Archives for August 2009

Homework in German primary schools

Did you know that primary school children in Germany have homework (“Hausaufgaben”) – from DAY ONE!

This is no joke – on her first day at school our daughter was given homework to do, which of course had to be done after opening the Schultüte.  She has had some to do every day since.

For me, this is something completely new, as I am pretty sure that I did not have this sort of set homework until I changed schools at the age of 11.  I believe that my primary school did use to give homework to classes 4 and 5 (called years 5 and 6 these days!), but this was abolished before I was old enough to be in them.

The homework that our daughter receives is supposed to take up to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.  Which has led me to start thinking about how much we are meant to help or guide her through it.

Do we sit with her for the entire 30 minutes and guide her through?  Do we help her work out the solutions to the tasks she is being set, so as to get her started, or do we wait for her to say that she doesn’t understand the problem?

At what stage should we step in, if we notice she is making a mistake?  Should we explain the mistake to her and let her correct it, or should we leave that to the teacher the next day?

Comments and suggestions are welcome!

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