Homework's no problem for Holly
WHEN Holly Jenkins, 7, comes home from school, she doesn't need her mum, Elizabeth Davies, to nag her to make her get her homework done.
Unlike most kids, the seven-year-old St Helens State School student enjoys doing homework and never has to tell her teacher the dog ate it.
"Holly likes homework - she does it all in one hit," Elizabeth said.
But when a child struggles with homework or is reluctant to do it - or simply gets too much homework - that can create a lot of strain and pressure for parents.
The topic has been fiercely debated after Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said parents could be expected to sign homework contracts to acknowledge what is expected of themselves and their children
St Mary's Catholic College principal Joy Massingham said it was important to create a equilibrium between family life and homework to ensure students were getting the best of both worlds.
"There has to be a balance," she said.
She said homework was important in getting kids into the habit of learning and revising their work.
"I do believe in it and encourage it," Ms Massignham said.
"It helps students get in the habit and focus of learning but there must be a balance so it doesn't cause excess stress."
But she acknowlegd that too much homework could encroach on family life and could put pressure on parents.
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To help their students manage their workload, Ms Massingham said the school had a homework club which enabled students to work after school on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in a supervised environment and helped take strain off parents.
While Ms Davies doesn't have any issue with her daughter Holly's workload when it comes to homework, she has felt the pressure when it comes to her son Caleb and her older daughter, Annika.
Caleb, 6, needed her to be actively involved, Ms Davies said, and it did take time and effort.
But on the other hand she could see the positive effect that doing homework was having on his learning.
She said often is created pressure for the family if Annika delayed doing her homework, and as she is in year 7 she did get more than her siblings.
Joe Wright, head of the junior school at Fraser Coast Anglican College, said it depended on the age of the child as to how much homework should be given.
While often 10 to 15 minutes' worth of homework was enough for preps students and year one students, that would grow as the child got older, he said.
Mr Wright said homework performed an important function as it helped kids learn how to manage their time and reinforced what was happening in the classroom.