Do kids get too much homework?

Kathy Krugermotherhood, perspective, work-life balance8 Comments

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This is a yin-yang question in the sense that I don’t think there’s any black or white answer. I’m sorry all you teachers out there – you’ll have to give me half-marks, or accept the grey. No red ink right!

I’m perturbed, or in non-school-approved vernacular, pissed-off.

You see right now I’m experiencing the pains (and I’m talking me personally) of having a child in Year 6 – the last year of primary school, apparently, but in solid preparation for high school and it seems they have homework to match.

She doesn’t like it and I’m not that thrilled.

I don’t blame her teacher for setting the work to get them used to the demands of Year 7. In fact I thank her for it. I do ‘sort of’ blame the people who created the curriculum and who deemed that kids are ready for it one year earlier than they used to be when high school started in Year 8 – even though they’ve spent the last couple of years trying to ‘catch up’ to this point. And I blame the system and society – because they’re big amorphous things that I can target, because I do want to blame. Why does everything have to be so serious?

I know Queensland has been behind other states (no jokes please southerners) and I don’t really know the situation in other countries, but judging by our 11 year old, who is average academically, the ask is a little or a lot too much.

Plus we have a little preppie at the same time – a just-turned five year old who wants to play, and wants to learn too, but maybe not at the pace or in the style preppies are supposed to learn these days. So I worry about him, when I should be enjoying him growing up, becoming a little school-boy.

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What’s the answer – more knowledge, less learning?

Teaching our kids life skills more than topics? Teaching them how to learn, rather than things to know?

Letting our kids see the world through language, numbers, formulas, maps, history, the lens of a camera, or the abstractness of art – just not expecting them to interpret it through all of the above? Because we all see the world differently, don’t we?

Telling our kids they are enough rather than grading them?

Helping them learn how to breathe, deeply. Helping them learn how to self-calm?

Guiding them in being compassionate, allowing them to experience failure so they learn resilience. Supporting them when they ‘fail’. Helping them define their own success?

Teaching them meditation. Reassuring them they can always find that place of worth and oneness that is their true self, and that from this place they can tap into universal creativity?

Teaching them yoga – showing how they can combine breath and movement to find stillness, balance and strength?

Leading them by an example that doesn’t necessarily equate with the highest marks or the best performance?

Showing them a work ethic alongside the ultimate importance of home, of family, of living life in the moment and not always striving to achieve, of just being?

I hope my new little meditation video might help kids cope with the stress of school.  What are your thoughts on homework – too much, not enough, shouldn’t have it at all? And love your thoughts on my meditation video below.

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Kathy X  Namaste sign off_edited-1

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Kathy KrugerDo kids get too much homework?

8 Comments on “Do kids get too much homework?”

  1. This Charming Mum

    Our school has embraced a new philosophy that includes very little homework and lots of emphasis on social skills. They obviously still do their 3Rs, but they also do sessions on resilience, conflict resolution and other things along those lines. The idea is that no matter how many maths problems a kid can do, they’ll never truly ‘succeed’ if they’ve never learned to manage their emotions, work in a team and so on. It’s been pretty controversial as a lot of parents would prefer to see kids working harder – including homework – in preparation for secondary school. I love the philosophy in theory, but it relies on very skilled implementation. Either way, the emphasis is still not just on ‘fun’ or ‘play’, which seems a bit tragic for Prep! But then, neither is the workforce I guess. Very tricky territory! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I think the emphasis sounds better than the homework emphasis. I guess it is all about balancing the things that are important with academic learning. I do think it is a shame that prep has become so academic, but then maybe if it had been that way when our Miss Yin was in prep the catch-up towards high school wouldn’t be so challenging. Thanks Lara.

  2. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)

    I’m new to the whole school thing with my first in Prep but we have just 15mins of learning a night, not a lot compared to other schools, but my daughter is more than happy to do it so I am more than happy to encourage her with it. I think it our job as parents to balance out the academic learning with other learning (like yoga).

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Sorry for the delayed reply Malinda – glad your daughter is settling well into Prep. You are right that we can’t expect schools to do everything and us parents need to be the balance, I just think maybe there should be a broader concept of what is academic learning ie beyond Naplan etc.

  3. Caz @ Home Heart Haven

    There is always a delicate balancing act in our house with our anxious little man. I love the video and will try it out with him over the weekend as he is keen to explore strategies to keep himself calmer. I’ll let you know how we go 😀

  4. Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)

    I teach grade four and they don’t get much homework at all. I think it should really only take them ten minutes plus writing out spelling and timetables every day and doing some reading. I do know the grade six kids get quite a bit more. I hate homework because of the stress it causes parents and have written a post about it this year some time. Unfortunately it’s not up to the teacher it’s a blanket policy in most schools.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Pinky – I can see Miss Yin’s teacher stressed to get through the curriculum – they wrap in topic based assignments that are meant to cover science, geography and history, with English as well- just so they can get through the work.

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