The Education issue

My mum would make me go back to the school to pick up my homework...  Just who’s responsibility is it really for kids homework?

homework-tipsJust the other day, while having a 20 minute coffee break in a local café, I soon noticed that the radio was on. Before I knew it, there I was tuning into the voice discussing new research on homework and who’s responsibility is it really. Homework is always a hot topic with parents and teachers alike. Personally my kids do way too much of it and I’d much rather they had family time or free time instead to pursue all those wonderful interests they have.

But what really caught my attention was the part where the clinical psychologist from QUT said, that while gathering data – they interviewed parents, teachers and schools, about how they approach homework. They found that a parent had on a weekend tracked down the apartment building that their child’s teacher lived in and methodically pressed every button in the building until they found the right apartment. They then proceeded to check with the teacher what homework their child had for the weekend that was due on Monday! Their child was a high school student.

Needless to say their research was focused on ‘who’s responsibility it is for kids homework’ as it seems to have change in recent years. Is it the child’s? The teachers? Or the parents? Obviously this parent was taking the responsibility on board for homework very seriously. Interestingly enough, their research showed that in primary school it is a combination of the parent and the child’s. By middle school though it starts to become the responsibility of the teacher instead of the child’s. So that by the time that they get to senior school the teacher is stepping up more and more to shoulder the responsibility for getting students to do their homework. This research was across catholic and independent schools in Australia.

It seems that unfortunately, teachers are taking on this responsibility due to the pressure from parents and school admin. We all know that really, the older a child becomes the more responsibility they should be taking on board. If you, as a parent are trying to carry the burden or responsibility for your child’s homework in upper primary, middle or senior schools then an important step to independence is missing.   Fast forward to university years, if you don’t hand over responsibility in the high school years to your child for their homework and assignments how will you hand over at university?

I clearly remember if I ‘accidently’ left my homework at school in the high school years, my mum would make me go back to the school to pick up my homework. The responsibility was mine. I did the work, and so thanks mum, because this is exactly what I have taught my kids to do and they have always done their homework by themselves and their assignments. If you’d like to read more about the research, the radio program was Life Matters.

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