As many of you who follow my ramblings know, I am not a fan of homework.
Research has now shown that the actual, tangible benefits of homework for primary aged children is negligible. Put our special children into the mix and I ask again – what is the point?
Well I don’t see too many reasons why we should bother.
Yes it encourages independence and may consolidate what he has learnt at school. But hands up who can honestly say their child happily sits down to do their homework, completely motivated and able to tackle it on their own and that the work will enhance and move forward his learning.
[Glance over to see how many hands up – mmm maybe one at the back……….]
Too often homework falls into two categories:
- Too simple
- Too hard
The first – absolutely no worth at all.
The second – requires a frazzled parent to cajole, persuade, bribe, shout, nag, tear hair out and cry (mum not child).
So we have this stand-off between home and school. School feels compelled to set homework – because that’s the tradition. Parents feel the pressure of making sure that they are fulfilling their obligations.
However I think we need to challenge the validity of homework.
Time with our children is so precious, particularly during the week. Do we need to be spending this time making up poems about fireworks (although he doesn’t have sufficient vocabulary or expressive language), researching Guy Fawkes (although he can’t read the websites) or practicing times tables (although he still is not secure with place value).
I scream on top of my voice WHAT IS THE POINT?
Let this time be filled with visiting the library and sharing books, piling up the leaves in the garden then throwing them in the air, search for conkers, worms. Develop language by talking, describing, debating, questioning. Paint a firework picture. Cook dinner together.
Anything but homework. Revolutionary I know.
Let’s start the momentum and challenge our schools and politely ask:
‘What is the point of homework?’
Let me know how you get on……….
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