Why Dr Justin Coulson banned homework

The leading parenting expert explained his reasons on The Morning Show.

April 05 2023

It’s something all children have to endure, but one of Australia’s leading parenting expert says he’s against teachers setting homework for primary school children.

Speaking about his decision on The Morning Show, Dr Coulson, who runs the blog, Happy Families, said he wrote a letter to each of his six children’s teachers every year during primary school explaining why his family does not believe in homework.

The letter says, “we really appreciate how much work you put into how much our children learn but we’ve discovered homework is a problem for a handful of reasons.” 

Firstly, there’s “no research to support the use of homework at home in primary school," he said. 

He adds: “It gets in the way of family life, it’s a burden for teachers and means they can’t do all the great stuff that we like them doing after school, like piano lessons or art or drama class or playing with friends.”

According to an article published earlier this month in The Guardian, "Education researcher Professor John Hattie, found that homework in primary schools has a negligible effect."

Dr Coulson has two exceptions: Reading and learning based projects, for example, if a child is interested in insects, you can spend some time googling information to nurture that interest.

That said, Dr Coulson’s stance has softened in the last few years. 

"First of all there are some kids who need some structure when they go home they’ve got nothing else to do but stare at a screen if that’s what they are doing it's better to do something productive," he said. 

And some kids just like doing it. 

He finished saying, "If your kids love doing homework and it's not affecting them negatively, it won’t hurt them but it’s not going to help them either."

Click here for a copy of the letter Dr Coulson sends to his daughter's school