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Time to can homework

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

Nobody likes homework.

It’s one of those universals, standard across country, culture, time.

Or maybe there are some that like it, but I haven’t met any.

Despite this, homework has always been around and, up until very recently, looked like it was here to stay.

But now it’s in the gun, at least at a few schools round the region, who are following a wider trend to cut back on time spent doing homework, or dumping it altogether.

Lakeview principal Edward Hodgkinson is one who sees the end for it.

“There’s evidence homework makes very little difference, so over time we’re trying to make decisions and where it may sit for us.

“We haven’t gone to the extent of dropping it completely but we are investigating that for our students in the future,” he said.

Other schools around the region are more circumspect, preferring to label it “home learning” and keep it as part of school life.

The fact is, there are no rules to say how much our children should be doing, or if it needs to be done at all.

The Ministry of Education leaves homework up to schools to decide.

That means it certainly can’t be that important to the development of our school-aged children.

For those who keep it to a minimum, why not ditch it all together?

If it’s just reading a book at home, why make it compulsory?

Instead let’s make sure all the children spend a certain period of time reading in class.

That way our teachers know that all pupils are getting at the very least a minimum time spent reading.

If we leave it to parents, the variations in time and effort will quickly become a gulf.

You don’t get to be a kid for very long, and once you’ve left school things get complicated pretty quickly.

Let’s make school end at the school gate, and encourage our youngsters to get out and about after class.

More time spent climbing trees and riding bikes has to be positive for their development.

Nobody likes homework, maybe it’s time to give it the boot.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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