How much homework are parents doing?

How much homework are parents doing?

Dubai - Khaleej Times put the homework theory to the test to find out just how time-consuming homework really is for parents.


Kelly Clarke

Published: Sat 8 Oct 2016, 9:16 PM

Last updated: Sat 8 Oct 2016, 11:28 PM

It's not just school students and teachers who are bearing the brunt of lengthy homework tasks here. Parents are often forced to revert to 'back-to-school' mode when the end of school bell rings out, as many are tasked with helping their children with homework.
But how many hours are they devoting?
Khaleej Times put the homework theory to the test to find out just how time-consuming homework really is for parents. And the consensus is, it's a fairly time-labouring task
Parent: S.C., UK
Children: Two daughters aged 6 and 4
Time spent overseeing homework: Four hours per week
My 4-year-old gets reading each week but we do extra work at home because she's quite able for her age. My 6-year-old gets reading every day. Spellings every night Sunday to Wednesday with a test on Thursday. On Thursday, she gets Math and English homework. Both take less than 15 minutes to do but again we do extra. We do an extra 10 minutes every day of reading, and on week-ends an additional 30 minutes."
Parent: Asha Manoj, India
Children: 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son
Time spent overseeing homework: Two hours per week
I don't feel they are getting a lot of homework. I do not work and like to spend additional time with them doing tasks. My elder one does his work only if it's mandatory and it's always last minute. He doesn't spend much time on books. When it comes to overseeing homework, I spend more time with my younger one to try and make my older one independent
Parent: Susan Holdstock, UK
Child: 9-year-old son
Time spent overseeing homework: Three hours per week
My son is now nine and in Year 5. He is currently being sent home with a sheet of various math questions but he hasn't been taught in school how to actually do the math. Therefore with each question, I am teaching a whole new area of math. It takes a very long time to complete the homework. I believe it's probably been covered in school, but as everyone knows, children learn at a different pace and excel in different areas and struggle in others."
Big sister: Shivani Manohar-lal, India
Child: 7-year-old brother
Time spent overseeing homework: Two-and-a-half hours per week
We spend at least half an hour on homework and the most time-consuming subject is Arabic. I make him study in the evening every night for half an hour because homework is necessary for future development."
Parent: Ruth Bradley, UK
Children: 17-year-old son, 11-year-old and 4-year-old daughters
Time spent overseeing homework: Two hours per week
Each day, my oldest gets roughly two different assignments to work over a few days. English takes 30 minutes to complete. Math is most time-consuming. There is a lot of pressure on kids these days to do extracurricular activity. We have a 17-year-old who just started A-levels in the UK, so if I was to make a comparison with Bebe (daughter) and Luca (oldest son) at that age, they seem to have an incredibly full schedule these days."
Point of View
Cursty Hoppe 
Firstly, we should clarify if the UK debate is purely based around homework for younger children, specifically those in primary school.
No one is suggesting that teens preparing for important exams should or could prepare for these without significant amounts of effort put in at home.
In an ideal world, primary-aged children probably should go home and help cook dinner, play games, play outside, communicate with their family and friends.
However, let's not forget the UAE's unique demographic. We live in a country where children change countries, curricula, languages and even at times-hemispheres. These children require additional work to bring them up-to-speed with the rest of the class.
Homework might not be essential for younger kids, yet the discipline and routine it sets in motion at an early age does prepare them for self-study later in their academic careers.
The UAE is also a competitive private school market and as such schools face rigorous annual/biannual inspections, possible TIMSS & PISA testing and also compete for students and positive exposure for parents.
For any school to potentially risk lowering their academic results, we would need to see a lot more research put into benefits of 'no-homework' before schools in the UAE make any significant changes.
If you look at the 'home-tutoring' industry in the UAE, you would conclude that the UAE's parents actually want more 'work-done-at-home,' rather than less.
Cursty Hoppe is the Editor of Which School Advisor

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