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What are Reception teachers looking for in homework?

(13 Posts)
BusyCee Tue 10-May-16 22:37:00

Ds1 is 5 and in YrR. He quite enjoys his homework (overall), because he likes acquiring and showing off news skills. I've discovered that to get the best from him we need to plan time away from the other 2 DCs and take a 'plan, do, review' approach to his work. Usually takes us 2hrs in 2-3 sessions over the weekend.

Last week he was awarded a house point for his homework. I know we spent time on it, and that he enjoyed it. He went slightly above and beyond. This week he also spent time on and enjoyed his homework, going a bit above and beyond - but didn't get a house point.

I feel the point of his homework should be to give him a positive attitude to work; working with him; giving him a chance to investigate ideas on his own, outside of class. House points are just the cherry, not the objective. . BUT, It did make me wonder what his teacher is looking for in his homework, to make it 'good'. I'm not clear on what the teacher is marking against. What do you look for in Yr R work to make it 'good'. Obvs I'll ask her this week, but interested to hear your experiences.

(I should say that his teacher is amazing and he luffs her. And so do I).

Peppapogstillonaloop Tue 10-May-16 22:39:38

Do you really spend 2-3 hours on reception age homework?! why? Genuine that what the school expects?

hazeyjane Tue 10-May-16 22:43:57

None of mine had homework until year 1, apart from reading!

ZenNudist Tue 10-May-16 22:46:20

I think it sounds too much homework and very pressured for a reception aged child.

My ds is in same year. Don't have as much homework. Mainly phonics to get through the syllabus at the required rate. He does very well and teacher has no concerns about him.

I'd despair if we had to do so much homework at the weekend. We are mainly getting out and seeing friends plus spending time as a family.

And I describe myself as a pressure parent. Clearly not.

Pipbin Tue 10-May-16 22:49:32

I teach reception.
Our 'homework' consists of revising the sounds or words we have learned, some maths that can be done as part of the regular day (count the steps to school etc) and something to do with our theme or topic.
About 50% of the children do homework. All I am looking for is that parents to engage with their child. Simple as that. Anything that is done at home is valued

Pipbin Tue 10-May-16 22:51:38

Oh, and I only set homework because the school wants us to.

bluespiral Tue 10-May-16 22:54:52

What kind of homework is he getting that takes 2 hours?! DD is in reception and her weekly homework takes 5 -10 minutes!

KayJBee Tue 10-May-16 23:06:48

Wow, we didn't have any homework in reception apart from reading books. They might also have a 'draw or make a picture' type thing duting the holidays but all completely optional. Even at key stage 2 our school advise that homework should take around 30 mins a week. (Though dd is a slow worker and it always takes her longer).
I'd be asking the teacher how long they think the children should be spending on this homework rather than what they're looking for as 2/3 hours is very excessive for a 5 yr old.

KayJBee Tue 10-May-16 23:08:11

Sorry, misread OP, see it's 2 hours not 2-3 but still excessive in my opinion.

BusyCee Thu 12-May-16 14:47:24

Sorry - mad couple of days and I haven't logged in.

Homework is often an activity which is then 'written up' in the homework book. For example, make a mini-beast house to bring into school, draw your favourite mini beast and label it's parts; or find 5 numbers when you're out and about, mark them on a number line, are they odd or even numbers; or draw a picture from your favourite book and mark things are above, below, left and right. (I'm paraphrasing obvs, as am feeding dc3 in the car.

School are hot on 'plan;do;review' so we try to talk it through as well as just letting him crack on. I don't think of myself as a pushy parent - I tend to think that make it fun and they'll naturally want to do it (and in the longer term success = happiness rather than material wealth, so education should be about finding what you enjoy and honing it, academic or otherwise)

Am now fairly confident I needn't give a shit. But more intrigued about what parameters make it house point worthy. I'll go crazy and just ask. Might even report back...

Ginmummy1 Tue 17-May-16 13:20:04

Just a response on the house points question!

I haven't seen a consistent pattern in the 'rewards' which DD gets (she is also in Reception).

At her school they give stickers or stamps on the back of the hand for (seemingly) every little thing. They also give out 'certificates' to children for specific things that are noticed during the day. They also award a 'star of the week' which is a trophy that the child takes home for a few days. They also occasionally give out a 'headteachers' award' for something extra special.

In the first term, DD brought home two certificates all term. In the second term, following a little bit of a friendship issue, DD brought home three certificates within a fortnight (basically rewarding her efforts to play with other children etc), and brought home 'star of the week' once (I suspect each child brings this home once during the school year...). In the third term, so far she's brought home a certificate and two headteacher's awards.

I get the impression that it's all a bit random. Certain things will be dished out to every child at some point during the school year. Other things will be given out to encourage a child, or when the child is on the teacher's radar for some reason. Others may be given out when the head realises that this class teacher hasn't rewarded anyone in her class for a while, and tells her to dish out a few...

I'm ok with this - teachers have enough to think about without spending too much time worrying about awards / house points!

I guess your DS got a house point for the first piece of 'above and beyond' homework (and personally I think it's fine for you to spend 2-3 hours with your DS doing this stuff if you both genuinely enjoy it and he is getting benefit from it). However, the teacher is not going to dish out a house point every week for going 'above and beyond' as they'll want to reward different children for different things.

It's one of those things it's just better not to worry about too much!

TrainBridge Tue 17-May-16 13:30:09

My experience is that house points are for work done that was clearly stretching for the child. So dd2 in YR would get a house point for writing a sentence (maybe two points) as that's hard for her. No house points just for writing a word. The homework is set in levels eg 1) write out the letters you've been practising this week (b, d and g) 2) use those letters to make five words 3) use the words in five sentences. The teacher know which of them find it easy and which have put the effort in.

BTW, we are told 10 mins max on phonics / letters, another 10 on reading the current school book, and then an optional creative activity. So mostly 20 minutes, sometimes 30, per week.

Eyfsteacher Wed 17-Aug-16 18:47:52

Hi I am a Reception teacher and I think the main thing you need to do when doing homework with your child is make it fun! Lots of praise and rewards.

Here are 10 tips I recommend to my parents for reading at home.

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