I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and perhaps possibly for others who have and do share the same experiences that homework produces. I have experienced the requirements of homework personally as a former school student and now as a grandmother of two school aged students and mother of two former school students.
The Victorian education homework guidelines - and I stress guidelines (not mandatory) - for schools makes a series of requirements, something wanted or needed, or something essential to the existence or occurrence of something else (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) for a good homework policy.
The requirements for the setting of homework as per the Victorian Department of Education and Training states that:
• Schools must have a documented approach to homework which takes into account (for clarity and conciseness should be considers) the personal and developmental needs of students., and that
• The setting of homework needs to take into consideration the need for students to have a balanced lifestyle.
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Let’s look at personal needs, personal - being an adjective, belonging to or affecting a particular person (for clarity and conciseness should be person rather that a particular person) rather than anyone else, of or concerning one’s private life, relationships, and emotions rather than one’s career or public life (Oxford Dictionary). Homework affects my private life, having to endure the conflict that arises from homework and seeing the emotional pain it brings to my family is something that is not welcomed or needed.
The student (family member) already attends up to six hours a day (public institution), not counting travel time, to participate in a public life, undertaking work associated with their career (lessons). Let’s leave further lesson tasks (homework) outside of the school hours outside of the student’s personal life.
Developmental need, another adjective meaning concerned of the development of someone or something (Oxford Dictionary), I am concerned for the development of my family, when a student (family member) arrives home, the personal place where one lives, the student is no longer a student but is a participant in the life of that family and should not have to undertake homework.
The school in terms of education and its focus on the developmental need of the student should happen at school and not flow over into the personal space of the student after school has finished for the day.
Moving on to the next dot point of a balanced lifestyle, how does sitting down again (possibly for hours) to do homework provide a balanced lifestyle? How does homework help if the student feels anxiety created by the requirement of a school to do work outside of their public life that impacts on their personal life? How does homework provide a balanced lifestyle if the student cannot participate in other activities because they have to do theirhomework?
As a grandmother I do not want my school-aged grandson or granddaughter to have to do homework, I want them to be present in the family not bogged down by the historical introduction of homework that was invented in 1905 as a form of punishment for students.
Anne Lambert, Kingower
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