Homework is given to learners on a daily basis to practice a specific skill, to foster personal development and to develop planning and time management skills. Although learners in the Foundation Phase are encouraged to do homework on their own, the support and involvement of their parents are required in order to develop personal skills and to maintain a healthy social relationship.
As homework is a time of the day when parents usually interact with their children, their attitudes regarding homework in the Foundation Phase impact the way in which a learner will experience the homework process. Some learners experience homework as more pleasant when parents are involved, while others feel that homework disrupt families and causes conflict and tension.
Research has indicated that the early years of a child’s life are critical for development, as this is the time when learners acquire fundamental concepts, skills and attitudes and when parents pass on values such as respect, tolerance and appreciation, all of which are important to laying down the foundation for lifelong learning. Parents’ beliefs and behaviours thus have an important role to play in a child’s development, and their attitudes and actions influence the nature and course of their children’s development. Parents and families need to be encouraged to assist their children with homework and to see this as the time of the day when they can bond with their children.