To think fuck right off?!

(117 Posts)
Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 16:05:20

So yet again ds1 comes home with homework and instructions to sit down and do it with an adult. It's a decent amount, about an hours worth.
He's 12

I am up to my eyeballs with other stuff to do and pig sick of this from schools. When I was at school we were always told that they wanted our own work and not to get help so they could see what we'd taken in.

I'm quite sure this has come up on MN before but I wanted a rant so

Aibu to think I've been to school, done plenty of homework in my time. I do not appreciate being told to do more when I left 20 odd years ago!! angryangryangryangry

YANBU - who's homework is it....yours or his??

DS going to secondary school in sept and I am dreading the homework aspect of it...can see one long nightmare ahead!!

manicbmc Wed 23-Jan-13 16:08:12

I'd be having a word. Fine at primary age when they might need help to understand but as far as I'm concerned kids should be managing their own homework by 12.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 23-Jan-13 16:09:55

I would find that annoying if it happened regularly especially if Dd were 12.

beenalongtimecoming Wed 23-Jan-13 16:11:14

YANBU imo! Surely homework should just be a continuation of what they were doing in school, ie they should be able to do it with maybe only a little input, not something that needs 1-1 'tuition'! Besides you having enough to do what about parents who aren't 'up to the job' academically - presumably their children suffer? Can see the point in home reading etc for younger kids as parents should be having that time with them anyway but iirc it was the same for me at secondary - homework was always something you did yourself, that was the whole point unless it was art and you were desperate so got your dad to draw it for you

Hassled Wed 23-Jan-13 16:12:31

I agree that it seems ridiculous to give an express instruction that it should be done with an adult - apart from the fact that whatever he takes in to school won't necessarily reflect his understanding or ability, what about the kids whose parents aren't around/can't or won't make the time/just can't be arsed? It's hardly fair on them.

DuchessFanny Wed 23-Jan-13 16:14:10

I definitely have days where i could sob from the amount of 'extra' i have to do because the DSs have come home with loads of homework ... although not my 12 year old, he does his own, my 8 year old however had TWO massive projects due in this week, on top of normal reading and spelling, it was too much !

Surely by 12 they are meant to be getting on with it themselves, so their teachers know what they are taking in/capable of ?

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 16:14:17

I woud speak to the school.
Why is he being given homework to do with an adult.

I had nothing to do with ds1s homework from the moment he hit secondary.

Go in and ask.

YANBU. Once my DD was in secondary school, if she struggled with homeworkand asked me, I more often than not, actually had no idea what she was talking about.
If it was maths then the way I did things compared to how they do them now had changed so much I was of no use anyway.
As suggested - I would be having words with the school about it.

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 16:57:29

I shall definitely speak to them, I'll just calm down a bit first wink
For tonight I get to choose between trying to find the time to do it whilst cooking the dinner, feeding, bathing, bedding 8 month old twins and also taking care of 8 yr old dd, putting off the actual work I still have to do this evening or

Risking an aspergers meltdown by telling him I don't have time ....

Ariel24 Wed 23-Jan-13 16:58:45

Christ I'm dreading this, and DD is only 3 months! grin I absolutely hated homework. And I won't ever be able to help her with maths as I'm dreadful at it.

They get far too much homework IMO. Of course reading at home is important, I love reading and really hope DD does too. But the amount of homework now is ridiculous, I remember when doing my GCSEs 10 years ago we were 'supposed' to be doing 3 hours a night. Oh how I laughed at that!

hattymattie Wed 23-Jan-13 17:00:34

You want to live in France - I feel like I've started school all over again - and by the way YANBU.

ILoveTIFFANY Wed 23-Jan-13 17:02:10

I'm a lone parent... It's unfair!! To be fair tho I do often sit down with the dc and 'assist' and take interest....And older dc but in and say 'oh i can remember when I did that in school, do it this way'..

And with 5 dc I'm finding I know the curriculum by heart.... Repeat, repeat,repeat

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:05:11

At least when the twins start school it will be the same homework! And by that point eldest dc will be leaving school and getting a well paid job to pay for all this extra tuition he's had off me

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:09:07

I'm going to be unpopular here, but here goes...

As a secondary school teacher, I can see a huge benefit to this. The more parental involvement with home learning tasks has always helped with pupil progress. As work gets more demanding, being able to discuss with parents makes a huge difference. It also gives parents the opportunity to see exactly what is going on in lessons and how their ch

wakarimasen Wed 23-Jan-13 17:09:08

The buzz words in education at the moment are "parents as partners". The government insist that parents participate in their child's education as much as possible. As a teacher, I'd gladly do away with homework all together. Kid's work hard all day, they need some down time in the evenings....

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:09:38

... sorry, pressed post too soon. Rest to follow...

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:09:47


Unless it's revision, homework is a load of cods wallop anyway.

Unfortunately, thems the rules for the kids NOT the adults!

Greensleeves Wed 23-Jan-13 17:10:51

I feel your pain, I have spent much of my time this week helping ds2 construct a bloody great family tree, spelling endless names and trying to explain who divorced who etc

yes yes very interesting and he has learned a lot, but I could have done without it. "just go up to your mum and dad's grandparents" -= clearly she wasn't reckoning on 3 adoptions (including patchy info on mystery relatives), 1 long-term foster family, about a million divorces and second families, and two enormous Irish Catholic dynasties. The thing is bigger than the fucking Bayeux tapestry.

I am also a teacher and in the school I currently work in it isn't called homework, it's called "home learning". It is supposed to be an enriching and fulfilling opportunity for parents to really "get stuck into" their children's education and be active agents etc. I bite my cheek in frustrated sympathy (it's a school policy, top-down)

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:13:15

I think dd's school as that policy too. Each term they send home a sheet with instructions for parents on what we should be doing to help our dc's that term goes straight in the shredder

Euphemia Wed 23-Jan-13 17:16:44

I agree with the other teachers posting here - homework is part of the school's link with parents. Schools that have tried to stop giving out homework have met with protests from parents - can't win!

If there is a debate to be had about the merits of homework, the form it should take, and the extent to which parents should be involved, then I suspect that should take place with OfSTED rather than the school? Or feed back to the school for them to feed back ...? I'm in Scotland so I don't know how it works for you.

What is the homework, OP? Could your DS do it then discuss it with you, rather than you sitting beside him the whole time?

I'm with Cacks on this. I would want to help. If my child doesn't understand, there is either, not enough time in class to help them understand, or the teacher isn't able to explain in a way specific to them to help understanding. This is where parents step in.

I'd sit down explain what has to be done, see if he has any questions, and then check back in periodically to see how he is getting on, rather than sit beside him for the full hour.

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:18:30

... child is progressing. Some children struggle to ask for help, especially in the first year, this is one way of identifying concerns earlier. The parent can be the spokesperson or support for that child. Leading to a more independent and resourceful learner in the future.

I would imagine it should become less frequent as your child grows up, but that transition from junior to secondary can be difficult.

In addition, there is a growing trend (not that I'm saying anyone here falls into this) for parents to absolve responsibility for their child's education. Perhaps it's just in the schools I've worked in, but it is something I have noticed more if in recent years. The children who make the most progress, are usually those who have very 'involved' parents.

As teenagers grow up, they will stop telling you what they are doing at school, this type of activity keeps you involved.

I totally agree that there can be serious overkill, and perhaps discussing it with individuals teachers or schools would be useful, but I do see the benefit of it.

Hope I've not put too many backs up. In now way making any accusations, simply stating it from my POV.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:20:25

Oh by the way i wasn't having a go at teachers here, whom I feel very sorry for these days. The rules come from the government out of touch twits that have no bloody idea but like to poke their noses in anyway

itsallinmyhead Wed 23-Jan-13 17:21:49

YANBU- if only for the fact that teaching methods have moved on so far in only a short period of time.

By the time he shows you how to do it so you can show him how it's done grin it'll be a right cerfuffle!


It also amazes me when I hear about primary school kids having homework. Never had homework until I went to grammar school when I hit 11.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:26:47

Very true VoiceofUnreason. The only thing i agreed with in primary was reading and learning their spellings, everything else went in the bin!

TheFallenNinja Wed 23-Jan-13 17:29:20

Decide your sub contract rates and submit an invoice. smile

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 23-Jan-13 17:30:13

I do think putting such an emphasis on parental input does mean that those with academic parents are going to be advantaged over kids of less academic parents. Surely this is unfair??

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:31:22

I believe a child person is either academic or not.

The reality would be only a few parents would do this, so totally unfair on other children. Parents who are interested in what their child is doing will find out, its not hard just look in their books. Anyway isnt that what parents evening is for?

therugratref Wed 23-Jan-13 17:32:33

I had to make a bloody loaf of bread with my DS the other day. Biology apparently. grin

mummytime Wed 23-Jan-13 17:35:27

The only hw my DC get that requires my input is either: get someone to answer 5 questions/ or assess your cooking; or occasionally explain X to your parent and get them to sign that you have done so.
I would complain otherwise, and do if the work is too hard for them to do independently.

What about the children whos parents are EAL or who have problems understanding what they are meant to do? What about children who have parents who dont give a damn, what about the parent who has other children, what about the parent who works, have problems at home etc?

Typical schools, living in an ideal bubble.

ithaka Wed 23-Jan-13 17:37:11

It must vary so much from school to school. My oldest is at secondary and I have never had anything to with her homework, aside from nagging her to make sure she does it (which I fully accept is a parent's role).

The littlest is in primary and they are fully of this home learning malarky, but thankfully when they hit secondary they are expected to get on with it themselves - there are loads of websites like BBC Bitesize if they want to look anything up (which probably has a fancy title like self directed learning).

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:38:34

My DS once had to make a volcano -- at the age of 4 by the way--. Well! I tried to make paper mache, what a disaster, it was the height of summer and it was infested with tiny flies by the time it was due to be brought in. We rushed to the shops and bought one and splashed a bit of red paint on it in the end. grin

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:38:56

I have 5 classes of 30 children I see 3-4 times a week. As a core subject, that makes my weekly count of children far less than other subjects who will see numerous classes once or twice a week. Therefore, being able to contact that many parents regularly gets quite difficult. Parental involvement in home learning keeps contact constant. Parents evening is once a year for each year group. No parent can see this as sufficient enough contact time!

Doing this is one way to help with progress. It will not work for all, but plenty will benefit. I've noticed a marked improvement simply because parents feel a part of what's going on.

If it's not for you, that's your choice. You can't blame a school for trying.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:39:53

I agree cacks81 (apart from dreaded chemistry)

but a lot of parents don't have the time.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:43:14

Homework as a way of keeping in touch with parents? really? what next. Kids are at school to learn one thing. They come home to learn others, our time with our children should not be a battle ground of homework. That should be left at the door of "school time".

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:43:25

Completely agree hullygully, which is why people should discuss this with individual schools and teachers. They will want to know if it can't be done, and how they can support. (Or should want to)

Each child and school is different, but all parents need to be inv

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:44:05

.. involved.

(Why do I keep posting early?!!!!) smile

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:48:27

I'm simply trying to share the opinion of one person in the profession dealing with demands from government, governors, management and parents. We've adopted this to try and help at our school.

Thought it might help in this discussion to hear another POV. No intention to upset or anger.

nokidshere Wed 23-Jan-13 17:48:34

Well it's definitely not a way of keeping in touch from our school since he homework rarely gets marked!! And often when it is it's marked by their peers (don't even get me started on that little gem angry)

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:51:39

I think it's very bonding (perhaps we are just odd). I work with my dc and always have, used to do art and craft and stuff, these days they are teenagers and I work with them on homework when requested or help with revision, and we always have a laugh (or a row) and lots of other discussions and I know they care more about their work because I care about it. And I get to teach them a whole lot of other stuff alongside that they don't get in school

Disclaimer, that's us, I'm not saying it's for everyone...

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:54:11

Exactly nokidshere. In my time I have cajouled, threatened and argued with DS about homework, then it doesn't get marked. It should be taken out of the equasion unless "extra" work is asked for. Happy days all round then.

AllOutOfIdeas Wed 23-Jan-13 17:54:37

I have absolutely no problem in supporting the school in my children's learning but i do think they should do the work themselves.

I will always be on hand to explain if they don't understand or show them where to find the information but with 3 dc and work i would struggle to find 3hours a night to help get it all done.

Surely spoon feeding them the information and or answers is not the way to help them to learn?

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 17:54:37

Plus DS1 was doing Greek and Latin at 11, he was way past any maths I could remember and my English education was at a time when the teachers thought spelling and sentence structure were dull limitations on imagination.
So 'mum can you help' would throw me into a panic.

Setting homework that is easiest for those with the parents most able to help isn't going to be win win is it?

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:54:57

Love that hullygully!

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:55:21

But but

even if it's not marked, if you've done it together and discussed things and learned things and shared knowledge, isn't that valuable in and of itself?

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:57:56

Completely agree.

Foggles Wed 23-Jan-13 17:58:09

I would expect to help primary school children.

By the time the DC hit secondary school, they were cleverer than me.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:58:22

I always find it interesting that working with your dc (leaving Pag's valid point aside for the mo) is considered "spoon feeding" and doing it for them.

It's no different to what teacher's do, sharing information and facilitating their learning. Discussing to develop thought and exploring theories and ideas. Why might the poet have chosen that image? Why might the historian have drawn that conclusion? etc etc.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:58:36

fuck. teachers with no apostrophe

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 17:58:38

"bonding" over homework? I'm really glad for you hully but it's never happened in my house or anyone elses that I know of grin

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:59:35

I always thought we were odd...

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:00:31

We had a lovely evening the other day, one of the dc was studying the war poet and the other one joined in and we had a really good chat about it all with biscuits and wine (not for them). It was great.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:00:48


Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:02:05

Perhaps I need to get out more

I've driven everyone away screaming grin

TheFallenMadonna Wed 23-Jan-13 18:02:06

I get involved. I am interested in what they're doing, especially DS who is in year 7, and is now on familiar ground for me.

But I wouldn't set a homework that involved a parent because some parents don't have the confidence in their own schooling to help, some are very anti school, a fairly high proportion don't speak English, and some, like the OP, have other demands on their time.

I think just being available is useful in itself though, and I often tell my students to bore their family and friends by explaining a topic to them in order to check their own understanding.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 18:03:30

You are blessed Hully really you are grin Not sure how you can have an evening during the day though?

Hully I agree working with your child is great and the benefits are great for the child for a number of reasons. But, having school send work home for the parents to do with a child I disagree with, as I said before, too much pressure for some children.


a lot of parents do do their childs homework, I taught in a PS that sent out homework, I got sick of marking and having to give gold stars to the parents, honestly you would not believe!

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:04:21

I'm dead clever me, Phoenix grin

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 18:05:00

Perhaps I should have tried with more biscuits and wine?

In fairness DS1 did start using me for his English once he started a level. I would read his essays and critiques. I was pretty good at that so I was happy to help. It did lead to us talking about literature, poetry and then the arts. We go to stuff together now - art galleries etc. he recommends books and things.

Perhaps I should be less nervous and be a bit more involved with DD. I can see the advantages if parents are able.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:05:50

I know dreams, I know it's not for everyone and I know it isn't fair on those without parents able/willing to help.

I just enjoy it, I love talking about all that stuff even if they don't want me too

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 18:06:02

Loving the different perspectives, I've not disappeared I'm just doing my bloody homework I'll be back later!

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:06:07


dear lord

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 18:06:42

pokes self in eyeball as finds poems a load of airy fairy tripe, unless of the dirty rhymning sort of course grin

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:07:47

Maybe that's it Phoenix, I do genuinely enjoy it, especially as they get older.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:08:12

Mind you, I must say the war poets really aren't airy fairy...

I use to be very enthusiastic at helping DD with her art and history homework, she asked me to stop sad

AllOutOfIdeas Wed 23-Jan-13 18:11:09

But isn't finding things out for themselves, whether on line, at the library, from text books etc helping them as well? I know my boss wouldn't sit and go through a project with me- i would be expected to do it myself.
Surely independent learning is a life skill they need to develop?

Don't get me wrong, i wouldn't banish my dc to their rooms to do it and never help, just that they need to try themselves to process it and not have me confusing them with different methods than the way their teachers do.

What about parents who try but aren't very academic? The ones that try and do the work with their dc but don't actually know what they are helping with? If the work isn't marked how does the teacher know that the child understands the work?

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 18:13:15

Give me a good story any day rather than a poem, i find poets to be rather self centred and egotistical hiding under some sort of arty farty licence. I must say i thoroughly enjoy spending time with my teen too, we laugh a lot together, just not over homework.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:15:36

Allout, it's not just about finding things out, it's teaching them how to think, how to develop theories and follow lines of argument, how to structure essays and responses, how to explore why they think what they think...

Pinot Wed 23-Jan-13 18:16:03

I get more excited than the kids do when they have a weekend free of homework blush

True fact ^

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:16:24

Read Wilfred Owen and see what you think.I was demned impressed.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 18:22:30

Will do Hully, I've yet to be inspired but who knows huh.

In my book it's all about school staying rather separate from home life and having the choice of discussing other things away from academia and achievement.

DS and I have many a discussion but it isn't pre-empted by what "must" be carried on from school.

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 18:36:29

I have to admit, all your points have given me food for thought. I think my team set clear tasks that encourage parental involvement yet discourage doing it for them, perhaps we don't. Perhaps there are parents who suffer in silence and don't tell us for fear of looking inadequate, which is far from the case.

I would suggest speaking to your school. They only want what's best for their students too. If this isn't working for you, they should know.

I will still stand by involving parents in homework, but will look at how it's set.

Off to my marking now! smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 23-Jan-13 18:55:52

I have real reservations about homework which requires parental help, because I think it just further serves to widen the gap between children who have interested parents and those who don't.

DS1 is only in Reception, so at the moment we have reading daily, plus a discussion topic over the weekend that we document, and then also about 5-10 minutes of French homework (this is an optional subject and our choice).

Surely the point of secondary is that the children need to learn to work alone though?
My parents were always massively helpful and supportive, they would talk things through with us - but the actual work came from us and they would never ever provide us with an answer or do any work for us because they felt it would give an incorrect picture to the teacher of what we were capable of.

We were very lucky though, because my parents were both bright, educated and interested. Not all children have that advantage, and the 'lucky' ones coming in with beautifully completed homework all the time does nothing but make those less advantaged children feel even worse - largely because they probably have no idea just how much parental input is going on for other children, and they therefore feel inferior.

And homework should be marked, IMO. Nothing more demoralising than spending hours and hours on a massive project for it never to be marked or any feedback come. <voice of bitter experience>

bringnbuy Wed 23-Jan-13 19:15:08

yanbu. i hated school the first time round so get really pissed off when dd (although fortunately not often, yet) needs me to do homework with her. whilst some parents love this type of involvement not all of us do. i am self employed/work from home and struggle to find time to do everything as it is. if i had wanted to be a teacher i would have trained as one.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 19:24:16

I wouldn't like to take work home with me every night, unless I chose to or had a profession where that was part of it.

All work and no play makes Jack (or Julie) a dull person.

To foist this on kids is just plain wrong in my opinion and causes more harm than good.

cory Wed 23-Jan-13 19:25:40

From the pov of an academic parent, the time spent on dc's homework hasn't been bonding time: it has been time taken from the real bonding we could have done over areas of learning where I could offer something special and where we really could bond.

For a non academic parent, I imagine it could be hell on earth. And again detracts attention from the very useful learning children can do from non-academic parents: DIY, cooking, budgetting, knitting, sewing, all sorts of practical skills.

It fosters the idea that parents cannot contribute with any useful ideas of their own as to what to teach their children.

Fortunately, we are no longer expected to do this in secondary: ds gets detention when he hasn't done his homework because it is regarded as his responsibility not mine. I am happy that there is somewhere in his world that supports the idea that he has responsibilities and is supposed to keep track of them: ds has never believed my word on the subject.

DD is in year 8 now, and does most of her homework alone, although I check what she's doing regularly and we chat about it. She has gone through her maths with me because one teacher seems a bit useless (even the other maths teacher she has, has made comments apparently).

So we chat about the work, if there's time or DP can help out too. But I don't have the time to sit down with her for the entire time she's doing that homework, it's more a case of supervising. But we have the chats, which can often lead on to other subjects not covered at school and can get interesting.

DS is year 4, gets spellings and reading, and also has to fill in two pages of a learning log once a month. They get two weeks to do this log, and a subject is set and the children can do anything on that theme, eg write, draw, storyboards, CDs, articles, etc. Latest theme is "let it snow" and DS has heard there's a song with this title so has decided, all on his own, that he's going to find out and write about the song.

3littlefrogs Wed 23-Jan-13 19:30:27

It isn't just the homework.

It is the "half term project" in every single subject, every single half term, that means we cannot have a decent family break/day out/evening out during the half term "break". We all work so hard in this house we are absolutely desperate for a rest when we get the chance.

In fact we have been instructed by the school that we should not book a family holiday during GCSE year. shock angry

I have had 15 years of this.

ihatethecold Wed 23-Jan-13 19:49:34

Does anyone have any recommendations for a book I can use to help my yr 8 with his maths.
The methods have changed since I was a school.

My problem is my DS says he really doesn't know how to do his HW. I will go through it with him and explain with the help of google. But I can see he still doesn't get it.
I'm thinking of going in to see the teacher as this has been going on a while.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 19:55:25

Yours is a prime example ihate of this ridiculous homework stuff unless swatting for an exam. Don't sweat it and tell your DS to ask his teacher. If it's being used in the context of gaining what the child has understood then it's the teachers responsibility to try another method etc. to help your child.

Math has changed, even the way we used to work it out just tends to confuse the child even more.

Don't feel at all bad about it.

Pinot Wed 23-Jan-13 19:58:08

Exactly this!

I get so stressed at 'doing' the bloody homework with them. I don't KNOW if I'm tecahing them correctly.

Massive cause of stress in our house angry

I will do reading, I will do writing practice, I will do quizzes and wordsearches and all manner of things like that.

But the TEACHING should be done at school.

nokidshere Wed 23-Jan-13 20:00:16

*But but
even if it's not marked, if you've done it together and discussed things and learned things and shared knowledge, isn't that valuable in and of itself?*

Of course hully my 14 year old loves nothing better than teaching me how to do complex algebra or some other such subject that I was am crap at the first time round!

We have fab discussions about all sorts of things and yes I love it now they are older. But that doesn't mean they should be doing hours of it every night and putting in massive amounts of effort only to find its not marked.

nokidshere Wed 23-Jan-13 20:01:48

And if its not marked how does the teacher track their progress? I thought homework was something they do in order to consolidate the learning they had done in class. If I have had to explain it to them then the teacher needs to know if they have "got it" or not don't they?

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 20:04:09

For the record I had the choice of going the huge academic route for my DS or the option of a school which was thought of as being below par at the time where the policy was no homework unless necessary (there was a period however where they were practically dictated to by the goverment to dish out pages of the stuff until most parents complained) My DS has thrived and is getting GCSE B's and A's already at the age of 15.

I asked him the other day why he thought this was the case and he said "In our school we are given the choice and treated like humans not fodder, the teachers tell us our destiny is in our hands".

choccyp1g Wed 23-Jan-13 20:30:45

My DS is Y7, and I'll provide the tools, the space and the time (by banning him from the X-box until it is done). But he won't let me actually help, ever since the time when I got carried away on a craft project.

I think for primary age children the homework should have a little slip at the bottom indicating how long they spent on it, (elapsed time, not actual working time), how much they enjoyed it and how much time the parents spent on it. (and how much nagging was required to get them started). Not to catch parents out for helping, but so the teachers can get a truer idea of what is going on, and how much suppport the DCs are needing.

For secondary school, the DCs should fill in little forms themselves for the same type of thing. Obviously they'd lie sometimes, but they "would only be fooling themselves" as teachers are so fond of saying.

ThePinkOcelot Wed 23-Jan-13 21:11:56

From someone who has just sat for what seemed like hours doing homework with DD, YADNBU!

skullcandy Wed 23-Jan-13 21:25:04


i hate, loathe and despise homework.

i could quite happily shove homework up the teachers backside.

Cacks81 Wed 23-Jan-13 21:28:46


Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 22:26:05

Well you are all very odd.

And of course any homework that is of no interest to one, or way beyond one's ability (maths chemistry physics) is simply ignored or forced onto dh

Mosschopz Wed 23-Jan-13 22:30:51

What Cacks said. As a parent you're not being expected to do the homework, just help with it. The parents I meet who don't have anything to do with homework tend to be the ones that aren't that arsed about a lot of things to do with their child's education.

HollaAtMeBaby Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:11

YANBU. Sorry if this offends but you mentioned AS - is he in a mainstream school or a special one? Does he have SEN that make him need support with homework? I find this really odd for "normal" secondary - I don't remember ever getting any prep that relied on parental input but then I am incredibly ancient

Phineyj Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:28

I'm a teacher and I have never set work that involves parents - I wouldn't consider it fair or helpful. A number of my students live in complicated step family arrangements and/or have parents working long hours in the City. It wouldn't exactly support the students' independent learning. Mind you I teach sixth form, but I also don't see the point of year 7 history projects where the impressive castle or whatever has clearly been made by daddy. I want to know what my students know/can do, not their parents!

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:42:35

The main thing that angered me really is the way I was 'told' to do it, my first reaction was as per the title of the thread!

I think there have been some valid points made but here's my thoughts on those I can remember (on phone so can't scroll to remind myself)

With regards to bonding over homework, no not really. I don't feel I need the schools help to bond with my children for a start. Add to that the fact that we do things together that we choose to do, science experiments, bug trails, looking through the telescope etc. All are educational but play to my particular strengths and therefore I enjoy it more and so do they. Even when we are just chatting we often go off on a tangent so we have great conversations about all sorts of things.

Parental involvement - I am in constant contact with the school anyway. I also home educated for a year whilst fighting for proper support for my ds so I am already heavily involved in their school life.

With regards to picking up early signs that they are struggling. Well I think that's bollocks tbh. If they did the homework themselves this would be easier to spot as the teacher would mark it and think 'this kids really not getting this' whereas parental involvement might mean that the child is receiving a good few hours of help on top of class time so isn't a true reflection on whether the subject is being taught effectively iyswim.

If it's that they are expecting the parent to suggest their child is struggling - how do they expect us to know? I'm not being daft but I've had several chats with my dc's teachers expressing my concerns over one thing or another only to be told they are actually ahead of the rest of the class so obviously I've actually no idea of what level they should be at according to the guidelines set.

I do take an interest in homework but prefer it to play out like this:

Child does homework
Proudly presents it to me to have a look
I say either "wow that's great work, well done" and we have a little chat about it or
"That's good but I think you could do better, why don't you have another go". Then when it inevitably comes back better they get lots of praise which they love.

That works perfectly well on normal homework nights so why can't it just be like that????

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:05

Holla - he's at a mainstream school. Dd is also at a mainstream one, different school but same council.

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:36

Oh sorry, it was a 2 part question. No he most definitely does not need any academic help bloody genius - think Sheldon from the Big Bang theory - I live with the 12 yr old version and he knows it

BoundandRebound Wed 23-Jan-13 22:48:45

It is abysmal for schools and I can only imagine inexperienced teachers to set homework for parents

Particularly at secondary level

I am appalled that teachers can say this is appropriate

It is not

Our jobs as parents is to support and help children achieve not do projects with them dictated by naive teachers

My qualifications are complete, do not set me homework.

Makes me angry

HollaAtMeBaby Wed 23-Jan-13 22:55:44

Aw, I wish I had a mini-Sheldon in my house smile in that case you are definitely not being unreasonable about the homework!

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 23:02:15

No you don't, really. If there's one thing I hate more than him correcting me it's the self satisfied smug look he gets when I realise he's right.
He's gorgeous and funny but a bit too clever sometimes, still what he has in brains he utterly lacks in tact and social skills!

skullcandy Wed 23-Jan-13 23:23:28

my despising of homework has nothing to do with my involvement in my childrens education, i am as involved as i can be without interfering. If i wasnt involved my ds wouldnt be an entire year group ahead of his peers in his reading!

i do not see the point in homework

school is for schooling, home is for home/family time. I do not like it intruding on my time with my kids.

Like other parents, i do plenty of educational stuff with my kids, i teach them plenty about anything and everything, i have books coming out my ears, google at my finger tips, the world at my feet and the car to take me wherever my whims wish to go.

FTR, i never did my own homework at home either, for the same reasons.. it was done during break time in the study library at school.

TheArbiter Thu 24-Jan-13 06:51:42

Exactly how is this enforceable?

Should DD ever have homework of this kind, I'll make myself available for help/checking work, but if she doesn't need my help she has every right to work independently.

Cacks81 Thu 24-Jan-13 07:08:54

I am new to MN and quickly learning that involving myself in threads is not a good idea. I am all for different opinions, and as I've said before, your opinions have given me, an experienced and certainly not naive teacher and head of department, food for thought.

However, the aggressive tone and responses are not what I expected.

I love my job, wouldn't do anything else, but it's hard. No teacher wants anything than to do the best by their students. This barrage of abuse on here simply reminds me of the constant negative view of education from the press, the government and parents. My day is stressful enough, so I won't be involving myself in these discussions again.

This is not because of your different views. I welcome those.

This is because of the level of negativity and perceived aggressiveness.

If you feel so strongly, do something about it for you DC. I thought an opinion might help people see it from the other side.

Good luck with it all.

Aspiemum2 Thu 24-Jan-13 07:59:51

Hey cacks, I appreciated your input as it gave me a different perspective on it. I'm sorry if my tone was more abrupt than I thought, no offence was intended though - I was just ranting

Pinot Thu 24-Jan-13 08:20:52

Cacks you need to toughen up. If parents are fed up, they're going to say so - it's not directed at you, so why take it so personally?

I hope you feed this information back to your school and it gives food for thought.

My DS2 has today taken in "his" project of making a castle. A FUCKING CASTLE. He is y7 and not in the least artistic. Assessed for ADD in fact - so DH made the castle and I finished it off. Total time = over 4 hours. With DS sitting with us getting distracted and whinging.

Why on earth would anyone think that task is either appropriate or will enhance his learning???

But we HAD to do it as otherwise he'll stick out like a sore thumb. It's not enough to say "Well don't do it" as then you're making an example of your child.

And yes, I have said all this to School. Well actually, I said it last year as well, when DS1 had the same fucking project.

No one listens. Teachers do not listen.

Cacks, sorry but I really don't think there has been a barrage of abuse here at all, and I am very supportive of my dcs schools and teachers. I'm just anti homework, not anti teacher, there is a difference.

Hullygully Thu 24-Jan-13 08:34:44

Yes, come on Cacks! Blimey! That's nothing...

Also, as the lovely Pinot says, it's not personal, parents have The Rage about a lot of stuff to do with school.

Totes agree about those mad projects, except in our case dh loves making stuff so he and the dc used to have a lovely time making extraordinary models. The first time the dc took one in was hilarious, a singing dancing lighting up Project MrHully and no pretence of owt else.

Absolutely pointless other than that MrHully enjoyed himself.

DeepRedBetty Thu 24-Jan-13 08:50:32

Hello Cacks

I've enjoyed reading this thread this morning and found a lot of useful input, not least from you. If you're new-ish to MN you may not yet realise that anything in Am I Being Unreasonable is liable to get the odd frankly demented ranty post. Ignore them, don't take it personally grin

Hullygully Thu 24-Jan-13 08:54:35

Hey Deep Red Betty!

extracrunchy Thu 24-Jan-13 09:01:46

I would want to help. I've got loads to do too, but supporting my child's education is very important to me.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 24-Jan-13 11:54:20

Cacks surely you have a thicker skin that than? How else do you manage with your Y11s! wink

No-one has had a go at your personally, but I can understand that you'd be upset to discover that your thinking is so at odds with the majority of people on this thread.

I wouldn't say that people have been aggressive, firm in their opinions, yes. Which people should be in relation to their own children tbh.

People have really busy lives, and trying to find an hour every evening to sit with your DC and do homework is beyond most people on a regular basis.
Parents work, have long commutes, have other children to look after and possibly other caring commitments to family members. By the time you take all that into account, plus any after school activities and weekend commitments - there isn't always time.

Plus - and this is a real bugbear of mine - there does seem to be an assumption from a lot of schools that parents do nothing of value with their kids unless directed by school.
I will be really resisting huge half-term projects when mine are older, because those are times to rest and recharge, read books that aren't directed by school, visit family, go on holiday or for days out, and spend 3 days building a Lego project in your bedroom with your siblings. All of which are valid learning experiences.

Cacks81 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:26:56

Trust me, my skin is thick. You should see the class I just took. It's not that I've taken this personally at all, but I wanted to move away as it was turning into a teacher bashing from some. I get enough if that in my own life and don't need it here, when I thought I might have helped.

There is no denying that the language some have used on here is aggressive.

And I have taken everything on board for my own department, most certainly.

But I found myself getting quite worked up, which can't be a good thing, so I wanted to step away. Perhaps I'm being too sensitive and taking what some have said too personally.

Just surprised me.

Anyway, my issue, clearly.

All the best.

extracrunchy Thu 24-Jan-13 18:39:22

I'm with you Cacks wink

bigkidsdidit Thu 24-Jan-13 19:12:01

I agree with Alibaba

My parents were like Hully and it was wonderful. Lots o discussions over gin (I had a gin from age 14-15 shock ) and given books to read, discussion taken past what I was doing at school.

Both my parents were lecturers and now I am. I hope to be like this with DS.

HOWEVER, this does further entrench the privilege of having academic parents. It is such a massive advantage already - parents like us will do this anyway. Why set homework that depends on it?

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