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I can't stand homework - do you think it's a good thing?

(188 Posts)
mydoorisalwaysopen Mon 16-Dec-13 09:34:39

DS1 (year 5) gets the same homework every week.... "This week we have been learning about X. Tell me what you know." Every week I have a battle to get him to do it and it just doesn't seem worth the effort. Marking is usually a tick and a smiley face. DS2 (year 2) gets a more detailed description of a task but very often it's a poster for this, that or the other. Marking is perfunctory but does occasionally contain a comment.

What are your thoughts on homework? I wish they didn't have any at primary school mainly as I think what they are set is of limited value and the main lesson being learnt is that mum will sit you down and drag it out of you. I won't be doing that every night for a couple of hours when they go to secondary school.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 20-Dec-13 19:37:42

D'oh! He's not, he is actually in P2 blush

Feebeela Fri 20-Dec-13 23:49:14

Teachers are busy! Homework work for work's sake. It is not a great assessment tool as we have no idea when it is completed beautifully how long it took and how independently so hard to see so can't take any kind of assessment info from it. Maths homework is a particular minefield as often parents do not use/understand the written methods that we teach in school these days and can confuse children.

Homework is done by children who have space, support and peace to do it but many children do not have these luxuries and I don't believe that it's fair to penalise children younger than Y5 who have not completed the homework; you may be penalising them because they live in an overcrowded home or Mum and Dad don't speak English. Is this fair?

If you are concerned about your child's progress, speak to their teacher and ask if extra work is suitable. Teachers are accountable for your child's progress, so if your child can't add or their handwriting is awful then there will be questions from the Senior Leadership team about what is being done about it in class. Homework won't fix this, work in school will. Homework is given to appease parents, not for any educational reason. Trust us, we are professionals!

Reading every night for 10 -30 mins depending on age is non-negotiable however.

Feebeela Fri 20-Dec-13 23:50:26

Forgive crap editing in post above. It's late.....

GoodnessKnows Sat 21-Dec-13 06:08:21

LAxy teacher who doesn't have sons - or daughters who struggle to retain stuff. That's my gut feeling.
I'm a teacher. In terms of brilliance (no thought of preparation, negligible need for marking, the semblance of weekly revision / consolidation), this teacher must've thought they'd struck bloody gold when she came up with this nugget. She's a nugget. Lol

GoodnessKnows Sat 21-Dec-13 06:08:33


ThreeTomatoes Sun 22-Dec-13 11:31:09

There is a ton of other stuff the kids do outside school.
If you don't work, assuming home by 4pm, that's what? 4 hours left before bed? Take off an hour and possibly another half an hour for dinner, bath - leaving them 2.5 hours 'free' time. Take off another 20 mins if they learn an instrument, and another hour if they go to a school club after school...
Of course, if you work and you're not home till 6pm or later there is no time at all left other than while dinner is being cooked (assuming they don't help with cooking). (I guess H/W can be done wherever they spend their after school time, but parents can't then be involved the way schools would like them to be).

Then of course there's weekends BUT....

Here's everything i can think of just off the top of my head that dd/we do out of school hours:

Piano practice (daily, at least 3 days a week) / evening concert once a term.
Woodcraft Folk weekly (Brownies equivalent for those who haven't heard of it)
Swimming twice a week - one is her lesson, the other together for fun
After School Club once a week (as in child care - the day I'm in the office)
After school club(s) (as in, the fun ones, not child care like above) - this term just one a week
School stuff like the termly school shows etc / choir / events

Then the random fun stuff...
Visit or go out with friends/family
Trips out - museums, parks, theatre etc
Play games
Watch tv/films
Writing stories/artsy crafty stuff
Reading (she's a big reader)
Houseworky stuff - tidying up, laundry, cooking/baking
And simply relaxing FFS!!

How on earth we would fit in regular big chunks of H/W I have no clue, esp if they were set during the week to be handed in 2 days later. Thankfully dd's H/W (in spite of being in yr6) has been minimal, a project and perhaps 1 or 2 other small pieces & that's it. Project she managed to do at the weekends. I have no clue how it'll be done at secondary when it'll be much more intense with shorter deadlines - Woodcraft & swimming lessons for a start are likely to continue...

Just to add, before anyone comments that we're too busy, it's only since Sept she's been able to do the extra-curricular stuff, since i started working mainly from home, & it's been great as she never had the opportunity to have swimming lessons (which she LOVES) or Woodcraft Folk before. IMO those are far more important than more H/W. All she used to do before was stay at after school club 4 days a week.

msmiggins Sun 22-Dec-13 11:38:02

I agree threetomatoes- My dd does 10 hours of dance a week- I particularly objected to large pieces of homework that were given out one day and due in the next.
Kids do have a life outside school.

Tea1Sugar Sun 22-Dec-13 12:15:46

I'm a year 5 teacher. I hate setting it. But who complains more than anyone if you don't set it? PARENTS! My class get 20min Maths homework on a Tuesday, due in on Friday and 20min Literacy homework on a Friday due for Monday along with 45minutes of reading each week. Once a term they get a research project. Seriously though, if ever one piece slips through the net, I get several parents at my door asking where their homework is.

ThreeTomatoes Sun 22-Dec-13 12:36:45

Tea1Sugar flipping heck dd never ever got that much H/W! Before the projects started, they got a piece of literacy (spellings plus write sentences for each word) and a sheet of maths to do (plus perhaps timestables to learn), given on Friday, due in the following Weds iirc. I think they were tested on them the following week. Plus reading. That was do-able, though still had to fight to get her to do it, esp maths (not her most confident subject). Often she'd be scribbling away the morning it was due while she ate breakfast. So pointless grin! In a way it was preferable to the projects, but at least dd enjoys the projects...

BTW, are you sure they're 'complaining' rather than just wondering where it is, checking they haven't missed it?? I've asked dd a few times this term if she has been given any H/W, apparently not - it doesn't mean I want her to have any!

I think this Xmas is the first time they've not brought back h/w. (not that i've ever let her do any over xmas). Thank god. Maybe it's because she's in yr6 and it's all gonna hot up in the new year for SATs so they've gone easy on them this term.

ThreeTomatoes Sun 22-Dec-13 12:47:08

No h/w this term other than the project before half term, i mean, and one other piece of writing.

Earlspearl Sun 22-Dec-13 18:54:02

Apart from regularly listening to reading and a small spate of completing homework in year 3, DS has done none at all. I don't believe his education has suffered at all. He's due to get 5a's at the end of primary school but has still managed to have a good degree of balance in his life. Looking back at the homework that's been set over the years, only a minimal amount seems to have been really useful anyway.

ohdofeckorf Sat 28-Dec-13 22:46:15

Tea1sugar who is the teacher?? CT's are quick enough to tell me who is in charge when asked to provide additional support to my Ds aka fook you I do what suits me...if you don't agree then tell them why.

wordfactory numeracy is pretty poor in the UK because some schools push literacy.

vkyyu Tue 31-Dec-13 19:44:38

I agree with postsellbydate. I am not a fan of unnecessary homework. However when knowing a child is behind or not quite secured in some area/s of a subject then I believe a little extra homework to help his/her parent to help that child will be a good thing unless the parent feels unable to. Otherwise how will the child ever close the ability gap or keep up with their learning to meet targets. If one is not keeping up with the rest of the class then one has to accept to put extra time into the subject. I have two summer children so I feel setting a little additional homework for them is way to help them close the ability gaps. Hopefully their lives will get easier as they get older.

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