ALL kids should have homework even aged four – it needs to be hard, that’s how they learn

ALL kids should have homework even aged four – it needs to be hard, that’s how they learn

JACQUELINE JOSSA has sparked debate by saying homework for young children should be axed.

Speaking on ex-Towie sisters Sam and Billie Faiers’ podcast, The Sam & Billie Show, the actress, 29 – who is married to reality star Dan Osborne, 30, and mum to Ella, seven, and three-year-old Mia ­­– said: “My daughter is six years old. I just don’t feel like she should be doing homework three days a week.”

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Here, two mums give their view on whether homework should be ditched for kids until they are in secondary schoolCredit: Getty
Jacqueline Jossa has sparked debate by saying homework for young children should be axed

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Jacqueline Jossa has sparked debate by saying homework for young children should be axedCredit: Instagram

Here, two mums give their view on whether homework should be ditched for kids until they are in secondary school.

Yes, says Tanith Carey

YES says parenting author Tanith, 54, who lives in north London with husband Anthony, a journalist, and daughters Clio, 19, and Lily, 16. She says:

“IMAGINE getting home after a long, stressful day at work, during which you’ve had to behave perfectly and do everything your boss told you.

Homework takes youngsters away from what’s really important, writes Tanith

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Homework takes youngsters away from what’s really important, writes TanithCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Then imagine being told that instead of being able to take a break, it’s the start of your SECOND shift.

Rather than being able to let off some steam, you now have to get on with even more work you will be graded on.

Then think about how it feels when you’re a kid who just wants to run around and play with your toys.

As a parenting author, I know that our children already get more public exams than kids anywhere else in the world.

Our schools are now so worried about SATs scores and league table placings, and education ministers so obsessed with the UK’s chart position in global education rankings, that even Year One kids are getting buried under daily maths worksheets.

Homework takes youngsters away from what’s really important: running around, exploring the world and spending time with their families.

It also turns our homes into war zones, with parents as drill sergeants.

I remember the constant tears and tantrums that went into getting my daughters to finish their homework when they were at primary school.

Like many mums, I knew exactly why surveys keep finding that homework is the single biggest source of friction between kids and parents.

The nagging doesn’t mean pupils do better, according to a wide range of studies going back 20 years. A little light reading at the end of the day may help kids practise their literacy.

But forcing them to wade through nightly books soon becomes as boring for them as it for us. If anything it turns them off reading.

Homework can also turn children into fearful learners. Our children are already some of the most stressed in the world, according to international tables that test a different kind of achievement: Happiness.

By the time they hit their teens, they feel under constant pressure to achieve.

Homework is one of the main reasons our children no longer feel truly carefree. As it looms over any free time they get, it sends the constant message they’ve never done enough.”

No, says Vicki Broadbent

NO, says author and former teacher Vicki, who lives with husband Peter, and children Oliver, 12, Alexander, nine, and three-month-old Florence in Windsor. Vicki, 41, who blogs at honestmum.com, says:

“HOMEWORK is there for a reason. Firstly, it’s important to understand what exactly it entails for primary school children.

No one wants their child stressed but creating a healthy learning environment at home can go a long way, writes Vicki

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No one wants their child stressed but creating a healthy learning environment at home can go a long way, writes VickiCredit: Supplied

On average, up to age 12, kids would complete 2.2 hours a week, about 20 minutes a day across seven days. That isn’t much when you think it equates to watching a single cartoon episode a night.

No one wants their child stressed but creating a healthy learning environment at home can go a long way.

My nine-year-old is asked to learn between six and ten spellings a week and he’s expected to read for ten minutes a day. Larger projects — with options to deliver as a video in most cases — are often spread across each term.

He’s never given any homework during school holidays, and he still has time for music and sports after school.

I personally remember being given a lot more homework in the Eighties compared with my children.

If the workload feels too heavy, if children feel unwell, or parents are too busy, a call to the school is met with understanding.

Due to the pandemic, teachers can’t possibly complete the curriculum or make up for lost time during school hours alone.

Homework is more important than ever in terms of bridging that gap. Even if you only manage to carve out a little reading time before bed, the benefits will be tenfold.

Instilling the habit of homework early aids memory retention, increases performance at school and importantly provides pleasure, even if it might not seem so at the time.

It also highlights where children might need more support at school, as well as emphasising the areas children are succeeding in.

As a former teacher, I know first-hand that learning can be hard. It’s meant to be when children are learning things for the first time. But these are crucial life skills being taught.

Even a few minutes of extra work a day from reception class can lead to healthy, lifelong academic and work-related habits.

No homework, no revision and less learning means more falling behind and greater unhappiness.

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