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To expect homework to stay at home?

(45 Posts)
Greyduster Mon 20-Jun-16 11:18:36

My daughter, s-i-l and grandson come to us just about every other weekend for Sunday roast. We look forward to this to be able to spend a bit more time with our only grandchild than the hour or so after the school run two days a week, when he is generally with his friends anyway. On several occasions recently, his parents have brought his homework with them and, invariably, he is reluctant to do it when he is over here. It usually ends badly. Last night, all he wanted to do was explain how mine craft worked to DH, and read his Harry Potter. Instead, there were tensions because he was deemed not to be concentrating properly on some taxing maths problem, we were reduced to silent onlookers in case we distracted him, and the whole thing just made me want to scream. I still want to scream! He has designated homework times at home, and there was really no need for him to do it here. I said this morning that I wanted to speak to DD about it, and ask her not to do it again, as this was our time and our home, but DH says not to rock the boat. Just needed to get this off my chest.

ninathenana Mon 20-Jun-16 11:28:58

No,it's not unreasonable to think GS should do his homework Friday night or Saturday. You have a valid point. Their Sunday visits should be a relaxing family time.
The exception I feel would be if he needed to do something you or H are well equipped to help with.

Charleygirl Mon 20-Jun-16 11:41:53

This young man should not be doing homework 7 days a week. He needs time off to relax and as he is with his GPs he should be enjoying his time there. I agree re the exception.

RedheadedMommy Mon 20-Jun-16 11:54:06

My daughter does her homework on a Sunday night after her bath whole I'm ironing her uniform.
She has school Friday. The only day she has nothing is Saturday which she does what she likes.
Sunday afternoon/evening are busy, always something to do.

They might be like that, I wouldn't say anything because they might stay at home and him do the homework there. Sundays which school aged children are far from relaxing.

RedheadedMommy Mon 20-Jun-16 11:55:04

*while and *with blush

Greyduster Mon 20-Jun-16 12:11:46

His designated homework night is Monday - the rest of the week, apart from the weekend, he either has after school clubs or outside activities in the evening, so he doesn't get a lot of "time off". I think he at least deserves that over here with us. Perhaps it's an unreasonable thing to complain about since there are those on here who don't see their GC at all, and I appreciate that his mum and dad are anxious that he should maintain the position he has obtained in his class, but there are limits.

Mamie Mon 20-Jun-16 12:28:30

We don't live in the same country as any of our grandchildren, but we often help with homework via Skype. grin

RedheadedMommy Mon 20-Jun-16 12:34:21

My DD is 6 and last week had 6 sheets of homework, it's not due in till Tuesday but likes to get it done and out the way before Monday so she comes home Monday and that's that.

How old is your DGS? Maybe his parents split it so he hasn't got it all today on a Monday. He doesn't sound like he has alot of down time if he has something on 7 days a week as well as school.

Homework doesn't get done, kids get into trouble or fall behind. They have reading books on top of that and sometimes spelling tests and projects. And that's for a 6 year old. I'm dreading when she gets older sad

trisher Mon 20-Jun-16 15:18:30

Sorry I think you should take it in your stride. I wonder why you accepted the role of 'silent onlooker'? Personally I like to offer help and words of wisdom when homework comes up. Not that these are completely appreciated, GS has been known to tell me how much things have changed since I was at school, but I do manage occasionally to astound him by giving useful information. Try turning this into a chance for all the family to get involved.

thatbags Mon 20-Jun-16 15:26:06

Some parents are really neurotic about homework. How old is he?

GillT57 Mon 20-Jun-16 15:33:03

Maybe the poor little chap could do with less after school clubs. I do think that some parents book their children into too much. What about a bit of time to just loaf with their friends? Sorry doesnt help your problem, was just an opinion!

Badenkate Mon 20-Jun-16 17:48:31

I agree Gill. I think children are far too 'organised' these days. There's nothing wrong with a bit of not doing anything so that children learn to occupy themselves instead of expecting activities to be dished up on a plate. What will they do when they get older?

shelana Mon 20-Jun-16 17:55:17

This is a tricky one, as youngsters often leave homework to last minute.Could you discuss with your son or daughter what time they would like to be heading for home and mention that your grandchild may need time to finish any left-over tasks.This way you set the boundaries!Good luck....

Greyduster Mon 20-Jun-16 18:03:17

Trisher you are right - I probably should take it in my stride, and to be fair, DH did put in his fourpenn'orth about how GS might solve the problem (I'm useless with numbers) only to be told he was perfectly capable of doing it himself so he kept quiet after that! I think they were frustrated by his attitude yesterday, and I can't blame them for that, but my beef is that all this tension should have taken place in their house, not mine. DD is usually pleased to let us coach him on his spellings and his English occasionally after we bring him home from school, and then he is allowed to go out and play, or have friends in to play, until teatime. bags he is nine, and like a lot of nine year olds he will do what he can get away with.

thatbags Mon 20-Jun-16 18:07:19

We rebelled about primary school homework. Perhaps we were lucky to have a very reasonable headteacher who saw our point of view even though it contravened school 'policy'. Minibags never did any. I think it's a waste of time for primary school kids.

She did masses of reading, of her own choice.

She has done all her homework at secondary school and is a very successful pupil.

thatbags Mon 20-Jun-16 18:09:02

PS if she had chosen to play instead of read, that would have been fine too. Erica Christakis has written a very good book entitled: "The Importance of Being Little".

vampirequeen Mon 20-Jun-16 18:29:30

I hated setting homework when I was a primary teacher. I can see the point in upper KS2 but not in KS1 and lower KS2.

It was a bind on the children and a bind on me because I had to mark it. Although it did amuse me how many parents actually did the homework for the children. They seemed to forget that I knew how the children formed letters and numbers. Often adults write big and backwards thinking that's how children write.

Children don't need to be organised by adults every second of their lives. They need time to do nothing and even be bored. If our children complain about being bored I offer to find them a job. It's amazing how quickly they find something else to do.

Hellomonty Mon 20-Jun-16 19:00:35

As a teacher who has seen this kind of thing a lot, I would be willing to bet that getting him to do his homework at yours wasn't anyone's plan, but that your grandson didn't use the time set aside to apply himself and get it done. It had to be done for Monday and since they were going to yours that was their only choice. Before you get too cross with your daughter be sure that it wasn't essentially your grandson's decision to ruin the evening with you. At nine he's more than capable of understanding what the consequences of not doing it at the set time. As to planned activities - are there any HE would like to give up? Is he really being forced or are his parents running themselves ragged so he can do all the things he wants to take part in?

Lillie Mon 20-Jun-16 19:47:01

I agree that 9 year olds are pretty good at procrastinating, and Sunday afternoon at your house is probably seen as a convenient time to do the set homework. No problem. If your GS prefers to do it without help I would get on with my own chores and busy myself loading the dishwasher and sweeping the floor.

Greyduster Mon 20-Jun-16 19:50:06

I think they must have realised that they shortchanged us yesterday. DD sent a text today to say that GS had been instructed that he was to spend some time after we brought him home from school, doing something un-homework related with DH and I, so we spent forty minutes playing a game and then, as he had been invited to his friend's house to play, I let him go out. He'd fulfilled his part of the bargain with good grace! He will, as we speak, be doing his homework - also with good grace I hope.

granjura Mon 20-Jun-16 20:37:44

Perhaps parents have been having an awful time with getting him to do hos HW, and thought your kind, calm and encouraging approach would help resolve the issues and get things done.

Don't stew and discuss this with them calmly and with humour. Our GS is also 10, and not too keen on getting his HW done either- quite naturally. He is better with us, than with his parents- and we take that as a compliment.

Greyduster Mon 20-Jun-16 20:55:30

It's been good to have your views on this. I'll try and find an opening to discuss things with DD although DH still thinks I shouldn't pursue it. I think their thinking is that if keeping him in a homework routine is like pulling teeth now, what's it going to be like in a year or two's time when it really matters.

Luckygirl Mon 20-Jun-16 21:02:59

Don't get me going on the subject of homework! - a pernicious invasion of family life.

I share your exasperation - poor GS.

thatbags Mon 20-Jun-16 21:12:36

lucky, once again ours are the only voices speaking against homework for primary school kids. It never ceases to amaze me.

Why do people assume it's necessary up to the age of eleven or twelve just because it might be necessary during the teenage years?

Why is it assumed that a child who doesn't do homework while at primary school won't do it at secondary? My kids all did. My four siblings and I did. My parents did. None of us had homework while at primary school. All (except Minibags who hasn't got to uni yet but she's setting her sights high at age fifteen) have at least one university degree.

nightowl Mon 20-Jun-16 21:53:25

Another voice against homework here Luckygirl and thatbags. DGS is almost 6 and has had homework set since he was in nursery. He still has the same homework book which is remarkably empty, and sometimes goes missing for weeks at a time somewhere between his house, our house, and school. Do any of us care? Not much. His mum's a teacher and as far as I'm concerned, she knows a thing or two about the importance or otherwise of homework for primary school children.

nightowl Mon 20-Jun-16 22:16:38

Sorry that's not very helpful to the OP's problem sad Like others, I despair at the effects on family life of this emphasis on homework for young children who should be enjoying their childhood.

f77ms Tue 21-Jun-16 05:48:06

Another `homework` hater here ! School work should be kept in school at primary age . I think Homework after school clubs are a great idea for teachers who insist on it . The last thing you should be doing in the evening after a day at work is trying to get a them to do homework , it was always a battle .

LullyDully Tue 21-Jun-16 08:41:19

Just read your post. A bit much to bring maths homework to you on a family Sunday lunch. Ours do their's first thing Saturday am then it's done. GS usually has French vocabulary which I enjoy helping with and the 11year old usually just gets on with it to get it over and done with.
Not fair to spoil your time w with them.

thatbags Tue 21-Jun-16 08:45:32

Waves happily to nightowl and f77ms 👋

trisher Tue 21-Jun-16 09:54:02

thatbags I think most primary schoolteachers hate homework. My favourite parents were the ones who came and told the head they weren't going to do it. Heads for some reason seem to favour it, league tables and pushy parents being 2 possibilities. There are some people who just love it.

Luckygirl Tue 21-Jun-16 11:01:35

They love it because they regard the upbringing and education of children as some sort of competition, an idea fueled by the SATs and league tables. We are creating a generation of worried young people whose mental health is at risk. The statistics speak for themselves.

GrandmaMoira Tue 21-Jun-16 13:07:58

My GCs do homework at my house if they come to me straight from school on Friday. They enjoy doing Mathletics online and sometimes ask for help if stuck on something. Other times the 10 year old, (occasionally) and 8 year (usually) will ask advice on how to do the work - what websites to look up, what sort of thing to make etc. When younger I read with them. This makes it constructive time spent with GC but I don't chase them hard to do the work as their Mother can do that when they get home if needed, and, as said elsewhere, neither I nor my kids did homework at Primary school.

Devorgilla Tue 21-Jun-16 17:00:40

If the situation continues you could raise it casually shortly after they arrive and before dinner is ready. Then you can suggest that perhaps, as the meal isn't ready yet, he could make a start/complete it before dinner. Then suggest that would mean time to indulge in a game he likes without the dreaded homework hanging over him. Kids can be great procrastinators but a carrot dangled in front of them usually works. When my grandkids moan about boring homework I tell them the quickest way to deal with boredom is to get it out of the way asap.

Granarchist Tue 21-Jun-16 17:15:46

Another voice against homework for primary age children. Luckily my daughters' headmistress said that if she didn't get all the information etc into them during the hours she had them in her school, then she was not doing her job. She often had parents demanding homework - nevertheless she held out and her pupils were way up to the mark when they moved on.

vampirequeen Thu 23-Jun-16 22:07:57

What a brilliant headteacher. I wish there were more like her. I set homework because I had no choice. It was school policy and policies had to be adhered to.

We set Mathletics but that meant that homework could only be done by children whose parents could afford a PC and the internet. We ran a special lunchtime session for children without home computers but that didn't seem fair on them as they missed much needed playtime.

The worst thing I ever did, and I still feel guilty about it, was set homework in which the children had to write a couple of paragraphs describing their bedrooms. When the homework came in one child had described the living room because he didn't have a bedroom so he described the room he slept in.

embo32 Sat 25-Jun-16 09:21:27

Maybe you could help him with his homework when he cones to you during the week?

gettingonabit Sat 25-Jun-16 09:57:30

vampire that's sad. It illustrates a point though; not all children come from families where homework is seen as important.

Well done granarchist's head teacher!

When dd was little, I absolutely refused to do the set reading book with her. No doubt I was branded as "that parent" but I stuck to my guns.

I don't believe in homework for primary kids, and even less so when it impacts on the child's life outside school.

Why should teachers dictate how children's time should be spent outside school?

BoadiceaJones Sat 23-Jul-16 10:20:59

Am constitutionally opposed to homework. Unnecessary except in the case of senior students. Children should be able to visit GPs, read Harry Potter and explain minecraft to Dad. They work hard during the school week and need time just to be kids.

Elrel Sun 24-Jul-16 12:15:23

Agree about infant and junior school homework and pleased to hear of a few heads who don't see it as necessary too. Primary schools should be encouraging places full of relaxed children, the teaching done in school, not pushed on to parents. By all means have children take a reading book home to share with someone in the family but don't make parents feel guilty about homework and children pressured. Have teachers set projects for holidays but for fun.
Maths homework: if a child gets a concept in class, they don't need it; if they don't get the concept, they can't do it. Pages of practice doesn't help either way.
Someone I knew slightly said her family couldn't go to an event they'd enjoy because of her son's homework, he was 5!! Exceptional I know but apparently true and so sad!

stillaliveandkicking Sun 24-Jul-16 14:36:48

Im joining the "homework in primary school being totally unnecessary" brigade. It should start to be given in a measured way a year before they go up to secondary(my sister is a primary school teacher) It's a useless stressful exercise. When my DS was small I just used to say sorry but we were too busy doing other things grin

Eloethan Sun 24-Jul-16 17:56:26

I also disagree with young children being given set homework - at least the type of homework that feels like a "chore" and which spoils a family's precious time together. My own view is that occasional tasks or "projects", such as nature hunts, collecting pictures on a particular subject for a scrapbook, drawing a picture and labelling it, can be enjoyable as well as being educational.

I don't recall being given any homework at primary or junior school. We did, though, do a project called "Looking at Africa" which I really enjoyed. It involved things like investigating what animals lived in Africa, what foods and goods were produced there, etc. etc., and creating a scrapbook.

I think it's a shame that a visit to grandparents is spoilt by homework pressures. Of course, if the school sets homework it is understandable that most people will feel they should co-operate. Given that is the situation in Greyduster's case, if it were me, I would not be too upset if homework was undertaken very occasionally when a grandchild visited. However, she says that it has happened several times recently, and I think that is a bit unreasonable.

MargaretX Sun 24-Jul-16 18:53:50

In germany homework is traditional in Junior school BUT we only have morning school. It starts at 7.45 and ends at 12 or 12.45. Then in the afternoon there is homework at home or at school if the child's parents are working and has after school care.They are no longer in the classroom.

I never had those angels who did their homework on Fridays and left the weekend free and some was often dragged out on Sunday.

Homework should only be repetition or something creative from a workbook. Many teachers don't understand this.

If he is one of those who dawdles over his homework then it is right that he finishes it on Sunday at your house. You see so much of him you could let him get on with it.

absent Sun 24-Jul-16 22:49:03

Luckygirl, thatbags and nightowl I, too, have posted previously about how absurd I consider homework at primary school to be. Even worse, is something I read about a couple of years ago on Gransnet about "shared homework" which, apparently, was deliberately intended to involve parents and/or grandparents as well as the child.

Greyduster Mon 25-Jul-16 07:52:16

you see so much of him you could let him get on with it..... Well, yes, we could, except that that is not the issue. The issue is that he doesn't get on with it, and it turns what should be a happy, relaxed, post Sunday lunch family gathering into a tension filled battleground between my GS and his parents over homework which should be done at their home, not mine.

Sunlover Mon 25-Jul-16 10:15:27

As a primary school teacher I hate giving homework. I had 4 children myself and found getting them to do their homework was a great cause of arguments. The marking and checking of who has and hasn't done the homework takes up so much time. If it was left up to me I would only give reading and times tables but schools have 'rules' that teachers have to follow!!