Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Homework overload

I wonder why Irish teachers give kids so much homework. Do you know it is prohibited in French primary schools (although it's not implemented everywhere)?  And there's even a study that suggests homework has limited value until secondary school.

I just can't take it anymore. When you think about it, my son gets A LOT of homework. Four pages of exercise each week, two pages of a book to read, words to practice, lines of writing, preparing him for oral language topics... If I do it right everyday (which doesn't always happen, I confess) it takes about 25 minutes. That's quite long after a day at school (and at work for me!). And because Ciaran has special needs, I have to explain differently, and encourage him a lot more (and deal with the tantrum when he just doesn't want to do any work at all...)

This week, one of the exercise was about guessing and then measuring various objects with a pen. WTF? First of all, if I took a "normal" colouring pencil, the box of cereal was more than 1 pen but less than 2, width and length. The textbook was the same size as my cereal box in real life, but not on the page, so what were we supposed to do? Who invented those stupid exercises?

Then there were the crosswords. I'm not too bad at French crosswords, but in English it's always a bit trickier. I know it was Senior Infant level, but Ciaran didn't understand the concept, so it took me a good while to explain it to him. At the end, I was trying to solve them myself:  "The colour of a tree" in 5 letters. I thought "brown", it was actually "green"...And it took me a good 5 minutes to guess "It will help you find the way" in 3 letters.

Anyway, thank God it's May because I really can't do this for much longer before I lose my mind (until next year!). And when I think about Ethan who will start primary school in less than 2 years, I'm already freaking out.

Maybe I should start a petition about banning homework in Irish primary schools!!