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Those of you who were homework avoiders/evaders at school, how good are you at ensuring your DC do theirs?

(19 Posts)
bran Tue 15-Sep-09 18:17:18

I was dire at doing homework when I was at school. I used to tell my Mum that I didn't have any or that I'd done it during lunchtime. At school I would either scribble something during the class before the one that homework was due or just not hand any in.

Now that DS is in year 1 I'm finding that I'm similarly slack about making sure that he does his homework. For instance he was supposed to have done a summer journal, and we just didn't. He goes to school on a school bus so I won't see his teacher for a while so I'll probably just see if I can let it slide.

I understand better why my Mum wasn't stricter about it, the 40 mins of whinging, shouting, spitting and hitting to get 5 mins of work out of him just doesn't seem worth it.

Has having had a slack childhood made the rest of you more determined to force your child to do homework or are you as useless slack as I still am? Handy hints for homework without tantrums would also be very welcome.

asdx2 Tue 15-Sep-09 19:08:35

Well I wasn't terribly conscientious and I had parents who encouraged us to take responsability for our own learning and also let us take the consequences of not handing in what we should have. So I would say I did much of it and the detentions helped focus my attention a bit when the impetus waned.

For my own children I am much the same certainly in secondary school and it seems to be down to personality how conscientious each of them have been although my sons have been far worse than my daughter.

I have one other daughter now in primary aged six and have to say I don't enter any battles over homework because at six I think they should be playing. DD reads every day at home for pleasure sometimes she chooses to read the reading books sometimes she doesn't the choice is hers. I know she reads well, school knows she reads well I don't think it's necessary for her to wade through endless boring reading scheme books to prove that.

As for any other homework if she chooses to after I ask her then great if not she doesn't do it.Dd gets a sticker for handing it in sometimes that is all the incentive she needs.

My oldest two were in primary pre homework days and they did absoluely fine so I tend not to worry too much about whether dd does hers or not but then again I'm just about as laid back a parent as you'd get.

piscesmoon Tue 15-Sep-09 19:14:52

When mine have argued I have just said 'fine-you explain to the teacher' and they have always got on and done it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

asdx2 Tue 15-Sep-09 19:34:15

But homework doesn't necessarily mean qualifications IMO. The worse one of my three sons did no homework and lots of detentions but still got good GCSEs and 4 Alevels Maths, further maths, economics and chemistry. He would argue that homework was only necessary to practise what you had learnt in class. If you understood it in class why would you need to practise?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Tue 15-Sep-09 19:57:16

Perhaps it's my life beyond school that has made me continue to be so lax then tmmj. TBH not studying much hasn't had a negative effect on my life. I think I was probably very lucky in my schools as the teaching was good enough that I did well in exams without much in the way of individual studying. I went to university and then I ended up in a career that suited me very well. In fact, I think the experience of wriggling out of actually doing any work without getting into trouble for it (sometimes without even being noticed) was extremely good training for an office-based job. wink

I've often thought in the past that doing very well at school is almost as limiting as under-achieving in as much as it takes a strong personality to resist being pushed into the degrees with high entrance requirements (like medicine or law). I went to my 20 year reunion and found that most of the entertaining slackers had done quite well for themselves in interesting jobs, they had travelled more and had more career variety. The very studious and intelligent had, on the whole, gone straight into a challenging career (again mostly law or medicine) and 20 years on were a bit bored with the long hours, pressure and often tedium of their jobs (although I may have been over-analysing what they were saying).

bran Tue 15-Sep-09 20:01:09

Sorry, crossed with your last post tmmj. I don't think I'm right in my OP, just true to form. I'm pretty sure the 'right' thing to do is to be so enthusiastic about homework that I fill him with a life-long love of learning, but tbh I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. grin

cory Tue 15-Sep-09 20:46:54

I didn't do my homework because I was too busy working on my qualifications...

it was my life-long way of learning that got in the way

I was always off reading something or trying to learn another language

but dcs seem to be more conscientious or possibly less interested in extra frills than I was

emkana Tue 15-Sep-09 20:50:24

I do think that homework is mostly a waste of time, apart from things like learning vocabular for a foreign language or learning your times tables. I hardly ever did homework at school, but had the best Abitur (A levels) in my year and a first class degree. I do make sure my children do their homework, but not sure what I'll do when they are older and more reluctant.

bran Tue 15-Sep-09 23:00:15

I think what's so interesting to me about this whole thing is how my feelings about DS's homework are almost exactly the same feelings as I used to have about my own homework. I know I should do it, but not just now. I keep putting it off until it's too late, then I think "oh well, it's too late now". I haven't had that sinking late-Sunday-evening feeling for decades, and now I'm getting it again. It's as though his homework is actually my homework, which in a sense it is at this stage I guess.

mimsum Wed 16-Sep-09 07:51:40

how much homework does he have to do? he's only 6 fgs!!!

I suppose I had a slack childhood as we didn't have any homework at primary - it kicked in when I went to my extremely academically selective secondary and somehow, despite my slack childhood, I managed to get through

I really, really wouldn't start setting up battles over homework at 6 - if he wants to do something, then great - otherwise I wouldn't worry. The most important thing he can be doing at this age is reading anyway, and you don't want him ever to think of that as a chore that he has to do - it should be a pleasure

bran Wed 16-Sep-09 09:05:16

He's 5, he won't be 6 until next summer. He doesn't get much, it's true, about 5 or 10 mins worth. I think I will just leave it up to him and concentrate on ignoring the slight feeling of guilt when it isn't done. TBH for most of it the teacher won't know whether it's done or not as it's reading or practising saying the months of the year in order.

BonsoirAnna Wed 16-Sep-09 09:08:11

My DSSs (14 and 12) are wonderfully conscientious about doing their homework - they sit down and get on with it without any prompting. DP said he was like this when he was a child, and he has certainly managed to transmit his good homework habits to his sons, whether by nature or nurture.

I was just about OK about it, but I don't think I am as conscientious as DP. I'm hoping DD takes on board her father's and brothers' good habits smile

cory Wed 16-Sep-09 12:59:51

I didn't find it worth making a fuss about homework with my 5yo; or rather, when I did make a fuss I regretted it afterwards.

Now that dd is in secondary school, it's different: her homework is often some sort of project where you find things out and write an essay; I can see that that is actually a worthwhile learning experience in its own right.

bran Mon 21-Sep-09 18:45:33

Today DS's homework was to write one sentence about his weekend. We decided on the sentence and I wrote it out for him to copy underneath. I persisted through the first 5 min tantrum and then gave up and put the homework book (with the scribble crossing out my writing) back in his book bag.

DH, who isn't usually home this early, told me off and took charge. One hour and an immense amount of whinging/shouting/screaming/throwing things later DS has done it (badly). I'm absolutely not doing that every day.

CatherineofMumbles Mon 21-Sep-09 22:58:53

I didn't bother too much with homework - and if I was working my mother would be anxious i was workin too hard grin so I got through and got a good degree, but now I realise that if I had learned stuff as I went along, like Latin vocab, it would have been easier, and I would habve got better grades.
So now I encourage the DC to do the homeowrk that matters - I tell them why I thinks so - ie maths, lating and french, where you build on what you have learned before,and I test them on it - whereas RS & English, do not hassle them of they get into trouble at school for a poor effort they will learn from that, but it will not prevent them for attaining good grades in sbjects that need building blocks and consolidation to progress.

CatherineofMumbles Mon 21-Sep-09 23:03:25

Just rememebered- at the weekend, DD2 (9) had to write about a film she had enjoyed. I was not feeling well, so told her I needed to go to bed - she could write what she liked - I did not care what - but she had to write something and could play on the playstation when she had written a page.
When I looked at it later - to my suprise it was very good - punctuation and spelling not brilliant, but witout me there to ask - and the incentive of the playstation that I was too ill to police afterwards - she had just got on, written somtehing legible and interesting, and a good effort.

ABitBatty Mon 21-Sep-09 23:37:34

Last year I harldy ever mentioned homework to ds2 (7) and assumed it was fine and the school weren't bothered or it wasn't that important. Until his end of year report said 'Joe seldom does homework and it is never handed in on time' blush shamed me into trying harder this time to remember to encourage him and get ourselves organised more efficiently this year.
So far 3/3 pieces done...but we have lost his spellings book angry

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