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Is it normal to have no guidelines for how long homework should take?

(13 Posts)
GodzillasBumcheek Fri 26-Sep-08 22:15:12

Because my DDs keep being sent home with homework which needs doing for the next day/ few days and sometimes seem to be spending hours on it with only about two hours free - which includes eating their evening meal.

Don't kids get to do other stuff once they move up to Secondary? I'm sure adults worked this hard would protest!

IamRiallyindisguise Fri 26-Sep-08 22:25:31

I would ask the school GBC, they should have some homework guidelines in place. Do they have a homework club at school?
DS1 started Yr7 this term and they have a two week "rolling timetable" that seems to mean they have 1-2weeks to do the homework, and apparently they have a homework timetable too (when I ask hime about HW he says "I have science but I do that on Thursday" etc) I went to the sa,eschool and am finding it quite hard to get my head around as we worked in a similar way to how you metion.
HTH, I'm sure someone will have better advice soon.

IamRiallyindisguise Fri 26-Sep-08 22:26:59

and obviously my schooling did me no good at all because I can't spellblush
I think 1+ hours a night is normal thoughsad

Bridie3 Fri 26-Sep-08 22:27:25

I think homework is getting completely out of hand. Well done to Tiffin Boys School for reducing it! After a certain point it is completely counterproductive because they are too tired.

Better an hour's intensive work. An hour and 20 minutes tops, for children that age.

GodzillasBumcheek Fri 26-Sep-08 22:28:07

They do have a homework club but i don't see the point in it TBH.

SqueakyPop Sat 27-Sep-08 08:07:43

Our homework schedule is 3 half-hour homeworks per night, 4 on weekends (not including readers).

SqueakyPop Sat 27-Sep-08 08:09:38

The point of a homework 'club' is that they can get their heads down with fewer distractions, use computers and the library resources.

It also means they can stay at school until parents are able to pick them up, or at least don't arrive home to an empty house.

magentadreamer Sat 27-Sep-08 08:16:22

In my Dd's planner it states Yr7 should expect to get 30-45 mins per subject a week. She doesn't seem to get homework for every subject every week I've noticed. I'm assuming they're breaking them in gently. They have homework type clubs in a variety of subjects which I think will be a good idea if she gets a bit stuck on something as she'll be able to and ask for help.

roisin Sat 27-Sep-08 08:53:48

What sort of school is it Godzilla? Is it a high-achieving selective school? If you are concerned, I would phone the school and ask for advice. I'm happy with ds1's workload at the moment.

We haven't got a homework timetable but there are some patterns developing. When he has 2-4 lessons per week the subjects seem to set each week, and less frequent subjects set once a fortnight. Often he gets a week, sometimes 3-4 days (ie Monday for Friday or Friday for Monday).

It's a bit uneven but he's had between 8 and 14 pieces per each week.

I don't think I've seen guidance on homework, but I have in my head 20-30 mins per subject. Sometimes he spends longer because he's keen, but he could do it faster if he wanted. Some of them are very quick and just take 10 mins or so.

He usually does intensive homework sessions on Tuesday evening, Friday evening and Saturday morning, then nothing on the other days.

ecoworrier Sat 27-Sep-08 13:51:33

We get a homework timetable each year, saying which nights homework will normally be set for each subject, and how long it should take. So for example, some subjects are set twice a week, at 20-30 minutes each, while others are set once a week at 40 minutes.

Occasionally teachers deviate from this, but if a pattern emerges that the homework timetable isn't being followed, parents are encouraged to contact the school and the school will look into it. There are also regular (annual I think) homework surveys, where for a couple of weeks pupils have to fill in when they get homework for each subject, and approx how long it takes. This helps identify subjects/teachers where too much or too little homework is given, or when it is regularly set on the 'wrong' day.

The other thing is that pupils' perception of homework varies - some think it is too much, others too little. That's why it is handy to know how much is expected for each subject - you might get a child who routinely takes too long, possibly because they are a perfectionist! This seems to be more of a girl thing! It is more than acceptable to sign the planner saying X has spend 30 mins on their homework but has not completed it.

Just checked on the school website, and for Yr 7s the average homework is supposed to be approx 4 hours 20 mins per week, rising to approx 10 hours per week by Yr11. Always has seemed fairly reasonable.

SqueakyPop Sat 27-Sep-08 14:24:22

I would say that if your child is regularly deviating from 30-40 minutes per subject (in either direction), then do use the homework diary to give your feedback. If your child cannot complete their hw in 30 minutes (or whatever is specified by the school), and it is more than a one-off, then just write a little note or comment to say that they stopped after xx minutes.

GodzillasBumcheek Sun 28-Sep-08 11:05:01

Thank you all for your feedback.

Ok...there is no guideline set in their homework books for how long any single piece should take, so i will try to stick to approx half an hour each piece maximum (unless they want to do more).

The thing is with homework club, there are some problems -
a) there is no time a parent will be available for pick-up, as we do not have a car, and the school is 30 mins walk away (and not in the direction of anywhere else i would possibly be going, ever)
b) because it takes them 30 mins to walk home, i insist they come straight home after school because otherwise they would be walking home in the dark (ok not this month, but soon)
c) They usually take so long on the homework because they do not understand it in some way, or can't use the laptop proficiently, and as the homework club is unsupervised it wouldn't help.

GodzillasBumcheek Sun 28-Sep-08 11:08:09

No, roisin, it's not a selective or high-achieving school (there's only one in our area and it's a bus journey away, so with the Travelsick Two it was never an option!).

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