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Hackles raised by note in dd's homework diary.

(54 Posts)
conistonoldwoman Sat 06-Oct-12 23:15:14

my year 3 DD has never been easily compliant in the homework department. Apart from encouraging her to read at home I am an anti homework parent , especially for primary age. She also has the obligatory spellings to learn. She'll pay them a token visit and will probably get half of them right in here test. She didn't do too well last week so teacher has written a note saying she is concerned with her approach to homework and she will be tested again on the words. She had asked my DD if she found her hw difficult but DD replied no , she just preferred to play. Teacher said that we could talk about hw issues at parents evening. As I don't agree with hw , especially the death by worksheet stuff that comes home, I can't really see how
I can help .
Also don't know if I should force DD to work on spellings . Maybe bribery will be help. Don't want her to suffer for my principles.

nooka Sun 07-Oct-12 05:42:04

It's highly unlikely to make her dd fall behind though. There is no great evidence that homework for primary age children makes any difference at all, not even learning spellings. Particularly as most spellings lists (at least those we've experienced) are arbitrary. We only once had a teacher that used a scheme so that it was word patterns being learned rather than words you might possibly encounter this week type lists.

nagynolonger Sun 07-Oct-12 06:36:32

Mine are all well past the primary stage but I do agree that most homework at primary is a waste of time. I never had hw until secondary age and my eldest 3 DC had very little. The younger 3 had much more and I really cannot see what good it did. They all did their hw at secondary school and revised for GCSE and A levels.

Reading books and talking to DC about the story is very important and most people do that from babyhood. That was part of our daily routine so I never considered that hw.
I always did the spellings at home too. Three of my DC had no problems they knew how to spell most words without any effort.......If you have DC like that spellings homework is no problem. My other 3 DS are dyslexic and we spent hours on spellings. A nightmare for me and them! Even if they managed to learn a few words for a test they had forgotten them by the following week.
Times tables are important when they are a bit older. They need to know them so just do it with them. I bought one of those singy-songy tapes/cds.....drives you mad but all mine learnt their tables at home.

The work sheet homework for numeracy and literacy is a PITA. These things should be done at school. Primary DC should be playing and doing other things after school. They don't need to get into the habit of doing regular hw.

nagynolonger Sun 07-Oct-12 07:12:42


Do DC really mark each others spellings?

At our primary the TA always marked the spelling and tables tests. I'm pleased my sons' classmates didn't mark theirs.

The ones that did well and got them all correct were all acknowledged by the teacher when the books were given back, and they had some sort of star award for getting 100% for three consecutive weeks. My dysexic DS never got a star but that's just the way it is. Like I say we always did try to learn spellings at home but for some it doesn't work.

bowerbird Tue 09-Oct-12 14:02:18

OP I completely agree with you on the principle of homework for primary school children. For so many many reasons.

However, as other posters have pointed out, your DD is attending a school and the school issues homework. You can do spellings for 5 minutes a day before school and it doesn't impinge on after school playtime.

You will most likely have to compromise your principles, for two reasons. One, it sounds as if your daughter could do with the extra spelling practice, and two, you and your daughter have to maintain a good relationship with the school.

bowerbird Tue 09-Oct-12 14:03:50

Nagy, yes some schools do that - ours did. I think it becomes less of an issue in higher years, but say, in Y2, it's dreadful - so divisive and humiliating for kids who are struggling.

KCB01 Thu 11-Oct-12 13:35:30

Homework is NOT compulsory, sends absolutely the wrong message in terms work/life balance, and people who are anti homework are usually far less lazy than those who are not. I have always been upfront with my school that if my children want to work on set homework in their own personal time, then I will support them totally. However, it is their time, and if they do not, then I will not support any punishment for something that is unethical and unjustifiable. We work closely with the school to understand the subjects and topics that they are learning, and I am always looking out for ways in which to apply the information from the school into our everyday lives. That is the way to enthuse children into learning because they want to. Homework is just plain wrong - teachers unions, the past leader of the national pta associations, university studies, all suggest that homework does nothing to improve children's ability to learn and indeed some studies indicate an adverse link, particularly with primary school children. If nothing else, the imposition of homework is just rude. My children are told to work hard when at school, which they do. When they come home, that is family time. If I were to attempt to set them things to do during a lesson, then rightly the school would be justified in complaining that we should not be attempting to impose on their time. However, it appears that a school can dictate how our family spends its time outside of school. It just sends the wrong message. Most of the teachers I have spoken are also against homework, in some cases strongly so. The assumption by schools and government is that parents want homework (another assumption that is not necessarily correct - Most parents I speak with also dislike homework, but are scared to speak out). I am sick to death of being made to feel guilty and called lazy, when I spend more time working on how to engage my children in learning than many pro-homeworkers who often use homework as a way of absolving themselves from having to think about how their children learn. It's 'an easy way of occupying the kids'. Harsh? Maybe, but only as harsh as many of the earlier comments that made black and white assumptions that anyone who strongly knows how wrong homework is can only be lazy and uninterested in their childrens learning!

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Feb-13 01:30:52

I think some homework has a purpose and some does not. Reading is important, and so is learning spellings. These are skills that take time to develop and imo time spent at home is worthwhile. What I object to is pointless busy work that should be done at school. " Design a poster ", or write about something we've already written about at school.

Pointless homework is often delayed or goes undone in our house, especially in the past when DS was struggling with written work and getting very very stressed by the tasks. I set the rules at home, not the school. If I think it's counterproductive, or DS is busy with more interesting things, then tough.

differentnameforthis Sat 16-Feb-13 08:11:22

It's all well & good that YOU don't believe in homework, but you are doing your daughter a huge disservice.

Do you want her to learn?
Is it that you think all learning /teaching should be done in schools?
Is it that you can't be bothered to help her?

part of being a parent is helping & teaching our children so they carry into adulthood, the stuff they are going to need to get on with life. By refusing to help her & encourage her to learn, you are denying her that!

My daughter has reading & spellings, takes on average 20mins a day! I also test her randomly too.

Do your daughter a favour, help her teachers to TEACH HER!!!

TotallyBS Sat 16-Feb-13 08:35:04

How can people be strongly against spellings? Its 5mins while in the car for fecks sake.

At primary DC had a friend who would often get 2/10 for spellings and this was from the 'easy' list. In the parents eyes, their DS was 'artistic' so they didn't want to stifle his creativity with stuff like spellings.

He left Year 6 with mostly KS L3. Maybe the boy will go onto Oxbridge and be the anecdote for an anti homework parent. Or maybe he will be the anecdote for some newspaper article about employers complaining about illiterate job applications.

BreadForMyBREADGUN Sat 16-Feb-13 08:38:16

Have you got a link to the homework thread?

I'm anti homework too and don't understand why, if its only 5 mins of spellings,why it can't be done in school.

HecateWhoopass Sat 16-Feb-13 08:44:42

There's the useless homework that we'd all like to see the back of and then there's the important stuff. I think supporting her to learn the important stuff matters.

But more importantly, right now the message you are giving her is that it doesn't matter what the teacher says and she doesn't have to do something that the teacher has asked her to do. That is NOT a good attitude to give your child.

When she is at secondary, and her gcses are looming, and she won't work outside the classroom, and maybe has an attitude that the teacher's views don't matter - how well do you think she's going to do?

At what point are you going to change from 'bugger the homework' to 'do the homework'. How will that transition go for her, do you think?

You have to think long term. Who she is now is not who she will remain. Everything she experiences now will shape her. It's really not about a few spellings, when you look at it. Is it?

Sparklingbrook Sat 16-Feb-13 08:46:45

This thread is from last October confused

BreadForMyBREADGUN Sat 16-Feb-13 08:50:30

Oh FFS. When will MN start highlighting old threads...

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 08:53:04

There's lots of evidence to support the view that learning spellings is largely a waste of time in terms of actually learning to spell, and many schools no longer do it. Many children can get 100% for a spelling test and not be able to spell the same word when actually writing a sentence.

However, if homework is set it ought to be done- parents should be on the same side as the school.

Sparklingbrook Sat 16-Feb-13 08:53:42

They need to do something Bread.

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 08:54:36

Oops blush
Still interesting, though!

Sparklingbrook Sat 16-Feb-13 08:55:21

I totally agree with your post as well seeker. smile

TotallyBS Sat 16-Feb-13 09:17:23

I can never understand why some MNetters can spend hours discussing baby names or whether some DP is a twat or whether some MIL is a bitch AND then come on here and argue about 5 min in the car during the school, per week.

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 09:19:22

Would rather the 5 minutes was doing something purposeful. Spellings aren't. But as I said, parents should be in the same side as the school.

inadreamworld Sat 16-Feb-13 09:23:33

Have you considered homeschooling her? As a teacher I have to say that you have to follow school policies if you send your child to school. But no reason to send her to school if you want her to learn in a different way. Some homework worksheets ARE rubbish! Maybe another school would be more suitable also?

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 09:30:34

And the anti work sheet thing puzzles me a bit too. If your child had a proper book with all the worksheets bound into it in printed rather than photocopied form, people would be really impressed at the lovely textbook their child brought home. But it would cost loads of money, and they would get they get photocopied sheets- the same thing, but cheap.

Sparklingbrook Sat 16-Feb-13 09:31:18

DS2 loves a worksheet for homework. grin

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Feb-13 14:20:27

Blimey, it was on the first page of the topic. Never looked at the date!

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Feb-13 14:23:22

inadreamworld - as a teacher, you think school policies should take over family life outside of school hours? Like a whole weekend spent arguing about homework with a child who, quite understandably has better things to do than waste their time re-doing stuff they've already done at school. My DS is 6, that's the perspective I'm coming from.

englishteacher78 Tue 16-Jul-13 05:49:38

We did spelling and dictation tests every week (spellings were from a scheme so linked by type). I also had reading and occasional project work which I put a lot of effort into. In fact, I loved primary school homework. I wish I'd had it more regularly in year 6 as I found it difficult moving to 1-2 hours a night at secondary.

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