I was reading today on TimesOnline Sarah Ebner’s view on homework. Both my children are in primary school, and Handsome, having recently started in the Junior unit (or year 3) brings home homework every Friday as well as a book to read each day.
Obviously I don’t want my children to have to spend all their free time doing homework, but I think that a bit of it can be a good thing! I want my children to be able to learn the self-discipline required for home study from a young age. It is something which I never mastered, and something that, had I had it, would have enabled me to have performed much better in both my later years in school and in university.
I try to make quiet time for half an hour to an hour each Friday after school where Handsome and Cheeky can sit down and do their homework (I have to make up some homework for Cheeky to do so that he a) doesn’t feel left out and b) doesn’t distract Handsome from his homework!). I bring them a hot drink and a snack to eat while they are doing it, and they know that, as long as they take their time and do it properly (and with best handwriting!) they will be able to play to their heart’s content as soon as they are finished!
I have no problem with the regular type of homework which my elder son (Handsome) is bringing home. Mainly he can sit down on his own to do it with little or no intervention from me. I like this work as it is supporting and reenforcing his work in school. However, the homework I can’t stand is the homework which gets sent home at each half-term holiday – the joint parent-child project, which generally means parent project whilst trying to stop the child spreading paint/glue/glitter etc over the living room carpet! I cannot see the point of these things other than to provide the school with cheap decoration for their hallways. If schools want to send homework for nursery and early years primary school children, why not some elementary number or letter work rather than projects like making a fish, making a spider or making a flower (all projects which I have completed over the last four years!).
Rant over. Educators, take note!