Is the future homework free? Expert Jo Otto shares the facts
There’s a long-running debate on the benefits of homework. Last week former England footballer, Gary Lineker, (father of four himself) had called for homework to be banned as ‘all it does is drive a massive wedge between parents and children’, claiming that parents are the ones that end up doing the work.
So does homework still have a place? Former teacher of 15 years and mother of two, Jo Otto,gives her verdict.
Jo Otto is the founder of educational app Maths Rockx that teaches children their times tables through songs from world-famous artists such as will.i.am, Pharrell and P!nk. An alternative to pen and paper, getting kids up and dancing along to the app also provides bonding through learning as it’s an activity that parents and children can do together without the stress and frustration of traditional homework.
But what is it that is so frustrating about traditional homework?
Time – ‘Homework at this age can often require some kind of guidance from an adult, so parents HAVE to help. The trouble is, parents of primary school children are often time poor so this can add extra stress on all involved. Children are tired and restless, parents are tired and busy and it ultimately creates pressure and frustration for both and essentially it can become a battle.’
Deadlines – ‘Homework deadlines for the little ones creates undue stress on both the child and parents. There has to be a balance so they are still able to unwind/play when they get home and be well…kids!’
Jo believes that although there can be downsides to homework; the good outweighs the bad;
Preparation – ‘There is not enough time at school for reinforcement. Small amounts of homework set as a routine prepares them for high-school when homework is unfortunately in abundance.’
Building confidence – ‘Ultimately the goal of homework is to consolidate the basic skills that the children learn at school. If the homework is well constructed and hopefully enjoyable for the child then there are definitely benefits, both in the consolidation of basic skills and just as importantly in the confidence that kids get when they get to school and find that they “DO” know the answers to the questions.’
Ultimately, it’s not about getting rid of homework, it’s about adapting it. Everyone is unique and everyone has different techniques that work for them when learning.
Maths Rockx is engaging, loads of fun and integrates the love of digital technology into the learning process. Children love it so much they WANT to do it and its taking the UK by storm with impressive results.