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Why do primary age kids have homework?

(103 Posts)
letsmargaritatime Sat 23-Sep-17 17:33:11

Is it because parents expect it? Is it needed because the school hours are not long enough for all the learning to be done? Is it necessary to cement what has been learned in the classroom? Is it extra pressure on teachers because of SATS?

When I was in primary school (80s) it was literally just reading and times tables, which I get, these things underpin all their other learning. But my dc get weekly homework and always hated doing it, and I hated forcing them. Sometimes the tasks themselves seem pointless, and I always rolled my eyes at the model making tasks where kids would be lavished with praise or get extra golden time for something clearly constructed by their parents. I remember hearing one mother tell her child that she would carry the model Tudor house into the classroom as "I'm not risking you dropping it and ruining it" confused

Why the increase? Or was I unusual in not having homework in primary school? In fact maybe I'm unusual in saying I'd be perfectly happy if my dc had no homework at all until
senior school!

LtGreggs Sat 23-Sep-17 17:40:51

Reading & mental maths I understand (as you say). I think sometimes additional homework is given because of parental expectations & thinking that this signals 'a good school'. In my opinion (based on two kids in two primary schools - this is not thoroughly researched...) there should be more - but of the reading/writing/maths basics practise, and not making a poster about the vikings etc.

I think there is also a communication value. Homework (for me) was also a chance to see roughly what the children were up to at school, where they could do with more help, occasionally a warning flag of things pitched at very wrong level / something going wrong.

toffee1000 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:41:47

No, my mother didn't get homework either, perhaps a bit of reading/spelling/arithmetic but not much.
Parents do probably expect it. Some think there's too much homework, others think there's too little. You cannot please every parent. It's a real PITA.

Lethaldrizzle Sat 23-Sep-17 17:42:51

I think homework for primary aged kids is a waste of time. I hate it

G1raffe Sat 23-Sep-17 17:46:03

I thought it was pointless (only really understood secondary work and reading for primary.)

I'm struggling with our school becoming very focused on spellings and later on being kept in of homework isn't done.

My yr1 child has really hard spellings!?!? My neice doesnt. It seems from mn most infant schools do but they are so small....

The party line is "demands of the new currriculum" and they're under pressure to get the children writing well earlier both for sats and in order to meet age expectations.

letsmargaritatime Sat 23-Sep-17 17:46:30

It would be really interesting to know if this shift is actually improving outcomes for children. I hear other parents moan about homework and say things like "I know it's important/necessary though" etc and I think is it really though?

GreenTulips Sat 23-Sep-17 17:46:40

Yes but the viking posters (as an example) are about kids researching facts and displaying those in 'non traditional' ways

Letter poster leaflet play - whatever

These are skills they need rather than facts to learn

G1raffe Sat 23-Sep-17 17:46:41

I used to have an " if we have time/fancy it" attitude but now they seem to kept in if they haven't done it the focus has changed a bit...

Yerroblemom1923 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:46:55

A lot of it serves as a reinforcement activity to the work the kids have been doing in class, it's also nice - as a parent - to be involved in/ know what your child is learning about and finally it prepares them for the mountains of hw they'll get at secondary school.
I do think it's hard on the parents up until the kids are about 7 or 8 and then you can leave them to it and they can do it with less adult supervision/involvement.

G1raffe Sat 23-Sep-17 17:47:20

Ours is mathletics and spellings....then topic homework.

DanutaJR1 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:49:32

Educational research shows clearly that there are no benefits from homework in primary school. It is beneficial in secondary school, but it's a waste of time in primary, and has negative effects as it can put children off learning (some enjoy it, but a lot don't) and takes time away from playing, which is what they should be doing at this age. Parents should be seriously kicking off about this.

letsmargaritatime Sat 23-Sep-17 17:49:52

I do think there is value in things like making posters though- I also did this when I was that age, not at home though, at school

Pengggwn Sat 23-Sep-17 17:54:49

There are a number of reasons, not just the one.

JennyBlueWren Sat 23-Sep-17 18:02:07

As a teacher in my current school we are expected to set H/W of daily reading plus weekly spelling, literacy, numeracy and topic. This is despite being shown research that H/W does not lead to improvement. Apparently we can't remove/change it unless parents want us to.
Last year parents both complained that I didn't give enough and that their child didn't have time to do it all.
I try to set H/W which is adjustable so children can do the minimum or put in a lot more work if time/interest allows.

letsmargaritatime Sat 23-Sep-17 18:05:14

Educational research shows clearly that there are no benefits from homework in primary school. It is beneficial in secondary school, but it's a waste of time in primary, and has negative effects as it can put children off learning (some enjoy it, but a lot don't) and takes time away from playing, which is what they should be doing at this age. Parents should be seriously kicking off about this

I want to but I'm not brave enough! DD had homework to finish Thursday night and it wasn't that bad as homework goes but when I called her in to finish it before bed I said "come on, it's fun this one" and she said "it's not as fun as playing out mum!" When I was her age I was either at school, or playing. No overlap! They can make homework less traditional but it won't ever be play because the kids haven't chosen or created it

Sirzy Sat 23-Sep-17 18:08:13

We get a maths and English activity each with with clear instructions that it is a consolidation task and should take less than 15 minutes. If there is a problem we are to simply send it back with a note and the teacher will find out what they are struggling with and provide support.

I have no issue with that level of homework, and it’s nice to get some idea what he has been doing as he can never remember. Any more than that though I wouldn’t like

CreativeMumma Sat 23-Sep-17 18:38:22

I was just thinking about this, my DD 1 is in year 1 and I feel has a lot considering the evidence shows it doesn't improve their education. I was thinking about just not doing it but worry it'll put her behind. I do feel pressured that if I don't make her xyz she'll struggle, even if logically I know it's a load of rubbish!

TheHungryDonkey Sat 23-Sep-17 18:44:41

I despise homework for primary children. Pain in the arse trying to force aspie kids to do it. Mine see home as their time and school as work time. The blurred boundaries causes meltdowns. They do lots of activities outside of school and want to relax and play at home. Reading I agree with, but as they get detention if they don't do it, all the teacher gets back is some slap dash shite just so everyone can tick their boxes. It doesn't inspire lifelong learning and gets in the bloody way. Parents and children should be able to opt out of it.

SundayNightLights Sat 23-Sep-17 18:49:18

I'm not a fan of homework and I'm a teacher. Let them be little.

Reckles5serenade Sat 23-Sep-17 18:49:37

What about the children who get no help from parents? At primary (especially infant) age, completion of homework is reliant on parental support. If the work being sent home is necessary then some children will always miss out. If it's not necessary work then why bother?

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

I never had it in primary school, nor did my children. It used to be one of those 'grown-up' things that was a mark of being at senior school, like having to wear a blazer.
It was during the early Blair years that the government made encouraging noises about homework in primary schools, so that parents could get involved in their children's learning.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 23-Sep-17 18:54:22

I like the hw my dds (y4&2) are set. Reading every night for y2 dd. As she likes for y4 dd (free reader for 3 years now).
Then about 1 hour weekly of basic maths, literacy/topic. It's a nice amount for me to double check where they are and whether they need any help with anything.

EamonnWright Sat 23-Sep-17 18:56:03

Look elsewhere and see if they have homework and if they do then are they turning out intelligent people.

They are ,so it's right.

llangennith Sat 23-Sep-17 18:57:20

I've yet to meet any parent who doesn't think primary school homework is anything but an unnecessary burden on children and parents.

Ktown Sat 23-Sep-17 18:58:48

I think reading and mental arithmetic and times tables are important.
After that I don't see the point.
But it creates a good routine - a little might be a good thing (and what else will they be doing dicking about on an iPad?).

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