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Is it normal not to bring any text or exercise books home?

(33 Posts)
katalex Wed 11-Jan-17 11:15:41

Dd started year 7 in September and she has not brought home one exercise or text book. All homework is issued on Show My Homework and she normally has to print out a worksheet or write answers on a piece of lined paper. She has to either answer the questions from memory or look up the answers on the Internet. It has started to become a problem with her science homework because often the information on web sites either vary or they may be too simple or too in-depth and not suitable for year 7. I have emailed dd's science teacher to ask which resources she can use to find the answers to her homework questions but she hasn't replied. When dd handed in her homework only partially completed, the teacher told her it was ok. She also suggested using BBC Bitesize. We have tried that and can find some of the information she needs but not all of it.

Last term she was given science homework which was 'revise all topics on sound'. That was all it said. There was no list of topics to revise, no text book, no exercise book to refer back to and no documents attached containing all the information they needed to revise.

Is it normal for schools not to allow students to take text books home? If so, where does your dc normally get the information they need for homework and revision?

FilledSoda Wed 11-Jan-17 11:18:42

That can't be right, can it?
Certainly isn't the case where we live.
On a side note , are all schools now assuming every family has a pc?

NapQueen Wed 11-Jan-17 11:22:03

I think it's school dependent. When I went to secondary (96-01) I had to carry a text book for each of the lessons round with me every day, and my best friend who went to a different comp used to roll a notebook up into her sleeve and put a pen in her pocket. And this was pre- tablet/wifi/interest everywhere.

NapQueen Wed 11-Jan-17 11:22:29

Doesn't she have exercise books she writes down the stuff they talk about in class?

dovesong Wed 11-Jan-17 11:23:27

In schools I've worked at, this has been the case because they've been so afraid of kids losing their books hmm They're supposed to give homework that you don't need your books for - a research task that you can use the Internet for, for example. I think we gave out revision packs that kids could take home before exams, and gave them time in class to revise - but it was the English department so testing was different to science and more about having developed skills than learning facts.

I think not being able to take books home is pretty ridiculous.

dovesong Wed 11-Jan-17 11:25:48

Oh, we also put revision guides and information on moodle (I guess the equivalent of Show My Homework?) that kids could print and use. It was assumed that all kids had computer and Internet access at home and if not they were told to use the library computers. Sigh.

katalex Wed 11-Jan-17 11:31:05

Napqueen - they have exercise books in class but they're not allowed to bring them home.

There is at least one boy in dd's class who doesn't have a computer.

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Wed 11-Jan-17 11:33:23

It's a nightmare for the elderly parent - we have a lot of this at my kids' secondary. Ask the school what materials they are using, and how you can get hold of them.

insan1tyscartching Wed 11-Jan-17 11:33:34

Dd brings home her exercise books,they go in for marking so she doesn't always have them all. She has a Maths text book that she takes backwards and forwards to school and any texts she is studying in English she gets a copy of those as well. Her bag is ridiculously heavy some days. Yesterday for example she had Maths text book,two Maths exercise books,English exercise book, copy of Lord of the Flies,three piano books and an exercise book (for piano lesson), Science and French exercise books,her planner, a book for independent reading (compulsory) pencil case,geometry set,calculator,sketch book and water bottle.

Autumnsky Wed 11-Jan-17 11:34:27

Some school in our area don't let children to bring the text book home, some let. I would suggest OP to ask DD to write down what book they use at school, then you can buy one copy yourself to keep it at home. I can't imagine how children do their revision without a text book.

leccybill Wed 11-Jan-17 11:47:02

Last school- never took them home. Too many got lost/wet/eaten by dog. School in rough area with many chaotic family set-ups, multiple kids sharing a bedroom etc.

Current (better) school - they do. Much easier for everything.

Never known a school where textbooks could go home, except for in Year 11 or revision guides.

NotThrowAwayMyShot Wed 11-Jan-17 11:54:26

Both my children use a mixture of traditional textbooks, online textbooks (Kaboodle) & Internet research. They have excercise books for every subject although DS does all his work on an iPad/laptop but it has to be printed out & stuck in his excercise book.

Links are routinely given to specific web pages/online textbook pages each c to complete homework/revision.

Foldedtshirt Wed 11-Jan-17 11:58:50

It's one of the unspoken 'mysteries' of why private schools get better results imo. One of mine got all A* based solely on being able to always review his work from the textbook and fantastic bespoke workbooks provided by the school.

katalex Wed 11-Jan-17 12:04:37

Thanks all for your replies. I was wondering if I should try to get a copy of the text books. Are these types of books available on Amazon?

insan1tyscartching - that is exactly what I remember from my school days. We were each given a text book for every subject and we were responsible for them. We took them home for homework and had to make sure we took them back in for the next lesson. My bag was always very heavy.

cakebaker39 Wed 11-Jan-17 12:09:47

Before spending any money, do just ask the school if your child have a log in for online textbook websites, such as kerboodle mentioned by a pp. This is what my children use.

katalex Wed 11-Jan-17 12:11:52

Thanks cakebaker39. I'll check with them.

Foldedtshirt Wed 11-Jan-17 12:27:36

I'd get the books tbh, if you can afford them it's a small investment. I've never heard of any other system around the developed world where children work entirely from photocopied sheets.

leccybill Wed 11-Jan-17 12:44:31

I hate worksheets. They always end up on the floor or ripped.
They are so prescriptive too. I asked my Y5s to quickly draw a few pieces of fruit yesterday in preparation for a task. Cue lots of moaning and rubbing out, 'I can't draw an apple' etc. They've been fed templates and outlines since Year R, that's why.
Anyway, rant over.

Textbooks are pricey on Amazon. Roughly £20 for single copies.

cakebaker39 Wed 11-Jan-17 12:45:44

If they have a login for kerboodle, then they have access to the same text book as they use in school (well, kerboodle is oxford uni press, but other publishers are similar). The books are there online. No need to pay out for the paper version.

Trifleorbust Wed 11-Jan-17 12:47:51

The only reason they would be doing this is that the children are losing their books/textbooks and the budget does not stretch to new books. We recently bought new textbooks for our GCSE students and the budget only allowed for one between two - every time we have to send a textbook to isolation or home for a student with medical needs to use, it is one more that usually doesn't come back confused

FranHastings Wed 11-Jan-17 12:56:26

Interesting, DD doesn't bring textbooks home either and finds homework very stressful. I've been comparing my experience of homework with her and was wondering why that was (KS2 experiences haven't helped), but you have just made me also realise I always had a textbook to work from and therefore it was less stressful than trying to find the appropriate info on the web and revise from notes of taken myself. Hmm. Worth finding out some textbook names, I think.

chloesmumtoo Wed 11-Jan-17 13:09:11

I don't think my dd brought many books home in the eary stages of secondary. I think the teachers are pretty wise to what goes home may not come back!
I remember the same kind of thing with dd with regards to looking up info on the internet. Very daunting and remember the strain of her struggling to find correctly suitable information. I used to try to help her in the beginning and have a few back up sites I had found during the day if she was struggling to find stuff. Definately cursed the teachers for not giving some website's as a guide. I think maybe it is all part of learning them to search but think its very frustrating for them esp learning to scan through all the information.
I would of thought she was meant to bring home her science book for revision though. But maybe it is all rather easy going at this stage. Dd brings home a lot now esp science but she is in the later years. I am sure it will all come together. I expect you should get a parent evening soon and can find out more then.
We have been given example websites in these later years on show my homework, also revision books to buy, Doddle site, Mathswatch site to work on and optional maths cards to purchase ect. It will all come together I'm sure

Badbadbunny Wed 11-Jan-17 13:14:21

My son is year 10. Brings home exercise books but not text books which aren't allowed off the premises. When we've raised it, had the response of basically look it up yourself on the internet, usually being lazily pointed to BBC bytesize. Yes, excessive use of scrappy worksheets too which are awful - usually printed so small you can hardly read them and in black and white (really useful when there is a coloured map or words highlighted in red!!). We've found BBC bytesize to be pretty inadequate - either going on about stuff not learned or not detailed enough for the topic. Son (as us) have been regularly stressed trying to find internet resources at the right level and often basically son trying to remember what was in the text book!

Anyway. for gcse year 10, we've bit the bullet and bought a full set of text books from Amazon after telling son to make a note of each text book used in class. It's made a massive difference - homework now done far quicker as we're not wasting time trawling google and he can concentrate on exactly what he needs to know, which is also quicker when it's just a recap of what has already been done in lessons using the same book so easier to recognise/remember. Wish we'd done it years ago.

As for text books being online via kerboodle etc - yes, some are, but what a pain to try to read as you're constantly resizing as they're A4 portrait but a computer screen is landscape, and often the topic is both sides of an open book with say a diagram on the left with the key/info on the right page, so ideal with an open book, but painful flicking between screens on a computer screen. The online "books" are nothing more than a pdf with no hyperlinks and not formatted for screens. Just something else to make homework more time consuming and irritating!!

FranHastings Wed 11-Jan-17 13:20:09

After reading that Badbadbunny, I think we will definitely invest now in yr 7. I'll have 2 kids going through the system, so it makes sense. Homework is such a nightmare and like you say, BBC bitesize is really not always helpful! Thanks.

NicknameUsed Wed 11-Jan-17 13:20:22

DD only now gets textbooks in year 12. She did get an English lit revision guide from school for GCSE English lit though, but many schools nowadays just don't have enough in their budgets for textbooks. I bought revision guides for DD when she was doing her GCSEs though and they were massively helpful.

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