A growing number of WA public schools are banning homework for primary students so they can spend more time relaxing, reading and playing.
At least four schools have introduced official “no homework” policies — all they ask of students is to read a little each night, preferably with their parents, shares ABC news.
They argue homework is of no benefit to younger children and can even be detrimental because it gets in the way of important family and recreation time, which allows children to recharge their batteries after a busy day of learning at school.
Bramfield Park Primary School, in the Perth suburb of Maddington, introduced its no homework policy last year, but it came with strings attached.
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Principal Jayne Murray said the school wanted children reading or being read to every night, getting out and playing rather than being glued to a screen, and also getting a good night’s sleep.
“There’s lots of research to show that doing extra homework doesn’t have an educational benefit for our students,” Ms Murray said.
“They work really hard when they’re here everyday. They’re on task, they’re really learning a lot, so we think after school is a time to do something else, not be on their screens but get outside and play.
“It’s a stress for parents, it’s a stress for teachers.
“Finding that time to sit down with your child is difficult if you’re busy.”
She said only a small number of parents requested homework for their children and the school directed them to online learning resources including ABC Reading Eggs and Mathletics, or encouraged them to get a tutor.
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However Glenn Savage, a senior lecturer in education policy at the University of Western Australia argues. “I think there are some problems with the blanket-ban approach to homework,” Dr Savage said.
“What we should be doing is trying to inspire all teachers to understand what good homework practices look like, and then rolling that out across all schools and across all classrooms.
“You wouldn’t want to go from Year 6 having no homework, having never heard of the concept, to suddenly going to high school in Year 7 and being given homework every night, and not know how to be an effective learner when it comes to that.”
As a mum of both a primary and high school age child (grade 3 and grade 8) I can honestly say neither of them are expected to do homework.
The primary school child is encouraged to read, and do times tables if he wants. But there is no pressure at all.
The high school child has rarely had anything at all over the past two years. I must admit I have been very surprised for high school. I keep expecting it to come, maybe in grade 9 and 10?
Do you think children should be doing homework?
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