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When its more than a hobby fitting in homework

(29 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Fri 27-Sep-13 19:02:04

Hello, I am trying to find out the average amount of homework a child is expected to complete in each year of secondary, if that's possible.
My older two were numpties and didn't really do homework and may have problems if dd goes to secondary, currently H.ed

How do your dc manage the workload if they have an activity/activities that consume much of their out of school time? Also more importantly, if your child had a spld and struggled, perhaps needed longer to complete work, not an academic. Do you think your child would cope with activity and homework

The reason I ask is although my dd is only 9/y5 she is showing an interest in secondary school and I would never stop her if this is what she wanted.
However, I want her to make an informed decision that she wouldn't immediately regret. I know we have plenty of time, but she seems to be talking about it quite a lot considering its so far away.

Tia, for your replies.

17leftfeet Fri 27-Sep-13 19:04:20

Now is the perfect time to be thinking about it -applications this time next year!

Dd is yr 7 and averages half an hour per night at the moment -plenty of time for activities and friends

stella69x Fri 27-Sep-13 19:17:36

General guide lines from the secondary school my DS is at is 30 mins to 1 hour a night - for years 7 & 8 then 1 - 2 hours years 9 & 10 and 10 - 15 hours a week in year 11 when preparing for GCSES.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 27-Sep-13 21:18:56

shock] over 2 hours is what none of mine did. I am totally gobsmacked.
I really thought most things would be done in school.
An hour sounds ok and manageable, but any more and she'd struggle to fit it in.
Thank you both, sounds like she has some choices to make.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Fri 27-Sep-13 21:24:06

Sorry, your shocked at 2hrs across a week at first year...? Sounds average, 30 mins a subject...extremely roughly.

You're going to have a coronary at gcse then. I was doing 2 a night ahem years ago!

Does she compete at anything the school can be proud of? That might well change the schools view for instance and make them offer extra support.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 28-Sep-13 14:22:08

I presumed that stella69 had meant 2 hours per evening, not week. grin
I suppose 2 hours a week would be manageable.
What do other peoples dc do per week.
I would be worried if 10-15 hours per week was expected at GCSE.

OddBoots Sat 28-Sep-13 14:26:55

I think when people talk about grade inflation and imply that GCSEs are easy these days they don't realise quite how hard many young people are working - especially as many are doing DofE and/or working part time jobs too.

Ragwort Sat 28-Sep-13 14:29:42

My DS is in Y8 and averages ten minutes half an hour a night. Easy to fit in with sports and other activities. But I am the sort of parent that is constantly complaining to the school that there is not enough homework grin.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 28-Sep-13 17:10:24

Do they always know, as in time tabled what subjects they will have each night.
Also do they ever have to have it returned the next day and do they ever give extra hw not timetabled.
Sorry to ask stupid questions but along with asking friends with dc of this age, I thought here would give more diverse responses.
I must admit atm it is looking quite promising, I must know some moaning dc who think they have too much hw grin

circular Sat 28-Sep-13 19:40:38

DD1 just gone into yr12. The only time 10-15 hours a week homework /revision was recommended was in the run up to GCSEs in yr11. Then it should have been an hour on a school day and 4 hours on a non school day, from tthe Easter break onwards.
For the rest of secondary, it was rare for her to do more than hour in a single night, and many nights none.
Her extra CA from yr9 was typically a couple of lunchtimes, 3 evenings after school till abiut 5 and one till 8 and all day Saturday.

TheWave Sat 28-Sep-13 21:40:05

Rare for my DC to do more than half an hour a night on average over Yrs 7-11 (excepting revision time for GCSEs) and never anything for the next day in their school.

Time for their extensive extra-curricular activities anyway, providing systems for remembering to do it are in place smile.

JGBMum Sat 28-Sep-13 21:49:12

Dd is in Year 8, and tbh home work is taking about 4-5 hours per week. Split as a couple hours during the week, then 2-3 hours at the weekend. I expect it to increase as she moves through the school.
But she is at a high performing comp, and dd is a bit of a perfectionist.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 28-Sep-13 22:13:04

Dd seems to have about 20-40 mins per night. However she doesn't finish school til 6pm, has an hours commute gone do fitting in homework, piano & rest us difficult

She's at vocational school.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 28-Sep-13 22:27:37


If you don't mind me asking is your dd at specialist music school?
What was it that made you/her choose a vocational over a normal school, rather than to continue with lessons outside school iyswim?
I know you may want to tell me to mind my own, and I appreciate this grin

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 28-Sep-13 22:37:12

No, she's at a dance school

Big reason she's gone there is not fitting in at mainstream school.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 28-Sep-13 22:38:45

Also it is easier in some ways to fit it in. They do 8/9 gcses & there's no leaving school at 4pm to travel to dance where she would stay til 7pm

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sat 28-Sep-13 22:44:39

My Dcs school has a policy of not setting next day homework. I heard this directly from the deputy head at a parents meting about 'Home learning'. The teachers don't all seem to know this, but it means I am perfectly happy to write in their planner that the homework was unable to be done because on x night DD has y, but it will be done the following night. DD hates me doing this, so she tries to get it done on the bus if necessary.

Some of the homework is regular, generally Maths is. A lot is projects, which lends itself very well to managing extra-curricular activities.

DD would tend to take far longer over things than is needed, and at the same meeting school said to limit them in the early year, if needed, and put a note in the planner explaining that. Again my DD would be horrified by this, so we haven't done it.

My DC are very busy with extra-curricular stuff - much of it music based, including a night when they just aren't home.

DS1 has just taken 2 GCSEs at the end of Y10, getting an A* and an A so I don't think we are doing too badly. He did put a lot more work in towards the exams (there was a lot of coursework at the same time). Some nights now it will be 2 hours because other nights there won't be any.

Also, as they get older they have more hours each evening, if you see what I mean. DS2 struggles to fit everything in more, because he is younger, has an earlier bedtime and gets more tired.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 28-Sep-13 22:48:40

Yes bedtime is the main issue. Dd is in bed at 9pm as she has to get up at 6 pm. I think a lot of teachers assume later bedtimes.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 28-Sep-13 23:00:43


Thank you so much for that, my dd has sort of considered a specialist music school but we haven't been to the open day yet. Also of course it doesn't mean to say she would get in, but a possibility she is considering.
The main problem is she says I just want to be normal, of course she is normal but she sees it differently.
If I suggest a local high school and continuing with her activities and lessons as she does now, there is no way they would fit into mainstream school, something would have to give. With hw on top of this even more would have to give. Of course she doesn't want to give anything up.


Thank you v. much for a detailed explanation. Your dc must be very motivated to complete hw, on top of the other activities. I'm sure my dd would leave it and end up in trouble.

ZZZenagain Sun 29-Sep-13 16:45:38

for now ,while you HE, maybe you could use the weekends for dd to get into the swing of doing HW and also get into the habit of being efficient with it and getting it over and done with in a set time. Just based on what you do that week, set her things to do. She will still have the weekends if she is at secondary school and if she can get most of her schoolwork done Sat and Sun mornings, maybe it would still work out with all her other activities?

morethanpotatoprints Sun 29-Sep-13 16:59:07


That would be a good idea normally and thank you.
Except to make sure she still sees friends and socialises she meets her friends at the youth club at the weekends and also dances on Saturday mornings. Then she practices Sunday afternoon, which usually takes her until tea time.
I have come to the conclusion that the girl is doing too much grin
In fairness, I think she is realising this for herself and before secondary age I can see her stopping something.
I just want it to come from her though and not me telling her what she has to stop.
She will never be a dancer, but she loves it and has done it since 2.5 and its good exercise.
However, she is a cracking musician and knows its what she wants to do.
It was so much easier with ds1 and 2, they were happy to go to the local high school.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 29-Sep-13 17:03:37

Dd is a bit the same more than in that she's very musical but even at vocational school fitting in piano practice & homework alongside her dance & singing us difficult. & she may have to give up piano. She's already given up lands speech exams though she goes still get a weekly drama class at school.

ZZZenagain Sun 29-Sep-13 17:08:53

Try the secondary if it is so important to her. Maybe she can make her music practice more efficient in some way and still continue to a great deal of it alongside school. If it doesn't work out with doing all the music she wants to do, she will probably choose to go back to HE if she is really clear that she wants to be a musician and regular schooling gets in the way of this.

hardboiled Fri 04-Oct-13 14:36:06

morethan, I know how much your Dd loves music so this are my thoughts for you... A music specialist school will not be a problem for your Dd, but in my experience, if she starts attending a normal school, music practice/making will have to be adapted somewhow to allow for homework and other stuff. Ds has just started Yr 7 and homework is averaging 60 to 90 min a night. This is a selective school. Sometimes he gets some done in the library, but not always. Music practice has become a real issue and we are still struggling how to fit everything in: three instruments, choir, gr5 theory... Yet he loves the school and would not change it for anything. People used to tell me "he will have time for everything", but it's not so. They need to sleep and they need to see friends and they need downtime and they need family time... And they need to run and dance!

saintlyjimjams Fri 04-Oct-13 22:23:56

ds2 is in year 7 at a grammar school. His homework tends to be given over the week (so to be handed in 4 days-1 week later)

He spends 5 hours on Saturday doing performance training stuff and he currently does a couple of hours on Sundays recording (but not every week, prob 3 out of 4 on average). Monday is after school swimming and Tuesday is after school drama and singing lessons. Sunday is often homework day, but if he's recording then we need to keep on top of bits and bobs during the week. He also has to learn scripts for the recording, so I tend to do a run through of the script each night with him so that he's doing it in short bursts without feeling stressed by it.

Mainly we have to be far more organised than I would usually be (and more organised than I am with the other 2, who have more space to chill out). It never feels too much though, he's in bed by 8.30-9pm and still seems to find time to spend a bit of time on the computer each night chatting to friends etc.

He has become a lot more aware of having to organise himself than he was at primary. So for example tonight he did some homework unasked because he wants to go to a friend's house on Sunday afternoon & he knows he doesn't have much time to do it all. Last Sunday I got downstairs at 8.30am in the morning to find him sat at the kitchen table doing homework (I did nearly fall over in shock).

He also has the occasional big performance week (west end touring) but I have found that school has been supportive of that. They're intense weeks but they're in short bursts so manageable. The production companies are usually very aware of school requirements as well and he can take homework to do backstage (latest show he's the only kid so no distractions) if necessary, although he tends to avoid that where possible. But to be honest we're careful about what he goes for (always discuss it with him) and if it would involve time off school, or too much clashing of commitments he doesn't go for it.

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