Homework should not rule a home. It should not be a constant worry and overshadow the entire family. If it does cause tears, fights and family friction, then something needs to change.
Some parents love homework and will demand even more from the teacher, while others believe their child should be free to play at the end of the day. I suggest both are correct!
Getting the balance right is the trick!
So if homework is a problem, what can you do?
At both the primary school level and the secondary school level, homework should not be so much that it causes the student excess stress.
Some schools have homework policies and parents need to jump on the school website and find out the expected amount of homework in their child’s school for their child’s level. If the amount being given clearly exceeds this, parents can contact the school and explain that for your child the homework appears to be more than expected.
Sometimes an over-zealous or less experienced teacher may be giving too much homework and the school will address this.
There is also the issue of the type of homework being set. Homework should be:
- appropriate to the student’s skill level and age
- purposeful, meaningful and relevant to the curriculum
- interesting, challenging and when appropriate, open ended
- assessed by teachers with feedback and support provided
- balanced with a range of recreational, family and cultural activities
The amount of homework prescribed in schools will often follow the suggested time allocations for each year level as set by the departments of education in their state. But schools will inevitably give more or less.
It is important that students realise that what the school is asking of them is important and should be followed. For most children it is good to strive and put in the hard yards even when they would rather be outside.
However, parents may also see the need to balance the homework rules when it is clearly causing stress and anxiety. Just as learning is usually personalised within the classroom, the homework may need to follow the same philosophy.
Sometimes the issue isn’t with the amount of homework being given, but the amount of effort a particular child is putting into the homework. Some children are perfectionists or desperately want to please a new teacher and spend far more time on a particular task than needed. If parents are concerned, talk to the teacher.
Home organisation and expectations can also be of enormous support to ensuring homework is completed in a timely and happy way ( link – Homework is easier with good organisation)