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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:
ninja · 01/10/2007 21:45

I used to think HW was an unnecessary but no big deal. However, trying to persuade dd (4) to do it when really school is taking all her energy (to concentrate and obey ), I am now caught in a dilema. I don't want to be forcing her to do it, I started down that road but I can only see that it'll be counter-productive. I don't want her to think though that everything like that is just optional, in the future it WILL be compulsary. Most of all I don't want to turn her off her learning.

I think the conclusion I've come to is to be relaxed about it and maybe then she'll start wondering WHY I'm not asking her to do it and she'll have a go and it'll be the fun activity I always assumed hw should be.

Desiderata · 01/10/2007 21:48

It's a gross infringement of childhood, that's why.

It's part and parcel of this ridiculous, competitive culture we seem to live in. If a child really wants to do this, at four/five, then so be it.

But if it's enforced, then it's the modern day equivalent of sticking a small kid up a chimney. They're at school all day. Why must they bring work home with them too?

seeker · 01/10/2007 21:49

I hate homework - what's the point? I suspect that schools often set it because they think parents like it. It's like blazers and ties. I can see NO reason why children should have to wear blazers and ties (especially girls - it makes me thing that there's a subliminal message there - you want an education, girl, then you pretend to be a man!) But apparantly parents love them!

seeker · 01/10/2007 21:50

Mind you, if I had dome my homework, I might now be able to spell.....

NKF · 01/10/2007 21:50

10 minutes messing about with words is nothing even at the age of four. Some families would do it for larks and barely even register it as homework. Make it fun, make it quick. Do it alongside something else. Don't stress about it. That would be my advice.

NKF · 01/10/2007 21:51

Or get someone else to do it with him.

juuule · 01/10/2007 21:53

I just don't think it's necessary and I don't believe they'll fall behind by not doing it. If they want to do it, fine - if not, fine too.

jeangenie · 01/10/2007 21:55

haven't read all the replies but I agree with Fennel - if you must do it do it on weekend morning (or I do with DD1 when DD2 has lunchtime nap at we). I find trying to get them to do anything during the week is a nonsense, especally in reception. DD1 at least was totally worn out and just needed to relax. I didn't get all hung up about it - just ignored it. I read her school books (bloody ORT) to her in bed at night and we didn't stress. It did help that I had been at a reading support workshop at the school at which teh deputy head (in charge of KS1) said she though homework for youngies was totally wrong so I did I had some justification. Now DD1 is in yr1 they get homework on afriday which is due in on Weds which suits our way of doing things fine. They do get book to read 3 times a week and most nights I read it, at weekends I encourage DD1 to have a go. I find she responds MUCH better when not pushed into it when exhausted from a full day of learning.

Good Luck

MorocconOil · 01/10/2007 21:55

Homework at 4

NKF · 01/10/2007 21:57

Some people don't do homework of course. I know parents who don't agree with it but perhaps my children go to a particularly liberal school. You could always try missing it and see what happens.

collision · 01/10/2007 21:57

Bollocks to you Desi!

'Oh sorry Mrs Foster. DS didnt want to do his homework so I didnt encourage him to do it!'

children have too many choices these days. A tiny bit of 10min homework will not kill them! It will help set a regular pattern because in time their homework will not be optional!

I am really shocked at your attitudes and would not dream of going to the teacher to say that DS didnt want to do it so he didnt!

NKF · 01/10/2007 22:02

I also think that making a fuss about homework being too much and too exhausting and too everything else can encourage children to make heavier work of it than they should.

After all, words are fun and children are fun and children and words are the best fun of all (apart from chocolate cake that is(.

If you said he was having written homework and pages of sums, I think there might be a point in worrying. But 10 minutes of wordplay. It's just because it came from the school that it's a problem. You could find that sort of stuff in a comic.

ninja · 01/10/2007 22:05

Actually DD's teacher said she didn't agree with it so young. There's no evidence it does any good (for the kids!) and writing out n and N 20 times isn't fun!

I still think the way of solving that it will be compulsay later is not to have it at all now.

Maybe some suggested activities (we're doing ...., you could talk about....) would make more sense at reception age

collision · 01/10/2007 22:06

phew! another sane voice......thanks NKF!

You are all making a mountain out of a molehill with this homework thing. It takes minutes and can be fun! The more you moan about it the more the child will moan about it!

MorocconOil · 01/10/2007 22:07

Well why not just read a lovely story to your 4 year old. Surely that's more enjoyable, fun and instilling a love of learning than forcing them to do 'homework'?

juuule · 01/10/2007 22:07

Agree there, Ninja is definitely the voice of sanity.

Donk · 01/10/2007 22:08

I refuse to do 'homework' with DS (4.9) - even crossed out the section on the home-school agreement before I signed it.
BUT - when school sends a book home he gets really excited and can't wait to look at it. So we do. It's obviously not 'work'
Ditto flashcards matching words and actions with the written form.... but then I did introduce them by saying 'oooooh! look at this DS, school have sent a game home for us to play' He said 'Oh Good! Aren't they kind....'
So we play games with them - matching games, memory games (like pairs), teaching Daddy (hilarious that), guessing games, games he makes up......
What I will NOT do is MAKE him memorise the blasted things by rote. (Militant Donkey emoticon)

collision · 01/10/2007 22:10

but reading a story is done anyway isnt it?

surely thinking of a few words beginning with a letter and writing them out and colouring or practising a few letters is fine! or writing out the numbers....every day is all about learning and I dont understand this negativity at all!

collision · 01/10/2007 22:11

maybe homework across the country is different.

what sort of homework are we actually talking about?

seeker · 01/10/2007 22:12

There is no evidence that homework at any primary school age (apart from reading practice) makes any difference at all to academic outcomes. As I said earlier - it's just like ties and blazers. A sop to parents.

NKF · 01/10/2007 22:12

The OP said it was 10 minutes of word matching.

juuule · 01/10/2007 22:14

We could do 'eye spy' for words beginning with... but my dd wouldn't want to write them and hated colouring in regardless of any type of encouragement. So, do I force her to do that at 4? or do I just do the 'eye spy' for now and wait while she is older and wants to do the other things rather than putting her off them now.

NKF · 01/10/2007 22:15

I think homework can form part of an interesting "dialogue" between school and home. You know what the children are
doing and they know that you are interested in the details of their school work.

I also think that children know very early if you are tense about something and act accordingly.

I'm not arguing for reams and reams of work just pointing out that 10 mins of wordplay is the sort of things some families might do when they were out on a walk. Playful, pleasant and no big deal.

jajas · 01/10/2007 22:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NKF · 01/10/2007 22:29

To be honest, if your child did no homework in reception, nothing is likely to happen.

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