Bloody homework!

(105 Posts)
IAmLouisWalsh Sun 24-Mar-13 17:57:49

DS1 is in Y1 and I am fed up with the homework battles. 10 spellings, 2 sheets of sums, a Biff and fucking Chip book to read and a sheet of questions to answer, plus draw a plan of the house. All for tomorrow. Bog off.

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 09:54:27

Secondary DCs do their HW at 8,9,10 at night. In break or lunch hour.
DD2 sometimes wakes up early and does it then.

Several after school things don't start until 7 so HW first.

Also 90% of the time it doesn't need a parent, so you can be doing housework etc.
If DDs do need help it's often only phrasing a question for google or even just spelling one for DD1.

Quite different to sitting with a grumpy KS1/KS2 child who doesn't want to read a book they loath at 5pm, after swimming, while the dinners burning.

Or trying to do it at 6.30 after they have eaten and they want to play.

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 09:56:20

Also secondary DCs will eat a snack and still eat a decent meal later, no way would DD2 when small. Any excuse at all to waste proper food.

MrRected Mon 25-Mar-13 10:02:57

Well MTS clearly you are just marvellous and a bit smarter/better than the rest of us.

Congratulations.

lljkk Mon 25-Mar-13 10:22:57

pmsl @ MrR.

rabbitstew Mon 25-Mar-13 10:32:52

MTS - do you feed your children fish fingers and chips when you aren't eating out, then?!
I'm surprised you are both OCDish about cleaning and aren't an obsessive cleaner. Perhaps it would be good to encourage your children to learn how to do some housework. Not meaning to be smug or anything, but I'm sure you could fit that in, too, and it might do them good to know life isn't just a round of homework, music and sport. wink

And no, I don't always practice what I preach, or believe that the way I bring up my children is a model for anyone else - that's why I wouldn't be brave enough to outline what I do with my children at the weekends. It would only result in people telling me how to improve upon it and pointing out where I was failing. grin

Elibean Mon 25-Mar-13 10:58:57

Agree with that, Teacherwith2kids.

Going back to OP, I would echo the need to find out how long they expect children to be doing homework for and stick to the time limit. In dds' school, Y1 are expected to read every night (more or less), and have a homework task at weekends which is either writing or maths related.

It is optional. There is extension homework for those who want or need it, and if the child is young or has no support at home with homework or just needs to do something else that weekend, that is also fine. Its very child centered.

A different story in KS2, but even there they recommend a time limit!

I have to admit, I would be sad if dd1 didn't have time to make her wild and wonderful cardboard box houses, her Egyptian funeral barges, her house designs etc etc (ie mooch around being creative). I would be sad if dd2 didn't have time to bounce her netball obsessively, play school with her teddy bears, make endless cards for people.

I'm not entirely immune to the extraordinary levels of anxiety about that permeate London schools today, but mostly I am just so relieved not to be in that kind of environment.

RunningAgain Mon 25-Mar-13 11:05:40

My son is in reception and I never make him do his homework, but if he wants to do it we do it together. I don't think it's necessary for a 4 year old really.

moonbeggs Mon 25-Mar-13 11:36:45

Amazing how different schools can be. DS is in reception and has two reading books and one library book (to be read to him) a week, but no other homework apart from something interesting for the holidays. No spellings or anything as yet!

We also get tons of library books from the local library, mostly for us to read to him, with stuff for him to read himself too so he keeps practising when he wants to. We're not forcing anything, really, as we don't want to turn him off from learning.

Teacher is fine with him wanting to take things in that he does on his own, but seems very laid back on formal stuff. It's very play-based and relaxed. I have heard that the school ramps up things drastically in Y1 though...

MTSgroupie Mon 25-Mar-13 12:29:42

Rabbit - Sometimes it's fish fingers. Sometimes it's a casserole that I prepared the evening before and which I put into a slow cooker that is on a timer. Sometimes it's a roast with all the trimmings. Sometimes it's pasta pesto with a roast chicken. What's your point?

rabbitstew Mon 25-Mar-13 13:00:26

My only point is to point out your inconsistencies, MTS. I have no other point to my life. smile

Our homework can seem excessive at times. There seems to be something two or three times a week.

For example : a reading target
Numeracy homework - eg number bonds to 20
Phonics homework: at moment it's listing magic e words
Reading for at least ten mins

Plus now there's a journal to fill out after finishing the book.

Doesn't look like much but when it takes time to get home and u factor in dinner washing and some down time it still feels rushed. What annoys me a little bit is that its not changed even when children r moved up reading levels. A child on level four has a much shorter quicker book to read than a child on level eight and they r still expected to finish the sane amount of other work and read the same amount if books throughout the week.

MTSgroupie Mon 25-Mar-13 13:33:15

What inconsistencies are you talking about?

MTSgroupie Mon 25-Mar-13 13:50:41

Don't bother replying Rabbit since I'm hiding this thread shortly.

It obvious that you ladies just want to bitch about homework with like minded mums. The last person you want to hear from is a 'smug' person like me handing out 'smug' advice so there isn't much point in me sticking around.

BlueberryHill Mon 25-Mar-13 13:58:20

I sometimes feel like that too OP, I now try to space it out over the week and get the homework done the weekend. It doesn't take too long and the literacy is quite interesting, we were looking up facts for a fact file the other week and tried to relate it to something that he had done with us.

I hate the spellings though, I just do it 4/5 times a week, 5 / 10 minutes at a time and bribe him with watching his favourite programme afterwards. He is 6 yo and in Y1. Reading is either at the same time as spellings or with his reading at bedtime with us.

The thing I find difficult is having two pre-schoolers as well, keeping them occupied when I am on my own with all of them and trying to help DS with spellings / homework at the same time.

AryaUnderfoot Mon 25-Mar-13 16:36:21

Wheresmycaffeinedrip, I think the reading book system at DS' school is probably more sensible. The pupil's change their reading books once they've read them, and they choose their own from the correct 'box'. They are supposed to do 10 mins per night. DS is now on a level where his books can be anywhere between 16 and 65 pages long. Sometimes we finish a book in one night, sometimes it takes three or four days.

He never has the most stickers on the 'number of books read' chart, but he is very proud of the fact that he has to go into the year 2 classroom to get his reading books.

MTSgroupie your weekends (if typical) are utterly devoid of any contact with adults outside your own nuclear family. I wonder why?

Once u get to lime level at dds school then u choose them when your done although dd isn't remembering to do that very often. Before that you were given books on set days and if u finished them before u waited til the next change day.

fuzzpig Mon 25-Mar-13 16:52:42

We are lucky with DD's school (she is also yr1). Reading should be done every day (they are supposed to change their book every day too) but it isn't enforced AFAIK

Homework every fortnight or so - most recent was making a 'design board' for a new vehicle, but others were much easier than that.

No spellings. No worksheets.

fuzzpig Mon 25-Mar-13 16:57:19

Sometimes DD likes to do workbook type things - we have lots as they are cheap in shops like 'the works' but she only does them when she wants to. I think if the school gave her worksheets she would do them without too much bother, but they don't, so <shrug>

The local junior school gives out a homework matrix each term with set homeworks on various topics, but the child chooses when they do each thing. Seems to work well.

But homework should just be that - work that needs to be finished, completed or built on at home.

Our Yr boy just got reading and when he started Y1 there was reading, 7 spellings (HFW), a page of writing practice and an exercise extending the topic that was being done in class (drawing a picture, finding examples). Again, it was stressed to us that homework was handed out on Thursday for handing in on Tuesday and the child should do as much as they could - be it a line or 3 pages.

His books get changed once a week (he has 2 at a time) and is listened to at least once a week.

On the whole, the parents are quite happy with the amount of homework, but it is quite worrying when he has more to do than his sister in Yr3.

Elibean Mon 25-Mar-13 17:14:10

I think the main point is that the school should 'stress that the child does as much as they can' - when they do, parents are more likelhy to be ok with whatever the level of homework set.

Perhaps the OP's ds's school doesn't?

steppemum Mon 25-Mar-13 17:17:57

MtsGroupie.
I know you were up thread a bit, but your original comment on 'why does homework ruin your weekend' was aimed at me, and to be quite honest, your reply just shows such a lack of comprehension of different ages that I am gobsmacked.

The op was talking about primary. My kids are all primary.
There isn't 2 hours after dinner to do homework,and THEN have chill time because at primary level they GO TO BED after dinner. So homework and chill time have to be fitted into the day.

If our day was as busy as yours I would have 3 very tired wiped out kids who couldn't do homework after all those activities because they are PRIMARY aged.

They need homework supervision because it is not reasonable to expect a YEAR 1 child to do it on their own.

Also personalities of children differ. My ds needs time out, time away from others, time to regroup, to sit on the floor and play lego. dd1 would love your family, she would happily go from one activity to another and never have chill time. ds would probably explode.

My eldest is year 5. At that age he does need SOME homework, and he is now expected to take responsibility for it himself. By the time he is in secondary, he will completely independent.

And yes we have had many a weekend ruined by homework.
We are quite strict, and yes we took our toddlers back to bed when they woke up. In the end they slept through in their own beds, but guess what? Those weeks and months when you are taking them back, still ends up with nights of broken sleep. Same with homework, now, in year 5, ds is reasonably independent, but the 5 years it has taken to get here have resulted in many ruined weekend as we have battled with homework.

Typically we would have had 3 hours of moaning, prevaricating, complaining, loosing pencils, chucking book across room, annoying sister, doodling in the back of his book etc etc etc. Then finally, when he had exhausted every option, been given consequences, and been put back on task for the 1000 time, he knuckled down and did it, which took 40 minutes.
Whole of Saturday morning gone, and me frazzled fed up and completely out of enthusiasm to do anything else.

Research has shown that homework does not effect outcomes at PRIMARY level, except reading.
On the other hand secondary homework is beneficial

alienbump Mon 25-Mar-13 17:23:09

Well DD1 had a similar amount of homework to get through this weekend to your DC MTS, but she also had to fit in 2 hours for horse riding, an hour for a netball match (plus travel to and back), 2 hours shooting her classmates at Lazerquest and another 2 hours ten pin bowling, also with her class mates. So in answer to your earlier question I guess we do have much more action packed weekends than you, full of stuff that I value much more than most of the homework activities that school send home.

steppemum Mon 25-Mar-13 17:29:46

and I do expect my dcs to help with housework, I think it is important life skill to be able to do basic housework, learn to cook, make their beds, put some washing in etc. I am astonished at the idea that secondary kids don't do this.

And it is relevant to a thread about homework, because time has to be built into the schedule for everything.

And of course all mums just bung some fish fingers into the oven hmm
and because eating out is so much healthier hmm

When they are 5+6 and probably older they need to come home play see friends or go to park. Have some dinner see their brothers/sisters or help walk the dog. And yes they should sit in front of the the tv watching crap cos they have just spent SIX hours at school and they need a rest. Sunshine and fresh air is more beneficial than homework. I expect a book or two but what I didn't expect was to be wondering what they did all day if this stuff wasn't done in class.

I cannot remember the last time I was able to send my dd to bed at half six cos she's knackered.

vertex Mon 25-Mar-13 17:50:29

Our 5 year old in reception has homework every night, Monday to Friday, and reading and revision for spelling test on Monday morning over the course of a weekend.

Mon: Reading; Tues: Numeracy; Wed: Creative; Thurs: Handwriting; Fri: Reading. Weekend: Revision and spelling revision.

We both work full-time, have a fairly active social life, do household chores and it all seems to get fitted in.

For the record, I think the homework is of a a positive benefit and stimulates our child too.

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