Today I had a discussion with a friend about homework. She was telling me about their routine after school and how much she disliked the homework part. So did her kids.
Now, I haven’t had too much of an opinion on this topic because Elliott isn’t in school yet, but as his prep year inches closer (next year…OMG!) I’m starting to form an opinion because I’m putting myself and Elliott into the situation of others.
So back to my friend. Well, she sits with her kids for at least an hour each day going through homework sheets, even her child who is in prep (5 years old). This is after they’ve spent the whole day at school likely doing similar work.
I’m obviously a little behind the times on how this works but next year I would personally like to see Elliott come home after a day of sitting in a classroom learning, to enjoying play time in the backyard, in his cubby house or with his LEGO. At the age of five, I strongly believe it should still be all about play, not doing homework. Even beyond the age of five I think it’s important. Or, at least, have homework that is a little more practical and incorporates things like helping mum cook dinner in the kitchen, discovering in the backyard, enjoying and appreciating the world around them. Perhaps homework like this:
Have a great weekend everyone especially Y6 pic.twitter.com/YagliRrICE
— Bucklebury Primary (@bucklebury_sch) May 6, 2016
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only parent that feels there’s WAY too much expectation on our kids from such a young age. Elliott is still only four and I’d much rather the focus be on him learning through play and life experiences instead of focusing on whether or not he can write his name, words or letters of the alphabet. And no, he actually can’t spell his entire name yet, he can probably write a third of it, but to me, that’s not important just yet. On the other hand, if I look at how creative he’s become with his LEGO and the problems he’s been solving with his LEGO pieces since we told a little white lie and hid the iPad, well that certainly beats being able to spell a name!
The pressure on kids is clearly there and I feel sorry for them, I really do. Today on Facebook a friend wrote that she overheard a father on the train lecturing his son on NAPLAN, making sure he understood that he must do well, that he should check his work and that he must get good scores. Why so much emphasis on numbers, scores, comparisons!!!!???
What I want to know is, with all of this pressure and homework, when do kids actually have time to be kids? It seems some adults are happy to take it away at an alarming rate and I won’t be one of them.
How do you feel about kids and homework?