This one really does my head in.
I do not understand.
It does not compute.
Let me try to explain my confusion and frustration.
I was a primary school teacher for 13 years.
Homework was one of the banes of my existence.
As a teacher I had to set it, collect it, correct it and report on it.
Because that's what teachers do?
Ahhh *ahem* NOT a good enough reason.
So as I became a little more experienced and confident I began to speak up at staff meetings.
I had a few other teachers in my camp, but not many.
I pushed for reading, and learning number facts and spelling to be the only work needed to be done at home.
And when I had very young grades, this was all I would set.
But who was most upset by this?
Because their little darlings would be 'left behind', 'wouldn't know how to do homework when they got to higher grades', 'needed the discipline'.
Purlease....discipline? We're talking early childhood.
That to me is like teaching your two year old how to cook dinner because they'll need to know when they leave home...one day in the ridiculously distant future!
And if you can't learn to start doing something when the time is right, something is wrong.
Homework is not necessary AT ALL in primary school...full stop...or as the Americans say...period (but that always makes me wince).
Anyway, I blame the out of control homework setting on overzealous teachers trying to impress and appease overzealous parents.
Can we can all just settle down a little people?
Drop the zealousness and let kids be kids.
I have heard parents complain that they won't know what their children are learning if they don't get homework. Show me a classroom where the door isn't always open for you to pop in and have a look through the kids books and work and I'll say that's a valid point.
I've also heard parents express their concern about getting the terminology wrong with their children. The kids tell their parents they're doing it wrong and arguments ensue. Things have changed a lot since they were at school and parents often don't know how to 'teach' at home, nor should they have to.
For the past week we have had Roger (the class pirate bear for boys) . We had to show him a good time, document it, then return him to school this morning. The girls take Delta the Princess bear home and the little girl who had Delta for the week was looking through the scrapbook outside the classroom. That's when the complaining about homework and projects began. This is Prep, and so far we have had three projects this year.
Look, to be perfectly honest, I quite like them. Doing the projects that is. But that's not the point. I'm doing them, not my boy, because he can't yet. They've all been excellent ideas and interesting learning opportunities. But it's an added extra that most families find difficult.
So I ask you. Who is homework really for?
I don't believe it benefits children.
But I'm ready for the barrage of comments disagreeing with me.
Go on...hit me with it!