Homework—or No Homework?
I was at my sister’s house on the weekend, and while I was there, my niece was preparing her speech for school on Monday. I asked her what she was planning to talk about. The school had advised the topic needed to be something outlining a pro and a con. So my niece decided she was going to talk about the subject of homework in school. She’s recently changed intermediate schools; her previous school didn’t give students homework, and her new school does.
I thought this was a really interesting topic, it sparked a few ideas for me, and my 12 year old niece and I had a really good conversation about the subject. I thought about my niece and her busy week, and how I had felt about homework back in the day! “lol” we had always had home work from Primary School to High school, and that’s just how it was.
My niece made an interesting point: “If school isn’t a place for sleeping, then home isn’t a place for studying homework” she said. After reading her speech, considering a student’s day that could begin with an early 5am start in the morning to catch their morning bus, finishing school about 3pm, off to after school sports training at 6pm then home for dinner and homework, finally bedtime is around 10 pm… I struggle to think what student isn’t sleeping in class—bed time for me is 9pm these days!
My niece and I can both agree on one thing and this is: time is limited. Where, and how, do we fit everything in? I am forever assessing and reassessing my life, trying to create more time, figure out how I can be more productive and use time more efficiently. I think in most conversations it is something that is on many people’s minds, and a conversation will quite often lead back to having enough time for something.
“It’s proven that teenagers need at least 9 hours 15 minutes sleep. If you wake up at 5am and have a sports practice you will get 6 and a half hours of sleep, and even if you wake up at 6-7 and don’t have a sports practice, you will still get 7-8 and a half hours sleep.”
So how productive is my niece in class when she has to do homework after school? Could her time in school and outside of school be more enjoyable—and better for her—without homework?
Things are certainly changing in the working world, and people are moving away from what has been the ‘norm’ for many years. A great example is the 4 day working week, which of course has been in the news lately. This article is a concise and interesting read on the topic.
..”The New Zealand-based financial services company Perpetual Guardian, says it has increased its productivity by 20 per cent since switching 240 employees on to a four-day week. Companies in The Guardian’s report claimed gains of up to 30 per cent”.
The article also talks about increased productivity and potential savings for businesses who move to a 4 day working week
…”continue paying the same salaries as they currently offer, and produce exactly the same commercial results as today, or even better. That doesn’t even take into account potential savings from less frequent working – examples might include lower heating bills in the office or reduced spending on childcare provision”.
I can honestly say that when I have had a short week at work, I feel I have been more productive, more engaged and I feel energy levels are high. I just generally feel like I get more done. So, as far homework goes, I feel I am probably leaning more towards no homework, and a thumbs to having more flexibility around hours of work. I am “pro” 4 day working weeks. What are your thoughts? I’d love to read your comments on this subject.
If you get the time, check out my niece’s speech: No Homework— just some food for thought.