5 reasons why extra homework may be negatively affecting your child’s chances in life
The topic of homework is currently at the centre of hot debates, not just in the UK but across Europe, as people argue about the possible negative effects that it can have, if implemented in the wrong way.
Some schools in the UK are reducing or even banning homework and parents in Spain have gone so far as to go on strike because of the amount of homework their children have been getting.
Why are they doing this? Why is this becoming such an issue? Why do people think homework is bad for students?
Here are 5 reasons why extra homework does not necessarily lead to a better future for your child:
1. It can be repetitive and not productive
Homework is often repetitive, a long list of exercises designed to drill the concepts into your child’s brain. As Nancy Kalish says, this makes learning “a chore rather than a positive, constructive experience.” This could have the detrimental effect of making your child hate the subject, without providing an accurate representation of the child’s performance.
2. Young people need time to be active
Students usually spend the majority of their school days sitting at desks, with little opportunity to exercise. Therefore, there is the argument that time after school would be better spent getting fresh air, being active and pursuing physical activities that they enjoy. It also gives them the opportunity to learn and develop critical life-skills that cannot be learned whilst sat at a desk.
3. Is homework an unnecessary added stress?
Being a student can be stressful enough, without the added pressures of homework. It can cause a large amount of anxiety or stress if your child doesn’t understand the topic or is unable to complete the homework on time, as there are obviously no teachers around to help them. We, as adults, parents, teachers, tutors and mentors, need to realise the importance of doing what we can to help young people maintain stability over their mental health, without adding even more strain.
4. It can cause arguments at home.
Even public figures are getting involved in the debate, as Gary Lineker states, “all it does is drive a massive wedge between parents and children because you end up having to do it for them, and it’s stressful.” Putting additional strain on a parent-child relationship is never a good idea – there are already enough factors that can cause tension without adding another. A parent should be a source of support, without having to actively do the work for them – if they are, then obviously there is no benefit for the child.
5. Time management.
This is something that we all struggle with and this is especially true for students. The added load of a mountain of homework can make things challenging for students who are juggling busy schedules with after school activities, part-time jobs, a social life and household chores. It means that young people cannot commit 100% to one activity as they are always thinking about what else is on the to-do list, meaning that they are not able to benefit fully from the current task at hand.
Now we are not suggesting that homework should be eradicated completely, as a study for the Department for Education did find that students who did two to three hours of homework per night were almost 10 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs than those who did no homework.
It is simply a case of giving the students constructive, creative exercises which encourage them to think independently, and finding the right balance between the time spent doing homework and the time spent pursuing other, potentially more beneficial, extracurricular activities.
GT Scholars is an after-school tutoring and mentoring programme. The programme teaches young people how to manage their time, adopt a growth mindset and achieve their aspirations. To find out more, get in touch with us via www.gtscholars.org/contact-us