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If you do your DCs homework (esp. art), why do you do it?

(147 Posts)
WalkingThePlank Sun 16-Mar-14 08:41:11

We expect our children (age 7 and 5) to do their own homework. We facilitate by helping them with materials and might ask them open questions for them to consider if they want to make changes to written work but I'd say at least 95% of the work submitted is theirs.

The 5 year old has recently had a 3 week art project. He's really enjoyed doing it but as he is 5 it does look like a dogs dinner. Other mums (never the children) have been proudly bringing in their uncovered projects into school. Some have been truly amazing (jealous, moi?) and when I've asked which bit their child has done they've said things like, 'You don't think I've let her near it do you?'

So if you do their work, what do you think your child gets out of the process? What do you think the point of the homework is? Also, what do teachers think or expect from the homework?

As an aside, my mum did all of my art stuff and I won lots of competitions at primary school but I am truly hopeless at art. I don't think it taught me anything having my mum do it for me.

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Sun 16-Mar-14 08:48:48

As much as it pains me, I do let dd do her own art homework. The most I will do is help if she tells me she wants to do something or show her how something should be drawn/painted if she wants to do something specific. I have to sit on my hands otherwise!

For example, dd had to paint an egg for last week. She wanted to put daffodils on but didn't know how to paint them. So I showed her an easy way as she did the rest. Then she wanted to dip the bottom in glitter and sprinkle some over. I did the dipping as I thought she might break the egg and we'd have to start over.

Our school are really good though and when it comes to competitions, they really do make sure they pick one which has been obviously done by the child.

mrz Sun 16-Mar-14 08:49:10

It's usually pretty obvious which aren't the child's own work and I would never include these in a competition if I gave out this type of homework (which personally I wouldn't)

plumnc Sun 16-Mar-14 09:11:28

Wouldn't really do art homework, but have occasionally had teachers giving ''colouring" which sometimes turn into a several hour project ( homework is supposed to take 20 mins)I then happily get colouring while I watch telly. Whereas I think a bit of colouring probably helps dexterity. Complicated 3 hour colouring home works du in for next day on top of english and maths are completely pointless IMHO and I don't want my dcs to waste their time doing all of it when they should be going to bed. My dcs have had 2 teachers prone to this kind of homework

columngollum Sun 16-Mar-14 09:13:52

Parent work is better than constantly moaning that the child never gets anything interesting to do.

Bonsoir Sun 16-Mar-14 09:14:32

No art homework at DD's school. I do sometimes do her English homework for her - that's because the explanations the teacher gives are mostly awful or non-existent and she is justifiably mystified by the requests.

superbagpuss Sun 16-Mar-14 09:18:53

I helped my Dt (4) do their world book day work sheets because they were generic for the whole school and they don't write or draw particularly well yet

I just saw it as a process we had to go through to get something done and we used it as a excuse to talk about books we enjoyed

mrz Sun 16-Mar-14 09:26:23

Do you do the homework for her Bonsoir or do you explain what to do so she can do it herself?

SapphireMoon Sun 16-Mar-14 09:30:48

It is homework projects that have huge artistic input from parents here.

IorekByrnisonsArmour Sun 16-Mar-14 09:40:41

I have never done their HMK

I make sure they have the equipment they need and sit with them, so I can answer questions.

Like bonsoir we find the requests worded badly so I will explain what they mean. (What's with that? It's KS1&2 it should be easy)

DS2 had "make an easter bonnet" for HMK, he did it all himself. Went to school, lots of lovely obv made by kids. But the child who won the comp had no way made the bonnet, it was some giant painted cows head! (Yr)

I wondered what my DS and his classmates who had sat for ages painting and sticking had learnt from this HMK? (I'm still annoyed about it blush)

mrz Sun 16-Mar-14 09:53:46

We used to have a decorated Easter egg competition which the children made at home - it was so obvious that most children had not decorated their own eggs so we decided it would be fairer if the eggs were decorated in school by the children !

Homework done by parents with no input from the child is completely pointless! Homework supported by parents can be useful if it encourages the child and parents to chat about things as superbagpuss says.

noramum Sun 16-Mar-14 09:56:58

We had lots of half-term holiday art projects and this is normally supposed to be done together. So we help with the tricky bits like using a glue-gun when normal glue doesn't work as it is far too dangerous.

DD has a friend at another primary and the parents commented during an open evening how good the art displayed looked for the Reception children. The teacher just chuckled and said she can always spot the ones where the parents didn't help but did it.

I think children do it as much alone as possible but DD's school makes most arty stuff at school anyway and then you can see what the child is actually capable off.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sun 16-Mar-14 09:59:12

It is truly ridiculous to do your childrens hw for them. Is the parent going to dress up as them and go take their exams for them too?

No teacher in the history of teaching has ever been baffled by little jonny's AMAZING hw skills and apparent classroom specific illiteracy.

If i want a teacher to mark MY work, i'll sign up for night school.

(i am talking about parents DOING the hw, not those helping or supporting the child to learn and to understand and to produce the childs own best woek)

Bonsoir Sun 16-Mar-14 10:00:16

mrz - it depends whether or not it is "doable"! Sometimes it is so obscure that it is better to do something for her so that she can do the follow-on work on her own. Recently she had a spidogram to prepare as the basis for writing a biography - I did the internet search for her because at 9 she is too young to choose the best sources from 1000s.

indecisivedaisy Sun 16-Mar-14 10:01:46

We've been in the same position as Iorek. DS's last school was dreadful for this. They had lots of competitions involving making / decorating something. DS (5) is actually quite a good (certainly enthusiastic) little artist, and would put hours and hours of effort into his creations, but never won a thing (or even had his entry acknowledged as good). I didn't help him, beyond getting materials out and talking things through with him - where would the satisfaction be for him if I just made his project? But it was really irritating to see the same children winning every time when they had clearly had minimal, if any, input into "their" creations I used to help out with art in the classroom, so knew these children were no child prodigies.

I have no idea why teachers collude in this.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sun 16-Mar-14 10:05:12

My kids often have work that they dont understand (normally a failure by the school to appropriately differentiate) . I send it back undone with a note saying X was unable to do this as they did not understand 1, 2, 3

The teacher then knows there is a knowledge/understanding gap and they can ensure they teach what the child needs to know.
If i do anything to mask that gap, i risk being a barrier to my childs learning.

alwaysneedaholiday Sun 16-Mar-14 10:09:45

indecisive My DC's school is like this - the winning entries are obviously done by the parents alone. The same with homework read out in assembly - it's always beautifully researched, decorated and strangely enough typed projects that get paraded in front of the other children.

I think the teachers should be ashamed of themselves. I could just be bitter, as when I have attempted to 'compete', my efforts still look childlike compared to the others.

maillotjaune Sun 16-Mar-14 10:20:36

I have helped a bit with project stuff (well, mainly DH has as I am crap at all things arty) but we're talking about things like build an Anderson shelter, or Roman baths.

DS1 is reasonably confident and only need eds a little bit of help getting materials / suggestions / holding stuff while he glues or tapes.

DS2 has dyspraxia and really hates this kind if thing. He is worried his efforts will look rubbish, so asks for a bit if extra help. Still wouldn't do it all for him, and there's no way anything leaving our house will look like the child hasn't touched it.

I am with those who tell the teacher if their child can't do homework ( or just hates colouring in style homework because it's boring) rather than do it for them.

My one exception is word searches - given to 'help' DS1 learn to spell words that he can already spell, but he could look at those 20x20 grids for an hour whereas I can find them in 5 minutes!

columngollum Sun 16-Mar-14 10:22:01

Life involves a bit of gamesmanship, though. If you know the teachers are praising the parent work and not the child's work then you simply go to the model shop, buy the components for a miniature ocean-going yacht and make one on the kitchen floor. The advantage is that after you've won the school prize your family can then sail it at the park. It's better than feeling bitter about losing time after time for years later.

Essiebee Sun 16-Mar-14 10:28:11

Do you think the teachers don't know? Of course they can tell when it is done by an adult, and it is very distressing for the child when questioned about which part they actually did. There is no point at all in parents doing their children's work for them; the best parents are those who encourage, support, facilitate, coerce and unfailingly admire their child's efforts.

WalkingThePlank Sun 16-Mar-14 10:35:22

I am sure teachers do know but that begs the question why that type of homework/competition is given, especially when top marks, certificates, prizes are given to parent's work. I don't think for a moment that my 5 year old's project is going to receive a woop as he walks in this week - unlike the parent's projects.

My 7 year old won't even enter the art competitions now because 'I can't do better than X's mum'.

mrz Sun 16-Mar-14 10:36:14

The thing is Bonsoir, if you do your child's homework how will the teacher know that it isn't "doable"? and frankly colouring homework that takes more than 5 minutes is lazy homework utterly worthless!

Fairenuff Sun 16-Mar-14 10:41:53

I did the internet search for her because at 9 she is too young to choose the best sources from 1000s

I don't think 9 is too young, provided you have the appropriate blockers on your home pc. If she doesn't have a go, how will she ever improve this skill?

Bonsoir Sun 16-Mar-14 10:48:38

mrz - the teacher doesn't care a jot! I'm just making sure my child learns as much as possible with the ill planned homework she is doled out. She wrote a two-page essay on the basis of the spidogram I gave her significant help preparing and I didn't intervene at all with that, because it was properly planned.

Marne Sun 16-Mar-14 10:49:13

I once helped dd with something for a Easter competition ,I wouldn't usually but I was getting fed up with the same child winning every year when it was obvious her mother had done all the work, every competition this child would come first or second. So I helped dd and she won, I did feel a little bit guilty (the other child still came second) but dd1 was very happy that this child did not win. I did explain to dd1 that it was wrong for parents to help and I wouldn't be doing it again wink.

It annoys me that often the school get someone (such as the local vicar or doctor) to judge these competitions, if it was a teacher judging surely they would be able to tell if the child had done the work?

Both my dd's do their own homework, from time to time I have to write a few bits down for dd2 as she has Autism and sometimes needs me to write things down so she can understand what she has to do for the next question, I always write a small note to the teacher to explain why I have done it.

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