in school – 4 in high school of which 2 are ‘finished’ now apart from their HSC exams starting next week – and two littlies in primary school.

    I hate homework with a passion. Only one of my kids has ever done her homework no worries with no breakdowns. They all get home and just want to chillax and unwind from their day, and I completely get that. When I worked out of home all I wanted to do was chillax when I got home too!

    So I’m not a pusher of homework. If I can get them to do two days of homework a week, that’s enough in my eyes. Childhood goes too fast, and I want them to enjoy the time they aren’t at school by natural learning and being free to play.

    MC xo
    #teamIBOT

  7. I either do it as soon as she gets home from school, and after an Icy pole – OR in the morning when she is fresh and not as tired and cranky! But then again it’s not easy when I have the two boys fighting and screaming – it’s a lose/lose really right? xx

  8. I don’t mind homework, but I don’t think we have as much as you. It’s supposed to ben 10 minutes worth a day, which we would get.
    I let the kids chill out once home with TV, then kick them outside for half an hour. Then we do homework at 4:30 which gives me time to have dinner started just before five, and they are free agents after finishing their work. It works for us.

  9. I have 6 girls ranging in age from 17 wks to twin 8yos, & hubby works away during the wk. I don’t mind it, we actually give our girls extra but you definitely need a consistent no arguments routine! We do it as part of our after school jobs. The 2x yr girls are pretty self sufficient now and the yr 1 needs minimal prompting but generally it’s done at the bench so they can ask me questions or I can help them while prepping their dinner. Then they play outside for 30-60min ( depending how quickly HW & dinner happened, then shower/bath & bedrm 6:30 for lights out at 7. After school activities mean some nights they do tomorrows as well and if things go I try to read to the little ones but it’s not always possible but the big girls love to do their reading to them usually. We don’t have time in the morning to get it done so not an option for us and bedtime is pretty firm as that’s when my time starts to get everything in order, clean up, washing, eat etc and put the two littlies down

  10. If homework is a boring monotonous task, adding no value to the learning experience, and takes away from a child’s home life, there is absolutely no good reason to argue for homework in elementary school.

    Forcing/fighting with your child to do chemisrty homework under these conditions only shows the child your expectation for them is to grow up to be a follower – someone who will jump through hoops when asked, someone who dutifully accepts what they are told by a perceived authority (because that’s just the way it is/the way things are done….), and someone who isn’t empowered to create their own happiness.

    Leaders reject tasks with no value. Happy people find success balancing their professional life with what fulfills them outside of work.

    People who only know how to follow direction (even when they know there is no value) end up miserable line-workers, manual task completers (jobs likely to be replaced by technology in coming years), or cult followers.

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