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Is homework too stressful?

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Awitt
1195956.  Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:35 pm Reply with quote

But not if you don't understand it in the first place as I didn't. Maths was my worst subject anyway, and I stared at my book in the evenings doing not much because I couldn't get it. Then was in trouble the next day for not doing the work.

Didn't help that I have a then-unidentified learning disability, the school just thought I was lazy and I labelled myself as dumb at the time.

 
gruff5
1196787.  Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:45 am Reply with quote

What kind of learning disability do/did you have? Are you referring to the numeric equivalent of dyslexia? (I'm too lazy to Google). You may also have suffered from inadequate maths teaching.

By "maths", I wasn't particularly referring to arithmetic, but more to the abstract logical reasoning aspects of it.

The neuroscientist speaker regarded "natural talent" as a mostly imaginary & false concept and that nearly all abilities - maths technique, musical etc - are a product of application and practice.

I certainly wasn't a "natural" at arithmetic in my early years at school (really struggled with long division, for example), but became relatively able at the more advanced, abstract maths as the years rolled by.

 
swot
1196794.  Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:26 pm Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
What kind of learning disability do/did you have? Are you referring to the numeric equivalent of dyslexia? (I'm too lazy to Google). You may also have suffered from inadequate maths teaching.

Dyscalculia

 
Jenny
1196801.  Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:31 pm Reply with quote

Awitt has been diagnosed with Aspergers AFAIK, though that doesn't mean she doesn't have dyscalculia too, or even dyspraxia. I mention dyspraxia because my youngest has that, and there is more to it than being a little clumsy - one of the specific difficulties is with sequencing, which can make maths that depends on carrying out operations in a specific sequence quite difficult.

 
Awitt
1197108.  Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:26 am Reply with quote

Yes, that's right Jenny. But when I was at high school in the early 1990's (now we can look back and see it) that Aspergers wasn't included in the diagnostic manual until 1994.

It's now been explained to me by my psychologist that I have an issue with things in sequence as Jenny mentions above.
So things like maths have to be done step by step in order to get the correct answer, particularly areas like algebra.
If I didn't understand something properly or got it wrong, I couldn't proceed to the next step (or I did and it was even wronger) but without the proper diagnosis and help, my school teachers just thought I was doing it for attention/being lazy/not doing my work, when I was trying.

My current librarianship course essays aren't so much of an issue as despite the 2-3 page descriptions, most of the steps are there and it's just a case of working through it all systematically.

 
crissdee
1270190.  Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:11 am Reply with quote

Raising this thread from its slumbers to raise something that has been nagging me of late.

My brother and niece were supposed to come a'visiting on Sunday, but couldn't because niece had an exam on Tuesday which apparently neccessitated her spending the entire weekend revising. Then, in the paper the other day, a young (15yo) lad has set up a petition to reduce/ban homework on the grounds that he spends 4 hours a night on his.

When do these poor kids get any chance to just......be kids?

 
'yorz
1270203.  Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:19 am Reply with quote

Apart from 4 hours a day being quite a bit, why do parents have to stay home when their offspring has to revise? Can't niece make her own sandwiches?

 
tetsabb
1270229.  Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:21 am Reply with quote

And a bit of starvation helps focus the mind. Holmes would go without food for days when he was hot on a trail, and if he said it aided his mental facilities, it must be true.

 
crissdee
1270239.  Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:59 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Apart from 4 hours a day being quite a bit, why do parents have to stay home when their offspring has to revise? Can't niece make her own sandwiches?


Sorry, should have made the situation clearer. Brother is divorced from niece's mother, only has the weekends with her, obviously doesn't want to come down and leave her.

Also. When/why did GCSEs become so overwhelmingly important? When her father and I were her age, we were vaguely aware that your exam results would have a bearing on your eventual career, but most of us had only the broadest idea of what we wanted to do anyway. Now it seems that these kids are being obliged to make life-shaping decisions (and plan for their execution) at an age where we were still riding our bikes and climbing trees.

 
suze
1270255.  Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:44 pm Reply with quote

If this young person really is spending four hours every night on his homework, that means one of two things:

1. His school is setting more than it ought to be (the government guidance is that about two hours per night is appropriate for pupils in Years 10 and 11), or
2. He's spending too long on it.

I have this discussion with a parent a couple of times each school year. It's not as easy for a teacher to spot #2 as it used to be - it was so much easier when schoolwork was mostly handwritten - but there are things which I notice and things which I can suggest that parents look for.

If I ask a pupil to write an essay, then I want her to write an essay. At GCSE level, that essay is probably going to be a document of two pages. I do not require fancy frames or borders, I do not require immaculately researched and presented citations (at A level yes, but they are not needed for GCSE), and I actively do not want each page to be inserted in a plastic folder and the whole tied together with a fancy ribbon.

Most schools have some sort of homework schedule, showing which teacher should be setting homework on which days. It's impossible to stick to that rigidly, but in an exam year I won't set anything that's going to take longer than 15 minutes if it's not "my" night.

One former member of my team used to consider it her right to set as much homework as she wanted whenever she wanted, and I kicked her arse for it. If it seems to be happening, it's absolutely a thing that parents can and should raise with the school.

Quickly on revision, I do quite often find myself telling pupils not to do too much of it. I make it a rule that there is one day a week on which I do absolutely nothing work-related, and I urge pupils to do the same. For me it's convenient for that day to be Saturday, and pupils tell me that they often find the same.

What pupils do do on that free day is of course up to them, and they may not always be listening when I suggest that it's best not to spend the whole day at the games console or (of more relevance to university students) at the pub. But taking a day out to visit Uncle Crissdee in the middle of a revision period is the sort of thing that I would very much encourage.

 
crissdee
1270262.  Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:20 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
But taking a day out to visit Uncle Crissdee in the middle of a revision period is the sort of thing that I would very much encourage.


Awwwwwwww. Me too actually, as she is the light of my life!

 
crissdee
1280005.  Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:05 am Reply with quote

And again, she is "up to her ears in revision" for her GCSEs. Over the whole of the holidaay weekend.

 
'yorz
1280010.  Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:19 am Reply with quote

That's a bummer, crissdee. :(

 
RLDavies
1280015.  Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:44 am Reply with quote

Does she have exam anxiety? It sounds like she's over-revising through fear of not doing well.

 
crissdee
1280047.  Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:22 pm Reply with quote

That, I think, is very much part of the problem. Despite being as bright as a bright thing on International Being Bright Day, she is somewhat plagued by self-doubt, which makes her work harder than she really needs to. I suppose it is better in the long term than for her to "cruise" through education, but I wish we coud see more of her. Hopefully, I will have both driving licence and car in July, which will tie in nicely with the end of term(?) so we can go up there to see them.

 

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