Homework heaven or homework hell?(6 Posts)
I have an 11 year old daughter who struggles with Literacy, if you sit and spoon feed her she's much better. Her speech is excellent, that's because she never stops talking!! just like me.
I am paying for a tutor for an hour each week and up until last week she was doing well, but she seems to have gone back to her old couldn't care less attitude. Although she gets upset and stroppy when I say this.
Tonight she has had to do some descriptive writing, I found her copying two paragraphs from previous work, which she swore blind she was only doing to give her ideas. When I took the work off her that she was copying from and left her to it she only managed to do one more short paragraph, filled with basic errors. All she had to do last night was copy a piece of text corrected by her tutor which only took 15 mins, but even this was filled with crossings out, the main problem is that she thought that was ok.
I wonder if I should just accept that she struggles and let her find her own way, but she's my only child. I'm not a pushy mother, I just want her to have the best chance in life.
I strongly believe that homework is unjustifiable for the reasons I quote below. I'm constantly talking to people and reading forum posts etc which show that there is a large minority or even a majority that feel the same, but no one seems to want to rock the school boat. We need to change peoples consciousness so that homework becomes as anti-social as smoking is these days. Somehow those of us who feel this strongly need to urgently start speaking collectively, write to mps, high profile people, schools, headteachers etc and start making our voice heard. Each year we have gone into school and reminded them that homework is not compulsory, home school agreements do not legally have to be signed and that while I will support my child if they wish to do set homework, I do not expect them to face punishment if it is not done. I urge everyone who feels like this to do similar. In addition, there is an e-petition at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/17055 which I urge you to sign - At the very least it may eventually indicate how many people feel this way.
I feel strongly about the setting of homework in schools. I'm aware that this issue is contentious, so I've indicated just a few reasons why I believe so strongly that homework is wrong, to indicate that this isn't just a knee jerk reaction. It appears that I am not the only one - Teachers appear to be concerned, as indeed do many parents who do not push the point, as they are scared to push against the status quo.
Sends the wrong message re: Work/Life balance
- Most are concerned that this country prioritises work above all other aspects of life - Work/life balance misadjustment is costing us in both money and quality of life.
- Yet right from the age of 5, we are telling our children that not only is it acceptable to take work home, it is mandatory. It removes the segregation between work and pleasure
- It makes many feel guilty about not taking work home, and perpetuates the spiral of work taking full precedence over personal and family life.
Disruption of Family and Personal Time
- It dictates how we should spend our time with our children and as a family
- It reduces the spontaneity of spending time as a family.
- It reduces the time available for children to pursue those interests that they want to discover.
- It reduces time to learn for themselves outside of a pre-determined curriculum, and for us as a family to determine a learning agenda.
- It leads to stress, fear and unhappiness if homework either wasn't done or couldn't be
- That unhappiness leads to friction within families
- Can lead to sleep deprivation, either due to actually doing homework or worrying about it.
- Can reduce the activity levels of children, preventing them from more active activities when doing homework.
- Increases stress levels in children
- Result in drained, tired children - everyone needs time to refresh themselves - That time is the time that they are not at school or work.
Dissuades Children from Learning for fun
- A 2006 Scholastic/Yankelovich study found that reading for pleasure is a better indicator of test scores than homework, but that reading for pleasure decreases sharply after the age of eight. The study found that the largest reason for this was due to homework.
Rude, Inconsiderate and impolite
- I consider the presumption that a school can take up my familys time outside of the hours prescribed to it as plain rudeness.
- I think it unlikely that the school would take kindly to my setting my children things to do during lessons.
- Yet that is exactly what homework does to time outside of school. If a school believes that it can determine what my family does in its own time, then why shouldn't I specify what my children do for a period of time in each lesson? Because, as I would agree, it would be impolite and inconsiderate!
Most studies show limited or no use in primary schools and only some use in secondary
- 2006 Synthesis of research - Found no correlation between homework and achievement in Primary, limited in Secondary (but only up to a period of 1 hour)
- US Cross Cultural analysis found that low-homework setting countries such as Japan, consistently achieve better than higher homework setting countries such as UK and US.
- Some schools are eliminating homework completely (e.g. Nottingham East Academy). Tiffin School - "Something's not right when a boy can't watch a nature documentary because he's busy doing maths".
- School provides a standardised place for formal learning - Home does not - Home life can be noisy, distracting, unsettling etc.
- Often homework is given because "parents expect it". As Peter Stanford from the Independent says "Teachers set homework in the belief that it pleases parents. Parents don't disabuse them of this, even when it is exhausting their child, because they don't want him or her to be singled out or seen as failing."
--- Richard Rowe, head of Holy Trinity School at Guildford, Surrey, said he would happily vote to abolish homework but had been unable to persuade parents."I genuinely think that if children of primary age are taught well and do a good day's work, there should be no need for homework," he said. "They should be allowed to have a childhood." (Times educational Supplement 14/3/2008)
----Margaret Morrissey, of the National Confederation for Parent Teacher Associations, said: "Schools need to explain to parents that they want their pupils to be fresh and excited in class.
"Younger children go to school quite early and, if their parents work, don't get home till 6pm. To have homework on top of that just risks burnout." (Times educational Supplement 14/3/2008)
- Even teachers and their union dispute the use of homework - . Professor Dylan Wiliam of the Institute of Education in London, "Research shows homework does not make much of a difference"
--- ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) in 2008 called for an outright ban on primary school homework saying that it was "counter-productive" (+ strict limits on secondary school homework).
I've had the same probs with older children. I broke it down and rewarded (with praise) each bit. i started with organising - helping them to see what the task is, how long it will probably take and getting all the books etc they need. Next : getting started - plan for the piece of work and the breaks with rough timings; make sure they're clear about what skill they're practicing, and that they understand enough to actually do the work (often they couldn't start because they didn't understand what they had done / where the homework fitted with their classwork). However, finding the right time/mood for 15 minutes reading each night has proven a real problem - what time do other's find is best ?
Just do the reading and spellings and then forget the rest. Tell the teacher its too much and you won't be doing it for a while
as it is a complete waste of time at this age.
Persevere. Dd1 was just like this in early years and now just does her homework without blinking. She's y7 and it must be 3 years since I have even asked her if she's got homework to do. in fact, this morning, I found her sitting at her desk working on an optional project for the science fair... Just doing research and getting all her thoughts down.
I'm not too smug though, ds1 would rather do anything else, but is just starting to turn the corner with 'necessary evil' (y5).
Dd2 often begs to do her homework, but can't manage without help (y3) so I often postpone it
Someone leant me a book called 'how to do homework without throwing up' which is aimed as kids. It's a bit cheesy but ds1liked it.
Well for us it's been homework hell this weekend.
Dd1 is in y2 and has an incredible amount of homework - at least 20 mins each day plus reading plus spellings and double homework at weekends.
I'm finding it really hard to motivate her - excuses by the dozen tired hungry need the loo dropped my pencil tired hungry thirsty but mummy I gmhate homework!
Admit/confess to being a shouty mummy at times which just is so self defeating and I recognise not good basis for our relationship.
Feel like I'm drowning - need some advice and tactics - help please !!!