# Talk

## Is something the wrong way round here...?

(92 Posts)

5yr old DD's school is pretty heavy on the homework. One of this term's home learning tasks is to get familiar with the concept of fractions. Over the weekend we cut shapes out of coloured paper and practiced dividing them into halves, quarters and thirds. Then we started working on "how many quarters make a half? etc... It was clear to me from her puzzled expression that there had been no introduction to fractions in class so I was trying, inexpertly, to teach her from first principles. I'm ok with that in itself, but...

Yesterday she came home from school with a bag full of pictures she'd coloured in. I asked her what else she'd done in school and she said they all went outside and practiced riding balance bikes.

Now, I know this isn't typical of every day at school, but how come I'm teaching her fractions on a Saturday (among many other home learning projects that take up a chunk of every weekend)...and then she goes to school to learn to ride a bike and do colouring in?

Is it just me?

MrsHathaway Tue 16-May-17 18:21:23

Children often have no recollection of stuff they've spent hours on in class. I wouldn't necessarily assume she's spent her days playing on bikes - might have been the most memorable half hour all day.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 16-May-17 18:21:35

Is she reception?

In my reception class they have rainbow time from 2.00-3.00; play time basically.

Fractions we don't do, it'd be over the heads of most of my little lot.

TotoToe Tue 16-May-17 18:25:44

I have stopped doing school homework with dc3. She is only 5 and should be spending time playing. I would be thrilled if she'd spent time outside riding bikes at school tbh.

TotoToe Tue 16-May-17 18:26:41

If she's in reception, most of the day will be spent playing tbh. She probably only remembered the things she enjoyed doing / that stood out to her.

She's in year 1.

A lot of the home learning assignments have been way beyond what I would think a 5yr old can cope with. Last term she had to write a poem!

frazzlebedazzle Tue 16-May-17 18:31:41

'I have stopped doing school homework with dc3. She is only 5 and should be spending time playing. I would be thrilled if she'd spent time outside riding bikes at school tbh.'

This would be me, too!

Fruitcorner123 Tue 16-May-17 18:32:17

Fractions at age 5 is a bit much. We don't have any homework like that. I disagree fundamentally with homework that the child can't access themselves anyway because it requires a level of parent input which unfairly disadvantages children whose parents can't/ won't offer support. It widens the gap between those with supportive home lives and those with more difficult home lives. You could write in a general letter to head of key stage with your feedback on homework. I wouldn't mention the activities they're are doing at school though as you can't possible know and it will put their noses out of joint.

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 16-May-17 18:36:13

"write a poem"
This is what really annoyed some of us with dc who couldn't read or write in year one. School whizzes by and if you cant keep up then you get left behind.

StickThatInYourPipe Tue 16-May-17 18:41:11

Fractions at 5 years old? Do they even know multiplications up to 12 by that age?

luckylucky24 Tue 16-May-17 18:41:11

I teach adults and half of them cannot do fractions. I am amazed that 5 year olds are being asked to do it.

Fruitcorner123 Tue 16-May-17 18:43:02

Even an English literature GCSE teacher would be expected to give more guidance than "write a poem" they would need to differentiate for the students in their class and give some kind of guidance about what exactly is expected. I think I would start refusing to do it but write in to say exactly why and do something you feel is more appropriate with your child.

Feelingworriednow Tue 16-May-17 18:43:53

You have taken it one step further into equivalent fractions. All she really needs to know at this point is that for a half you divide by 2, a third you divide by 3 etc. I would take it into how many half to make a whole etc and possibly show different examples of fractions such as halves of whole shapes and halves of a number of objects.
It is really easy to go too far too quickly with little ones as to us it is sooooo obvious.

I'd be much more annoyed about her being given homework than about learning how to ride a bike.

Witchend Tue 16-May-17 18:46:19

If I'd believed what ds and dd2 told me they'd done in reception then ds spent the entire time eating or playing football and dd2 never stopped sitting in the home corner talking with friends.

CharlotteCollinsneeLucas Tue 16-May-17 18:47:21

No, even that is way too much. Just get familiar with what a half means. But the school should tell you that, not expect you to know what is right for her age! I agree with PP - stop doing it and start a conversation with her teachers.

Enidblyton1 Tue 16-May-17 18:51:35

Writing a poem in Yr 1 is a bit crazy.
My DD does do some simple fractions, but all covered in school. The only homework we are asked to do is read a book every night and learn spellings once a week. My DD is not yet 6 and would struggle with stamina to do any more homework at this stage.
YANBU to not want to spend your Saturdays doing fractions with a Y1 child who has not yet covered it at school (or even who might have be taught it, but not sunk in).

Februaryjones Tue 16-May-17 18:52:23

DD is also in yr1 and I bet your DD has been doing fractions in school, despite the puzzled face. It's unlikely the school are sending home things that haven't already been covered. We've been doing halves and quarters.

I also wouldn't pay too much attention to her saying that she hasn't done anything, that's standard or they can't remember

Februaryjones Tue 16-May-17 18:55:31

I don't think writing a poem is crazy for year 1 either...surely they just have to think of rhyming pairs and then sentences that end with those words?

If it weren't for all the homework I wouldn't mind that she's playing games and learning to ride a bike at school. At her age that's what she should be doing.

I have complained about the homework at parents' evening. A lot of other parents did, too. As a result there are not quite as many assignments to do this term and they seem a bit more do-able. But I still think fractions are OTT. And if they are now considered necessary at age 5 they should be taught in school by someone who is qualified to do so.

Trifleorbust Tue 16-May-17 18:57:43

MN is weird about homework and about education in general, in my opinion. Being asked to do some fractions or write a poem at home isn't the end of the world. It needn't take a long time either. Play is important but a good start in life also involves learning.

Fractions at year 1 is halves and quarters of shapes. Maybe a bit on halving amounts for the more able. Daft setting a homework task that has little guidance and hasn't already been covered in class.
I personally wouldn't worry too much about homework in primary schools. I personally hate homework from both the point of view of a parent and teacher. Reading is useful and that's about it!

NoSquirrels Tue 16-May-17 18:59:47

My YR 1 DC surprised me the other day with doubling/halving up to 20 - I had no idea they could - and they wrote an acrostic poem the other week for homework (phonetic spelling fine, imo) so I'm not sure either is unreasonable or totally out there.

But then I wouldn't do too much homework on principle, and regularly ignore stuff like weekly spellings till older, and just concentrate on the reading at this age.

Just either ignore a lot of homework or practise very low-key with stuff you're already doing (if we've got 6 apples to put in the fruit bowl how many is half/how many if you split into 3 piles?)

Beeziekn33ze Tue 16-May-17 19:06:24

Poems don't have to rhyme! OP's DD could have just written a few unrelated lines, or words!
I hope the whole instruction wasn't 'Write a poem' though. Homework should reinforce what's been taught, not introduce a new topic or skill.
At 5 fractions need be no more than sharing a pizza or bar of chocolate!

YellowCrocus Tue 16-May-17 19:06:58

Y1 fractions involves finding halves and quarters of objects, shapes and simple quantities. At this stage it's all about relating this to real life experience. Here are 8 biscuits, can you share them between four people? How can we cut a square sandwich or round pizza into two equal parts? What is half of ten, how do you know (fingers). You are best off building this into normal conversation, as and when it pops up. There's no need to be looking at thirds at all until Y2.

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