Here's an article questioning whether young children should be given homework.
Before I went to Secondary School, I never received a scrap of homework. I do remember lots of playing games and having a thoroughly good time. If I'd had homework every night at that age, I'm quite sure that it would have put me off school completely.
I'm fairly sure that by the time we left at age 11, every child in my class could read, write and do their tables. Maybe the difference was that when the teacher told us that we had to sit down, listen in silence and learn something, we actually did have to sit down, listen in silence and learn something.