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How much homework for a 4 yo...?

(12 Posts)
Noomininoo Sat 17-Sep-11 23:23:30

My DD1 (4.3yo) started reception class 2 weeks ago so I'm kinda new to all this school malarky blush.

Last week, in her 2nd week of full time school, DD1 came home from school with a new piece of homework everyday. Basically she has a new letter to learn every day with an associated worksheet she has to complete along with a couple of 'weekly words' she also has to learn (she also has 2 'books in a bag' that we have to read her but this isn't an issue as she loves having these read to her at bedtime).

My problem is, however, actually getting her to sit down & do these worksheets as, all she wants to do when she gets in is play or watch TV. I can usually get her to do some of the sheet (which consists of colouring in a picture & practising writing & saying a letter) but after a few minutes she loses interest & wants to move on to the next thing. If I try & push her to do more then she usually ends up getting silly (bored) & spoiling it.

In addition to this, twice a week (on a Tuesday & a Thursday) DD1 goes to an after school club which means we don't get in until gone 6pm, by which time we barely have enough time to prepare & eat our tea, before it's time to have a bath & go to bed let alone fit in any homework.

My question, therefore, is how much homework would you expect a 4yo to do everyday (it seems to me she gets quite a lot)? Also, does anyone have any tips on a) how to get her motivated to actually start her homework and b) how to keep her focused on the job at hand once she's started?

Maryz Sat 17-Sep-11 23:26:52

None is enough, imo. I used to fight all the time with ds1 about homework, then dd loved it. With ds2 I had given up and perfected the art of colouring in like a 4 year old, and did it myself blush.

Looking at a few words/letters, and parent/child reading (5 minutes) should be enough, I think.

Is this a private school?

MerylStrop Sat 17-Sep-11 23:30:15

I'd expect none apart from maybe 5 mins reading further into Reception

I'd have a word with the teacher and explain that it is just too much. The teacher should be prepared to listen.

Bunsouttheoven Sat 17-Sep-11 23:30:22

I reckon it's enough to spend a few minutes doing it & leave it at that. It will only be to support what they do in school, not for you to teach them IMO.

Is it possible to look at the before school rather than after. My dd responds much better to doing her reading books in the morning before we go to school. After school she wants to play & do her own thing & that's as it should be. smile

seeker Sat 17-Sep-11 23:32:10

None!

Noomininoo Sun 18-Sep-11 08:32:13

Thanks for the replies. I thought it seemed a lot but, being new to this I didn't know if this was normal. I have a 'pedagogy' session with her teacher on Monday so I'll bring it up then.

@Maryz - no its not a private school (I wish) but it is one of the better state schools in the area & has a very good reputation

HoneyPablo Sun 18-Sep-11 08:40:34

I feel quite strongly that 4 year olds should not be doing homework.
Looking at books is different, and should be encouraged but I can see no benefits in forcing small children to sit and do worksheets.
Totally unnecessary.
I do wonder how much homework is set by schools because it's what parents expect.

Maryz Sun 18-Sep-11 09:26:51

I agree with HoneyPablo about parent expectations. The reason I asked was it private was that the parents I know who send their children to private school expect the children to be pushed (I suppose maybe if you are shelling out large sums of money you want your children to be streets ahead of the posse hmm), and so those schools are more likely to push.

I remember being at a parents meeting at my kids' bog-standard school when one of the parents stood up and complained that they weren't getting homework at the weekend (8 year olds). It was funny the split amongst the parents that caused. Some people were keen on a lot of homework, I and many others wanted as little as possible.

I hve come to the conclusion (massive generalisatin) that good teachers don't set much homework, they cover the work in class.

BlueberryPancake Sun 18-Sep-11 09:36:32

DS didn't have any homework until this year (he just started year 1), and so far this year he's had one very small homework and it was 'suggested' by the teacher instead of being imposed. In reception, he had a little book with new phonics added every week that we had to practice at home, but he just had to learn the sound and the gesture. He has never had a worksheet sent home.

I do 15 minutes of 'homework' with my two DSs every day anyway, just to get used to the idea. We usually do coloring and practicing letters or we write postcards to friends/family. I just don't want them to fight when it comes to real homework later on... I am hoping it will become a habit.

Haberdashery Sun 18-Sep-11 09:52:52

DD is just five and started reception a couple of weeks ago. She's had no homework at all, apart from having to choose something to bring in for Show and Tell. I'm quite pleased. We've been told that as the academic side gathers pace, she will get one piece of optional homework per week plus as many books to bring home as she would like/has time to look at. I think that's about right, personally. Homework every day seems an awful lot for a four or five year old.

SecretSquirrels Mon 19-Sep-11 15:49:49

None.
Poor child has just started school.
I fell into the trap of believing that if the school said it had to be done then it was somehow compulsory.
It isn't.
After months of tears and battles with a very tired little boy who was becoming more reluctant by the day to learn, I went to see his teacher. I said I was happy to do a little reading but I was not going to force him to do more until I thought he was ready. She agreed and it worked fine.
He's now predicted straight A*s in his GCSEs so it did him no harm.

MzPixielated Mon 19-Sep-11 16:20:27

to be honest i think the school is being a little bit silly, im all for a gentle nudge to help them learn but homework every night is ridiculous, i would have a word with the teacher and say some nights she's just to tired and you are too busy for homework every day, my son started last week and so far he has only had a reading book sent home to read at our own pace. i think people forget that four y/o are just that four years old! all my son cares about is turkey dinosaurs and peppa pig im not going to force it down his throat until he gets so frustrated/bored he doesn't want to learn any more! they've been learning new things all day and home time should be wind down time.

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