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Bloody homework!

(105 Posts)
IAmLouisWalsh Sun 24-Mar-13 17:57:49

DS1 is in Y1 and I am fed up with the homework battles. 10 spellings, 2 sheets of sums, a Biff and fucking Chip book to read and a sheet of questions to answer, plus draw a plan of the house. All for tomorrow. Bog off.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Apr-13 21:16:24

Ds scores top marks in weekly spelling tests too. It has never translate into competent spelling outside of the spelling test so I think there is no benefit in doing them, not that ds ever actually brings a list home.

I guess it depends on the school but I trust ds's school to give him work of appropriate level. All of his homework subjects have extension options which he does sometimes and sometimes doesn't bother. Thank heavens I only tend to see his homework two nights a week as the other nights he either doesn't have homework or does it at school. I'm not strong enough to deal with it 5 nights a week!

Sparklymommy Mon 01-Apr-13 21:10:17


I accept that not all children are the same, and DD1 does appear (when it's written down like in my previous post) to do an extortionate amount of academic homework. The reality maybe is somewhat different. She rarely spends any time on spellings but appears to breeze through spelling tests. That said I have often felt very frustrated when the same spellings from last weeks test where she achieved 10/10 are nearly all spelt wrong in an essay! Maths she enjoys and appears to find it comes naturally to her. The tutoring is, I feel, important as she has expressed an interest herself in grammar school and wants to do well.

My DS1 has struggled more with his reading and needs encouragement to read at home because his confidence is knocked when his brother (13 months his junior) comes along and guesses (ussually correctly) the words he is struggling with.

I have always felt that whilst school is there to offer a basic education, without input from home and encouragement children can just drift along. I do feel that if I have a problem, or feel that the homework is not of an appropriate level, then I can speak to the teachers and express my concern. I am aware that I am lucky to have children who find they enjoy school and want to do well but I do also have experience of children that don't find school easy and would rather have all their teeth pulled than sit down and do a worksheet on long division! In that case I totally understand that the idea of 'home learning' can be daunting to say the least.

On the question of whether homework at primary level is necessary, no, maybe not. But education is only what you make of it. I do feel it sets a good precedent for the secondary school future and it means I can see a little bit of where the children are at school.

formicaqueen Sun 31-Mar-13 20:06:16

Don't do it! We have opted out mostly with the exception of reading, which we do as routine.

The only important thing is reading at this stage and helping them love learning. If he is unwilling, don't push it.

Elibean Fri 29-Mar-13 11:32:20

bisjo, I think its mainly to keep anxious parents happy.

difficultpickle Fri 29-Mar-13 10:44:53

Startail I'm the same as you (although a couple of years older). We had no hw in primary school and like you I remember reading at school but not taking books to read at home. In fact when I started at grammar school having a prep book and homework was a real novelty. Despite this failing in my childhood I still managed to get O and A levels, a degree and a professional qualification.

I really don't understand why children are expected to do homework starting from the age of 4.

Startail Fri 29-Mar-13 08:54:29

Ok the value of primary HW.
I'm 45 I remembered doing NO primary HW and I mean non, we didn't take even our reading books home. I have no recollection of ever formally reading to my parents.

We were supposed to take spellings home in Y6, I managed to forget every single week. Mum never knew they existed (she Looked after my teacher's DD and he never said anything???)

I don't have disinterested parents, schools and home were just to separate worlds. Parents weren't expected to be involved.

Did this lack of HW matter, of course it didn't, I can read, write and got very good O levels.

In fact, I suspect it was an advantage, I'm dyslexic and unlike DD1 who had a very stressful time with reading and spelling at primary, I learnt to read at my own pace and it was simply accepted I couldn't spell.

MissDuke Fri 29-Mar-13 08:22:27

I def agree that some posters have forgotten that not all children are the same! My 8 year old has mild SEN, and homework is such a struggle. I do of course make her do it, but it is a huge drama everytime, and takes much longer than it should. I strongly resent that we have to have this fight, taking up so much of our precious time together, every blooming day. She adores reading, and we change her books in the library twice weekly - meaning we go to different libraries or she would run out of books to get lol. Why oh why can that not be enough for now :-(

steppemum Wed 27-Mar-13 22:03:34

OK, there really are two completely different issues here .

One is the argument about the practicalities: my ds hates homework v. my dd loves it. We fit it in here v. we struggle to find time. My dcs are so together they can do spellings on the move v. my dc has to be battled with to get any homework at all.

Now I am not criticising. Some families enjoy sitting down with writing tasks and their dcs enjoy doing them. My dd is like this. There is nothing wrong with homework fitting smoothly into your routine if that works for you. Great. For other families, or other children this is not the case, homework is a battle and very stressful, and families would rather not have their time together taken up with the battle over homework tasks, but spend their time together doing other things. My ds is like that.
Neither is right or wrong,


The second argument, which is getting mixed up with the first is whether or not homework is necessary from an educational perspective. For families who fall into the first category above, it doesn't matter, their dcs like doing it, and take pleasure in it and it is a positive thing anyway, regardless of whether it is necessary or not.
But for the families who fall into the second category, this question is essential. if the homework is an important part of their education, then the battle is essential, and it must become part of life. But if homework (again apart from reading) is not essential, then the battle is unnecessary, and could be avoided, to the benefit of all. And again, we are talking about primary homework, especially KS1.

And I say again, you can have both types of children in one family, which really goes to show that all the comments about how organised you are kind of miss the point. All the good organisation in the world doesn't help.

pointythings Wed 27-Mar-13 21:03:46

I also think there is a big difference between a 10yo and a 6yo in terms of doing homework - my DD2 is 10 and does her homework unaided, I'd say that was pretty normal.

We never learnt he spellings though. Getting whatever out of 10 in a spelling test is no indicator of whether the child can actually use the word correctly and spell it correctly in an independent piece of writing, so we don't bother and look at her long writing assignments instead. Bonus - she enjoys doing these.

AryaUnderfoot Wed 27-Mar-13 17:52:26

DS has never had spellings to learn. I am very glad...

seeker Wed 27-Mar-13 17:34:06

And spellings are the most useless of all the useless homeworks too. But some parents love them!!!!!!!

rabbitstew Wed 27-Mar-13 17:01:18

Do spellings in the car?! Clearly a parent who has no experience of extreme resistance.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 27-Mar-13 15:52:59

Break it down into chunks - 10-15 minutes a day. It's not that onerous. Read the book together at bedtime or after tea. Do spellings in the car. It doesn't have to take over and you can develop a familiar little routine. Don't stress if it doesn't all get done though - a little note 'DS was too tired to complete this' will cover it.

I am not a massive fan of homework for Keystage 1 but you can include it in your evenings and weekends without turning it into a Herculean task.

seeker Wed 27-Mar-13 15:40:23

Apart from reading, that is. Reading is vital!

seeker Wed 27-Mar-13 15:39:42

Homework is a complete waste of time in primary school. Schools only do it because parents like it- the teachers know it's a waste of time!

Startail Wed 27-Mar-13 15:30:52

Sparkly you DD is no doubt very bright and like DD2 reads and writes very well on het own and sails through her reading no effort.
ie. she doesn't need to be doing the sodding HW in the first place and probably doesn't need a tutor either.

Meanwhile, my dyslexic DD1 took forever over her HW and needed help, so it was a total pain. School didn't get the dyslexia bit into their thick skull until she was 11 and had taught herself to read.

By the time they get to secondary, most DCs can do theirHW unaided. The age at which primary DCs can read, write and have the confidence to do likewise varies hugely. As does the number of extracurricular things they do. Throw in complex child care and separated parents and it can become an absolute nightmare.

You are very organised, not all parents are, nor as you say are all DCs.

DD1 isn't, but she's 15 and happy to do forgotten HW at 11pm. Also being dyslexic she hates writing, she can summarise anything in half a page and, thus keep out of detention. Most 8y can't.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Mar-13 11:25:51

Hi, Sparklymommy. Do you think your children's homework is actually well tailored to their needs?

Sparklymommy Wed 27-Mar-13 10:09:38

My ten year old daughter has 20 minutes reading five times a week, a times table to work on for a test,spellings, a maths homework, a literacy homework and a topic homework every week from school. This is set usually on a Wednesday for handing in on Monday. She also has 11+ tutoring and her tutor gives her an English piece, maths questions and verbal reasoning homework each work and usually expects her to do a practise test too. On top of this she has dancing every night except Thursday, and all of Saturday. Some rehearsals on Sundays. And a singing lesson on a Thursday. She also performs most wools one night in a local variety show.

I have never thought she is bring expected to do anything she cannot easily fit into her free time. She is usually in bed by 8pm, (unless a performance night or weekend) and still has time to play with her friends and chill in front of the telly. Her biggest problem is that she is not very organised and after completing her homework usually loses it! Cue lots of shouting, years and nonsense til it's found!

Ds1 is in y1. He gets reading (two books a week usually set biff and chip ones) and one piece of either literacy or numeracy. Occasional topic work. His homework is set on a Friday for handing in by Wednesday. He comes home from school on Friday and usually does his homework straight away. It usually takes him five minutes! He also dances, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Ds2 is in Yr. he gets the biff and chip reading books and that's about it. He also has speech therapy and his Salt gives him sounds work to do at home which he refers to as homework. Again has dance classes on a Wednesday.

Dd2 I'd in pre-school and has the occasional request for us to do something with her at home for her to talk about in class. She also dances Wednesday and Saturdays.

All my children also look at books daily, play board games, card games, enjoy colouring books and activity books and ask for them rather than sweets as treats. Homework is not ruining their lives and they are happy and healthy. Would suggest parents of children who get so much homework it ruins the weekend need to discuss this with their child's teacher.

Startail Tue 26-Mar-13 22:32:09

You are perfectly allowed to be a secondary school teacher. By secondary age even my dyslexic DD1 could do her HW without involving an adult.

Also at least some secondary HW has a point. (Some is still set because people think it ought to be).

My two saw through reading and spelling very quickly, DD1 could neither read or spell and no amount of B&Chip and being scowled at by the TA for not learning her words would change that.

DD2 learnt to read without trying and was born able to spell.

You run out of ways of writing awful and brilliant in a reading record very quickly.

bubblesinthebath Tue 26-Mar-13 22:28:48

Sadly no pointythings its a mainstream school trying their best to make a mother do their work. The 3 hours do not include the multiplication list I was given to work on with my Ds too. In all honesty it wasn't until I saw an article about government guidelines regarding homework that I sat down and worked it out, was actually quite taken back, so since then my Ds has been doing his bits from the Monday and when he hits 1 1/2 hours I tell him to leave the rest. Just waiting for the headteacher to start quoting the school homework policy to me. Hopefully it will be nowhere near 3 hours.

vertex Tue 26-Mar-13 22:18:50

okay, well I will let you get one by not replying to whatever you reply to this - that is really tempting the fates and yourself.

Good Luck Threadkiller

pointythings Tue 26-Mar-13 21:55:38

You're welcome! grin

I just want a 'threadkiller' badge.

vertex Tue 26-Mar-13 21:31:02

Yes, pointythings breathes life back into the thread and removes my feelings of guilt all in one swoop of her keyboard.

pointythings Tue 26-Mar-13 20:14:27

3 hours a week is far too much for Yr3. Is this a high-flying academic private school?

vertex Tue 26-Mar-13 19:47:37

Oooops, think I have killed this thread.

Will tiptoe backwards quietly in the hope no one has noticed.

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