WORKLOAD: Anne Collingburn with daughters Ava, Paris and Dana. Photo: ADAM HOURIGAN
WORKLOAD: Anne Collingburn with daughters Ava, Paris and Dana. Photo: ADAM HOURIGAN

The great homework debate... to do or not to do?

HARWOOD mother Anne Collingburn sees no point in her children doing homework, declaring that by the time they get home from school they are too tired to concentrate.

"The homework is not getting done properly," she said.

"When it comes to them having to do maths equations and spelling I don't think it is sinking in.

"I think that should just stay at school."

Mrs Collingburn has four daughters, including three in primary school.

"When they come home they are usually ratty, hungry and tired," Mrs Collingburn said.

"At the moment they are doing swimming lessons a few days a week so we are at the pool from 3.30 to 6pm. Trying to fit homework into that schedule is a bit hectic."

Mrs Collingburn operates a small business and usually does not get home until 6pm, and said she is unable to properly help her daughters with the work they bring home each week.

"My eldest daughter has three books to read, maths equations and spelling words for a Friday test and research assignments," she said.

"My daughter in year one has to read through books and has maths equations and spelling words.

"I think homework needs to be limited, or just stick to reading. I think reading is very good."

Mrs Collingburn said not all children were suited to homework and academia.

"I don't think homework is a life skill. It is an individual's perspective," she said.

"Children are smart enough to make those choices."


Homework builds lifeskills

ALTHOUGH Maclean High School student Kalina Hall hates homework, it is something she knows will benefit her schooling and build life skills.

"In my opinion, the entire purpose of school is not to fill our brain with facts and knowledge, but to provide us with a good work ethic towards applying ourselves in every aspect of life and working at everything the best we can," Kalina said. 

NO FAN: Maclean student Kalina Hall isn’t a fan of homework, but believes it helps prepare you for life after school. PHOTO: Stephanie Flay
NO FAN: Maclean student Kalina Hall isn’t a fan of homework, but believes it helps prepare you for life after school. PHOTO: Stephanie Flay


"Homework is good for students. It teaches them independence and ... discipline. I don't mean in the 'you're a naughty kid way', but in the 'I have to get this done because it's important, so I'll do it before anything else' way."

The Year 12 student said although she felt tired after school she knew life was not easy, noting parents did not get a break when they came home after a day of work.

"Having grown up in a home with parents who have always tried their best no matter how hard things get, I guess you come to appreciate the tasks at the end of the day even when you're tired because you know it's similar to what they have to do, and one day you will to."

Between school and her job, Kalina said she always made time to do her homework, which comprised of extension maths, reading and analysing books for English, and assignments.

"I don't believe that homework is more important than a child's health and their ability to have a life though. I won't stay up late stressing over it because I know a good night's sleep is the best way to be fresh in the morning," she said.



Should homework be compulsory?

This poll ended on 13 March 2015.

Current Results

Yes. Revision of an afternoon allows students to build a better understanding of things learnt that day.


No. No child should have to do homework. They should be out playing sport.


Compulsory for high school, but not primary school.


It should be encouraged, but not enforced.


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

What you had to say on Facebook:

Jess Wylie: No, but it shouldn't be compulsory; not all kids are academic. My kids much prefer sports after school then redoing what they spent 6hrs doing in the classroom already that day

Kim Toyer: Yes!!!! 5 /10 minutes of homework per night works out to be 1/2 hr of fighting per child ... I would much rather spend that time doing something we all enjoy.

Alison McBeath: No! How many adults come home from work and bring some home to finish? It's a life skill to learn to manage their time and considering my kids only have 2 pages to fill in and a spelling list each week, I don't think it's too much to ask. Plus, as a parent, I actually get to see what my children have learnt and what they are struggling with.

Angela Venz: My daughter is in Year 1. School finishes at 2.45pm. But she doesn't arrive to our bus stop until 4pm. Bus leaves in the morning at 7.50am. That's a big day for a 6yr old. All she wants to do when she gets home is change out of uniform then chill out & relax for a while. Then go play with her younger sister & her pets until dinner, bath & bed. Not more school work when she gets home. Although she does love to read her home reader to us. Which I think is homework enough at that age.

Dale BC Magick: It should be voluntary. I'm not keen on the tears, tantrums and rages I cop over a little homework from my ASD kids. Home is an environment where they need to unwind, play and just be themselves. If the kids ask me to give them work, I do.

Matty Carlin: No. Learning requires revision. Any further study after school requires the ability to self-administer research and study. It's an essential component of learning. A huge majority of successful business entrepreneurs read every day. If you aren't learning, you aren't earning.

Kristy Kelly Haines: Yes, no homework for Kindy to Yr 6.

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