Homework in reception

(21 Posts)
Chrisinthemorning Sat 17-Sep-16 11:54:14

DS is 4, June birthday, and has just started reception. It's a non selective independent primary. He was in their nursery and has friends and is already happy and settled. I like his teachers, the school and it's ethos. There are 17 in his class with a teacher and a TA which is a nice ratio I reckon.
His homework this week:
Flash cards of 8 sounds. He knows all these. He knows all his jolly phonics from last year, I think now they are working on removing the pictures (eg j had a picture of jelly next to it before, now it doesn't).
About me book- I fill this in with a few lines about our weekend and he draws a picture about it. Not compulsory but fine IMO.
Spelling. Apparently he will have a spelling test next week?! It is a book with
s
a
t
p
What am I supposed to do with this? He knows these sounds- I've checked. Are we done?
Handwriting.
3 lines of cursive l. This is the bit we're struggling with. He's done one line after I bribed him with chocolate. (Dentist so this is hard for me!) Do I carry on making him do it?
My feeling is that he's knackered after a week at school and needs to rest and play. He's in his jamas rampaging around with a light saber and quite right too imo.

irvineoneohone Sat 17-Sep-16 14:22:05

My ds is at state primary, but he had spelling test from start of school. He was tested on high frequency words list and quickly moved on to something else. Normally they don't start until yr1, but he handled it fine.

If you think the demand and expectancy of the school is too much for your dc, maybe the school isn't right for your dc?

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 17-Sep-16 14:31:20

If you think the demand and expectancy of the school is too much for your dc, maybe the school isn't right for your dc?

So could you show me a school that would be right.

Ds had this sort of problem and struggled from day 1. Where do you put the children who might me a little slower in getting to grips with reading and writing. If your child doesn't keep up then they are left behind.

irvineoneohone Sat 17-Sep-16 14:43:54

I said that with assumption that normal state school would not normally test children with spelling when they just started.
I assumed private schools differs school to school, some demand is higher than others.
And I don't think state schools are allowed to leave child behind just because some children are younger or slower to get it, but I don't know about private schools.

Castleonacloud Sat 17-Sep-16 14:47:43

Blimey, my DS has just started reception and the only homework we've had is his reading book (which is just pictures, he has to explain the story)....

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 17-Sep-16 15:06:49

DD's reception gave no homework beyond the reading book - twice a week if that, no spelling tests, no flash cards, nothing similar for the entire year. Kids have learnt stuff at different rates, but certainly none are "left behind" simply because they've not been doing spelling homework a year ago, they've all progressed, some just slower than others, those have had extra help according to DD.

I agree with irvineoneohone the ethos of the school doesn't seem to be a good match for your ethos, they believe that homework is appropriate, you seemingly don't - and unless your DS only needs 9 or 10 hours sleep a night so has plenty of time for other activities which teach so much more than the basic technical skills.

Wondermoomin Sat 17-Sep-16 15:15:13

S a t p are the first phonics sounds they cover. You could do things like singing the songs together that go with them, playing games similar to I spy for things beginning with those sounds, spotting the graphemes (single letters in this case) in books or on signs etc out and about...

If it's anything like our school he'll come home with new phonemes every week so it's good to build it into things you do anyway.

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 17-Sep-16 15:16:43

And I don't think state schools are allowed to leave child behind just because some children are younger or slower to get it, but I don't know about private schools.

Definitely state school. Was told they were teaching the curriculum. When I tried to explain that Ds couldn't read they just shrugged their shoulders.

LuchiMangsho Sat 17-Sep-16 15:21:34

DS in a non selective independent prep.
Sounds to revise.
A set of spellings of 'tricky words'
A book to read or be read to (DS can read) with some follow up questions.
A small worksheet

It all took less than 30 mins. We might revise the spellings once more tomorrow. This is a non selective but v academic prep so I knew this was coming anyway.
DS has rampaged, gone swimming with his Dad, played, helped me cook, played some more but we have found time to finish this. He doesn't have to do it all in one day as well?

irvineoneohone Sat 17-Sep-16 15:22:02

Oliversmumsarmy, I am sorry you and your ds has been let down by the school. But I don't think all the state primary schools are like that

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 17-Sep-16 20:13:44

He went to 3 primary and 2 secondaries trying to find the right school for him. All said all the right things but the reality was very different. He is now home educated

Dixiechickonhols Sat 17-Sep-16 22:25:04

I'd speak to the teacher that is part of what you pay for, easy access to staff. I'd imagine an attempt is all they are after - DS was tired so we did 1 line will be fine.

Chrisinthemorning Sun 18-Sep-16 08:11:43

He's not moving schools after a week over this! He's happy and settled.
He couldn't anyway, the state schools are full and it would be unsettling and I chose this school for small class sizes, more individual attention etc.
I just wanted to know if this is normal for reception at an independent school and also if I should push it.
I know there are Autumn born girls in the class who are very ready for this type of work. If they all have the same homework, but understand that there are a range of ages and abilities so some will do it and some won't and don't mind that, it's fine. If they expect them all to do it and be able to etc then it's a worry. I feel they should be setting it more individually to meet their abilities really but they have only been there a week so may not know yet?
I will try to speak to the teacher, I just don't want to be labelled as one of those parents so early!

Caroian Sun 18-Sep-16 08:43:24

My son is also in reception at an independent school and the level of homework sounds similar - sounds to practice plus writing them, sharing about our weekend and a topic homework (talking about baby photos and growing up this week). However they have made it very clear that there is no pressure. There won't be consequences if it isn't done! They won't even fall behind if they don't do it as everyone is at such different levels anyway (my son can already read, for example).

I think if certain things prove to be a struggle, it helps staff identify the areas that aren't a particular child's strength so they can look to supporting this. Homework at this age is also about establishing a routine and getting used to the idea in order to establish habits for higher up the school.

I'd do as much as he is comfortable doing, and don't force it too much as that would be counter productive in switching him off writing, or making him see homework as a chore that he doesn't want to do. And then make a note in the homework diary or whatever you have to state what has/hasn't been done and why.

LuchiMangsho Sun 18-Sep-16 08:46:15

You may find that it has already been individually tailored. Because he can read quite fluently DS has been given v different work to his peers although it would take the same time. Is it a v academic school? Ours would be sympathetic to a point but they tell you from day 1 that they are academic as they survive on the basis of their reputation and the secondary schools kids get into and do give homework (over an hour by Year 3) and that its non negotiable. We had a talk where the teachers explained the homework and basically said you have to find a way to do it. We use a no nonsense 'come on let's do homework' approach.

christinarossetti Sun 18-Sep-16 08:53:17

Will there be any problem if you just don't do it?

My June born Ds now Y2 has rarely done any homework, and even more rarely handed it in, and it's never been a problem.

This is a state school. I would check with the teacher re expectations

Oliversmumsarmy Sun 18-Sep-16 09:00:59

Ds was kept in at breaks and lunch time to do the homework he hadn't handed in. He just ended up sitting staring at a piece of paper as he couldn't read the question let alone write anything

hels71 Sun 18-Sep-16 09:33:27

My DD was in a state school and got homework from day 1 in reception..and spellings (actual words not just sounds) from about week 5 once they were full time..

irvineoneohone Sun 18-Sep-16 09:46:51

Oliversmumsarmy, at my ds's state school, homework was never a "must" in KS1. Teachers even tell the parents to stop if the children got stressed up.
KS2, it's "must", but they have homework club they can go to if they want, to get help, or ask us to talk to the teacher if they are struggling.

I am so sorry about what happened to your ds. I don't know what to say. At my ds's school, struggling children are properly helped, I think. At least they don't leave them to struggle on their own.

Dixiechickonhols Sun 18-Sep-16 10:51:36

I replied above as my daughter is at a small non selective independent ( also class of 17 with a ta and teacher!) albeit she is year 6 now. You won't be labelled it is a very different relationship to a state school - business and customer. Ours stresses that any queries please ask staff they are available morning/after school/email. You are not moaning just asking for reassurance you are doing it right and both on the same page. I can't recall reception but homework and spellings are certainly different as they get older, there are a wide range of abilities in dds class.
My experience has been more homework throughout school and more expectations e.g. Homework given for next day not week to do it. My other experience has been they get the children reading and writing well early - certainly dds yr 1 was more formal than state school.

Chrisinthemorning Sun 18-Sep-16 11:56:38

We have managed all the homework except the spellings. I asked a teacher friend and she said it is likely they will say "s" and he would be expected to write s. There is no way he can do this, he can't write his name. With a lot of help he could probably copy a s, he's managed to do the l's. He can recognise s though no problem. If I say s is for he can rattle a list of s words- eg snake, sausages. He can put it together in short words- Cvc type and sound out those words. I actually thought that was pretty good for his age.
I have written a note asking for a short chat with his teacher after school on Tuesday. My concern is that if things are far too hard for him, he will decide he can't do it, get disheartened and give up.
I didn't think the school was like this when we looked round they stressed that is was play based and it certainly looked like there were lots of nice educational toys, home corner etc.
He does come out happy if knackered do they must be doing something right. We haven't had any tears over school.

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