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Homework for 5-6 yr olds

(27 Posts)
TinyGang Mon 10-Jan-05 11:56:40

My dd is in year 1 at school and has homework each week (about 5 spelings to learn) and reading to practise.

She seems to manage this quite well but obviously this requires quite a bit of help and encouragement from us which we willingly do. Part of me can see why they do this and I don't mind, but I suppose I am a bit surprised that she is getting formal homework at this age.

When the Christmas holidays started, she came home with some more, but something different this time to the spellings. She had to find out all about dinosaurs, write about them, pictures etc. Again, I was rather surprised at this, as I guess I thought they wouldn't be expected to be doing homework with all the Christmas things that were going on, especially at this age.

It was requested that this was handed in on January 4 (first day back). We duly found the time to help her with all this and she did quite a good piece, I thought. I am quite annoyed that she has not had any feedback about this piece of work as yet from school (apparantly they even mislaid it at one point), although I guess that may follow this week.

I just wondered whether homework at this age was something you all expect yr1's to get? I don't even remember being expected to do any even in Junior School, but maybe I just had it easy!

It worries me in that speaking to Mums with older children at the adjoining Junior School, the homework situation seems to take off in a somewhat worringly big way. This is apparantly rather unpopular as they do start to get quite a lot by all accounts. I suppose I feel they are a bit young for all this and too much will turn them off the whole idea of wanting to learn.

We are on the whole very pleased with dd's school, it has very good results and she is very happy there. I'm not complaining, and will happily support both her and the school - just concerned. What experiences do other Mums (or teachers too!) have of this?

frogs Mon 10-Jan-05 12:43:25

I'd say be grateful, especially if it gets returned to her, properly marked.

I have a jaundiced view, as my children's school is rubbish at homework -- they tend to bung a photocopied sheet at them once every couple of weeks, which is either far too easy or completely unrelated to their class work. Once handed in, it never gets marked anyway, thus making the whole exercise nothing more than occupational therapy to keep the parents quiet. This is Y5, btw, and the school has a glowing ofsted report...

Ds in Y1 gets spellings and reading.

kid Mon 10-Jan-05 13:09:00

DD gets a homework sheet everyweek, either numeracy or literacy. She also has a reading book and a list of spellings to learn.
Over Christmas, she had 2 sheets of homework along with the usual spellings and reading book.
I write a comment in her reading record book each week and her teacher either signs it or adds a comment. Her homework is marked and filed in a folder in class. I am happy with the amount of homework she gets as long as it is class related. The dinosaur homework you mentioned seems a bit advanced for Yr1. At DD's school they get the homework on a Friday and it has to be returned on a Wednesday.

scaltygirl Mon 10-Jan-05 17:24:53

Message withdrawn

KateandtheGirls Mon 10-Jan-05 17:29:01

We're in the US, but my 5 year old gets homework twice a week, usually 2 pages, and she has 2 days to do it in. Sometimes it's practicing writing letters and words, sometimes it's maths (addition and subtraction), sometimes it's reading a book (with help) and drawing a picture about it. So far she enoys her homework and is excited to do it, even after a full day at school. We'll see how long that lasts.

Slinky Mon 10-Jan-05 17:32:27

DD2 (5 and in Reception) gets five spellings, and a reading book on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However, only gets a new set of spellings when she gets all 5 right. On Fridays, she also gets a Letter/Number worksheet to complete over the weekend.

In Year 1, they get a reading book every night, with spellings. Worksheets come back at the weekends as well.

They've always been marked and returned promptly with little comments directed at the kids to "personalise" it.

It's only since DD1's in Year 4 that we've started to not receive marked homework back (maths!) even though DD1 completes and returns homework on time without fail

KateandtheGirls Mon 10-Jan-05 17:34:27

Oh, she never gets homework at weekends or holidays. And the work is never returned to us - I assume her teacher is keeping it in a folder somewhere.

Dingle Mon 10-Jan-05 17:48:46

DS is in Y1 and has very little homework. We don't even get it on a sheet of paper.If we are lucky,it's put up on the classroom door and consists of numeracy only. He does have a reading book as well as this, but we get very litle feed back about that now!
I would love for him to get used to a more structured approach about homework but without going overboard. Why can't we all find a happy meduim!

KathH Mon 10-Jan-05 18:53:23

my 5 yr old has reading homework every night and then twice a week has maths and english homework. I do think it's a good idea but i don't think his school appreciate the fact that i have 3 other kids - one is 14 1/2 weeks - and can't spend hours every night helping.

firestorm Mon 10-Jan-05 20:06:39

my year one dd gets spellings every week but that is it. we choose to read a new book every evening but if she kept the same one for a while it wouldnt be a problem. we got no homework during the holidays at all (unlike in reception) her teacher is of the attitude that school holidays are a time for children to relax not to do schoolwork, & i couldnt agree more.

Slinky Mon 10-Jan-05 20:16:23

Forgot to add that our school set "mini-projects" for each year group during the summer holidays - only very basic and covers a topic that they will be studying in the following term. My kids enjoy doing these but I wouldn't "force" them to do it if they didn't want to.

But I have had one thing that bugged the hell out of me - we make EVERY effort not to remove kids from school during term-time (only time off is sickness) and therefore take the kids away during holiday times.

In October half-term, DD1 was set a project to do which didn't get done because we were away for the week. I told DD1 to explain that we didn't get chance to do it due to holidays etc. She came home and said that she was told she had to complete it within the next 2 days.

However, a friend of hers (who is always on holiday during term-time, and always goes over the 10days allowance), didn't do the project because she was away during the week the work was set. However, she wasn't told to complete it within 2 days.

Went in to chat with the teacher about it - don't get me wrong, I haven't got a problem with homework/projects etc - but I don't expect DD1 to be penalised because we choose to go away during holidays!

TinyGang Mon 10-Jan-05 22:09:20

Thanks everyone. Guess my dd is doing roughly what others are with slight variations. It's nice to hear some do get their work marked, but disappointing for those that don't.

I think if they're expected to produce work out of school time it should be acknowledged at least. They may all be young and enthusiastic now but surely that won't last if their efforts aren't praised?

Slinky: fgs what did the teacher say when you pointed that out? Don't blame you for being annoyed at all.

KateandtheGirls Mon 10-Jan-05 22:47:03

I completely agree Slinky. Kids need holidays and to have a break from school work. Same with weekends, IMO.

I've never thought before about my daughter not getting her work "marked". I don't think that's the point at this age, is it? The work itself should be reward enough. Homework just gives the teacher a chance to see what areas they need to concentrate most on - I don't believe a 5 year old needs to hear that they didn't do a very good job with their writing or whatever.

Dingle Mon 10-Jan-05 23:16:08

How can the school be so different? My ds enjoys doing "school work" but only when he feels like it. Other times all he wants to do is curl up in front of the TV.
That's great, not a problem for me or his last teacher, but because of the lack of homework he gets, I have to try to set worksheet and activities up for him. That way he just goes to his "homework folder" and does some whenever he wants to and he enjoys it that way-no pressure at all! Just a pain for me having to "guess" at what he needs to be working on!

kinderbob Mon 10-Jan-05 23:43:23

Is it just me, or wouldn't it be nicer if they kids were allowed to read a book of their own choice from the library or something rather than have more of what they have at school. As a parent I am more likely to get enjoy spending snuggly time with a book (doesn't even feel like work) than doing more of what they do at school.

Also isn't it weird that it is generally accepted that bringing work home from the office isn't good for family life (although I realise we all bring work home in one way or another - my home is where I work), but younger and younger kids are bringing their work home with them.

nightowl Mon 10-Jan-05 23:48:41

ds'd homework is a total nightmare for us. he used to bring home a couple of sheets in his book bag but when he went back in sept he came home the first friday with a folder. i assumed it was something he had picked up at his dads, full of drawing paper etc so i bunged it away and forgot about it. one day the next week he came home from school and said that the folder was homework and they had kept him in at break time because he hadnt done it. i thought this was a bit harsh for a 7 year old especially as it wasnt his fault. now he gets literacy and numeracy and has a week to do it which isnt so bad. however, it takes us hours to do a maths test which is supposed to take about 15 mins. either the questions seem stupidly easy or he says they havent learnt some of them in class yet. i try to explain them to him but i know im probably explaining them completely different to how his teacher does and i think im actually making things worse for him. he really struggles with his schoolwork. (which has been put down to a motor skills problem). he will get frustrated, give up, lose concentration or start scribbling..he just loses interest. i know how he feels as i was just the same at school and even now when im trying to help him, i feel like throwing down the pencil and stamping off! (doesnt help with baby crying or crawling all over us).i end up telling him the answers about 70% of the time which i know doesnt help him at all but i cant stand the thought of them keeping him in at breaktimes.

Slinky Tue 11-Jan-05 10:14:00

Kinderbob

I agree : choosing a book of their choice - which is what I've encouraged with mine once they get into KS2.

DS1 and DD2 (both in Year 2 and Reception) both use the Schools Readings schemes in place (which quite honestly are mind-numbingly boring to read and to listen to!). However once DD1 got in Year 3, I said to the teacher that I would prefer DD1 had the choice of books (either from home or school) to read herself.

She's in Year 4 now, the teachers seem quite happy with that - and as she is just 9 with a reading age of a 13yo, it obviously hasn't done her any harm

AnnieSG Tue 11-Jan-05 10:20:47

Hi there
My eldest son is also in year one now and he gets a similar weekly amount, although we didn't get any over Christmas ( seems a bit harsh!)
I don't know if you have found this, but even though I always imagined myself to be quite an academically-inclined sort of parent, I find it incredidbly hard to find a good time to do the homework with him. He has a little brother of 20 months and the house is very hectic when they are both here. In the evenings when the littlest is in bed, DS is too tired to concentrate. We try to do it at weekends, but just wondered if you had any thoughts/tips etc!

Dingle Tue 11-Jan-05 10:27:35

DS id in Y1 and I have a DD of 3. I try to sit them both up at the table as soon as we get home from school. It doesn't happen every night but I organise something for my youngest to do, while I work with my son. Even if it's only for ten minutes- then I end up running backwards & forwards between the 2 of them like a headless chicken!

AnnieSG Tue 11-Jan-05 10:37:51

Thanks, Dingle. I find the little one gets hysterical if he can't do the exact same thing as his brother! Do you find the afterschool period difficult, or do yours play together well?

lisalisa Tue 11-Jan-05 11:07:00

Message withdrawn

lilymum Tue 11-Jan-05 13:01:11

dd1 in year 1 gets reading every week, from the Oxford Reading Tree books, 2-3 of those per week, plus one maths exercise per week, plus a visit to the school library once every week or so to select a book of her choice to read. That's all she gets, which seems to be fine for her - she enjoys it, especially the readilng. She goes to the local catholic primary, which is excellent - came 20th in the county out of 200 schools in the last set of tables, if those are worth going by.

hattynewyear Tue 11-Jan-05 18:50:54

I used to be quite against homework at such a young age - then I read a convincing article (by Polly Tonynbee I think) who forcefully put the argument that it is a way of "levelling up". ie some children will get help and support at home, access to books, a stimulating environment etc whether or not they have formal homework. But having formal homework is a way of ensuring as many children as possible have this kind of support at home. So, kind of relunctantly I am now fairly convinced of it's worth.

Dingle Tue 11-Jan-05 19:03:19

AnnieSG, I try to give dd similar work. EG, if we are working on numeracy,I give dd her number board, and help count out the pegs with her. If ds is doing shapes I cut up some shapes and she can glue & stick them. If we are reading I give her some phonic flashcards to be playing with.
I then try to include dd's work into ds's and vica versa. Sort of a little "review time" for look what I've done. (or rather look what a mess I've made!)

It can get rather stressful, dd has Down Syndrome , so she does tend to need a little more encouragement sometimes, but on the otherhand because she also lacks concentration, she quicky wants to move on to something else!!Hence the headless chicken impersonation!

hereshoping Wed 12-Jan-05 14:19:29

in yr 1 ours got reading bk twice a week, an easy piece of homework once a week and from the 2nd term 10 spellings a week. Im pretty anti homework, it was a real struggle to get ds1 to do it but ds2 currently in yr1 is concientious. I would say be guided by the child - if they are too tired or disinterested dont bother and tell the teacher why - just make sure theres no 'naming and shaming' of children who dont do their homework. i think at that age its more important for them to relax and play after school

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