Homework: yay or nay?
Homework is currently a hotly contested debate. After attending a brilliant workshop by James Nottingham on the Learning Challenge, I am more convinced than ever that homework serves no purpose to children under the age of 11 years.
Perhaps you disagree and enjoy spending time painstakingly extracting information or frustratingly trying to ensure that content remains in their heads, or perhaps, just perhaps you are slowly coming round to the fact that not all homework is as meaningful as we would like to think it is.
Children, as we have all know, need to play, they have a full and busy day at school, sport is a time for them to play in teams and interact socially, learning a whole host of other valuable skills. Nobody and especially no little body wants to get home after that and write sentences with spelling words, for example.
So what do we do? We want our children to learn, to really learn but not to hate the learning process. A study done on two groups of children, one group who did daily homework and another group who only worked at school, showed absolutely no difference at all in achievement between the two groups. According to John Hattie, a well-known educational researcher, homework between the ages of 5 and 11 years has a 0,01 % effect on overall achievement.
Now Preview, is something I do agree with, getting children excited about home preparation for an upcoming topic. The effect that Preview has is 0,9% and almost doubles the rate of progress in a child. The answer, in my opinion, is therefore to get children so excited about what they are going to be learning about, that they are enthused to read up, research and explore topics at home therefore coming to school ready to share and add value to topics taught in class. This in turn develops confidence and encourages investigation and collaboration.
Our approach to learning is something that needs continuous and constructive criticism, if we get that right, homework (Preview) becomes a breeze and school life is meaningful and purposeful.
Below are some useful links to help support your child in their upcoming homework tasks. For any more information about preview and pre-learning homework please talk to your child’s class teacher.
Kiddle: Free child friendly encyclopaedia, very similar to Wikipedia, great for finding facts and information about specific things.
Brain Pop: A fantastic website full of information for all curriculum subjects, for each topic there are a range of interactive learning resources.