Whose Homework is it Anyway?

Ah, the joys of homework. That playground chat stalwart for us parents, along with other firm favourites such as kids party etiquette, the bugs and germs going around, the merits of private tuition and desperately trying to help each other remember all that the children need to take in on any given day. You can be sure that these topics will come up most weeks!

So back to homework. My daughter is 7 years old, in Year 2 at school. So of course, she gets homework. It seems from chatting to friends that the amount of homework that each school gives varies greatly, as does its shape and form.

My daughter gets her homework on a Friday, which consists of a reading book, a library book, a Maths task and some sort of literacy work – lately it’s been finding certain words in her reading book. She’s also a set of words that she needs to learn how to spell by the end of the year that we go over. Sometimes there’s an additional project for a half term. She hands it in on a Wednesday, so has a few days to complete it and she never gets homework over the holidays, which I love. How does this compare to your kids’ work? Similar?

For my daughter, this is all absolutely fine. She comes home on a Friday night and completes it as soon as she gets in whilst eating her after-school snack. She’s off the reading scheme now so has a chapter book of her choice as her reading book, so she just reads this every night before she goes to sleep. Job done.

As it’s her homework, I do see it as something for her to complete. Of course I take a look at what she’s up to as I find homework really useful for me, particularly the maths, as it tells me what she’s been working on that week so I can back that learning up at home. For example, she was doing some times tables last week so throughout the week, I’ve randomly asked her some of them to help improve her rapid recall. She does enjoy this, by the way, I’m not just pushing her or trying to annoy her! So from my point of view, I see homework as a way of the school communicating to me what’s been happening that week and the key learns, which I think is useful to know and understand. The maths is particularly helpful with this as I get to see the methods she’s learning for her multiplication and division, so I can back that up, as obviously I’d do it differently in my head and I don’t want to undo any learning from school.

For these reasons, the homework is good for me, as well as her. And though I do look it over when she’s completed it, it gets sent back as it is, though if I see a run of mistakes we will of course talk it over so that she can see what she could do differently, and I make a note in the homework book to that effect so that her teachers know where she’s at with each item. There is just enough for her to do without it becoming cumbersome or getting in the way of her enjoying her free time at the moment, to be able to just play with her brother and unwind after school. By getting it done on a Friday night it doesn’t take over the weekends either, which is lovely. Now my son is a very different character so we’ll have to see how we get on when he starts school next year, but the plan is that they will both sit down to do it on a Friday, and we’ll take it from there. Watch this space!

Ultimately, though, homework is hers to do and to ‘own’, I think. It’s not a responsibility that I feel myself carrying or a burden to complete. If she didn’t do it (that has never happened!) I have no doubt she would feel the responsibility over that, rather than me. I do think that’s how it should be, with my total support, of course, so that she doesn’t feel worried about any of it. I think a little responsibility and ownership like this is important and helpful, and whilst it’s never been an issue for Boo, it may be something that I need to work on with my Little Man in time, and I am sure there will come times when my girl is less than enthusiastic to get her work done – maybe next year, maybe in 5 years, so I am hoping this will stand her in good stead. Time will tell!

What’s your take on homework?

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4 thoughts on “Whose Homework is it Anyway?”

  1. Our daughters the same age as Boo and i do think she gets plenty! They alternate maths with literacy weekly and spellings are each week. She flies through her spellings (tells me theyre boring,!) This week (just before christmas!) they got double – thanks for that!! Iys such a difficult balance though. Got to push them but not turn them off learning or burn them out!

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