This is something I experienced with one of my own children.
When he was younger, he would never have dreamed of asking a question in class but as soon as the books came out after dinner, he would let me know what aspects he didn’t quite grasp and together we would solve the problem.
Several studies carried out in the US, Australia and the UK have suggested that homework is not only an unnecessary evil but may prove counter-productive and restrict academic progression as children become bored and unhappy.
The same studies have suggested that no proven non-academic benefits, such as teaching self-discipline or instilling a strong work ethic, exist either which leads me to wonder why our children have to do homework at all.
This particularly applies to pupils who are quieter and more reserved than their classmates as they may not want to put their hand up and ask for an explanation — even if they really don’t understand something, shy children would often prefer to quietly pray they don’t get asked for an answer than to speak out and let the teacher (and classmates) know that they are totally in the dark.
So by having homework to do, the child can work things out in the comfort of their own home, away from prying eyes and under the guidance of their parents, something they would most likely not do unless specific exercises were assigned to them.
But there were times I actually enjoyed it — writing an essay, opening a clean page of a copy, and, with a freshly sharpened pencil, being able to complete whatever work had been assigned to us that evening.
Practice makes perfect so by spending time on a specific exercise, be it reading, writing, or maths, outside the classroom, children are more likely to retain it.
ASK any parent of a primary-school aged child what part of the day they dread the most and you can be pretty sure that homework time will feature prominently.
Trying to convince a child, who has already spent several hours learning and seated at a desk, that they should continue their day in a similar fashion once they return home is difficult at the best of times, and near impossible at others.
Giving our children back their evenings gives them and us the valuable time to help them live and enjoy a more all-rounded childhood.
Homework can help children grasp and reaffirm what they learned that day.