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to expect DH to help with homework

(17 Posts)
NotHerRealName Tue 08-Oct-13 20:46:30

My DD is in year 1, and has just started to get homework each week. Nothing much, just a few words to learn and some number bonds stuff. She also has a reading book to read each night.
I work 2 long days a week and don't get home until 7PM. It is very difficult for me to get DD to do her reading book at that late time and she usually goes to bed at 7 to half past. My DH gets home at 5 ish each night and 2 days a week has to deal with DD and DS (who is 2)
I understand he has to cook dinner and deal with the kids, but AIBU to expect that he could spare 10 mins to listen to DD read or do a little number work. Every time I get home from work, I ask if he has done her book with her and he always says he was too busy. I seem to manage perfectly well on the night when I have the kids on my own.
Incidently, last week and the week before he took annual leave to cover childcare whilst our childminder was on holiday. Despite having picked Dd up from school at 3.15, he still maintained that he did not have time to do any homework. Also at weekends he does nothing to help with homework.
He is pretty hands on with the kids in general, but just not with this.
I think he is just quite happy to leave it all to me for an easy life. In the meantime I am the one whole has to take sole responsibility for her school work. It just doesn't seem fair.

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 08-Oct-13 21:59:15

Well two things here....I have two in year 5 and one in year 1 and we certainly don't do the reading book with the youngest every single night. And the 2nd thing that occurs to me is that since you only work 2 days a week, you should do the reading on those nights where you're not in work.

I do think Dads should have input DH has to help the older DD with maths as I am useless with it. But because I work part time, I do the reading with the youngest and the older DDs homework all the time.

FredFredGeorge Tue 08-Oct-13 22:03:35

She's 5, maybe he doesn't agree with the homework and does think there are more important things to be doing. (like playing maybe) That is I suspect the reality, it's very difficult to find time to do something you don't believe needs doing. You need to discuss that...

NotHerRealName Wed 09-Oct-13 12:06:12

I agree, but we are talking about 10 mins maximum each night. Surely there would be time to do that at least? The expectation of the school is that they have 1 hour of homework a week, which isn't much. I guess what annoys me is that he doesn't seem to think its his job to do it.

FredFredGeorge Wed 09-Oct-13 12:56:21

NotHerRealName So I don't believe in having "homework" with a 5 year old (although my DD is 2 so it's not relevant) so I wouldn't do it with her. So, no it wouldn't be my job to do it - just like other things that do not need to be done are not my job. If my DP wants to do them then it's down to her to do them.

As I said, I don't think the time is truly the issue, it's that he doesn't see the value in it. You can either convince him of the value, do it yourself, or trust his valuation of it. At the moment you're taking the school's expectation above your DP's. I could be wrong that's the conversation you need to have, forget that it's 10 minutes and discuss why he doesn't do it.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 13:00:22

"just like other things that do not need to be done are not my job. If my DP wants to do them then it's down to her to do them."

Wow, what a lucky woman hmm

So you get to decide that things just don't need doing and that means you can just swing the lead while she does them instead?


redskyatnight Wed 09-Oct-13 13:42:31

If he doesn't get in till 5pm and the DC are in bed at 7pm - and one of them is a toddler - I can believe that he doesn't get time to sit and listen to her read. At this age I only fitted in reading just before bedtime, and often it meant the DC were too tired, so we didn't. Even now when my DC are older, I often have to listen to themread while I cook (which I can only get away with because they are good readers so I can listen with half an ear - couldn't have done this with a Reception child).

FredFredGeorge Wed 09-Oct-13 14:51:38

JoinYourPlayFellows If things don't need to be done - then yes? You'd be happy to be told that you have to vacuum the house twice a day simply because your DP decided it had to be done but they were at work those days? If it needs to be done, you do it, if it doesn't need to be done you have a choice, if only one person in the family wants it done then it's down to them to organise it. There are lots of things that only I want done that I don't expect my DP to do, why would I, it's me who wants them done?

Homework for a 5 year old is very much a discretionary thing for me, if as a family you don't think it's discretionary then it's everyone's jobs, but the OP doesn't seem to have got to that agreement yet.

CaptainTripps Wed 09-Oct-13 20:14:45

When did hw get to be such a big deal? I wish more parents would just say no. Y1 is ridiculously young for getting the books out of an evening.

Almostfifty Wed 09-Oct-13 21:22:43

We're talking ten minutes here. Ten.

Of course he should be doing it. It's not exactly hours of help is it?

Toadinthehole Thu 10-Oct-13 07:35:14

I had the same problem. Got in at 5. Made dinner. Washed up. Cleaned kitchen. Bathed kids. Put them to bed. Tidied the house. Lots of things that took 'just' ten minutes. I got next to no time to 'dad' them as it was, and frankly that ought to be a higher priority than homework.

I would have happily ignored homework every single night if it weren't for the fact that DW would have gone berzerk had I done so, and I didn't think that particular battle worth fighting.

Homework for 5 year-olds is bloody stupid IMO.

Eastpoint Thu 10-Oct-13 07:39:38

Isn't practising a really valuable life long skill reinforcing what she's been taught at school, worth doing each day? Reading homework can be done before school in the morning or when the child is snuggled in bed. It doesn't have to be done at a table.

Toadinthehole Thu 10-Oct-13 10:07:10

When does "reinforcing" become "overkill"? Probably when it happens at home.

Family time should not be school time, and given that many education systems do fine if not better without giving out homework to five year olds, it is not only a waste of time but quite possibly counterproductive.

Retroformica Thu 10-Oct-13 10:36:32

I think 10 mins 3 or 4 times a week is essential. Has a huge knock on effect on childs confidence, helps create good reading habits etc. Reading well effects a child's ability not just in English but lots of other subject areas. I've met many children who struggle with reading not because of special needs but because parents have failed to support their children in learning. The 10 mins can actually be good fun and a nice opportunity to spend time together if its done the right way.

Retroformica Thu 10-Oct-13 10:39:39

But also 4 or 5 is very young and the child should only be helped with reading if ready to learn.

Toadinthehole Thu 10-Oct-13 11:23:37

It would be interesting to know whether it is considered essential in places like Finland, where formal schooling doesn't even begin until 7. I bet it isn't, although I am ready to be corrected.

NotEnoughTime Thu 10-Oct-13 11:45:46

I totally disagree with homework for primary school children (apart from reading) so in my house neither of us would be doing it!

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