Rosie Scribble. a freelance writer in the U.K. who specializes in mental health issues and blogs about life with her 6 year old, wrote a wonderful piece about why she doesn’t make her daughter do homework. Many of the commenters also wrote that they didn’t make their children do homework, either. Now, if they could all inspire their friends and their friends’ friends, etc. homework for young children would no longer exist (after all, most elementary school children require some kind of parental involvement to get their homework done).
I Have Banned My Child from Doing Homework
by Rosie Scribble
Sometimes I get a bit hot under the collar, stamp my foot and decide that whatever I have been told to do I’m not doing it.
Then I wonder why my six-year-old daughter does the same.
However today, once again, I have decided there are a few things that our little family will not be doing, for one day at least.
Here’s the list:
I.J. [my daughter] will not be doing any homework
I.J. will not be watching Newsround
I.J. will not be looking at her school reading book
I will not be discussing keywords and spellings with I.J.
I will not be testing her on her addition and multiplication
I will not be helping her to practise her alphabet
We will not be doing anything related in any way to education
We shall only be doing fun things
Because a mother knows when her child is under stress, when she has had enough and is over-tired and over-sensitive, when being asked to watch the news will only add to her current anxieties, when number work at school is getting her down to the point where she can’t sleep at night, when the pressure to practise her reading every night is getting her down, when it is all becoming too much.
A mother knows when her child needs a night off, a break from it all, and when a dose of fun takes priority over homework.
So here’s what we will do instead:
We’ll close the curtains, turn off the lights and turn the front room into a cinema
We’ll watch a brand new DVD, possibly Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs as recommended by A Modern Mother
We’ll eat party food followed by chocolate cake
We’ll cuddle up on the sofa
We’ll shut out the rest of the world
We’ll forget about school
We’ll forget about everything else
We’ll have some fun
And I’ll hope for a calmer more relaxed child tomorrow.
211 Comments on &”&”I Have Banned My Child from Doing Homework,&” says English Mum&”
home work makes kids fatter so homework is making them lazy and normally kids lose bairn cells by sitting
Judging by your logic h, i think you did lots of homework ( ?°. °)
my mum will drive me to tears and i just puts kids down and they feel scared and trapped comment &”yes i agree&” if you agree
Your kids don’t know homework till they reach about 16
Impressive. I am researching on how to connect with the schools and be agreeable with the &”no homework&” rule. How do you do this?
I hate homework so much I’d rather die
I always fall asleep when doing homework and what’s the point of it when I’m just going to forget about it in the future.
Can’t we just learn the essential stuff? Can’t we just study in class together instead of doing it at home and take a test? Doing it at home has too much distractions and unhealthy. My butt would hurt after 5 hours of sitting everyday. I already have back pain for a 14 year old. I have back pain almost everyday and there’s no stopping it&… It really is stressful and I can’t take it anymore. I sometimes not do my homework on purpose just to relax myself. Then the next day in school I would just make an excuse. I honestly don’t even care for any of my grades anymore, I just care about my stress. Homework isn’t important to me anymore&…
Homework makes kids fat? Then why are most Ph.D students thin?
If her mom believes school and homework is useless&… I don’t think her kid will go far in life. Not doing these things will make you regret the future, and you will wonder why my life is going downhill. Even if you don’t like it, even if it doesn’t seem important, all throughout high school and college and finally your work place, it will matter what you do. Caring more about a child’s feelings and saying &” oh you got a D- on a test? As long as you’ve tried your best&”. well that is a big mistake. It’s called discipline but so far it lacks in many people. Getting a habit of homework at a young age is great for their future.
The true value of homework has been solidly proven, over and again, by broad thinking minds, yet is persistently misunderstood by the masses who generally think what they think they are told to think. The very first thing one must distinguish is this fact: there is a vast difference between compulsory homework assignments and voluntary homework. We’ve all heard of those wonderfully accomplished heroes who “really did their homework,” right? But what is rarely asked is “which kind of homework did specific individuals do?” Let us examine a couple of well known examples.
Leading up to, and during WWII, in Germany there were several very different and important personality types. Albert Einstein was one of the best known. Here was an individual who became almost synonymous with the word, genius. Clearly, this person “did his homework.” But which type? It is well documented that throughout all his years, including college, Einstein rarely completed compulsory assignments. When he did complete them, it was with minimalist effort, just because he had to, to survive. (Later on he would describe how school in general, and compulsory homework assignments in particular, served only to get in the way of his education.) On the other hand, he spent vast time and energy on that which simply inspired him. It is true that the establishment punished him for his independence. He did not get good grades and had a hard time even getting a mediocre job. Later, the establishment was unwilling to consider his theories or recognize his work—until finally, they had no choice. His light was simply too brilliant to be kept in the dark. It was not easy to be an Albert Einstein in a society that was molded by the old Prussian Schooling System. He could have easily failed entirely. He could have remained unknown. He could have been imprisoned or executed. In fact, he was forced to leave the country.
Meanwhile, average German citizens who simply did what they were told, followed all the rules, and completed all their compulsory homework assignments got better grades, better jobs, made more money, and got more respect and recognition. Of course they had no spare time to imagine or invent weird things like relativity. Nor the gumption to question authority. But how else could ordinary people get trained to accept as normalcy the ideas of global domination, mass murder and genocide?
Now, this is just one extreme example, right? What of the dozens of studies that have been done showing the statistics on the value of compulsory homework? Do they show test scores going up? No. Does IQ go up? No; it goes down. The ability to think critically, to think creatively, to question, and to understand the deeper meanings of things beyond memorized answers—all have been shown to be diminished by compulsory homework. Education, across the spectrum, has been shown to be stifled by compulsory homework. It seems Einstein once again was correct. Surprise. Except for one thing: statistics show that compulsory homework improves one’s ability to follow instructions.
But what of compulsory homework’s other effects? The side effects. How does it effect physical health? Mental health? Social awareness? Family life? Creative ability? Artistic ability? Spirituality? The ability to invent? To work with one’s body? Community involvement? Statistics are very clear on all of these questions; compulsory homework is extremely damaging. As a father, an educator, and a person who still remembers childhood, I can attest to this. Above all, compulsory homework is the destroyer of inspiration, the natural love of learning that lives inside every individual and should burn bright throughout one’s lifetime.
The American public schooling system was modeled after the Prussian system—which was originally designed to train soldiers. After a Prussian army was defeated in battle, the leaders devised a training program, so individual soldiers would do exactly what they were told without hesitation or questioning. Greater military success thereafter was their evidence that this system works very efficiently. But that is for the training of soldiers, not for the education of children or anyone. Further, it should be considered, the believers in the Prussian System never made a comparison against free thinking soldiers who sensed to the depth of their beings that they were fighting for a just and moral cause, opposed to others who were simply programmed into believing differently.
Yet those corporate heads who designed the American School system never desired an educated mass. They desired a workforce similar to Prussian soldiers. We have been trained to believe.
From the ancient schools of Bardic wisdom there is a proverb; “The beginning of knowledge is doubt.” To be truly educated we can not believe in anything we am told. We must research. We must ponder. We must experiment. And we must sense.