The question of what constitutes too much homework is once again being raised.
Reports have shown that children are being burdened with hours of homework every week, but, says one academic, the extra load doesn’t actually provide any benefit.
“The quantity of homework is a critical issue for kids and their enjoyment. If we overload them, then they aren’t going to be happy and they won’t enjoy it.
“There are other things kids can do that they enjoy which are of value for their growth and maturity,” said Dr Patrick Waller, associate professor, Sydney University.
“Really, only senior high school students should be doing a couple of hours of homework.”
Dr Waller draws on research that shows, in countries where they spend more time on homework, the achievement results are quite often lower.
But then what happens when a student goes through primary school and junior high school without the routine of homework and then suddenly gets hit with hours of homework each week when he or she reaches year 11?
“Apart from the stress encountered in this situation, it’s the logistics of fitting everything in that becomes a hurdle for many families”, says Mark Chamberlain, former director of Red Tick Education.
Mark believes routine, time management and establishing good habits are key. Homework is an obvious part of good habit forming and says that it sits inside an overall plan.
The earlier that children form good study habits, the better. “It’s not necessarily a discussion about how many hours a week, but about how you manage those hours that can make the difference.
Faced with so many distractions and extra-curricular commitments, juggling everything becomes a challenge. Students need the tools and the skills to help them deal with this. These are very adult and real-world challenges,” he said.
Looking at goals and a term-long plan, can assist a student break their workload into manageable pieces and enable them to take control of their own routine. The confidence gained in doing this cannot be ignored.
Take a look for yourself and you can download a sample of just what I mean at www.redtickeducation.com.