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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?

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:04:12

So ninah, you teach this age group? Do you think I should mention concerns to teacher? I don't want to make anything worse for DD

SamSmalaidh Fri 16-Nov-12 21:04:27

McGillycuddy - could you write to the Head to say that you will do reading and spellings at home, but will not be doing any other homework as it is having a detrimental effect on your child?

Viviennemary Fri 16-Nov-12 21:05:16

What a nonsense giving six year olds homework apart from reading. This teacher doesn't sound very experienced.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 21:06:50

Vivienne - why is that ridiculous? Maths for example,is quite important. Never too young to learn.

Welovecouscous Fri 16-Nov-12 21:11:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:12:15

ChippingIn, I agree. It does worry me that she doesn't feel able to speak up, she is so vocal at home! For all I know the Monday teacher may have told her to put it in the tray. I guess I will have to ask DD more questions, and prep her more in the mornings. I would just like to know that she feels happy and supported in school, not scared.

Viviennemary Fri 16-Nov-12 21:12:57

Of course I agree that maths is important. But a lot of children don't get help at home and could be distressed if they are given maths to do that they can't complete. And it just reinforces failure. That's my opinion. Six year olds should only be given reading.

SamSmalaidh Fri 16-Nov-12 21:15:01

Maths is quite important, and 6 hours a day is quite enough time for formal maths teaching. At home parents can support their child's maths is a hundred ways that don't involve worksheets. Board games, going shopping, baking etc.

NamingOfParts Fri 16-Nov-12 21:15:11

I totally disagree with punishing the child for things over which they really have no control. Homework, lateness, school uniform are all largely out of the child's control.

At the primary school my DCs attended there were many children with chaotic home lives. The school recognised this. Children were responsible for their behaviour inside the school but not for what happened outside the school.

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 21:16:09

McGC I taught Y1 as a GTP student last year, am NQT in R this year - not experienced! (ancient tho ...was in publishing before). However I have worked in 3 schools as trainee/TA and seen a variety of learning environments. It is hard to advise you without knowing the personalities. Personally I would look for a seamless transition between R and Y1. I really don't believe that force feeding information is the way to go, and it doesn't get results any faster! In my own life the things I have learned most deeply have been the things I have learned in a self motivated way (though I concede I also know how to spell Parliament because it was beaten into me young ...). I would grab the teacher and explain dd is stressed about homework and really wants to get things right. How was parents' eve?

SDeuchars Fri 16-Nov-12 21:16:26

But there is very little evidence that homework makes any difference to children's attainment, especially at primary.

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:16:56

VivienneMary, teacher is very experienced, been teaching a long time. Very high standards, which is good BUT, can lack a bit on the pastoral side I think. Young children are not robots!

SamSmalaidh - I have only once refused to do homework, and this was when DD was exhausted and in tears. I may raise issue of too much homework at parent's forum. I want to look after DD's interests, but then again, don't want to be seen as obstructive either. Another mum who fought quite hard about certain things in Year R is now seen as a pain in the neck

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

crikey maths is vital! I have such a bright mathematician in my class - but if you are looking at putting things in the right tray ... nope, he's a fail

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:24:34

ninah - parents' evening was fine. Teacher very happy with DD who in her words is 'eager to please'. I said that homework was sometimes too much for her. Teacher more or less said she would get used to it. She believes that children who do homework do better in school. Most weeks it is fine, but just occasionally it is too much for her, particularly if there is anything else going on in school.

Namingofparts - the school my DD attends is small rural primary with very middle class catchment. There are a few very visible families with chaotic homes and these were the other children being punished for lack of homework. That is partly why I am so cross, these little children are not responsible if their parents don't support them.

nokidshere Fri 16-Nov-12 21:25:54

Primary school children should not have to do homework - end of.

Welovecouscous Fri 16-Nov-12 21:26:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 21:32:30

Ok I think you have to pick your battles, and this probably isn't Dunkirk
Reassure your dd and have a lovely weekend.

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 21:34:14

although can I just give your teacher a quick virtual slap? [/]
phew, that's better

flow4 Fri 16-Nov-12 21:37:26

I hate hate HATE homework for tots sad
Childhood is short and precious. Let them play, I say!

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:37:44

Thanks ninah, you're probably right. Have a lovely weekend yourself smile

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 21:42:55

I presume that comment was aimed at me Sam ?

I agree there a lots of different ways of teaching children but nonetheless the school has a national curriculum to adhere to. It is a shame such young children are not encouraged to learn through play more. But it was much the same 18 years ago when I was that age. We had homework.

Hope your dd is ok OP and not too upset.

ninah Fri 16-Nov-12 21:48:57

I am going in to work to top up the learning environment grin. So my dc can learn through play ....

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:50:43

DD is ok now, she was very upset last night and was so worried about going into school that she didn't sleep well.

I told her I would sort it out with the teacher and she wasn't to worry, but she was still anxious. But I am going to give her lovely, stress-free weekend with lots of play and cuddles, and god forbid, maybe a bit of telly!

McGillycuddy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:51:52

ninah - hats off to you for being so committed!

SamSmalaidh Fri 16-Nov-12 21:53:44

Ali the national curriculum doesn't specify homework for 6 year olds.

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