The perennial homework problem

Home work on the PC

The boy has now entered year 3, which in old money is juniors one and means he’s out of the infants. My memories of that time are cloudy, I do remember my teacher Mrs Woollmer, having a thick black monobrow and a perchance for thick white knitwear but that’s about it.

What I don’t remember at all though is the level of homework that seems to be foisted on the kids now. My memories of homework come towards the end of my stay in primary school; a little bit in juniors 3 in the last term and then some in juniors 4 in order to get us ready for the shock of secondary school. We did always have spellings to learn though and I used to hate the weekly spellings tests we had.

Fast forward thirty odd years though and the boy now has a homework diary and a book to do his homework in. Homework includes a set of maths related questions; some spellings and two or three things outside of that- prep for a in class project, some French words to learn, learning about 2D and 3D shapes for example. The homework is given out on a Friday with various staged deadlines for the following week.

Last weekend I had to resort to Google to get help match a couple of the French words/phrases as my GCSE French was more than a little rusty and we’d lost one of the English equivalents we had cut out.

It’s a lot to do but the only viable alternative, as a lot of other parents will know, is to say I won’t do it with the kids and have them lose their play time while they sit in a classroom at school and do it instead of playing with their mates. I think the social interaction they get is more important than the fight we have to endure with tired kids, so we endure it through clenched teeth, whilst still secretly wishing that more of the actual teaching and learning happened in the classroom.

It’s not as if our kids sit around watching telly for every waking moment outside of school, although they do have more screen time than they should. Last Sunday for example, we were a bit early for a cookery event we were invited to in central London, so we spent half an hour at the Wallace Collection looking at illustrated manuscripts and armour. That’s the average sort of trip out for us and tomorrow I’m taking Fifi to the Tate Modern on Saturday because she wants a day out with her dad without fighting for attention. That’s just how we roll.

Anyway, Horrid Henry said it best: