The great homework debate: Is there any point to it?

THE great debate over whether kids should do homework has resurfaced and four local Ps - a principal, a parent, a P&C president, and a former pupil - have aired their thoughts on the issue.

As a principal at Canaiba Public School, and as a parent, Jude Voisey does not see huge benefits in doing homework.

>>OPINION: The homework debate - it's a choice

"In my experience it rarely satisfies anyone - some parents believe we give too little, others too much," she said.

"If it is reading, that should be enjoyable and a nightly ritual anyway and not seen as homework.

"How many adults come home from work and excitedly jump in to do their homework? Let the kids play and relax!," she said.

Is there any value in children doing homework?

This poll ended on 11 March 2015.

Current Results

Yes - it's a great way to reinforce and add to learning and in later years helps prepare them for tertiary study


At high school, certainly, but it's a waste of time at primary school


Not in the early years of primary school, but from grades 5 or 6 they should be doing it to get them ready for high school


No. There is too much pressure put on children today at school and homework just adds to that


No. Not as it's currently structured. Schools need to find ways to make kids want to do homework and enjoy it


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mother-of-three Yasmin Carruthers, of Wollongbar, also posted on the Northern Star's Facebook page that homework should comprise only reading and basic maths and require a maximum of 20 minutes each day.

"Family time should be encouraged; sitting at the table and eating a meal together should be encouraged," she said.

"Less homework would enable families more time to connect."

Mrs Carruthers said her child's teacher seemed disappointed that she had to mark homework as her daughter was the only person to hand it in.

"As a mum I would rather be spending that time teaching my kids life skills, which are just as important as the academic," Mrs Carruthers said.

Caught in the middle is Southern Cross School K-12 P&C president Craig Copeland who hears opposing views from parents.

"There are a variety of views across parents and as much as possible we try to reflect those views back to the school and take advice from the school," he said.

"There are some parents that think the more homework the better and there are other parents that say 'I want my child to have a life and not be doing homework all the time'.

"I think the view is that some element of homework trains people to do a task, even if it's only for a small period of time."

Mr Copeland said some parents were of the belief that kids should do homework because they used to do homework when they were their child's age.

Former Goonellabah Primary School student Ruben Peters went on to great success in Year 12, scoring a mark of 99.85 out of a possible 100.

He said homework has a role to play in the education of older high school students but it is a case of too much too soon for younger students.

Mr Peters said homework was a real burden during his early years of primary school.

"It wasn't so much doing the homework but having to worry about doing it," he said.

"The problem was having it looming over your head; it was something that had to be done."

Your say: Ban homework?

TARANG BATES: Yes. Children need to come home from school and get outside, move around, chill out ... hang out with friends and family.


No Csg Kerrie Homework it seems is for parents, not kids. I refuse to be tested night after night so my kids don't do homework.

LEROY DRUMS: Have you seen the spelling and grammar on social media sites nowadays? It's appalling. No, don't ban homework!

GEOFFREY TAPPING: No. Homework should not be banned. The benefits of homework from a young age are to establish a routine for the future.

JASMINE ADAMS: No. Homework shouldn't be 'catch up' for stuff done in class but should embed and extend leaning.

DANI LAVIS: No. I love the amount my kids get!! 5-10 minutes a day and it makes a world of difference the weeks we do it vs the weeks we are slack.

ZOY CRIZZLE: Homework is a real problem in our home so I have decided that school is like going to work, home is to enjoy and relax.

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