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dd and language school

(77 Posts)
thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 17:24:59

We are a bilingual family of two cultures. We relocated to the UK last year, and have settled DD in school here. On Saturdays she attends school in her other language, at the level she would have been at should we have stayed in the other country. The other language is non alphabetic, and can be hard work.

DD hates it. Homework is a huge chore and turning into a fight more often than not.

She would prefer to quit. My worry is that we may go back to the other country - DH doesn't have a visa here yet - so she will need to be literate there for school, and even if we stay here, she needs to know her own country's language.

AiBU making her study?

sonjadog Fri 28-Apr-17 17:29:20

How long until you know about the visa? If it will be sorted one way or another soon, I would wait with making a decision until then.

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 17:31:30

the government have suspended all the decisions on it, we have no idea. how long is a piece of string? very much in limbo!

Sirzy Fri 28-Apr-17 17:32:24

How old is she? How fluent is she in the language?

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 17:34:30

gah! was trying not to drip feed!

She is 7, and sounds like a 7 year old. Fluent for her age, but a long way to go until adult-fluent.

sonjadog Fri 28-Apr-17 17:39:10

I would keep it going until the summer. It's only a couple if months now and it will give you some time to think over the decision.

Extra school and homework for a 7 year old sounds like not much fun. Are there other, fun activities that she could do with other children from the other culture in your area? So that she would keep up her language skills in a different way?

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 17:43:12

its a good idea but no-one, the language school is quite far away with students coming from all over. her primary hardly has any homework though, just a reading book and key words. language school homework breaks down to 35-45mins a night on average, longer if fighting!

Whynotnowbaby Fri 28-Apr-17 17:50:19

That is a lot of homework for a 7yo. I would be anxious about the impact it was having on her. I understand your rationale but I know a lot of children who started school with a very limited knowledge of English and quickly made progress once it was part of their everyday life experience. I think this way of doing it can only foster negativity. If it were me I would encourage her to speak it at home as much as possible and get her some books she is interested in to read in it but not push the formal education.

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 28-Apr-17 17:51:01

7 years old and 35-40minutes homework per night sounds way too much. No wonder she hates it.
Isn't there another way you could get her to keep up with her language and enjoy it.

If she is 7 years old and to keep up to date with the level she would be at if she had stayed in her own country takes 35-40 minutes homework per night how much homework would she be getting if she stayed in her own country from other subjects.

Sirzy Fri 28-Apr-17 17:51:02

45 mins a night plus school on a Saturday does sound a lot for a 7 year old. I can understand why she is resisting it!

Not sure what the solution is though.

mygorgeousmilo Fri 28-Apr-17 17:57:18

Honestly, as much as I don't want my kids just plonked in front of a TV, in this case I'd be inclined to put cartoons on in the other language for 30 mins per evening. 45 mins per evening concentrating, when she's been at school all day is too much IMO. If she's fluent, it won't just disappear if she doesn't do classes. Does your DH speak to her in the language? We have separated between us (both fluent) a language per parent, and it seems to have worked fine. My kids don't do any classes in their other language because they have enough with going to school and all their other clubs etc

RedSandYellowSand Fri 28-Apr-17 18:03:30

We did this (before we moved to country 3 with yet another alphabet hmm) BUT Saturday school homework was 10 mins a night, tops with DH, if he wasn't there, I didn't (couldn't) do it.
Is all the home work necessary? There is no way the kids are at schooling level in any language other than English tho.

Also, we have seen a big jump in homework levels now in Y3. Are you Y2 aged 7, so might be about to see an increase, it already in KS2, at which point you may not get a homework increase in September.

UppityHumpty Fri 28-Apr-17 18:16:21

It's a perfectly reasonable workload in my opinion. As you need to return her learning that language is non-negotiable, so really you should just tell her that. My 8yo educated in the UK does 1hr of homework each night, even if it's just something I give her. I think it gives structure.

Sirzy Fri 28-Apr-17 18:20:26

And when do they get downtime to relax and be children?

Dishwashersaurous Fri 28-Apr-17 18:23:11

Can you just only talk at home in the other language and read books at Bedtime etc. So that it is part of life rather than homework

UppityHumpty Fri 28-Apr-17 18:24:01

@Sirzy - My DD has a structure. Come home from school do homework. If no homework, I have prepared some I want her to do myself. She does it in the kitchen while DH or I preps dinner. Playground or other activities afterwards, dinner, then play time until bed. She gets to be a child. But she's also developing a work ethic which, as a parent, is my job to encourage.

Sirzy Fri 28-Apr-17 18:28:32

Children do enough work in school without needing extra forced upon them at home. You can have structure without spending an hour working after a full day of school.

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 18:47:20

the problem with cartoons is that they don't teach her to read. ditto books - there are hundreds of characters, ultimately thousands that she needs to know and write - she can't read without that, and certainly can't write.

we are in Scotland, so primary three, not year 2.

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 18:59:02

also, to clarify, we speak the other language at home 90% of the time. I am very fluent in speaking it. I know how hard it is to learn writing and reading in it. Sat school is three hours in the morning.

I do appreciate your comments, and realise the majority atm say aibu, which is what I feared. But what happens when she can't use one of her two countries languages?

zwellers Fri 28-Apr-17 19:09:22

To answer your last point op nothing! Does it matter if she is not completely fluent in the other language if you never go back there. My parents made me learn my dfs language and I hated it too. To the point I refused to go and refused to speak it. Uppity I feel sorry for child tbh

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 19:12:18

but there is a very real chance we may have to go back if DH doesn't get a visa!

OhtoblazeswithElvira Fri 28-Apr-17 19:15:23

My parents made me learn my dfs language and I hated it too. To the point I refused to go and refused to speak it.

How sad. That must have been sad for your DF zwellers

thesourceofLoveandLight Fri 28-Apr-17 19:20:43

also, it isn't her dad's language! its hers, she lived there until she was six and a half!

someonestolemynick Fri 28-Apr-17 19:26:25

I am a foreign language tutor. Some of "my" kids also attend Saturday school.

There is very little these extra lessons will achieve if your DD is not on board with it. Saturday school (how long is that session btw?) and 30-45 is too much imo.
It will feel almost certainly like a punishment to your DD so I would think very carefully about continuing.
Have you considered a tutor during the week or teaching her yourself?
The only advantage of the school would be her mixing with her peer a in the language But this could be arranged privately.

I would sit her down and say sth along the lines of: "I want you to continue with x but Saturday school doesn't seem to be working so I thought we could try a, b or c instead. What do you think?"

This will bring the message across that continuing the language is non-negotiable whilst giving her some control over it. If it doesn't work you can always go back to Saturday school.

Feel free to pm me if you'd like to chat about this in more detail.

70ontheinside Fri 28-Apr-17 19:32:49

I know a lot of kids who attend Saturday school and just get on with it. Is there any way of making it more attractive at all? A treat afterwards? 30-45 minutes a day of homework does sound like quite a lot. Could you do half of it in the morning before school? Doing it all in the evening when you are tired doesn't sound like a great idea.

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