Advanced search

To think that homework should be to practise something learned in class not to learn something new?

(29 Posts)
deaconblue Thu 21-Jul-11 19:56:40

Ds is 5. His summer homework is to learn his 2,5 and 10 times tables. He has no idea what they are and has clearly not done anything before. So I'm supposed to teach him his tables from scratch. I'm not vaguely anti-homework but I have no idea where to start with this and it seems a bit unreasonable to me.

squeakytoy Thu 21-Jul-11 19:59:04

Sounds a reasonable request to me... surely you know yours smile

Memoo Thu 21-Jul-11 20:00:21

I absolutely agree and I believe that the guidelines do actually state that homework should indeed be reinforcing what has been learnt in class.

AgentZigzag Thu 21-Jul-11 20:01:29

Start with counting out chocolate buttons wink

He'll remember.

NadiaWadia Thu 21-Jul-11 20:04:08

I agree with you - the teacher should have explained the concept to the class (several times, probably for 5-year-olds!) and made sure they all understood before even thinking of giving out this homework. Has he had any time off, could it possibly be something he has missed? Otherwise the teacher is BVU!

In general I think at primary level teachers should give out homework which is reinforcing what is done in class, and not expecting parents to research and introduce new ideas to the child - that is the teacher's job! There is google and wikipedia of course, but most of the language in the articles that come up will be aimed at adults, and so younger children will find it hard to find out things independently. Can't understand why teachers do this.

deaconblue Thu 21-Jul-11 20:05:15

I can teach him it by rote and he has a good memory so it will appear that we have done the homework but I've no idea how to make it meaningful. The other task is to do number bonds with 10 which I can do with Lego, choc buttons etc but he also has never done that before

prudaloo Thu 21-Jul-11 20:05:52

However, teachers are often told that homework is NOT just to re-inforce, but to extend...

deaconblue Thu 21-Jul-11 20:07:03

Sorry cross posts. No time off since feb and his report says he's doing well in numeracy so I don't think he's just not understood, he seemed to have no clue what I was talking about

NadiaWadia Thu 21-Jul-11 20:08:09

And what if you inadvertently teach it in the wrong way? Can you talk to the teacher, or is it too late now?

Seems a bit off giving summer homework to such young children.

Feminine Thu 21-Jul-11 20:08:17

YANBU -totally agree!

I am sick of having to teach my children new things for H/W.

I don't have any problem supervising work already understood,or that they may need extra help with!

AgentZigzag Thu 21-Jul-11 20:09:28

I'm sure it will be meaningful to him, all you have to say is it's an easier way of counting things instead of saying 1, 2, 3, 4 confused

Does it have to be meaningful at 5 though? He'll be taught how to apply it later on.

I'm sure you teach him all sorts of things the teachers don't, what is it that's getting your goat about them asking you to build on the work they're doing?

aquos Thu 21-Jul-11 20:11:13

Yanbu. My sons leaving primary school this year and starting secondary and it is something that has bugged me all through his primary years. A lot of school time in primary seems to be spent doing non academic stuff, watching DVDs for golden time, gardening, dressing up, whole days of singing etc etc. And then they are sent home to do school work. Basic 3 r's type stuff.

In my old fashioned opinion school should be for school stuff and home, for primary age kids, should be for family stuff. I'd rather my kids came home from school and played, helped me in the garden or kitchen, spent time with relatives etc. Instead of which they come home from school and sit at the kitchen table doing homework. It's madness. I am anti homework for primary kids.

jicky Thu 21-Jul-11 20:12:23

But maybe it's the learning by rote bit that want? Ds3 has know some of his tables since he was 2/3 - because he sang along with Percy Parker in the car while his older brothers were doing tables.

Now he is in year 1 he understands doubling and 10 times, and he can recall the facts, so can get the answers faster than his classmates. This makes him confident to try the harder sums, so it's worked well for him.

Ilythia Thu 21-Jul-11 20:12:56

With regards to your title, then yes, in general homework shoudl be a reinforcement of what was learned however over the holidays is a different thing entirely, and I don't think this is too much to ask tbh.
I woudl start with chanting them as in 1 x 2 is 2, 2 x 2 is 4, 3 x 2...

pointythings Thu 21-Jul-11 20:14:30

Summer homework???

If either of the schools my DDs attend tried that one one, they'd be told (politely) where to put it. Especially for a 5YO. Is this a hothousing private school?

For crying out loud, can't children be children?

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 21-Jul-11 20:15:29


(Btw, my ds had only just mastered these by the end of Year 1).

Is it a private school?

deaconblue Thu 21-Jul-11 20:16:21

I think what's getting my goat is that this is a specific mathematical concept that is pretty important and a qualified teacher should be introducing it, not a bumbling parent. If he just needs to know them sing-song fashion then i can give it a go but I don't know how to explain the purpose and use of tables in a way a 5 yr old can grasp.

Roo83 Thu 21-Jul-11 20:16:42

I don't think a 5 year old should be given homework over the summer holidays. Forget the homework and let him have a lovely summer playing and being a child. Teachers will have to go over it next term anyway

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 21-Jul-11 20:17:41

I don't think primary school children should be given homework at all - but that's a whole other subject grin.

deaconblue Thu 21-Jul-11 20:18:31

No state school, not particularly pushy either- we've only had about six homework tasks all year. It smacks of homework working party to me

Martha85 Thu 21-Jul-11 20:19:29

YANBU. Homework should only reinforce what has been done in class. I don't think its normal to give homework over the summer at that age. Is your DS quite advanced for his age. Children don't usually learn times tables until age 6 or 7.

HauntedLittleLunatic Thu 21-Jul-11 20:19:34

Learning times tables between reception and yr1 shock.

Dd3 just finished receptiin, is very high numeracy confidence and has this as a target for next year...but mo requirement to learn over hols.

We have been advised to join library holiday reading challenge and practise writing name/short sentences. Even then that is advice not requirement.

Ephiny Thu 21-Jul-11 20:19:48

It seems a bit ridiculous to me as well. Don't really see the need for homework at that age at all, and if they must set something for them to do, it should be simple practice of the things learned in class.

And I think at any age the parent's role in homework should be to supervise/remind/make sure it gets done, and talk about it if the child wants to. Not to do it for them or tell them the answers, or teach them things from scratch. The teachers can't give you homework OP, are they going to put you in detention if you don't do it? grin.

Seriously, if you want to teach him his tables (or anything else) over the summer, then go for it. But that's your choice! They should not be giving out homework that's clearly too difficult for the child to do on their own, that's just not sensible at all.

AgentZigzag Thu 21-Jul-11 20:20:41

My DD doesn't go to a private school either, but she's always had some sort of project to do over the summer.

It's just to keep their hand in.

It's not that much, is it really too much hard work for you to just crack on OP?

DumSpiroSpero Thu 21-Jul-11 20:29:35

Are they likely to make a big deal of it if he doesn't do it?

My DD has just finished Yr 1. They have a topic each term and at the beginning get a list of 6-8 tasks and choose at least 4 of them to do in their own time over the term, plus reading & reinforcing numeracy learning (this term was using money, counting out the correct amount and working out simple change).

DD is the oldest in her class & very bright, but trying to get her to do specific homework is like nailing a jelly to a fence. She is constantly learning but will do what she wants her own way.

When I discussed this with her teacher she said it was obvious that DD was learning at home, so she wasn't bothered about the specifics, so it might be worth clarifying your school's feelings on that.

I agree though that times tables with no basis in the classroom is dodgy ground. I started teaching DD a totally different way of adding and subtracting to the way they are taught at school & got corrected by the Headmistress!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: