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Homework in year 1 causing tears. Is it worth it?

(58 Posts)
RatOnnaStick Sat 24-Sep-16 12:30:41

So DS1 had his second weekly homework task yesterday. To make an aerial plan of one floor of a house he'd like to live in, and a key showing the various things he's put inside it. We had a go this morning and I think he did fine actually. Took him 10 minutes to do most of it but it ended in tears because he finds writing and drawing very hard (hypermobile hands) and, indeed, even his name at the top is not legible. But he tried. He had a go and surely at this age that's what matters isn't it?

Anyway, my question is, how important is homework at this age? And how much is he going to struggle with it if he can't make his writing readable? And what can I do to boost his confidence and not just give up when things inevitably get hard for him?

Owlytellsmesecrets Sat 24-Sep-16 12:39:45

I've got two very hypermobile kids.... Both HATE HATE HATE homework !!!! Causes so much stress in our house !!!

alltouchedout Sat 24-Sep-16 12:40:40

Not worth it at all.

TeacherBob Sat 24-Sep-16 12:41:01

teach him 'yet'

Instead of I cant do it, he says I cant do it yet.

It works great.

(And if the teacher can see he has had a go and tried his best, that should be fine)

Lunar1 Sat 24-Sep-16 12:46:33

I don't think it's the work that they do that's the important bit. I think it's a good habit to get into so that later on when it is important it doesn't come as a big shock. So I would give real praise to him for his effort, focus on what he does well and try to make homework a positive experience.

RatOnnaStick Sat 24-Sep-16 12:47:03

Thanks. That's what I thought. All I ask is he had a go. I don't w

He quite enjoyed last weeks texture hand, finding different textures and sticking them to each finger. He even labelled it. But writing is going to be his bugbear I can see.

Afreshstartplease Sat 24-Sep-16 12:48:22

We have been struggling with DC2 and homework since reception. He's now year three and gets a ridiculous amount in my opinion.

Two pieces of maths
Piece of literacy
12 spellings
Times tables
Then they expect him to be listened to reading outloud for 20 mins per day

His writing is getting better but he does backwards letters and numbers still. His reading ability is excellent however he has no drive to do it.

It's a constant battle sad

Oh and we never do 20 min bloody reading a day

RatOnnaStick Sat 24-Sep-16 12:49:02

Thanks. That's what I thought. All I ask is he tries and if his teacher can see that that's what matters.

80sMum Sat 24-Sep-16 12:50:27

Homework in Year 1? I would say it's not only not worth it, but also downright cruel on the part of the school for imposing it on the children and their parents. Totally and utterly unnecessary, imo.

Randytortoise Sat 24-Sep-16 12:50:54

Could he do it on a computer so he could type rather than write. I have a hypermobile child in my school who uses a laptop for all work.

timeforsomethingnew Sat 24-Sep-16 12:53:39

For some of my DS homework, we agreed with his teachers that we would scribe, under his direction. We always wrote what he said. In primary it was sometimes only way he would be able to get down the quality of his work within a reasonable time. But what you did sounds perfect . The homework I hated was the stuff that took all weekend making something and need heaps of parental input!

timeforsomethingnew Sat 24-Sep-16 12:54:42

For some of my DS homework (he's dyslexic which we had diagnosed in Y2) , we agreed with his teachers that we would scribe, under his direction. We always wrote what he said. In primary it was sometimes only way he would be able to get down the quality of his work within a reasonable time. But what you did sounds perfect . The homework I hated was the stuff that took all weekend making something and need heaps of parental input!

TeacherBob Sat 24-Sep-16 12:55:26

Homework in year 1 does have its place.

I personally don't like giving homework (always causes issues with parents whining its too hard/easy, I cant tell much from it because for all i know the parents did it themselves and its just more of a workload). But as has been pointed out, it is very important ethos to start early.

I give out a choice, of 3 writing, 3 maths, and 4 or 5 creative activities on one sheet. The children have all term to do it and the expectation is they can pick 1 or 2 things and bring them in during the term. They can do as many as they like and we have a big celebration of home learning (not for the quality but for the effort). Parents seem to like this, and a lot of the stuff I get back is creative stuff that can decorate the classroom with, so win-win smile

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 24-Sep-16 12:56:07

It's a very hot topic of discussion as to whether or not it's worth it at this age - I don't know how much value they get from the actual work, but I agree with Lunar that the value comes from getting used to doing it regularly.

When I was at school many years ago, I had no homework in infants' school, not very much other than maths and the very occasional bit of writing in the first 3 years of juniors, and then was suddenly hit with a project (written one) in 4th year (equivalent of Y6), which I struggled with.

Secondary school was a HELL of a shock! And I never really got into the swing of homework, the habit just wasn't there for me.

Because of this, I do get DS1 to do his homework (it's not arduous) every week - I don't want him getting the same shock, and I do want him to have a homework-doing habit, so that he does better than I did.

With your DS, I think that telling him all he needs to do is try is a good thing - and also explaining that even if he can't do it now, he will be able to one day.

mrz Sat 24-Sep-16 12:59:04

Is the Y1 teacher aware of his hyper mobility? If not I'd ask for a chat. Homework in primary is definitely not worth upsetting your son.

Is he getting OT support?

RatOnnaStick Sat 24-Sep-16 13:07:15

I agree with you all. Thumb that's exactly what I want, for him to be used to just doing it straight away and get into the good study habits before any bad ones set it. I do like the idea of adding 'yet' to the end of sentences. He's already come on a lot with his core strength and can actually hold a pencil and apply some pressure now which is fantastic.

Randytortoise I suspect that's what it will come to eventually. We discussed the idea with his reception teacher last year and she did introduce the tablet to him and one other boy which they used a fair bit during the summer term.

RatOnnaStick Sat 24-Sep-16 13:12:20

mrz He was assessed by the community paediatrician in February, diagnosed with hypermobile hands but not deemed to meet the criteria for dyspraxia, referred to OT by the paed, they won't see him but wrote a letter to school recommending the Fizzy Hands programme (which they were already doing) and left it for the school to rerefer if necessary.

He does a sensory circuit at school twice a week. That's everything I think.

Whoamireally Sat 24-Sep-16 13:12:44

Our school has just taken the rather radical step of stopping homework/prep for FS and year 1 and 2 on the grounds that there is little evidence to support it is beneficial. There are optional activities to support the half-termly topic. Parents are still expected to do daily reading. I have not come across any parent yet who is not cheering inside over this decision.

NotYoda Sat 24-Sep-16 13:16:57

Homework is optional in our school, and yet most children do it.

At this stage, I'd emphasis reading to/with him, and talking and listening, which I'm sure you do.

There's plenty of time to get into good study habits, IMO

And a real risk of alienation at this age

eddiemairswife Sat 24-Sep-16 13:25:06

At one time it was part of the secondary school rite of passage. And it was almost a matter of pride that you were now mature enough to have work to do in the evening. Homework in primary school is so often a battle between parents and tired children that achieves nothing but arguments and tears. I really don't believe in the idea that it gets them used to doing what they will have to do at secondary school.

RockinHippy Sat 24-Sep-16 13:27:05

Speak to the teacher - most of this stuff at this age is for parents, not kids as an encourage them to interact more with their DCs patronising bloody schools this came from DDs old school when I approached them for the exact same reasons. If he does well in school, then he really doesn't need to do this, if he isn't doing so well, then it helps him consolidate learning, so try & find a way to help him.

My own DD has EDSH too (as do I) so I understand too well the problems with writing. My older DD now uses an iPad for everything, but that came from her OT,when younger, the OT insisted that DD be given a seat wedge & writing slope in class, plus special pens & pencil grips to correct writing grip & that didn't sit on the floor, all of which helped a lot - So do see an OT with him if you haven't already.

Have you an ipad?? If so the drawing apps might be useful here too

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 24-Sep-16 13:27:22

Have you tried those fat rubber things that you can put round pencils, Rat? They might help him with his grip? (often used for arthritis or children with poor muscle tone)

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 24-Sep-16 13:29:02

like these

RockinHippy Sat 24-Sep-16 13:30:13

Oh & ask your GP to check his B12 levels - we've only recently discovered DD has Pernicious Anaemia too & getting treatment has made a HUGE improvement in her Hypermobility symptoms. B12 helps build collagen, so it makes sense

ilovesushi Sat 24-Sep-16 13:33:28

Not worth it! Definitely not! Do what he can do and is productive and leave the rest and keep the teacher in the loop. My kids have various learning issues and I often adapt and tailor the homework, particularly if I think a so-called 10 minute exercise is going to turn into a hour of pure frustration and failure and tears all round including mine. Also, I don't think there is any good evidence that homework leads to better academic outcomes in the long run. x

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