My two daughters are in Grade 1 and Kindergarten.
These days, we return from work, feed the kids, wash up, play or relax with them for a bit and then start the routines of bathing, reading and preparing for bed.
But, we are bad parents! We have been neglecting their homework. It is strange though… we are educators and, quite frankly, we believe there is more value in us spending a little time just being with our children, involving them in the cooking or letting them go for a bike ride, than there is in sitting them down for thirty minutes and doing more school work.
To be perfectly honest, eight hours at school should be quite sufficient for kids of this age – or, indeed, for kids of any age. Time invested in the family, in active play or just relaxing, is far more important… don’t you think?
Of course, it isn’t the teachers’ fault – they are usually just responding to the demands of fee-paying parents. It also puts them into an awkward position – after all, they may not agree with giving these kids homework anyway but still have to be seen to expect all the kids to do it. Those were certainly my sentiments when I had a class of my own.
What other kids would do with their time is also an issue. When TV, iPads, Playstations and other electronic devices are in the equation then there is the danger of those kids not having the chance to do more positive things with their time than stare at screens and ignore (or be ignored!). But is homework, or certain types of homework, actually worse or better than that?
Anyway, its a little rant of mine, but one I am sure many parents would empathise with and another example of schools just continuing with something they know is not philosophically a good idea simply because some parents demand it. The role of school in the education/re-education of parents is very often neglected.