Survey of parents suggests more than half of junior and senior infants find homework stressful

The National Parents Council says "maybe home learning should be a different type of learning"

homework, parents, junior, senior, infants, learning, education


More than half of junior and senior infants in Ireland's primary schools are stressed over homework, a new survey suggests.

The survey was carried out by the National Parents Council (NPC), and asked childrens, parents and teachers about their experiences and opinions on homework.

58% of parents of children in infant classes reported that it caused stress for the children. 

The number rises to 65% for older children in primary school.

Áine Lynch, Chief Executive of the NPC, spoke to Pat Kenny about their findings.

"[Stress] is a strong word, and we decided to do the survey because we've been hearing for many years from parents that homework is very stressful, it's a very stressful time for families," she explained.

"What we're trying to do here is raise a discussion. We know from research that the home learning enviornment is really crucial for children in terms of how well they will do in their education. It's something that's supposed to be an enjoyable, positive and creative time for children - and parents' role in that home learning environment is really, really critical".

Áine explained that junior infants usually get homework such as reading and spellings.

She suggests that problems can arise if "children are finding the reading difficult in the class, and then they have the reading to do at home. What we're suggesting is that maybe home learning should be a different type of learning - we can be a lot more imaginative about how we create the home learning environment".

She highlighted that skills such as storytelling and aural literacy are things that could be focused on at home, as they are challenging things to teach in classes of 30 or more students.

"What we need to do within the Irish education system is to look at how we're supporting that home learning environment," she added.

The National Parents Council Primary is holding its annual conference at the National College of Ireland in Dublin tomorrow.