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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 07:45:07

30 minutes music practice seems quite a lot at 9 years old my DD's teacher still only recommends 15mins per day.

Pollydon Thu 03-Oct-13 07:45:50

30 mins of music practice 5 nights a week for a 4 yo ? YABU.
The rest, YANBU.

5madthings Thu 03-Oct-13 07:47:38

So he is 8/9 same as my ds3 in yr4.

Reading and spellings is fine, as is the one piece of homework.

Half an hour of music practice is a lot tho.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 03-Oct-13 07:47:53

No, you're not but you need to make it pleasant and fun for him - it's got to feel less like homework

I think the 30 mins music practise is too much unless he's loving it - our 15 year old does that every day

We make our 15 year old do the government guidelines (8-12) hours a week - we help her, make it fun for her, it reduces stress as she understands stuff. But obviously her mates do nothing (And get 'f's) but hang out round the park drinking.

I think focusing on the benefits with the child is really important

Stoppicking Thu 03-Oct-13 07:47:55

9 year old not 4 - (in year 4)

He plays 2 instruments.

PicardyThird Thu 03-Oct-13 07:48:28

How many instruments is the 30 min for? My ds (would also be Y4 if we were in the UK) does about 10 min 6 days a week but he only plays one instrument as yet.

Reading - mine reads a lot for pleasure so I don't really need to make him do that, but I do make him read aloud a page or so of whatever book I am reading to him in English in the evenings, English being the minority language for him and him sometimes tending to prefer to read in his other language.

My 8yo has homework most days, which I think is bonkers, so I would be happy with one piece a week smile

Does he also do a lot of extra-curricular activities? I think that changes the picture. Mine only does one instrument and a martial art atm so has time for the rest.

MothershipG Thu 03-Oct-13 07:49:20

I think that's too much, he's only 4, most 4 year olds have a very short attention span and 30 mins feels like a lifetime! Reading practice ok, but homework? Why? You do know that studies have shown that homework in Primary has no beneficial effect on Secondary results?


PicardyThird Thu 03-Oct-13 07:49:44

ah, x post - I think 30 min is OK for 2 instruments.

SpiritOfTheBuskersCat Thu 03-Oct-13 07:49:53

absolutely fine to me, I'd make him do double the amonunt of reading though

MsGee Thu 03-Oct-13 07:50:05

Everything seems fine but maybe the music practice seems too much every night?

Mind you my DD (aged 5) does most of that each night (without music). She does reading and spelling most nights and also something to help handwriting (writing a letter etc).

So homework side is def fine, music side too much.

MothershipG Thu 03-Oct-13 07:50:35

Whoops! Ignore me then!

Stoppicking Thu 03-Oct-13 07:50:35

Music is the bit that gets minimal moans from either dh or ds, it's when I'm trying to get the school work done which is interesting.

I do point out to them if I was to cut back/drop anything I really do think it's music not school work that needs to change, and neither like that idea.

PicardyThird Thu 03-Oct-13 07:51:08

He's not 4, he's year 4 (so 8/9).

NynaevesSister Thu 03-Oct-13 07:51:29

Is it normal to get spelling and homework in reception now?! We didn't get that till year one. If it is what the school give then you have to. If this is just what you give him then YABVU

4 is too young. I hated it at 5 but did it coz the school said. He has never had to do 30 mins of music a day though. We don't make him practice and weeks can go by where he doesn't. But still he is learning three instruments and doing quite well.

cathpip Thu 03-Oct-13 07:52:14

If it were me I would up the reading to 15 mins and drop the music to 10 mins per instrument, all else stays the same.

Stoppicking Thu 03-Oct-13 07:52:33

Extra activities he does football one evening a week for an hour.

PicardyThird Thu 03-Oct-13 07:52:37

Does he read for pleasure and comprehend what he reads (you can find that out by chatting about the books etc.)? If so I would slack off on the 'formal' reading. Encyclopaedias, good quality magazines, non-fiction etc all just as good as fiction.

5madthings Thu 03-Oct-13 07:53:13

Ah so 15mins on each instrument and he is happy to do that, well that's fine then smile

Tbh ten mins of reading isn't much, is the issue that he doesn't like what he is reading? Let him read what he wants even magazines, comics, books he is interested in, then it may be less of an issue?

My ds3 likes reading famous five books and roald Dahl.

NynaevesSister Thu 03-Oct-13 07:54:49

Ah just saw he is 9. Yes same problem last year with my son. So I stopped pushing. I put his homework books out and reminded him to do them a few times and left it all at that. One term of losing lunch times to homework club and break to learning his spelling and this year he is whiz zing through it all himself.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 03-Oct-13 07:55:14

My dd does half an hour music seven days a week (also two instruments). She has gone up from 20 mins a night in year 3. School work sounds reasonable.

Stoppicking Thu 03-Oct-13 07:56:24

He very rarely reads for pleasure - I try to encourage it and he has lots of books, where he's read the first couple of chapters and then given up.

When he does read for pleasure I record that in his reading book I don't make him do "formal" reading on top of that, but he won't ever pick up a book (and he doesn't like comics despite me trying him on loads) off his own back.

ModreB Thu 03-Oct-13 08:01:09

If he is still at primary school, as long as he is progressing, learning and happy I would drop the homework completely TBH.

Children need time to be children, not learning machines.

BanjoPlayingTiger Thu 03-Oct-13 08:03:18

With my 10yo he does his music practice in the morning before he goes out to school. That way on an evening it doesn't feel like he has so much to do. He gets on with his homework far more willingly knowing he hasnt got his instruments to practice before he can do what he wants on an evening. Would that be possible?

He was also a reluctant reader, but found the beast quest books by Adam Blade and hasn't looked back. So I would recommend those. He also has a book that I am reading to him, a book that his dad reads to him, and a book I read to both him and his sister so that he can enjoy the longer books without feeling the pressure of reading them himself.

whatever5 Thu 03-Oct-13 08:07:25

The homework, reading and spelling sounds fine.

The music practice seems a bit excessive at his age but I suppose it would depend on whether he is particularly talented. He seems quite young to be learning two instruments as well. What grades is he on?

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