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I really hate the fact that 7 yeear olds get homework

(25 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Wed 06-Jul-11 17:33:49

DD is doing hers now and won't listen to me when I am trying to help her. I am not allowed to tell her the exact sentence. She has several dictionaries yet somehow the word she needs it never in it hmm.

2kidsintow Wed 06-Jul-11 19:49:28

As a parent, I hate that my children get homework.

As a teacher, I hate that I have to set, chase up late returns and mark homework.

Where is the value of homework? Unless it is information they are gathering that you are then going to use for tasks in class, there is no guarantee that the child completed the task themselves, or whether they've got anything out of doing it. I have even had children hand in homework that has been completed in their parent's handwriting.

I wish we could stick to the basics of asking the parents to read with their child, help them practice spellings/counting/tables/telling the time. Unfortunately, in my school there are an equal share of parents who complain at parents evening that they think there is too much homework as well as those who complain that there is too little homework.

WowOoo Wed 06-Jul-11 19:56:59

My 5 yr old loves his homework. He doesn't actually get any from school apart from books to read - only at end of reception.
I give it to him. Means after he's done it he can watch TV.

Am sure as years go on this is going to change and in a couple of years time, will be saying the same as you.

I quite like watching the way he works and to see how much he understands etc. It's a selfish thing on my part, I suppose.

Generally, I disagree with it at primary age. Am surprised that ds wants to do so much after school tbh.

RoadArt Wed 06-Jul-11 20:09:06

If words for 7 year olds are not in dictionaries then I would be questioning why she is being taught these words yet.

Homework should be seen as just part of life rather than a chore. Reading every night, perhaps checking dictionaries when they come across words they dont understand. Some Maths and spellings as part of every day life, and discussions about everything that is going on around them which can cover science, geography, history etc.

I used to want homework, but the reality is, it is just a tool for parents to see how well their kids are doing, because we dont really know how or what they understand at school. It seems that most parents do the homework anyway because it is a chore and causes so much aggrevation because kids are tired, want to play and want to socialise after school. It always seemed to be either extremely easy, or unrealistically hard and never targetted at appropriate work level.

The basics can be incorporated into your daily routine, but I would encourage children to do as much as they can themselves, just providing the appropriate tools. Teachers can tell whether its the kids or parents who have completed homework.

Homework causes the biggest hassle for parents and there is always an equal split of those who want it and those who dont

sillybillies Wed 06-Jul-11 20:32:25

2kidsintow I agree with every word you wrote.

Luckily as yet the only homework we've had for my 5 year old has been reading and learning the reception words which she mastered earlier in the year which I've been very happy with.

sillybillies Wed 06-Jul-11 20:33:42

Just read back the sentence I wrote and clearly I need more homework on my grammar!

Kiggy Wed 06-Jul-11 20:40:13

I have had 2 children through a good primary and a third still there. They have never had any written homework prior to year 6.

reception - book to read per night and 4 sight words to learn per week
year 1/2 - book to read per night and 4 spellings per week
year 3-5 - book to read nightly and 10 spellings per week
year 6 as above plus 1/2 hour maths per week.

The maths homework in year six the head states is only set to get the children used to handing in something on time prior to secondary school.

Written homework is not necessary at this age to get good results.

waitawhile Wed 06-Jul-11 21:01:20

I've been on homework strike for my 5 year old. To be honest the focus has been on getting yr 2 child up to speed having missed chunks of yr 1. DS has about 10 sheets of homework not yet completed. Each with literacy and maths pieces. He's either too tired, I'm too tired, he's too busy or I'm too busy (with yr 2 and toddler). I do reading with him, spellings and try to put these into sentences (surely that's enough - DD didn't start anything until way into year 1) I'm trying to tackle it more now as toddler is now in pre-school so I have a little more energy to sit and do it with him. If the teacher complains it won't be a very smart move......

anthonytrollopesrevenge Wed 06-Jul-11 21:12:03

I hate homework too, many of the tasks my DS gets set can't be done without lots of my input and I'm sure this isn't a good habit to form. I think he should do homework by himself and form that habit. We have had a Tudor project to do recently and without me helping choose topics that I knew I could help with, nothing would have been handed in, which would upset and worry him. I'm very happy to listen to him read, test spellings and tables and generally chat about how to go about tasks and help explain things. But homework requiring you to visit a large shop and write down prices of various foods can not be done by an 8 year old on his own, not can cooking Tudor food, or finding appropriate websites to review Tudor crime and punishments.

uninspired Wed 06-Jul-11 21:56:31

I hate homework almost as much as DD does.

She's really hard working and compliant at school, but lazy and puts in minimal effort with the homework as IHO school = work and home = play

appplepie Wed 06-Jul-11 23:02:47

Not looking forward to getting homework for my DD who starts in Spetember.... chatted with teacher and she doesn;t believe in homework except for reading and encouraging us to spend time with our kids after work etc and keeping them active. I liked her attitude.

I';d also like to mention that, perhaps controversially, buit in the spirit of this thread, I never give my 6th formers homework over Xmas if they are up to date with their term of hard work.

Also, I rememebr really enjoying the fact that my Mum helped me with spellings, Like it was a game.... And French verbs

cat64 Wed 06-Jul-11 23:06:29

Message withdrawn

TheOriginalFAB Thu 07-Jul-11 07:57:39

The words are in the dictionary. Granted, not in the junior one she has sometimes but we also have Oxford dictionaries and I am sure most words are in there. DD gets cross if she can't get something straight away. If she worked at 10% of her ability she would still do well she just puts so much pressure on herself. We put none on her at all, it all comes from her.

erebus Thu 07-Jul-11 09:45:06

I'm not a huge fan of homework before Y5 or 6, but I'm also not a fan of it being set, the DC at best needing continuous help with it, at worst causing friction and unpleasantness at home- then eventually seeing it back, weeks later, with a tick by it. OR sometimes, unsullied by a teacher's pen.

Don't set it if you don't intend at least demonstrating that you've looked at it!

As for reading a book or so a night- no problem, we'd try and do that anyway- but again, don't, on parents evening, politely tell me off for not filling in the reading diary every day when you haven't opened it to see what I've written for weeks- or at least, you haven't acknowledged my input or countersigned it yourself!

I'd like to see maybe 4 or 5 sums they'd been working on to help them consolidate that knowledge; maybe 10 spellings and a chapter of a book- not necessarily all on the same evening and definitely not every night but our homework is tending to be boundary-less and amorphous- eg Do a 3 week homework project on a painter/artist. Present it how you like. Hand it in on... yes, * I* could go nuts with such a project but a (young) 9 yr old DS needs structure, guidelines, pointers, maybe examples. Otherwise it's just me more or less dictating whilst he idly and aimlessly searches the Web. At 9 they still do not have the skills to fly solo with this sort of unstructured work.

I know why this has been set: So you have nice arty posters and stuff to decorate your classroom for the new intake in Sept!

mumblebum Thu 07-Jul-11 09:52:53

I hate it too. The stuff we get is so vague and the marking is a joke. A tick, a comment along the lines of "well done" and a few housepoints. No corrections, no guidance on how it could be improved, nothing. My dd is very bright, doing very well at school, but it's still a complete pita pinning her down to get the work done at home. I feel like I need to make her do it if it is set because I don't want to set the precedent of not doing it, but it's hard when I think it's utterly pointless too.

Reading books fine (although she reads books at home way beyond anything that she brings home from school). Spellings are pretty pointless to be learnt and then forgotten tbh. learning times tables or something might be useful but she's never brought them home.

My SIL who is a teacher hates setting it too but is forced to by her schools policy.

erebus Thu 07-Jul-11 10:40:13

My DS isn't doing particularly well in school- properly considered homework would help me know where to help him and extend his school performance- but I can't even set my own spellings if I don't really know what level he's been assessed at!

MollieO Thu 07-Jul-11 22:54:22

erebus why can't you ask his teacher what you can do at home to help him?

WowOoo why do you set your 5 yr old homework? Have the school asked you to help at home or have you done it for some perceived advantage?

Ds is in yr 2 and hates homework. He mostly refuses to do it and I don't insist. His teacher knows my views and has yet to give me any proper reason why he should do it - her best was to say that it stops dcs taking on too many after school activities that they would have to drop when they get to secondary school age. The other argument is it gets them used to doing homework to help the adjustment when they get to secondary. Both 'reasons' are complete and utter tosh imo.

There is no reason on earth for primary school dcs to have homework. Ds brought home a workbook to complete tonight. He was quick to point out that all the class had had to take this book home to do. Then he admitted that three dcs didn't. I told him that I didn't expect him to complete work at home that he hadn't done in class.

ragged Fri 08-Jul-11 07:24:01

You could go thru common words and just work on their spellings, erebus, you truly do not need NC levels to do spellings or maths at your child's level (I have a DS who likes to be drilled on them, and no, he's not particular bright, just enjoys challenges at his level).

I hate hw too and we mostly don't do it; I will try to chivvy DS into it when he's in the mood.

erebus Fri 08-Jul-11 10:14:40

Nah, I leave it to his private tutor to tell me what he's discovered DS needs to work on!grin

But wouldn't you say that if the class is doing, let's say 'days of the week' as spellings, but you, not knowing this and working independently at home, do 'months of the year' - then the DS gets set a spelling test on the former and gets a very low score- he's instantly demoralised, even though he could have done well on the months!

And oh, the parents evenings where we ask what we can do to help, and the teacher says 'well... um... you could read with him every' (which we do anyway!) - when we've sat there being told, for instance, DS needs some help with his decoding hmm... so why not set him 'decoding' homework? Or direct us towards a book or worksheet we could use?

Another thing that is being overlooked: some DS would do anything a teacher told them to but nothing a parent asked of them! Which is why HE isn't for everyone, for example.

MollieO Sat 09-Jul-11 16:54:25

Decoding is a reading skill so his difficulty will be apparent in the reading you do with him anyway. Not every child needs extra help at home. Ds has done the bare minimum at school this year and next to nothing at home but still got 2A in his SATS (which I didn't even realise he had done until I was given the results). I suppose if he had made an effort he'd have got 3 but I really don't think it means anything at such a young age. The time to expect commitment and effort is GCSE and A level age.

MuddlingMackem Sun 10-Jul-11 22:06:04

I loathe homework, but that's because ds spends an hour hour and a half mucking/avoiding/procrastinating and only getting maybe a sentence and a half done so he has to finish it over another night, or two, whereas if he focused and knuckled down he could knock off the whole thing in ten minutes flat.

He isn't set an excessive amount of homework, and it does concentrate on their weaknesses (ie he has a lot of writing as that needs improvement, but rarely numeracy at which he is better) so I can see that the teacher is making it worthwhile homework, but I just get so sick of nagging him. sad

pointythings Sun 10-Jul-11 22:16:17

I hate homework in primary and want it abolished. Schools only set it because parents don't trust teachers to do their jobs propery - successive governments of all political colours have created that culture. There is no evidence at all that homework improves academic performance in primary, and in secondary the evidence is dodgy.

Let teachers do their job during school hours. Read with your children. Talk to your children. Play witjh you children - those are the things that matter. I really feel for priamry school teachers having to wade through piles of homework marking - they have better things to do, including having lives.

The only reason I make my children do their homework support homework is that I've signed the (fill in epithet of choice here) home-school contract.

Homework eats into my weekend, the precious time we have to do fun things with our DCs - as a F/T working parent with a DH who is also F/T, I really, really resent it.

It will never change. sad

Cortina Mon 11-Jul-11 12:04:56

I'm in favour, practice makes perfect after all. Those children that learn early on that homework is non negotiable and happens for a set period IMO go on to do well. Self discipline and work ethic can be inculcated.

Those I know who don't fight their parents about homework in secondary school/have a good work ethic came home from primary school, did homework set and then relaxed and did whatever they wanted to.

I've seen so many that when faced with homework later on around Y6 just can't adjust to it. They want to go on line and watch TV just as they've been doing for years after school and there's an ongoing battle. I've seen bright children fail GCSEs and Mums in an ongoing war as children insist they want to play computer games every night etc.

Just look at any children in a good prep school, most are streets ahead academically. Homework usually starts young and expectations are high. It's a competitive world out there, increasingly so and IMO self discipline is harder to learn later in life especially if it's not being modeled at home. Incidentally why is there generally a requirement that we listen to primary children read but not reinforce any number work, practically or otherwise with them? Surely this is just as important?

That does not mean to say that I think younger children shouldn't be playing and socialising, this is very important too. I've seen these 'ten minute a day' mothers that get DCs to sit down with relevant workbooks or something more interesting that supports their child's learning and almost without exception these are the children perceived as bright at school. In our school those that start ahead tend to stay ahead so I can see why they might not want to let their children do whatever they wanted every afternoon after school.

Ephiny Mon 11-Jul-11 12:13:01

I don't see the need for homework for such young children either, but surely it's a good thing that she wants to do it on her own, and not let you just tell her the answer? Homework is even more pointless when it's effectively the parents doing it, not the children!

pointythings Mon 11-Jul-11 19:21:43


There is no evidence that homework in primary enhances academic performance.

What part of this is not clear?

Children in preps are streets ahead academically because their parents have money, are engaged in their education and because, frankly, private schools are selective in who they take.

I grew up with no homework in primary, it was introduced gradually in Yr7 and was part of the transition to secondary - careless childhood over, start to be an adult now. It is up to parents to manage this and to instil the discipline to do this, and it's perfectly possible to do this at age 11.

Sitting down and doing more of the same worksheets at home does not make a child bright - reading with your parents does, being read to by your parents does, going out and taking an interest in the world does. I think it's fine for schools to send reading books home and expect parents to support reading at home, but this should be an extension of what already goes on at home.

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