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Too much homework?

(60 Posts)
Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 11:39:31

My dd is in year 3 and the amount of homework she is bringing home is getting silly. She has to read for a minimum of 15 minutes per day, which is fine, but then she has another task to do each day. A spelling sheet on day 1, with a word search and literacy tasks, then the need to learn the set of spellings to be tested. Then she'll have 2 pages of numeracy, plus 2 days of other stuff, often related to the topic they are working on. Oh and they have to find time to learn their times tables.

Yesterday she spent over 3 hours doing one side of her maths homework. I didn't think it was particularly difficult, but she just couldn't grasp what she was expected to be doing, which made me think it hadn't been covered in class. We ended up with her having a complete meltdown.

I've now decided that from now on, whatever can't be done in 30 minutes, won't get done. Am I being unreasonable, or does this sound like a lot for a 7 year old? I do hate homework and that it eats into their "free" time. It is eroding our children's childhood, which I really resent. I can't even see how it helps them, other than the reading and times tables. I think we are overloading children, which is going to switch them off learning.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 24-Jan-14 11:45:18

I've said on many a homework thread , much to the disgust of "it prepares them for employment in later life" crew that children get FAR too much homework. At primary school age eating, sleeping ,playing, rest and fresh air is nore productive in their emotional and academic development than any sodding work sheet would ever be.

I think it's disgusting how much such small children have to do when they get home after 6 HOURs of school!! Between breakfast club/CM , school and homework they have a longer "working" day than many adults.


Gileswithachainsaw Fri 24-Jan-14 11:57:59

I'm sure teachers who are on here too have did that each segment of a lesson is only 10/15 mins long because children just don't have the attention span.

So why are they sending home work that takes 1/2/3 hours to do.

A child has nooooo chance of completing it

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 11:58:45

Absolutely! couldn't agree more. Preparing her for work is the least of my concerns when she's only 7 lol. I didn't have children to develop them into workomotons (if that's even a word!)

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 24-Jan-14 12:08:04

It breaks my heart every single time I have to turn away her friend and say dd can't play because she has homework.

We do try and do a little bit each day but sometimes she's just tired and it takes ages because she can't focus.

She doesn't struggle with the work so I'm lucky on that sense but I resent all the play time and rest time it takes away from her--and poor neglected dd2 who's stuck watching tv again while we do homework--

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 24-Jan-14 12:15:41

I find it affects her behaviour too. It's tea time by the time we get back. By the time she's eaten and sat down for five it's 5:45/6:00

Then we hit homework then it's reading then bath time etc she's going to bed having had Virtually no down time at all so she fidgets and is really restless and doesn't get to sleep til 8:30 maybe later.

If I let her play with her friend she goes to bed much better except the following day it's worse because we have "double rations" to do sad

legalalien Fri 24-Jan-14 12:24:36

Has the school given you an indication of how long the tasks in addition to the reading are expected to take? I think you should find out as a starting point. The number of pages etc sounds similar to what my DS had at that stage, and the expectation was that they could be completed in 15-20 minutes. I doubt they're expecting a child to spend more than 30 mins on the non reading part of the homework at this stage.

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 12:30:25

Ironically my 11 year old in yr 7 has barely any homework as the school take the view that they are at school until 4 so homework shouldn't be necessary. I know it will increase as she goes through the school, but she's enjoying her free time for the first time since she started reception!

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 12:31:02

Ironically my 11 year old in yr 7 has barely any homework as the school take the view that they are at school until 4 so homework shouldn't be necessary. I know it will increase as she goes through the school, but she's enjoying her free time for the first time since she started reception!

morethanpotatoprints Fri 24-Jan-14 12:33:33

I don't see how homework prepares anybody for future work anyway. if it did the type of profession would be limited. Who brings homework home?
I really don't agree with it at all. They should do all work at school if they attend.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 24-Jan-14 12:34:55

My sons schools set time limits for homework - so for year 3 it would be 20 minutes per night. If the homework can't be completed in 20 mins then the child should just stop and the parent should sign the diary. It isn't right for a child to spend 3 hours doing homework each night and if a task takes much longer than expected then the teacher needs to be aware that the child struggled with the topic and needs more help.
If the school doesn't set time limits then just decide what you think is fair and set your own.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 24-Jan-14 12:37:07

Their perception of 15/20 mins is all wrong too!!

It might be 15/20 mins to a child who has just eaten breakfast and had a run about in the play ground before starting class.

It's not 15/20 mins to a child who spent twenty mums in a car stuck in traffic on way home, has to try and read their book while mummy finishes tea and put up with a baby bro or sis that hasn't seen them all day and wants to play. Add I the fact they are tired hungry and just wanna eat and watch sponge bob and it's a recipe for strss and upset. But hey let's face it, all worth it to measure rain full or make a paper mâché bird hmm

BackforGood Fri 24-Jan-14 12:37:26

That's ridiculous. 1/2 hour a week is plenty for yr3s well, 1/2 hr too much for some of them.
Mine are all avid readers, so I've never counted that as 'homework time', but other than that, little children should be relaxing / playing / maybe learning to swim or going to Brownies or Beavers after school, not battling with further work sad

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 13:30:54

So glad I'm not alone in my thinking.

Freckletoes Fri 24-Jan-14 22:21:14

Have you spoken to the teacher about it? My DC's also had what seemed to be a lot to do but it turned out that they were meant to do an allocated time rather than necessarily finish it all. So some child could do a sheet in 20mins and another might not get past the third question. Also they were quite happy if stuff didn't get done as long as you explained why-the merits of a sports activity or music lesson etc were accepted in lieu of homework, even that the child has a long day and it too tired. In the school's defence it has meant the transition from primary level with homework to secondary with a LOT of homework has been easier for them than those kids who didn't really get homework in primary. I would go in and discuss it.

Stressedbutblessed Sat 25-Jan-14 06:47:52

Agree you should discuss with the teacher. What we found out is that some of the Asian parents wanted around 1 hour per night and felt 30 minutes wasn't enough. It was decided that parents could choose to time the homework.
Y7 now and it's 3 hours a night plus project work so there's no time for much of anything sad

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 25-Jan-14 06:54:02

Three hours?!! shock when do the kids eat??? sad

Crowler Sat 25-Jan-14 07:06:43

Three hours of homework is ridiculous - my youngest is in year three. He is supposed to read every night, fine, and he has spelling sentences over the weekend - that probably takes an hour (?) and a math assignment that he does in probably 2 goes, that takes probably 45 min-hour in total, and he's supposed to practice his times tables & spelling words.

So on average, he probably spends a half hour every week day on schoolwork, and a bit more on the weekend.

mummy1973 Sat 25-Jan-14 16:21:27

It sounds like a lot. I don't like homework at all. I hate having to bring work home myself so that probably clouds my thinking! Anyway. I have a yr 5 who has 2 tasks a week (one maths, one English) and we allow 30 mins each. She reads every day and we practice tables on the way to school. DS is in yr 2 and has reading books (but we read every night before bed), spellings and number bonds we spend about 30 mins over the whole week on those. I'd speak to the teacher in your position. The teacher won't know unless you say. wine wine grin grin

Timetoask Sat 25-Jan-14 16:31:38

They sounds like an awful lot of homework for primary school, completely ridiculous!
My ds in y2 gets one new book everyday, he has a weekly spelling test (so we practice the words for 5 minutes everyday), and 1 times table a week which we practice on the way to school every morning. Once every half term they will get some extra work.

The school has the same homework policy for y3 and 4.

Badmumof3 Sat 25-Jan-14 21:16:41

Well I sent a note to the teacher and she came and spoke to me. She agreed that 30 minutes a night was adequate and that if dd couldn't compete it within that time, to stop and sign it. She said if she was struggling with it, they would go through it at school. I feel happier but will see how it goes. Still think 30 minutes is a lot. Ban primary school homework!

pointythings Sat 25-Jan-14 21:19:50

A ridiculous amount of homework - neither of my DDs get anything like that. DD2 is in Yr6 - hers is set over the weekend, comes in Friday and is due Wednesday. It's differentiated and she can do it all in an hour tops.

DD1 is in Yr8 and she has more, but it still doesn't total more than about 4 hours a week, and often she has less - though she does do independent work and research during break at school.

They are both academic high fliers in good schools.

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 25-Jan-14 21:28:38

Gee that's good of them hmm


pointythings Sat 25-Jan-14 21:36:35

30 minutes a night is still far too much. Guideline used to be an hour a week - until Michael Gove abolished the guidelines. Obviously he didn't do that to reduce homework, he did it so that schools could set more and get away with it.

There is no link between primary homework and academic achievement. In secondary the link is no better than tenuous.

But too many parents don't trust schools to teach their children, and they see homework as 'evidence' that their little darlings are learning something. sad

Crowler Sun 26-Jan-14 07:15:05

I like to see 30 min of homework a night. It gives me some insight into what/how he's doing at school and it's really a small part of the evening! He gets home at 4 and goes to bed at 8 - that leaves 3.5 hours for dinner, shower, family time, TV, etc.

It's not at all the case that I don't trust the school. More that I like to see a distillation of the work at home so I can get a better handle on his general aptitude.

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