Lots of people have been taking online about the subject of Primary school homework recently.
As a busy working mum, I also have strong feelings about this and so as bloggers tend to do, I thought I’d share my thoughts on homework!
My daughter is 7 and in her 4th year of school. We have to read for a minimum of 20 minutes three times a week, learn 8 spellings and complete English and Maths worksheets. There’s also a “home learning” project every half term which is essentially a craft project for mums to do.
I don’t mind reading, we’d do it anyway and as mentioned previously reading is something we encourage. It’s a nice end to the day and part of our bedtime routine. For the most part, Little H can read whichever books she likes so it’s not a chore.
The spellings I also don’t mind, it doesn’t take much time – I often ask her in the car or whilst we’re doing other things so it’s not very time-consuming.
I do have an issue with the rest of it though. The worksheets are harder to fit in. Sometimes they can take 10 mins, other times they might take 30 mins. Sometimes they’re painless, other times it can end in tears. The craft project usually takes an hour or two and it’s ultimately me who comes up witht he idea, buys all the supplies and ends up finishing the project when she gets bored – not like I don’t have enough to do already.
It’s not that we don’t do anything educational, we do our own science experiments and crafts, Little H loves watching Horrible Histories, and she has a few maths and reading apps on her tablet that she enjoys playing. We just like to do it all in our own time, when we want to do it.
I really don’t think that after 6 hours at school I should have to force my child to sit down and do more school work at home. After-school activities are so important for social skills, exercise and most importantly fun. Last year Little H had swimming, gymnastics and after-school club on the day I worked late – this left us with 2 free days to see friends, have fun together, or simply relax.
Parents shouldn’t feel forced into signing their kids up to fewer after-school activities because more time is needed for homework, and kids shouldn’t have to miss out.
Then you have parents who work full-time – when are they supposed to do homework with their children? After dinner when the kids are shattered and ready for bed?
We also don’t want to come home from work and have arguments with our kids about school work. We want to spend as much time as possible having fun with them and hearing about their day.
I think weekends should be completely free of any school work. My husband and I get to switch off from work over the weekend and relax so why shouldn’t Little H get to do the same?
Usually, we’re so busy during the weekend that it gets to Sunday afternoon/early evening and we suddenly remember homework. This always results in rushing, nagging and a lot of wingeing.
Our school offers a Homework Club – an hour after school for £3.50 where the kids can do their homework with their friends. It’s not the extra money I object too – though that’s not ideal after also paying breakfast and other after-school clubs as well – but I think that 30 hours of school each week should be more than enough time for the school to teach our kids what they need without signing them up for more work.
We find time in the week to do the homework because I don’t want my child to be the one who doesn’t hand anything in, or has a black mark against her name for having an awkward mum but I don’t like it!
How do you feel about homework? Does your child get a lot?
Have any if you refused to do homework with your child? If so, what did the school say?