My 7 year old son Tommy and 5 year old daughter Chloe are already getting heaps of homework.
I am a busy working mum and by the time I pick them up from after school care and get them home it’s around 5.30-6pm and then the battle begins to get them to do their homework while I am trying to prepare dinner. We are all tired and on most nights do not feel like doing it, it can be a real struggle.
I want my kids to develop a love of learning but with the amount of homework the kids are getting it’s not fun just super stressful.
Although there is research that proves homework has little academic benefit for primary school children, homework has its positives. Homework reinforces what the children have learnt during the day and gets the kids into good habits.
My issue with homework for young kids is the stress associated with it and the time it takes up that could be spent with family or playing outdoors.
My family was finding homework a challenge until we discovered Homework Club. Homework Club is available at my children’s school as an option for After School Care. It is available Monday through Friday, from when school finishes at 3pm until 6pm. Afternoon tea is provided and they have a play with their friends before they start their homework. They have the supervision and the support of teachers who motivate and help them. The school provides the classroom.
Tommy goes to homework club every Thursday after school so whatever he does not get done during the week he finishes the evening before it is due.
I read an article, which recommends that you should leave the responsibility of homework up to the children, the theory being if they have to be told to do their homework they will not learn to take responsibility for it themselves.
It has given him more control, more independence and he has now learnt to take responsibility to organise and plan his time.
When I let Tommy off the hook in regards to homework initially he stopped doing it but something has just clicked and he had become really motivated and I really don’t have to nag him, he has started to want to do homework without any influence from me.
Now I no longer push or nag him to do his homework – taking away the pressure and stress has allowed homework to be enjoyable.
Homework club has become a safety net and saves our family from nightly stress. I am so grateful for Homework Club.
Julia Booth initiated the concept so I was very interested to talk Julia and find out a bit more about how it works and how she got started and when it is going to be introduced in more schools. Please find the conversation with Julia below:
When did you first come up with the idea for Homework Club?
As soon as my daughter Marlo started school and was given homework, I started to research the best way to approach homework and something I found most interesting was that children enjoy doing their homework more when they are with their peers.
In fact there are very specific examples that children retain more, develop better time and task management skills when they are with their peers and their work is supervised by adults other than their parents. I started the Homework Club as a separate entity to see if there was truth to this research.
What inspired you?
I was inspired to be able to offer a service to parents, an environment for children to enjoy doing their work as well as an ability to offer graduate education students hands on experience with children learning to master their homework.
I was also inspired to help children see homework as something they could do without the assistance of their parents.
What schools is it available in?
At the moment we provide the service at Randwick Public School. We have a number of enquiries from parents at other schools and we look forward to developing the service state and even nationwide.
What is the difference between coaching and homework club?
This is a really important distinction, Homework Club is entirely different to coaching, Homework Club is supervised homework, we teach children the ability to manage their tasks and their time, the ability to ask questions, to continue asking the questions if they do not understand what is required, until they feel comfortable with how they need to approach their work.
Whilst we can provide extension work for children we do not coach children we prefer to assist them to consolidate and develop their learning.
Do you think young children are getting too much homework?
I think that the ability to apply yourself to a task is an essential part of learning. In terms of volume of work it is difficult to make a judgement as it depends on each school. We provide a good balance of play, relaxation and work.
What are the benefits of Homework Club?
We find the major benefits are three fold, for the parents, the children and the student teachers. Parents can come and collect their children after work and feel confident and comfortable that their work is complete and they can spend a few precious hours before bed without a struggle over homework.
Children enjoy the chance to spend more time with their peers and interact with younger and older students. The student teachers value the opportunity to work with children and have first hand experience as to how the curriculum is taught.
For more information on this great initiative please click here.
Do you struggle to get through homework with your children? Please share in the comments below.