can't be 'polite' and good any longer....

(724 Posts)

ds goes to a village primary with all the subsequent over-reliance on parents wealth, education, time, etc. re: assuming sahms are the norm, money is plentiful for fanciful trips and activities, we all know how to sew up costumes at the drop of a hat etc.

that's fine. i chose to live here. however....

homework is way over the top in terms of quantity and right from day one of school. one part of homework (there is loads) is the 'learning log' which is pretended to be something children could do indepndently and consolidates learning. except in reality it is not, by a long shot.

i've put up with it and put up with and felt enslaven to doing it until today when i've had enough. this week for ds (6yo and one of the most able in his year) it says, "show me what you've learned about number bonds up to 20 and what patterns you can see". then there's a blank page.

i don't know why (because this is far from the worst that's come home) but today i've had enough and found myself writing on the page that i have no idea what the learning objective is, what outcomes they're hoping for or how the hell they see this as differentiated. i've also asked how they think a parent with numeracy or literacy problems would tackle this task and whether they would actually set this as a task in class to 6yos and expect a meaningful outcome.

there is no context, no structure, no literacy support, no prompts nothing. same as ever. sometimes the tasks don't even relate to anything they've been learning.

am i totally unreasonable or would you after a year or so be fed up too? i am (if it's not obvious) an ex teacher and i know what education is supposed to be about and this is not it. homework should be meaningful. how could a 6yo read that question and face a blank page and do something a teacher could look at and assess to see what they've learnt? they couldn't.

on top of this learning log (given on a friday and expected in by tuesday) daily reading and signing of reading book is expected plus other bits and bobs. he's 6! he's been getting this since 5 at a point where some kids couldn't even write let alone face a blank page and an open ended task and produce something yet they'd get in trouble if they didn't. this is just a test of parents surely? and an unfair one given it assumes knowledge and literacy that some parents won't have?

sorry for long random rant but help! i'm not playing this game anymore and i'm ready to speak up. it's a joke.

incidentally it's a printed label that is on the page of EVERY child's learning log in his year this week - be they dyslexic or whatever - zero differentiation. just a stick the label on the page.

thecockyfoxreturns Sun 29-Sep-13 18:17:07

I think that is quite a reasonable question to be honest, my DS is just turned 7 so a bit older than yours but faced with that he would list the number bonds so, 1+19 2+18 etc then probably say the first number goes up and the second goes down or something to that effect.

and would he manage to present that on a blank page with no lines?

and structure the sentence that explains that pattern?

thecockyfoxreturns Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:27

And it isn't a test of parents is it, the children should just do what they can and then hand it in.
Reading every day is expected in all schools isn't it as are practising spellings.

RandomMess Sun 29-Sep-13 18:20:42

Geez op I'm with you, I mean why so much so young. One of my very able dc only learnt to read at the end of year 1.

I would at the very least expect a few examples. Also if my dc couldn't do the homework I would write that in the book.

thecockyfoxreturns Sun 29-Sep-13 18:23:57

Yes he would do that on a blank page because at school they do number bonds in the morning on a blank white board.
He wouldn't structure a sentence but would get his point across maybe say 'one number goes up one number goes down'
I really think you are making a mountain out of a molehill has your son attempted the work?

sparklekitty Sun 29-Sep-13 18:27:31

Um...as a previous Y2 teacher I would say that's a fairly effective number investigation. It can be attempted in a number of ways depending on a child's learning style, it's very open which encouraged lateral thinking and the lack of 'support' materials will mean that it will be differentiated by outcome.

I would imagine they've not given a LO as it is quite obvious (I can investigate number bonds and their patterns)

sparklekitty Sun 29-Sep-13 18:28:34

However, saying that it does sound like there is far too much homework for that age group so I'm not surprised you're peed off

sorry but don't kid a kidder sparkle - in this instance 'differentiated by outcome' means differentiated by parental input.

last week was a food diary for a whole weekend. for ds, even with me writing the days as titles and the meals as subheadings and writing the list of what he ate for him to copy (wow what a learning experience) it was a 45 minute task.

would love to see a teacher volunteer to get a class of 6yo through a 45 minute sit still and write exercise without any differentiation.

JohnnyUtah Sun 29-Sep-13 18:35:25

I would have done it with my son. Maybe that's why they're both doing so well. I dont care why - as long as they excel, that's my aim met. If other parents don't, well there you go. We went to the library and museums at that age too. Life ain't fair.

seriously how hard would it have been to give a 1,2,3 task and said for example 1. list the number bonds 1-10 2. same for 10-20, 3. can you see a pattern (and maybe add a sentence starter: 'the pattern is...' etc?

i was a secondary school teacher and i would have given more guidance and differentiation than this. it's just a joke.

spanieleyes Sun 29-Sep-13 18:36:26

No it doesn't, it means some children will begin with 1+19 and continue following the pattern, some children will write down "random" number bonds, some will draw pictures or sketches to help, some will know all the number bonds ( and some bright spark will use 20-1 as a starting point too)
All of which will show the teacher the child's understanding of number bonds.

johnny - love your assumptions. ds is VERY bright. i'm a qualified teacher, counsellor and post grad educated outside of the teaching. he IS excelling and i have no qualms about taking part in my son's education hence them having barely had to input so far.

lucky me and lucky him that i have the capacity for all that. what about the parent who can barely read or doesn't have a bloody clue what number bonds are?

spaniel they are FIVE and SIX! how much time do you spend with five and six year olds?

I agree with you. My DS also attends a village school (we lived here years before he was finally born) which sounds very similar. My DS is summer born but also has severe dyslexia. He has just gone into Yr 4 and is getting daily homework, but add to that daily reading, times tables, extra phonics and maths for him, spellings. He could do more homework in an evening than I did for O level. I have now told the school that I am prepared to ask DS to attempt 1 homework per night only. I have asked them to prioritise which one it should be. That was a compromise position from me as he is only now just starting some extracurricula activities (eg cubs, swimming) and I personally would prefer he play with his friends and enjoy that. He is just 8- we live in a selective area and I think the school's position on homework is to help kids with the 11+ unofficially. Your son's h/w sounds too open ended. Your mention of parents with learning difficulties is brilliant because it just shows how in this type of school those parents are marginalised.

thecockyfoxreturns Sun 29-Sep-13 18:40:23

It doesn't matter if parents know what number bonds are. The point is the children do and the question allows then to show the teacher how much they know in their own way.

RandomMess Sun 29-Sep-13 18:43:36

I remember having to ask my dc what number bonds are, when they ask for help with multiplication and division I run away because they have been taught different methods to me and I don't want to confuse them!

I think it depends on what happens if a child does no or little homework because they can't, what does the teacher do then?

how do they do that cocky? how much literacy are you expecting of a 6yo that they can 'show their understanding' about a mathematical pattern on a blank page in hand written words?

and how would a 6yo who can't yet write their name tackle that task? or a 6yo who has a terror of blank pages and needs word frames or some fucking clue of what's expected of them?

how does the teacher differentiate whether little billy is really bright or just has an educated mummy able to sit down with him for an hour after school every day and dictate his work?

seriously you'd give a 6yo a blank piece of paper and say 'show me what you know about number bonds' and actually expect a meaningful outcome regardless of ability level?

my teacher training was in 2001 - maybe standards have slumped since then but if i'd been observed then (or subsequently by ofsted) setting homework like this, even for a year 11 group they'd have been horrified.

missmapp Sun 29-Sep-13 18:47:04

Do you know they are all given the same? The differentiation may be that others were asked to investigate numbers bonds to ten, or given the number bonds to look at.

simple questions for work set:

what is the learning objective?

what are the outcomes?

how will you assess this?

how is it differentiated? (and even in 2001 'differentiated by outcome' as a bog standard response was seen as a bullshit cop out without some back up)

how accessible is this task to all levels of learners?

jesus they're six.

Bakingtins Sun 29-Sep-13 18:48:35

That sounds very like what is expected of my DS (6). Daily reading recorded in a diary and fairly open-ended weekend homework. We've had exactly the homework that you mentioned. He couldn't/wouldn't do it by himself, left to his own devices he wouldn't do anything, but he can do it with a bit of prompting, encouragement and discussion. I assume in the homes where parents are disengaged and unsupportive it doesn't get attempted. DS attends an urban primary with a high proportion of FSM, ESL, SEN. Isn't it an OFSTED requirement that homework is set? I should think the teachers think setting and marking it is a complete ball-ache. I imagine the world will not end if you choose not to do it or to do something you think more appropriate to your child's current interests or abilities. You seem disproportionately cross about it.

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