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Y1 Reading and homework – is there such a thing as too much?

(61 Posts)
Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 12:08:46

Question 1: How do you tackle reading books?
Question 2: How much homework is appropriate for KS1?

Background – DS (5) is in a mixed Y1/2 class. School selects Y1 children that have the ability and maturity to progress within a mixed year group. The pace has been set fairly high from the off. The message is no toys, less play, heads down and work hard. It is early days and he is finding the change of pace difficult and has been more emotional than usual – I know he will be fine.
We had a consultation evening, basically 5 minutes to meet the teacher. I expressed concerns about DS and phonics. Basically I am happy that with his reading level however, he seems to have skipped the basics and has a gap in basic phonics knowledge.

I am supportive of going over things at home and last year we read, played on BBC/Education City for 20 minutes Mon – Fri. This year this all seems a bit much (at the moment) and so we do 20 minutes 3 times a week.

DS’s Teacher has told me that she expects reading books to be changed daily. shock Within a few weeks there will also be homework set on Education City with some additional spelling and numeracy. In relation to my DS, I have been asked to encourage writing practise. Last night, I sat with DS whilst he read an ORT book. He reads aloud and we go over the reading together questions. Last night reading a 32 page book with about 4 lines on a page took 30 minutes.

IMHO, the homework suggested will take 30-40mins every day. I think this is a lot of extra work at the end of the school day/ weekend. I have said I thought the amount of work expected at home was quite a lot especially when DS is having a hard time with the change of pace. I seem to be in a minority at school.

What do others do/think?

Runoutofideas Fri 21-Sep-12 12:16:51

I wouldn't be happy with my yr1 dd getting that amount of homework. She is an August birthday and the youngest in the class, however she is seemingly quite academic and progressing well with her reading and numeracy. She comes home tired and wants to relax.

She reads her reading book everyday which takes her about 10-15 mins. School have in fact advised not to read the whole book if it takes longer than that. Spellings came home at the start of the half term with a list of about 6 for each week, but she could already spell them all, so I'm not going to do anything about them. She never gets any numeracy homework and things like education city and mathletics are purely voluntary and for fun. (This is a well regarded Ofsted "outstanding" infant school....)

redskyatnight Fri 21-Sep-12 12:20:59

In DD's Y2 class they suggest 10 minutes reading a day. I think this is a good target to aim for (DD often reads more, but that's because SHE wants to). 20 minutes is too much if it's becoming hard work. Changing reading books daily is unrealistic once children get beyond the early reading stages IMO. Is it possible that the teacher meant that children are able to change their books every day, not that they must?

30-40 minutes of homework at day at this age is absolutely madness. - are you sure this is what is expected? DD has spellings to do every night (about 5 minutes) plus one longer piece of work each week (about 15 minutes).

dixiechick1975 Fri 21-Sep-12 12:23:09

Yr 1 DD was expected to

Read to me daily. Once the book had been read she had to do a reading comprehension sheet eg who was your favourite character, what happened on p10. As DD enjoyed reading she finished a book a day so did alot of comprehension sheets - 3 or 4 a week. I know class mates did less.

Learn 10 spellings each night for a Friday test.

Maths homework sheet at weekend.

cakeandcustard Fri 21-Sep-12 12:28:42

My DS in in year 1 in a mixed yr1/yr2 class. He gets a reading book twice a week and a spellings sheet, literacy sheet and numeracy sheet once a week.

IMHO this is already far too much for a five year old, I'm not saying that we shouldn't do anything to support literacy and numeracy at home but its far too prescriptive at that age to have set homework tasks. There's research to suggest too much HW too young can often have a detrimental effect on a childs attainment. Its not going to do them any good if learning becomes a battle ground because the teachers and parents are obsessed with structure and deadlines.

cakeandcustard Fri 21-Sep-12 12:30:46

Bake a cake - read the recipe, weigh out the ingredients, time it in the oven and then eat the cake! Best homework and ticks loads of boxes smile

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 12:38:05

Teacher asked me to remind DS to put his reading book into the tray so it can be changed every day.

It could be that I am taking too long. I sit with DS whilst he reads aloud and we go over the suggested questions. Up until now reading is relaxed and he chats about the book as we go though it. The book level he is on means that it takes 30 mins for him to read the entire book. I'm not sure what the value of reading part of a book is (serious question)? Isn't it better that he reads the whole thing and has comprehension of the story?

He reads his own bedtime stories and library books - they are lower levels than he school books. He chooses them himself and I am more than happy that this is the case.

If he changes his book every day that doesn't leave much for any other homework imo. We haven't even been given this yet but have been told to expect it. I haven't been explicitly told to do 30-40 minutes work every night; I think this is how long I think it will take to get through the work.

He has cried quite a lot which isn't like him. He says he feel like all the work is falling out of his ear and his head is going to ping.

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 12:45:38

dixiechick1975 - we have been told they will need to fill out a book review which sounds similar to your reading comprehension sheet.

cakeandcustard - at the weekend we are making homemade pizza (his fave) biscuits and scones. Great suggestion. All reading and no other work makes mini egg a very dull boy.

I want to be supportive but he just isn't capable of the undertaking the amount of homework being set (at the moment). I have said to the teacher that he is finding the change of pace really difficult and that I don't want homework to be a battle.

Tiggles Fri 21-Sep-12 13:50:16

DS2 (Yr1) only changes books twice a week don't think we could physically read them any quicker, although he has been bringing home lime books recently which I think have been put in the wrong box, as I'm sure he was turquoise last term.
He then gets writing homework on a Friday to hand in on a Tuesday - writing sentences, learning to spell 5 'tricky' words and practicing phonics by reading real and nonsense words and putting them into the correct lists.
But we are in Wales and I think there is a lot less emphasis on homework here.

BrittaPerry Fri 21-Sep-12 14:16:17

Dd1 is in her first few weeks of y1.

Reading books changed twice a week, but they are mega easy and quick - i get her to read it silently to herself and ask questions, then i get her to read it as bedtime story to me/dh and dd2 (she reads one of our picture books or some of a longer book out loud on other nights, then me or dh will read something to them, and if they have been good they get ten minutes reading to themselves in bed, plus of course plenty of reading for various purposes, so i'm really not verly concerned by school reading books - the teacher hasn't heard her read yet at all). Her books at home vary in level, but obviously she can get away with not being able to read every single word or whatever, or school are testing different skills, as she is on orange at school, but i just looked up the usborne reading levels and apparently her latest book at home is above lime (which is as far as the chart goes).

One sheet of homework a week - she has only had this once, but it was cutting out some numbers to make sums. This time i saw she had one wrong, but i left her to it, after checking that she understood the question - she gets nervous, so i am trying to show her that the world doesn't end if you don't get 10/10. It took her maybe ten minutes. She does about 3 sessions of about 15 -60 minutes each of homework set by me in the week, because i am an evil pushy mum grin (she asks for it, and it is fun stuff like puzzles, science experiments or history projects)

They apparently do spellings at school, but the book is just sent home for us to view. Ths hasn't happened yet though.

She has started keyboard lessons at school, so she has been playing on a music app on my ipad too.

I kind of don't really involve myself too much in her school work, and that seems to work, or at least it did last year. I think we do more of following up stuff and giving her a chance with help, but obviously school is testing what she can do without help. I tend to do my homework for uni next to her when she does hers, so i am modelling how to study, if that makes sense.

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 14:19:45

I don't know book bands by colours.

That sounds like loads of home work to me LittleMissGreen how long does that take.

I actually timed the reading book last night and was surprised it took 30 mins.

Choufleur Fri 21-Sep-12 14:22:49

Official guidelines for yr1 are 60mins a week. Therefore last year with ds if he did homework he didn't read his school book the same day. He was expected to change his book twice a week.

hophophippidtyhop Fri 21-Sep-12 14:53:32

Dd is changing her book about twice a week, thought she will read each one about 2 or 3 times. She is on level 3 of ort at present, though she finds this a bit easy and think she may move up soon. She has a sheet of sums every weekend to do too. They also have a half termly project tied into the work at school - this one is to make a puppet of a fairy tale character. She also has keywords to learn, but these are about 6 every couple of weeks.

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 16:26:43

Choufleur I am surprised that 1 hour a week is expected.

DS is reading ORT 8 like this. There are 32 pages in those bad boys. Reading two of these per week would take DS the full 60 mins.

If he changes his book 5 time per week that is 2hrs 30 mins
Education city is 5 x maths problems = 50 mins
Spelling, numeracy, phonics practise, who knows?. I estimate 20 mins each so 60 mins.

This is 4 hours 20 mins a week.

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 16:55:26

Education City for this year has increased from 10 to 20 mins. That alone could take 1 hour 40 mins. I think that is the maximum time though.

Question 1: How do you read school books with your child and how long does it take?
Question 2: How much homework does your Y1 child get?

sittinginthesun Fri 21-Sep-12 17:07:43

DS2 is in year 1.

His reading books are changed when we finish them. He is on 31 page books too, so a whole book takes around 30 minutes. He reads between 5 pages and the whole 32 pages per evening, depending on how tired he is, and how much he is enjoying it.

He gets 6 spellings per week, which we practice probably 5 times.

Then he gets a homework sheet each week, which is probably 15 mins.

I would not be happy with any more. At the moment, the homework sheet is fun, as he feels "grown up". He enjoys reading anyway, so that isn't an issue, but I do judge when he's too tired, and write in the reading record accordingly.

I don't really get what your school are trying to achieve? There's a serious risk they'll put him off.

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 17:55:01

Good to know a similar book takes 30 mins as well.

I am supportive but he just can't do that amount every day. I have said he will do 30mins x 3 per day.

Tiggles Fri 21-Sep-12 19:53:05

Not sure how long it takes to be honest. I make him read for at least 10minutes a day, but tonight he was enjoying reading so read a couple of books. But I think of the reading as a hobby rather than homework.

The writing homework, probably takes somewhere between 30-60minutes depending if he wants to do it or not! Once he gets going, it doesn't take too long, but we tend to do a bit each day, rather than in one chunk.

messtins Fri 21-Sep-12 20:04:19

I think it sounds a lot. My DS is in yr 1 in a mixed yr 1/2 class. He gets his reading book changed twice a week and we are supposed to read for 10-15 mins a day. In addition we have been told we will get a list of 10 optional tasks per half term linked to their learning topic, of which we can choose to do all or none to support their learning. We haven't had the list yet but they have been described as things like craft projects, short pieces of writing, themed excursions etc. We were also told individual children might get key words to practise - linked in with their reading homework. DS does Komodo maths and we do one lesson a day (3-5min maths exercise) before school. So he's doing 15-20 mins of reading/maths a day, plus some projects which we'll tackle at weekends but sound like fun rather than a slog.
They've also said there should be a gradual transition from play-centred learning of reception to the more formal work expected in yr2, so they are still having sessions where they can 'plan' to play in different areas.
They are still only 5, it shouldn't be boot camp.

Bunnyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 20:31:02

DD is Yr1 and has been streamed into the Yr2/3 class (with a couple of other children). She gets numeracy homework once/twice a week, spellings daily for a Friday spelling test and a reading book which they expect to be changed daily, DD's books are around 30ish pages too and it takes her about 15 minutes to read and another 5-10minutes to talk about the story (to check her comprehension/recall). DD has noted that there has been a definite shift from playing to 'lots of sit down work', but she is still throroughly enjoying school.

NightLark Fri 21-Sep-12 20:40:38

This all sounds a lot.

Another question - if you are not at home after school, how do you manage your young DC's homework?

I work 3 days a week, have a Y2 DS and two preschool DDs.

We don't get home until gone 6 on my work nights, and DD2s bedtime is 6.45. And they are all shattered, whiney and hungry when they get home.

I barely manage 2 reads a week with DS, and am getting more concerned that he will start to fall behind - he's not naturally into his schoolwork, and considers it a huge intrusion into his sport time...

Haberdashery Fri 21-Sep-12 20:42:49

DD is in year 1 in a mixed 1/2 class. She gets three books a week. The books she brings home are considerably easier than those she reads at home by choice and only 24 pages but it is a battle to get them all read because she finds them a bit boring so she doesn't concentrate and will just randomly guess words. They do contain some more challenging things to sound out - last week we had things like basilisk and serpent which weren't words she'd ever seen before. She's on yellow band at school (ORT) and reads stuff like Claude, Ottoline and Frog and Toad at home. Last year I didn't bother too much about making her read the school books but this year we've been told they won't be changed unless she's read them so we are battling on. Hopefully she will do well enough to get bumped up to books that she finds more interesting.

Apart from that, all she gets is a list of spellings once a week (this is not tested, we are just asked to practise writing them for five or ten minutes once or twice a week) and once a half term she will get a larger piece of homework to complete. The current one (received today) is to make a room in a shoebox, including all the furniture etc out of paper, card and fabric. It is quite a fun task and she's full of plans for it.

She spends quite a lot of time poring over stuff like her Moshling Collector's Guide which is pretty complex compared to ORT Yellow so I have no concerns about her reading ability - maybe I would try a bit harder with the school books if I did. Sometimes I do just think 'oh, stuff it' and let her off some of the book.

I think any more work than this would be punishing, frankly. She is only little and she is very tired when she gets home from school.

Eggrules Fri 21-Sep-12 20:42:56

Ds is able to read the book himself first time. He has occasional problems with pronunciation for brand new words but he does struggle to read it himself. It still takes up to 30 mins.

Bunnyjo, it sounds like they are expected to do a similar amount of homework - your DD is doing it a a higher academic level.

Gawd help parents with twins/ siblings.

Bunnyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 21:15:43

Hehe, Eggrules. As 'luck' would have it, one of DD's friends who has been streamed into the Yr2/3 with dd, is a twin. Her twin brother has been kept in the YrR/1 class though. Interestingly, their mum has said she can see the benefits of splitting them, her DD wants to sit and learn whereas her DS takes a bit more 'encouragement'. She said the different pace within both classes is actually helping both kids.

I find, as I'm at college full-time, I am am more aware of how long it takes DD to do her homework - she would gladly sit and write/read/do sums all day strange child

I was very worried when I found DD was being streamed into the Yr2/3 class, but she is there with 2 of her age appropriate peers and, whilst the class is heavily weighted to the Yr3 kids (3 Yr1, 4 Yr2 and 10 Yr3 kids - it is a small village school), her teacher is very adept at teaching mixed age classes and DD is actually thriving. Even if I would prefer to sit down with a cuppa after a full day at college, rather than sit down with DD's homework before embarking on my own, never ending, homework

Bunnyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 21:16:52

and I am am also double typing words. Need some sleep and a homework/housework fairy grin

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