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Head of School Blog

Aug 13, 2015

Balance & Homework


Homework is one of those areas that unfortunately causes a lack of balance in many households. There are students who fly through allocated homework and complete it with no real issues being presented. There are others who struggle...

Balance - is a difficult thing to achieve. I love holidaying near the beach and usually see surfers who have an amazing ability to balance. The control and skill demonstrated by these people requires total balance – the ability to balance to ensure you stay upright during critical moments. 
Homework is one of those areas that unfortunately causes a lack of balance in many households. There are students who fly through allocated homework and complete it with no real issues being presented. There are others who struggle and the battle lines with parents or carers are drawn. Then there are students who flatly refuse to complete homework. At times our family homes turn into war zones with the battle scars being obvious for some time. This begs the question, is homework balancing the learning that happens at school, or is it causing unnecessary conflict, in which case, is homework valid?
Recently, there has been much discussion about the merits or otherwise of having a compulsory homework policy in our schools. Some schools have implemented an ‘optional’ homework policy. In these schools, homework is set for all students, yet parents elect to have their child  
participate in homework or excused from completing homework. This optional approach could be a short term decision, or it could be a permanent decision. 
Our staff have been considering this as part of our professional reading and dialogue. Whist no decisions have been made, we recognise that balance in our homes is essential. If homework is causing a misbalance in your home, please speak with your child’s classroom teacher in the first instance.  As parents, you can always let a teacher know that homework hasn’t happened this week due to the very real reasons that impact our lives. 
Of course homework has always been intended to reinforce learned skills and content. It goes without saying that at a primary level, exposure to books and regular reading, both students reading themselves and being read to, is essential. 
We continue to reflect on the balance of these issues within our school and our families.
 
Technology Tip
Commonsensemedia.org is a great website/app to assist children and parents with decisions about games, music, movies, etc. Why not check it out!

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