What do want for our children? Do we want them to be successful or happy? Or do we believe that happiness is the direct consequence of success? These are the simplistic, yet fundamental, issues that have been raised by a lively debate that has been rumbling along on social media for the past day or so, and has now become of such national significance that even Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan felt they should have a say. iNews reports
It started with the comedian and actor Rob Delaney asking something of a heretical question. Delaney, who is American, tweeted: “Why do they give seven-year-olds so much homework in the UK and how do I stop this? I want my kid frolicking and drawing and playing football. Who knows more about stopping this madness and can help me?”
I can understand that, in a globalised, rapidly-developing, technology-led world, the challenges for our children will be many and difficult, and we need to give them the intellectual equipment, and the work ethic, to enable them to make their way in future life.
But the time to do this is during secondary education, when children’s characters are more defined and their attitude to work and play more apparent. I believe trying to give your child a competitive edge while they’re still learning how to form relationships with other human beings may in fact be counter-productive.
Delaney seems to have touched a nerve, and the majority of his respondents on Twitter agreed with him. Lineker tweeted that “kids should be allowed to play and enjoy home-life with their parents without the divisiveness of work they have plenty of time to do at school” while fellow comedian Jason Manford said that “in a time where mental health is critical, it’s important for kids and adults to realise their free time is theirs to do with what they like”.
A much debated topic but what do you think? Should homework start at secondary school? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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