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are you hacked off with "weekend" creative homework

(56 Posts)
instantcuppa Sun 25-Jan-15 11:15:34

Year 1 DS gets complicated creative homework every weekend eg create an A2 colour poster using different media, fonts, pictures superimposed from different media, about the Dickensian era that requires enormous amounts of parental input. I'm fecked off the school sets homework that a child can't complete by themselves but requires parents to do it for them unless your DC can be trusted with a Stanley knife and computer and printer which ruins our entire weekend. What do you do with these projects? Leave your DC to do it and suffer the consequences of getting laughed at for having the messiest poster?

carmen66 Sun 25-Jan-15 13:35:51

You have my sympathy my dd is in an independant school & has prep every single day we have spent this weekend at home doing it... I too resent the fact that we can't plan a weekend & if we do have to ensure that its all done for Monday sad

catkind Sun 25-Jan-15 13:49:33

Yes yes yes. Also year 1. And "research" such and such a topic. It's pure homework-for-parents.

Particularly galling when it comes with a note from the teacher saying they're trying to make a gentle introduction to homework, worksheets would be too onerous when they're 5 (!! whereas producing a leaflet from scratch is not onerous at all for a 5 yr old. A structured piece of work would be far easier), it shouldn't take long (researching and writing? that's an hour minimum! oh no it isn't because DS can't do it) they should only spend as long on it as they naturally concentrate (30 seconds then, unless it happens to be one of his topics of interest), and it should reinforce school learning (if you've taught him research skills at school he's shown no sign of it).

You probably gathered this is a bit of a pet rant.

I get the impression it's very easy for the teachers though. No need to differentiate or provide an ability-appropriate amount of structure. Automatic displays for the classroom walls. No need for it to relate to anything done in school, just pick something loosely related to the termly topic. Don't even need to mark the stuff. And perhaps that's the point - they're probably only setting homework at this age because parents want them to?

We've so far mostly done something cursory, and at least tangentially related to the task set. I won't actually put pencil to paper for him, but will help set some structure as DS can't cope without. I'm sure no-one will laugh - will they?? Have opted out of one this term so far as I couldn't think of any way to make it interesting or approachable. We did some maths instead, they never send any maths home.

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 25-Jan-15 13:56:09

I think you must be misinterpreting the homework. DD is in year one and their homework is 'open ended'. Eg 'make a puppet for a fairy tale'. You don't have to do the elaborate thing, unless you enjoy it too. You just give your child a bit of card and some glue and see what happens. 'Research' can mean 'ask someone what they know about Penguins' or whatever. Don't make a big deal of it and 'ruin' your weekend!

SoupDragon Sun 25-Jan-15 14:03:30

Why wod a Stanley knife be needed for a poster? Mine have always found scissors sufficient.

You need to lower your standards - they don't expect vast amounts of parental input, it's the parents who are too competitive.

SirChenjin Sun 25-Jan-15 14:04:24

You have my sympathy OP - this drives me mad too.

It's not a misinterpretation of the homework. When the 'make a Roman villa' weekend homework task comes home family plans are required to change, a trip to the shops has to be fitted in, and supervision to some level is required. Research often involves answering specific questions, so unless there is someone in the immediate vicinity who has a detailed knowledge of how the Romans heated their homes research involves time online or at the library, which again involves changes to family plans.

I agree it doesn't need to ruin a weekend, but it certainly impacts on those very valuable 48 hours that working parents have already usually allocated to the 1001 other things that usually take place during that time.

Quangle Sun 25-Jan-15 14:04:48

I hear ya. We are constantly researching nonsense and writing it up creatively. He's five. He doesn't know how to produce a project on the fire of London without me so there goes my Sunday morning. Absolutely hate and resent it. And agree that a maths fact sheet he could do without me but these endless creative projects are a total balls ache.

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 25-Jan-15 14:06:48

Just don't do it then!

AuntieUrsula Sun 25-Jan-15 14:08:27

Oh God yes, I remember DD2's teacher telling us in year 3 how nice she thought it for parents and children to have a joint project to do at the weekend! And because I have twins we usually have to do everything in duplicate too. They're year 6 now and still get this kind of project sometimes, but at least now they can mostly do it themselves. It is tempting just to let the kids do it completely themselves and then take it whatever state it's in, but that's hard when you know everyone else's will be more polished! (And there will always be the parents at the school gate going ' oh we didn't have to do a thing - little Petunia just sat down and knocked up
perfect model of the solar system/medieval castle/jungle diorama etc all by herself'!)

SirChenjin Sun 25-Jan-15 14:16:33

DS2 had to research WW1 recently and dress up as a child from that era for a school photograph. We did the usual cursory online research, and I spent a morning (on my day off) looking for something he could wear.

One child arrived wearing something like this - some parents have way too much time on their hands

peppajay Sun 25-Jan-15 14:17:27

So so feel your pain current trying to f do year 4 and year 2 projects both kids and me losing the will to live. A feelings story board and a fairy tale story board!! My dd wants it be perfect but can't be bothered to do any writing so has asked me to do it for her she is currently sat on the stairs screaming that she can't so it and I need to do it for her!!!!

Deux Sun 25-Jan-15 14:26:42

On a couple of occasions I have sent notes back to the teacher along the lines of how my DC was unable to do the homework without significant parental input, thus defeating then object of the homework.

The sky didn't fall in or anything.

Equally if we are told that the DC should be spending X amount of time on homework, I stop them after this time. It's much better for everyone that way I think.

Indantherene Sun 25-Jan-15 14:34:27

I don't do it. Nothing has ever been said, either to DD (Y3) or to me.

She has a class Saturday morning and Sunday morning (different things) that she really enjoys doing and I have to take her to. I also do the washing/ grocery shopping etc etc at the weekend, and if it doesn't rain I generally take her out somewhere in the afternoon.

Today we've spent an hour doing the RSPB Big Garden Bird watch together and before that we were reading a book on Ancient Egypt together because she wanted to know if Stone Age people had pets and it digressed into a discussion about Egyptians. Much more interesting than any set homework.

Plus I don't have a creative bone in my body grin

screamingeels Sun 25-Jan-15 16:56:12

Yeah - we went with the not doing it in Y1. Unfortunately I really like DD's Y2 teacher, so I feel like if she's set it, we ought to make an effort. The big creative stuff is only every term - so only ruins half term (it oppresses us all week and we do it on the last day).

catkind Sun 25-Jan-15 17:01:18

I think you must be misinterpreting the homework. DD is in year one and their homework is 'open ended'. Eg 'make a puppet for a fairy tale'. You don't have to do the elaborate thing, unless you enjoy it too. You just give your child a bit of card and some glue and see what happens.
That's okay if you have a child who's interested in doing the homework and any good at craft. I can tell you what would happen if I gave DS a bit of card and some glue, he'd chop the card up into minuscule triangles and sprinkle them all over the floor. If I'm lucky he wouldn't add the glue. I'm tempted to take this sort of approach anyway, but not sure about establishing a precedent that homework is optional.

'Research' can mean 'ask someone what they know about Penguins' or whatever. Don't make a big deal of it and 'ruin' your weekend!
Topics at our school are quite specialised and obscure. I didn't even recognise the name of the last person we were asked to research. Guess it would make for a short write up. "Mummy doesn't know."

TheWildRumpyPumpus Sun 25-Jan-15 17:08:32

This weekend DS has to make a model depicting the Great Fire of London from cardboard boxes.

Oh joy...

Galena Sun 25-Jan-15 17:16:46

We are given the half-term's homework activities at the start of the half term, and can complete them in any order so we can choose to do the more creative ones (make a country cottage or town house from a small cardboard box) when we have more time.

Less creative ones this term? Draw your house and write your address, find words to rhyme with these animals..., draw some local places you like to go to. They should be able to do something pretty much unaided.

Madcats Sun 25-Jan-15 19:15:32

DD is in year 3 (selective indie). Admittedly she finds lessons fairly straight-forward, but it is a rare night when homework takes more than 10-15 minutes. Homework often involves completing classwork (so if she stays focussed, there's no homework) or watching the news or something plus a bit of maths/reading/spellings.

Trickiest homework of the year was covering an exercise book in sticky-backed plastic (maybe it was our pathetic efforts that made the teacher(s) realise craft wasn't "our thing")!

GoogleyEyes Sun 25-Jan-15 19:27:03

I have recently discovered the Junior Encyclopaedia Brtiannica, which is free online. It has revolutionised my approach to homework. No more trying desperately to get to the library before it shuts on Saturday, just fire up the iPad and log in for facts on whichever obscure topic is needed this week.

lotsofcheese Sun 25-Jan-15 19:34:36

Homework: my bugbear! DS is in P1 (1st year in Scotland) and we have homework both Mon-Fri & at weekends.

My DP works away/long hours during the week, so I'm often doing DS's homework at 6.30pm when I get in from work, while DD 21m plays up for attention. DS is knackered after being out the house since before 8 & can never concentrate properly.

WTF is the point? If it's that sodding important, do it within school hours. If it's not, extend the school day & save parents a fortune in childcare.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox!

Patilla Sun 25-Jan-15 19:35:50

Oh my goodness I'm going to stop complaining about DS' homework. He's in Y1.

Tbh it's improved recently do it's usually a maths worksheet based on what they've been doing and some spelling practice.

I hate the weeks that involve writing something about each day. You never escape the homework in those situations - it keeps coming back!

ChristmasEva50 Sun 25-Jan-15 19:40:01

Ds3 had to "make a lighthouse". Well that pretty easy. A big takeaway coffee cup painted with stripes some yellow tissue paper for a light. It looked great ...... and then I saw the others. There was one with a working, rotating light mounted on real rocks aaaarrrrhhh. It made ours look like something a seven year old had done.

Mmmmmm, wait a minute....

3littlebadgers Sun 25-Jan-15 19:42:16

TheWild stick some ash to a bit of card grin

Artandco Sun 25-Jan-15 19:54:00

I just go with the ' let them hand in what they produce'
Ds1 is in reception. So far he's had:

Remembrance poster - he just draw poppies all over a piece of plain card. Cut a few out of red paper ( ie red blobs) and stuck on.

Famous artists (half term) - took him to art gallery, he draw 3 pictures of ones he liked ( ie 4 year old scribbles), and I helped him spell artist name next to them

What I did at Xmas - I helped him write Christmas, then he drew an aeroplane, family, and an Xmas tree I think.

All apparently were good and he got ' well done stickers'. He can't even spell properly yet so can hardly research online. I have bought several national geographic/ history type children's books to help when needed

manchestermummy Mon 26-Jan-15 08:34:45

Yes, last year was all about the homework for parents - it really, really annoyed me. I couldn't see the merit in it. I have GCSEs, A-Levels, two degrees and a postgrad qualification: I have done all my homework!!

She's in Y2 now and she does it herself. Partly because she can as she's that bit older, but also because I expect her to do it herself.

Fwiw I mentioned to her teacher last year how much we were struggling with the homework. I pointed out (very, very nicely!) that especially with homework during the week we were having a nightmare: we both work and it's usually after 5 when we get in. She admitted she hadn't quite appreciated that, and said that if dd had finished, say, some literacy work, then she could get on with reading on Bug Club, which was being set in addition to everything else. This really helped.

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