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Calmer Easier Happier Homework - Q&A with author Noël Janis Norton - ANSWERS BACK

(73 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Feb-13 12:09:32

'I have to sit next to her the whole time or she just stares out of the window'.

'He says it's too hard before he's barely looked at it'.

'Trying to cope with three children's homework is driving me mad. They all need me at the same time'.

'He keeps telling me there's no homework, but that can't be true'.

If you identify with any of these problems, then you may wish to join our Q&A this week with author Noël Janis Norton, who claims ''Homework doesn't have to be a hassle or a conflict!' Her latest book Calmer Easier Happier Homework offers practical strategies to parents with school children aged 5 - 16.

Noël is a former teacher and an internationally renowned authority on the learning and behaviour of children and adolescents. She also offers classes and consultations at the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Centre in London. She joined mumsnet last year for a webchat about Calmer Easier Happier Parenting.

Post your questions to Noël before the end of Monday 11th February and you'll be entered into a draw to win one of ten copies of her Calmer Easier Happier Homework. We'll post up her answers on Monday 18th February.

gazzalw Thu 07-Feb-13 13:12:33

This is very timely. We have a bright DS who is at a super-selective grammar. He has always been a tike about homework, even at primary school, but we had high hopes that the routine of must-do, assessed homework at secondary school would make a difference. The problem is that he doesn't get enough homework to have made it a routine, daily activity. He still thinks that "his time" is play (Minecraft) time and that homework is some type of adjunct to this rather than the other way round.

Do you have a solution that will be easy to impose without too much pain? It's also having a knock-on effect on his younger DD (who currently is more receptive to hers but I fear that big brother's attitude may well rub off).

Thanks and accepting that there may be no conflict-free answer to this one!

JenaiMorris Thu 07-Feb-13 13:21:58

How on earth do you convince that "good enough" isn't good enough?

I'm not that pushy but Y7 ds does the bare minimum when it comes to HW. They are told what they need to do to reach level 3, 4, 5, 6 with all of their subjects and this is very clearly spelt out when they get extended pieces of HW to do but as far as ds is concerned once he's done enough to get a L4 (for example) he's apparently finished hmm

Drives me nuts!

gazzalw Thu 07-Feb-13 13:33:19

Ha, JenaiMorris, we are singing from the same hymn book. DS thinks if he's been told to spend twenty minutes on a piece of homework that he literally can down tools once the 20 minutes is up!

PolkadotCircus Thu 07-Feb-13 14:28:57

Is it mean to insist it is written and presented beautifully,apparently it is and nobody else has to?hmm

PolkadotCircus Thu 07-Feb-13 14:30:35

Also how do you tackle doing extra,dd could do with a bit of extra work on her maths but refuses as it didn't come from school.To insist or not,that is the question.

I haven't yet.

phyliszaltman9 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:23:21

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Paddlinglikehell Thu 07-Feb-13 23:20:38

DD 8 (y3) gets homework every night, supposed to take no longer than 30 mins, but if she hasn't completed something in class, she has to finish it at home. I try to encourage her to do as much as she can at school, but I think she gets distracted, so it ends up coming home.

Firstly when is the best time to do homework? I find if she comes in, has a drink and snack it is hard to then get her to start homework, but it seems mean to do it as soon as she walks in the door. Weekends the same, she argues about it and I end up getting cross. If she doesn't want to do it, should I just leave it for her to take the consequences at school, or made her sit down and do it? which ends up with her being in a huff, bashing things about and generally messing about, so I get cross again!

Stupid thing is, that more often than not, she is quite capable of doing what has been given.

I need to break ths cycle!

Thanks.

Bonsoir Fri 08-Feb-13 08:16:34

The majority of the responsibility for homework, and the ease with which children accomplish it, lies with schools/teachers, not parents.

PolkadotCircus Fri 08-Feb-13 10:50:48

I have to say there is some truth in that.

At our school if it isn't done they stay in at playtime in a special room to do it with a fierce teacher.

I haven't called my dc's bluff yet but it is there as a final resort.

Tee2072 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:55:32

I have nothing to add, because my son doesn't get homework yet, I just had to mention that I keep reading the title as 'Calmer Easter happier homework' and keep wondering what Easter has to do with it...

I'll get me coat...

JenaiMorris Fri 08-Feb-13 11:34:20

I reckon a lot of the world's ills could be put right with a special room and a fierce teacher grin

TantieTowie Fri 08-Feb-13 11:36:29

My question is: how can I set up good homework habits - and what should those habits be?

The background is that homework is kind of elective for my DS (6, year 1) We read with him, but there are also very optional options to extend his learning with spellings, maths etc. After school I tend to play an educational game, listen to some reading with DS, or recently write some thank you's (for Christmas and birthday) before his sister comes home from nursery. But should I be pushing the spelling, for instance, more? He seems to absorb what he learns at school very easily. I don't want to over pressure, or understretch him - how much is the right amount?

Donki Fri 08-Feb-13 13:16:17

What is the evidence that homework in Primary, and particularly learning spellings for tests, has any benefit whatsoever?

(Reading with your children is a different kettle of fish. And if I could be arsed to look up the research has been shown to be beneficial

PopMusic Fri 08-Feb-13 18:56:49

Ok, my boy is only in reception but as a teacher I am concerned that he does not want to do any reading at home. He refuses to read his reading scheme books and even bribery does not work. I know he is young but I am worried that its setting the pattern for the future. By the way, he won't even let me read to him!

My children generally have quite a good homework routine and do most of it independently and unprompted, but my eldest (Y8) occasionally has a big project or long essay to do and he finds it difficult to plan and even harder to get started with the first paragraph. How do I teach him the skills he needs to break the task down into manageable steps?

aristocat Fri 08-Feb-13 21:36:25

The latest for my DS (yr 6) is spellings and their meanings Such a good idea and I cannot think why this is not done anyway. Is this the same at other schools - that spellings are taught but pupils may not know what the words actually mean!

Personally I dont think that he gets much homework. Literacy, Maths and spellings weekly (probably one hours work in total)

My question is would you say its easier to do the hardest homework first or leave it until last? I suggest to DS that he tackles the hardest homework first but he always saves that until he has completed everything else.

Thank you.

Firewall Mon 11-Feb-13 15:25:15

How do you make homework fun for younger children?

How do you draw the balance between making sure children do some extra work to help them improve but not putting them off education?

nevergoogle Mon 11-Feb-13 15:53:49

I have an 8 year old son who is brilliant at reading, making up stories, drawing very detailed pictures. He can tell you huge amounts of information about professional cycling or formula 1 or world war 2.

Put maths homework in front of him....not a clue.

I mean really, NOT A FLIPPING CLUE!

and he's trying bless him, but it doesn't make any sense to him.

for example. the following recipe makes a batch of 12 cupcakes, you need to make 96 cupcakes, how many batches do you need to make?

er 96?, er self raising flour?, er birmingham? Really, NOT A FLIPPING CLUE!

Help!

KumquatMae Mon 11-Feb-13 16:00:47

Very good timing! Homework is a nightmare here. Ds1 is eight and very capable, but every time he gets homework (thankfully only once a week) we have the same stresses. He looks at a question once and says "I don't know how to do it." so we explain it. He then goes through the rest of the questions, sometimes doing them right and sometimes wrong, guessing a lot of the time. When we.check it, if any are wrong he instantly.throws his.hands up and shouts that he.will NEVER get it right, it's too hard for him, he shouldn't be in the top set etc. We.explain it to him again and because he's already worked.up it doesnt sink in and he makes silly mistakes, which we then point out and he.gets MORE.cross. We have had meetings with his teacher where he has.expressed no concern at all, told us ds is very clever and hardworking, and if he didnt feel he.shouldnt be in the.top set he wouldnt be there. It's all very stressful, and by the end of it all of us are emotional and worn out.

DameMargotFountain Mon 11-Feb-13 16:01:49

do you not think by giving homework to younger children has the reverse effect of getting them into good habits?

i do

if a parent isn't engaged with what the child has been set, or if the child has SEN (i'm thinking ASD here), then the battle that ensues will set them all in good stead for a fight the whole of their school life

DameMargotFountain Mon 11-Feb-13 16:03:26

blush at the dreadful english i've written there, i can hold a conversation, honest

I have found the biggest barrier to calm homework is the DCs sport/social/scouting commitments.
How can I arrange homework so that they can get it done and still go to sewing club/scouts/brownies/drama/drums/guitar/rugby/football?

nevergoogle Mon 11-Feb-13 16:57:12

inmysparetime, your post comes up on threads i'm on as...

I have found the biggest barrier to calm homework is the DCs

grin

Sadly that is also true as I work from homegrin.

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