Homework Woes……

Published May 31, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Im sure the title of this post sends shivers down many a parents spine.

Im going to be very clear about my thoughts on the subject, I HATE HOMEWORK.

The word homework evokes all sorts of emotions in me, frustration, fear, anger, sadness!
The mere thought of homework makes me want to cry, mostly because doing homework usually results in someone crying.

I am so fed up of spending hours and hours trying to get my children to understand their homework never mind actually do it. My children are not super clever brain boxes, in fact big girl and middle girl have quite a low cognitive ability, baby girl has the brains, just lacks the inclination. So homework is ALWAYS a challenge for them.

Lets use one of this half terms projects as an example.

Research Roman Clothing & Jewelry. (a few web page addresses supplied and a date for the ‘research’ to be handed in)

Sounds easy eh, except its not when you don’t understand the concept of the word ‘research’, never mind have the ability to actually do any.

So I dig out the encyclopedia’s, she doesn’t know how to use them, so I find the page, she isn’t able to read the text and extract information so she just stares blankly at the pages through her tears.


‘My teacher said to do it on the internet’ she exclaims as if to imply that would be so much easier.

Ok, I understand books are old fashioned and the internet is the future but I cant tell you how much it annoys me that my children don’t even know what an encyclopedia is, never mind how to use one (except what I’ve taught them that is). Any way, I’m not going to rant about the importance and benefits of books vs the interest I just don’t have the patience.

Browsing books and internet

So in order to keep her happy I produce my laptop, I switch it on, as she doesn’t know how, I open a search page, as she doesn’t know how. She types in her topic to the search box and presses enter. She then stares at the list of results produced by google not knowing what to do next, she reads the odd word and even spells out some of the URL addresses unaware of what they are. She doesn’t have the skills to know how to get information from the internet and even when I open up a page with all the information there, written down, in child friendly text, she doesn’t have the ability to read, understand and extract that information and get it on to paper in the form of research or any other form for that matter. She could sit and copy the text word for word but in all honesty, most of it she couldn’t read and didn’t understand so what would be the point of that.

I understand children have to have homework but shouldn’t it be tailored to their specific abilities!? Are schools not just setting children up to fail with homework that is too complicated for them to understand let alone complete!?

‘Write a poem’ – all good and well providing they know what a poem is.

Research X and present your work in either a poster, power point presentation or article – First they need to know how to research and Im not even going to go down the power point presentation route with them!

Write a book review of your favorite book – Well first of all they’d need to have a favorite book or even an interest in reading but to then be able to write ‘why’ its their favorite, well that would require them having understood the story wouldn’t it.

Write a Chronological report – Seriously!?

Complete an experiment to show what happens to bread when its left to deteriorate and write about your findings – That would require the ability and patience to be able to notice the tiny changes and have the vocabulary to explain what you can see.

Research and create a project on the River Nile – Urgh more research!!!

And these are just examples of ones I can remember off the top of my head!

You might be wondering why they dont know how to use the internet, well, they just dont, they have zero interest in computers, they each have a tablet computer of their own and show very little interest in them, they play the odd game that I’ve downloaded for them but have no interest in expanding their use of them at all. I have a laptop, Mr FO5 has an Ipad, they show no interest in using them either. They dont know what Facebook is (which im secretly super happy about), they have never looked at Utube, they dont know what Amazon or Ebay are or how to find information using Google. Their lack of technical ability and interest does worry me, but, I cant force them to be interested in it, can I, and honestly, Im not sure I want to. The internet is a dangerous place for vulnerable children.


So, Tell me about some of your homework nightmare stories and share tips on how you handle things, do you have any ‘technology uninterested’ kids in your family or do you have primary school ‘whizz kids’ that are creating code, developing software and social networking with their peers?

Do you also hate homework as much as me! I cant be the only parent out there that loathes it, can I?


25 comments on “Homework Woes……

  • I’m totally with you. My only (and quite pathetic) tips are 1) agree with school that homework isn’t expected to be done, and if this doesn’t work 2) do it yourself. IMO it’s just not worth the trauma.

  • Im so glad im not alone! for Baby girl its not so bad, her homework is relatively basic and she manages that, generally. But we seem to get a lot of ‘research’ based homework which is difficult for them all, and it just frustrates the hell out of them and me lol

  • I agree with Sally – tell school it’s not happening or do it for them! I am lucky in that J gets very little homework – the school has a ‘no homework till KS2’ policy. (with the exception of reading and the odd mini project – J has had homework twice this school year).
    I am also with you on lack of technology. At home it doesn’t happen. I am not sitting watching him implode trying to get information off the computer, when he can simply open a book and thumb through the pages. If he does ever need info off the computer, I get it for him and print it out.
    A mum at J’s school was going off on one about the lack of homework the other day. I asked her what her problem was – ‘Z never brings spellings home’, she said. ‘Does he know them’ I asked, ‘yes’ she replied. ‘So why do you want him to have homework’? – ‘er, I don’t know. just thought they were meant to’. Duh.

  • I have so much trouble with getting both of my children to do their homework.(One is in reception and the other is in year 3) I dread Friday and looking in their bags to see what I am expected to do with them at the weekend. I know that there will be explosions of temper before I even manage to sit down with them to start it. In my older child’s last school,the teacher was very good .If things were looking as if they might get out of out of hand she just said it wasn’t worth it and to not to worry about getting it done.Unfortunately in this school they have points taken off them for either not bringing it in on time or if they don’t remember to take it out of their bag on the right day.On one occasion he sat and did his homework in school when there was nothing going on.As a punishment for this he was given 5 lots of homework to do that weekend.As you could imagine we had tantrums for the entire weekend in our attempt to get the homework done.Most of the time it’s a case of trying to keep him calm from being stressed in school without adding extra at home.

  • Argh, homework was the bane of my life with the DD’s. DS doesn’t like homework much, but he’s capable of understanding and completing most things to an okay standard. But the girls….DD1 just refused to do it, and kicked up an almighty fuss about it every day. When DD2 came to me, she was still in mainstream (year 3), despite the significant emotional, behavioural and social issues/delays and the fact that she still couldn’t read or write/spell anything. So that made reading the class homework tasks fun, as you can imagine! Write a story/poem/about xyz….Uh, not happening. Still attempting “C-A-T spells cat”, and “look, that’s your name in letters!”

    Their class had those spelling sheets, you know the look, cover, write, check things? I never even let DD2 look at them.

    I tried explaining to her what the Romans were several times that year, because Romans were the class history focus. I got a blank look – no concept of history on that scale at all. She just stayed blank, looked confused at the picture of a Roman in a toga (“there isn’t anyone dressed like that round here mummy”) and when I stopped talking, memorably dismissed me with “what the f—?” So I gave up

    I set my own homeworks…go for a weekend walk at Hadrian’s Wall counts as Roman related homework in my book!

  • We have just hit the ‘Revise such and such’ type of homework (Year 7). But no one has explained to him what ‘revise’ means!!!!

    So when he finally admitted he had homework and showed me the planner it said ‘revise pages 15 and 16 for an assessment on wednesday’ and he informed me ‘we did them in class’ so therefore no need to do them again. But he just didn’t get what he had to do that was different to reading through the pages in class! I tried to explain that revision was about learning it, so that he could tell me/the teacher what was on the page without it being in front of him. Tantrums beyond belief (fear of failure in our case).

    On looking at pages 15 & 16 I see about 50 Spanish vocabulary words listed (this was a Spanish assignment so no great surprise that the words were in Spanish!) and when we discussed them he had a fair idea about them but at no point had the school ever asked him to learn any of them – he had used them in worksheets with the book in front of him, so knew what they were about and how to use them, but he couldn’t tell me what the Spanish for ‘sister’ was, or ‘mother’ without looking in the book – why should he be able to? No one had asked him to learn them – until now!. And putting them in a sentence was just way out of the window.

    And to be honest I can’t really see how any average ability kid can take a bunch of 50 foreign words and just learn them. And we aren’t talking about average here – we’re talking below average cognitive ability.

    So on wednesday – surprise surprise he failed the written ssessment and caused havoc in the listening assessment!!

    And guess what the half-term homework has been? …..’revise pages 11 and 12 of the FRENCH book for an assessment on the first day back’! Give him his due – although we haven’t ried to learn the words we have been building sentences with them and practising them!!!

    I think we may find that Year 8 is a language-free zone!

  • I am a teacher and I’ve been shown and told about research that shows kids with homework do better than kids without…blah, blah, blah. I really can’t remember any specifics, I just know that as a teacher I never liked assigning homework. Taking home something that you were a slacker and didn’t finish in class is different, but assigning homework just as homework? No, never. And then I became a mama. To kids who don’t share my genes and academic abilities and who I did not get to raise from infanthood to ensure that every gap was filled and every essential element covered. I seriously, undoubtedly, without reserve, detest homework. If homework must be sent, let it be rote memorization stuff. Nothing that I have to figure out what way their teacher wants something done! No, a kid is in school with a teacher more waking hours a day than with his parents. They need time after class to connect with their family, relax, de-stress, play, be a kid, not to mention eat and bathe and all that good stuff. When, exactly, am I supposed to fit homework in there? I think it’s important to keep parents in the loop and allow them to participate in their child’s education to the extent they or their child enjoys, but if it isn’t enjoyment anymore, then it is defeating the whole point. Good luck, ladies, it’s a battle that I fear won’t disappear soon 😦

  • Our eldest, in yr 3 is also at c a t stage, she can write the letters of her name, sometimes in the right order and usually legibly. School are great, sending whatever it is they are working on with her home, but not expecting us to actively do homework with her. They have completely taken on board that her ability to focus on any of this at school is due to ADHD meds, which she does not have at home. Feel completely blessed to have no homework pressure for her as it would just be too awful all round. We do build in what they are focusing on at school on a general level, if the opportunity arises.

    Our youngest, in year 1 gets homework, which sometimes we do and sometimes not. The teacher knows what we have on with her sis and doesn’t put us under any pressure. She has also recognised our daughters inability to retain info and sequences, pitches homework to her abilities and has and very individual education plan for her specific needs. All this in a small inner city primary school which we chose because they seemed to have the most responsive approach to each child. I’m so glad we picked this school. Dreading high school!

  • Homework…I would say I dislike it, but it’s another reason boyo’s teacher doesn’t like me. She sends work home and we do 1 of 3 things; we do what we feel like from what was sent or find some more appropriate bits and do them or sometimes if the weekend is too bad, we choose not to do it!

  • So thankful you shared this. It’s somehow reassuring to know you’re not the only one fighting an education system/curriculum that doesn’t fit all children.

  • We have a nightmare with homework. Little C is in year four. Our weekly homework…Reading every day. Spellings that have to be learned, put into sentences, change back from anagrams and written within dictation (ten) An additional ten spellings. Mental maths practice where she has ten minutes to complete 99 questions.Literacy homework every Friday. Numeracy homework every Wednesday. Every month in addition they are set a topic on an obscure subject or horror of horrors family trees, my mile stones etc. Well you can imagine the traumas that little nugget causes. If homework is not completed there is the threat of lunchtime detention. I set a strict time limit of twenty minutes for each thing and always end up guiding her through it as she will just stare at the blank piece of paper. Apart from the homework she goes to a really understanding and nurturing school. Unbelievably there are some parents who feel this amount of homework isn’t enough.

    • isnt enough!? good god that sounds madness! and as for those sensitive topics, perhaps a word with school about how those topics could be adapted to make them more appropriate for you little one x

      • We adapt them ourselves. The main issue is they never prewarn us so we are dropped in it as she always looks at the topic before we do. Just want some preparation time so we can prepare us and her when the stickier topics arise and avoid the inevitable tantrums and unwillingness to engage.

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: