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I enjoy reading the Toronto Star online, and not because by reading online I save any trees – though that is a good outcome. I mostly read it online as it helps with not cluttering up my tiny apartment with excessive newsprint like the sports section.

I did find an interesting article on how homework is a homewrecker. The gist of this report on education is that children have too much homework each day. It cuts into family time, which is the biggest complaint from parents. Now the odd thing is that most schools in the province of Ontario finish classes between 3:00-3:30pm, and if the kid happens to be in secondary school, depending on their spares, they may actually finish by anywhere between 12:00 noon to 3:30pm. Parents are still working during these hours and what are the kids doing? Shit all is what they are doing. These kids have many hours to complete their homework and still have family time, but they choose to piss the time away on video games, watching television and chatting on the phone with friends. Then come the evening it’s “mum, dad, I have like two hours of homework…help”.

In Letters to the Editor this morning two letters stuck out for me:

I have three grandchildren who are in senior kindergarten to Grade 2. I think children should have enough time to do 30 minutes of homework each night. These same children spend at least two hours a night watching mindless TV or playing video games, so they have plenty of time to do homework.

But not all homework leads to a learning experience. Students are sometimes given elaborate projects where the parents do most of the work, and this generates little benefit for the child. Assignments that can be completed by children on their own are the most beneficial.

I am convinced that a good deal of true learning takes place when children solve a problem on their own, and that is often done while doing homework.

Michael D. Smith, Oakville

My kids are 4 and 6, and they enjoy doing their homework. Their teachers provide fun, challenging exercises for both. They also enjoy completing their homework and doing it well. They love to show us their finished work. They love to read all the books that come home with them, and we love to read with them. They feel good about all that they achieve.

They have an hour or more to play right after school, and then they have an hour within which they can do homework, but it never takes that long.

There is a balance. Play is good, but so is homework. It prepares them. I can’t help but wonder if the parents are stressing out more than the children.

Sarah Eddenden, Brooklin, Ont.

Homework is necessary. If any of these parents expect their sprogs to do well in university the kids need to get use to homework. If nothing else it teaches them discipline, time management, and develops their abilities to focus. All necessary skills for university and for life within the workforce.

These complaints from parents about too much homework feeds into the underlying problems within society with regards to kids – they are coddled to the point that they are not self-sufficient.

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