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YR9 Son never gets homework?

(25 Posts)
CarmellaS Fri 26-Nov-10 15:38:57

My son gets almost no homework, this worries me slightly as most posts are about the huge amount children get. While hes certainly no where near an A student I think there should at least be some homework regardless of his level. But his friends do virtually none either. Hes not just ignoring it either as hes never pulled up for not completing any. Hes Year 9 and I would be amazed if all the homework hes EVER done since year 7 added up to 20 hours, if that!!! I know it sounds ridiculous! Week in week out, no homework!! Thing is the homework he does get is frighteningly simple, colour this in, stick this picture on this page, bring a magazine. Its starting to seem baffling, are the school telling me something by telling me nothing?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 26-Nov-10 15:49:02

Have you ever raised it at parents' evening?

Other possibility, does he get anything which he does in break times? Sometimes computer-based stuff is easier to do in school even if you have computer/internet at home. (but still there surely should be some at home)

CarmellaS Fri 26-Nov-10 15:56:19

He certainly doesnt do any at school, thats for sure! No he simply isnt set any, he has a homework diary that the form tutor signs to ensure completion and for the most part its blank!

klm4765 Sat 27-Nov-10 14:47:53

My DD's also in Year 9, and gets much less homework than I would expect. She will have maths most weeks, then maybe 1 or 2 other pieces of homework per week - some of which is of the 'find an advert of something' variety. She didn't get much in Year 8 either, but more than this. We don't have a parent's evening until much later in the year. I'm tempted to try to get her to do some extra work myself, but I'm sure that won't be popular!

freerangeeggs Sat 27-Nov-10 15:08:41

Homework is not a very effective learning method. Certain types do have positive effects but there are other techniques that are much more effective. Your son's school might simply be choosing to concentrate its energies in more productive ways.

As a teacher I spend (waste?) huge amounts of time and energy creating homeworks, marking homeworks (which are almost always of a poorer quality than similar work completed in class), and chasing children for incomplete homeworks. It causes confrontation, too, where none need exist at all.

However, parents have been found to judge a school based on the amount of homework being given. As a result, schools like mine have homework policies that require teachers to give a certain amount of homework every week, whether we judge it to be necessary/helpful or otherwise. This results in lots of pupils simply being given 'busy work' which does not enhance their learning at all but ticks a box in the marking policy.

Homework can be helpful, but it's not THAT helpful. If I were you I would check his class books to make sure they're setting appropriate work and giving regular, meaningful feedback. Both of these will have a much more marked effect on his achievement. If I saw a problem there I would raise it, but I wouldn't make a fuss solely about a lack of homework.

MmeBlueberry Sat 27-Nov-10 16:27:11

What is the school's homework policy?

Homework is a key part of my teaching and learning. We do practical work and/or discussions (science) in lessons, and almost all their written work is done at home.

I can get a very good handle on what they know and understand from the work they do by themselves at home. This is not the only way I assess their learning, but a useful

What is in your son's exercise books?

roisin Sat 27-Nov-10 19:59:38

At the boys' school the homeworks are about 95% meaningful and they are promptly marked. Sometimes they are reinforcing work covered in class, other times researching for a forthcoming topic/essay; they are also often differentiated, so there is the opportunity for somethign more challenging for the most able students. Often homeworks are extended pieces of writing - long essays or scripts, which there simply isn't time for in school lessons. (English, Science, History, Citizenship, Drama, etc.) The homeworks they get (yr7 and yr9) are promptly marked as well.

LondonMother Sun 28-Nov-10 11:01:48

I'd have been worried if either of my children had had no homework in year 9. I suppose it depends on the subject, the syllabus and the pupil, but my children's homework has been really useful to consolidate what they did in class or to tackle the kind of work that doesn't fit so well into the school day, e.g. learning vocabulary, extended writing (essays/comprehensions), project work, writing up notes, bit of research, practising IT skills, practising maths techniques by doing some problems, revision. I've been lucky, though, that both my children are of a fairly geeky studious disposition, and getting them to do homework has never been an issue. Also, we have somewhere quiet and warm with a flat surface for them to do it, and we are willing and able to help when requested. All becoming a distant memory now, as one has left school and the other is in year 12!

CarmellaS Fri 10-Dec-10 17:28:58

Thanks for guide lines and opinions. About his exersize books, well thats another thing, they dont bring them home, they are all kept at school. In lieu of homework i wanted to go through what he had been doing occaisionally, strengthen any weak areas etc but all he brings home is his pe kit and homework diary, he says all text and exersize books are kept at school, it just doesnt add up. I am trying to make an appointment to see someone there but thats like getting blood from a stone. But I feel theres something they arent telling me.

newspap Fri 10-Dec-10 18:36:26

My two eldest children went to a school like the one you are describing. Their 'Homweork Timetable' existed in name only. In the end I paid for private tutoring (yrs 10 and 11) so that they could get decent grades. They never brought their books home - they weren't allowed to. In Year 9, my daughter had a supply maths teacher for a term - when we finally got hold of her book, it had 2 pages of work in it, none of which were marked. After a meeting with the Head this teacher left, but nothing really changed, it was a constant battle that I eventually gave up on. I have since sent my youngets - 11 - to a different school - she has had more homework this term than the other 2 ever had, and the standard expected is high. She finds it tiring but rises to the challenge and loves it when she gets a good mark or comment. When my son was in year 10, and his elder (and less able) sister had left, his head of year admitted that the school didn't set homework for the lower sets, as it just didnt get done!! I work in a school now (not as a teacher) that doesn't set homework either, and I see plenty of parents having the same battle. Year 11 leavers inevitably fail at A levels because they are simply not used to doing any independant work.
If you can afford it, what about a tutor for English and Maths. At the end of year 10 I was told my son was a C/D average, and he ended up with an A in English and a B in maths - it was difficult but worth every penny.
Every - and I mean every - independant school that I know of - I have friends with children there - sets homework. Hence, average ability children do better than their more academic counterparts, because they are academically stretched. Sorry to suggest paying, but after banging my head against the wall for years, I did so, and have never regretted it.

EvilTwinsAteRudolph Sat 11-Dec-10 19:27:26

Have you considered that he might be set homework, but not be writing it down and not doing it?

I teach secondary, and quite a lot of kids do that - and then their parents phone to complain that they are not being set any. The only way to check it really is to get hold of the homework diary of another child in his class/set/tutor group and see if they get any.

As a teacher it drives me mad - I set homework, 80% of the kids write it down, and then parents of the other 20% phone and moan about it.

tingletangle Sat 11-Dec-10 22:25:11

Surely his form tutor would have noticed if he was not recording his homework and put a note in his planner reminding him to record his homework.

alicatte Sat 11-Dec-10 22:31:22

Is he rushing it at breaktimes. I've seen this a lot. The teacher would not know about this. Having said that, some children who go and do their homework in the library straight away, whilst it is fresh in their minds, often do it well.

tingletangle Sat 11-Dec-10 22:33:47

I teach and if a child in my class was rushing their homework at break their parents would know about it as I would have phoned/ written home or put a note in their planner.

alicatte Sat 11-Dec-10 23:01:18

Perhaps you would know tingle - but I don't think that I would, at least not for certain. I'd know if the work wasn't handed in but that's all really.

EvilTwinsAteRudolph Sat 11-Dec-10 23:18:52

Depends very much on how good his tutor is. Unfortunately not all are as vigilant as they should be - maybe he's getting away with it because his tutor is just signing everyone's diaries (30 diaries to get through in a short amount of time - maybe tutor is just being lax) and not really looking at them.

Either way, the tutor is not necessarily doing his/her job, BUT not having anything in the homework diary and not doing any homework does not always mean that none is being set.

alicatte Sat 11-Dec-10 23:23:14

I was never a form tutor in secondary - I see what you mean Rudolph. As a subject teacher I only knew whether it was given in or not.

alicatte Sat 11-Dec-10 23:25:30

I stand by what I said about doing the homework straight away though - it often works well for the child.

tingletangle Sat 11-Dec-10 23:58:31

I agree evil that no homework need not mean it is not being set.

As a subject teacher you should know if homework is being rushed.

alicatte Sun 12-Dec-10 11:33:30

Yes - but you do not necessarily know WHERE it is being rushed. I'm an English teacher - it is pretty easy to tell, but I really don't think that it would be if you were in some other subjects where the homework just consists of answers. You might just think that the child wasn't really doing as well as they seemed to be in class.

That might be a clue OP - have you asked the teachers?

EvilTwinsAteRudolph Sun 12-Dec-10 16:30:54

OP, the only thing you can do really is to contact the school, and to ask that the teachers email you with his homework, or that they jot it down and ask his form tutor/head of year to let you know what it is. That way you'll know
A) if he's getting any, and
B) if he'd doing it (and doing it properly)

edpen Tue 14-Dec-10 16:00:03

freerangeeggs I think your comments apply to primary school but Year 9?!

My own Y9 child has a LOT of homework and it has really shot up this year. I am a homework cynic and despise useless 'keep-em-busy' homework which he used to get in Y7 BUT what he is doing now is very different and he is learning a lot and working very hard.

He has a homework diary which has to be signed by the parent and counter-signed by the form teacher each week. There is a homework timetable and if none is set they are required to write that in their diary. If my son doesn't write it I do it and sign to indicate that he has told me there is no homework.

MillyR Tue 14-Dec-10 17:11:24

DS has a planner. He has to write his homework in the planner. If he doesn't hand the homework in, the subject teacher would write a comment on the planner. This is a punishment of sorts as it means he will not be given full credits for that week and if he gets more than one comment in the same term from one teacher, he gets a detention.

So I would know if he had homework set, because it would either be in the planner or the subject teacher would have given him a comment in the planner. This seems straightforward. Is this not what happens at all schools? Otherwise there would be a lot of time wasted as parents would have to keep phoning the school.

OP, DS is in year 8 and he has one and a half hours of homework each school night.

maddy68 Tue 14-Dec-10 21:34:19

could it be as in my school, we have started KS4 in yr 9, therefore all work must be done in school (controlled assessment, coursework etc) and only revision prior to exams will be set as homework?

CarmellaS Wed 15-Dec-10 14:33:12

Thank you everyone, some real eye openers there!!
He definately doesn't do it at school or in breaks and he does write down everything he gets as its checked by his form tutor. in nearly three years i think anything amiss would have been spotted. They simply dont get any. It seems to be similair to newspap's story. I hope i dont have to resort to last minute tutors to try and cram everything he hasnt learnt in the last three years. Me and my husband pay a shed load of taxes and if all we are getting for our money is basically day care I wont be pleased. Still trying to get an appointment with the school to get some answers.

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