Homework sucks! It is the bane of our lives and can absolutely ruin everyone’s weekend or make after-school a hugely stressful time. There could be battles, sulks and tears. And for what? Is there any point?
Homework is not part of the National Curriculum so it is not compulsory.
A spokesperson for the Department for Children, Schools and Families told the BBC: “Homework is not compulsory, but we do encourage teachers to set children work to do outside school hours. … “Homework need not, and should not, get in the way of other activities that children do after school.”
If homework hasn’t been differentiated or adapted then I would suggest, go back to the teacher. Have a gentle discussion. Request politely that homework should be suitable for your child and and add something to their learning experience. So practicing a skill, researching or presenting.
These are my thoughts and tips:
1.Homework can promote independent work and self-study skill if it is motivating and at the right level. Your child should be able to use their own ideas and creativity in a homework task.
2. Homework should be independent work to consolidate what has been taught at school. It should NOT be something that you as a parent need to teach.
3. Try to remain positive and give praise and encouragement. But if your child is struggling please don’t insist. It really is up to the class teacher to give appropriate work.
4. Find out when is the best time for your child to do homework. Use a visual such as a planner so everyone knows what to expect and when homework is happening. Put a time limit on homework and use a visual timer or clock. Make sure your child knows how long needs to be spent doing homework (maybe 10 minutes).
5. Ensure your child is well fed and the room is not too hot or cold.
6.Make a quiet space with no disruptions or noise to distract (if possible) with all the right equipment available.
7. Sit with your child at the table and busy yourself reading a magazine or writing a list. Put your phone away as this is too distracting. Just being present will give your child the opportunity to ask for help if needed. You are also being a great role model.
8. Have something motivating to do when finished – maybe use a ‘Now and Next’ visual so your child can clearly see what is to come.
9. If your child has something on their mind, then they may want to just talk to you. Put aside the homework. It’s more important to listen and hear what they have to say.
10. Put the homework away in the school book bag as soon as it’s done. Encourage your child to put it near the front door or somewhere special (like a box or a basket) where it will be seen and remembered ready to take it to school.
I don’t love homework and I can’t see the point.
But look at this genuine list of ‘homework’ (see below) that went home to Y6 pre-SATs parents last year. The clever, amazing, brilliant, thoughtful, kind teacher realised that they do enough on school. After- school and weekends are for eating ice cream and laughing until your tummy hurts.
Maybe this week make an appointment to speak to your child’s Head Teacher and ask if the Homework Policy could be challenged.
Just a thought. But then I’m a Haribo kinda girl…..
What do you think?
Let me know how you get on.