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How much homework should Yr1 children get?

(29 Posts)
Anngeree Fri 19-Sep-08 14:19:10

My son has just started Yr1 and it's already apparent he's feeling pressurised by the amount of homework he's getting. He gets spellings to copy & learn on a Monday to be completed by a Friday in time for a test, 2 A4 pages of Maths homework on a Friday to be completed over the weekend,that's on top of reading homework. ATM it's taking my son 30 mins to read 8 pages the books he's reading have 32 pages so he's only getting through 1 book a wk and if that wasn't bad enough he came home yesterday with comprehension homework(a list of 6 questions to answer about the book he's reading). We're doing around 3hrs homework a wk (reading included) & it seems a bit much as my son is one of the youngest in his class only turning 5 at the end of May. Just wanted other MNs experiences, Is this normal? Should I talk to his teacher? My son used to be quite receptive to the little bit of homework he was given in reception, i'd even go as far to say he enjoyed it! But now all he wants to do is come in & play as the emphasis at school is more on written work than play. Shouldn't homework still be enjoyable at this age something to encourage him to learn rather than something he dreads doing?

Madsometimes Fri 19-Sep-08 14:34:51

dd2 got her first homework this week - ever.
She had the weekend to find out about old and new toys and write something down and draw a picture. She wrote 2 sentences (which I then translated grin)

Then on Tuesday she was given the following spellings for Friday: a, the, to, of, and.
Her book is changed every other day and she reads it in 5 mins. I wish it was changed daily because she refuses to read the same book twice. I think her homework is about right, it does not cut into her play time. Your son's homework does seem rather a lot to me.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 19-Sep-08 14:37:13

Message withdrawn

geogteach Fri 19-Sep-08 14:37:30

Sounds a lot. DD exactly the same age is expected to 10 mins reading a day, then 10 mins literacy on Mon (this week learn 4 spellings), Wed 10 mins numeracy (this week practise counting to 20 and back) Fri 10 mins topic or RE (this week talk about difference between detached, semi detached, terrace and flat and draw picture of 1). compared to friends in other schools this is a lot, they only seem to get reading.

coppertop Fri 19-Sep-08 14:39:00

It sounds like a lot.

Ds2 is in Yr1 and hasn't had any homework yet apart from reading.

When ds1 was in Yr1 they had spellings and usually one maths worksheet a week.

OrmIrian Fri 19-Sep-08 14:39:01


My DS#2 would be totally unable to do that.

themildmannneredjanitor Fri 19-Sep-08 14:39:42

completely ridiculous and over the top and i would saying to the teacher 'ds will not be doing this homeowrk'

that is outrageooooooooooous!!!!!

ds is 5 and in year 1. he has 2 reading books a week.and they say not to worry about reading if the child is tired.

is it a private school?

pooka Fri 19-Sep-08 14:40:07

DD in yr 1.
She has her reading books to read (whenever she finishes one i.e. has read it twice at home - only short ORT books she changes it)
List of about 10 spellings on a MOnday, for a "test" (not that I'm telling her that) on the following Monday. A sheet a week of things we might want to talk about maths related.

That's plenty enough IMO.

Tippytoes Fri 19-Sep-08 14:43:40

My ds has just gone into year 2, but last year he had a reading book once a week (not too many pages) which took about say 15 minutes. He had a library book once a week, which I was to read to him and he then had to fill in a book with the title, a smily/sad face if he liked it.

He had the odd sponsored spell and the odd bits of other homework, like madsometimes said about old and new toys and to draw pictures of toys your parents had with a description, but this was only every so often.

hanaflower Fri 19-Sep-08 14:45:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlebrownmouse Fri 19-Sep-08 14:47:24

Primary teacher here with year one son and my answer to this question is, apart from reading, NONE!!!

Foundation stage curriculum (where it is followed properly) has changed reception classes into child led places with more emphasis on the nursery way of doing things (80% child led, 50% outdoor etc). This is clearly going to have an impact on how 'schooled' children are when they go into year one. This is why children still follow the foundation stage curriculum for the fist term of year one in a kind of watered down way that allows them to gradually introduce national curricul work. A good year one teacher should be confident enough to weedle out who needs to follow the national curriculum this term and who needs to stay with foundation stage for a bit longer. Year one is a really tricky and key year in primary as it has, in the past, been a time when the pressure was suddenly on after reception and children, especially boys, found this very difficult.
Three hours homework a week is far too much, I don't give my year fours that much. I would have a chat with the teacher, she may not realise how long it is taking. I'm sure recommendtions are for half an hour a night at year five and six, so less than your poor ittle one is doing over the course of a week. Just as an aside, if a book is taking a long time to read, your son won't be getting the meaning of the story etc as he will have probably forgotten. Do you feel that it is a little bit challenging for him?

littlebrownmouse Fri 19-Sep-08 14:50:04

PS 32 page books seem a lot. Mine is a reasonably confident ish reader and has books with about 16 pages that we do over a couple of nights (Ginn level three pocket books). better off with a book that is slightly too easy for home so that he can enjoy reding it with you, more challenging one at school so teacher can offer appropriate assistance.

Anngeree Fri 19-Sep-08 22:56:40

Thanks for all your replies, It's state school he attends. My son has just started Ginn level 5 reading books he's worked his way up from level 2 which was his starting point in reception.His reception teacher commented on him being an enthusiastic reader in his end of year report, but i've found since returning to school after the summer he's found it difficult to maintain interest in his books for long periods, but we did have to hand in reading books 2wks before the end of term so he wasn't following his reading scheme for 8wks. I did take him along to the library & joined a summer reading club with him but it's different reading books you choose yourself rather than books your made to read. I did write my concerns in home reading diary & still got comprehension work sent home for him to complete. This is his 1st level 5 book but it's separated into chapters so we've been reading 1-2 chapters at a time & he's able to talk about what has happened in the chapter we've read so don't think books are too difficult for him. My son started National curriculum work straight away littlebrownmouse there's been no introductory period,In R.E this term he's learning about William Wilberforce whom i'd not really heard of until I looked him up on the internet. My son's complained that only 1 group is allowed to play while the other 3 groups have to work. He's absolutely shattered at the end of the day & the last thing he wants to do is homework, never mind the amount he's getting. I've got a parent/teacher meeting on 1st Oct so will mention my concerns if things don't seem to settle down a little. My main concern is my son will be put off learning due to the amount of work being given.

pooka Fri 19-Sep-08 23:05:15

He must be pretty exhausted - the intensity of the learning and the amount of homework seem excessive for a 5/6 year old IMO. Perhaps the teacher will be able to reassure you?

From reading LBMs post, I'm pretty sure that dd is still working at foundation level. She is only just 5 though. I am feeling reassured that her school is still letting them play for much of their time.

dannyb Sun 21-Sep-08 18:07:56

My year one has

At least 2 reading books a week. He's on level 8 so they take forever to read

1 numeracy homework

2 literacy homeworks

1 religious studies homework (it's a faith school)

Spellings will start once a week in Jan

It's a lot but about 1/3 of what the local prep schools are getting

LadyGlencoraPalliser Sun 21-Sep-08 18:11:16

Last year DD had one reading book a week. Five spellings to learn. That was it.

kid Sun 21-Sep-08 18:14:18

DS is now in Year 2. He gets 2 sheets of homework and a readying book once a week. He gets them on a Friday and has to return them by Wednesday.

It was about the same when he was in Year 1. He has never brough spellings home but I reckon they will start that soon.

I don't agree with homework coming home on Friday and having to be back on a Monday, when is a child meant to relax and be a child? Do the school assume you have no life outside of school?

DD is in Year 5 and brings home a lot of homework. But she also has longer than a weekend to complete it.

slayerette Sun 21-Sep-08 18:17:13

DS has just started Yr 1 and he gets his reading book changed about four times a week as well as ten CVC spellings on Monday for a test on Friday. That's all.

And this is a private school too, themildmanneredjanitor shock Should I be asking for my money back? wink

That assumption did make me laugh so thank you for cheering me up.

verylapsedrunner Sun 21-Sep-08 18:53:04

DS gets a new reading book each day (he only started UK school half way through last term so still on very easy books) and spellings once per week.....and it's a private school.

GeorgeAndTimmy Sun 21-Sep-08 23:11:05

Yr 1 - one book a week (or sometimes none).
Some spellings (5 or 6) to look at maybe every week or fortnight. Just to practice at home. No handing in or tests or anything.
Er, that's it.
Work for me!
Anngeree - that sounds dreadful imo. My dd loves school and the work side of it, but she would be feeling the pressure at that lot.
Is the school under pressure to improve? Does it have a big cohort of pushy parents who feel that their children need lots of homework to feel 'challenged'?
I would speak to the teacher if it were me, it sounds like it could put your ds of the school all together...

BosworthBear Mon 22-Sep-08 10:57:20

2 reading books, changed 3 times a week. 12 spelling and a sealife theme until half term which we do occassional research/discussion on. DS a July birthday and so this seems to be enough at the moment!.

By comparison, DD Aug birthday in year 3. 20 spellimgs a week 2 A4 sheets a night, normally maths, french or comprehension. 10 min piano (our choice!) and a reading book. On going Tudor project. A4 sheets take little time and she often does them at school, so again feels ok.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 22-Sep-08 11:01:38

That's a lot. DS1 in year one had reading books, often changed daily, but he was happy to read, so no stress there. Spelling work once a week - test once a week, so we had a week to do it. (And he's in the pre-prep bit of a pretty good private school.)

GobbledigookisThrifty Mon 22-Sep-08 11:04:18

In yr 1 ds2 currently gets:

Reading book - changed 3 times a week.

Spellings - 10 per week to learn for a test.

Maths homework sheet - 1 per week that can either be done weekly or all at once as they just have to be handed in before they break up for half term.

He also has private Spanish lessons and has weekly homework for that (only colouring or practicing vocab though).

GooseyLoosey Mon 22-Sep-08 11:04:50

Ds in year 1 has similar and I think he should have none - he is 5 ffs. I spent half of Sunday reading, spelling and counting with him rather than playing out in the garden. He was bored, I was impatient (not good at stuff like this) and I cannot imagine it improved his education.

GobbledigookisThrifty Mon 22-Sep-08 11:08:51

Ds2 had a 32 page book last week so we took the whole week to read that, never mind getting through 3! 2 nights a week we are out doing activities and I also have to do reading/sounds and writing practice with ds3 (reception) and ds1 (yr 3) has spellings, reading, times tables, 2 lots of other homework per week.

And they all have Spanish to do as well.

All the pieces of homework only take about 10 mins so it's not major but it's fitting it all in for 3 children and having a life as well!

I tend to do Spanish, spellings, tables in the car or on our walk to school as part of normal conversation.

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