Thursday, 7 February 2013

Thursday: Kids homework - love or hate?

My daughter is now in Grade 3 and we have been advised this week of how much homework she will get.

Image from morgueFile
Last year she had readers which we had to read for 10 minutes per day and then complete some discussion questions.

As my daughter loves reading and will read everything from the cornflake box to the Secret Seven box set I have never had to encourage her to read.

This year it is a lot different. Grade 3 is where her school make the step up to 'proper' primary school homework.

This year she has
  • to continue doing the daily readers 
  • complete a writing exercise every week - use words in sentences, make them plurals etc
  • online English and Mathematics puzzles to complete
  • prepare a speech assignment for each of 6 weeks of every term (total of 24 for the year)
I know that there are parents who hate homework and believe that the school should teach them everything during school time. I can totally understand this and I don't believe my daughter should be getting any work that she has not already covered in class. 

I also don't think there should be any homework that requires a lot of parental help, for example, making a model of Uluru etc where it becomes a competition between whose parents can make the best model and less about what the child can achieve.

But, my daughter is a child who needs schedules and routines. Without them she tends to flounder. I think she must get this from me as I also work much better with lists and schedules.

Last year, as she only had the readers she wanted to put them off. The readers were quite boring and she was reading far more advanced books than the level they would let her read. She is weaker at Maths than English and I would have loved for her to get a weekly worksheet to help her revise what she had learnt. We ended up buying some of those Excel books for Maths that she could fill in.

I could understand why she preferred to read her own books but it is important to me that she learns that when we are given a task we have to complete it even if it is not very interesting. Having said that I do believe that at times we may need to question its relevance.

So, this year I am happy with the amount of homework she is going to get. I have sat down with my daughter and helped her work out what small amount she will do on each day. Hopefully this will ensure she is not doing it all at the end of the week. 

The main benefit I want her to get from homework is to start to learn how to organise her time. This is a skill she will need once she gets to high school and if she can start understanding the very basics of personal time management/organisation I will be happy.

What do you think about homework? Do your children get too much homework or not enough? Do your children like doing homework? Do you like the model making assignments and help your child or do you let them get on with it?

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