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all you experienced Yr7 Mums talk to be about homework please !

(22 Posts)
iwanttobelola Tue 10-Sep-13 11:34:25

My eldest has started in Yr7 and is in 'top sets' for Maths, English and Science (which personally I think as he is a bit of a stresshead is perhaps not a good thing), the first Maths homework has resulted in dramatic tears as he feels 'he just can't do it!' .. we talked through it and he managed to go away and complete approx. 3/4 of it but just couldn't grasp the last few questions.
I have sent him into school with it unfinished and told him to explain that he couldn't do it the last part ..but having discussed this with a couple of friends they feel that I have done wrong and should have done it with him and sent it in completed
Have I done wrong and been a baaad mother ???

titchy Tue 10-Sep-13 11:50:50

Are you a maths teacher? If not why on earth should you be teaching him the stuff he doesn't know? And is his maths teacher psychic, and therefore able to know your ds can't do something even though the homework is complete?

Ignore your friends they are competitive loons, for whom being in top set is the ultimate goal, not actually being able to do the work and pass the GCSE.

Kez100 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:25:17

I remember crying at my first secondary school maths homework (now I am an accountant!)

Mum told me to speak to the teacher. I did. She gave me a half hour lesson on it and it clicked.

Never looked back.

JGBMum Tue 10-Sep-13 12:33:33

Agree with other posters. Dd has a book for writing in her homework which we have to sign each week. On the odd occasion dd hasn't finished her homework I have written a v short note in there that she can show the teacher, and then the teacher knows she has tried, rather than just not finished it, iyswim.

TheWave Tue 10-Sep-13 12:39:25

Ours started with making posters and covering books with sticky back plastic so no issues with worrying about too much help here grin.

secretscwirrels Tue 10-Sep-13 13:14:30

You did the right thing.
Helping with an odd question or acting as a sounding board is fine, but if they really haven't grasped the topic the teacher needs to know.
Ask how he got on and just keep an eye on his homework in general.
Most schools have a journal or diary as JGB says in which homework is written. There should also be some guidelines about how much time should be spent on it. If a child is a worrier or struggling they sometimes spend far more time than is expected on the homework.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 10-Sep-13 13:23:33

The teacher needs to know if they are struggling

My input into homework so far was to find & photocopy dds birth certificate & a newspaper article for history (documtary evidence & artefacts)

She has a planner I have to sign with any comments.

If you do it for him/with him the teacher will assume all us fine

wineoclocktimeyet Tue 10-Sep-13 13:40:50

TheWave - I have taken the responsibility for ALL sticky back plasticing in this house (after there was more attached toyounger brother and cat than on the bloody books) smile

mummytime Tue 10-Sep-13 13:47:33

Don't do his homework for him! How will the teacher know he is struggling if you do?

I do "help" my children with homework, sometimes re-explain, sometimes get them to explain the method to me. Sometimes one of my children helps another (especially DD with Maths, which she claims I can't explain and just stress her out). Ds is also far better than me with the sticky back plastic.

If my children take too long, I even stop them and put a note/post it in their book explaining (eg. when they have struggled for 2 hrs over 1/2 h homework).

Although I do also know the annoyance when their homework I "helped" with didn't get the grade I feel they (I) should have got. But it is best for them to hand in their own homework.

PlotTwist Tue 10-Sep-13 13:56:48

Stick a note in his journal saying he tried but struggled with the last few and could she go over it again with him. Most teachers are more than happy to do that. A bad mother either wouldn't care, or would do it for them.

noblegiraffe Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:18

Maths teacher here. Please don't send in your DC with perfectly completed homework if they really didn't get it. I use homework to inform my teaching the next lesson; if students get completely stuck, I want to know.

I can also get the wrong impression of a student if their homework is always brilliant. Their true ability then tends to come out in test scores, but after I could have helped them.

That said, that doesn't mean don't help DC with homework at all. A quick reminder or explanation is fine.

iwanttobelola Tue 10-Sep-13 14:05:16

ah thank you for all the advice and thoughts smile .. that has put my mind at rest he does have a planner so will have a look through that tonight and see if there is anywhere to pop a comment in if he struggles again.

noblegiraffe Tue 10-Sep-13 14:26:15

If you want to comment on the homework, write your note on the actual homework page where the teacher will see it when they do their marking. I never see students' planners!

exexpat Tue 10-Sep-13 14:35:25

I am normally very hands-off with homework, but early in year 7 I noticed DS was getting frustrated over some maths, which is very unlike him (natural mathematician), so I asked what the trouble was - turns out the homework had lots of problems involving long multiplication, which he was doing using the cumbersome chunking method he had been taught at primary, and it was taking him ages.

I then realised that he had never been taught the quick column-based long multiplication method we all learnt back in the dark ages, so I taught him how to do it, and he whizzed through the rest of the homework in ten minutes. I then wrote a quick note to the maths teacher in case that method wasn't approved at his new school too (the primary school had been very territorial about maths methods - they didn't want parents to interfere with all the New Maths), but got a call back saying it was fine, and to let the teacher know if there were any similar issues in future.

Basically, I'd say helping a bit with explanations etc is fine, but definitely don't do it yourself, and let the teacher know if there are problems.

iwanttobelola Tue 10-Sep-13 14:44:04

noblegiraffe a mumsnet maths teacher will be stalking you from now on wink and exexpat we have the same with our primary school I was severely reprimanded a few years back for teaching my child 'maths techniques from the 1980's' blush

secretscwirrels Tue 10-Sep-13 15:30:10

DS1 is a natural mathematician but DS2 had to work at it.

I'm afraid I over-ruled the primary school and first of all made him learn his tables by heart instead of the useless counting up on fingers method, and secondly showed him the old fashioned way of doing long multiplication instead of chunking.
I did check first that he would not be penalised in SATs by using the "wrong" method.

hardboiled Tue 10-Sep-13 15:51:08

Oh yes, if we hadn't taught DS the "old" maths methods at home he would've never passed the 11plus. Re homework, I agree with what has been said. You won't be sitting the exams with him!

Flicktheswitch Tue 10-Sep-13 15:54:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slug Tue 10-Sep-13 16:09:08

Nah don't worry exexpat. I once spend a teacher/parent meeting explaining a different way of working long division to DD's primary school teacher. At the time I was a maths teacher (in a FE college.)

I also insisted on DD memorising the times tables. It's all very well and good knowing the theory but it doesn't half slow down things if they have to sit and think hard what 6 times 6 is.

TeenAndTween Wed 11-Sep-13 13:05:25

I disagree with many of the above posts.

It is fine not to help, but I also think it is fine to help too, provided your help is constructive and your child is learning from it.

I have helped my child with maths, and also with essay structuring, discussing French grammar etc. I have time to give her 1-1 discussions on things she hasn't quite 'got' in school, or on areas she struggles with. As a result, by the end of y9 she had made better than expected progress in a number of subjects.

At our secondary at least, teachers do in class assessments regularly, eg every half term. So they are not relying on hw to see what my DD can do independently.

ItsDecisionTime Thu 12-Sep-13 17:23:38

If I thought I had the skills and knowledge to fill in a few gaps for my DD when doing her homework then I'd go ahead and do it. Frequently with Maths (!) I don't so she emails the teacher to ask for help. That usually does the trick.

I definitely wouldn't do her homework for her though. Possibly your friends are more interested in how their kids (and they) are perceived by their peers and not in making sure they learn this stuff.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Thu 12-Sep-13 17:47:17

I would always help when requested, only to explain a method or to check if answers were correct, never to do the actual work. I also send notes to the teachers via the homework diary. Still doing the same now and we are in GCSE and A levels.

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