The debate that refuses to go away has reared its head again recently.
Too much? Not enough? Beneficial or a complete and total waste of time that is ruining our lives (Oh sorry, our kids’ lives that should be..)
No child under 14 should be given homework came the headlines again this week.
And the mums just raced to agree.
They flew to social media for the latest theory to store in their arsenal of evidence against homework.
On the whole I have found that most parents hate homework.
They say it intrudes in family time. That kids should be kids. That homework is ruining their children’s lives.
And that most of all they simply don’t have the time for it with all the after-school activities their children have.
Opinion piece after opinion piece claims it is has no benefit and should be banned.
I am right with them. Kind of.
LIke most parents I hate homework too.
I dread it each afternoon – the battle to make my kids come inside away from the “fun” there is luring them to the backyard and sit at the table and actually learn something. The negotiations. The threats. The bribery.
I can’t stand it, and I agree it intrudes. It’s a pain in the arse.
When you finally get home from soccer and ballet and piano and little athletics the last thing you want to do is engage in the do-your-homework-now back and forthing when you could just flop down in front of the next episode of The Great Australian Spelling Bee.
Homework certainly does ruin a fair bit of the little time I get to spent with my kids.
But it isn't about me is it? It isn't meant to be helping ME.
Deep down don’t you just have a sneaky suspicion that it actually might BE beneficial? That teachers might give it for a reason?
Deep down don’t you suspect that actually sitting down and engaging with your child for fifteen or even thirty minutes a few nights a week might help them?
Deep down don’t you wonder if instead of complaining that it’s too hard to fit in with all the “afternoon activities” you could cut the ballet and soccer and karate and gymnastics classes back a little?
Because there is a chance that your child may benefit.
The article that mums around Australia have been lapping up quotes a 2002 study that found a direct relationship between time spent on homework and levels of anxiety, depression, anger, and other mood disorders and issues.