Homework – The Big debate?

So I have 4 children – 3 of which are school age and they on the whole enjoy school. Their brains are like sponges and they soak up information. They each get homework every week and I like the fact they have to learn at home as well to solidify their learning at school but I admit that I don’t like any parent involvement in homework other than having to explain something to your child or testing them, I believe the work should be their own. So this week my 6 year old had some spelling, some simple maths to practise and be tested on and some question to answer in her book. Then she had online Spellings on spelling shed and some maths on times tables rock stars. Most of these took about 30 minutes on a Saturday to do. They don’t get much time through the week as they have dancing, acting, singing and crafting classes. My 8 year old also had some spellings, a reading book and the online portion of homework on Maths and English and my son had the same online with some writing and research homework for his book.

I wanted to get a feel of what other parents thought about homework as my views are that English and Maths are so important to getting on after school, I don’t want the kids to have to resit GCSE’s in these when they have such a good chance of getting them right the first time around. I go so far as saying there are some subjects that I don’t care if they fail. Luckily my son loves Maths but doesn’t really like or understand the English and this is why I like him to do the Engish homework at home and I even buy him extra revision books, he is 10, to make sure he does well in his SATS to get in the higher groups at High School. I may seem like a pushy mum but I honestly feel like Maths and English are so important they should be focused on.

Rachel from Out and About Mummy  commented “I think children in primary school definitely get too much. My son is only 6 and each week he gets a piece of handwriting homework, 1 literacy activity & 1 maths activity on the laptop, spellings plus reading every night! It’s hard to make sure we fit it in, especially with work and younger children. Also during the half term he tends to get a ‘family project’. This again can be too much especially if you go on holiday etc. I think apart from some reading the rest is too much, especially as they tend to have other activities they want to fit in after school from swimming to going to the park! They’re only little for such a small time!”

I have to agree that at 6 especially the family project does seem too ambitious but spellings and the reading are important for repetition. Each child could read for 10 minutes before bed just one book for their brain to expand and learn new words and to learn the spellings.

Amanda from Weblogtravel  says “I have a 16 and 9 year old. I do believe that in primary school a small amount of homework like reading spelling and something they are doing in class is good. I want to see what they are concentrating on in class and be part of the learning experience. It can be hard, and tricky at times but it definitely give them skills for senior school when homework is inevitable.”

I am also of the same impression that I like to see what my children are learning, I want to know they are progressing and see how they are doing in school because as a parent I want them to achieve their goals. My daughter wants to be a vet which isn’t going to happen without good grades as I think opportunities will be missed. My son wants to be an accountant so having Maths skills are essential as are English for reading reports and being able to spell and write so I think them learning about skills for life such as discipline and working hard is essential.

Of course this depends on your child’s age and ability set – If your only 6 years old home work probably isn’t an essential as when you are 10 and 11 and about to sit your SATS. My husband didn’t achieve in school and still is in his career choice so I guess it isn’t everything but I believe that if given the opportunity to pass GCSE’s first time around when you have studied from the ages of 5-16 you may as well pass them then in case you have to resit and spend another year re-doing them.

Sarah from mummycatnotes says “Our children (year 2 and year 4) get homework at the end of the week, they often get on with it without much prompt from me as they love doing it, I don’t think the younger years should have homework but the later years in school should have some to prepare the children for when they start secondary school. A reading book is enough for the younger children in my opinion.”

I think that it depends on the age of the child and what fits for you, the Schools have targets in place but the kids are there for 7 hours a day and surely that should be enough for learning but then again life is always about learning, how many times have we accidently learnt something one day, I guess even as adults we would be surprised. Some children love reading, others don’t, some children love Maths others don’t, some people have a passion for Science or Art or Music and these should be celebrated as all children are different, they learn at their own paces and they enjoy what they enjoy – Not everyone will want the same job or follow the same journey but I think learning is essentially throughout and some homework is good practise especially as kids get older.

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