It is a fact that primary aged school children are regularly given homework from school with the amount that they are given increasing as they move through the school but does this homework actually make a difference to their academic ability or is it given out despite some teachers questioning the value of it. Another issue is how much of the homework is completed by the pupil and how much additional support have they received from parents and carers meaning that any tasks completed at home cannot then be used as a reliable method of assessment.

The reasons for setting the homework need to be studied carefully in order to answer these probing questions. Some homework is set to give the pupil an opportunity to practise a skill that they have been working on in class such as a new mathematics method or spelling practise, but it is clear that some homework is set simply because the teacher has been told by superiors to regularly give out homework. Practising new skills is a worthwhile use of homework time as there may not be sufficient time in the school day to do this. The homework in this case is beneficial and also serves to give parents an insight into the curriculum that the child is studying. The child can be encouraged to explain the homework to their parents and this in turn will be a valuable learning tool.

The problem arises if the child is unsure about the task set by the teacher and the parents or carer do not understand the task. This is quite a common issue as was experience by many parents when children were having to be home schooled for lengthy periods. It is always a good idea if there are issues that the teacher is made aware of the difficulties so that they can be addressed at school during lesson time.

Some pupils enjoy doing homework especially if the task is enjoyable. This may be something like asking parents or grandparents about their childhood memories or looking for mathematical shapes around the home even playing a game can be used as a homework task. It really is up to the teacher to try to make homework a pleasure rather than a chore so that pupils are continuing to learn after the school day is over and do not need to be forced by busy parents to complete unhelpful tasks.