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Homework- yes or no?

  • 23-01-2023 11:58am
    Registered Users Posts: 1

    As a primary school teacher I have grown tired of the stress,drama and time homework brings to the classroom. It causes the kids stress and I'm sure parents too. There is the drama of some not having theirs done, the excuses etc and the time it takes to go over it the following day. A primary school day is already packed to capacity with an overloaded curriculum. To try and squeeze in homework just wastes valuable learning time. My approach to homework has always been different. In my early days I would explain to my class if we got the work done in class and I felt everyone was engaged in their learning then I would simply give no homework. If they decided to mess and misbehave (a common problem for substitute teachers) I would give them more than usual homework. This approach worked well for me. Another approach I had was to give the children tasks- help their parents at home ( loading dishwasher, setting table etc, or reading a story to their parents-any story). This approach was enjoyed by kids and parents alike.

    My reason for posting here is to ask parents in 2023 should your children be coming home after a long day at school learning expected to do more work? Research suggests it is of absolutely no benefit to the children. But I would like to hear the thoughts of parents. So a yes or no answer with your reasons why would be great to hear.

    Cheers to all that participate

    Post edited by Spear on



  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 25,201 CMod ✭✭✭✭Spear

    Moved to a forum that's actually related to the topic instead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,300 ✭✭✭Gatica

    Surprised no one has posted :)

    I agree it's an added stress in terms of time and completion. If they have other activities after school, then they still have to try to squeeze in time to complete assignments. However, the upside is that I see how my child is doing in school based on the work they're doing at home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭Jasper79

    I say no. I have one child in first class and one in junior infants. Myself and wife work full time and most nights it's just a chore for everyone, especially kids who are already tired come the evening.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Yes as I can see what they are doing in real time. The school is a closed box where we get to look in the very odd time. They do not seem to do a huge amount and seem more worried about the church across the road than educating kids. All kinds of studies have shown that where parents are involved in the schooling the outcomes for the child are better.

  • Registered Users Posts: 856 ✭✭✭timetogo1

    I've a daughter in Senior Infants. She gets about 10 - 15 mins of homework for Monday - Thursday. So far we haven't found it to be a burden but we've gotten no push back from her. She'll probably push back more as she gets older.

    Like Pawwed said, I find it useful to see where she is and I know where she is maths wise and reading wise so we integrate it a bit when we're going out for walks or have some time together. She gets no Irish homework (and my Irish is weak) so I've no clue where she is for that and coincidentally or not, she's told me that Irish is her least favourite subject.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Tiredandcranky

    Yes. Homework is useful. It's the only chance for the parent to see how the kid is doing in school. That said, we're lucky, as the amount of homework our kids get is really very small (10 - 15 mins). My eldest will usually do the written stuff in 10 mins, and if we're feeling especially dedicated, we might do the Irish or tables with him. I've heard horror stories from other parents of lines and lines of colouring for j infants and such nonsense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 34,553 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato

    OP if you're concerned about how many hours a week teachers have to teach pupils, how about abolishing the half hour per day of "religious instruction" which is mandatory in 95% of Irish primary schools?

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,391 ✭✭✭BlueSkyDreams

    ChatGPT will erradicate any value in homework very soon.

    Kids will need to demo their learning in person, at school.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,597 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    We need more homework, not less. Kids have too much free time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,391 ✭✭✭BlueSkyDreams

    It is outdated now, due to ChatGPT.

    There is little point in it anymore.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,917 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Depends what the homework is, and what quality it is. If it's busy work then no point. There's a certain amount of independent learning required in life. Certain amount of practice to stay current in a perishable skill.

    Then some of that depends on the quality of what goes on in the classroom. Trying to get feedback and updates from many teachers is like getting blood out of a stone.

    I've read the research on homework. I think if it's not making any difference then what is the point. It seemed the classroom instruction was higher quality then exist in other places. Perhaps that's why the homework was redundant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,391 ✭✭✭BlueSkyDreams

    Homework has become redundant because the computer can do it all for you via Chat bots etc.

    first you had Google and Wiki etc, but at least kids had to do some form of research to complete homework. which is still a valuable and contemporary skill to learn.

    But ChatGPT and their new versions just write the essay/do the math for you. Instantly.

    There will need to be a revolution in the way kids are tested and homework wont be part of the answer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,597 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    Easy solution. Require it to be hand written. copying it out from a computer screen will impart some learning. Even better, teach through Irish.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,391 ✭✭✭BlueSkyDreams

    Kids can just copy the text on to paper. They dont need to understand it to copy it.

    ChatGPT writes it and they copy it.

    ChatGPT can dictate the work in Irish. Again, kids dont need to understand it to copy it.

    The answer probably lies in more in class presentations, taking questions from other students/teachers etc, as the kids cant "cheat" then.

    So your homework could be preparing your presentation.

    The irony is, the content of your presentation will be entirely written by a computer and the kid delivering it may not understand a word of what they are saying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,917 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Just like you can tell when something is written by someone else. You can tell a lot of the time that its written by ChatGPT.

    They have tools coming online that can detect chatGPT with apparently a  97% accuracy and a false positive rate of only 1%.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    No stress here from homework. It is useful to see how the kids are getting on as the teachers do not make themselves available. Children whose parents help them with homework have much better outcomes according to the national parents council.

    If anything I think there should be more homework and more tailored to the individual child.

  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭purplefields

  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭purplefields

    Other tools will work out how to get around the plagiarism detectors.

    We are at the start of it all now with ChatGPT entering mainstream. In 5 to 10 years academia will be totally different - for the better maybe.

    Although what will happen to the internet, when ChatGPT is referencing other AI generated pages, instead of original content?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,858 ✭✭✭✭Furze99

    The normal school day involve a lot of repetition. No need for more repetition again in homework, unless you want to really turn young learners off a subject. So the OP makes a very valid case as to how to proceed.

    For parents who view homework as a means to check how their children are getting on - well you don't need homework for that. You can just sit down and ask what they covered that day/ week and explore a few ideas with them. Far more engaging, natural and useful for the young learner (or any learner).

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Do you have kids? If I asked my kids that they would just say they don't remember. You also assume a competence in the subjects that may or may not exist. My level of Irish for example. I can understand the homework for the most part when I am reading it and going through it but would struggle to engage in a meaningful way outside of that. Others have issues with Maths, English etc.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,917 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Those detectors will adjust to suit.

    Computers are like people. They have predictable patterns.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,917 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    In my experience schools are disconnecting from parents. Feedback and communication gets worse every year.

    Often a child has no context of the bigger picture, they also often give inaccurate feedback to their parents.

    Many teachers do not know their students well either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 271 ✭✭sekond

    I've no major opinion on homework one way or another - I can see the benefits, but also the downsides. I've rarely had trouble to get my kids to complete it, and certainly in the older years of primary it's a good habit to get into for secondary school.

    What does drive me crazy - especially because both parents here work full time - is the homework that is essentially "homework for parents" - projects in the younger years of primary, art and craft type things. Our school has got better at not handing them out anymore, but there was a period when one child was smaller that there seemed to be a project every month.

    Projects in the older years aren't as much of a problem - 5th class child just completed one on a country of her choice, inputting it all into a presentation on google classroom. My involvement was keeping a vague eye while she was doing her research, pointing her in the direction of slightly more reliable sources, and a small bit of tech support.

    I'd be interested to see what ChatGPT turns out in Irish. If it's anything like the nonsense google translate turns out, the Irish teachers of the world won't be too concerned. (And to be honest, I don't see ChatGPT causing much of a problem with primary school homework anyway)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,945 ✭✭✭circadian

    You've solved your own problem. In third level it's becoming increasingly common to have an in depth Q&A session for your work. Otherwise, ChatGPT is still a bit cack at anything remotely complex, it's certainly not quite at the scaremongering replacing everything stage yet.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Let's go to the extreme, of school.

    Leaving cycle pupils:

    School: 09:00 - 16:00

    Expected Study: 2+ Hours

    Homework: 2+ Hours

    How many of you would accept that level of work after office hours?

    Government and health officials complain about kids not doing sport: There's a reason right here.

    Repition, in the hours after exposure, does help to lock in that learning but we need to come to some kind of balance. No 16-17 year old should be under that level of pressure.

    FFS you go through an entire honours degree never feeling that level of stress again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,858 ✭✭✭✭Furze99

    Yes and all past primary & secondary school age now. The most useful 'homework' that parents can do is to engage in discussion about what has been covered in class, take an interest in what was conveyed and give their own perspective on it. That's where additional learning takes place and ideas are formulated. Maybe that requires a little effort and thought but far better than using homework & text books as some sort of crutch to cover up lack of competence. And dare I suggest that if a parent knows feck all about say algebra, then they should not try and spoof their way. We all have to admit that sooner or later in many ways, our children and other people generally know more about a subject that we do. In that case, maybe try and engage a conversation where your child explains to you.

    As for the commentary on a widening gap between schools/ teachers, their student and their parents - that is sad observation on the current education system.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,917 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,917 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Not unlike asking people about their CV. You know the spoofers easily enough.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,532 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    Thats just nonsense for the younger kids.

    I find that homework, as others have said, give the parent a view into whats being done in the classroom and where their child is at.

    It's value is very dependent on the child and indeed home environment but in general it is a good thing particulary in the younger ages where the parent HAS to get involved.

    I think its good in general to get kids into the habit of "Work" and scheduling their time as they get older.

    It's not the same for everyone mind and I suppose these are where the challenges arise.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,532 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    That's not entirely accurate however.

    I see nowadays in secondary schools I am familiar with, there are a hell of a lot of "free" classes or free periods. There's a whole additional year added in some schools (for the past couple of decades) and from my experience a lot of this age group aren't necessarily working a part time job any more to help with income ( as would have been far more prevalent years ago).

    As such they don't necessarily need or have to spend 4 hours per day outside of their 9-4 school day studying or doing homework and indeed the resources they have available to them for study and homework far outweight was was there in the past. One could also argue that the exams they are studying for have gotten relatively easier than they have been before.

    Again, as with my earlier post, its not the same for everyone and thats where the challanges arise but lets not think they are getting a really raw deal.