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To be annoyed at the way my daughter's teacher handled a homework issue?

(64 Posts)
McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 20:28:30

My DD is 6 and in Yr 1. She was given maths homework last Friday to be handed in by this Tuesday. DH did homework with her and we sent it into school on Monday. So far so good. Yesterday DD came home in tears, her teacher had not seen the homework and threatened that she would miss 'play and learn' today if it was not done. Of course I spoke to the teacher this morning and said we had already handed it in, before it was even due! The teacher had a cursory look and found it in DD's tray. Anyway, my point is, even if we had not handed in the homework, would it not be more appropriate to speak to parents before handing out punishments to 6 year olds for unfinished homework? A 6 year old is not old enough to do homework on their own, they need parental support. Some children do not get that support at home, is it really fair to then punish them at school? The whole episode has made me angry, it does feel like an injustice, albeit a minor one. Should I bring this up with DD's teacher, or just let it lie?

It does seem a bit heavy handed.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 20:32:36

Why didn't dd hand it in?

LIZS Fri 16-Nov-12 20:37:20

Why the "we" handed in the homework ? Sorry but even at 6 she needs to know to hand it in when required, not leave it in her tray. You also have to allow a teacher to use discipline without recourse to parents. Contacting those who are not engaged is likely to be fruitless.

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 20:39:03

This is what I think. Apparently there were three other children on a list who did in the end miss out on playtime for not having homework in. But nobody spoke to the parents between tuesday and Friday to ask where the homework was!

DD has a different teacher on a Monday (job share), who I'm presuming told her to put it in the tray. I asked DD tonight why she didn't speak up for herself and tell the teacher she had done the homework and she said she was scared of being told not to 'answer back'.

Anyway, teacher was nice as pie when I told her that the homework definitely came to school, but I think that she is too tough on what are still young children. DD at 6 is one of the older ones, many of them are still 5.

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 16-Nov-12 20:39:09

She should have looked in her tray first, so for that you are not being unreasonable. However 6 isn't too young to hand in things themselves. Dd is now 7 and last year at school it was the childrens responsibility to make sure they finished and handed in homework. I would make sure she took it to school and she would have to make sure it was put in the right spot. The year before that she also had to hand it in, but the TA would check all the backpacks for the homework folders and make sure that they ended up in the tray.
I think having to sit out to finish the work is a bit much. They have just started this with Dd's class of 7 year olds, Friday playtime is make up time for any missed sheets of work.

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 20:42:40

LIZS - this is my point. The homework exercise was a money counting, addition/subtraction game to be played with parents. We were expected to do it with her, write a note about how she got on, which we did. I then put it in DD's bookbag and she took it to school. Should be the end of the story. However, some parents may not do the homework with a child who is unable to do it by themselves, why punish the child is my question?

missymoomoomee Fri 16-Nov-12 20:44:33

The teacher can't go running off to the parents over every small (and it is small) thing. She would never be off the phone if she called up over every missing PE kit, unfinished homework, argument etc. At 6 your DD should know to hand her homework in, its not really the teachers job to go hunting for it.

Anonymumous Fri 16-Nov-12 20:44:44

I wish they'd do this at DS's school actually. Last year DS1 kept telling me that he didn't have any homework, but it didn't transpire that he was lying until parent's evening. The children are supposed to lose their breaktime if they haven't done their homework, but DS1 was obviously getting away with it. And knowing that the school are not following up their threats with actions makes it that much harder for me to persuade him that the homework NEEDS to be done.

His teacher this year is a bit more on-the-ball. Last week DS1 handed in his homework book but forgot to stick his maths homework into it. hmm The teacher pulled him up on it straight away. Much, much better than just letting it go.

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 20:45:45

CaliforniaLeaving - I would have no problem with this approach for an older child - 8 or 9 maybe, I don't know. But if the children are unable to complete homework unaided then they shouldn't be held responsible if it's not done. A note home to parents might be an idea, before they start taking away Friday playtime

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 20:47:31

I don't think 6 is too young to miss out on play time if they haven't done their homework personally,it's teaching them that there is a consequence to their actions,of lack there of.

A bid odd the teacher didn't at least ask everyone to hand it in. Your Dd would have remembered it if reminded. For all I believe that 6 isn't too young to be taught about responsibility and consequences,if wouldn't have killed the teacher to either ask for it or check the drawers. 6 is little. I vaguely remember forgetting to take my own coat home often at that age!

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 20:48:14

So no you're not BU to be bit miffed the teacher just dished out the punishment without checking.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 20:50:00

The teacher was fair though

Instead of stopping her play, she gave her an extension on the time if it had to be in last Tuesday.

Yes parents are to help with the homework but handing it in and bringing it home is down to the child...they're learning to take responsibility.

If she just stopped the kid's play without giving them an extra chance, then I'd say she was out of order because they're only 6 and still learning.

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 20:51:28

I take the point that the children are supposed to be more independent in Year 1, but I guess I think that punishments are a bit drastic for 5 and 6 year olds. Year R was very safe and cosy, and the transition to year 1 has been a bit of a shock for DD in some ways. The fact that she has a different teacher on a Monday probably confused things a bit, as she wasn't the one taking in the maths homework. Anyway, general consensus is to let it lie?

Anonymumous Fri 16-Nov-12 20:52:07

But if they can't do the homework on their own and need an adult to help them do it, then presumably the children who have to do their homework in school time have a teacher helping them to do it. This actually means that children with can't-be-bothered parents DON'T miss out - they get the help they needed and it all evens itself out because they got to play at home in the evening when the other children were doing their homework. You should see this as a good thing! smile

OpheliaPayneAgain Fri 16-Nov-12 20:52:07

Is there a HW in tray in the calss? was the HW put there? Do you really think a teacher has the time to go through 30+ trays looking for HW ?

perhaps, although your daughter was timely in completing said HW, she should have moved it from her tray to the 'hand in pile' ?

maddening Fri 16-Nov-12 20:52:38

Why don't they have book bags that they hand in every day?

Floggingmolly Fri 16-Nov-12 20:55:15

The issue is really with your dd, for not speaking up for herself. Producing it from her tray was hardly going to merit a "don't talk back", was it?

SamSmalaidh Fri 16-Nov-12 20:55:56

5 and 6 year olds should not be doing homework, it's ridiculous. If the school feels they have to do homework, it should be something they can do independently and not rely on parental help.

I would point blank refuse to allow school work to encroach on home/family time for a infants child.

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 20:57:31

I think this is way ott for a 6 year old. In Y1 they are still in transition from Reception where they learn through play all the time. I hate this kind of grindstone teaching, personally - surefire way to kill all enthusiasm stone dead. Children of 6 want to learn - they don't need threats.
Fwiw I had a v keen Y1 pupil last year - never did homework - his reason? we don't have pencils at home. He'd done some fab school work, our HT coincidentally gave him a pencil as a prize and it was a pleasure to see. One top moment last year was getting homework from this child.
Children of this age WANT to learn. Don't kill it for them. (and I do get the point about responsibility and trays and being organised - but even so ... ffs learning should be a pleasure not a drudge!)

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 20:58:32

X post SamS but I think I love you

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:01:38

To answer a few points

1) I think there was a homework pile and for some reason DD did not compute. She got confused, obviously, or it wouldn't have ended up in her tray.

2) DD is obviously little bit scared of teacher! She is cheeky at home but very compliant at school and scared of putting foot wrong

3) SamSmalaidh. I agree, homework seems unnecessary. It's a bit much at the mo, with spelling tests every Friday, maths homework every week, nightly reading and sometimes extra topic homework. I'd love to just let her play at the weekend, but then she'll be stressed if she's not keeping up in class sad

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 21:02:14

Ophelia as a teacher I would rather make the bloomin time than have a 6 year old upset for such a non reason
not speaking up for yourself? they are infants! adults can be intimidating. I saw a TA make a child nearly cry over putting stuff in bookbags yesterday - it ain't on!

SamSmalaidh Fri 16-Nov-12 21:02:46

In most countries (many with far superior educational results to ours!) 5 and 6 year olds are still in nursery.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 16-Nov-12 21:03:19

The biggest issue here for me is that your DD doesn't feel able to talk to her teacher and is frightened of getting told off for simply telling her something. This I would want addressed.

Where should her homework have been put? Does she even know? Do the two teachers agree on this?

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