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How much 'help' to give with homework

(10 Posts)
LtEveDallas Mon 24-Sep-12 12:31:36

After yet another miserable couple of hours at the weekend completing homework with DD, I'm wondering if I should be helping as much as I do.

DD is 7, Year 3. Apart from the usual reading books, this year is the first year of formal homework. On Friday she came home with:

1. Learn to spell these 'Dis' words (6 of them) and use them in a conversation.

2. Fill in weather describing words (16 of them)

3. Write a paragraph about the following weather conditions (4 paragraphs, ie 'A rainy day', 'A stormy sea')

4. Complete the following division exercises (21 of them)

The English tasks took her about an hour, she found them pretty easy, but her handwriting is terrible (she is a lefty) and she wanted to write too much. I persuaded her to cut them down a bit, but lots of gnashing of teeth and howling about how 'scruffy' it all was, lots of rubbing out, and sulking when I pointed out spelling mistakes. Was this a mistake, should I leave spelling mistakes in?

The maths was horrible, she couldn't 'get it', it took ages for me to explain - and I'm not a teacher so now I'm worried I've explained them wrong (although we got the right answers). I ended up writing pages with times tables on, so she could quickly look to see what number she needed. I had given her a small pocket times tables book to keep in her pencilcase, but she told me she wasn't allowed to have it would that be true, or just a DDism

She's taken the homwork in today, and of course it will all be 'right' but I'm now wondering if I should have let her get them wrong,or not complete them, so the teacher sees the problem.


LtEveDallas Mon 24-Sep-12 13:11:40

Needy bump!

Machadaynu Mon 24-Sep-12 13:18:27

That sounds like a lot of homework! Did kids always get homework at this age, or was it just my school that didn't bother?

I don't know the answer re: should you help so much - I can see a case for both ways. Have you asked the teacher?

Elibean Mon 24-Sep-12 13:19:45

grin you sound like me last year, when dd1 was in Y3. I used to wonder whose homework it was.

Talk to the teacher - she or he should give you an idea of how long your dd should be spending on each task. Ours was supposed to take 45 mins to an hour, anymore and it was too much.

I learned to leave spelling mistakes in, and just sit and support with the maths - also help print out research stuff from the internet, things like that. I helped a lot more at the beginning of Y3 than I did after Christmas.

The teacher will need to know if she doesn't 'get' something, so no, I wouldn't put the times tables in her bag (no idea if she's allowed though). I would just reassure her that it will all make more sense soon, and not to panic.

HTH a bit smile

trifling Mon 24-Sep-12 13:21:56

Definitely speak to the teacher. There should be guidelines on how long it's meant to take. Mine's doing half an hour once a week and is only a year behind yours; that sounds like a huge amount. And definitely if she doesn't understand how to do the maths the teacher, not you, should be explaining it ! Possibly right about the times tables though, they are meant to be learning them. Is this an ordinary state school? It sounds a bit extreme.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Sep-12 13:47:54

Thank you so much for replying.

I suppose for the sake of openness I should said that I am really against homework at this age. I'll support the school, and get DD to do it, but behind her back I'm moaning to DH that I don't agree with it, so my views may be coloured. Part of me wants to refuse to make her do it at all.

I don't do drop-offs and pick-ups, DH is a SAHD, so I would have to make a special effort to see the teacher. But it sounds like I need to. DH is very impressed with him, says he seems very strict but fair. I haven't really met him yet. DD likes him but says he is a bit scary! It's a normal state school - church school if that makes any difference.

The homework took probably 2 hours, one on the English then one on the maths - if she had understood the maths I reckon it would have been about 30 mins. The hour on the English was more that she writes extremely slowly after being pulled up for her handwriting in Yr2, so now she is scared to make mistakes.

She didn't get the maths at all. Says that the teacher explained the first one, but that was it (I don't know how true this is). It took easily an hour for me to explain division, using bloody hama beads until she got it!

She's quite 'bright' where English / reading etc is concerned but does struggle a little with Maths. It takes longer to 'click'

DamnDeDoubtance Mon 24-Sep-12 17:42:21

DD is 7 and also in year 3. She gets two lots of homework each week which has to be handed in the next day. She also gets spelling, tables and reading.

We have been told that the homework is something they will understand and should not take more than 20 minutes.

I do not correct DD as I know she will learn more if mistakes are picked up by her teacher than by me.

I also HATE homework and do not think it has any impact on learning.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Sep-12 18:11:07

Thanks for the reply smile

DD came out of school today quite happy and said that they had done more division in class and that she had been able to help one of the boys sat next to her.

I'm glad I was able to help, but now thinking I really should have left it to the teacher - esp if DD wasn't the only one that didn't understand.

I hope it's not going to be like this every week - Its so bloody stressy (for me and her)

SunflowersSmile Mon 24-Sep-12 18:42:41

Year 3 and minimal homework here. A termly project [fun thing] and if anything else 10-15 minutes a week max. Encouraged to read nightly.
Sounds far too much homework to me op.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Sep-12 19:24:12

See that's how I feel - it seems so much. OK she has 2 days to do it (given on Fri to hand in on Mon) but 2 hours? Without my help either it wouldn't have been done, or it would have taken her even longer - because there is no way she would have given up.

I wonder if it's just because of the 'type' of kid DD is? Maybe I should make the effort to go to school and chat to some of the other mums (no way DH will do it!)

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