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AIBU to make my son do his own homework?

(25 Posts)
kandykane77 Sun 09-Oct-16 21:49:59

I have a son in year one and I sit with him to support and offer guidance when he is doing his homework, but he does it all himself. However I've noticed a lot of parents seem to do more of the homework than the kids do! For example they were recently asked to think about family and draw either a picture or a family tree. I had a chat with my DS and he decided to draw a picture of us all walking the dog and label us. I thought this was adequate but when I got to school I saw parents bringing in all sorts of creations that a 5 or 6 year old couldn't possibly have done, 3D models and everything! Now I've no issue with helping but I would bet money some of these parents did most if not all of the homework themselves. Am I being unreasonable to think this is crackers? Isn't the whole point that homework is guided learning, practice or reinforcement for the child? Or do the schools actually want 'perfect' homework to tick their boxes? Madness.

Starlight2345 Sun 09-Oct-16 21:55:06


I don't think the teachers particularly care how well you can do a project..My DS's always look like he has done it.

There have been some he wouldn't of been able to do one on his own..I do remember one he did amazingly well and I thought the school would think he hadn't done it himself which essentially he had.

Leeds2 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:18:06

YANBU. And I'm sure the teachers are well aware as to whether the DC, or their parents, have done the homework.

kandykane77 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:21:36

Thanks! I only have one child so this is my first experience of kids homework since I was a kid (a looong time ago!)
Seems totally ridiculous and pointless to do it for them hmm

bumsexatthebingo Sun 09-Oct-16 22:27:06

Yabu as in year 1 it's a pointless waste of time whoever does it. The teachers have no idea whether the kids or parents have done it so can't use it to plan for what the child needs to learn next. And there is no evidence that homework has any positive effect at this age anyway but it does take up time kids could spend socialising, doing physical activity etc.
I am with you about parents taking over though. One of my dc had to make something for a competition at school and half the entries on display were clearly untouched by child's hand! School picked 3 of the perfect adult creations as winners as well which made me a bit hmm I hope they were pleased with their certificates grin

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 09-Oct-16 22:30:49

I think the point of YR1 homework is for the parents, there's no evidence it's helpful for the kids, so it's only set for the parents to do whatever they want.

I don't even understand how you can know what other homework is being turned in, and equally you don't know how much skill the other kids have. If a parent and child choose to spend a long time together working at an activity, that isn't a bad thing, let them enjoy doing what they're doing.

All in all, YABU - mind you, I don't even remind my YR 1 to do her homework, let alone do any of it with her.

grumpysquash3 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:35:51

Not strictly related, but I am a Beaver Scout leader and sometimes we send the kids home with a task related to one of the badges.
The kids who have done it themselves bring in a sheet of A4 with a drawing and a few words on, and that's great, it's exactly what was expected. Some kids, OTOH, not only 'produce' the work to a 'high level' using Powerpoint and/or Word, but also email me a PDF of said work from their parent's account 'just in case'. These children are 6 or 7.
Unsurprisingly, the first lot can describe their work and talk about it (and are proud of it). The second lot not so much - sometimes a child is not aware that they have even done badge work.
It's a shame and it doesn't benefit the child at all.

OP, please carry on doing exactly what you're doing. It sounds great.

WyfOfBathe Sun 09-Oct-16 22:37:40

Yanbu. One of my friends recently posted pictures of her DC's homework on Facebook with captions about how she loved doing his homework project with him and photos of this elaborate 3D map, and she got so many comments of "you're an amazing mummy"/"his project will be the best in the class" but I just thought "he's in year 4. He would have learnt so much more geography getting a book out the library or looking online and making a poster - and if he's anything like the 8 year olds I know well, he would much prefer to do something independently than with mummy micromanaging."

But it doesn't stop at primary, I'm a secondary school teacher and I often get (mainly in KS3) a beautifully written essay or excellently presented project which I know is a long way ahead of the student's ability (or, alternatively, doesn't actually fit the brief) and the student will openly tell me that mum/dad/auntie/neighbour's cousin's penpal "helped them". I'm all for supporting children with their homework, eg giving ideas, proofreading, talking through the task, providing reference tools and helping children use them, supplying them with paper, pens and whatever else. But doing the child's homework for them doesn't help them at all - and, believe me, the teacher will notice.

kandykane77 Mon 10-Oct-16 08:27:38

Grumpysquash and wyfofbathe thanks it's good to get an opinion from 'the other side' so to speak.

Sirfredfredgeorge I saw some of the other family tree homework as it was being carried in. One mother was carrying a 3D tree the same size as the child. Another had a large canvas with a beautiful tree painted on it, calligraphy names and photos stuck on. True I don't know every child's capabilities but I bet they only stuck the photos on! If a 5 year old produced some of this stuff they are a child prodigy. I also heard a small group of mums comparing notes on how they did a different homework the week before. Definitely lots and lots of parental 'contribution' going on.

user1474781546 Mon 10-Oct-16 08:37:34

I have often done homework.

Kids have far too much homework and a lot of it is pointless. I have no qualms about faking handwriting.

NattyTile Mon 10-Oct-16 08:37:53

My daughter had to make a hat for homework once (before proper school age). I only realised/remembered half an hour before we had to leave.

Cut a strip of card, handed her some finger paints, let her have at it, then hair dryer to get the paint dry whilst scrubbing her hands clean, taped it to fit and sent her in wearing it.

She won the prize! Because the staff could see it was actually her own work. Unlike the marvellously multilayered tissue and foam and velvet creations.

Same principle applies now as far as I'm concerned. I'll help as far as providing materials, providing time and a clear work space, and I'll check comprehension of the fast in hand. But that's about it. It's not my work, it's theirs. And it's not about what I know.

But then I think homework should be banned anyway - for pretty much precisely those reasons (plus see diff thread about needing to be online for homework. Any homework is always going to be easier for the child who has an adult at home with enough time, space, energy and finances to support it fully. Many children don't have that.)

swimmerforlife Mon 10-Oct-16 09:01:07

Yanbu, I don't have primary aged children yet, obviously I will be willing to help them but no way am I going to do it all for them.

Growing up I always had to do my own homework, my mum worked full time as a single parent and didn't have time to dick about making fancy 3D models or elaborate projects etc, plus she was shit at art herselfgrin it made it easier when I went to uni imo because I learnt that I couldn't rely on mummy for help.

She did help me with maths though, as I struggled immensely with maths and she was quite good with maths / numbers (she was an accountant!) but it was only help, she never did it all for me.

It does remind though, when I was in year 8, we had a big fancy visual art poster for English, and my (ex) friend got her university student art design friend to do it all for her and she got full marksangry

SaucyJack Mon 10-Oct-16 09:22:09

YANBU, although I think FredGeorge makes a valid point too about parents and children spending time doing it together.

There have been occasions when I've helped mine with craft stuff- or we've made costumes together- and it was worth doing just for the sake of showing interest in their school work rather than getting brownie points from the teacher.

Bloopbleep Mon 10-Oct-16 09:26:08

My dd had to hand in some farm facts for homework in p1. She carefully typed up the facts herself. It took about an hour for 5 lines but she was so proud of her effort. At the parents open day half the class had submitted glossy desk top published newsletters that no 5 year old could do on their own. Same with the maps of their route to school in p2, my then 6yo's childlike drawings up against highly autocad'd cartography. Even my dd recognises that her peers can't do that sort of stuff by themselves.

IMO the parents aren't really helping their kids in the long run.

Starlight2345 Mon 10-Oct-16 18:29:47

I have often done homework.

Kids have far too much homework and a lot of it is pointless. I have no qualms about faking handwriting

Why don't you simply write a note..I have done for my Ds when we have been busy doing other things.

WindPowerRanger Mon 10-Oct-16 18:34:23

Haha, we had this just this very morning!

DS did his project by himself. He made all the decisions, enjoyed it, is proud of it and will probably have talked his teacher through every detail at enormous length.

So who cares that it was a bit small and ragged? And who cares that it was overshadowed by lots of enormous, 'Pimped by Mum and Dad' examples?

There is no prize for this. If I or DH had taken over DS would have been cross, and more importantly wouldn't have learned anything. Plus neither of us is so insecure or competitive that we have to be seen to have made the best example.

Mytholmroyd Mon 10-Oct-16 18:47:19

As a university lecturer I would never do and never have done my children's homework - it is teaching them that plagiarism - passing off someone's work as your own - is acceptable. Students get thrown off degrees for it - far better they learn self-reliance and honesty. Too many of them get to university and still don't get it.

If they don't do their homework that's fine with me - there is little or no research that shows it has any beneficial effect and I would rather they were doing sport - which has been shown to correlate with academic achievement.

chocolateworshipper Mon 10-Oct-16 19:31:21

I guarantee you that there is a lot of sniggering in the staff room about the ridiculous parents that go over the top with the homework

Leeds2 Mon 10-Oct-16 19:44:30

DD left secondary school this summer. I still recall Roman Week in Year 3, when they had to dress as Romans and a prize for the best. I am not very good at this sort of thing, although OH had helped DD decorate our metal dustbin lid as a shield, and we all knew that DD would not win. The lad who won lived in a house that was having an extension built, and mum had got the builders to make him a sword and shield. Always struck me as wrong.

AmeliaJack Mon 10-Oct-16 19:53:41

My DS's class all had to make a poster about themselves (family/likes/dislikes etc)

A mum I'd only just met asked who my DD was while we waited outside a classroom and I pointed to his poster.

"oh, this is your son - I see he did it himself. That's so cute!"

At my confused (he is 8yo) she said "well most parents want it to be perfect so give a lot of input"

I just said that I thought the learning experience was of greater value than a pretty wall.

I don't think I've made a new friend there somehow...

Mytholmroyd Tue 11-Oct-16 00:58:37

confused Agree Amelia! what I don't understand is where they find the time and inclination to do it - I have enough homework of my own!

At least it sounds like all the effort is not wasted though if it brightens up teacher's days! grin

BusyBeez99 Tue 11-Oct-16 05:52:33


My DS had to make a hat for world book day in reception. We went out together and got the makings for a Three Little Pigs hat. It was truly awful - bits of straw and twigs crudely stuck on. But it was his own work

When we got to school the hats some of the other children had made were amazing and one would have required extensive sewing machine work. From a 4 year old.......!

Sleeperandthespindle Tue 11-Oct-16 06:09:02

I'm a homework hating teacher.
I do, in fact, help my y3 DD a lot with her homework. She doesn't get much - one piece a week on top of reading. I sit with her and support it all because it is the only 1:1 time she gets to look at things like handwriting, grammar, sentence structure. Or I can challenge her maths a bit.

I always write exactly what input I gave and would never pass it off as independent work. There would certainly be no point in that.

Craft things/ baking/ scale models of the Eiffel Tower - she's on her own for those.

Optimist3 Tue 11-Oct-16 06:21:49

Apart from reading, it needs to be quite independent. Your level of help was perfect.

However sometimes when homework touches a parents interest/line of work it can develop naturally. I've seen kids whose parents are graphic designers/DT teachers or what ever, coming in with naturally much more developed work - driven by the child but enabled by the parent. You can clearly see everyone's had fun!

What I dislike is pushy parents though. Pushy pedantic competitive parents who have to be the best at everything. What are they really teaching their child?

user1474781546 Tue 11-Oct-16 06:25:11

sleeperandthespindle- well the point is it gets the kid off the hook.

Our primary dishes out loads of homework, two of three pieces every night, so much that a lot of it never even gets marked.
If I felt it was a topic my kids had a good grasp of and were starting to switch off then yes I would complete it.

It left us more time to learn about things that should be taught in primary but are not- like basic atomic theory.

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