Is homework a waste of time?

Every parent knows the feeling. Despair, hopelessness, stress, it creeps up on you as the school-day nears its end. And the cause of these feeling? HOMEWORK! And sometimes you as parent also feel like you are too dumb to help your little student. I know I have! Then you ask yourself why is it necessary for all this homework. Well, here are my thought on the subject. Short answer, NO!

After spending hours at school, children still have to struggle for two or more hours at home to complete tasks and work on projects. Leaving little time for playing or relaxing. And not to mention frustrated parents… And sometimes they will go to bed worrying about homework that is not finished or projects that will be handed in late, causing them not to have a good and restful night’s sleep.

Studies have shown that homework is totally overrated. Not only does it take away from the time they have to relax and enjoy hobbies, it also destroys the desire to read or think. And there is no apparent long-term benefit of homework. After a day at school their minds need time to relax and “file” all they have learned in class. Trying to squash in more information would be no help at all. For those who can’t do it, the assignment merely reinforces their sense of failure. And those who can do it have the skill mastered, so further practice is a waste of time.

Some educational departments suggest as follows: Weekly limits of one hour for years 1 to 3, two to three hours for years 4 and 5, three to four hours for years 6 and 7, and no more than five hours a week for years 8 and 9. For years 10 to 12 it says hours will vary according to individual learning needs. That is WEEKLY HOURS!

Personally, I think that there are much more effective ways of teaching a child how to study than to overload them with homework. Which, by the way, is basically just a repeat of what they learned during class. And let’s spare a thought to the teachers that have to assess the homework on top of preparing lessons. A good suggestion would be using that time teaching your child to make summaries of the work learned. That is a good building block for the senior years when they have to study independently.

As you might have noticed, I am very passionate about this subject. It boggles my mind why children are forced to do school work basically the whole day, while they still have to play and explore and just have fun. I find it very hard to see the balance in this situation. In my opinion there should not be any homework for any other reasons than to study or improve areas that they don’t understand.

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