My child is not getting enough homework. What should I do?

Those of you with older children know

how the amount of homework

will build up over their years at school,

but if you feel your child

needs more of a challenge, 

here are some suggestions:

1. If you haven’t already, join the local library

and visit it weekly.

2. On this blog click on the link for ‘Educational Websites’

at the top of the page.

3. Try games such as scrabble, draughts, chess,

Monopoly and card games

4. Perhaps start an ‘extra work’ copybook.

I would be very interested any extra work done

and if your child brings these in will correct them.  

In this copy you could try some of the following:

5. Write a book review or a film review.

What was it? What happened in it?

Was it enjoyable?

What mark would you give it out of 10? Why?

6. Make a bookmark for your favourite book

or the most recent book that you have read.

7. Make a card or write a letter

to a family member or friend.

8. Beginning with the letter ‘A”

list in alphabetical order

as many names you can think of.

(Other lists can include: places, animals, foods, sports,

past times, jobs people have, things you would find in school,

in the kitchen etc.)

9. Write a story or poem.

10. Compose tune. Write the words to this song.

11. Write down all the things you are good at.

12. Describe how to play your favourite sport.

13. Write down 5 facts about something that interests you.

14. Listen to some music and draw what you see.

15. List as many adjectives or describing words that

you can think of to describe yourself

16. Describe yourself for an alien.

17. Who is the person you would most like to meet?

What would you like to ask this person?

18. Design a useful invention.

19. Draw yourself as a cartoon character.

20. Make up to quiz questions you know the answer to

and write them down.

Bring them into school and we will have a quiz.

21. List all the verbs (doing/action activities) you will do today.

22. Paint how you are feeling using colours.

23. What would you do with 3 wishes?

24. Invent your own super hero. Describe and illustrate.

If none of these appeal to you,

read or

read or ….

then again

…. read  🙂


Future bookworm
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: talkingplant via Compfight

Finally; some food for thought:

The following link tells the story of a school

that abolished homework and had the children read instead!

The School That Abolished Homework … and asked children TO READ instead.

It would seem to have had a positive effect.

Just a quick note about spelling for homework

Dear Parent,

1. First Teacher Pre Tests

We are starting with the Dolch List

of most frequently used words.

I am pretesting the children,

so that time is not taken up with spellings they already know.

I have stapled the Dolch List

into the Spelling/Free Writing copy.


I am also sending home an enlarged copy

of  list of the Dolch List  home.

You might find it useful to pop it up on a wall

somewhere at home.


Dolch List

I would suggest that the class levels at the top of this page

e.g. Pre Primer/2nd Grade are certainly American

and probably date back to the last century

when it was compiled by Dolch himself.

I don’t think it has any relevance to us.

2. Then she highlights the ones that need to be learnt

I have marked the misspellings from the pretests

on the photocopied page with a yellow highlighter.

I would like your child to learn five a night.

When they know them I would like them

to put them in sentences.


3. Then the children learn them

Understandably children often ask me

can they put their five spellings in just one sentence.

I would prefer them to write five sentences.


One sentence for each spelling helps practice punctuation

i.e. remembering that sentences begin with capital letters

and end in a full stop.

Also putting five random words in one sentence

can result in some very random sentences.


I would like the children to work

on the quality of the sentences they write

when they are practicing their spellings

and so avoid very simple sentences

like ‘I am funny,’ ’Where am I?’ or  ‘I am here’.


A post about developing the quality

of these sentences will follow shortly.

When a child completes the Dolch List

they can do ‘free writing’ at this time instead,

for a period of time.


Reading the ‘free writing’

will be a good starting point for me

for establishing words

that are frequently spelled incorrectly.


These are the words that we will work

on when we have finished working on the Dolch List.


Spelling Homework in a nutshell:

Learn five of the highlighted spellings a night.

Use the approach to learning spelling

that you were taught last year

i.e. Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check.

When you are confident that you know the five spellings

write five sentences using each one.

Remember capital letters and full stops.

Good penmanship and presentation is also important.


Other homework this week:

The other homework this week is Mental Maths as marked

and reading one comprehension piece from

‘A Way With Words’


Further information:

Scroll down this link for additional information

about a year’s plan for spelling here:

Class Plan for Learning Spelling 2012

When planning for spelling this year

I came across this very helpful blog:

Johanna Stirling’s ‘The Spelling Blog’

Thanking you, Teacher


And to finish:

a quote from Terry Pratchett:


“Nanny Ogg knew how to start spelling ‘banana’,

but didn’t know how you stopped.”

– Terry Pratchett, ‘Witches Abroad’


I found spellings hard at school and remember the feeling well 🙂

Changing Number Facts into Problems to be Solved.

These problems were written by 2nd as a whole class activity over a few days. We turned the number facts they were learning in tables into problems to be solved.
Over the next few weeks the children will be doing this for homework. I will collect the best ones and then get the children to turn the problems back into number sentences.
Writing these short problems integrates with literacy also.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. How many children were left up the hill?
Emily had a party. She invited 7 girls from Room 6 and John and Edward Grimes.
Jedward had to leave early because they had to spike their hair!
How many people were left at the party?
The Three Billy Goats Gruff,
the Three Blind Mice,
the Three Bears
and the Three Little Pigs
all went ice skating in Storybook Land. The Three Blind Mice found it so tricky, they went home. How many animals were left?
3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12 animals were ice skating
-3 went home
12 – 3 = 9
How many legs have these 12 animals altogether?
How many ice skates?
How many ears? How many tails?
Eight children went to the playcentre in Zoom. Half of them bumped their heads and went home. How many children were left?
When Teacher was little she had a packet of ten crayons. She ate four of them. How many crayons were left?

Luke’s “Self Portrait”. Well done Luke!