Homework! Friend or foe?


Another Sunday spent trying to ensure that homework is all completed to a reasonable standard before Monday morning!

Homework certainly has its value and can be an essential supplement to the work done during the school day, but I am a strong believer that homework should be relevant, valued and purposeful. All too often my own children have completed homework only for it to get a single cursory tick (or worse still not marked at all).

We have completed projects on building Viking ships, or making games to practise maths skills. However, I often find that these ‘projects’ often rely of the input of parents to succeed, rather than the children. The competitive element appears, as parents vie to ensure that their child’s homework is the best (or at least not the worst in the class).

Reading, spellings, learning tables are all key elements of the primary curriculum and frequently form a significant proportion of homework.  Spelling and reading are still valued at secondary level but then the other homework tasks become more varied and indeed vague. I have heard of homework which is to ‘revise’ (what and for how long is not specified), or homework this week is to watch …. on YouTube! The value of this type of homework –  I am yet to be convinced.

These days children seem to spend more and more time at after school activities, or glued to some type of electronic device. Perhaps a new approach to homework is needed in this modern age? Tasks which are engaging, purposeful and that actually benefit a child’s education are needed – not just homework for homework’s sake!