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To be annoyed with school's homework policy

(26 Posts)
lecce Sat 03-May-14 21:40:19

Ds1 (Y2, aged 7) gets no homework except reading and weekly spellings. However, what really gets my goat is that every time there is a holiday they set some homework. It's almost like they're saying, "We don't 'believe' in homework but, as it's the holiday, we'd better set some as otherwise you will all let your children sit on their arses watching tv the whole time."

Over October it was build a fucking junk robot - ds hates stuff like that (probably because neither dh nor I are that way inclined and we have subconsciously transferred our dislike of crafting to him); at Christmas it was prepare a presentation about an old toy (better task, but we do so much over that period it ended up being a rush at the end) and at Feb half term it was another ruddy craft one angry.

Now we only have an extra day stuck on the weekend and we have a double-sided reading comprehension and an extension task of a poster based on the same topic. I would say it will take at least an hour to do it well and I bloody-well resent it. I am quite capable of providing enriching, educational and fun activities for my children to do when we have a bit if extra time together, without school stepping in and filling in the time for me. He is learning chess, the piano, football & tennis, and regularly uses a telescope with dh. He also enjoys playing around with his younger brother, watching tv etc. He is doing very well at school, but I would feel the same whatever his levels, unless he was really struggling.

I am a teacher so the holidays are precious to me as being 'my' time to focus on relaxing with the dc, but increasingly I find myself stressing over fitting in some waste-of-time project that someone else has decided they need to do. I imagine it is worse for working parents who aren't teachers as they have to fit it in on top of their normal working day and whatever childcare arrangements they have.

We have three days off. Ds has 3X half day unmovable activities scheduled, which doesn't really leave that much time to do the work. I hate homework - as a teacher I find it a waste of time (except revision at KS4), and now I have it as a parent too. AIBU?

AgentZigzag Sat 03-May-14 21:49:36

'Subconsciously transferred' it my arse grin that's a deliberate and successful parenting tactic if ever I saw one grin

I think you are being a bit unreasonable, but as you're a teacher I can see why it might get your goat.

It's only an hour, it's not a criticism of you, it's good to teach them that everyone, including parents, have to do shit they're not up for.

The more you wind yourself up with seeing it as unfair the more energy the school is making you spend with their homework policy.

It's not a phrase I'd usually use, but you have to suck it up.

StanleyLambchop Sat 03-May-14 21:52:33

YANBU. I hate holiday homework too. We get fined if we want to take a holiday in school time, so why should the children have to do school work in holiday time? Works both ways. Sometimes kids just need to relax and enjoy their free time.

echt Sat 03-May-14 21:56:21

YANBU. I'm a teacher, too, and have never ever set holiday homework, except for exam groups, unless the parent has asked for it.

I'd ask to see the work, marked and assessed, say within a week of getting back.

wheresthelight Sat 03-May-14 21:58:02

Yabu wrt comprehension exercise as at Y2 they will be working towards sats surely?

You are very lucky that all they've is the odd bit of spelling and reading!! My dsd has had over an hour of homework a week since she started in year 1!! Now in y3 she gets about hour and half+ although nothing additional in holidays.

Dss has had tons this weekend but as he is y6 he has sats coming up so has had 5-6 practice papers to do as well as his normal homework

SpeedwellBlue Sat 03-May-14 22:00:28

My dd had far too much homework in year 4 (new thing that the new headmaster brought in and bloody projects to do every holiday.) The school did a parent survey and people complained about the homework. Now in year 5 they never get holiday homework and the weekly homework is manageable too. (Yay!!) So my advice is to raise it with the teacher and possibly the head too if necessary and try and get other parents who feel the same to speak up too.

lecce Sat 03-May-14 22:09:28

wheresthelight In some ways I would prefer regular homework of a reasonable amount above the, 'Oh, it's the holidays! They're with their parents - quick, save them from the mindlessness!" mindset we seem to have. I am shock at your dss having 6 SATs papers to do over the weekend. That is ridiculous and he would not be doing them in this house, unless he really wanted to (and I mean really, not in a 'I-want-to- please-my-teacher kind of way.) I know ds's SATs are coming up, but I don't see it as relevant. He is 7 and a free-reader. Unless anyone can prove to me that his getting a level 3 now would significantly improve his prospects, I will be doing nothing to try and bring that level 3 about.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 03-May-14 22:13:24

You can always refuse for your child to do it, if you want to. Send a note in explaining that you think it's wrong and your child hasn't done it.

tallulah Sat 03-May-14 22:21:00

I'd be really stuck with holiday homework because I still have to go to work and DD goes to FT Holiday Club.

We get a termly project which involves building something creative. We've had previous projects on constructing the Clifton Suspension Bridge (!); an aquarium; fireworks; and this term is an olden-days house...

I do not have an artistic bone in my body. I hate any sort of craft and don't actually have any clue how to make anything. One term we struggled with the project only to find that a) it doesn't get marked, b) nothing happens if you don't do it, and c) they bring it home again, so now we don't do it.

Is there an option just not to do it?

Ragwort Sat 03-May-14 22:21:32

I just wish my DS was set more homework, I constantly read threads on Mumsnet where people complain their DC get too much homework but my DS, now 13, has never had much homework (4 different schools)
I frequently complain to the school!!

WooWooOwl Sat 03-May-14 22:25:21

I don't mind relevant and interesting homework, there are rare occasions when particularly skilled teachers have provided us with some very interesting and enjoyable tasks to do together.

But craft homework - we all hate it! It's a pointless waste of our time, and what I resent even more is that next to no attention is paid to it when it's returned back to school, because it is something that the teacher has asked for just for the sake of it, not for any real reason.

Neither of my dc are particularly arty, and would genuinely prefer some maths questions practicing what they have learned at school rather than the dreaded 'make a poster'.

I have never spent an evening doing perfect bubble writing and colouring in my dcs posters for them so that they can go out to play. Never

lecce Sat 03-May-14 22:28:30

Ragwort What do you think he would gain by having more homework?

I have considered not doing it, but ds is adamant that it must be done (doesn't stop him moaning like hell when we actually sit down to it hmm)

AngelsWithSilverWings Sat 03-May-14 22:56:09

Yanbu - my Y1 DD had a ridiculously long list of tasks during the February half term.

Make a woodland themed head dress

Learn 40 spellings for a test

Two reading books

An extra ( reading recovery scheme) book with a set of comprehension activities

Ask a parent to tell you a story from their childhood and then draw a picture to illustrate it.

A maths worksheet

She is 5 years old for goodness sake!

Easter holiday homework was :

Practice spelling the 100 high frequency words for a test

Two reading books

A maths sheet

Still too much for a 5 year old I think.

ShoeWhore Sat 03-May-14 23:00:28

I just wouldn't do it if I felt that strongly about it.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-May-14 23:03:01

That is tons for a 5 YO Angels shock

Just one of them would be enough.

100 spellings??

Why do they give them so much do you think?

LocalEditorWiganandSalford Sat 03-May-14 23:04:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gurnie Sat 03-May-14 23:11:21

Yanbu....dd is snowed under with it at 11 yrs old. I think it is dreadful, they are at school for enough of the day. I teach ks 1 myself and bedides reading and occasional spellings I never set it.

Nocomet Sat 03-May-14 23:16:01

If he's a half decent free reader he'll get L3.

DD2 never did any practice, she couldn't she'd promenade her arm.

HTs face when she turned up after Easter in a full arm cast was a picture grin

PomBearWithAnOFRS Sat 03-May-14 23:20:54

So just don't do it - it's not like they'll take DS out and shoot him or anything confused

TheRealMaryMillington Sat 03-May-14 23:25:18


I do not agree with homework for Primary school aged children

We told the Head at our school and the Head of Infants that we won't force our kids to do homework at all, but if they want to do some of it we will support them. Both said they agree, but that they get so much pressure from deluded/pushy parents who expect quite a lot of it like some ridiculous measure of the school's effectiveness.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-May-14 23:53:46

It sounds as though it could be a possibility at Angels DDs school PomBear.

What happens if they don't manage to do it all Angels?

grumpalumpgrumped Sun 04-May-14 07:56:20

DS is 5, last week we had a worksheet, word search, spellings 5 time a week, maths session 4 times a week, reading everyday and a weekend diary. I cannot fit it all in, I work, don't get in until 7 on 3 nights a week and he has clubs on the other 2. Even if I was at home every night I wouldn't get it all done with him.

Refuse to let homework become a battle in the house. I am lucky he likes to do work, but he is only 5 and sometimes won't do it.

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 04-May-14 08:45:37

AngentZigZag - I've no idea what would happen to us personally if we didn't do it! The head sends out newsletters in which she expresses her displeasure if she thinks parents are not supporting the homework policy.

The school is well known locally for being fiercely academic. I work in a reception class as a volunteer one afternoon a week and I'm shocked at how much they expect of these little tots! DD was given a list of 15 words to learn for a test in reception year. I couldn't believe it. She only got three correct ( a couple of reception kids did 45 words as the parents volunteered them to do the Y1 and Y2 tests at the same time!)

The spelling thing is fairly new. When my DS was in Y1 he would have 10 words a week and that was it. There were no spellings in reception year at all.

I think perhaps the head is worried that spelling will be highlighted in the next ofsted inspection?

We are going away for the entire Whitsun break so if she gets anything more than reading to do I will ignore it and send a note highlighting the fact the we did the February list and the Easter one but that we now want a proper break!

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 04-May-14 08:54:07

Grump - I struggle to fit it all in and I'm a SAHM! We have clubs most nights and our only free evening gets taken up with DS's Y3 homework.

At a literacy evening at our school a group of WOHMs asked the head nicely if the weekly spelling lists could be sent out on a Friday so that they could spend the weekend going over them with their DCs. They explained how difficult it is when there is no time in the evenings after getting home from work. The list is currently sent home on Monday for a test on Friday.

Flat refusal! I was so shocked.

Ragwort Sun 04-May-14 09:02:35

lecce - I think my DS would gain a bit of work ethic, understand the fact that everything is not handed to you on a plate, the opportunity to self-motivate, plan and just learn something on his own (or with a bit of parental guidance). and spend less time on the playstation.

I keep reading that children are 'stressed' from too much homework (and I do believe some of the children on this thread are clearly getting too much) but my DS is now 13 and has never been 'stressed' or 'over worked' from homework. I just think 20 minutes a few nights a week would be good. In fact now DH and I do make up our own school work to give him and supervise it for 20 minutes grin every day.

And yes, he does loads of sports, clubs etc but there is still easily time to do a bit of homework. I keep being told it will increase when he gets to GCSEs but if he's never had the experience of doing homework on time (and getting it marked wink) it might be too late by then. grin.

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