With school back in session, the debate of whether or not kids should have homework continues. Parents often feel responsible for having to sit down with their child and see them through this process, especially with younger children. The pressure may even cause conflict between parent and child.

I’ve often sat down and become frustrated when my child couldn’t understand a word problem. With my frustration showing, they were feeling even more pressure and it always ended in tears. I know I’m not the only parent this has happened to. After a full day at work, we’re exhausted! We need a break at the end of the day. So how can we expect our children to concentrate and focus on problem solving after a full day at school?

Those who are in favour of homework will say it promotes good study skills, self-discipline, initiative, and independence. Those opposed will say it creates conflict, lack of interest in schoolwork, and prevents children from spending quality time with their families. Principal Michael Brown from Elizabeth Ballantyne elementary school believes in a no-homework policy. “Kids shouldn’t have to go home to do two hours of homework after a full day at school,” he says. “They should be spending quality time with their families, playing and being children.”

I have to say that, with a child in elementary school and one in high school, I strongly agree with that sentiment. Not because I’m lazy, or want an easy way out, but because there is simply too much homework. After doing math, science, French, and geography homework all in one night, my son doesn’t remember what he’s done the following day. I feel that time spent at the dinner table cramming wasn’t the most efficient use of his after-school time at home. How can you decide which is the right course of action for your child? Here are some points to keep in mind:

Benefits:

  • Improves your child’s memory
  • Helps your child develop good study skills
  • Encourages your child to use time wisely
  • Teaches your child to take responsibility for his or her own work


Disadvantages:
  • Reduces the amount of quality time spent with family
  • May cause anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, weight loss, headaches, or burnouts
  • May encourage cheating to offset time constraints
  • Puts an added stress on lesson planning for teachers


Is there even a right answer when it comes to homework? Maybe not, but I think we can all agree that, as with anything else, homework is only of value only if the child is benefitting from it. Here’s hoping for a great school year for all!