Homework... help!

(11 Posts)
Purpletoothbrush Sun 11-Mar-18 19:58:24

I am struggling to know how best to approach this.

DD is 10 and in year 5. School provides homework (has done from year 1) and in year 5 the expectation is that a child will be spending around 25 minutes a day on it, averaged out over a week (this includes regular reading and tables practice as well as set pieces of homework). When homework is handed in, this is recognised and there is always has a nice comment written on it. However it is not compulsory and if it's not handed in, there are no repercussions. The teacher has said though that unless homework is causing an issue they would expect it to be handed in regularly.

We provide time DD can do her homework, and plenty of support- and always try to make it cheerful. But any mention of homework is always met with a long face, a sigh and just a general lack of engagement. When she does do it, it's usually rushed, untidy and very different from the work I've seen that she's done at school.
She likes the positive comment she gets from her teacher when she does hand it in.

I've tried being matter of fact 'right, I think this would be a good time for you to do a bit of homework' which is when I get the above reaction and I've tried stepping right back and not mentioning it at all- unsurprisingly she didn't think to do any homework of her own accord and didn't hand anything in- but because there was no repercussion for her this had no impact.

I certainly wouldn't want DD to be stressed about homework however, I am a little concerned that she is going to be in for a shock at secondary school and that it will be a battle from day 1. I also don't think she is particularly stressed, she simply would rather be doing other things (namely on a screenconfused)She is also exactly the same when it comes to music practice at home although enjoys the lessons themselves and wants to play an instrument.

How is homework handled in your house?

OP’s posts: |
Member212711 Mon 12-Mar-18 15:59:00

Oooh. That's a difficult one. Personally, my issue would be with the school. Either set homework and expect it to be done, marked etc; or don't set it. How confusing for everyone to set it, but not mind if it isn't done. My DS has just started secondary school and is OK with the homework, having come from a school that didn't set a huge amount. So I'm not sure that I would worry about her getting a shock at secondary school - the skill with secondary school seems to be in the planning and keeping on top of it all. I think that my DS is very similar to your DD - enjoying the lesson, but not really into practising! Actually sounds rather like me as well! Good luck with whatever you do decide to do!

AlishaMary Mon 12-Mar-18 16:05:28

Homework is my absolute least favourite part of parenting. Worse than lack of sleep/tantrums/illness/anything. I dread weekends now sometimes if they’ve got something to do that I know will cause angst ie anything hmm

No advice really. It just sucks. Ds is in yr6 and every single thing is met with rolling eyes, crying, him saying he’s stupid etc etc etc. He does it eventually because he knows he’ll get homework detention if he doesn’t but he basically puts the absolute minimum effort in and learns nothing.

BezzaMezza Tue 13-Mar-18 08:43:28

Wish i had some top tips but I've got one year 6 who is very motivated with homework and one year 9 who it's always been a bit of a struggle with. The one who is motivated enjoys writing and the one who isn't finds it a chore, which I'm sure has a lot to do with it as it's easier to get her to do maths or art, although it still requires a lot of reminding to get started.
A lot of people take the hands off and let them face the consequences approach, which wouldn't work if there's no consequences. Mine both do have consequences of being kept in at lunch/detention if it's not done. My unmotivated year 9 would never want to turn up at school without her homework and get a detention and she never has done, but the issue is that left to her own devices she would procrastinate and procrastinate and do a last minute rush job every time which would be enough for her to not get a detention but would be a bit pointless. So i try and insist she starts earlier but she will easily get distracted so would waste hours over it if i don't keep reminding her. It's a pain. She doesn't get distracted at school and her teacher was really surprised at parents evening when i mentioned that she requires cajoling with homework. He thought she was very hard working. Sorry i don't have any better tips!

BezzaMezza Tue 13-Mar-18 08:47:23

Sorry for the lack of paragraphs!

Purpletoothbrush Tue 13-Mar-18 11:30:20

Thank you for the replies.

It is helpful to know that I am not the only one with this problem.

I agree that having no defined consequences for lack of homework handed in really does confuse things. The only thing school requires is a signature from parents to acknowledge that homework was set- whether or not it is completed. DD says that the only thing the teacher gets a little cross about is if parental signatures are forgotten- not lack of homework itself. She named a couple of friends who every week, hand in their books with a signature from their parents but no homework done. I know both sets of parents and both very much disagrees with homework so this is an ideal solution for them. But it must feel like a blow to the children whose parents do encourage and expect some homework be done, but who are not keen to do it. I think DD is perfectly capable of doing some homework (I don't insist all aspects are done if it means going over the time we are supposed to spend on it) and that it's a good habit to form, but even doing the smallest amount results in the mood changes and she puts barriers in the way.

I do find it all very frustrating.

Perhaps with the fact that at secondary level there will be consequences, there will be an improvement.

OP’s posts: |
DayKay Tue 13-Mar-18 11:36:42

I’m probably harsh but I’ve told my dcs that hw (and education) is important and they need to do work that they’re proud of.
I’ve actually made them redo work that is done really poorly.
(I’m not a dragon. I just go by ‘play hard. Work hard’ and I say that to my kids. We do lots of fun stuff too)

AlishaMary Tue 13-Mar-18 12:31:01

Tbh if I was in your shoes I’d do reading, spellings if set and times table practise and leave the rest.

ladybee28 Wed 14-Mar-18 10:28:51

We do 45 minutes / an hour of SOMETHING every day DSS11 is with us, whether he has 'official' homework or not – finding it's easier when it's just part of the routine. His grades dropped quite a bit last year and so we took it on to make it a key part of what life looks like. A bit of groaning to start with but now it's just a part of the day.

He does an hour before dinner on weeknights when we have him, and the same in the morning at weekends after breakfast. Either homework or revising something he's studied that week - drawing it, reading it out loud, explaining it to us...

Sunday mornings he chooses a subject to teach me / DP (something he's learned that week) while we make breakfast together, and we play student, asking him questions.

If he were to only do it when he had to do it, it wouldn't get done - he's not very organised and easily distracted. But building it into the everyday rhythm, especially having DP and I also 'learning' and him getting to feel like the expert in stuff, seems to have done the trick.

NorthernSpirit Wed 14-Mar-18 12:24:28

She’s going to get a shock when she goes to secondary school and they are set homework every night and there’s consequences if she doesn’t do it. And you don’t want to have to be on at her every night. Best to tackle this now before it becomes a bigger problem when she moves up.

I’ll share my story..... I’m a SM - worked hard at school (realised young my education was my way out of where I grew up and a poor working class lifestyle). So I was always pretty motivated. I went to Uni and got a degree and masters and now have a great job.

I’ve watched my DSD go from - I don’t need to work hard, I just need to find a man who will support me (makes my blood boil). Mum isn’t well educated, is pretty unmotivated and has a poor paying job. My OH and I chat to the kids about the fact we go on nice holidays, eat out, drive a nice car because we have good jobs and to get a good job you have to work hard at school.

There has been a real breakthrough recently - DSD (who previously we had to chase to do HW) now I don’t chase as if she doesn’t do it she doesn’t do it, she can face the consequences- detention) she said ‘it’s important to work hard at school because if you don’t you get a job like working in a shop and don’t earn much money’. I know it’s not all about money but the penny has started to drop. She’s starting taking some responsibility.

Audree Thu 15-Mar-18 16:25:27

I wholeheartedly agree with the teacher (I’ve been a teacher myself for many years).
I recommend that you read Alfie Kohn - The Homework Myth. It completely changed my view on homework.
Not reinforcing homework solidifies a strong work ethic imo. I don’t mix my job and my family time, why should I ask my kids to do it? In my experience, this works wonderfully; my 13 yo started an IB program this year and most days he brings no homework home. When I asked him why, he said he prefers to finish his work at school.
Kids learn constantly, no need for them to sit at the table and complete sheet after sheet of homework. I find that just visiting museums, taking them to the library, cooking etc. is enough.

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