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How much is too much?

(24 Posts)
SendARavenToRiverrun Tue 21-Jun-16 11:16:33

Two DD's. An 11yr old in year six. 8yr old in year 3.
We're having a disagreement in the household about amounts of extra work and homework.
Both kids think I'm unreasonable and that none of their friends have to do what they do.

Each day they have to..
15 mins of out loud reading
10 mins of maths school website
10 mins of literacy school website.

Homework is sometimes set on the websites. If it is then this counts as the time. If it's worksheet or work book based ( weekly) then I still expect them to do the time on the websites and reading.
Both love reading but dislike reading out loud. I insist as I think it's a good skill to have ( righty so I don't know?).
Both are bright and a little above average.
Youngest has moved schools and doesn't have a log in to the maths website for much longer. Any recommendations for another one please?
We do lots of outdoor stuff, scouts and swimming etc. I'm being made to feel pushy for asking them to do the above.
Am I being unreasonable? I genuinely don't think it's a lot. Usually adds up to about 40 mins a day ( one on the iPad one on the pc then swap, then we all listen to reading if possible).
Also as above any good ( free!) websites appropriate for their ages.
Thanks all smile
Just to add DH is in agreement with all above but he thinks they should read again before bed silently. ( occasionally they will choose to, but mainly listen to audiobooks)

redskytonight Tue 21-Jun-16 11:33:48

I've only ever insisted on school homework which I think is quite enough. For comparison, my Year 5 DD is expected to read daily (but not for as much as 15 minutes or aloud every day) and do 30 minutes of literacy and 30 minutes of maths each week, plus some times table practice. It was less in Year 3.

Reading aloud daily fine with the Year 3 (though 15 minutes is actually quite a long time to read aloud!), may be overkill with the Year 6 (assuming no specific issues with reading). Does the school not insist on daily reading (at least with the Year 3 child)?

With the Y6 child (unless specific issues with reading), I'd maybe cut it down to 2 or 3 times a week and not for so long.

Do you read with them as well as them reading to you? My DC are often more receptive to this!

SendARavenToRiverrun Tue 21-Jun-16 11:41:53

Thanks red sky. Homework is a bit hit and miss hence me upping the work we do.
Year six hasn't had any homework since the end of SaTS which is fine by me.
I read to them both. Maybe 15 mins is too long? I tend to take over and do a page or two while we're at it.

Years 3 homework is a huge bone of contention at the moment. Currently 50 ( fairly easy) three number additions. Unfortunately they have to be copied one by one into her homework book which is a ball ache to say the least. Plus the usual creative stuff.
Reading record is never seen so we just read a home book and I update it as needed.
No problems with reading. Both are a little beyond average.
Thank you.

Autumnsky Wed 22-Jun-16 13:56:48

It's not too much. But for reading out aloud, maybe not set it as a requirement, for DD2, you can read it with her, do a few pages in turn. And for DD1, as long as she is reading everyday, it should be fine with silent reading.

noramum Wed 22-Jun-16 15:07:43

DD is at the end of Y4 and does:

times table and spelling each day (alternate mornings and after school) around 10-15 minutes

reading - solely for pleasure. She reads enough that we don't control it. We push her towards a variety of books, styles and authors. We read to her books which are a bit more challenging and she then does 1/2 chapter or so on her own.

She reads aloud to us when she reads in her second mother-tongue as it is the weaker language for her. But only 1 page or so.

I hated reading aloud as a child and I think it is a chore not a pleasure.

Homework is an open-format which can be an experiment, maths sums, power point presentation, a poster etc. That is between 1 hour and 2 days (spread, not full days) each weekend

Badbadbunny Wed 22-Jun-16 15:29:00

Doesn't sound unreasonable. I'd say that reading out loud is well worth it. We discovered how useful it was with our son. We left him to read on his own and he seemed to be OK, but if we asked him about it, he hadn't a clue - he was just reading the words and not actually taking in what they were saying. We got him to start reading aloud and saw a massive improvement in his understanding of what he was reading.

Mrscog Wed 22-Jun-16 15:43:36

I think it's a bit too much - especially for the 8 year old and a bit of a yawnfest to be honest. I think the reading is fine, and the school homework, but for other academic development I'd do a google and find some more enjoyable activities to share, or just topics which might broaden their horizons. So for maths skills loads of cooking/money/lego type activities and challenges. Maybe sit and talk about something which is in the news/topical. If they're in to a certain subject (for instance history) then research a new area not on the curriculum. Do they learn a musical instrument? For me that one's a must to add breadth.

SisterViktorine Wed 22-Jun-16 16:57:36

I think you are running a bit of a risk of over-scheduling TBH. In term time how much time do they get when they have to entertain themselves?

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 22-Jun-16 17:18:52

I think silent reading is fine once they're confident. I do think you're being a bit pushy tbh, we only tend to do reading and set homework here, and a bit of times tables practice. It's up to you though, they're your children.

titchy Wed 22-Jun-16 17:22:52

Seems a bit tedious to be honest. Do you not value subjects other than Maths and English?

I assume you've read all the literature on the efficacy of homework...?

steppemum Wed 22-Jun-16 17:32:25

I personally wouldn't bother with the website stuff, but then I don't really agree with homework.

but re reading aloud.
Reading to yourself and reading aloud are both good skills, but they are different skills.

I have no idea whether or not your kids read for pleasure, but I would be expecting the year 3 to read aloud 2-3 times per week, and read quietly to themselves every day (maybe before bed?) The year 6, I would not still be doing reading aloud daily. In fact I have 2 dds same age as yours and dd1 doesn't ever read aloud any more, but she is expected to read to herself for 30 minutes a day (usually at bedtime, but she still loves me reading aloud so we often do that first)

PerspicaciaTick Wed 22-Jun-16 17:37:10

You are making up homework for your children? Why? Is the school that bad or are your children struggling?

I just don't get why you feel the need to mimic school at home, there must be more fun and practical ways of learning without you playing school teacher.

Greenyogagirl Wed 22-Jun-16 17:38:58

My son does a lot more than that but we were forced into flexi school and soon to be homeschool.
If they get home for 4, do 40 mins work, and then have dinner, bath etc do they have time to do what they want? Especially with the other activities?
I'd say a book or a chapter for their level before bed. The maths and English find some games you can all play together. Like maths pairs, hangman etc
They do so much at school I wouldn't push them too hard with the sitting down to do more work etc

PerspicaciaTick Wed 22-Jun-16 17:45:53

Green is right, there is so much they could do. Learn chess and scrabble. Put on a play (perhaps spend the week getting ready for a show at the weekend). Write a magazine. Do a weather observation project in the back garden. Cook. Find out what they enjoy and are interested in and use that as a starting point.

SendARavenToRiverrun Wed 22-Jun-16 22:55:00

Thank you for all the replies. Just to make one thing clear. I am not making up any homework for my children. I'm not a teacher thank goodness and we don't play at schools.
The school websites have sections which need to be completed. When completed they can play against other children/the computer and earn points which in turn equal prizes grin
One at the moment does maths, the other literacy ( due to them being at different primary schools). Neither child is struggling, both are a little above average. Their schools aren't the best, not academically anyway.

I do value subjects other than maths and English. I'll be thinking of ways to broaden their horizons. I found your reply a bit snippy ticthy to be honest. Nope, I haven't read all of the literacy on the efficacy of homework.
I'm just a trying to push my children in a way I never was. Both of my children are wonderfully kind and funny people. They have scores of friends and interests. They are lovely lovely children, I'm not trying to robot them or anything like that.

Youngest DD is set homework once a week. We generally do it on a Sunday evening. It might take up to an hour depending on whether it's a making project or just work sheets. This is alongside the work they need to do online.

Eldest hasn't had homework since sats finished, which is fine by me. She just plays against classmates on the maths site.

I'm reconsidering the reading aloud ( not sure where the 'out loud' came from in my brain for the OP). The youngest has poor comprehension and like the poster above BadBadbunny said about her child, mine was just reading the words but not understanding the story. Reading aloud seems to have improved this.

Maybe once or twice a week is enough and I'll bump the reading in bed time up ( which they both enjoy)

We are home from schools/ work by 4.10 latest. Both crack straight on with whatever needs doing, then by around 5.15 are free to do whatever.
They can choose to do it later if they prefer but generally choose to get it out of the way.
Tea is usually cooked while listening to them. We've finished eating by 6ish then they have another 2.5 hours to colour/ play/ trampoline/play on the front with friends/iPad whichever.

We do lots of slow cooker/batch cooking so no major culinary skills or time needed in the week!.

I loving the idea of googling some other topics. Both would enjoy doing something like that. We already play endless games of scrabble.
Neither learn an instrument, it's out of my price range sadly.
We bake each weekend, well the kids do with Nanny while I'm at work.
We have lots and lots of down time.

I just come from a background where I was never pushed or encouraged, and subsequently never pushed or challenged myself. Both of my parents had no interest in my school work. I feel as if I could have achieved more, but it wasn't to be. I don't want the same for my two.

We now live in a very deprived area. Anything more than getting the kids to school is seen as pushy.
I'm seen as a weirdo for actually enjoying reading / learning with the children. Obviously that's not true for my entire neighbourhood, but I do feel the odd one out when I get the kids to do the things I do.. Hence my questions on here.
Hmm, an essay. Sorry. Thank you again for the replies.

SendARavenToRiverrun Wed 22-Jun-16 22:59:35

.. And to add to my essay. Both kids prefer a morning shower, so that doesn't eat into our evening time. I work on a Sat ( as does DH). Nancy bakes and reads but they can play all day if they want.
We try to do family stuff on a Sunday, swimming, lots of walking, out for lunch

SendARavenToRiverrun Wed 22-Jun-16 23:02:32

On no, and to add again. Both of them are early risers so often have time to read in the morning. Or they'll put on the computer and do the websites then play a bit of Minecraft. Once it's ticked on the chart it's done.
They shower alternate days.
.. Feel as if my while life is in here now grin

Greenyogagirl Wed 22-Jun-16 23:03:01

There's some fantastic stuff on Pinterest especially with science projects etc
I think you're good to push and seems like you have a good routine. There are some great home education groups on Facebook which often have unique ideas.
I would say, if you can, try to save to move to a better area or all this work will go to waste when they're older and wanting to play with the naughty kids etc X

SendARavenToRiverrun Wed 22-Jun-16 23:15:15

Thanks yogagirl. Moving won't be an option. Much as it doesn't sound like it I love my house and the area. The neighbours are friendly. The schools are academically not too good.. But they offer fantastic clubs/trips/activity days. The teachers are engaged and enthusiastic ( if not up against it from the ingrained apathy towards learning)
We live a bus ride from the city centre and a stones throw from the Peak District. Best of both worlds. Luckily my next door neighbour is very like minded, the kids are close in age and hopefully will keep each other out of trouble!
No one is horrible, nor particularly 'rough' they're just different with different priorities. I do know what you're saying though, I just hope they keep on the straight and narrow!.

SendARavenToRiverrun Wed 22-Jun-16 23:16:27

Grr lost half my post!

Am off to look on Pinterest now and I'll have a quick look on Facebook for some groups. I love the idea of projects, my inner geek sings at the thought of a weather observation station in the garden! Thank you.

Greenyogagirl Wed 22-Jun-16 23:17:09

Ah that sounds good then!
I lived in a deprived area and it was awful, I had such horrible visions of the future for ds that we moved after only a few months!

Greenyogagirl Wed 22-Jun-16 23:18:45

I'm kingsleighbear on Pinterest if you want to have a look at my home ed and activity boards, pretty sure there's a few weather station projects on there!

SendARavenToRiverrun Wed 22-Jun-16 23:19:47

I can imagine, it's honestly really nice. A good mix of private and council houses. A few miles away and it's a different story, somewhere I would not want to live or bring up children.
Thank you again, I'm glad you managed to mice somewhere better for you. X

JoJoSM2 Thu 23-Jun-16 00:26:04

From my experience as a teacher and tutor, kids in state primaries get relatively little homework, usually set once a week. In the Indy sector they often get closer to 1h/day. Speaking to kids in grammar schools, they all used to work quite a lot at home every day too. With the children I tutor, I tend to set them about 1-1.5h work in every lesson. So really, it depends on the family, the parents values and aspirations. The only thing I'm not sure about is your Y6 reading out loud every day - I would think she could be better off doing some other activities.

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