‘Its a waste of time’, “it broadens knowledge’, ‘it has no value’. These are just some of the opinions out there about homework for children. So I thought I would give my take on homework for children having spent many hours planning and correcting it during my time working in schools. Yet there is a debate over whether homework should be set at all. Both parents and teachers have been known to question its validity. It is without doubt that some people value homework whereas others think time would be better spent with family.
The primary purpose of homework for children is to allow them to practice and consolidate what has been learnt at school. It broadens children’s knowledge, teaches work ethic, motivation and is linked to the national curriculum. Furthermore homework allows teachers to check for understanding.
Unfortunately homework does have its drawbacks.
Not all children engage well with it and parents don’t always find it easy to help them. This is due to either English not being their first language or a lack of understanding of the teaching methods used in schools. Furthermore homework can cause stress, tears, frustration, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy and family tension. It can take longer than it’s supposed to and have an effect on mental health, especially for those with SEN.
So what is the answer? Should children get homework? I would say yes, not only because its compulsory and schools have to follow their policies, but because homework does have some value. Parents have been known to complain when their children don’t get enough or any homework.
The Need for Change
However as important as homework is there needs to be some changes. Although It is generally more often than not in the form of worksheets, which do have some value, it should also be fun, interactive and enjoyable. It should also meet the individual needs of children. Alongside arithmetic activities, times tables, reading and spelling which are important children should perhaps be given a choice of activities to present in any way they wish such as writing, drawing or making something. Children should be allowed take more ownership of their homework.