Eva Bailen, a mother-of-three, has started an online petition calling for her son’s school to stop giving the children homework. Her 10-year-old son is spending three hours a day after school doing homework and Ms Bailen says this needs to stop.

homework

Ms Bailen is from Spain and she says that in Spain the amount of homework a child is given depends on the teacher- there is no nation-wide rule about it. She says her other children (aged 8 and 12) hardly get homework and that this is not fair on her 10 year old.

Her online petition has gained over 100,000 signatures already. One person who signed it was Alfonso Gonzalez, a teacher and fellow parent. He confesses that he used to do his daughter’s homework for her.

He says “I did it because I wanted her to have a happy childhood and ten hours of sleep at night. I would argue that thanks to that, my daughter is now a healthy teenager, and a great athlete who loves to read.”

Gonzalez says that “homework is nonsense” because “what a child needs to learn during primary education can be learned during the hours that he is at school”. However, he thinks children at secondary school should get some homework.

The average teenager in Spain does about 6 hours of homework a week. Which is much more than poor Eva Bailen’s son’s 15 hours a week.

Here are the averages from other countries:

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Story from: BBC Graph from: Forbes

Comprehension Questions:

1) How old are Eva Bailen’s children? How much homework do they each get?

2) In Spain, who decides on the amount of homework a student does?

3) Why has she started an online petition?

4) Does Alfonso Gonsalez do his daughter’s homework for her?

5) Why did Alfonso Gonsalez used to do his daughter’s homework?

6) Does he believe that this was a good thing or bad thing?

7) Why does he believe that primary school children shouldn’t get homework ?

8) Which country gives the most homework? The least?

Discussion Questions

1) How much homework did you get at primary school?

2) How much homework did you get when you were 15? when you were 18? Do you think it was the right amount?

3) Did you always do your homework? What happened if you didn’t do your homework?

4) At what age should children start getting homework?

5) What  are the advantages of doing lots of homework?

6) What are the disadvantages of doing lots of homework?

7) How many hours homework a week do 15 year olds in your country do?

8) Do you think that the amount of homework teenagers do impacts on their exam results or their level of education in general?

Debate Homework should be banned for all young people under the age of 16.

(students can do this as an essay question or it can be done as a class debate- split students into two groups and argue for or against this statement)