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OK to keep schoolwork to schooltime?

(7 Posts)
CiderWithDozy Mon 07-Oct-13 09:01:59

I am currently feeling uncertain of my parenting skills after a parents evening. I was told that "DS is gifted and talented" (Yr 2) (although because I'd never heard the phrase before it didn't occur to me to ask what in. Maths and writing I think). I was pleased to find this board.
Now, I don't really do anything with DS academically as such, although I let him follow his interests (animals, historical events he's seen on the TV) with books, etc. But the teacher suggested I might like to "support him in his learning" by doing some "activities like reading and sums". I just don't have time for that stuff (am I about to get a flaming for that?). Am I right to think they can learn it at school, and outside school they can play? Or am I letting him down and will he fall behind where he should be for his abilities?

ashleysilver Mon 07-Oct-13 11:34:39

For primary age kids, I 100% agree with you. Play is important.

When the school say 'gifted and talented', what they mean is that the child is in the top 10% of ability for their year group. In theory, they identify this group so the school can make sure these children are catered for, given appropriate and challenging work. The school should be ensuring he makes good progress and not letting him coast or get bored. If he falls behind where he should be for his abilities, IMO it would be the school letting him down.

Letting him follow his interests with books is great. Watching tv shows about history, also great. No flaming from me.

exexpat Mon 07-Oct-13 11:40:26

I don't do extra school-style work with my two (both on G&T lists) at home, but I did read to/with them a lot in the preschool and early primary years, and then supplied them with as many books as they wanted - fiction, non-fiction to do with any particular interests etc. And I suppose we did sometimes get involved in the maths related to everyday activities - eg DS would often race to add up the cost of what we had eaten in restaurants, to see if he got the total bill right, etc etc. And some of the games (computer and board/card games) they liked at that sort of age directly or indirectly involved maths. Basically, fun stuff that stretched them a bit.

But if they are doing fine at school, I don't think trying to make them do extra worksheets or whatever at home is at all necessary or a good idea. I firmly believe that talking to them, providing (and being enthusiastic about) lots of books, and introducing them to new experiences (countryside, animals, museums etc - doesn't have to cost anything) is much more valuable educationally than banging away at the same sort of thing they get everyday in school.

3nationsfamily Mon 07-Oct-13 11:43:33

Do you read to him at bedtime? This is a great time to stretch his imagination and get talking about a wide range of topics as well as developing a love of reading and a strong parental bond. Do you sit with him whilst he is doing his homework- or even being in the background cooking or working so he can ask questions and you can keep an eye on what he is learning. It is not about either/or your time or his time, just try to build it in to the daily routine. Do make sure you join the local library as I know how expensive it can get trying to feed the reading habits and thirst for knowledge by trying to buy books all the time.

CiderWithDozy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:01:27

Thank you all for replying, and for all the suggestions and info. Good to have a definition of what the teacher means by it. TBH I don't think it's a particularly academic primary school, but he seems happy and reasonably well behaved, and not bored as far as I can tell. Thanks again - am relieved no one has said I should be doing sums with him when I want to leave him to it!

Periwinkle007 Mon 07-Oct-13 21:11:06

sounds like he is doing fine without it.

if you did want to do something I would just get non fiction books to look at which might stretch his interest level a bit, if he likes space then look at space books for an older child, might answer more of his questions. if he LKES maths (different to being good at it) then there is an usborne see inside maths book which my daughter loves (she is in yr1), other people have mentioned an usborne maths dictionary which we don't have but we do have the science one and they are really interesting to look at.

I wouldn't sit doing sums though unless he asks to.

writing wise - if he wants to do it he will. my daughter loves writing so will just sit with a notepad happily.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 12-Oct-13 18:17:03

i do stuff outside of school with dd. she needs to learn. i usually do different to school stuff. we do school homework and go sideways with it.

mainly the stuff I do is provide her with books and websites.

whether you need to do stuff depends on your child, how stimulated they arre by school and stuff you are doing already, what they are interested in etc.

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