MORE than 110,000 parents have signed a petition calling for the standardisation of homework within the Spanish education system.
Madrid mother-of-three Eva Bailen launched the petition after witnessing the effect of three hours homework every night on her ten-year-old son.
Diego spent so much time keeping abreast of his homework that he had no time to relax in the evenings and was beginning to show signs of stress. Meanwhile his sisters, at the same school, always had far less homework.
She said: “I am not against homework, and I think that children should do something, rather than just sitting around in the afternoons. That was until I saw my child crying because he hasn’t been able to go out and play.”
Now the call for a standardised level of homework to be introduced in all schools has spread throughout Spain.
Luis Miguel Lázaro, professor of educational theory and history at the University of Valencia, has suggested a maximum of an hour per evening for high school students.
“The key here is that teachers work together: you can’t have one teacher assigning a huge workload as though their subject was the only one that counted,” he said.
My child is 11 and has school from 9 til 2, with a half hour break at 11.30. If he got 2 or 3 hours per day homework he would still be finished by 5.30 pm even allowing for lunch. Maybe the sister picks things up more quickly, or concentrates better. It’s always been the case that some children finish faster than others.
Although high school starts a bit earlier, I definitely don’t think limiting homework to an hour a night is enough, unless it’s measured by the time the brightest students take to finish. Maybe it’s enough for junior schools.
Perversely my boy gets almost no homework, and doesn’t regard his Spanish learning as a necessity, even though I have told him that’s why school is being lenient. Consequently his maths is slipping. I’m teaching him English myself. To be fair I’d have done so even were we living in the UK.
Three hours for homework is ok, if it’s not every day. Ten-year-old children should spend their time after school to play with friends or take a walk with parents.