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To wonder why people are against homework in Primary school?

(194 Posts)
EmGee Tue 26-Jan-16 13:17:05

I'm intrigued by this after reading some responses on another thread about homework in primary school. A good number of responses were against homework.

My 6yo is in her first year of primary school (in France though, not UK). In France, this is the year kids are taught to read and write (in cursive). She has reading homework every night, often words to practise writing. Once every month or so, she has a 'dictée' (kind of like a spelling test) on words and sounds learnt during this time. In addition to this, she has English homework twice a week (she is in a French school with a bi-lingual section, so she has two hours a week of English with a native English-speaking teacher with the other bi-lingual kids) - this consists of a two-sided worksheet to complete, and eight words to learn for a spelling test every week (4 x phonetic words, 4 x sight words).

Homework is given right up until the last day of term and then you are given holiday homework. For the Christmas holidays, there was (for French) 5 sheets with exercises to do (not particularly difficult, mainly revision of sounds, words, basic grammar rules), review all the words learnt that term, and to aim for 15 mins reading a day. Luckily no English homework to do.

It sounds a lot, doesn't it? I've been told it gets worse and next year, she will have 16 words of English to learn plus story-telling as well as reading and of course, the French homework increases with a heavier emphasis on the dreaded dictées.

I felt very stressed and rebellious at the beginning of this school year although now we are getting into a routine but it means being very organised especially evenings where there is an after-school activity. I should add that on Wednesdays there is no school but the other days are long (9-5).

AIBU to suggest that homework is not such a bad thing? We are told 20-30 minutes an evening is enough at 6 years.

Ifrit Tue 26-Jan-16 13:25:21

I object to homework at this age because they're 6. They're already at school 8.45 to 3.15 five days a week and, to me, that is enough. DS comes out of school mentally (and sometimes physically) tired. He needs the time at home to wind down, recharge, and be ready for school next day.

He gets 15 spellings which must be practiced at least three times. He must read five nights a week at home (whereas in school they only have to listen to him once a week). He gets two maths sheets a week and two English sheets. Sometimes he does his homework and sometimes he doesn't. I help him but I won't force him and school have been told he's not to be kept in at lunch (their punishment for not doing homework). The only things I insist he does are the spellings and that he reads but it doesn't have to be the school book.

Artandco Tue 26-Jan-16 13:31:01

I don't mind it
However mine get a lot more than you at a younger age. Here they start at 4 years, and straight away get 15 mins reading and 15 mins writing or maths every night. The writing part increases with each year by 5 mins. So roughly age 4 -15mins, age 5 -20mins, age 6-25mins, age 7-30mins etc

So although I personally think it's important as reinforces everything and helps with parental helping learning, I can see the time it takes. For us mine are in the first two years. So ds1 has 20mins homework plus 15mins reading to us each night, ds2 has 15 mins plus 15mins. So it takes us over an hour every night to complete both home works. This can be a squeeze as rarely home before 6.30-7pm. It will increase with age.

So when ds2 is 10 years. His school policy will be 50mins homework plus 15mins reading every night. Plus additional holiday and weekend projects.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 26-Jan-16 13:35:52

My objection to homework was that it was just shit that DS didn't understand/couldn't do and was more like homework for me.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 26-Jan-16 13:37:09

I'm against it because research shows it has little if any positive correlation with better academic results (except reading and times tables) and at younger ages (infants versus juniors) can have a negative correlation. And doing it disrupts home life. (Plus our school gives particularly bad homework).

But that's in an English based system. Results may be different for a French based system.

BarbarianMum Tue 26-Jan-16 13:38:53

I object to (most of) it because:

-they are very tired after school and need to relax

-very little of it provides any benefit anyway (I'd exempt practising reading and learning times tables from this).

Having said that, my objections are mostly regarding homework at infants (age 4-7). At our school junior children get projects which are great in many ways.

Alicewasinwonderland Tue 26-Jan-16 13:41:21

English kids finish school far too early (3pm!!!) but they don't have a day off until the weekend. It actually makes you more tired than the (old) French school routine.

English people tend, in general, to have diner much earlier. They should have more time to do thing, but I find that they resent having to sit down and plan homeworks with their kids. Most families prefer letting the kids watch tv and play, I think for a lot of them it's laziness really.
I think it's a nice routine to plan school, sport or club, a little bit of homework, play, diner and sleep. Other families prefer to include tv and video games. each to their own!

insan1tyscartching Tue 26-Jan-16 13:41:56

I can't see the need for it tbh and think they are in school for long enough each day. Mine saw it as a drag but did it anyway but I wouldn't have engaged in battles if they refused tbh.

PurpleTreeFrog Tue 26-Jan-16 13:42:04

I don't really consider reading to be homework... all kids should be reading anyway, its a leisure activity, like TV but more beneficial...not "work".

Ragwort Tue 26-Jan-16 13:42:34

I have never minded my DS being given homework, in fact I am the sort of parent that regularly complains that he just isn't given enough grin - he is 14 now, approaching GCSEs and, in my opinion, has just never, ever been given any decent, challenging homework (three different primary schools and now a so called 'outstanding' hmm secondary school).

He is also never 'tired' after school, even with 45 minutes a day there would be ample time for 'relaxing'.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 26-Jan-16 13:43:32

U hate it because it's just unnecessary stress on all of us.

inhibits so much free time.

can't see friends or family or go somewhere without it hanging over our heads

they spend ages on ot fir a tick and a house point. waste of time.

no.proof it even helps

thegiddylimit Tue 26-Jan-16 13:44:20

I would think homework reinforces the advantages of the kids from stable homes, if you have parents who are going to do homework with you and spend time doing extension activities then you are going to do better at school than the kids whose parents can't or won't do that. says the educated middle class parent who is incredibly lazy about homework despite the DC only having it at the weekend

AndNowItsSeven Tue 26-Jan-16 13:45:37

Because other than reading homework at primary level has been shown to have no impact on GCSE results. I want my dc to be able to enjoy out of school activities , family time and simply play and be young children out of school hours.

PitBlackwell Tue 26-Jan-16 13:46:47

I don't mind spellings, times tables and reading.

I hugely object to project homework, which takes hours, is usually massively pointless and often involves making something for no good reason. None of the project homeworks my children have had lately have taught them anything they didn't already know.

To add insult to injury, it then doesn't even get marked properly, or awards are given to projects that adults have clearly done. A waste of everyone's time. I hate it.

Witchend Tue 26-Jan-16 13:49:54

The only way homework helps my dc is that occasionally there's something they've got in a twist about and I've helped them out of it. If the parent doesn't care that doesn't happen. So it doesn't help the children most in need of help imo.

Hygellig Tue 26-Jan-16 13:52:30

I never had any homework at primary school other than occasionally taking my Maths book home, and some extra work given to me by my teacher in what would now be Year 4 because he wanted to push me. I went on to get good grades at GCSE and A-Level. Having said that I don't think I would have minded having a bit of homework at primary and more at secondary.

My son is only in Reception (age 5) so I haven't had much experience of primary homework yet. They haven't really had formal homework this year; it is more a case of practising their spellings and reading regularly, which is fair enough. I don't think homework is necessary for young children; they're tired when they get back from school and need to do something other than more work after what is for them a long day. Non-school activities can be educational too.

Dragonsdaughter Tue 26-Jan-16 13:54:02

Totally lack of any evidence based studies showing any benefits - except for reading. Intrusion into social time with family and friends plus other extra ciuricular activities. Also I fecking hate craft!

Jesabel Tue 26-Jan-16 13:55:59

We do reading, but other than that I don't see the benefit. They're at school for long enough and DS has more important things to do after school.

Branleuse Tue 26-Jan-16 13:57:22

I dont like it because it ends up being me that does most of it, and I think theyre in school long enough

HermioneJeanGranger Tue 26-Jan-16 13:57:28

Reading/spellings/times tables is one thing, but actually HOMEWORK at six years old is just too much. They're so small still - they don't need to be at school for 6+ hours a day and then have to do more work when they get home. That's a long day.

Reading should be part of their daily routine anyway, and fifteen minutes twice a week learning some spelling isn't an issue, but some schools set projects, craft homework and research for six or seven year olds! Pointless.

I had lots of homework as a child but only when I got to about 9/10 years old, when I was more than capable of sitting down for 30-40 minutes after school - and I wasn't shattered by 3pm.

Yokohamajojo Tue 26-Jan-16 13:59:44

I agree with Pit above, I don't mind spelling especially high frequency words and time tables. eg, things that will massively help you in the future by knowing them by heart. Getting into a habit of reading is good too. I do detest project homeworks, they don't' learn anything new, either copy text from some wikipedia site or lots of waste of ink to print out silly pictures to glu somewhere! and the fact that those who have the most 'helpful' parents get in the golden book! stupid

hudyerwheesht Tue 26-Jan-16 14:00:30

Normal weekly term time homework is absolutely fine.

However <deep breath> the fucking topic homework given out during school holidays gives me the absolute rage for the following reasons:

Firstly - and mainly - it is always on a topic they are due to start next term so they are being asked to do work on a topic they have no knowledge of yet. Cue ME having to introduce DS to the Anglo Saxon period over the Christmas holidays and DD to Charles Darwin.
Said homework is NEVER marked so they get no praise or feedback for all my their efforts.
I've heard from a teacher that it is basically just to have a nice display on the board for the first week of term.
DC - and parents - should be given a bloody break for a couple of weeks.

Can you tell its a bone of contention? grin

megletthesecond Tue 26-Jan-16 14:00:54

Yanbu. Mine are meant to read, practice spellings and time tables each week. Plus a 15 min written maths or English piece at the weekend. I'm glad they have it, it gently prepares them for senior school imo.

In my day (80's) I was sent to secondary school with no preparation and fell apart quite quickly. I'd never had homework or a uniform and it was a nasty shock.

PitBlackwell Tue 26-Jan-16 14:03:01

I may get a flaming here, but the fact is that these homework projects are often set by childless teachers, who have no idea of the impact they have on family life. Family life which may be hugely pressured anyway.

A 5 week making project sounds great unless you have to bloody well do it with reluctant children, when you'd all much rather be down the park or doing the washing that's piled up all week.

almostenglish Tue 26-Jan-16 14:03:54

I know the studies aren't particularly conclusive when it comes to to the benefits of HW at primary levels but I wish mine had some.

It's probably because I'm French and used to homework but I find the uk system too relaxed: you should read but it doesn't matter if you don't.

It suits DS too conveniently, "Mrs teacher said I didn't have to!" and if we weren't there to push him (a bit) he would do very little frankly. He isn't particularly academic yet (He might become, who knows), and more towards the bottom of the class, so needs a bit of help to get to where he's supposed to be. If we merely did a bit of reading when he felt like it, he would be majorly behind. Every day now we do some reading/writing or maths but it would be easier if it came from the teacher than us: you have to do your homework as opposed to we want you to do some writing practice.

To me if you start HW at an early age it becomes second nature, a bit like brushing your teeth; no one likes to do it when they're young buy you are forced by your parents and then you just do it because you know otherwise your teeth hurt and you smell. After a while you realise HW means you get things more easily and you get to use your skills for fun activities: you can read your own books, write messages to your friends, build stuff etc.

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