Stepping in to stop too much studying

Paula Wilson banned homework in her house for a year.

In 2011, sick of the negative impact the extra work was having on eight-year-old daughter Madyson and the rest of the family, Mrs Wilson asked her daughter’s year 3 teacher not to send work home.

”She was coming home each week with a sheet of homework, a home reader, plus speaking projects, plus other projects,” she said.

The Port Macquarie mother of three said the burden meant her daughter, now 10, spent much of the three hours between arriving home and bedtime studying, often with the help of her husband, leaving Madyson without any down time.

”There is more to life than primary school homework,” Mrs Wilson said.

Now her daughter is in year 5, homework has reappeared in the house, but the debate over how much is acceptable divided the Wilson household.

”My husband wants her to develop a homework ethic because she’ll have to do it when she gets to high school,” Mrs Wilson said.

”He wants to see [homework] in schools from the beginning to end [of schooling].”

Mrs Wilson, on the other hand, wants homework banned in primary schools altogether.

She said primary school children did not have the maturity to cope with the pressure of completing so much work.

”They don’t know how to cope with deadlines or prioritise their work.”

Mrs Wilson said Madyson’s negative experience with homework over the years had affected her attitude towards education.

”Now she’s got into this mentality that she’s stupid, but she’s quite a capable kid.”

The large volume of weekly homework, which often demanded a lot of input from both parents, also hit family life, she said.

”There’s always this feeling of doom knowing that it’s coming and [not knowing] where are we going to find the time, or get the resources to find the information,” she said.

Although her eldest daughter had a bad experience with homework, Mrs Wilson said her middle child Apryl was breezing through it.

”The system is failing my oldest daughter, where it could be working for my youngest daughter,” she said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.