In an article on the smh.com.au website last week the topic of homework was raised once again. The question – is homework relevant?
We have those on the negative who state that there is no evidence proving that homework makes for a smarter child.
We have those on the affirmative who state homework is healthy and teaches our children responsibility and self-reliance.
In the middle we have parents like me, who want their child to learn but don’t want to overdo it.
When I was at school (yep, I’m officially apart of that “in my day” group) I didn’t start getting homework until Year 5 or maybe Year 6.
My daughter who is in kindergarten has been getting homework this year. 3 reading books, 2 sight word lists, and 1 activity sheet to be completed over the course of the week. I don’t believe that she is being bombarded with an enormous amount of homework but it is still homework.
At present, my daughter loves doing homework; it makes her feel like she’s all grown up.
My concern is that the novelty will wear off just in time for when homework becomes important and then what? What happens if she peaks too early?
Or is it the opposite? Perhaps she needs to start doing homework in kindergarten to get her into the routine of it so when the good stuff kicks in, she’ll be ready. I’m not quite sure I buy this line of argument.
I have a friend who is a primary school teacher and when I asked her what she thought of homework she said, “It’s (insert expletive here). They’ll learn more by just simply playing and spending time with their parents than sitting down and doing shut up (activity) sheets.”
Now I’m sure that everyone agrees that reading is very important. Irrespective of what is happening at school I believe that children should have access to books and read for fun. As long as they are reading, they are learning.
Starting kindergarten is a monumental step in itself, let alone dealing with homework. I do believe that homework has its merits but we shouldn’t place too much emphasis on it – not this early.
Even at university level, I learnt more in my tutorials, from my peers, bouncing ideas off one another than I did reading textbooks from cover to cover – okay not literally cover to cover; that would have been doing my homework.
Homework: Relevant or Not?
This post was first published on my other Mum’s Word blog “To Homework or Not To Homework; That Is The Question”