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Seriously underchallenging homework

(21 Posts)
racingheart Tue 04-Oct-11 14:57:09

Just read the thread below about Yr 5s finding long English homework a struggle but we have the opposite problem. DC came home, top set in English, with this week's spellings: hop, hope, scrap, scrap etc to practise rules of when to drop 'e's and when to double consonants. They've known this stuff for three years. I understand the school needs to check it's been grasped, but it has, really has, and for some years now. DCs just find it hugely insulting to be asked to 'learn' how to spell hop and hope.

My DC enjoy homework if it actually stimulates them but this treats them as though they are incapable. How do I broach this with teachers without sounding like a pushy mum? Or should I not bother?

meditrina Tue 04-Oct-11 15:00:59

Just tell him he's lucky to have got a bye this week. (Mine would be delighted!)

One easy spellings revision doesn't mean the whole English course is pants. Get him to use the time for something educational you both think is worthwhile.

piprabbit Tue 04-Oct-11 15:01:07

The spellings aren't really homework though. One quick look at the list to confirm that your DC knows it all and then the list can safely be forgotten. As you say, it should be second nature after several years of being taught these things. It's not something I would bother raising with the teacher.

I'm assuming that in Y5, he is getting significantly more homework than this each week - is that more engaging and stretching? If it isn't then maybe you could speak to the teacher. Do you have a parent's evening coming up soon?

Hulababy Tue 04-Oct-11 15:06:11

Spelling tests have little educational value. They do not aid spelling in independent work.

Therefore I wouldn't worry about it. Let them have some easy homework for a bit. It won't harm.

seeker Tue 04-Oct-11 15:18:35

If he can do it, then don't do it. Simple. Tell him to read for half an hour instead.

Takver Tue 04-Oct-11 15:53:35

Do what I do when dd comes home with a page of trivial maths questions - sigh with relief and enjoy doing something nice together instead smile

He'll be getting more and harder homework than he wants in a couple of years, I'm sure!

racingheart Tue 04-Oct-11 16:54:43

Thanks. Hulababy, I agree, and I'd rather they had some written work in which to include certain spelling rules or certain vocab, because when they concentrate on content, that's the test of whether the spelling has sunk in or not.

English homework isn't much more challenging. Copy by hand some pre-typed sentences but add an adverb to them. That's it. Dull as ditchwater.

hocuspontas Tue 04-Oct-11 16:58:30

Are my children the only children in the world who LOVE easy homework shock

seeker Tue 04-Oct-11 17:01:21

All mumsnet children are cleverer than average, love hard sums, love eating soup, don't like chocolate, would rather have strawberries than smarties.....add your own generalisation as appropriate!

Takver Tue 04-Oct-11 17:05:18

Nope, hocus - the only thing dd likes better than easy homework is no homework at all grin

Funnily enough though, seeker, though she's not cleverer than average, dd does fall into all your other generalisations apart from the sums (unless you count milky bars or frys chocolate cream as proper chocolate which I don't). Its very odd to have a child who doesn't like smarties, I tell you . . .

Iamnotminterested Tue 04-Oct-11 17:35:16

racingheart - could you get him to use his spelling words in imaginative sentences, or a poem, or if he really has a fit of madness a little story? Much better use of time than learning a list of random words, and good handwriting practice too grin

mrswoodentop Tue 04-Oct-11 20:02:58

We have seriously mad spellings ,not only do they have to learn the spellings they actually have to remember them .The teacher just tells them to write the spellings not what they are.Any you get wrong /forget get added to the next weeks .We are at 13so far,the first week he remembered only 8 although he got all of those right,the second week he remembered all 12 but got three wrong ,so now we have 13.It is totally bonkers ,I an just biding my time before asking the teacher what the learning objective is .Is it to learn how to spell the words or is it to practice learning a long list of unrelated words which you can recall at random sadbecause in all honesty in my degree at Durham ,my 2. Professional qualifications and my 20 year career in one of those professions I have never had to utilise such a skillconfused

anthonytrollopesrevenge Tue 04-Oct-11 21:56:05

Can we go to your DC's school, please ,please? We are getting horrible "project" type homework which takes ages and dissolves DS, who is in yr 4, into tears. Last week it was research how to make a compass using the internet, make it, take a photo to prove it, write what you did, what you learnt and describe problems you encountered, plus spellings, tables and a maths sheet. Help!

Mrswoodentop, they have to redo spellings they get wrong at DC's school too. DS said one poor child had 25 spellings last week and the teacher kept him in at break to do his test as she said he had so many there wasn't time when the rest of the class did their tests. Poor child, I think it's crazy.

Even DD gets long complicated things which take several steps and she's yr 1: last weekend we had to think of her favourite things, draw them on a piece of paper and then lable them last week - took for ever. Plus reading and 4 spellings for CVC words.

And it needs so much of my time! I hate it. We are going away to visit relatives this weekend, I am hoping we will get less homework otherwise we will have to take it with us. Help!

mrswoodentop Tue 04-Oct-11 22:49:43

The thing is they have to do the ones that they haven't remembered ,no prompt from the teacher to remind you what the word might beangry

BusterGut Tue 04-Oct-11 22:50:32

mrswoodentop...that iS seriously bonkers shock
Do these words have any pattern? Anything to do with the children's phonics lessons? Any relevance? Are they easy to associate with one another?

mrswoodentop Tue 04-Oct-11 22:53:36

There is a pattern for examples this week it is plurals ves for example sheaves,wolves,loaves etc plus we have the three from last week.He also adds ones they might have got wrong in written work in the week

mrswoodentop Tue 04-Oct-11 22:55:54

The reacher just says "write your spellings" then silence for however long he gives them

BusterGut Tue 04-Oct-11 23:05:34

Ummm... sheaves is such a useful word!

Anyway, just think of the hours the teacher must spend compiling, recording, marking and typing over 20 personalised spelling lists.....

Is this school policy or has he nothing better to do with his time? grin

As the lists get longer and longer, does that give him more time to do nothing in class?

mrswoodentop Tue 04-Oct-11 23:15:43

Who knows ,actually most seem to remember them.As I say ,I am just biding my time .
Actually I can see the point of sheaves because it practices the rule of "f" plurals,I Jay can't see why they have to remember what the words are as well as spell them

mrswoodentop Tue 04-Oct-11 23:16:46

Sorry Jay should read just

racingheart Tue 04-Oct-11 23:43:03

Mrswoodentop that is truly bonkers.
Anthony Trollope - you can come to our school. It's lovely. Very friendly and very little formal work. Lots of playing.
But in Yr 1 we had massive amounts of homework, including the memorable: Research Scotland and write about it shock which dissolved into tantrums and tears for the whole class - and that was just the parents. But rest assured, it gets easier. Yr 1: Write an essay on Scotland. Yr 5 learn how to spell the word 'hop'.

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