“I Have Banned My Child from Doing Homework,” says English Mum

Rosie Scribble, a freelance writer in the U.K. who specializes in mental health issues and blogs about life with her 6 year old, wrote a wonderful piece about why she doesn’t make her daughter do homework. Many of the commenters also wrote that they didn’t make their children do homework, either. Now, if they could all inspire their friends and their friends’ friends, etc., homework for young children would no longer exist (after all, most elementary school children require some kind of parental involvement to get their homework done).

I Have Banned My Child from Doing Homework
by Rosie Scribble

Sometimes I get a bit hot under the collar, stamp my foot and decide that whatever I have been told to do – I’m not doing it.

Then I wonder why my six-year-old daughter does the same.

However today, once again, I have decided there are a few things that our little family will not be doing, for one day at least.

Here’s the list:

    I.J. [my daughter] will not be doing any homework
    I.J. will not be watching Newsround
    I.J. will not be looking at her school reading book
    I will not be discussing keywords and spellings with I.J.
    I will not be testing her on her addition and multiplication
    I will not be helping her to practise her alphabet
    We will not be doing anything related in any way to education
    We shall only be doing fun things

Because a mother knows when her child is under stress, when she has had enough and is over-tired and over-sensitive, when being asked to watch the news will only add to her current anxieties, when number work at school is getting her down to the point where she can’t sleep at night, when the pressure to practise her reading every night is getting her down, when it is all becoming too much.

A mother knows when her child needs a night off, a break from it all, and when a dose of fun takes priority over homework.

So here’s what we will do instead:

    We’ll close the curtains, turn off the lights and turn the front room into a cinema
    We’ll watch a brand new DVD, possibly Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs as recommended by A Modern Mother
    We’ll eat party food followed by chocolate cake
    We’ll cuddle up on the sofa
    We’ll shut out the rest of the world
    We’ll forget about school
    We’ll forget about everything else
    We’ll have some fun
    And I’ll hope for a calmer more relaxed child tomorrow.

(Read the post and the accompanying comments here.)

220 thoughts on ““I Have Banned My Child from Doing Homework,” says English Mum

  1. oh by the way, anonymous person who commented the 148th post, i totally agree with you, 8 year olds DONT want to have stress and anxiety put on them, they’re NOT office workers and if they DO grow up to work in an office, lets say, they got the job at age 23, but they’d been doing that sort of work since age 7, they may think they’d never properly done this job before, but in a way, they would have been doing it for about 16 years!


  2. Kids have jobs (school, sports, chores etc.) and if they cant rely on their intelligence every time they get in a bind, they are going to fall back on hard work while pushing themselves to try harder, it’s also a lot of self discipline and quite the learning process. That means practicing studying for tests, doing homework until you get it done before you even sleep, or running the field one more time because you should take pride in what you do and not quit. Some kids struggle more than others. Some have to work harder. That’s not the teachers fault. That’s life. Your child’s teacher might not even know your kid has a hissy fit due to homework since they don’t understand or didn’t ask questions.. Instead of telling your kids to forget it, why not work with the teacher to see if they tutor? I’d respect your kids teacher. They are trying to better your child, and they take work home with them to continue to better your child. They love your child and probably wouldn’t be there if they didn’t.

    Or instead of banning your kid to do homework,
    why not try letting your kid decide whether or not to do the homework instead of you. Don’t be negative about having to do work to your kid, instead give them a choice. When they get to school they will have rewards or consequences then.

    If you want to rebel, go be an educator yourself and change things, or do homeschooling.


  3. I’m 14 and I have no experience with parenting but all I have to say is…..I blame obesity, poor health (mental and physical), poor relationships with family, friends, second half, God, etc., etc on all this stress, such as homework, that society has brought to us…


  4. I am only 11 in the 6th grade, and no matter how diligently I work, I always end up with about 4 hours of homework a day. Including weekends, which is ridiculous because my teachers have been saying to the parents that the 6th grade team gives about an hour of homework a day, but I have begun to wonder if they are talking an hour per class… anyways, homework is very stressful for kids, and the way I see it, is that less and less people are making it into colleges because of the primary schools’ homework amount. I hate to blame it on the teachers, but who else gives the homework? It seems to me like the teachers punish you for something that was THEIR fault. I actually have been yelled at for having a late assignment due to a religious holiday, when my mother had e-mailed the teacher specifically stating the reason I was unable to complete the assignment. So I have just decided to show my mother this article right now. Ta-ta!
    Fed Up


  5. I am a second year college student.

    I really believe that you are doing a disservice to your child by telling them that they should not do ANY homework outside of school.

    Just wait until they get to college. What a rude awakening that will be!

    Most colleges do have a policy about homework and grades. For example, at my university, a 3 credit class meant having about 3 hours per week outside of class. The average full time student takes about 15 credits a semester, which equates to 45 hours a week spent outside of class.

    And I really do work that much and so do my peers; however, I am not getting an average grade. My GPA is about a 3.9. I see college as a full-time job. I go in at 8:00 a.m. and out the door at 5:30 and do 10 hours of work on Sunday at home. (I am on lunch break). I was doing chemistry homework and it takes about five hours to complete a week. It also takes me about 5 to 10 hours to read a chapter for Anatomy and Physiology per week and to take notes on that chapter, so these estimates are very accurate in my case; I work more than recommended as see better grades. If I spent less time, I would get more average grades.

    And I know some students dropped out of college after the first year because they actually had to ask questions and get help from the professor or OH MY GOSH, do EXTRA homework that wasn’t even assigned to learn the material! Some students were really appalled that they had to take charge of their learning outside of school.

    Learning outside of class takes a lot of discipline. It is a different type of responsibility especially since you are not getting paid to work outside of class. Homework before college is to develop life long skills as a learner.

    It is wrong for an elementary school student to have homework 3 hours a night. Those expectations are too high for a child, but a 20 to 40 minute assignment is enough to facilitate development of study skills outside of school.

    Also, if your child had to spend 6 hours on three school projects in different classes, outside of class, but had two months to complete the projects, that is completely their fault. Often times parents don’t get the complete story or they learn that students had in class time to complete the project and could have completed a majority of the assignment at school!


  6. That is a great idea to me of course because im a kid its hard without your teacher to help your parent don’t know all the answer just teach us at school not home!!!!!!


  7. Hi,

    I am a 8th student at a school in Kentucky.

    For all the people who are saying “Oh, homework isn’t that big of a responsibility!”

    I want to let you know that you are very wrong. I am not doing good in some of my classes because I have simply not completed all of my home work. I will do some of it. Then, I will have to go to soccer practice (every night). After that I must come home, eat dinner, take a shower, and go to bed. Do you know how long that lets me to do homework?

    1 1/2 hours.


    Do you know how long it takes to ACTUALLY do ALL of my homework?

    3-3 1/2 hours.

    You know, growing up, they tell us that school is about learning.

    NEWSFLASH: it’s not.

    School is about how well you can remember info. It’s about a grade. It’s about a number, because after they send you off into this screwed up world- all you are is number. All you are is you SAT scores, or how many tests you passed.

    It’s kinda horrifying, thinking this one grade will make or break me.

    And to be honest, I already feel broken.


  8. Jesus people, I go to a tough High School and I usually have 6 hours of homework a night. Plus, I play sports. I do think this is a lot but I can handle it. 1 hour of homework would be great. And you can’t even spell practice right so you are pretty stupid.


  9. This is the most ridiculous contention I have ever seen. I am one in three kids, all of which now go to sentence structure schools; I can genuinely say that if my guardians hadn’t pushed me to get my work done I wouldn’t have accomplished almost as much as I have today. By showing your kid that it is OK not to do homework, she will endure extraordinarily later on. You’re just destroying her future.


  10. `1234567890-=qwertyuiop[]asdfghjkl;’zxcvbnm,./~!@#$%^&*()_+QWERTYUIOP{}|ASDFGHJKL:”ZXCVBNM?
    HOMEWORK SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀


  11. My mother will drive me to tears yelling at me for averge grades and missing assignments. She never askes why they’re missing. She just pressures me to do every little thing and with piling up homework that gets harderer to do and the pressure just feels like too much. She screams at me to stay after for extra help I don’t need and grounds me if I don’t.


  12. This is really stupid. Yeah all kids get tried of having homework every night but what is going to happen when your child is in the third grade at the age of 11. Who ever takes this stupidness and uses it is very very retarded stupid dumb and what ever else. Your also a very bad parent or Guardian.


  13. While I like what u r doing I’m on the fence about this one. I’m in middle school and sometimes I want to throw my book bag out the window curl up and cry but I don’t think we should ban it entirely I think we should make them give us less.. like a lot less but we should still have at least a little homework. But hey its my opinion just wanted to put it out there.


  14. Homework is for the children’s better education and also I am a 17 year old and I hate homework but I know how much or what ever we get is for the betterment of children’s education


  15. My daughter is in the 10th grade. 3+ hours of homework a night is hard. Especially when she’s on the golf team, in an international choir, and does some much more during the week. So, every once in a while, I give her a day off. I let her stay home from school, I let her sleep in, I let her just veg out for the day. We did this just last week. She was worn out, exhausted. And I recognized it. And as her parent, I am responsible for not just her, but for her health. And I know that stress, and not enough sleep, and too much homework are getting to her. And so I let her stay home from school and do nothing.

    I love this idea and plan to institute it into our lives. I am guilty of overscheduling, but I want to back away from this. She needs to know that I am OK with her NOT getting straight A’s if it means that it will affect her negatively because she isn’t getting enough sleep, or because she is stressing out over a test. I’m totally OK with her NOT going to college or going later. Life does not end because you don’t have a college degree, or because you don’t start college right away. Take a year off and travel. I’m good with that.

    I love this!


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  17. Right now I’m in the grade 6 gifted program and everyone can tell me I don’t know shit because I’m young but i don’t care. Kids must do their homework.whether they procrastinate and learn from their mistakes or just do it it is important. It is not that teachers are not teaching us. They are simply teaching you to time manage and see how much you know and learned. Reading the rest of the comments i think we can agree that time management is definitely a skill you must have to be successful. And a message for the parents; the world is constantly changing and so is the education. Just because you didnt have that much homework doesn’t mean that its unfair. And additionally the students shouldn’t need help with the homework because everything you need was either already taught or is on the homework


  18. I am going to bed at 11pm every night. Feeding my children at 9pm.
    I dont understand some of their emotional development because we are consumed by homework.


  19. I have three kids with ADHD…needless to say I loathe homework time. Nothing gets our family yelling and screaming like homework time. Then I get irritated that the need for “homework” is the catalyst for such animosity in my home…its crap. They are in school 8 hours a day…homework is so unneccesary


  20. your a fuckwitt homework it the reason smart children are smart. you need to get rid of the bullshit and deal with what has to be dealt with


  21. Homework should be an optional way for children to further pursue things that interest them. Homework assignments should not tell a student to “be creative” and then tell the student how many pages, how many pictures, which words must be used, etc.
    I didn’t do homework at all until high school, and even then there was very little. I still went to an Ivy league college and on to medical school. I realize the world is more competitive and complex today, but isn’t that the point? Stop some of the momentum.
    I feel that if it can’t be taught during the school day, it can be taught the following day.
    Parents are afraid of the schools. Afraid to oppose the schools.
    My kids (5th, 7th grades) panic if they can’t finish homework because they’ll lose recess, or “flunk out”. Seriously, homework should not dictate whether a child flunks. It’s sickening.


  22. Heres an idea… lets ban EVERYTHING fun and make our children do stressful homework that last every night forcing them to stay up late and not get a full battery recharge that way they get stressed and probably try to commit suicide… I know schools agree with me and if they didn’t they would be too lazy to do anything about it….


  23. Anonymous above me that is the best Idea im a teacher at Anna ISD trying to figure out ways to stress my children in the class room even more so im going to give them more homework… AND NOT GRADE IT!!!! Cause Im too lazy to grade but it will still count as a 0 if they dont do it, the work will last around 6 hours and guess what we did at Anna so they have to do homework at home? We took study hall and made it into another class period so they dont have time at school to do it. We are also going to make them wear uniforms soon and try to put an end to the STUPID students ideas like spelling wrecked as rekt and we need to make them stop saying these nuts or what are those!


  24. After school time should be spent bonding with your family and creating memories. I feel that homework just ruins what the home symbolizes.

    Some might not agree with me and say that homework will “brighten kids future” but being stuck in the world of papers, pencils, pens, and grades just isn’t high on most kids priority list. Kids want to dream and “run wild” in the small bubble of friends and fun that they live in.

    If you don’t agree I would love to hear your points. Thank you 🙂


  25. As a student (just a freshman in high school), I get at LEAST 4 hours of homework a night. Sometimes I hate it, but I’m taking college classes so that kinda explains it…however, whe I am up doing homework until I am supposed to be getting up to get ready for school…I agree with having a non-homework night, even if it means staying home to sleep and then doing the homework at a reasonable hour.


  26. Homework has never been really stressful and too much until I entered high school. Because of it you miss so many special events in your own life such as spending time with family on a holiday or having a break on you birthday. You gain life experiences from homework but you also lose some. Day after day stuck indoors doing homework makes you question life but I suppose it’s the way the ball rolls. Gotta get used to the feeling to dying sometimes. Lol, but this all depends on how much you take on in your own career so the person I have to blame is myself for taking challenging courses.


  27. Really liked hearing perspectives of folks’ experiences, but I do cringe when I read posts like HomeworkBlues: “Oh, boy, you really don’t get it, do you? And you say you have two kids. Looks like you have a lot to learn yourself.” or “Evidently homework didn’t help you much, now did it?”
    Please respect others and allow for differing opinions. Please don’t be disrespectful or judgmental. We appreciate and learn from one another, but only when we have open minds and express ourselves without stepping on others can we have honest communication. Sarah has created a good spot for us to learn and explore – and yes, we vent sometimes…but when it is at the expense of others we are tearing down instead of building up – clearly Sara’s intentions can be better represented.


  28. Personally I disagree with your claim. I am currently a senior in high school, and I see this comment as a parent being unrealistic, irresponsible and borderline abusive. I say this in hopes that kids do not go through what i am going through right now.

    My mother graduated from college top of her class and now own her own business in her dream field. My father has his GED and works alongside her. Both love me very much and support me very much. from a young age my father said that he wasn’t going to be able to help with my homework or studying because he did not do well in school. While my mother agreed to take on the ability to help me and my little brother (currently a sophomore) with our homework she often worked later than we all wanted. This led to our homework not being done on time. However back in the younger years (from briefly reading the comments im assuming all your kids are elementary to middle school) homework was assigned Monday and due Friday. This gives the kids 4 nights to work. seeing as how I was often home with my brother and dad we often just didn’t do it until Thursday night because we wanted to have fun. This led to an unhealthy study habit of procrastination. Now the homework in the younger years is easy for parents to understand. basic arithmetic can be worked through with your kids and you can teach your children easy and effective memorization tricks that will stay with them THEIR WHOLE LIVES. I wish every day that I was better with time management or that I could memorize words or phrases quicker and easier. These are important life skills that are taught while we are first learning about life. Every company would rather pick the confident worker who can make a presentation without looking at note cards or notes written on the palm of their hands.

    What I’m trying to say is that yes homework may be stressful for your kids and that it may be hard to watch your little angels struggle but you went through the same struggle and you came out just fine, right? some of you are down right successful. Now its your job to help your children by HELPING them do their work in a way that lets them do it by themselves and they are not given the answers and by rewarding them when they get a question right or do their assignments efficiently and before the deadline. not only will this boost their feeling of self worth it will give them the skills they need to be just as successful, or even more successful than you.

    The trick is not to remove homework but making homework stress free by both encouraging, and helping your kid when they are struggling.

    for those of you that have read this entire thank you for sticking with it. I promise your children will thank you, Currently I’m taking multiple AP classes and unfortunately due to the lack of early preparation I still procrastinate by staying up all night ( not an exaggeration I spend multiple 24 hour periods without sleeping because i get behind in my work). This has caused my grades to fall. And unfortunately I will not be able to go to college this year and follow my dreams… I do not blame my parents they love me very much and I love them but if I could start over I would in a heart beat. Fun is fun but learning responsibility is equally important. the trick is finding that balance.


  29. Homework helps you practice what you’ve learnt at home! Maybe there can be too much, but a little a night is not going to harm anyone.


  30. I’ve read a couple comments on here, there is a mixture of ACTUAL students (dis)agreeing with this woman’s choice, then there’s parents/adults(not sure how old you all are.)Yes, I agree that guardians should ask if the child feels up to/comfortable(?) do the homework, but I don’t think calling this woman’s idea “retarded” especially from a (young) adult. Because it really feels like we know who’s really the uneducated person on here. Also, “we should worry about their future!” You shouldn’t worry how a guardian raises their child and if the child does (indication) have a terrible life, no job, or is homeless. The parents should worry, not you, you aren’t in charge. Worry more about your (future) children, if you have any of course. Also, how is it a bad to not do homework? If anything, it was once considered as a punishment for students in Italy. The creator of homework (Roberto Nevilis) actually used it as a punishment for his students in 1905.Also, if you are a “tiger mom”, back off, this really isn’t your environment because it seem you’d have no remorse if your child was stressed, felt tired mentally and physically all the time, started harming themselves because they cannot reach your expectations. I actually started getting gray (grey, whatever Brits…) hairs because of late homework, started ripped my hair because for not doing homework, scratching my scalp in anxiety, ripped my nails over missing assignments. I actually learned more about one of the founding fathers because a musical that lasts 2 hours, as a lesson lasts 3 weeks (I believe that is correct.). Alas, I admit it, I am only thirteen but I believe this is important to me, I just wanted to briefly present my opinion, like the rest of everyone else. Well, if anyone actually took the time to read a thirteen year old’s passage of neutrality/anger/frustration. Have a good day.


  31. I’m 14 and I’m killed by the homework. I stay up till 12oclock in the night and I don’t have a chance to socialize because of homework.


  32. Dang, you guys have a lot of freedom. I’m 14 right now, and homework is about as difficult as telling you mentally ill friend her dead dog isn’t there. All America does is pound students with homework over and over again. Now, school is almost over for the year, but being with a parent who is willing to stand up to a school like that to keep stress and anxiety off of us, that’s powerful. Keep on going!

    -The one known as ‘Anxiety’


  33. Ok, sorry, say what? This is one of the stupidest reasons just to ban fucking homework. Yh, I have the honor program and I get a truck load of homework; you think that is painful? It isn’t. Lazy kids that don’t do their homework are actually going to have less fun in the future. I know some of you like the banning homework thing is a good idea, but seriously, homework is not a piece of shit. It helps you get into jobs and pass tests, so this article to me is ?????????????? ?????


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