The business of Homework

Things have finally kicked into business time at School. No more mucking around, we are into the term. Last year with Daisy just being in Kindergarten we had home readers 4 nights a week and then she had to do some online work – Mathletics and Readings Eggs, and that was just about all her little mind could cope with.ย This week we received her weekly home work tasks. It’s all pretty straight forward and manageable. And Daisy is BESIDE herself with it. For now. I give it 2 weeks before she rolls her eyes at me.

They have 4 compulsory items that HAVE to be done. They get it on Monday and have to hand it in on Friday morning. They are:

: Home reader
: Spelling (copying from a list of 20 odd words every night for a test Friday morning)
: Physical activity (30 mins of something/anything)
: Maths (2 pages from an activity book)

And then one other choice between:

: Home/farm work
: Online Mathletics for 15 minutes 3 nights a week

While it does seem like quite a lot, we are managing it, for now. Well all of 4 days anyway!

I know that people have differing opinions about homework and the pros and cons of it. I’m not sure where I sit. If she is too tired, which is often the case, I’m not going to push it. We can always try again in the morning before School. I am adamant that SHE has to do it. I’ll watch, but that’s it. I like the practicality of it too – physical activities and helping at home/the farm makes sense to me and the fact that they have all week to get it done.

How does homework work for your kids?
Are you a fan or think they should be learning at School and that’s it?
Do you get stressed out by it? I’m sure I will in a few years time!


  1. Oh yeah, we were pumping out a powerpoint presentation last night and a quick run-through this morning… draining!

  2. There is absolutely no evidence that homework for children this age is of any value.
    Especially spelling lists.
    I wrote a lot of notes over the years explaining why it wasn’t done. There is plenty of time for it in high school when the homework actually makes sense.
    Just wait till you get to assignments and you see the parents backing up the trailer at the school to unload their “child’s work”.
    I think you’re right to be cautious about this.

  3. Please tell Daisy I think she has very neat writing. Clever girl.

  4. My daughter’s school doesn’t believe in homework until ‘middle school’ in year 5. We do nightly reading but that is it. They work them pretty hard at school and my daugher chooses to do different maths activities on the ipad herself but they are tired and little (we are year 1)…I think they need something, more about learning to take responsibility than anything though.
    Well done ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’m so not looking forward to it. I agree that certain things need to be reinforced and revised at home but I think after 30 hours per week at school, a story before bed and maybe a few spelling words is sufficient until they are at least 10.

  6. I reckon it should be called ‘parent work’ as we always seem to be the ones that are showing or doing it with/for them!! And if you are anything like me, when it comes to projects they have to be perfect so I let them have some ideas, but always make sure it is not tacky looking!! Bad I know!! We have a system in our house, my hubby does maths and I do english!! So glad hubby does maths now our eldest is in year 8!! Its never ending!! Good luck

  7. I think homework can walk a very narrow line of being either helpful or a major hindrance to a child. I want homework to teach my students that they are responsible for their own learning which isn’t something that ‘only’ takes place in their classroom. It is ridiculous when teachers and some parents expect these little kids to sit still for another 30 + minutes at home when that is how they spend big chunks of the 5 out of 7 days in their week…

    Abbey xo

  8. Not a big fan of homework but I cant see it changing in the near future. Year 1 at your school definitely has more homework than ours. We pick one activity 3 nights a week to practise spelling words (10) and then test on the 4th night, home reader each night and one simple maths question. They can do mathletics if they/ you want them to. I am able to (just) pin down my son to do those before he’s off to jump on the trampoline or play star wars. Oh and we also need to help prepare weekly news.

  9. I work in a prep/grade one class and I can tell you Daisy has beautiful handwriting.
    My kids are in grade three and five and have some homework to do every night. It is only a small amount every night and only causes problems on the nights we have other activities on and then we have tired grumpy kids doing homework.
    I believe that homework helps to consolidate what they are learning at school and I am happy for them to get into the habit of doing it each night.
    Sue N

  10. I so love reading through drafts of English essays that seem more complicated than anything I even studied at uni.

  11. It’s been a week and a half since homework started and I’m not a fan. My son does really well at school and absolutely loves it, but homeworks proving a bit torturous. Our homework is very similar to yours, and while Monday, Tuesday have been okay, Wednesday Thursday he’s just Over It. He just wants to play with his brother and sister when he gets home, and it’s hard for him to sit still while they’re running around having fun. Hopefully it will be better when they’re all at school and everyone can do homework together!

    • Harper sits next to her and does her “writing” which consists of her writing the one letter she knows over and over again on paper, one after the after. H H H H H H. It’s very sweet!

  12. In the schools we have experienced, the govt ones give projects in upper primary, mathletics and spelling, reading in lower. Steiner gave nothing, did not believe it was appropriate as they dedicated 2 hours to their main subject in the morning when the kids were fresh. This kind of makes sense to me because if a teacher is doing their job correctly during the day, why does a child have to be flogged further at night….hope that’s not too controversial.

  13. No evidence as previously stated re: homework in primary years. Fling open your back door and make a yummy afternoon tea together, count the choc chips and read the ingredients in the pack if you must!
    It’s a con.

  14. I am not sure about homework in the early school years. Little ones do get very tired especially with the first full days/weeks of school. I went to private schools and if I remember rightly we always had homework to do but not sure about the girls that went to state schools. I am very glad to see spelling is a compulsory subject though as many young people today (and older folk too) have trouble with spelling the simplest of words.

  15. I’ve got a kindy/preppie/first year whatever you want to call it kid, and we have nightly sound cards and that’s it. I don’t ally think it’s homework, it’s just a chance for her to revise what she already learned in class and it isn’t compulsory. We aren’t up to readers yet but she can’t wait!
    Me, on the other hand…

  16. I love her little spelling list!
    Such lovely penmanship!
    And such good spelling!

    I am glad that I don’t have to think about homework for a few more years!

  17. Homework is a useful tool that can teach children time management skills, encourages self-discipline and gives them the power to learn beyond the classroom.

    As a teacher I am SUPER impressed with Daisy’s beautiful hand-writing!

  18. Daisy’s handwriting is very neat for the beginning of year 1. The homework question is a tricky one because every child is different, I guess if the homework is meaningful and aimed at consolidating or extending class work then I am all for it. Homework can also be an opportunity for children to get some one on one time from an adult. Good luck. xT

  19. Having said that, it does need to be balanced by time to enjoy childhood!

  20. My instant response (have a 6 year old daughter myself) is how very neat Daisy’s writing is….great work xx We are still having teething problems (and some sighs and tears….on the quiet from me) with the timing of getting it all done however the blessing this year is that she gets homework on a Friday to be handed back on a Thursday so at least we have the weekend. Last year was the same set up that you have (Monday for Friday). I like the idea of homework, I think it reinforces what they are learning and enables us parents to see what they are learning, how they are learning and HOPEFULLY help them learn. Good luck with it going forward although I feel certain you will keep it under control and keep it organised (unless of course there is a pile of washing calling you, or a pork belly in the oven)…heehee xo

  21. As a teacher, I set as little homework as school would allow me too. I find that it does little to help learning. Or to encourage it. There are lots of other ways to do it. Read the ingredients in a recipe, measure the flour. Things like that. You can ask questions while such things are being done to extend the experience. Reading is a wonderful skill but the books I had and those my sons had many years later were not enticing to read but boring because they work with a list of words and don’t move outside them. Encourage Daisy in her reading to you from books you have, borrow from the library. Ask questions about the books for comprehension. Much better than what she’s doing now and children who read widely are almost always good spellers without the chore of lists etc.

    One of mine read encyclopaedias in bed at night at age six. They were vastly different to the books sent home.

    Kids that age need to run around outside, refresh themselves in a different environment. Not more of the same.

  22. i despise it.
    afternoons and evenings are for family time.
    t xx

  23. I sometimes think that homework is set because ‘it should be set’. My 3rd grade girl has her spelling list, 2 pages of activities, and reading. Fortunately she has the whole week to do it. Given a choice, I would have only the reading.

  24. Both my girls (now 19 and 22 years old) had homework right through their primary school and secondary school years. I believe in homework as it sets them up for studying when they are in high school. Imagine the shock of getting to Year 8 and having to do 2 hours homework/assignments a night! There would be a revolt!

    The type of homework that Daisy has been set is great – helping at home (make your bed, feed animals), help peel the veggies – are all life skills that should be taught to children and I believe it is the parents duty to teach it.

    Both girls went on to Uni – imagine their study habits if they hadn’t had homework at school?

    You have a beautiful little writer there, her printing is great!

    Cheers – Joolz

  25. Some more thoughts, Beth, from someone against the whole idea.

    You will know how Daisy works. Is she a perfectionist and has perfect colouring in, or does she hurry? You’ll know. In consultation with Rob, set a short period of time a couple of afternoons. Buy her a timer so she can see how she’s going. Make the time long enough to do a bit of what the school wants, but short enough to be an incentive to finish. I’m guessing 10-15 minutes a couple of times a week. That is for all work set and it won’t be long enough. Other things will compensate. She does what she can in that time and then is free. That means to do whatever she wants from what is set.

    Remember other activities are also learning. Her hockey teaches her team work. Dance helps her to work with someone else in authority. She can garden, find bugs in the ground and look them up, Cooking and following recipes are learning in various fields, all useful. It gives her time to do outdoor play as well. I remember you talk of early dinners and bedtimes. It will be dark soon and the nights will be early. Children need a break from the same old stuff they have been doing all day.

    You will probably need to inform the school that this is the system in your place. She does what she can and then the time is hers. As was said above, some schools set homework just because. I’d talk to them and put it in writing too.

    I ‘ll climb down and put the soapbox away now.

    I would agree with Jo that the reading is important, but let it be interesting stuff. Lots of children have read harry Potter at an early age. She’s probably not up to that but harry Potter would be classed as above a grade 3 level. I know kids in Grade 2 who have read it themselves.

  26. I loved homework when I worked part-time. Gave me a chance to share and observe what Tamika was doing at school. But then when I worked full-time, it became a battle ground. With so few hours in the day for us to share, homework took place of us talking and spending time together.

  27. EEEE, that is tonnes! I’m a teacher and there is no way I would be giving that much.

  28. I am a year one teacher and I think that is a ridiculous amount of homework! Way too much. Good luck! You are both doing very well to keep up with it.

  29. My girls have similar homework to Daisy, I like that it gives them something they are responsible for. My youngest daughter loves it so much that last year (year 1) she did a whole terms worth of home work in two weeks.

  30. Freshly-sharpened pennnnnnncillllls!

  31. I have 4 children 13, 11, 9 and 5 for the first time on Monday I had all 4 of them sitting up at the table doing homework. My 5.30 weeknight dinner went right out the window for the first time in 13 years! Thank goodness my eldest could to her Italian assignment on her own, my 11 year old had maths that I coudn’t do! and my facebook friends helped come up with 20 adjectives to describe a word. Kindy homework was the easiest but he was tired ๐Ÿ™ I HATE homework…… reading yes, spelling yes and times tables yes, but forget the rest!

  32. It’s a big no from me! I have never brought work home and I don’t think my children should either. My daughter is dying for a bit of play time when she gets home. 8.30-3 is plenty long enough for learning. Fortunately her school only sends home readers in lower primary. They say it’s largely so parents can encourage them and the kids can “show off” their progress. I like that!

  33. too much homework for such a little girl.
    at the same age mine only did reading every night.
    In about Grade 2 son started getting that amount and he used to do the whole lot on Monday nights – including writing the words out in one go – to get it over with.
    Once they’re in later primary and secondary the novelty wears off.
    son is 15 and now averages 1 -2 hours per night, but six is too little…..

  34. When I was teaching, I dreaded having to give out homework…however, our school had a policy on how many hours each year should be receiving for homework and so I had to stick to it. I tried to keep what I gave out as simple as possible… When it came to project based homework, it was so obvious which children’s parents did most of the work ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t let this affect my marking system and often, the children who did the work all by themselves got better marks than those whose parents had pretty much completed the task. Daisy’s writing is very neat for her age! x

  35. I’ve had a mostly hate relationship with homework. I had to write my own post about it as it relates to my son.

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