What parent hasn’t wished that homework would just go away? At the end of a hard day, it’s hardly the activity of choice when tiredness is fraying tempers all round.

At best homework is time-consuming, at worst it’s an “extreme sport”, as one parent puts it. No wonder some parents resort to finishing it off themselves, just to get rid of it.

Even the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has acknowledged that “homework causes a lot of stress between parents and children” and that “it often erodes the ‘quality time’ that parents have with their children”. It told an Oireachtas committee in 2010 that the role of homework in the education system needed serious research and analysis, but it wasn’t suggesting dispensing with it.

At a time of ongoing debate about the shortness of the primary school day and the need for more support for childcare, homework clubs seem like a neat solution for parents. But they are also very effective in helping children who, for a variety of reasons, may find it hard to do the work at home.

Sheila Wayman regularly posts articles in the Irish Times relating to parenting, the link below addresses this debate of the homework requiremnt.

Irish Times: Afternoon angst: is homework really necessary?