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Aibu about homework

(32 Posts)
Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:09:53

DS school has changed how ot does homework.

Before Summer holidays, they had 10 spelling words a week, read at home 3 days a week, one piece of literacy and one piece of maths.
A Power project on their topic each half term which was optional

DS was excluded from reading 3 times a week as is a free reader so has completed the reading scheme. Homework was set on a Friday to be handed in on a Wednesday with spelling test on Thursday.

He is now in Year 5 and homework is now as follows

Reading three times a week, to be recorded including all free readers
No Literacy
No maths
50 spelling words that they will be tested on every half term
Power Projects due in after half term and now no longer compulsory.

When I spoke to the school, the maths and literacy will now be done randomly. So one DS could be selected to do maths homework, then will be given a password and website and will have to go online at home to complete then submit the homework.

Each child is expected to be picked 4 times each in one school year to do Literacy and Maths homework.

Does anyone elses school do this and am I being unreasonable to think they could fall behind in these subjects or should the level of teaching be "enough" that homework isn't essential?

FourEyesGood Sat 23-Sep-17 17:11:24

Homework is pointless, especially at primary. (Secondary teacher here who wishes homework didn't exist.)

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:11:50

Sorry, that should be power projects are now compulsory.

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:13:13

Aahh ok then. That's interesting. I just found it odd, as from year 1 up to year 4 it was very much empathised that homework is very important and helps the teachers gauge how well they are doing and how well their understanding is.

Ttbb Sat 23-Sep-17 17:14:04

Maybe the school scored badly on literacy tests so they decided to try to boot their ratings like this?

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:24:03

What? They are going to get homework at random 4 times a year which involves logging in with a computer code?? And they will all get different weekends??

I've never heard of anything like that. How bizarre. What if you have a family wedding the weekend you are randomly selected?

DS (Y3) gets 20 spellings, 1 literacy task, is expected to read most days, 2 pages of the maths homework booklet (about 60 mental maths questions usually) and to learn for a tables test each week. Seems about right.

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 18:12:44

never heard of anything like that. How bizarre. What if you have a family wedding the weekend you are randomly selected?

The exact wording on the letter is

" Your child will be selected at random to participate in either a piece of maths or literacy homework which can be accessed on a PC at home on a secure portal and the work submitted when they complete it"

I take that to be they don't actually have a deadline either?

The Power Projects are focused on the topic, so the first one is the Saxons as that is what they are learning, however I suppose they could incorporate extra maths etc into that. This one includes visit a Saxon settlement for 3 points, build a Saxon settlement on Minecraft for 3 points etc. The projects are split up into different boxes and you pick one task from each box.

I think my biggest worry is going from Kota of homework, to very little to secondary school where he could possibly have homework every night.

JennyBlueWren Sat 23-Sep-17 18:15:42

I know we were told that there was research which shows that most traditional homework doesn't help children improve. It is mostly only done to prove to parents that teachers are doing something.

I don't understand the odd 4 times a year thing though some of our children are selected for extra support through online programs which they can access both in class and at home but that wouldn't be everyone at some point.

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 18:19:51

Maybe the school scored badly on literacy tests so they decided to try to boot their ratings like this

Possibly. Head Teacher said it was to bring the school into line with most schools in the area who do it this way, though I've yet to find a school in the area that does it.

noblegiraffe Sat 23-Sep-17 18:21:35

I think people who say primary homework is bollocks are mentally discounting things like reading or practising times tables.

He should still be reading, and probably still reading out loud to you with discussion at regular intervals. Practising times tables facts (including division, fractions of, missing numbers) should be done regularly to maintain total fluency.

Niccelia Sat 23-Sep-17 18:22:23

Homework is utterly pointless and set mainly to appease parents.

Mine don't do it at all in primary. I would refuse them to do it in secondary but they have to.

noblegiraffe Sat 23-Sep-17 18:23:28

Oh and research (Hattie) that says homework has no effect is so vague as to be useless. Clearly reading to parents regularly is extremely valuable. Building a volcano out of cupcakes is not.

chickenowner Sat 23-Sep-17 18:27:44

Teacher here - homework is a waste of everyone's time.

Much of it is done (or heavily supported) by parents, and I generally find that the children who would benefit the most from more practise are the ones who don't do it.

We only give it out due to parental pressure.

morningtoncrescent62 Sat 23-Sep-17 18:29:15

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of homework, the random four times a year thing sounds dead weird. What are children supposed to learn from the random allocation? That work is unpredictable, irrational and you have no say in it? Surely if there's any point at all to homework in primary schools it's about establishing good routines which with DD1 when she was that age meant a routine meltdown every Sunday night.

Sunnysidegold Sat 23-Sep-17 18:36:19

Primary teacher here with two kids at primary.i think spellings, reading and tables are beneficial. And also plenty for children who are often tired from school day and often out to swimming or scouts or whatever in the evening.i know for some parents getting your child to sit down and focus on a piece of written worm after a long school day can be a nightmare. Your homework system does ound odd...like someone else said, if you get picked but are away for a wedding or trip or whatever, what happens?

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 19:06:27

I agree with things like times tables etc but these are apparently covered in maths lessons and Teachers will know the child's understanding from the work they produce. DS does read a lot and is good at reading, this doesn't bother me as he is reads to me anyway as this is the routine we are in.

Again once they are chosen for the homework, they get a week to complete it.

I've had tears from DS in the last about getting homework done and at one point he was getting homework for things they hadn't had chance to cover in class, with a note off the Teacher asking all the children to have a go despite it not being covered.

Obviously things have changed since I was at school thought I remember there being way more homework in secondary school, primary was just reading at home and spellings sent home in a tobacco tin!

I could possibly be concerned over nothing as the general consensus seems to be homework is pointless.

noblegiraffe Sat 23-Sep-17 19:17:29

times tables etc but these are apparently covered in maths lessons

Reading is covered in literacy lessons but most parents see the value of extensive practice outside of lessons!

The more fluent your child is in number work, the better they will get on in maths at secondary school. The more practice they do, the more fluent they become.

I was teaching Y9 division of decimals the other day. 'I'm not very good at my 8 times table' I heard. They were messing up calculations because they didn't know their times tables. Telling them to download an app and go home and practice them was met with bemusement that I actually meant it. Y9!

vivaVasLagas Sat 23-Sep-17 19:30:26

Homework isn't pointless (carries enourmous benefits when set and completed properly) but this seems like an absolutely bizarre setup.

Literacy and maths should be weekly.

Spellings should be smaller numbers of words and more frequently tested although I'd need to know your son's attainment in more to decide if it was worth it (many children wouldn't benefit from spellings at this age).

The most confusing part is the homework where children are given a password for a week. Setting homework for entire year groups and having in-depth analysis of results on things like Mathletics or Doodlemaths is extremely easy. We use it as a tool for assessing lessons more than anything else. Children can have their own log in and should be encouraged to access it at every opportunity. We make time for them to do it during school.

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 19:38:02

Telling them to download an app and go home and practice them was met with bemusement that I actually meant it. Y9

Can you recommend an app? I'm thinking I'm going to do this anyway and I even considered buying books so I can see if he's making progress or is that overkill?

Brittbugs80 Sat 23-Sep-17 19:46:21

Spellings should be smaller numbers of words and more frequently tested although I'd need to know your son's attainment in more to decide if it was worth it (many children wouldn't benefit from spellings at this age

His last school report, every subject and mark was a 50/50 mix of achieving required standard and achieving above required standard. He is 9, 10 next year.

He is in the top sets at school and when they sat the test at the end of year 4 to decide sets for year 5, he got 42/45 on Maths and 41/45 in Literacy.

He is quite open about school and says if he is struggling but this rarely haooens. I'm not pronouncing him to be a child genius (however talk to my Mom and she says he is bound to be seen as clever because the rest of the kids in his class are not up to much hmm) but I think he is bright and capable.

I always thought homework was to see you understood what you had been taught in class so this is why I have the concern that he may slip down if things are not maintained and checking his understanding?

EYFS I know like the back of my hand, maybe I need to get my curriculum knowledge and standards up to scratch!

vivaVasLagas Sat 23-Sep-17 19:59:10

It sounds like spelling may not be necessary for him although there are differing schools of thought. I'm a huge believer in phonics and teaching generalisations - caring minimally about exceptions that prove the rule.

Homework usually isn't about testing understanding but reinforcing it. When children synthesise information and put it into their own words (or Powerpoint presentations), they begin to form their ideas and recognise their own issues.

Nice binary subjects like maths can have results quickly and easily presented back to a teacher, Head of Year or coordinator but not so much with other subjects.

You didn't address the question about apps to me but doodlemaths is fab as is mathletics. Doodlemaths is free. I have no idea about the cost of a parent / child mathletics subscription; it costs us around #5.50 per student.

I'm less hot on English apps. We use Spellodrome for some children but on the whole is an in-school 'thing'.

vivaVasLagas Sat 23-Sep-17 19:59:10

It sounds like spelling may not be necessary for him although there are differing schools of thought. I'm a huge believer in phonics and teaching generalisations - caring minimally about exceptions that prove the rule.

Homework usually isn't about testing understanding but reinforcing it. When children synthesise information and put it into their own words (or Powerpoint presentations), they begin to form their ideas and recognise their own issues.

Nice binary subjects like maths can have results quickly and easily presented back to a teacher, Head of Year or coordinator but not so much with other subjects.

You didn't address the question about apps to me but doodlemaths is fab as is mathletics. Doodlemaths is free. I have no idea about the cost of a parent / child mathletics subscription; it costs us around #5.50 per student.

I'm less hot on English apps. We use Spellodrome for some children but on the whole is an in-school 'thing'.

vivaVasLagas Sat 23-Sep-17 19:59:11

It sounds like spelling may not be necessary for him although there are differing schools of thought. I'm a huge believer in phonics and teaching generalisations - caring minimally about exceptions that prove the rule.

Homework usually isn't about testing understanding but reinforcing it. When children synthesise information and put it into their own words (or Powerpoint presentations), they begin to form their ideas and recognise their own issues.

Nice binary subjects like maths can have results quickly and easily presented back to a teacher, Head of Year or coordinator but not so much with other subjects.

You didn't address the question about apps to me but doodlemaths is fab as is mathletics. Doodlemaths is free. I have no idea about the cost of a parent / child mathletics subscription; it costs us around #5.50 per student.

I'm less hot on English apps. We use Spellodrome for some children but on the whole is an in-school 'thing'.

vivaVasLagas Sat 23-Sep-17 20:04:08

sorry doubleposted accidentally.

I meant to say that, if the teacher is telling them not to worry and simply 'have a go' at particular work then whilst it sounds a little unusual, I suspect that it had been covered in some detail if not a completed unit; your son simply needs the 'who cares, just have a go'
message reinforced.

"EYFS I know like the back of my hand, maybe I need to get my curriculum knowledge and standards up to scratch!"

No! Don't. Arseholes like to read curriculums (with little understanding of what they mean) so that they can march into schools and criticise from the sidelines. You don't sound like one of those parents and if you've managed not to be fully clued-up for 4 years (EYFS to current class) then there's no need to change. Of course you should ask pertinent questions but not from a half-arsed self-taught perspective.

Besides which, if your boy's achieving M or E (from BAME) then you can relax.

MmmmmmmChips Sat 23-Sep-17 20:06:31

Can I say I actually think this is a better way.

My DS in yr2 gets way too much homework. I do sometimes think that they just remember for the tests especially in primary short term but this will check the quality of teaching instead of relying on silly things like SATs without putting pressure on the kids.

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