To be weary of homework which involves parental input

(111 Posts)
SilverBellsandCockleShells Thu 10-Jan-13 12:55:50

My son is eight. He's in year 4. I've just received his homework schedule for the term. It includes things like 'cook a simple meal', 'make a model of x', 'design a pattern using rice, etc', 'research xyz on the internet'. Things that, although I like to consider he's a bright child, there is absolutely no way he can achieve without parental input.

Don't get me wrong. I know that we as parents play a role in his education too and we educate him in all sorts of ways outside school. But projects which involve children of this age producing models, etc. invariably end up completed by the parents. There are two options, either you give the child the materials, sit back, watch him make a mess of it, pat him on the back and resign yourself to another low mark, or you get stuck in, 'help' and produce something which may get a better mark but isn't actually his work.

AIBU to think that it is unfair to expect parental input on this level? That the arts and crafts should remain in the classroom and homework, if assigned at all, should be something which requires parental supervision to ensure it is done, but no actual parental input? Or am I being a great big meanie who resents the fact that she is actually a bit pants at crafts and can't hope to produce results like the alpha mummies who spend hours doing their children's homework while they are at school!

CocktailQueen Thu 10-Jan-13 12:59:52

YANBU. Is his homework actually marked? Can you talk to the teacher about it, and ask what level of parental input they expect??

ClartyCarol Thu 10-Jan-13 13:00:36

YANBU. i know it's supposed to be enjoyable for the child, but as you say I bet most of the better efforts have been completed entirely to a greater degree by the parents, which sort of defeats the object.

My two eldest got homework in Reception! Thankfully now dc3 is in Reception they seem to have stopped that madness.

bigbadbarry Thu 10-Jan-13 13:04:12

YANBU and it drives me nuts too. I am definitely in the school of ,letting them do it themselves - it is their homework not mine.

BunFagFreddie Thu 10-Jan-13 13:07:17

YANBU.

Although it does involve parantal input and supervision, I'm sure the aim isn't to get children to produce a masterpiece. I'm sure the teacher wants the child to do the homework and not the parent, otherwise that would surely defeat the object of setting the homework in the first place?

If alpha mum's child comes to school with something perfect, the child obviously hasn't done much have they? The mum has done it. How is that helpful, other than keeping up appearances?

What do teachers think?

rollmopses Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:05

YANBU.
My dear old Nanny was knitting, embroidering etc, until her poor hands bled, to 'help' me with my HE homework. Many a mitten etc are still around to remind me my prize-winning achievements. hmm

DSM Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:16

YANBU.

My DS (also 8) has homework recently - 'design and make a roman artefact'. I had to get my dad to come and help as we don't have time for this kind of work.

DS does his homework every week, by himself and then we do a 'game' relating to his words that's week. Takes 10-15 minutes, and we enjoy it. I can make time for that. But hours on end to research how to make something, go and buy the stuff, then actually make it?

Ridiculous. I fully agree with you.

DSM Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:16

Apologies for the grammatical typos. iPhone.

realcoalfire Thu 10-Jan-13 13:10:29

yanbu. I sometimes feel like sending in a pile of ironing for the teacher to do !!

wallflowerchild Thu 10-Jan-13 13:10:49

I agree. It's really unfair on the children whos parents can't or won't help to set homework that needs so much parental input.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:03

YANBU, it is daft.

My eldest is only in Reception, so at the moment it is just reading and a discussion topic each week. But that is more than enough to fit in with a younger child to look after, swimming lesson once a week.
I am dreading more time intensive stuff starting in Y1!

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:27

I have always refused to do any homework for them.

I will sit with them, I will help with a bit of guidance, reassurance, help them to pull out what they already know, but if it reaches a point where I am doing it for them, I stop it there and I write a note saying that they were unable to do this homework without such a high level of input from me that it was no longer their work.

I left school 20 years ago.

I don't do homework.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 13:14:20

Actually, that's not true. I haven't always refused.

i quickly thought bugger this for a game of soldiers grin

BunFagFreddie Thu 10-Jan-13 13:15:14

When I was a working parent I used to get home with DS at 7:00pm and these projects were a stressful business. You don't just stop when you get in from work, you need to run your house too. I often used to wonder if the teachers knew what it was like to work full time as a single parent. hmm I should imagine it's similar for SAHM's with 2 or 3 children.

Luckily I had my parents to help out. Other people won't though.

Scholes34 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:19:05

My favourite was when DS2 had to make a model of one of the seven wonders of the world. We did the Hanging Gardens of Babylon through the medium of cake. The class ate it the day he took it in and this meant we didn't have yet another model at home collecting dust and me feeling guilty about throwing it away.

ReindeerBollocks Thu 10-Jan-13 13:19:20

YANBU. I used to let DS do his own homework -and noticed he was getting ok marks. It was only when i spoke to another mum I was told that all the mums 'helped' with homework and their DC's marks were much higher hmm.

Personally I don't mind helping but if it's clear a parent has done the majority of the work then you wonder why they bother marking it at all..

ReindeerBollocks Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:28

YY to Hecate. I feel exactly the same war.

crescentmoon Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:30

YANBU - i hate the arts and crafts type homework too

ReindeerBollocks Thu 10-Jan-13 13:21:14

**way! Not sure what happened there. I'm not trying you start a war with Hecate. Honest.

Allonsy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:23:14

I never know how much i should be helping ds with homework, he gets reading every night and needs me to tell him the word then he remember it i have no idea if im meant to do that. Or sums if he gets the answers wrong but its an obvious mistake eg minus rather than plus do i correct him or let him take it in wrong....

IWishIWasSheRa Thu 10-Jan-13 13:23:27

I saw a label on a model at school few months ago it said
"Designed by Sarah, Manufactured by Daddy"

I help my kids but never to the point where it's not theirs. But I can't help but wonder what the teacher thought of the above child's model (and label!)

chocoluvva Thu 10-Jan-13 13:24:21

Definitely NBU.

This used to be a bugbear of mine - your DC is 8? He goes to school - then he should be free to do non-school things the rest of the time.
I think it's a cheek of the school tom set compulsory tasks like that to do at home - by all means if he/you WANT to cook a simple meal or make patterns with rice.........

FanFuckingTastic Thu 10-Jan-13 13:25:34

At the moment mine are still little, so I get very involved in their homework, and in expanding their learning beyond school. I guess I would get annoyed with pointless homework, but if there is a good reason for it to be done, and it requires my assistance to complete, I wouldn't find it a bother I don't think. I am used to having to supplement eldest's need for more knowledge as he isn't being pushed at school, so we do stuff like this anyway.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 13:25:41

grin reindeer

Viviennemary Thu 10-Jan-13 13:28:11

YANBU. Reading is fine. And maybe finishing off a few sums. But projects. I'd say he wasn't allowed to search the internet at the age of eight. And you feel he is too young to start cooking the family meals. And it is all about the Alpha idiots proving they can do better than anyone else.

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