By Mumtaz Moosa-Saley
Homework, real pain for most parents. Parents who have kids in grade R will relate when I say that the homework they receive is too much.
At the age of 5 and 6, I believe that too little emphasis is placed on developing their fine motor skills. They also need to enjoy playtime, which develops skills otherwise omitted in the classroom.
A recent article has surfaced stating that parents are upset about the amount of homework given to their children whilst still expecting them to allocate time for studying. As parents, we tend to say it’s part of life, but the reality is that there is so much that can be done at school and the basics to be done at home. My son’s school for years has done away with homework. Kids are given one subject in higher grades, and lower grades are given a single maths task and reading lesson to complete.
So what can you do as a parent?
1. Time your child to see how long homework it takes for homework to be completed. But, ensure that you check with your child if they are catching up with lessons during the day that wasn’t completed.
2. Speak to the HOD of the school regarding how teachers and parents could find a balance regarding the amount of homework children are given daily. Many children travel long distances to get to school; others have religious and extracurricular activities after school, leaving little time for homework.
3. If the HOD has not responded, forward the email to the SGB and the principal, and get other parents to add their voices to the call.
4. Homework is important, but finding the right amount and that balance helps every child at a shot to succeed. As I said, no one has a perfect life, and the playing field has to be levelled. This may also be why we see an increased amount of drop out in scholars; by the time most reach home, it’s 6 pm, and homework takes about three hours. Some kids wake up at 4 am and make their way to school. So when does a child get downtime?
Meaningful changes can happen when we have the right conversations with the right people.