The renowned specialist in Neuropediatrics, Dr. Manuel Antonio Fernández answers one of the most talked about questions in the last few summers… Is it good for children to do homework in summer? If summer is supposed to be a non-teaching period to disconnect, why overload children with a lot of homework? Is summer homework related to school failure? Is it good for my child to do so much homework?
From your professional experience, is it good for children to do homework in summer? Why?
All parents know how important routines are for children. It gives them peace of mind and serenity. It reduces their anxiety and helps them to have a better ability to perceive time. It allows them to consolidate routines and automate processes.
Something similar happens with the routine of exercising the mind. By this I do not mean that children should be kept doing homework all summer long all day long. Nor do they have to do the same type of homework.
What are the positive aspects of children doing homework during the summer vacations? Are there any negative aspects? What would they be?
I want to emphasize the importance of keeping the mind exercised and engaged in processes that help it develop to the maximum of its capabilities. One of the advantages of summer is the greater availability of time and light intensity. It is possible to develop gamified activities, what has always been called learning by playing.
It is important to combine all these concepts in an integral way and add physical and emotional contact with parents. All this, managed in a playful but instructive way, can have very significant benefits for the children’s social and educational maturity development process.
Is it possible to “make a balance” between the two?
Evidently, and in line with the above, summer should be a period of relaxation, enjoyment and recreation after the hard work children do during the school year. This is true for the vast majority of children.
If we approach summer as another period of work and effort, and we do it in a not very recreational way, we will not get children to recover, rest and start the new school year with enough enthusiasm and motivation.
Are there too many activities during the vacations?
I don’t think so. Our country is very particular when it comes to school periods. Our climate and our Indiansincrasies are very particular. Parents should be clear about the need for change in our educational system. We should stop thinking about the money invested and value mainly the results obtained.
Most of the activities that children do during the summer are leisure activities, except for those who need to make up schoolwork. Even so, the time required is usually not very significant. One way or another, it is necessary to make this work compatible with 100% recreational activities that complement the exercise, socialization and rest needs of the children.
Not at all. The only thing we can say is that many of the children who have learning problems need to attend the September school year more often than the others.
Even without failing subjects, there are children with difficulties to whom not exercising their mental habit during the summer limits their ability to adapt to the work routine at the beginning of the next school year.
It is possible to conclude by saying that in moderation there is reason and that in reason there is moderation. Each child is different and may require different interventions even within the same family. Thus, individual assessment of each household is the most direct way to achieve satisfactory results in as many cases as possible.
For more information, consult a pediatric specialist.