"Parents who say they don’t like homework are just plain lazy."

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.

Homework sucks. I hate it. But it isn't about me.

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.


It seemed to ignore a later US study in 2006 that found “students assigned homework in second grade did better on the maths tests; third and fourth graders did better on English skills and vocabulary tests; fifth graders on social studies tests; ninth through 12th graders on American history tests; and 12th graders on Shakespeare tests. Across five studies, the average student who did homework had a higher unit test score than the students not doing homework.”

Is there a chance your child might benefit?

The author then went on to remind us mums that by homework he didn’t mean reading – kids should do that both when they get home and before they go to bed he said, no matter the age .

Oh, he thought projects were beneficial too saying parents should “actively encourage research, projects, and writing speeches.“

Um, isn't that homework?

Here is a novel way (which we don't recommend) to get your homework done. (Post continues after video)

My older son gets lots of homework and while we choose to complete it each week if he didn’t I can’t really see there would be too much fuss from the school. I personally have never heard of a child being penalized for not completing all their homework once in a while.

He is eight and his homework consists of a few sheets of maths, as much computer maths as he wants to do, a bit of spelling and reading.  Just this week, for maths, he had to make a rain guage for the backyard out of a water bottle.

He can choose to do it when he wants to as long as it’s done by a certain day each week. If its not done. Not much fuss.

His six-year old brother gets words to spell. He gets projects to complete. He gets books to read. But again if he didn’t do it the only person he would really be putting out would be himself.

Schools on the whole are pretty flexible. You hear of families asking for less homework or more, actually speaking to the teachers and explaining when it gets too much and pulling back.

Homework is a pain in the butt, on the most part a negotiable pain in the butt.

A 7-year old's response to his homework.

For working parents its even more hard work but unfortunately with kids many things are hard work.

To those of us who complain that homework takes up too much of your time - I say, "suck it up folks."

We choose to have kids and sometimes they need a little help from their mums. 

How much homework do your kids get? How do you cope with it?