Gransnet forums


Help with homework?

(98 Posts)
annodomini Fri 09-Mar-18 10:27:32

According to report, UK parents give their children less help with homework than parents in other countries. Did you help and do your GC get help from their parents? My DS2 told me I never helped him which may be true but, as I replied, he never asked me except once, with a French oral assignment. Do I feel guilty? No! He seemed to do well enough without my help! I did read through his Uni and MBA dissertations and correct his punctuation.

M0nica Fri 09-Mar-18 10:40:06

I think help with homework should be limited. The purpose of homework is to help a child practice and master something they learnt at school. They will not do that if parents leap in to help them everytime they meet a problem. I did help DC with homework but, only if it was clear they had had a darn good go and were really stuck. I mainly used the Socratic method of asking them questions that led them to the answers by their responses to the question.

eazybee Fri 09-Mar-18 10:44:26

My parents helped me with learning things such as tables, spellings,verbs, poetry etc and with researching for information, as I did with my children. They supervised and checked to see that homework was done, as far as I would allow them (!), and were always supportive.
I think it is wrong that children expect so much help with their homework; homework should be set so that children are able to do it mostly unaided, as a reflection and reinforcement of what they have learned at school. It also shows the teacher that they clearly haven't understand the question and the work.
Sometimes the fault lies with the schools/teachers, who set unrealistic homework that bears little relation to pupils' skills and ability; sometimes with the child, who expects help at hand immediately and is not prepared to tussle with anything difficult.

J52 Fri 09-Mar-18 11:17:16

As a former Secondary teacher, you’d think my DCs would be in an ideal place for help. But no, they steadfastly refused all offers of assistance, to their credit. They achieved degrees and higher qualifications, all from their own efforts.
Maybe, I might have hindered them!

mcem Fri 09-Mar-18 11:52:11

What is the point of homework when tasks have clearly been done by the parents?
It's more important that the child makes a reasonable attempt - even if the work is less than perfect or incomplete-
than submitting the work of parents.
I hated having to give homework but school policy imposed it without any discretion.

Bridgeit Fri 09-Mar-18 11:56:05

Definitely, they did the work but bounced ideas past me reference wording etc

Bridgeit Fri 09-Mar-18 11:57:54

Ps. Until the time they knew more than dear old Mum 😄

Gerispringer Fri 09-Mar-18 12:12:58

I remember by OH (a teacher) helped my DD with her homework once when she was struggling with writing an essay on Macbeth. The comments at the end were “this is a really good essay, perhaps your parents could come and teach it for me!”

lemongrove Fri 09-Mar-18 14:27:12

We helped them when they didn’t understand what was wanted in the homework, or when they really were struggling, but that’s all, and it tended to be when they were about 11-14 mostly.

lemongrove Fri 09-Mar-18 14:27:59

We help our DGS with maths and English as he really needs it.

OldMeg Fri 09-Mar-18 14:31:00

I get the occasional ‘Nana can you help me with this?’ But it’s usually just a point explained so they can tackle it themselves.

Luckygirl Fri 09-Mar-18 14:55:37

I was never helped with homework - I as just expected to go and get on with it.

I never helped my children with homework unless it involved helping them find something - e.g. glue. Or they weer taking too long over it and I would go and tell them to stop it and do something creative. On one occasion I did do my DD's homework myself as it was so crass that I was not prepared to have her waste her young life on it - I also wrote a "uniform essay" (a punishment for some minor uniform infringement) and I was highly commended by the teacher for it grin - DD actually fessed up that I had done it in the end and the teacher thought it was hilarious!

My children always do their children's homework with them and it is the bane of all their lives. I sincerely believe that the giving of homework is an infringement of the personal liberty of families and that if the subject cannot be taught within school hours then something is amiss.

Signed: The Homework Maverick

Nannarose Fri 09-Mar-18 18:43:57

There's a world of difference between homework at say, secondary school, and some of the fun projects that younger children may do. Our GC comes home with a 'sound' and has to think of the words with the sound in it. We put a piece of paper on the table, and as we do other things, if that sound comes up, he writes it down. It seems a pleasant way to learn.

Mamie Fri 09-Mar-18 19:11:00

We helped and supported our children right through their education especially at GCSE and A level (and degrees and Masters as critical readers.)
We now do the same for the GCs via Skype and Messenger. They either call us or send a photo of the work and we call back and talk them through it. Mostly Maths, Science, French and English. It helps them and gives us a chance to be useful grandparents from hundreds of miles away. We don’t do it for them!

Gerispringer Fri 09-Mar-18 19:17:29

My DH used to get quite competitive and was always anxious to see what grade he had got for the DC’s homework!

annodomini Fri 09-Mar-18 22:17:28

My father, an excellent mathematician, tried his best to explain things to me that I couldn't be bothered with. He got very frustrated with my lack of effort. When DS1 was in reception class, I offered to help him with his reading as I was a teacher. He looked at me disparagingly and replied, 'But you're not my teacher.' Which put me in my place. It wasn't long before he became a voracious reader.

TerriBull Sat 10-Mar-18 07:15:09

My parents did make us read to them at fairly regular intervals once we started school. I was always grateful that my mother took the time to sit down and painstakingly go over the stumbling block that was long division for me when I couldn't grasp it, until eventually the penny dropped. This was back in juniors when many of us were paralysed with fear from the teacher who taught maths.

I have helped with homework from time to time, I always remember when my own children were in year 4 I think they got a project to do on a European country of their choice and most of the parents felt that at that age, 8ish, most didn't have the wherewithal to work on this on their own and it often ended up with parents doing most of it. In fact I think a delegation of us went into the school to request that homework be age appropriate.My diligent and quite bookish younger child didn't want parental input into much of his work, but my lazy older one would have handed over great swathes of any project he was assigned if he could have got away with that.

When our granddaughter is with us she often asks "Grandad" to help her with anything maths based but I'm the one to listen to reading . Always thrilling to experience a young child going from their first tentative sounding out steps to fluency.

Baggs Sat 10-Mar-18 07:18:59

If they asked for help, we gave it. Mostly they didn't ask and it hasn't seemed to matter.

I think that, like my parents, we gave plenty of general encouragement about learning, the usefulness of it and the enjoyment to be had with it.

radicalnan Sat 10-Mar-18 09:20:11

My nephew got a B in his O level German and his dad, who is German had helped him with that.

I helped my children at primary school level, then eventually did home ed, as I despaired of the bullying in school, for my youngest son until he was able to leave education.

Pamaga Sat 10-Mar-18 09:20:39

Mum used to help me with my homework - even more or less writing some of my English essays - and I don't think that, in the long term, it was very helpful. I have done well academically (PhD) so probably didn't need her intervention but I was a lazy little so-and-so. I think she stopped helping when I got a better mark for an unaided essay than I was getting for ones she had written! I rarely helped my own children with homework, apart from sourcing references that they might use. Given that I was a librarian, I had the opportunity to locate relevant books for them. They've done well without my help. I think the best thing is to support in terms of providing a comfortable, quiet area in which to work plus regular sustenance!

Gaggi3 Sat 10-Mar-18 09:24:40

Like a previous poster, I did not like setting homework. Many of the children I taught, far from getting help,would find it difficult to get space or time to do it in. Thus, it was important to set the task to be easy enough to do unaided, while challenging enough to be worthwhile. As the ability range was wide, this meant different tasks for different groups. Quite a lot of preparation on top of class lessons.

wildswan16 Sat 10-Mar-18 09:32:28

I tended to give hints where appropriate. For instance if they had an essay to do on Elizabeth II, we might talk about her and I'd say how sad it was when her father died so young, how the Commonwealth has changed during her reign etc. Never have I actually done their homework for them.

I think it is important, especially by Secondary stage, that they can work independently of school and teachers - I see a lot of college and university students who are incapable of planning their time and work because parents have always sat over them, researched and organised everything for them.

missdeke Sat 10-Mar-18 09:33:12

I never had help with homework, nor did I offer it to my kids except for the listening to recitations of the times tables or spelling tests that they asked for help with. However, a few years ago whilst looking after my grandkids, my gd asked for help with doing something on Excel on the computer as she had to set up a spreadsheet and there was something she didn't quite understand. I explained it to her and she completed it and sent it to her teacher's email, apparently that is what they do nowadays.

She also had and English assignment which she completed and asked me to read it through for her before she sent it. The language was nothing like she used so I asked her about it, she told me that she looked things up and then just cut and pasted!! She had no understanding whatsoever of the piece, I explained to her that really she should be looking things up and then translating them into her own language so that she could be sure that she understood what she was doing as come the exams she would be stumped (she was 12 at the time). Luckily she took all this on board as she is now doing very well in 6th form studying history and politics. Google is a mixed blessing!!

cwasin Sat 10-Mar-18 09:35:06

As a child I hated homework. As a teacher of English I hated giving homework. As a headteacher I came to the realisation that if all schools would ban it, then all schools -could ban it, but that would never happen while competitive parents liked it. Sad but true.

cwasin Sat 10-Mar-18 09:35:46