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how involved do you get in homework? esp interested in early years of secondary

(58 Posts)
Hatwoman Fri 09-Sep-11 13:32:04

dd has just started y7. So far (all of 3 days grin) I have asked her if she has any and asked if she's done it; and, in one case looked at it, because it was a picture and she was pleased with it and showed me. tbh even this has hardly been necessary - she's so excited about the whole secondary school thing she's told me unbidded and she's sat down to do it at the kitchen table while I cook. "Have you finished?" has been more of a conversational thing - not a checking up thing iyswim. (I'm sure that will change.) My only other contribution has been to suggest that leaving work due in on Wednesday til next week would be a bad idea as she has after school activites.

am I ok in thinking I don't need to manage the timetable for her, sit down with her, look closely at what she's been asked to do, help her and check the finished product? I don't want to do all that - it's her work and managing it and doing it is part of growing up and being independent; secondly I want teachers to see the original product - not something that's been tweaked by me - so that they can get a proper picture of her.

mo3d Fri 09-Sep-11 13:35:36

My opinion is unless i'm asked for help, i stay out of it (i have tried helping in the past and been told they're ok). I now figure it's their h/w if they don't do it, they will get a detention and learn from it.

Bonsoir Fri 09-Sep-11 13:39:43

We observe from a distance and (a) intervene if too much homework is done on any single day and try to help them spread it out over the week better (b) help with homework when requested (c) drop into the conversation regularly that we are always willing and able to help with homework if they feel the need.

DSS1 sometimes needs long one-on-one sessions with DP for difficult maths/physics homework (but they both enjoy this!). DSS2 is more likely to get stuck on something small and ask for help to get out of a hole.

sparks Fri 09-Sep-11 13:54:41

We often have a convo about what homework she has and when she plans to do it. This is usually in the context of talking about all of our plans for the week/weekend.

I will of course help if asked, but that doesn't happen too often.

I agree that it's her work and learning to manage it is part of growing up and being independent.

AMumInScotland Fri 09-Sep-11 14:20:40

What you're doing sounds fine - her doing it at the kitchen table is good, because you can see that she is doing it and hasn't got distracted, and you can answer any questions, be encouraging if she's struggling with something, etc.

I never checked the content by that age, unless DS asked me to look over something (and that was rare), or managed his timetable. So long as she seems to be keeping up with it, let her find her own ways of managing her time - if she's struggling then talk about how she could plan, but you still would need to let her implement that in her own way.

SecretSquirrels Fri 09-Sep-11 15:09:32

Exactly as Bonsoir says.
You may find the novelty wears off after a while and you need to check a little closer.

Hatwoman Fri 09-Sep-11 15:53:49

I'm glad I'm not being neglectful! I (from my vast experience hmm) feel like all you lot and was a bit suprised when rl friend implied hw was a bit of a joint enterprise. I really do feel secondary school is a time to encourage them to strike out on their own.

Ormirian Fri 09-Sep-11 15:56:28

Yr 7 - about 50% of the hw I had some input. Yr 8 - none. Most of it gets done in school anyway, either at lunchtime or in hw club.

alice15 Fri 09-Sep-11 17:31:04

You're not going to be sitting next to DD when she takes her GCSEs, so she's got to do things on her own some time - sounds to me as if you've got it just right, being ready to help if asked but not helicoptering. That's how I've always played it with mine, anyway.

slavetofilofax Fri 09-Sep-11 18:44:42

My ds started yr7 three days ago too. So far I have had a look at his homework book every day to see what he has written, even though by then he has probably told me anyway, and I have a look when he's finished it.

He's been very good about getting it done so far without any nagging, unlike last year! Here's hoping that lasts!

I think the main reason I'm looking so much so far is because all the books are new and I like to see what text books he has been given!

Ingles2 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:09:03

I'm helping ds1 at the minute... I'm hoping it'll just be for a few weeks though.
He's at a grammar and getting 4 pieces a night...the problem is he is very slow, too much of a perfectionst,and just generally anal about it all.
So I've be jostling him along and doing a bit of colouring/sticking while he does the research/writing. He's getting great marks, but has set the standard too high to maintain imo.
This is very typical of his personality though, so I'm Not sure how to deal with it really. Any advice gladly received.

grumpypants Fri 09-Sep-11 19:16:58

This is really interesting - Mine is Y8 and I really resent helping with homework! She is a massive perfectionist/ worrier and at grammar. My view is she should be able to do it, and should let her teachers know if it is too hard.

I don't want to relearn all the stuff I did, so helping is quite hard - I am super academic so can manage now, but as she gets older and does stuff i never learnt i won't be learning so i can help her iyswim?

She has a timetable (2 hrs a night) and I will explain a concept (algebra) if she asks, look at a presentation, or have ideas bumped off me. That's it.

Ingles2 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:24:22

your dd sounds like my ds grumpypants.. I guess I'll have to back out quite quickly. Mind you as I'm very arty and ds is a freaky maths boy, It'll only be a couple weeks until I don't understand the homework anyway grin

pointydog Fri 09-Sep-11 19:24:33

I don't get involved at all unless asked.

BastardDog Fri 09-Sep-11 19:30:46

My ds is just over a week into y7. I have made a conscious decision to take a step back this year with homework. He asked for help with one thing this week and I spent 10 minutes pointing him in the right direction.

He's come home tonight saying he's got maths homework, but can't find his maths book. I've just shrugged my shoulders (he's always losing stuff). It's his responsibility to find the book, do the work or have the detention. I can't keep propping him up.

CrystalChandelier Sat 10-Sep-11 04:58:51

I'm probably a homework helicopter - but with good reason, I think.

DS has just started in yr8 and has a homework organiser, which I sign weekly to confirm work has been completed and it averages about an hour a night - sometimes more. Weekends can be four or five hours' worth.

He started yr7 as a bright-eyed keeny so I thought I'd leave him to it. But as yr7 progressed, tiredness and resentment set in - particularly when homework got heavy going (they started GCSE maths coursework last January). He developed a tendency to dash it off - particularly on weeks where there was a lot to get through and he just wanted to relax.

Now I check through it with him, particularly maths, to be sure he's grasped it and I'm convinced it's the right thing for him (we had some tearful scenes over gradients last year but we pressed on, he got it and even thanked me when he scored well in a test he would otherwise have flunked). And while I don't write work for him, I do make sure with subjects like history and English that he's put effort and original thought in, and talk to him about what he's written so I can be sure he's understood rather than regurgitated other sources.

He rails against me if he thinks I'm going too far and I try incredibly hard not to undermine his confidence (praising the good bits as an opening gambit, for example). At the same time I do think I'm signalling to him that his progress is important and worth investing time in.

MandJane Sun 11-Sep-11 10:40:57

My dd has just started yr7, I check her homework planner every day and chat about what homework she has to do, making sure she understands it. She asks me for help if she needs it and I am more than happy to help, usually it is in the form of guidance/explaining what needs to be done then she goes off and does it. It is a nice bonding thing for us.

bigTillyMint Sun 11-Sep-11 11:27:25

When DD first started in Y7 she was uber-consciencious and panicked completely that she was doing everythig perfectly. DH and I, but mainly me, put in alot of support with helping her find stuff on the internet, present her work using the computer, and reassuring her that she was doing it right. But after a while she needed less and less support, and by after Christmas she only asked the odd question, etc.

I think it depends on the child as to how much/what kind of support they nee, but IMO most children will need quite a bit of support at least initially in Y7.

flack Sun 11-Sep-11 11:33:50

This may be terribly neglectful of me... but I simply don't have the energy to make them do it. I refuse to do it for them and either I want the teacher to be good enough to inspire them to want to do it, or I want them to find some self-discipline or simply respect the many reasons why they should do it.

DC3, who is y3 and has some phobias about certain types of work, I do not expect him to have the self-discipline and I think he will benefit from doing it regardless. So I have resolved to crack the whip & make him do homework and even extra work even for now on.

But my DC in y5 & y7... no. I won't get involved unless asked, either. They should want to do it by now.

swanriver Sun 11-Sep-11 19:12:21

I correct very obvious mistakes in History, English etc, RE etc, or where what they say just doesn't make sense. I suppose when they want you to sign the homework diary, they are also asking you to check that your child has done it to a satisfactory standard, and share some of the research topics.
I also find my child is not able to research without my input. But that is my child (Ds1) I feel really strongly that I don't want him to come up with illinformed gibberish about a set independent topic, especially when it is usually a one off (ie: other members of class doing different independent topics) I find if he researches by himself he goes on Wikipedia and can make neither head nor tail of it, and just regurgitates rubbish or only the beginning bit and then runs out of steam and never really works out what the point of the topic was, so I try and get library books out for him which tend to be written for the right age group (he's 11). It is hard work for me, but how he is going to learn about things later if I don't make him practice researching properly? A bit like leaving them to learn Maths by themselves imo. Useless.

Last week has been hard work for both of us. Yr 6 I didn't intervene at all, and I wish I had been a bit more beady then. Certainly school never picked up on a lot of deficiencies in his homework, and I feel I can't let him be sloppy any longer.

Lucycat Sun 11-Sep-11 20:32:14

I sat at the table this morning and did my work while dd1 did hers - she just needs advising that doing HW as soon as it's set is the answer.
The only thing I helped with today was the devils own work of sticky back plastic! Not sure whether my help was positive though...grin

cricketballs Sun 11-Sep-11 20:55:57

I just had a general conversation over evening meal with DS (just started yr12) about his day, what he had done and what homework he had as well as signing his planner every week. He was more than aware though that I would find out from his teachers (very good school in terms of communication!) asap if homework was not completed on time/to the best of his ability

I would be wary of just relying on the planner alone - as a secondary teacher I am more than aware that not all homework gets entered and although they may have their planner out when told to write down h/work or they have 'forgotten' their planner

Fennel Mon 12-Sep-11 10:44:48

I am helicoptering away with my yr 11, I wouldn't have expected to at this age but dd1 is quite chaotic, terrible memory, finds organising herself difficult. I don't want her to start secondary school with a series of detentions for forgotten homework, PE kit etc. She is getting slowly better at organising herself- in primary she used to lose a jumper a week, for years, and was the worst child in the school at handing in lunch tickets. But for the moment I suppose I see it as a particular weakness that dd1 has, she's a dreamy forgetful type and I don't want her to start secondary school on a downer because of this.

I won't bother with dd2 when she goes, she's organised, and dd3 is already better att 7 than dd1, so I think it's particularly for this child I'm being quite so helicoptering and over-involved.

wordfactory Mon 12-Sep-11 11:06:28

I ask every day what homework has been set and when they intend to do it, pointing out what they have on during the evenings and weekends so they can see windows of opportunity wink.

DS pretty much cracks on with his homework. Might ask if he gets stuck. DD likes an audience and to run everything past me. I'm trying to limit this as much as possible.

exoticfruits Mon 12-Sep-11 11:33:05

What you are doing is fine. You are not helping by micro managing.

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