Monday, June 24, 2024

Why parents tackling homework after school might be sabotaging their efforts

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Homework can be a sticking point for busy families.

After experts questioned its relevance for primary schoolers, many of you weighed in on Facebook, disagreeing on how much, if any, homework is the right amount for this age group. 

So, what is beneficial? And what are some strategies to help make it a less stressful part of the day for both parents and kids?

What’s the value in homework?

Grattan Institute deputy program director Amy Haywood says there is value in homework — particularly set reading — for primary school-aged kids.

Ms Haywood, based in Naarm/Melbourne, says time spent reading independently or with an adult “is a really good use of time because it builds up the vocabulary”.

In addition to reading, other key skills such as maths can be a focus.

Amy Haywood says anything without an educational purpose is a waste of time for children and parents.(Supplied: Amy Haywood)

“In classes is where they’re doing a lot of the learning of new content or skills, and then outside the school might be opportunity to practise.”

She says there’s “clear evidence around practice leading to mastery, and then the mastery having an impact on students’ engagement in school, [and] their confidence with taking on different learning tasks”.

There’s also a case for homework in later primary years as you might want them to build some of those study habits before they go into secondary school.

But, she says “schools need to be careful about what homework they are setting”.

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