Homework: A Parent and Teachers Perspective

Monday, 13 October 2014

Homework: A Parent and Teachers Perspective

There has been a lot in the meda recently about homework. Claims that it is damaging to young children and taking away their right of family time. I have my own views on homework, as a parent of young children and as having been a secondary school teacher for a number of years.


Big man is 6. He loves playing in the park, making leaf soup and collecting sticks. After spending most of the day at school, I believe that he should be doing these things. He should be playing with his brothers and using his imagination. By the time he's got home from school, had a snack, dinner and a bath, there is very little time left for him to do this and even less when you factor in homework.

Each week, big man has a maths sheet, spellings and a literacy exercise. This is on top of the reading he should be doing every night. It is a organisational nightmare at the best of times trying to get 3 children to bed, but trying to encourage big man to do his homework on top of this makes it even harder. Whilst I do accept that it is beneficial to his learning, I feel that it is excessive. He is being forced to grow up too quickly and he finds it hard coming home from school and being expected to do additional work.

As a teacher at secondary school, I also had issues with homework. In the lower school (years 7-9) I believed that very little homework was necessary if (and the keyword here is, if) the children concentrated in lessons. Parents seemed to want their children to be set homework and would complain if there wasn't enough. As a teacher, however, collecting it in was a soul destroying task. Kids "forgot" or "Didn't understand it." They never seeked help before the due date. The general quality was poor. More time was spent chasing students and issuing detentions than marking it. In my personal opinion if children worked hard in the first place and then just read over their work every couple of weeks then it would be enough. At GCSE practice exam questions would be a better alternative to homework. I suppose it all goes down to the attitude of the student. A high achieving student would look over their notes whether a teacher asked them to or not. In turn most parents with a child at primary would do reading and learning games with their children. However, on the basis my child went to school and I was given a sheet on how to read books with my children, maybe I am wrong. Just because my children have been exposed to reading from the day they were born, others will not be as lucky. That makes me sad. That is probably the reason that everyone is set homework, although I question whether it makes any difference if there is a lack of parental support there in the first place.

I know that people will have mixed views on this subject. Whilst I agree that some work is required I do resent so much at such a young age. I will, however, ALWAYS support the teachers of my sons and would never allow them to not do their homework. More than anything, I believe that teachers and parents need to work together. I don't like homework hanging over a weekend and try to get big man to complete it on a Friday so he really can have a break. At least then he can have 2 days of just being a 6 year old. What do you think?

9 comments:

Louise Fairweather said...

I must admit I am really pleased I had 2 November babies. Parents can be so competitive too over such small children.

Older Mum said...

Great post..... I think children in general get too much in this country; it's critical that they have the time to be kids and exercise their imaginations (imagination = intelligence) but like you, I will always the support the school and teacher. So far Little A has reading which we do after tea time but after half term she is going to have writing and spelling and all sorts on top of the reading!!?? X

Louise Fairweather said...

Year 2 has been a massive leap. There have been tears from big man and me!

Louise Fairweather said...

Gosh it is odd how schools vary. In reception ours just get reading and that is enough for me and middle man.

citygirl101 said...

Oh no, that's awful. If it's resulting in tears there is something wrong with either the amount or what the content is.

Louise Fairweather said...

I know I went to speak to the teacher. The first lot was to assess them and it was so hard for my boy. Then he got upset as he had to order them alphabetically and missed one out, causing a massive crossed out mess. To be honest I think the tears were more down to being tired. They have one lot that has to be done in the week which is hard for them x

Ruth Mills said...

We are currently in Mexico where my six year old twins have an hours homework a night, half in English and half in Spanish along with any unfinished schoolwork. :( Ruth

Louise Fairweather said...

oh no! Maybe I'm moaning too much - at least its not that bad

Jayne Townson said...

I think reading and spelling is all children should ever get at primary school. As for secondary school, I'm really against homework, I think revision is more than enough and anything else is too much. I have a daughter in a GCSE year at the moment and she's stressed out already and we haven't even got near exam time yet.
Personally I'd sooner all work was done at school so when they come home, they can relax. If children can't get all the work done in time, then the school day should be made longer. Sorry I'm getting a bit carried away here, it's just a subject that I feel strongly about http://7hippopotamus.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/homework-should-be-banned.html