Please complain to your school about homework. Lets get rid of it!

(37 Posts)
freerangeeggsnookie Thu 12-Apr-12 06:07:46

I would like to appeal to all parents who are fed up with homework and encourage you to email, phone, tweet & post your school to stop it.

Having taught for a number of years in various schools I am sick and tired of the absurd homework we are setting. Here are some facts about homework from Visible Learning by John Hattie (summarising research on homework):

1. Homework makes no visible difference to pupils progress until they are in about year 10 and in high ability groups.
2. Homework does not help pupils learn time management skills.
3. For the homework to be effective the teacher must be actively involved.
4. Anyone who asks a pupil in year 7 and above to make a poster is taking the piss (pet hate, not from VL).

Now this is not to say that pupils shouldn't do any studying at all. If a student is independently studying at home doing extra work that they have requested then this will have a benefit. Also as stated above as pupils get older and are studying complex content it can be essential.

Unfortunately most pupils are snowed in with ridiculous tasks which teachers are forced to set by heads who are terrified of parental complaints. It is these complaints that need to be balanced out. If you are not sure if your childs homework is useful ask them after its marked "What improvements could you have made?". If they cannot answer then they have learned nothing. What was the point of that?! So if you are sick of homework like me please, please, please complain. Nothing would make schools a more happier place!!!!

BopsX3 Wed 20-Nov-13 01:33:48

I agree with there being no homework for primary school children.

I have 2 school aged children. One in y3 and one in reception. DS1 (y3) comes home with a reading book and a set of spellings twice a week. He does his spellings at home. Then it's left in his book bag for weeks on end without being marked or probably even looked at. There's spelling sheets in his book bag now that were completed in September.

DS2 (reception) comes home with a reading book, a writing book, a special writing book, a phonics book and flash cards every day! It's ridiculous! The poor boy has only just started doing full days at school and comes home with at least an hour and a halves worth of homework a night. I just don't think there's any need for it what so ever.

Subtleviper Wed 20-Nov-13 01:19:19

I believe homework causes stress on children and doesn't help them, it just annoys them.

Idespair Tue 19-Nov-13 13:20:58

My primary aged dc are set useful and brief homework which I discuss with them. I think it's great.

HSMMaCM Tue 19-Nov-13 13:17:29

DD is in yr 10 and has very little homework and never any homework in the school holidays. This leaves us time to revise subjects she is unsure of and the teachers happily run extra study classes for half an hour after school, because they don't have tonnes of marking to do.

5kidsnobump Sun 17-Nov-13 14:00:28

I'm so pleased I have read this thread. My kids (yr 2 & 3) bring home a home learning book, and the tasks take literally hours and hours. I went into school last half term to complain and tell her I was not signing the home school agreement, as it included a section about ensuring homework was completed. My kids do loads of other activities outside school, and I would rather them do those sort of things than piles of pointless homework tasks.

I don't feel the homework we get enhances the DC's in any way, and in fact as others have said, just detracts from family time. Very refreshing to hear others are of the same opinion!

iamaduck Sun 27-Oct-13 20:11:38

my dd has had to stop guides, all her dance, musical theatre and singing lessons because when she gets home from school (between 5.30 and 6pm) she has 2 to 2 and a half hours homework a night. after that she eats dinner, has a shower then goes to bed.

she gets really tired because she is missing out on sleep which means she can't concentrate in lessons. as well as this she has lost loads of her friends from outside of school. it just isn't right!

MIffy58 Thu 17-Oct-13 12:55:33

I agree - there's no evidence that homework has any benefit in primary schools, and children should have time to just be children. There is a new petiton against it here: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/ban-homework-in-primary-schools

teej09 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:26

I am frustrated almost to the point that I want to swear! My daughter has just started Year 3 and has been pushed to do homework once again, being told by the deputy head the end of Year 2 that the new teacher will set homework, otherwise they will have their playtime stopped to do the work if it is not done.

I find it a bloody cheek that a school has that much control and push this ideology onto the children, to the point numerous students anxiety levels were far to high for a group of children of 6/7 years the last school year.

I have written into the school and said that should the work be disproportionate; my daughter gets stressed, I will limit the work proportionately or stop it all together, however, my daughter has told me that they have been threatened again that play will stop if not completed. Work has been given on Friday and it would seem that it was to be completed by Monday -- even more of a cheek when you are given just the weekend to complete!

As anyone else have any comments or suggestions please.

Thank you in advance

ukjess Sat 09-Mar-13 22:45:41

I used to be a secondary school teacher and have had 3 kids of my own.

I think HW at primary and secondary is really valuable.

Provided its not too much and is manageable.

I have found many kids enjoyed it and were aided by it.

inadreamworld Sat 16-Feb-13 09:25:26

I agree in regard to primary school children. make them work harder AT SCHOOL and get rid of homework. Secondary age is different - at GCSE and A level they obviously need to do revision and assignments at home.

suzysnowball Mon 14-Jan-13 23:16:45

My niece just gone up to yr7 is having detentions once, twice sometimes three times a week and missing breaks, because she has so much homework and she hasn't done it.
Can a school really enforce detentions like this?

losingtrust Sat 05-Jan-13 20:25:30

I would prefer to have a guide to the themes for each term and help my dcs look up the information and discuss it with them. Dd's school is very good at this so I can help her learn more about the subjects and help her with any areas of difficulty. Her school does not believe in homework but does ask for general parental support to learn the tasks and themes for the term, to help with reading and to reinforce the maths. They do get spellings which is fine. This is far more useful at primary age. I help a lot with maths and English knowing what they are doing and will take them to exhibitions that are relevant to what they are learning or go to the library to choose a relevant book. At secondary it is different and ds' school sets assignments that involve learning about the subject and doing an assignment. They then do tests so effectively the more outside reading they do the better they will perform. Maths needs to be practised and therefore they need this but as this online, the dcs can do a tutorial first to learn more before they do the work. They have to keep doing it until they pass so need to keep reading if they don't understand. Not much homework is stupid although the art projects do take a lot of time but I personally love helping with these. They have a lot of Mfl though and my ds has been told that he needs to speak to me one day a week for homework in German as I can speak it well. His teacher has told him he will ask me. I thought that was great. He also needs to learn words but he will need these. All in all we probably get a lot of homework that can be done in five minutes or five hours depending on how much the parent wants to help. Good if kids have interested parents particularly at primary not so good for those who aren't but would far rather have this flexibility as some weeks can be busy particularly near the end of term due to shows etc. Their primary did not believe in holiday homework but a lot of parents did continue reading etc.

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 10:49:28

@meah - I found your post to be so funny. I suspect that wasn't the desired intention smile

You DC's teachers must sooo love you and your DC.

MrsjREwing Thu 29-Nov-12 09:45:13

I agree I thunk it is too much after a long day at school.

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 09:40:08

@uterus - I haven't mentioned tutoring, at least not in this thread, so why are you directing that comment at me?

That aside, I accept that some kids are naturally bright and that they can coast and still end up with As, Oxbridge and a top job. Like a lot of other kids, mine are bright but aren't THAT bright so they need a pushy parent and an academic school to get them to the same place.

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 09:30:11

@KCB01- Such a long post. Where do I begin?

I especially liked the point about how the school won't like it if you set tasks for your DC during school lesson time so why are they setting tasks in YOUR time? Classic. It's a bit like the cops won't like it if you pulled them over for driving while drunk so why are they doing it to you?

As for holding up Japan as an example of a minimal homework culture that still does well, are you frigggin kidding me? Some of my friends work in Japan and they were telling me that the local kids gets lots of homework that consist of learning and memorizing facts. Not only do they get lots of homework, IMO its of the useless type.

UterusUterusGhouli Thu 29-Nov-12 09:23:37

I agree there is often too much. A few Christmases ago dd was set holiday homework "make a power point presentation on the causes of the second world war". She was eight ffs. I don't want to be discussing the myriad of European events that led to WWII over the sprouts. As it happened we have a boring family member who does.

AMPF, my daughter is on the G&T program, has always been top of her class and I certainly don't spend hours & £££ tutoring her. Some people are naturally bright. smile
*attempts to out-smug. Fails*

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 09:11:51

@moonstorm - I can never understand people who have this EITHER/OR attitude ie you either have homework OR you and your DCs have a social life.

My DCs have a homework load that is greater than most state school kids. Yet they have time for after school clubs, TV for DD and PC games for DS, music lessons/practice. And we still have family time where we play board games and just chat about our respective day at work and school.

So people who say that even minimal homework gets in the way of their family life must have loads more social stuff going on in their busy lives.

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 08:57:28

Oh my gawd! You mean there are people out there who help their children with their school work? Scandalous. I'm too busy watching Corrie for that namby pamby stuff [inserts sarcasm emoticon]

DS is year 8 at an academic indie and he gets 2 hours of homework a night. Each piece is promptly marked and forms the basis of a future lesson. So instead of teaching the children facts in the lesson, the teacher discusses the homework with the children and solicits their opinions. Basically, they are using the same teaching model used in higher education.

As far as I am concerned, homework is a good thing even at a young age but only if it is done right ie it is pitched at the right level (a maths worksheet that takes 2 minutes is just a waste of time) and is always marked and constructive comments are made.

moonstorm Wed 28-Nov-12 22:14:38

Yes but you support her. Homework differentiates between those children who have help and those who don't.

AutumnGlory Wed 28-Nov-12 22:07:34

My daughter is improving massively from homework and I just wish there was more. But I appreciate she is only year 1 and I'm not yet sick of it because she gets it once a week. However I can see it does help with their learning, makes her proud of herself and more committed to school. She loves it.

redandwhitesprinkles Sun 25-Nov-12 19:47:50

I haven't read the whole thread. As a teacher I have to mark it so tend to set learning home works such as ask people at home about x, y. Teachers do sometimes set useless homework that they then gave to mark, rather than planning high quality learning opportunities which would benefit the pupil more. However many of us have to set to a timetable rather than a useful learning opportunity.

moonstorm Sun 25-Nov-12 19:07:50

I've only just seen this. I totally agree with the op. There is no point at all with homework. When the dcs are at home, I want us to do family stuff together.

sweetpea31 Sun 25-Nov-12 12:16:19

Teachers have to set homework to meet the teaching standards. Teachers have to show evidence they have met all the standards and standard 4 states that teachers need to "set homework and plan other out-of-class activities to consolidate and extend the knowledge and understanding pupils have acquired." Teachers are duty bound regardless of their opinion of homework.

I think it does set the child up in good stead for what life throws at them later on. As a university student you will have to work in a job alongside assignments + lectures. It will not wash if the child preaches that he does not agree with doing so much work as it upsets the work/life balance...they will be told to pack their bags! Some children will be lucky and not have to work if their parents pay their way but lots will have to work, maybe full time hours to support themselves. Even so, they will have lots of out of lecture work to do, homework and assignments and lots of reading. If they are used to doing extra work outside of school then this will be much easier to cope with in terms of managing workloads, prioritising and time management. Students will invariably want to just go out drinking etc so having that understanding and work ethic instilled will help them to appreciate what needs to be done.

ravenAK Sat 27-Oct-12 23:28:18

From the other side...

I'm a secondary school teacher, & no fan of pointless h/w. We are required to set it, via the school's VLE, at least once per week per subject per child.

If I don't, some parent will inevitably complain & I will get grief. So I set it. & I go to quite a bit of trouble to make it relevant, interesting & accessible. I liaise with the librarian & SEN to ensure it can be completed at lunch or in our weekly 'late study' session with support available.

If it doesn't get done, I will give a h/w effort grade of 4 (scale is 1-4) on the next progress review. At this point, another parent will complain, because I haven't phoned them to let them know that the h/w hasn't been done.

'But it's your child's responsibility to write h/w down in their planner, &/or check the webfeed. Also, he's been reminded in the lesson, then had a note in his register, then had a lunchtime detention, which he didn't attend. No, you're quite right, I didn't ring you at home AND on your mobile AND at work at this point; it's not your homework, it's your son's.'

At this stage, the kid just gets an afterschool detention. Which is very much enforceable, via subsequent sanctions including isolation & exclusion.

By KS4, it does become a bit more essential. I'd love for there to be a tick box which says 'Kid won't do homework, parents unsupportive, target GCSE grade reduced accordingly' but there isn't, at least officially.

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