I am delighted to hear that the charity Family and Childcare Trust has a dedicated Family Friendly Week. It is right to celebrate the family as a bedrock of society.
There are many pressures on family life: one of my ‘bug bears’ is homework!
My view is that in primary school homework should not be set. School is school and home is home! There is enough of a burden put on children from an early age with SATs in Years 7 and 11.
I have seen parents with their children doing homework on trains, in cars and even walking to school. Parents anecdotally comment that they have to rush back from family events to make sure homework is completed. Children getting into a state because they feel that their homework is not ‘good enough’.
When my boys were little, we had more fun visiting museums and other places of interest than doing boring ‘work-sheets’.
My solution is simple: let us promote activities in the home and outdoors, which tap into children’s creativity and promote their independence. In addition, celebrate ‘Family Learning’ as a way of families connecting and building lasting memories together.
Instead of doing homework, concentrate more on whole family activities. The National Trust has a useful list of 50 things to do before you’re 11¾.
There is so much to see and do and most of it at little or no cost. Most importantly, there is always an element of indirect learning that takes place. For me, it is about creating those special memories that children have of their family – that to me is more important than homework!
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