Young children stressed, says National Parents’ Council Primary

Some 58% of junior and senior infants are stressed over homework, says survey

Just over half of  2,230 children surveyed  said they worry about completing their homework at least sometimes

Just over half of 2,230 children surveyed said they worry about completing their homework at least sometimes

 

More than half of junior and senior infants in Irish primary schools are stressed over homework, according to their parents, a survey by the National Parents’ Council Primary has found.

The findings are to be released at the NPC’s annual conference tomorrow.

Some 58 per cent of parents of children in the four to seven age group said doing school assignments at home causes the children stress some or all of the time. This rises to 65 per cent among parents of older primary-school children.

When asked who was most stressed out by homework, 82 per cent of parents said their children and 74 per cent said themselves. Almost one-third (31 per cent) said homework causes grief for the whole family. More than 5,750 parents responded to the online survey.

Meanwhile, just over half of the 2,230 children who answered a separate questionnaire as part of the same poll said they worry about completing their homework at least sometimes.

The results raise questions about what is being achieved in creating these stresses and concerns for parents and children, the NPC’s chief executive, Áine Lynch, told The Irish Times.

“All of the research says that the home-learning environment is crucial for children in education,” she said, “and yet what we are doing here is making 50 per cent of kids stressed in their home- learning environment.”

Instead, Ms Lynch said, we need to be looking at ways to make the home-learning environment fun, positive and engaging.

The NPC is not asking for homework to be scrapped, she said, but it believes school policies needs to be reviewed. It should be looked at as home learning rather than homework, she added: “Even the name has very negative connotations.”

Ready, Steady, Learn – Parents Supporting Their Children’s Healthy Learning is the theme of the NPC conference to be held in the National College of Ireland.