I don't think I am but my dh and ds do so give me a reality check

(110 Posts)
Stoppicking Thu 03-Oct-13 07:43:01

My dh says that I am pushing our year 4 son by making him work too hard. My ds says that noone has to work as hard as he does (probably due to listening to his father's moans).

5 nights a week (I'm not fussed which 5 nights but ds has chosen Sun-Thurs) he has to do:

10 minutes of reading (school state between 15-30 minutes so already under on that in my book)
Run through that week's spelling tests
Complete a set piece of homework once a week (I've tried explaining to both dh and ds that he could do a bit of it a night but he chooses to do it all in one sitting)
30 minutes of music practice

That's it. So am I really being unreasonable?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 03-Oct-13 09:48:54

Okay now I have realised he is year 4, he needs to come and live in my house reading minimum 15 mins per night (though is to herself) homework year 4, 5 pieces per week each 20 mins now she is on year 5 it is 7 pieces per week. Then 15 mins instrument practice. She still gets to do her myriad of clubs she needs to get home and get on to get TV time.

JennyWren Thu 03-Oct-13 09:49:56

I should say that I think it works because she doesn't routinely get sweets at any other point in the week. We're not anti-sweets, per se, but they're not freely available either, so they are seen as a treat still.

SatinSandals Thu 03-Oct-13 09:51:47

Several people on here think he is 4yrs old!! Re read if you do.
Does he want to play a musical instrument?

Crowler Thu 03-Oct-13 09:53:30

I agree I'd expect a half hour of reading a night, everything else academic seems fine.

I think 30 min of music is too much.

FrightRider Thu 03-Oct-13 09:57:47

tbh, i think its the EVERY night thing thats a bit much.

Can't you say 30 mins homework, 30 mins music. Then in those 30 mins for homework let him decide what to do, be it his reading, his spelling or the set piece. As long as over the week he does a bit of everything, it wont seem so set in stone and allow him some freedom of choice.

flowery Thu 03-Oct-13 10:04:17

The reading, spelling and homework is set by the school so nothing to do with you anyway presumably? So the only optional thing really is the music.

DS1 is 6yo and learns 2 instruments. He practices them both about 10 minutes a day each, so total of 20 minutes. I would certainly expect him to be doing 15 minutes each by the time he is 9, assuming he is still enjoying it as he is now.

As well as 20 minutes music practice DS1 also does 10 minutes reading and usually 15 minutes mathletics daily. He is motivated to do those because he gets a sticker for reading every day from school, and he gets certificates for mathletics if he gets a certain number of points each week.

PrincessYoni Thu 03-Oct-13 10:08:14

My DD is nearly 3 and makes me read to her for far far longer than 10 minutes every day ( I reckon I sound too interesting) so I figure that when she's the same age as your DS, karma suggests she should read for more than 10 mins a day smile. TBH it doesn't sound unreasonable on the face of it, but does he also do lots of extra-curricular activities? If so, he could be a bit drained.

vichill Thu 03-Oct-13 10:09:03

I would drop the music unless he really wants to do it. I played a violin at primary school and dread to think how many hours of my childhood I wasted practising only to give out up by eleven. children very rarely keep it going into adulthood and even fewer make any kind of living from it. he would be better of reading more or learning a language.

TheArticFunky Thu 03-Oct-13 10:48:15

Ds is year 5 he gets daily spellings, reading, times tables and at least one piece of homework each night sometimes two.

It is time consuming but its set by the school so we don't really have a choice.

He has dropped music now. He has tried two different instruments and never practised either. I was going to give him another year on the second instrument but the school have stopped the lessons as there were not enough pupils opting for that particular instrument. I was quite relieved as it was one less thing to have to worry about each night . Ds has asked if he can try another instrument but I am reluctant to agree to this as you can't progress without daily practice and ds didn't even practice once a week!

kali110 Thu 03-Oct-13 10:59:00

Yanbu at all

CloverkissSparklecheeks Thu 03-Oct-13 11:16:33

I would say 10 mins for each instrument is enough at that age but the rest sounds fine.

Are the school setting the homework or you? If it is the school you have no choice, if it is you then you should drop it.

My DS is Y3 and he has homework every night plus reading, tables and spellings. He has activities every night and sat/sun. I am not particularly pushy with what he does so we do the minimum homework he has to, I am rubbish at getting him to practice his guitar but need to try and do just 10 mins a day.

flowery Thu 03-Oct-13 12:11:15

If it's the school work (ie nothing to do with you) that they are moaning about what are they suggesting would be a better arrangement? Assuming it all has to get done, presumably the only possible change would be to come up with a different schedule.

That works with DS1. He has always found it beneficial to know exactly what happens when, he's always been a routine kind of child.

So we have a timetable. It means he can see how much time he has for playing/screen time as well as his "work", and we came up with it together.

musicismylife Thu 03-Oct-13 12:15:09

Your 4-year-old son angry angry

..and then I re-read it..grin

chocoluvva Thu 03-Oct-13 12:16:03

I'm amazed at the number of posters who think 10-15 mins of daily practice is fine!. It's a lot better than nothing but should be the bare minimum IMO.

Can you accompany him and/or listen to his practising?

harticus Thu 03-Oct-13 12:23:58

Not unreasonable at all.
My son does as much if not more and he is Y2.
He has plenty of time for everything and isn't pushed by me at all. We do a lot of things in the morning before school because he gets up ridiculously early - that way, when he comes home, he can do what he likes with his time.

Bramshott Thu 03-Oct-13 12:39:47

Sounds fine to me, and about what DD (now Y6) was doing in Y4 (she also plays two instruments). In total that adds up to about an hour a day doesn't it?

Can you split the practice so he does one lot in the mornings before school?

Bramshott Thu 03-Oct-13 12:41:17

Also agree with Flowery - if DH and DS think the school work is too much, what do they propose, given that you're just ensuring that DS does what the school are asking?

CloverkissSparklecheeks Thu 03-Oct-13 12:42:29

At senior school age I would practice for an hour a day per instrument but at 8 YO 10-15 minutes per instrument should be enough for very low grades if learning for fun.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 03-Oct-13 12:45:03

YANBU that is not a lot for a 9 year old. 30 mins, 15 on each instrument is not too much either.

GampyWabbit Thu 03-Oct-13 12:51:33

I think the music practice is fine. My 9yo dd (grade 6) does at least 30 mins a day on her main instrument and 15/20 mins on her second instrument. Ds (6) happily manages 15/20 mins on his instrument with no problems too. I sit with them for all of their practices, and they quite enjoy it.

I don't worry about dd reading for a set time as she reads for pleasure each night. She also has music theory and school work to get done, but she does this happily and with enthusiasm grin

Ds on the other hand is not a keen worker and we have to encourage him to read, do homework etc.

So, I guess if he is happy to get on with it all it is fine, if not, then you may need to find fun ways to get things done (as we have had to do with ds)

Is there any room in your morning routine to get the reading out of the way then? It might cut down the whinging if you split it up a bit for him.

If not, such is life. It's a reasonable amount to except him to do without complaint, especially if he enjoys music practice.

HavantGuard Thu 03-Oct-13 12:58:24

I'd say if he wants to do less he should drop an instrument. That'd save him 15 minutes a day. He might not be so keen on that grin

willyoulistentome Thu 03-Oct-13 12:59:28

How's his reading? My Y4 son reads to himself at bedtime. That would be one less thing on the list.

Does he enjpoy the instruments he plays, or are you making him do them? Sounds a bit much to me to be doing 30 mins a day practice. If he moans about it, I'd drop one or both of the instruments.

becsbornunderadancingstar Thu 03-Oct-13 13:07:02

YANBU - my Y3 does 15 mins music, 15 mins reading, 10 mins times tables about four days a week, plus two days a week he does at least an hour's homework on top (all of this is just what the school expect (state primary), nothing extra apart from the music practice, which I think is the bare minimum if he's going to make any progress).

He always gets one day off per week but then he also has after school sport three days a week. So I think that averages out to being pretty similar to your Y4. My Y3 doesn't whinge about it or think that he's particularly hard done by compared to his friends. And my DH agrees and supervises the homework quite often. Sounds like your DH wants to be the good guy... I wonder if he would enjoy being the one at parents' evening being told that his son wasn't completing his homework and was behind on his reading..?

quoteunquote Thu 03-Oct-13 14:30:31

Do the music practice and reading in the mornings, spellings, can go on the wall next to where ever breakfast is eaten, pick off three a day (or he can get them all out the way early in the week .

Mine do straight music practice in the morning, and they do a mess around in the evening to suit themselves.

Mine choose to get homework out the way the moment they get it, then they can do anything they choose.

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