Kirstie Allsopp caused some controversy among her Twitter followers after she posted about the disadvantages of homework. The TV presenter admitted her "greatest regret as a parent" is having not taken a firmer stance on homework and instead encourage her two boys to read more. Kirstie was responding to research that showed 52.5 per cent of eight to 18-year-olds read for pleasure, down from 58.8 per cent from three years ago.
"Hardly surprising figures, the joint assault of absurd homework, which takes time from reading, and the smartphone & tablet, it's amazing any kids are reading for pleasure," Kirstie tweeted. She continued: "Reading is everything, homework other than reading is a waste of time and causes conflict & unhappiness in many families, mine included. My greatest regret as a parent is not taking a firm stance on homework from the very beginning and ensuring that our focus as a family was on reading, reading, reading."
Kirstie said her biggest parenting regret is not taking a stand against homework
Kirstie's call to do away with traditional homework was met with praise from hundreds of her followers. One fan replied: "Don't believe in homework, especially at primary school age. We keep hearing how children are obese and never go out perhaps too much time, at a young age, is children doing homework instead of enjoying childhood."
Another posted: "We have homework set regularly, but have been told that not all of it will be checked or marked. Absolutely baffling to be honest that my child puts so much effort in for little or no recognition in return – what does that actually teach them!?" A third agreed: "I think there is fairly substantial evidence that there is no benefit to homework in primary school. None. Reading, however, is the gateway to all learning. Fill the house with books. Foster a love of reading. Ditch the homework."
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However, others highlighted the need for varied homework, with one tweeting: "I agree that reading is vital but so is basic numeracy. Practising number work at home is just as important to develop confidence with numbers!" Another commented: "From the age of 4 schools force them to read every night! It becomes such a chore..."
"We all learn in different ways," another fan wrote. "I hated reading books when I was a kid, even bribery by my mum didn't solve the problem. However watching Tomorrow's World, The Great Egg Chase and The Open Uni on BBC2 expanded my mind more than a book ever would have."
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