Homework

To teach the future generations is such an honour and at the same time a great responsibility. We cannot have narrow view of education to mean literacy and numeracy competences alone.


As more and more parents are needing to work, a vacuum is created in some aspects of the child’s healthy development. That vacuum is compounded as more and more grandparents are also working well beyond their age of retirement. This means the child is left to be raised by carers who are not a family member. Granted, some carers could be better trained to look after these children than most parents (as parents don’t need to qualify to raise a child), there’s also the risk of a child being brought up by carers who may not be as attentive to the child’s needs as a parent or grandparent could be.


Both parents needing to work means the children of today are growing up with parents who are tired and stressed after a long day at work. Patience often runs thin in these situations, and children could end up bearing the brunt of the parents’ releasing the pressure of the day’s stresses and frustrations.


To be healthy, whole, well adjusted, the child needs unconditional love alongside discipline. For discipline to be done in a healthy way the adult needs to have the child’s best interest at heart, and not lash out because of frustration and impatience due to tiredness.


It has been my experience that when we are tired and stressed it becomes more difficult to be patient, compassionate and thoughtful about our actions. It can also be difficult to be mindful and intuitive about what the child really needs, or is trying to communicate through their tantrums.


Perhaps allocating a period during school hours for students to do their homework, rather than doing them at home would be a more practical way of ensuring they have support and supervision. This would also greatly reduce the stress at home, especially for working parents.

Another option would be to abolish homework altogether in primary, and much less homework for high school – as it’s been done in Finland (please see the documentary below).


Families do need to have a more relaxed time with each other, and this would be possible when the pressures and stresses of the day end the minute work and school has ended.

We need to take a look at the teaching methods of the world’s top ranking students and education system found in Finland. Their students in senior high school do no more than 20 minutes of revision – as one student said “When you have fully understood the lesson you don’t need to keep studying it, you only need to revise it once”.

Drawing In The Disengaged Student

Teachers have so much demand placed on them in today’s education which can take away the ability to be attuned to their students needs. Although we do need teaching standards, the issue remains meeting the level of demand verses having time to be creative and enjoy the process.

Children can be unpredictable, varied and as unique as our fingerprints. In all of this it’s not easy to cater for each students’ individual educational and emotional needs. When emotional needs are not met it compromises the cognitive development.

Teachers are not trained as psychologists, therefore they are not equipped to manage and teach students who have experienced trauma. Trauma changes the way our brain functions and trauma can be caused by something as common as neglect by a parent who doesn’t have time for their child because their time and responsibility is divided between other children. There are many more common circumstances as well as severe cases that impede learning ability.

For this reason we have created a course for teachers so they have the knowledge and the skill to know how to manage and help increase their students capacity to learn.

We believe psychology needs to become part of teacher’s training as this would contribute toward achieving one of the goals of education, which is for “All young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.”(Melb. declaration, 2008).

ARE WE MISSING THE POINT?

In today’s Western society are we missing the point of education? We have more free education available for every individual than ever before, more choices in career than ever before, we are wealthier society in comparison to the rest of the world, so why is mental illness and loneliness on the increase at an epidemic level?

In the UK the government has allocated a ministry to help the lonely in society.

When we peel back the layers to have a look at why individuals are lonely and what makes a person happy it seems to boil down to one thing – relationships.

The following extract from the American Psychological Association press release shows a summary of the contributing factors to the loneliness epidemic;

“Such “epidemics,” while not confined to rich countries, are linked to prominent features of affluent culture: longer life expectancy, decreasing marriage rates, people having fewer children, more people getting divorced, and more people living alone. “ stated Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University. (APA, 2017)

The article went on to say – Holt-Lunstad recommended a greater priority be placed on research and resources to tackle this public health threat from the societal to the individual level. For instance, greater emphasis could be placed on social skills training for children in schools and doctors should be encouraged to include social connectedness in medical screening (APA, 2017).

In Europe, Middle East as well as in Asia people appear to be happier than those of us in the Western countries.

With closer observation we notice the major difference in those Nations is the way the family unit relates and remains together.

A typical Italian family lives close to each other, gets together for family celebrations such as birthdays  and anniversaries a lot more frequently than we do. When young couple get married they can depend on their parents financial support as well as physical support for when grandchildren arrive on the scene.

The same can be said about Middle Eastern families and families in Asia. Family members don’t always get along nicely but they are always involved in each other’s lives – for better or for worse. This gives the individual a sense of knowing that if they are ever in a difficulty family will be there to support them. Parents often think about the financial future of their children when they are working hard and accumulating wealth. Unless there is war, the wealth of the family is passed down increasingly from generation to generation. For this reason cutting off family relationships are rare.

Imagine if there were certain relationship skills that could be taught where families could sustainably relate with one another in a healthier way.

What would it mean for a Society if families were to stay together throughout their life? If more couples were able to remain committed to one another, raising children who could depend on their parents to always be there for them through thick and thin., I wonder if it would decrease mental illness, depression and anxiety. I wonder if loneliness would be dramatically reduced. And what it would mean for the health and well-being of the individual.

Essential yet unique relationship skills required for lifelong relationships could be taught to every individual in society. The kind of relationship skills that would promote emotional intelligence and resolving conflicts effectively.

As human beings we are relational creatures. Unless we are in healthy relationships it is not easy for us to find happiness and fulfillment, even with the most successful career we could possibly have.

This is the vision for which Grassroots Approach program is designed. For every individual to learn essential and unique relational skills to create, as well as maintain, healthy lifelong relationships.

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject. Please feel free to share on the page below;

https://www.grassrootsapproach.com.au/contact-1300-931-539/