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Homework

(17 Posts)
Tavvy Wed 09-Sep-09 14:21:38

Just interested in opinions on this.
When I worked in a school and homework was set it was a way of the teacher seeing how much or how little the child had understood the work being done in school (numeracy and literacy) If the child struggled we encouraged parents to put a note on the top explaining this and the child would be given time the next day to see where the problems were and work on them with the child.
I find it quite appalling that now I'm expected to do the childs homework for them in my job. They might get good marks but it is misleading as the teacher will have no idea whether they understand or not and also I have an issue with this as I know from experience parents getting too involved in homework offering 'help' can often confuse the issue even more as the terminology and methods they were taught is not necessarily what the child is taught.
I really don't think I am doing these kids a favour colluding with this nonsense but it seems this is what happens and I am considered neglectful because I refuse. I'm more than happy to support them and point them in the right direction but I refuse to stand over them like a fire breathing dragon doing it for them so the get it 'right'
Any opinions. Feel free to slate me if you want. I come from an educational background not a parenting one. It just seems to me that tjis way has no benefit for the child

mumblechum Wed 09-Sep-09 14:31:15

I agree that it's up to the child to do the work, not the parent and was always a bit hmm about some of the parents in the playground talking about how they'd essentially done the child's work for them.

If they're stuck on something specific and you can easily help them out, eg how to spell a word, then fine but if even that becomes too frequent I'd be inclined to tell them to look it up in a dictionary.

<<disclaimer>> I must admit to doing ds's yr7 & yr 8 art projects because I like a bit of sketching and he was dropping art at the earliest possible opportunity

GrimmaTheNome Wed 09-Sep-09 14:40:23

I agree. There may be some things they need help with (eg if they need to do an internet search), or may need assistance finding the stuff for a craft project but its the child's homework. Or a bit of explanation if they aren't sure what exactly they are supposed to be doing. And of course when they are little, the most essential part of the homework is reading which needs the parent's active participation. But the work should be essentially the child's effort.

DD is on the run-up to 11+ and recent homework has been timed tests, with the specification that they must be unaided. Damn right!

thedolly Wed 09-Sep-09 14:49:36

At best homework and how DCs tackle it may be an eye opener to parents.

It is mostly seen as a chore by all 3 parties involved yet some disillusioned parents think that the amount of homework set is directly proportional to how good the school is.

seeker Wed 09-Sep-09 23:10:59

Homework in Primary school is completely useless and a waste of everybody's time. Apart from reading, of course.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 10-Sep-09 07:41:35

Seeker, you are so right.

mmrsceptic Thu 10-Sep-09 07:47:07

Agree with seeker 100 per cent.

I agree with OP that if set it should be a guide for the teacher and done by the child.

Trouble was, it never worked out that way for us -- teachers barely saw it, never mind marked it, it was often "peer marked".

Certainly no extra "focus" on what had been found difficult.

And if not done then not an understanding "what's the problem with this then" -- just "stay in at break".

Big waste of time. They should be told to go home and read a book.

mmrsceptic Thu 10-Sep-09 07:47:54

actually worse than a waste of time

for us it set up an "i hate homework" routine which has persisted through to GCSE

Tavvy Thu 10-Sep-09 09:51:54

Am so glad there are others out there. I was beginning to feel like it was me that was simply being subversive. That is what I have been made to feel at any rate. I'm sorry that was your experience mmrsceptic - that was the way I always worked it when I worked in a school. I personally don't believe in homework but what the parents demand the parents get and some of them really seem to lke the dratted stuff, the more and harder the better it seems. I used to get parents coming to me and complaining if the child could do it then get angry when you replied they were supposed to be able to.
Reading sadly is now homework too. They can no longer enjoy a book. They have to be grilled incessantly on its content and forced to read it over and over again if they can't answer one question. They are also made to read books they cannot understand just to appease the parents status anxiety. Consequently we have a n I hate homework and a I hate reading routine.
Whatever happened to a good bedtime story and children just being allowed to be children.

mmrsceptic Thu 10-Sep-09 14:07:43

I think there are lots Tavvy.

If I had my time again I would have let homework slide completely in primary and then been able to tell him: ok now it gets serious. This is important. And there would have been no "antagonistic history" to turn everything to dust.

mathanxiety Thu 10-Sep-09 17:55:39

I hate the peer marking with a vengeance, and even if there are any teachers out there, I'm willing to say that peer marking is a sign of a bone lazy teacher who has assigned meaningless right or wrong make-work just for its own sake, requiring no effort to think, just find the answer in the text and copy it down, regardless of understanding or applying the information to another situation. Also want to say that reading as homework has been a part of my DCs required routine which I have never supported, never made them do, on the grounds that it turns something they enjoy or might potentially enjoy into a chore. I sign the reading sheet with a little smiley face and for all the teachers know, all is well on the homework front in the Anxiety home. It is, as far as reading goes anyway grin, but not because of the dratted reading homework. I think the only homework that has actually taught any of my DCs anything is extended projects, not because they learned all that much about the subject matter, but for what they learned about time management and breaking down a project into small tasks, planning, starting and finishing on time. This applies only to individual projects. One teacher was fond of group projects, always a pet hate of mine since my own group project (and group marking) days.

seeker Fri 11-Sep-09 18:14:24

My dd had very little homework indeed in primary school, and now has (almost always) really interesting and relevant homework in Secondary school. She has taken to it in a way that I'm sure she wouldn't if she was already jaded and bored by the whole idea from Primary.

It is nonesnes to say, as many do, that you need to get into the homework habit in primary or it will be a shock later. There are so many changes with "big" school that one more doesn't really register!

BonsoirAnna Fri 11-Sep-09 18:16:12

Seeker - I am not a fan of lots of homework in primary school, but I do think that my weekly 20 spellings to learn, and subsequent test, throughout primary school were very useful smile. Ditto times tables.

seeker Fri 11-Sep-09 18:34:36

Oh, I had forgotten about times table learning! Yes, I think you're right about that. Less sure about spellings - I have a dd who is still an appalling speller, but never got less that 100% for any spelling test throughout primary school. Ask her to spell anything outside the context of a test and she was completely useless!

mmrsceptic Fri 11-Sep-09 18:36:53

seeker -- yes, it is UTTER nonsense to say they need to do it earlier so it's not a shock later

there are so many things wrong with that crock

<gets overheated>

BonsoirAnna Fri 11-Sep-09 18:41:15

In France children have to learn to conjugate verbs right through primary school. There is nothing that can be done about that! A bit like times tables.

KembleTwins Fri 11-Sep-09 18:47:23

I hate homework. And my kids aren't even school age yet... When I was at primary school, many moons ago, we had "optional" homework, and my parents (both teachers) didn't want my sister and I to do it, so we didn't. When I started secondary school, homework was more of a big deal, so we did it. Whilst my parents helped us, they never EVER did it for us.

Since qualifying as a teacher, homework has become an issue for other reasons. In the first school I taught in (a top comp) it was fine - setting it was a natural follow on from the work in the lesson, and was nearly always completed. In the next school I taught in (a sink comp) it was a disaster - rarely completed, a bone of contention with staff and students alike, and the most common reason for kids being put in detention. In the school I was in before going on maternity leave, there was a daft rule about homework being "stand alone" and not a follow up from lesson work, which, IMO, made it even MORE stupid. We had rules about how long students should spend doing homework, and had to stick to them rigidly. On top of that, I was teaching Drama, which made it even more difficult to set things which fitted with the rules.

When my DTs start school next year, I shall probably be the parent getting in trouble for not forcing them to complete homework - other than learning spellings and doing reading, which I think are good ways for them to spend their time. My niece is in Yr 2, and homework is already the most common cause of tantrums in their house. Of course, it's often mentioned in the home-school agreements, so in sending our DCs to school, and signing the agreement, we agree to make them do it. GRRRRRR. Seriously don't see the point of doing it FOR them though, and fully intend to never do that when my DTs are school age.

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