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Homework: AIBU to think a 5 year old should not be punished for not doing it?

(199 Posts)
TheOriginalMerylStrop Fri 18-Sep-15 10:52:18

I have 3 primary aged kids.

I do not agree with young children doing homework for a plethora of reasons, not least that they are at school enough and there is a need for other sorts of learning (like play!) out of school time. My kids all work really hard at school, doing well, and the eldest is Head Boy (massive not stealth boast).

The school is generally understanding of my position and most of the teachers say things like "we only set it because so many parents ask for it" hmm. If they decide they want to do a piece of the homework we find the time and space to support them to do it. If not, we don't do it. So far, no problem.

My youngest in Y1 has been set some moderately uninteresting tasks that range from the meaninglessly easy to the unrealistic without significant parental input. He has no interest in doing it. We went away camping last weekend and had no time in any case.

But last night he was in tears because he had been told he would get a "red card" (and therefore lose his playtime) if he did not bring in this work. I asked him again this morning and he very clearly recounted what was said. I am asking other parents to see if they can confirm or not.

I have kept him off today as he is very pale and tired and has a temperature, but AIBU to think this is totally out of order on the teacher's part? And what should I do about it?

HelenF35 Fri 18-Sep-15 11:02:55

Yabu and ridiculous, children need to do homework and as a parent you should be encouraging them to do it.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Fri 18-Sep-15 11:05:00

Choose your battles.
What's the school policy in Yr 1?

titchy Fri 18-Sep-15 11:05:31

You should have sent him in with a note - he's only 5. Not fair to expect him to explain why he hasn't done it.

And I agree, homework, other than reading, at 5 is ridiculous.

HackerFucker22 Fri 18-Sep-15 11:05:57

Yabu, massively so. For a plethora of reasons....

Encouraging your child to be disobedient now will come back to bite you on the arse!!

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Fri 18-Sep-15 11:07:32

And if he had no time last weekend because you were away, and got into trouble yesterday then it's your fault for not helping him find the time since...

leccybill Fri 18-Sep-15 11:09:49

Most of the Year ones in the playground this morning looked pale and tired to me!

We haven't had any parental input required type tasks like making things (thank goodness) but just reading and a key words sheet which takes ten minutes.

Can you set aside a time where all three sit around the table for half an hour and do homework with some snacks and drinks in the middle and some low music on? I used to love that with my brother after school.

TenForward82 Fri 18-Sep-15 11:10:08

So what happens when your kids are older and they still have "no interest" in doing their homework?

Also, what is "your position"? That you have 3 young kids and time to go camping but no time to do homework? Sounds like a very hard position to be in indeed.

starlight2007 Fri 18-Sep-15 11:12:43

At 5 yes I would not be happy.. I would though check with the teacher before going in all guns blazing.

Micah Fri 18-Sep-15 11:15:21

I don't particularly agree with homework at primary school either.

However. Ours get set minimal work- one literacy and one maths worksheet. It takes about 10 minutes if they sit down and get on with it.

Making sure they do it has given them a good lesson in time management and not doing homework last minute. They know now if they have a free night, they get it done and can get on with playing. Older Dc now can reliably be trusted to get on with theirs, which will be invaluable for Secondary.

Maybe talk to the teacher about what and how much they set? A couple of short tasks, fine. Uninteresting, involved and over 15 minutes, not fine.

WorraLiberty Fri 18-Sep-15 11:15:54

The school is generally understanding of my position

What position?

EatDessertFirst Fri 18-Sep-15 11:16:46

YABU. I also heartily disagree with homework for primary age children. Its pointless, apart from reading obviously.

However, you should be encouraging him to at least attempt it. The tracher will see his attempt, and hopefully that should be satisfactory. You are not doing him any favours now or in the future by defying his teacher/s.

If my child came home in tears for fear of losing their playtime I would do whatever I could, within reason, to prevent it.

Echoing a PP, it is your fault he didn't do his homework, so its your fault he is so upset. I can't imagine its a lot of homework for a year 1 child, so just do it!

EatDessertFirst Fri 18-Sep-15 11:17:16


NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Fri 18-Sep-15 11:17:46

Yabu, you're teaching them that they can choose what homework to do and at some point this will stop being an option. We all have to make time to do things we don't want to and find pointless.

I personally disagree with homework for 5 year olds but if it's there you should be supporting the school or moving dc to a school that fits your beliefs better.

EatDessertFirst Fri 18-Sep-15 11:18:59

They have probably accepted your 'position' on homework to avoid you going on at them about it. They will still set it nonetheless. And you may look like one of 'those' parents.

Plentychilled Fri 18-Sep-15 11:19:14

That she doesn't agree with homework I think ^^

The school shouldn't be punishing your ds, he is only 5. They should however, have a word with you about the fact you let your dc ignore the rules.

MajesticWhine Fri 18-Sep-15 11:20:33

I think YABU and unfair to your child. It sounds like he wanted to do what he has been asked, so you should have found him the time to do it. I don't think year 1 children should be punished though, so that is also unreasonable. But the school policy is obviously that homework is set, so I think you have to accept that.

AutumnAnne Fri 18-Sep-15 11:21:03

I don't like homework in primary schools and don't think it serves any useful purpose but the school set it as it is their "policy". If it is not done or not handed in on the correct day then it has to be done/redone during golden time. I think it's harsh but rules are rules. We get it on a Monday to be handed in on a Thursday. Last year I asked about having some of it over the weekend as we would have more time to do it but that was a no no so we just get on with it. I agree that you have to pick your battles.

NotMyMonkey Fri 18-Sep-15 11:21:09

And what if he's 'not interested' in homework next year, or the year after? He needs to know that some of what he learns will not be particularly interesting but it needs to be done. That's just life. As a parent you need to make time to do homework with him and give support and encouragement. I have 4 dc's and know it's difficult sometimes but it is your responsibility.

Bottlecap Fri 18-Sep-15 11:22:22

I can't agree with a five-year old doing homework. I don't see how you've undermined the school's authority, so I think YANBU.

Five year olds doing homework. What on earth for?

RockerMummy184 Fri 18-Sep-15 11:22:27

Out of curiosity, at what age does doing homework become acceptable in your opinion?

Plentychilled Fri 18-Sep-15 11:23:54

My 3 year old has homework. It baffles me but it takes a few minutes and it's done, not really worth kicking up a fuss over.

Mistigri Fri 18-Sep-15 11:27:38

What's he been set, and how long would it take?

I think where you're being a bit U is in not sending in a brief note (I don't think 5 year olds should be put in the position of explaining themselves). Otherwise the school is BU in all respects.

Mine never did any homework that required significant parental input. The homework is for the child not the parent. We are lucky to live in a country where written homework is technically banned in primary school - the ban is widely flouted by teachers (and I'll go along with it to an extent) but it does mean that if your child doesn't do it or doesn't complete it then the school can't really insist.

waterrat Fri 18-Sep-15 11:31:18


It's ludicrous but perhaps you should have sent a note in

Blackcloudsbrightsky Fri 18-Sep-15 11:31:20

I tell my son it's up to him if he does the homework or not.

I wouldn't get other parents involved. Just make an appointment with the teacher and say nicely he won't be doing the homework. Mine usually does choose to do it.

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