Children today are schooled differently than we were five and ten years ago. In my day a child of Kindergarten, first, second and even third grades had little to no homework. Today however homework starts as young as the age of four and five in their first year of school. It can be simple to pick out some pros of such a demanding school system, children are learning more at an earlier age, more is being learned in a school year and children are being challenged daily but can a child be hurt by this fast faced system and to much homework?
Too much homework can be a problem for children especially at young ages. Young children have short attention spans and by the end of a long tiring day at school are ready for their minds to rest. They are ready to come home with all their pent up energy, cut loose and have some fun hours of play time not a stack of homework. Homework at this stage in life can lead to burnout by the end of the evening much less the school year. We must not forget play is a way of learning for children. Children need this time to enjoy their creativity just as we adults need our time to relax. Too much homework takes this time from young children just as too many hours working takes from our relaxation time. Middle aged and older children adjust to homework quicker than their younger counterparts but still need time away from school to do some things they want to do. Burnout is a terrible thing for a child and may result in lesser grades, refusal to learn, and rebellion from the simple fact they are tired and bored with the whole idea of school.
Tons of homework also deduct from family time together. Smaller children are to tired to enjoy the bedtime story mom or dad wanted to read them, older children are to consumed in wanting what time they have left to play their favorite video game or watch a movie than to discuss their day, and mom and dad may be to tired from their day and helping with all that homework to press the issue. This time is important to the whole family unit and it is slipping away for more entertaining or relaxing purposes when children are bogged down for time. We as parents need to know what is going on with our children and family time is how we do this.
Children do need homework to add structure to their classroom activities but they also need time to be themselves. Young children need less if any homework to allow them to enjoy the learning process. Older children and teens need time to enjoy with friends, playing video games or watching a movie. Children need time to be and act as children. Schools need to respect a child’s age and mindset and allow the time for children to be both students and individuals. All children need to learn it is important but also need time to experience life outside of school and homework.
Homework every day is pressing for children but can be accepted easier than a heaping load of it every night. Teachers need to give homework in moderation and even consider a few nights a week homework free. There is nothing wrong with encouraging a child to learn by homework but allow them time for themselves as well. We do not want our next generations to experience burnout and turn from the acedemic path they so badly need to stay on.