There are two sides of the coin when it comes to homework, some parents agree with the concept and others are against it all together.
I’m somewhere in the middle I think, but I am yet to experience an older child with hoards of homework that they are refusing to do! I guess though my opinion lies within the region of: its good for kids to get homework to continue their learning journey at home, but within reason. I think its important to also have time on a weekend and an evening to practise other hobbies, explore the outside world and imaginative play!
When I was at school, I never completed any homework from what I can remember – I got it, but it was tossed away and I just wasn’t interested once I was older. But even as a younger child in primary school, I cant remember sitting down doing my times tables or reading a reading book. Maybe if I had actually done it, I may have had a better outcome from school. At the time though I just wasn’t interested, I just wanted to be out playing football with my friends, school wasn’t important to me at all.
In recent years I have had my fair share of seeing and helping with homework, my nephew who is now 10 and in the all important SATs year of primary school, has had homework of some description from around Year 3. I have been there to help on occasions, but some of the things he has brought home was ridiculous in my opinion. Most of the time it comes with little instructions and relies on the child to have listened to the instructions when been giving it at school. Surprisingly enough my nephew rarely has listened and it becomes a guessing game of what on earth needs completing! As the years have gone on he has become less and less interested in completing the homework. I must admit too, some of the techniques of teaching them mathematics for example is beyond me and I fear that I may teach him the incorrect method.
My son who is 3 years old, has recently started nursery and within his first week he had “homework”. Now I say homework in the lightest of terms. Each week he can choose a story sack all based on different themes that they may happen to be learning about within the nursery setting. So for example one week he has had a story sack on Dinosaurs. Inside the bag is a selection of toy dinosaurs, a book, this one helping to teach each dinosaur and their attributes and a few laminated work sheets related to dinosaurs with a wipeable pen to encourage them to draw the letter shapes or count numbers for instance.
Zach chooses to get one each week – without us encouraging him and if he asks to use it at home then I will happily sit with him for as long as he wants to play. This way I feel he will learn to enjoy doing his own “homework” and hopefully carry on in years to come eagerly completing it.
We were also given a blank hardback book. The idea behind the book is homework for us in a sense. Parents are asked to fill the book with different photos and stories for example of what your child has been up to. This way they can take it in for carpet time and share their adventures and photos with their peers, and teachers can relate to the Childs life outside of the learning setting.
So for instance we have put in photos of the different places we have visited on a weekend – so he has photos of us seeing the tropical animals at Lanchester Garden Centre, photos from our visit to the Life Centre and Ice skating, and a ticket from seeing Monstersaurus at the Gala Theatre in Durham. Most importantly to Zach though is a photograph of him out sledging for the first time when we had snow a few weeks ago and he was proud as punch taking it in to show his teachers! Proof that even the smallest of things that don’t cost us the earth as sometimes the most enjoyable or important to them!