Homework Year 4(14 Posts)
DS is in Y4 and has no set homework task other than reading. Spellings and times tables seem to have been abandoned since Christmas. They used to have spellings, tables plus a weekly task or project to complete over a longer period. It's got to the point where I feel I should set my own homework. I plan to discuss this with the teacher this week but would like an idea of how much others in the same year get?
I should just be really pleased! It gives you time to do things like play chess, cards, cooking etc etc. you can still practise tables. Go and have the chat and see why they have stopped.
Ds has English, Maths, Science and History/Geography each week. No reading, no times tables. I think he may have spelling too but I have never seen a list (ds flexi boards and does homework mostly at school). The homework I've seen is never very taxing. If ds didn't have homework I would be celebrating rather than asking the teacher why.
DS has: reading, spelling, handwriting and a piece of maths.
The spellings are always too easy or way too hard so a waste of time either way.
Handwriting is useful but a pita as he moans his way through.
Maths is not every week and seems to be finishing off something they've done in class.
I would be very happy to just have reading to do.
I think (at least for me) sometimes the request for ideas for homework (to school or MN) represents an underlying worry that your child just isn't doing enough.
Our school has also virtually dropped homework. Partly because Gove has removed the requirement but also because the teachers as a group don't like giving it or marking it (although marking from the point of view of the pupil at our school is merely a tick; there are no comments. Not sure if something more substantive is prepared within the school for school management team, but we don't see anything but a tick).
We've found a number of things to help keep the ball rolling:
St Ambrose Primary (Wigan) has a brilliant KS2 Spelling page: www.saintambrosebarlow.wigan.sch.uk/spellingpage.htm
You can explore the word lists, but what we really like is the on-line exercises dealing with spelling rules/ exceptions. It's organised by year.
CGP do a nice series National Curriculum English books by Year and then a review book for End KS2
Woodlands Junior Literacy zone has all sorts of games to support grammar and writing ideas - resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/literacy/index.htm
We also take the opportunity to have our DDs write postcards & letters (thank you letters are ideal, but also letters to competitions or tv shows).
Again CGP do a nice series of books, with explanations as well as practice.
Schofield & Sims do work books with sheets of problems to solve (great for more able students seeking practice - not so great if you need to explain underlying concepts)
On-line tutorials: We've turned to mathsfactor (www.themathsfactor.com/) - we have the monthly subscription to the arithmetic school, but you can just download worksheets or join the winter (now closed) or summer (opens later this year) schools. We put in 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours a week, and it has meant that my DD1 has progressed well in maths (she seriously struggled in KS1 before we started doing things ourselves and is at a school ranked 'lowest' locally & nationally on OFSTED School Data Dashboard for maths). If you are at all worried about the quality of tuition and that there are gaps in understanding, I would heartily recommend this as a solution. Others here on Mumsnet have sung the praises of Maths Whizz (www.whizz.com/) and mathletics (www.mathletics.co.uk/).
*free maths websites*:
multiplication dot com: www.multiplication.com/
Woodlands Junior School Maths Zone: resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/maths/
Cool maths for kids: www.coolmath4kids.com/
Again, Woodland Junior school has a great Science Zone too: resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/revision/science/
Try to visit natural history museums, engineering related historical sites (mills, steam railways, etc...), watch documentaries, go to an IMAX cinema for nature films, look at the stars on clear nights, etc....
Well fortunately we're surrounded by all sorts of wonderful history here anyway - so there's lots to visit regarding British History (look up things on national trust or English Heritage websites).
Egypt: visit local museums, British Museum, Petrie Museum, etc...
BBC History for Kids website is fantastic: www.bbc.co.uk/history/forkids/
GENERAL HOMEWORK HELP
There is also a great webpage from Kent (Chiddingstone) called Primary Homework Help for Kids which has a lot of great links as well: chiddingstone.kent.sch.uk/homework/
Also BBC Learning (BETA - or in design) has all sorts of resources - enter through schools/ teacher and go directly to the KS2 section (in orange box on left) and select the subject area you're interested in - there are then links to games, worksheets, lesson ideas, etc... - www.bbc.co.uk/schools/teachers/
Primary Resources often has nice worksheets to help with more practice (especially if your DC is finding something particularly tricky): www.primaryresources.co.uk/
Activity village often has great resources related to reading - type in Harry Potter for example: www.activityvillage.co.uk/. They're very good on word searches and crosswords - but keep in mind this is a US site so spellings may vary.
Also don't be afraid to just google - especially when it's something specific (Roman army, electrical circuits, etc....) - there are all sorts of things out there and new stuff goes up everyday. Also make sure to check the video results for google as well.
I use the curriculum outlines from Campaign for Real education: www.cre.org.uk/primary_contents.html as a guide to what is possible to be covered. This is serious gold standard stuff and your school may well not be working to it - but it is good to understand what should be covered (or can be) when.
The proposed national curriculum for primary (from 2014) is now out for consultation: info here: www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a00210036/sosletter - not all subject areas have a detailed curriculum, but a general outline of what should be covered is there. What I will add is that many have posted in horror at the history proposals, but in fact it is yet to be explained what applies to KS2 and what applies to KS3 - the list of topics is for both key stages.
There probably is more, but that's a start for you. HTH.
Blimey, agree totally with exotic. I'd be leaping around if we had no homework. Why don't you ask the school what their logic is first? There must be a reason why they've stopped.
I'd just be pleased!! There was someone posting a couple of days back who's child was in year two and had ridiculous amounts of homework.
If my child had hours I'd seriously be wondering what they heck they did all day if none of it got done in class, and if they did t have any I'd assume they had worked hard in class and picking up a book at home by choice was enough to be getting in with. enjoy
The school just asks us as parents at the start of each term to listen to the children read every night and practice tables - DS yr 4. (The HT reiterates this when parents are there for assembly.) He gets spelling most weeks and homework is usually a worksheet which takes literally two minutes to complete. It's plenty IMO.
I fear Mum's who are happy with no homework, often are very happy with their schools and the quality of education their children are getting. I started off asking for homework ideas earlier this year (our school now has virtually none - 10 minutes ridiculously easy maths (not differentiated by ability) for everyone a week and please do read at home) and came to realise what I was asking for was ideas to make up the gap in learning my DDs (especially DD1) have.
However, I agree there has to be balance and there does have to be time for being a kid too.
I'd prefer no HW but I also agree with PastSellByDate. Unfortunately, when that is the situation, the school is even less likely to provide useful and appropriate HW rather than more of the same.
I wish that was my dd2's homework.
She gets a list of spellings, with an exercise to do. Doesn't sound dreadful but the exercise often is trying to do more than one thing at once. Eg write sentences using the spelling words-but the sentences have to be alliterative. So they're concentrating on getting the words alliteratively rather than the meaning of the word. This week they had to do anagrams of the words. I can't see how that helps with the spelling.
They then have a reading task that often comes across as "ooh better think of something they can do" when all else fails they end up doing a picture with some link to the book they're reading.
And either an English exercise or maths. Maths isn't too bad, usually quick, but sometimes the English is not complicated, just time consuming.
It all gives the impression they think they must give homework, but can't actually be bothered to think of something helpful.
I'd scrap all homework other than reading myself.
Reading every night (20 mins)
Maths - 3/4 sheets per week - some easy, some tricky
English - use spelling words in sentences plus literacy - creative writing etc
Maths - times tables to be practiced for weekly tests
Spelling - List of words for weekly tests...
One of the many reasons we went state was we're not keen on too much homework...that went to plan then! [hmmm]
DD is P3 in Scotland so equivalent to Y4. She gets 3-4 chapters of reading, a task associated with the reading (eg draw the scene), about 10 spelling words, either a maths sheet or English task weekly plus fortnightly project tasks eg write a message in heiroglyphic code. I find it too much but that's just a time thing.
I am not complaining about the lack of homework as such just wondering what is the norm really.
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