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can any primary teachers explain why parents are not supposed to help with homework?

(38 Posts)
UnDeuxTroisCatsSank Wed 18-Nov-15 21:45:03

I get that it is supposed to be the child's work. I get it, really. But I don't get why parents can't gently help without taking over and doing the homework.

I'll give an example. DD is 6 and in Y2. Homework over half term was to write a diary using her own words. DD was highly motivated and everyday wanted to write a few lines although her spelling is still emerging. So, every day, she titled her work: My Holadai Diree (I.e. my Holiday Diary). The first day, I did not correct her, as the teacher's words about letting the child express themselves and the need for the teacher to see what level they were at was ringing in my ears. But by day 3 of My Holadai Diree (or similar) I was regretting not having explained the correct spelling.

I feel I could have shown her the correct spelling and she could have copied it correct and by the end of the holiday, in all likelihood she would be confidently spelling both words. Instead, she learnt nothing over the holidays and reinforced the mistake day after day.

Any teachers around who could explain if this approach is right or if I should have explained?

Notcontent Wed 18-Nov-15 21:55:44

I think that's just silly. I would just ignore the teacher and help your dd - that's what I have always done, and it has aided her learning immensely. By help I don't mean do it for her - but sit down with her and guide her as necessary.

dementedpixie Wed 18-Nov-15 21:58:39

I would have told them the correct spelling so that the correct spelling got reinforced each day rather than the wrong one

dementedpixie Wed 18-Nov-15 21:59:31

I am not a teacher though but a parent to 2 children age 9 and 12

irvine101 Wed 18-Nov-15 22:03:08

I bought my ds an electronic dictionary with spell check, so when he is writing something, and not sure about spelling, he can look it up himself.
So if he typed in "holadai", "holiday" comes up as a correction list.

It is very handy. It's a lot easier for younger children to use, and dictionary and thesaurus function is very handy when writing and reading.

G1veMeStrength Wed 18-Nov-15 22:03:12

I don't think it matters that much to the teacher if parents help. They know what children are capable of idependently there are enough fecking tests in schools these days. I point out things DC need to correct, go over maths, etc. What I don't do is those 'build a model of the Titanic' elaborate parent show off craft things. Those are all their own work.

steppemum Wed 18-Nov-15 22:04:00

it is fine to help a bit with spellings etc. The rule of thumb is that the teacher would like to know what help was given, so a post it note at the end to say that you gave some help with spellings is helpful.

If the homework is causing problems, you have a choice - leave it and put note in to say child couldn't do it, or help explain, and write note to say needed to explain as couldn't do it without help.

The issue is the homework that comes back and is parent 's work.

G1veMeStrength Wed 18-Nov-15 22:04:16

PS I am not a teacher either.

Notcontent Wed 18-Nov-15 22:04:25

P.s. Just wanted to add that I think homework is a great opportunity for some one to one learning that kids don't get in a class of 30.

UnDeuxTroisCatsSank Wed 18-Nov-15 22:08:14

Ok, great, looks like my instinct is the same as everyone else's. I am never going to dictate two pages of complex prose and pass it off as her "Holadai Diree" but gently pointing her in the right direction, spellings-wise seems like the right thing to do,

Buttercup27 Wed 18-Nov-15 22:08:40

At our school we actively encourage parents helping with homework and set open ended challenges to encourage creativity and out of the box thinking.
If I had been in your situation I may have let her do the first day independently and then corrected the next day, so its the best of both worlds, the teacher gets to see what she can do but she also learns how to spell it correctly.

MaidrinRua Wed 18-Nov-15 22:29:43

I'm a teacher, and I have always thought it's wonderful when parents help children with their homework. It show's they are taking an interest in what their kid is learning and helping to reinforce the learning at home. The kids who have someone taking an interest at home are generally the ones who always hand their homework back in.
Although, there have been one or two parents I've had to pull up for actually doing their child's their own handwriting! Really? You don't think I know what your 7 yo dc's writing looks like! Ha!

MaidrinRua Wed 18-Nov-15 22:31:18

notcontent P.s. Just wanted to add that I think homework is a great opportunity for some one to one learning that kids don't get in a class of 30

I absolutely agree!

IguanaTail Wed 18-Nov-15 22:32:38

Just pop in a post it note saying what you helped with. Then it's clear. I think it's great you are showing an interest.

MaidrinRua Wed 18-Nov-15 22:32:59

hangs head in shame at my own typing errors!

itsmeohlord Wed 18-Nov-15 22:36:09

I think homework is a great opportunity to ruin kids home lives and cause family stress. Why is it necessary in primary schools - I never did any (other than a bit of reading) and still got a degree.

eddiemairswife Wed 18-Nov-15 22:57:26

Going back nearly 20 years, the Tony Blair government really encouraged the idea of primary schools setting homework in order to get parents involved in their children's education. I never had homework until secondary school, neither did my children. Not so my grandchildren. I think it is completely unnecessary at primary age, particularly as in so many families both parents work, and homework eats into valuable leisure time.

Millymollymama Thu 19-Nov-15 00:15:44

Depends what leisure time is used for though. If it is hours and hours spent gaming, then I would rather a bit of structure with homework. Reading is the best form of homework for primary aged children. However some children do need to reinforce what they have learned at school and it does not hurt for parents to have some idea of what their children are learning and be part of it, in a small way. Complex craft homework leading to parental competition is a waste of time.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 19-Nov-15 09:31:59

Mine is 6 (Y2). I tend to let her do it and then at the end I have a look and if there is anything she has muddled up or clearly not understood then we look at that together.

neuroticnicky Thu 19-Nov-15 09:47:57

I think -in the state sector at least- it is pretty essential to get involved in your child's homework if you want them to be near the top of the class. As the OP says it is effectively like giving them one to one tuition. The only caveat is that the way maths is taught has changed since our day what with number lines etc. We found one book -"Maths for Mums and Dads"- particularly helpful here.

TeenAndTween Thu 19-Nov-15 09:55:47

I help my DDs with homework.

I'd rather spend time explaining stuff to them 1-1 than have them either not do it at all or do it all wrong. I always include a note explaining level of help (independent, encouragement, explaining).

I also never do it for them!

Artandco Thu 19-Nov-15 10:03:36

I help mine where needed, but I don't do it for them.

So the holiday diary example, I would show them how to spell holiday diary. And they would continue story. At the end of it I would see what words spelt wrong and get them to write them to a list including holiday and diary correctly so they know how to spell them for next time, plus like I said any other words spelt wrong. Then I would get them to practice those spellings over the week until the were spelling them correctly. The list would be added to each day with new words from holiday diary story and cross off the ones once they can spell confidently 3 days in a row.

Anastasie Thu 19-Nov-15 10:26:40

I kind of see homework (Y4 here) as an opportunity for my child to ask me for help with stuff they may not have quite understood at school - also a bit of one to one time, to cement it in his brain iyswim.

So he often has an idea what is required and can do most of it when in a familiar format, but he will ask for reassurance that this is what is wanted, and I can explain it again if it is puzzling him, or he might ask me a question and I can give him clues.

So eg 'mum, what is 140 times 20?' and I say well, how do we times by ten, and he will say add a zero, so I say that's right, so...(by this time he will interrupt me with the sum - but if not) what's 14 times ten? So he says 140, and then we say well that's 14 times ten, what do we do now? etc etc.

It becomes a joint exercise.
I don't see a problem with that - but then I don't see homework at this age as being intended to test his knowledge or understanding. It's just more practice. With some help at hand.

When they get older it can be a measure of how much they have grasped, or it can be practice, or it can be a test of their imagination and applying a concept tp a project. So you have to kind of make that call and either let them crack on with it, however badly, or you have to step in and explain something if it still doesn't make sense to them.

eddiemairswife Thu 19-Nov-15 10:41:48

You will get howled at for 'add a zero', which does work for whole numbers but not for decimals.

Anastasie Thu 19-Nov-15 10:42:50

We're not at decimals yet wink

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