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How do I help a reluctant 4 yo with homework?

87 replies

scattyspice · 27/09/2007 12:35

DS has small amount of homework from reception. He has to read and match words. Would just take 10mins


I don't know if he finds it too hard or boring or what.

Ant tips?

OP posts:
Wilkie · 28/09/2007 22:22

Homework???? 4 years old

wheresthehamster · 28/09/2007 22:25

what wilkie said

Desiderata · 28/09/2007 22:36

Jeez, I'm sorry, but this country is going to the dogs if a four year old, or a five year old, or a six year old, is expected to do homework.

If he doesn't want to do it, then give him a football.

This is a modern thing, and it's crap. He's far too young for that sort of thing, and no wonder he argues.

collision · 28/09/2007 22:46


Homework teaches a little bit of discipline. A child soaks up so much info in the first 5 years of his life and it is good to get him working from home too.

It wont kill him.

Have a drink and a biscuit when he gets in and no tv til it is done!

Desiderata · 28/09/2007 22:50


cadelaide · 28/09/2007 22:57

Tell the teacher he's too tired and doesn't want to do it (in an assertive "...and I'm not going to make him" kind of way).

DaisyABandyBoobToo · 28/09/2007 22:59

We had this all last year with our DS who is now in year 1. his birthday is the end of May.

I used to get really hung up on it, but after asking around friends and seeing on here that he was expected to do much more than other kids his age, I relaxed about it and didn't push it. His spellings we would do verbally rather than in his book, and I would get him reading his own books rather than the school book.

I've had a lot of snotty comments from his teachers in his reading and spelling record about needing more practice etc, but I think being a kid is far more important at this age and three reading books and 6 spellings a week is a bit ridiculous for a 4 year old.

He's much better this year as the school day is more structured.

Don't push it and it will come.

summer born boys apparently take longer to settle friend teaches secondary and she says even at 11 you can tell the summer born boys.

chloesmumtoo · 29/09/2007 09:56

I must be a bit out of the ordinary lol because I love doing stuff with dd like that. Aswell as with ds. I have always had a bit of a fear dd would develope dyselxia as its strong in dp's side so that did make me make extra effort early on. From late preschool we practised sounds and reception class we regulary read her books and practised words,I dont really think of it as homework. She enjoys it and so do I. She will actually run upstairs at the mention of her school book now(after a break from school that is,else I wouldnt get anywhere!). I know its a chore in the sense of time being scarse but I am surprised at how so many of you seem to hate having it so much. I quite often feel releaved at the fact she may find it easier in school if I help her at home as she still comes home saying the work is hard. She is in year 1.

chloesmumtoo · 29/09/2007 09:59

Obviously though I can understand if dc's dont enjoy it and then its no fun at all. Yes definately, I agree its no good pushing them. Gotta be relaxed.

themildmanneredjanitor · 29/09/2007 10:00

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyTophamHatt · 29/09/2007 10:02

I hate homework for ANY primary school children.

Why isn't there enough time IN school to do the work, ther was when I was a child.

It makes my head explode with rage that 4 year olds get homework.

scattyspice · 29/09/2007 18:32

Thanks for the replies.

I think the relaxed approach wins the day.

Parents eve coming up so I'll discuss it then.

OP posts:
Desiderata · 29/09/2007 18:40


HonoriaGlossop · 29/09/2007 18:56


No, I mean great actually

Homework is utterly ridiculous for a 4 yr old. It has to be SO counterproductive to make them feel they have to do this stuff which in your very young ds' case, scatty, they may just not be ready to do. Sure fire way to turn them off school I would think!

I would bin it.

If you really feel you must do some (and unfortunately we often, me included, do fall prey to the pressure) then I'd recommend doing it in the morning before school when they're fresher. But don't worry in the slightest about not doing it. It's far more important that he experiences learning as something that he WANTS to do.

Desiderata · 29/09/2007 19:04

The only time I seem to meet up with you, Honoria, is on threads like this! I agree with your post, word for word, line for line.

It's encouraging to note that some teachers/schools have told parents that if they're too tired, they should leave it, however.

Blu · 29/09/2007 19:18

Even in Yr 1 I told DS's teacher that we were not doing regular reading, and would not be doing regular reading because it caused so much stress. She said 'that's fine - the last thing we want to do is put him off, he's doing very well indeed, so just keep reading books to him and he will do it when he feels ready'.

If a four year-old comes home with homework, it does not necessarily have to be done, imo. It's something nice and interesting to do if the child feels that way abou it.

HonoriaGlossop · 29/09/2007 19:47

Hi Desi

It is encouraging that some schools are making it clear it's only for doing if the child wants to. To be honest, I sometimes wonder if the teachers mainly give it to keep some parents happy.....was standing behind two reception mothers the other day discussing how it was going (erm, what is it, about a month in to school for their four year olds?) and one was saying "Yes, dh and I are thinking of complaining to the teacher - they're still not doing any WRITING!"

After I'd nearly swallowed my tongue trying not to say something to them, it did occur to me that there may be many parents who pressure the school for homework? Or think that it shows their kids are in a 'good' school?

Desiderata · 29/09/2007 20:00

Yes, it's interesting.

What has heartened me from this thread, is that parents can agree to disagree, as it were. If they're too tired, they can leave it.

And if it's something they're really interested in, they can take it up.

This is certainly all knew to me. Ds isn't old enough for school yet, but I don't recall getting any homework at all in my primary years.

Things would appear to have changed.

scattyspice · 29/09/2007 20:03

I might teach him how to spell BOLLOCKS.

OP posts:
constancereader · 29/09/2007 20:07

I hate homework for primary children.

You are right though, some parents pressure for it.
At any one time, in any classroom, you have parents who
-don't think they should get any.
-don't think that they get enough.
-think that what is given is too hard for their dc.
-think that what is given is too easy for their dc.

It is hard to please everyone.

islandofsodor · 29/09/2007 23:49

Dd is in year 1 and one of the oldest in her year. I caused rebellion at the meet the teacher meeting when I openly said that if dd did not want/have time to do her homework, or if it impinged on our family life at weekends, then she would not be doing it.

harpsichordcarrier · 29/09/2007 23:52

homework at four, the world has gone mad surely.
do it in the car
do it at the breakfast table
if he is too tired or doesn't want to do it. bin it

hatwoman · 30/09/2007 00:08

I agree with those who think "homework" at this age is , in the main, ridiculous. in fact it could be worse and turn some kids off learning. don;t bother with the hw but salve your conscience by compensating - ie integrating an equivalent activity into his everyday life in a way that's fun and engaging (which you are probably doing anyway). as long as he has a supportive environment, books in the house, parents who enjoy learning and are interested in his learning a teacher would have some real difficulty arguing that he needs to do this hw. The point of hw at this age is largely for kids who would otherwise have nothing educational in their homes lives.

scattyspice · 30/09/2007 19:52

I agree with you all.

DH tried to do it tonight with similar effect so ended up reading the school book to him.

We do read books and go to the library etc. He just doesn't want to be put on the spot.

I'm gonna keep reading the school books with him / do his homework with him and talk to the teacher.

OP posts:
collision · 01/10/2007 21:38

I cannot understand why you lot dont want homework for your children!

If they are working on something in the classroom and are given a small amount of numbers to do or a few words to spell out, it is hardly taxing is it?

I think some of it is to do with parents who want to rebel against the teachers!

Why would you want them to fall a bit behind their peers who are doing the homework?

And reading a book is fun!

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