Letter To Those Parents Who Want Homework For Their Children

Dear Parents Who Have Now Persuaded Our School To Provide Homework For Our KS1 Children,

Are you MAD? Is six hours of education a day not enough for your kids? They are aged four to seven; let them be children! Don’t you want them to have time to play outside, go to the park, ride their bikes, or even just veg out watching TV?  You know, there are plenty of educational TV programmes made for children these days, if you worry about that sort of thing. And if you want creative, take a look at Minecraft.

Chances are your children already do at least a  couple of after school activities a week anyhow. It’s good for kids to have to provide their own entertainment sometimes; every spare minute of the day doesn’t need to be timetabled.

Instead spend some time with them. Talk to them, cook with them. Play. Let them relax. There is plenty of time in the future for homework.

I know you are probably looking ahead to your kid’s future, perhaps thinking about the selective schools available to us in this area . But trust me when I tell you that getting your 6 year old to do to do a mini project every couple of weeks is not going to help with that at all. In fact there is a lot of evidence that homework in general does nothing to improve a child’s education. Even at secondary school level.

But if it is news to you that homework causes increased levels of stress in both children and parents, then you either have incredibly compliant children or children who are too young to feel the pressure. My children are neither very young or very compliant, so I can assure you homework causes a lot of stress in our household. I know we aren’t alone in this.

Our school is a good one but it is very academic. Our children work hard when they are there and get good results.  One of the reasons I chose it for my children, all those years ago, was that the Head of the infant school said they didn’t get homework. Yes, they get a reading book in reception, Y1 and 2 but up until now, that’s been it.  In the past pupils have started getting some homework in Y3, often the form of something called a  learning log. And this is what they are introducing to our lower school children.

I think a lot of school have these now, but the way ours work is that the pupils get given a topic and they have to put together something on that subject. It’s quite open ended so they can make a model, draw a picture, write something or do a powerpoint presentation. And it’s peer assessed, so on the completion date everyone brings their work into the classroom, and everyone looks at everyone else’s efforts. To be honest I’m not sure that my 6 year old has the capacity to be interested in other people’s work.

It sounds charming and progressive, doesn’t it? But actually, it’s a major PITA.  Stuff like this should be kid guided in my opinion; if they are interested in a topic, then let them research it themselves and write about it, make models or do stuff on computers in their own time, if they want to. But once they are given a topic and a deadline, it ceases to become such fun.

And it’s been made clear that parental involvement is expected, which is never a good thing. There are some very competitive  parents out there!

So thank you to all the parents out there, who couldn’t just do a bit of Education City at home with their kids, or buy some more work books or something. With the advent of lower school homework, my life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

This makes me very happy. Not.

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4 comments on “Letter To Those Parents Who Want Homework For Their Children

  1. My youngest in YR 2 has had homework every week since she was in nursery and it’s a battle to get her to do it….I don’t see the point of the homework she gets it’s always stuff she knows and is quite capeable of doing….Annoying and a real pain in the butt!

  2. I agree!! I loathe and detest homework. I get just five hours of awake time with my children each day and I don’t want to spend a single minute of it coaxing, cajoling, encouraging or threatening them to get on with homework. That is all the time I have to feed them, to boost their self esteem, to teach them life skills, to share experiences. I understand and agree if they need more instruction in a certain subject or if they are not completing work they should have done in class but otherwise I totally disagree with homework!!

  3. Hear hear! At one point last yr in Y1 my 5 yr old had a reading book every night, spellings, maths, and a learning log to do every week, and a half termly project!

  4. Our primary school love homework and I went along with it at first but I’ve recently told the yr 3 teacher that we are not doing it anymore. I explained to her that the combination of reading practice, mathletics, spellings, after school clubs, eating a meal with his family and getting ready for bed by 7 is quite enough activity for a 7 year old to do between 3.30 and 7pm. When I explained it that way she agreed! But she is obliged to continue to set formal homework.

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