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Homework for 5 year olds - a good idea?

(248 Posts)
rosequartz Thu 27-Feb-14 20:27:29

Is homework in Foundation Phase a good idea? I ask because DGD1 (age 5) has had homework over the half-term week, although the letter that came home did suggest not making it an arduous task. Two of the pieces involved visits to POI, which were not strictly necessary but helpful and something we would probably have done anyway.
I realise reading, both listening to them and reading to them, is excellent but I don't remember having any homework at all until I was at High School.

granjura Thu 27-Feb-14 20:36:17

Gove- and pressure from some parents. Reminds me of a good song, by Pink Floyd ;)

absent Thu 27-Feb-14 20:41:59

I have my doubts about how valuable homework is at any age but I think it is ridiculous to expect it from five-year-olds.

Deedaa Thu 27-Feb-14 21:04:15

I was surprised to find that GS1 was being given homework when he started school. I remember that when I was at primary school (and we were busy scratching all our lessons on clay tablets grin ) when we asked to carry on with some class work at home we were told it that the teacher wasn't allowed to give us homework.
Now GS1 is 7 the homework seems to be mainly projects to be done in the holidays and at half term. I can't help feeling it's rather hard on the children who don't get much support at home. He has three adults helping him look things up on line, taking photographs and visiting interesting places. I'm sure some of them get no help at all.

rosequartz Thu 27-Feb-14 21:24:37

It makes it difficult if parents are working and child is with childminder, DGPs or in a play scheme. I feel some children will be more advantaged than others with help and support and then praised on return to school for work well done. The child who has had no help cannot possibly cope with homework on their own at that age and will feel upset and uncomfortable that the homework has not been done.
I think school holidays are for rest and recuperation (for the children at least).

Is this a Government initiative or down to individual schools to decide on a policy?

granjura Thu 27-Feb-14 21:51:18

Not sure- but just like uniform, it is something that many parents have been requesting from schools- and I think it is a great shame. Our 7 year old grandson came here to stay for 1 very busy family week- but had to do a project for school on the digestive system. With all of us helping him (and with a doctor in the house)- he managed to put something great together. But really- he could have done with just having fun and not think of school at all- and as you say, project work of this type really favours kids with very supportive parents, who can talk it through, make suggestions, help with resources, visits, etc. Those poor kids without such support have not got a chance .... so totally unfair.

Dragonfly1 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:56:23

Don't get me started on homework for EYFSand KS1 infants. I would be bound to upset someone because it's a subject that seems to polarise views. And makes me very tetchy.

Ana Thu 27-Feb-14 22:04:19

Is it really something many parents have been requesting from schools, granjura? Why do you think that?

Every parent of infant/junior school pupils I know (mainly DD's friends and acquaintances) are totally against homework for children of that age.

Mishap Thu 27-Feb-14 22:04:24

Don't get me started either! Definitely no homework in primary school - let them be children for goodness sake!

rosequartz Thu 27-Feb-14 22:10:10

Spending time with family, perhaps going to places old or new or just having fun is what holidays should be for when you're five.

gillybob Thu 27-Feb-14 22:13:30

DGD2 positively begged her teacher for homework at 5 ( she is 6 now) I think she was jealous of her older sister who is almost 2 years older. She has a natural thirst for knowledge and throws herself 100% into anything she does. The school she attends is not a good school (to say the least) and work at home (whether from the school or not) plays a crucial part in her/their learning.

I do agree with homework for primary school children but only if it is well thought out and useful not like some of the rubbish they bring home.

Greenfinch Thu 27-Feb-14 22:18:39

I agree with practising reading and learning spellings but projects... ughh !
What is the point especially if family members help ? The knowledge won't be retained and they are too young to do research on their own.

gillybob Thu 27-Feb-14 22:25:14

DGD1 (soon to be 8) is currently working on The Tudors. She is absolutely loving it and I know it is all sinking in. She has been walking around chanting divorced, beheaded, died, divorced beheaded, survived and can quote the names and dates in the correct order. She is currently doing a small project of her own (not homework set by the school) just for fun.

rosequartz Thu 27-Feb-14 22:32:01

DGD1 did the project quite happily with help, but not at all sure what the school is aiming for. Meantime DGD2 was playing happily but could have been 'helping' and getting covered in glue.
And another piece was copying some welsh poem - neither she nor I had a clue what it was about despite an internet search.

Dragonfly1 Thu 27-Feb-14 22:38:36

Infant children need time to play, to unwind, to talk, flop about, run around, develop their imaginations, discover their own interests, rest, build relationships, explore...... There is so much pressure on them in school that their childhood is already being suffocated. I hated giving homework, often predetermined by senior leaders - including me - to look good for bloody Ofsted and pander to ambitious, competitive parents; frequently useless, inappropriate and a misery for many kids whose parents either hadn't time to help or who were so bloody pushy that the little ones had no down time at all. A book, a story, time playing, cuddling, talking, making, resting, learning counting rhymes and songs with mum or dad or gran or whoever, gardening, mucking about, singing, jumping in puddles, getting dirty, baking, - at the age of five, shouldn't this be their ruddy 'homework'? See? Tetchy.

Charleygirl Thu 27-Feb-14 22:40:46

rosequartz your DGD1 should have been enjoying the holiday and not doing projects at the age of 5.

I agree with greenfinch- help with reading and spelling but allow the child to be a child, she will grow up fast enough.

Greenfinch Thu 27-Feb-14 22:45:33

Absolutely ! Dragonfly. You are so right.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 27-Feb-14 22:47:15

My grandsons often elicit their aunty' s help with holiday projects. They end up thoroughly enjoying doing them and have been very proud to take the finished project into school after the holiday. I think it can be good.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 27-Feb-14 22:51:02

Agree with Deeda though. It must be hard for kids who get no support.

Ana Thu 27-Feb-14 22:52:11

Projects can be good. Homework isn't the same and can be hard work for both child and parent.

rosequartz Thu 27-Feb-14 23:01:23

I agree charleygirl. We did try to make it fun including a visit to a local castle, and I think she was fine with it for quite a while - I think I found it more worrying than her! Even a short project seemed to take ages.
I'm just wondering how many will actually do it. Or should parents just stand up and say NO. I am sure a majority do not want school intruding into holiday time at this age.

merlotgran Thu 27-Feb-14 23:11:13

When I was primary school age I lived in countries where school finished at lunchtime and every afternoon was spent on the beach. I was ahead in most subjects by the time we returned to UK and I didn't have my first taste of homework until I went to grammar school.

Children accept that going to secondary school means more work including homework so we should let them look forward to the extra challenges as a part of growing up.

rosequartz Thu 27-Feb-14 23:14:15

Dragonfly - they both managed to jump into a lot of muddy puddles as well, so thank goodness they were wearing their wellies.
I hope she'll be pleased to take her work into school, but I still think it should not have been set in the holidays. Pressure on the parents and unfair on those children who do not do the work for whatever reason, and at age 5 they cannot do it without help.

gillybob Fri 28-Feb-14 08:19:33

I agree that is it impossible for small children to do homework without support and help so perhaps any homework at this age should be voluntary and only set as a top up rather than part of the curriculum. My DGD's love learning and don't see homework as a chore at all I fact they often do little projects for fun. However they are very active children and spend very little time indoors.

ninathenana Fri 28-Feb-14 08:31:35

5yr old DGS has homework but it's not written work. This weekend DH has to take him beach combing as this terms topic is under the sea. (We are on an island) I hope the rain stops for a few hours.

I don't think primary age children should have homework. The above is a case in point. Most of it will be homework for a supervising adult smile