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Teachers Call For Ban On Homework


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I was reading this on the bbc news site this morning and wondered what the teachers here actually thought about homework. I have always spoken out against homework for many of the reasons stated in the article plus a lot of other more personal objections! At various times the homework we have received home has been boring/repetitive/pointless/inappropriate/lengthy to name but a few. I don't blame the teachers for this - they are already stressed from too much paperwork and overloaded with things to do, fitting in time to plan homework must be a nightmare. As a parent, trying to find the time to do it, and motivating the children can be extremely tough. And I am doubly frustrated when I think the homework has been cobbled together without any thought and is a complete waste of time. :o

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I'm with you Beau, awful idea dreamt up by someone with too much time on their hands.

I used help when asked, but in primary it came down to me to research, collate, and at times type up the work. It eats into childrens relaxation times and causes un-necessary worry and angst from all quarters. I well remember the tears during their primary years and so took the stand that they could do it if it interested them and they didnt need help. It often has no point anyway. Worse is the homework set during holidays, my sons absolutely refuse to do it then. In secondary, for course work, the opportunity for plagerism is huge, and so is ineffective as a teaching/learning tool.

I'm 100% behind a ban.

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I agree. How many times are the children pressured to have homework in by 'Monday' etc, only to find two week later it still hasn't been marked.

 

And when the children do projects and they have to get each other to mark it - well don't get me going on that one, I see red :(

 

I clearly remember one piece of homework - it asked something along the lines of - if the yellow machine does this - what will the blue machine do - IT WAS ON A BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO COPIED SHEET!!!!!!! Do they look at what they send out or are they so used to churning out the same stuff they don't bother reading it anymore. :wacko:

 

We have had so many arguments/upsets/paddies etc over homework, when really there is not need for it.

 

Ban it all and let the children be children and enjoy their free time. :o

 

Oh of course the other reason to ban it, is that I don't understand half of it anymore!! xD:(:(

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When i was at primary school we didn't have homework but they do now

 

However, i agree it causes unnessecary stress.

 

If the governement can't achieve what they want our children to achieve in lessons then it just goes to show that they are forcing too much information into our children

 

Don't get my started on the subjects. I was forced to do the higher maths GSCE at school and as a result had extra homework to most of my peers. Now i don't even use half of it that i learn't and doubt i ever will either

 

I agree a complete ban is needed and coursework hould be done only at school too

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Homework, Who needs it?

 

Yes ban it forever and let children be children for once

Couldn't agree more!

 

My son got into a bit of strife last week by saying loudly "well my mum says SATs are a complete waste of time!" Should give us something to talk about at parent's evening... :o

 

Maz

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Couldn't agree more!

 

My son got into a bit of strife last week by saying loudly "well my mum says SATs are a complete waste of time!" Should give us something to talk about at parent's evening... :o

 

Maz

 

We got some lovely SATS homework home the other day! You would really of enjoyed it. Silly questions about useless uninteresting text with the words 'flotsom and jetsom' (sp) my son (6) had no idea what this was, and we were told not to help them as it was an assessment. What happened to assessment in the classroom?

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We got some lovely SATS homework home the other day! You would really of enjoyed it. Silly questions about useless uninteresting text with the words 'flotsom and jetsom' (sp) my son (6) had no idea what this was, and we were told not to help them as it was an assessment. What happened to assessment in the classroom?

In the Times article I read today they were talking about Alfie Kohn's work - he wrote The Homework Myth which talks about just this, amongst other things. In fact, he spoke so powerfully about meaningless tasks that I'm using some of his words of wisdom in my research on worksheets in pre-school...

 

Maz

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I totally agree with a ban on homework. Partly because I think my kids need some time to relax when they are not at school and partly because I often don't understand it - especially the way they do maths these days. I've lost count of the number of times I have phoned other parents for help or they have phoned me!!

Last weekend once the dreaded homework was done, my kids went outside with dad and made bird boxes - I personally think that they learned a lot more by doing that than some sheet which didn't relate to anything in particular.

 

Sally

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Ban homework fullstop. Make children stay to school until 3.45 pm instead, like when I was as school, never did me any harm :(:oxD .

 

Maz - did you find the information on line about Alfie Kohn? I am interested in meaningful context too.

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My son moved primary school and attended a very, very small village school. In fact he was one of 18 children in a class which was the two top years combined and was taught by the head master. The head master was a breath of fresh air and did not belive in home work and therefore none was set. I found that the quality of my sons work at school improved greatly, he had no stress and a headmaster who would open school early so all could see football and not miss the start! how ever cool is that!! My son is now 14 & still sees the headmaster every now and again, he has great respect for the man that gave him time, had fun and took away stress for him.

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In the Times article I read today they were talking about Alfie Kohn's work - he wrote The Homework Myth which talks about just this, amongst other things. In fact, he spoke so powerfully about meaningless tasks that I'm using some of his words of wisdom in my research on worksheets in pre-school...

 

Maz

 

 

I have found some classic examples of worksheets. Try taking a look here Its an American site. I'd value your thoughts on this one in particular :o

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Maz - did you find the information on line about Alfie Kohn? I am interested in meaningful context too.

 

Deb - he has his own website:-

 

http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.html

 

All his speeches are on there, as are whole chapters of his books, plus lots of journal articles etc. He is passionate about his beliefs and has a need to spread the word!

 

Maz

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Don't get me started on homework, especially holiday homework!! xD

 

My daughter had to do a project whilst on holiday, about coastlines.....how exciting!!. There were tears and tantrums as we helped her take photos, admired her drawings and steered her in the right direction for useful info on the internet and books.. She bound the completed project neatly along with her precious drawings ..........very professional finish.........AND ALL FOR WHAT??????????

 

SIX WEEKS LATER after she had handed it in she still hadn't heard anything about it. Hubby got to see the Head to complain and two days later it landed back on my daughter's desk with a rudimentary tick and no other comment!!!!

 

Daughter was dejected and hurt. We were absolutely fuming. :( I have never again encouraged my children to do holiday homework and have specifically said this to their teachers at parent evenings.

 

OK .............calm now :o

Show me a petition for banning homework and I'll sign it.......many times over!

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That's terrible, dublinbay!

 

Its very hard to support schools and individual teachers when they do stuff like this to children - and much less to respect their professional judgement. Quite a justified rant, I feel!

 

Maz

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I have found some classic examples of worksheets. Try taking a look here Its an American site. I'd value your thoughts on this one in particular :o

What's this all about? I'd sue them under the trades descriptions act (do they have one in America?) - I can't see how it can claim to be educational... (is it a colouring in sheet?)

 

Maz

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Couldn't agree more! Apart from begin a complete waste of paper each week, schools should be seen to put a value on activities outside of school and, in my opinion, should be promoting membership of clubs, groups, sports or otherwise. Through these children are more likely to learn how to team build, co-operate and develop the resilience to stick at something. No more homework in primary schools I say!

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We had complaints from parents because we don't set homework in reception ...

 

Pushy parents - that's a whole topic in itself! I will soon be returned to that domain - it has been a breath of fresh air here to meet people who generally are much more laid back about such things. However, down in the commuter belt where we are headed I am sure to be rubbing shoulders with Mr and Mrs High Expectations again. :o

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I totally agree! I think homework is most of the time pointless and a waste of time on parents and pupil's parts, not to mention the amount of time teachers spend setting and marking it!

I'd much rather my class went out and did something useful with their time, or shared a story etc.

I'm in the ATL and I'm going for the very first time to conference so it will be interesting to see what is discussed there about it.

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Pushy parents - that's a whole topic in itself! I will soon be returned to that domain - it has been a breath of fresh air here to meet people who generally are much more laid back about such things. However, down in the commuter belt where we are headed I am sure to be rubbing shoulders with Mr and Mrs High Expectations again. xD

Hang on Beau! Aren't you coming to our neck of the woods? Don't tar us with the same brush will you - am just having a conversation with my son about a mix up over parents evening and am feeling the very opposite of Mrs High Expectations... :o

 

It is a breath of fresh air when parents come to us and say they really want us to concentrate on their child's personal social and emotional development - and you won't be making them sit down and write stuff will you? They are the real Mr and Mrs High Expectations, I think!!

 

Maz

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Homework, :ph34r: well you may have seen my old post asking for help for my sons maths homework, :( yes I learnt something new that day (thanks Mundia and others :wacko: )

 

My foster children came to me in June 07 and they were very unsettled when I didn't make them do 'study time' every day after school ( a routine set by previous carer :( ) Even my youngest who was only 4 then kept asking, "is it study time?" This was one routine I changed quite quickly.

 

I agree that homework is a 'tool' for children to sulk, have tantrums, and try to excert their power "You can't make me....", "I won't do it....", "Teacher says I don't have to...." xD.

 

My belief was that the purpose of homework is to;

1/ recap on what has already been learnt (then why do they always need my help and say they don't understand what they have to do?)

2/ A method of teaching children self discipline and own time management (well it doesn't work this way ;) )

 

Just last week;

My 5 yr old was given a worksheet to practice cursive writing, letters a-z of the alphabet. She is only just learning to write her name, still forming some mirror image letters. On the worksheet the little arrows to show the pens direction were so small they were just distracting and it didn't enable self direction because unless I stood over her and ensured she did it the correct way, it was pointless.

My 9 yr old (SEN at key Yr2 level) was given homework to write about his favourite book. He has Dyspraxia and GLD, he finds it extremely difficult to follow a short sequence, let alone remember, and write about a story.

My 11 yr old was given a maths workbook, 60 pgs to work through in his own time, as an incentive I said I would give him 10p a page, if he got on with it without sulking. He rushed off and did 10 pages immediately, it was at this point I found out that all the answers were printed in the back of the book. I told his teacher about this and he said, the book is for him to keep, I can tear the answer page out and it's there because some parents may not be able to help him do it :(:ph34r:

My 13 yr old doesn't appear to have any homework, his school does stay open for an extra hour two days a week though.

 

I try to encourage reading at home, watching documentaries/nature programmes and outdoor pursuits, like the birdbox making with dad, our 13 yr old spent a happy hour with grandad learning how to mend and maintain his bike, much more useful than his maths homework.

 

Just another opinion about the news article, it does make me mad when they use 'stereotypical' comments comparing the 'disadvantaged' class with the 'middle class', I dislike the term 'disadvantaged' (what happened to working class?) it is such a negative word. I was for many years in this catagory as a single parent but this did not detract from my intelligence or ability to support my sons education at home. :o (rant over)

 

Peggy

p.s. Off to sort out 3 costumes for tomorrows 'book week' character fancy dress...........now that's what I call parents homework xD

p.p.s. you can tell how many books my 11 yr old has read, he wanted to first be 'James Bond' :ph34r: (No, you can't he is an adults story character) 2nd he has decided he wants to dress up as Bart Simpson - well he would read the 'Sky' magazine if he could tear himself away from the telly. :unsure:

9 yr old is going to dress up as a Bear, for I'm going on a bear hunt, which is his academic level, and the 5 yr old, easy - Cinderella, she's been dying for a reason to wear her party dress. :rolleyes:

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I completely agree in a ban on homework for primary school children.

 

The majority of times its the parents work anyway so why bother!! Why not encourage show and tell and get the children to bring in their creations from the weekends and holidays to school this would achieve far more.

 

My 6 yr old only gets given homework on a Friday night even though we were told at a parents evening by the Head that homework would never disturb the childrens weekends. He gets spellings and reading books pretty much every day.

 

Its no wonder they are always so tired is it.

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Thanks for the link Maz, very interesting reading. Am going to order his book 'Unconditional parenting' as a result - feel like I need to learn more about my own children as well as other peoples.

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