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Homework for parents

(23 Posts)
whoareyou123 Sun 17-Sep-17 09:00:43

DS (Yr3) has come home with his homework which included a craft activity. He has a choice of 3 with increasing levels of effort which will receive a corresponding amount of points. We went for the middle one which probably took us an hour or two to complete.

The one which would receive the most points would require a significant amount of effort in planning, obtaining all the materials (we would have to buy some) and actually putting together.

Is it normal for teachers to set these type of challenges for parents? Am I being mean for not spending a significant amount of our weekend helping to put it together?

Guess I'll find out tomorrow if he's the one of the few who doesn't turn up to school with a large masterpiece.

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KweenOfFarts Sun 17-Sep-17 09:07:04

It brings out the best in competitive parents. Like the wanky Easter bonnet competition, prize for best hat supposed to be done by kids but so obviously done by parents. Why?

KweenOfFarts Sun 17-Sep-17 09:10:14

I was chuffed to bits one year my DD has to produce a game along lines of a game board with rules and everything, she done it all her self took it too school and her heart sank at the parents who had done the work. Was chuffed to pieces she won!

user789653241 Sun 17-Sep-17 09:22:06

Don't know, when our school gives out crafty homeworks, they give dcs some pointers, but it's normally, as long as it follows the theme, it's totally up to the child to decide what to do.
Last year ds won first prize for craft homework. He only used what he had at home, but spent quite a lot of time making it, without parents' input. It looked wonky for me, but good enough for teacher's eyes.

everybodylovesabosom Sun 17-Sep-17 09:31:07

Our school sometimes sets homework like this. We appreciate that different families have varying amounts of time to dedicate to homework, depending on other commitments like sport, music lessons etc. And so allow parents to choose.

I always try to choose the projects which have been done by the children themselves. Believe me, you can spot the ones that are too perfect and have been made by parents! If I'm not sure I question the child about their process, learning etc.

RedSkyAtNight Sun 17-Sep-17 12:30:30

I always let my DC just to the best they could (we have a stock of general craft stuff, but I was happy to go out and buy anything specific).

Luckily they went to a sensible primary school that rewarded the DC who'd obviously done it themselves. I taught my DC earlier on that Johnny may have gone in with a handcarved, handpainted, scale accurate model of a castle, whilst theirs was made from a shoe box, but Johnny's had clearly been made entirely by a parent.

RandomDent Sun 17-Sep-17 12:32:11

We are supposed to encourage "family homework". Make of that what you will grin

JonSnowsWhore Sun 17-Sep-17 13:14:31

I have actual home work this week. 11 year old has to teach me to have a conversation in French and I have to write a paragraph on how she's done for her to give to the teacher grin

With the craft things though as a pp said the teachers sent silly they'll know which ones have been done mostly by the kids & which ones the adults have done & are passing off as the kids work! We had to make a castle once, I helped her with the building of the castle out of cardboard bits & then she did the papier-mâché, painting & raiding the Halloween decorations to make it a spooky castle. They kept it on display with a couple of others at school, but hopefully my amount of input in that one was just the right amount smile

eurochick Sun 17-Sep-17 13:57:58

I'm dreading this stuff. I'm as creative as a plank of wood. Plus we both work full time and weekends are our time to have fun as a family. "Family homework". WTAF?!?

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 17-Sep-17 14:31:40

I think this combined wiht the other post today about how bad it is for primary kids not to do any homework shows that this sort of homework is actually the good kind. The worksheets and other pointless stuff is what parents think they want, but there's no actual evidence of value - and there's an obvious loss of opportunity in spending time on it.

Yet the homework that requires parental involvement and trips to the shops and stuff, is exactly the sort of homework that causes discussion and conversations between the adult and the child - which are the things which have shown a correlation of attainment.

BeyondThePage Sun 17-Sep-17 14:38:59

If it can't be made from plasticine, lego or cardboard, then it never got made in our house. Big tub of mixed plasticine got used for EVERYTHING!

whoareyou123 Sun 17-Sep-17 17:47:23

sir we don't need homework set by the school to encourage me/DP to have these types of conversations with DS - we have always had them but with regards to things he/we choose (which isn't about making a model out of paper mache and then decorating it).

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sirfredfredgeorge Sun 17-Sep-17 17:51:54

No, whoareyou123 but other parents possibly do... and this sort of homework is certainly better than a worksheet which does nothing to benefit anyone, and actually takes the child away from being able to chat about stuff.

If you don't want to do it, don't do it.

user789653241 Sun 17-Sep-17 20:44:53

Sir, I think parents who are actually interested in children's education would do things at home with children anyway. So they don't really need anything from school to dictate what they do at home. And those who aren't interested won't help anyway, even it was set as a homework, imo.

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 17-Sep-17 21:21:42

irvineoneohone but if the homework is worksheets, the parents would do those too or possibly instead of actual useful things that involved discussion.

We often see posts on here about the struggle to get kids doing spellings or maths sheets or other homework with no evidence at all behind it being useful. Those parents are interested and engaged, but the homework has taken time away from discussion. At least the make a recreation of the battle of trafalgar out of bottle caps homework is better than that.

user789653241 Sun 17-Sep-17 21:34:04

I don't know, sir. My ds normally gets worksheets homework since started in KS2, but it only takes about 5 minutes, and he does it straight away when he gets home, or sometimes do it at school and don't bring it back home. Only homework I do with him is reading aloud and supervising if he needs some research on internet.
If he get something he hates, like writing, I still don't really help, I just tell him it's up to him to do it or not.

Comeonmommy Sun 17-Sep-17 21:37:36

My daughter's come home with similar. She wants to plan a Tudor banquet, prepare it and eat it with her family. She's desperate for this as this is the top point earner and it would put her top in her class but she's 10!!!! That means I've got to buy everything and do 90% of the cooking - feels a lot like I've got homework!!!!!

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 17-Sep-17 23:11:18

irvineoneohone your DS is going to be find it quick and easy (even more problem with undifferentiated homework of course) and I've had the impression that he enjoys the puzzle side of things that sort of homework often is.

But if your child didn't want to do the homework, so you needed to cajole, argue, bribe, punish, convince etc. Or even just if they found it harder so it was 30 minutes work, then I can imagine it would take time from productive activities.

We had a primary teacher from another country visiting us over the summer, she was quite impressed by our schools optional, pretty open ended homework that DD was given (she almost never did it, although sometimes the larger project stuff was done if it interested her.)

whoareyou123 Mon 18-Sep-17 06:56:19

sir you are saying that these large project homework are a great idea but then say your DD rarely actually did them.
You might feel differently if she actually wanted to do all of them.

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metalmum15 Mon 18-Sep-17 07:17:45

We are supposed to encourage family homework Hmm. Are you a teacher at dds school? We have to do family projects and most parents hate them. If I want to do a family project with my kids, I'll choose it myself, baking, swimming, games, day out etc, not something that school dictates we should do. This is on top of regular homework too. A lot of parents I know don't bother doing them anymore.

user789653241 Mon 18-Sep-17 07:54:20

Sir, I don't think he particularly enjoys worksheet homework, but he learned, since start of KS2, homework became compulsory, and if he doesn't do it by due date, he need to finish it at school during breaks, so better to get on with it.

TheTurnOfTheScrew Mon 18-Sep-17 08:11:28

I dislike this kind of thing as well, especially as we often get ridiculously short notice : "please bring a costume on the theme of Being and Nothingness crafted out of bottle tops by tomorrow".

To be fair though, I think the teachers normally have a good spidey sense for when parental involvement has spilled over into doing it for them. My 6yo won the school bake-off last year, with cakes that could only possible have been decorated by a 6yo - you couldn't see the buttercream through the density of sprinkles.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 19-Sep-17 13:43:43

mine do theirs themselves (unless it involves sawing wood when they are closely supervised) but they always moan because other stand there and say openly that their parents have done it and then get loads of house points etc. consequently mine now pick the shortest, easiest one on the list and put minimal effort in

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