Debate over homework reignited by Facebook post

  • 17/03/2016
(Facebook/Constance Hall)
(Facebook/Constance Hall)

An Australian mother's comments about unnecessary homework have reignited a contentious debate that's been raging for years.

Thirty-two-year-old Perth mum-of-four Constance Hall says her children would be better off climbing trees and swimming at the beach than sitting down after six hours at school to more books and writing at the kitchen table. She's also stated she should not be expected to do homework with her six-year-old.

Her comments on Facebook have received more than 50,000 reactions and 7,000 shares, with most parents agreeing with her.

Trisha Wheeler wrote: "As a teacher, I honestly think that the only 'homework' primary school kids should have is reading every night. Anything else is, quite frankly, ridiculous."

While Penny Wright said: "I have a child with ADHD and by the time he gets home from school he is exhausted and his ability to sit still and concentrate is done for the day. I refuse to force him to do it because I want to keep him enjoying school for as long as possible."

But Lisa Davis commented: "I want my kids to have homework... not a lot, but enough for me to see what they're learning about and be able to pick up where they might need some help."

Research published in the British Educational Research Journal says primary school pupils who did homework in core subjects once a month had the highest test scores, while those who did homework more frequently achieved lower results.

And when it comes to high school students, a Stanford University study has found that too much homework can have a negative effect -- with more than two hours per night for this age group associated with greater stress, health problems and less time to develop critical life skills and hobbies.