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Schoolwork in lockdown - is it compulsory?

(14 Posts)
AutumnOctober Tue 21-Apr-20 03:46:52

Is the homework that schools are setting compulsory? My youngest two are (just)6 and 13 and we've had a hard enough time navigating this isolation thing, as I'm sure most people have. I'm a single parent with health issues that make us particularly vulnerable. The kids are doing amazing though, they've been so imaginative, and we've done things that we'd never normally do. Such as getting up at 5am, wrapping ourselves in blankets and going out to watch the sun rise. We've been learning about planets and satellites (spotting Venus last night!) and watching loads of Attenborough documentaries. To my amazement my 6yo has started reading Matilda. We've been 'nature exploring' on our daily walks, and my 13yo has taught himself to play chess, and he's taught his little sister too. He's also changed around their bedrooms because he decided he wanted the smaller room, so he's spent about 4 days clearing the rooms and rearranging furniture to make it nice for them both. I'm really waffling aren't I. What I want to ask is whether the home learning thing is compulsory, because I am getting a bazillion emails from the schools. I honestly think they are learning so much more in muddling through how we are, than they would from any curriculum. Also, it REALLY stresses my 13yo out to think he has to meet deadlines or complete assignments.

I guess what I'm asking is, is it okay that we take our own approach to home education during this time? Or am I going to get in some sort of trouble for not making the kids do what the school emails tell them to do.

OP’s posts: |
Monty27 Tue 21-Apr-20 03:50:22

You're hardly going to be crucified for not doing it. I should imagine it's your choice. But they might fall behind. Up to you you're the parent.

AutumnOctober Tue 21-Apr-20 05:14:02

Thanks. You jest, but I'm genuinely worried that I'm going to be in some sort of trouble if I don't do what the school wants us to do. I absolutely trust that they have the kids best interests at heart and they are working so hard to look after everyone, they are doing an amazing job. My concern at the moment is, is it okay for me to home school in my own way, or am I going to face fines and prosecution etc, like if I'd failed to send my children to school and their attendance was shit. Does that make sense?

OP’s posts: |
TheOrigBrave Tue 21-Apr-20 05:37:48

You'll be fine. Keep in mind that some children won't be home schooled at all for many reasons, the main one being that some are trying to WFH and are doing well just to keep kids occupied and household running

Monty27 Tue 21-Apr-20 05:45:44

Just keep them safe and happy. And yourself. flowers

Bunnybigears Tue 21-Apr-20 05:49:05

Your 6 year old I dont think it matters that much as long as she keeps reading. Your 13 year old really should be trying to do at least some of the work, he will be in year 9 next year (if he isnt already) which is when a lot of schools start on GCSE work.

Hercwasonaroll Tue 21-Apr-20 07:09:36

6 year old absolutely fine to carry on as you are.
13 year old should really be engaging with some school work. Depending on the school they might be missing whole units of work by the time September comes round. I wouldn't want my child to feel they had missed out.

BelleSausage Tue 21-Apr-20 07:12:15

Sounds wonderful. Just make sure they are both reading. Maybe make the planet research into a project.

Have you seen the Madrid Moate stuff on YouTube. She is doing earth week and has loads of makes about planets.

As a teacher, if a kids turned up with a load of reading and a huge project I’d not complain. I’d be lever joyed they were doing something they loved.

Francesthemute Tue 21-Apr-20 07:19:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnnaFiveTowns Tue 21-Apr-20 07:26:51

No its not compulsory. For a start some families don't have internet access or computers at home. I would just email.the school and say that you're struggling with the whole home school situation but that they are still reading and doing lots of other educational things but they won't be doing the set work. Teachers will have to go back and cover what's been.missed over this period anyway. I teach languages at secondary school; most pupils are not doing any of the work that we're setting them. It might be different in other departments e.g. core subjects, I don't know. But in all honesty, I don't mind if they do the work or not; people have a lot to cope with at the moment; many children are anxious and we just need to get through this as best we can. I know that when we do go back I will have to pick up where we left off at the end of March. And that's ok. So I wouldn't worry about the formal stuff; honestly, a few months off formal education is not going to do them any harm.

Idroppedthescrewinthetuna Tue 21-Apr-20 07:31:58

We were told by my 12 year olds school that she should go back not where she left off but where they believe she should be on going back.
It depends what your children's school have said and expect I think.

LonginesPrime Tue 21-Apr-20 07:50:47

It's not even compulsory for GCSE students to do more than they'd already done before lockdown started, so I wouldn't stress about it.

They're learning and being productive so I wouldn't worry about the school work if it's turning things sour. Maybe try a little every so often but I wouldn't worry too much about what the teachers/school think under the circumstances.

From the class emails my DS is getting from his GCSE teachers, many of the pupils aren't submitting any work and they're getting their grades this summer.

You can only do what you can do.

Hercwasonaroll Tue 21-Apr-20 07:57:58

Gcse work doesn't need to be done because students aren't being judged on work after 23rd March. Students going on to A level should be doing bridging work for the a levels they hope to take.

However any 13yos will have their GCSEs in a couple of years and missing out a terms worth of work now will impact on future grades.

tigger1001 Tue 21-Apr-20 08:17:01

Taking care of their mental wellbeing is more important right now. They will catch up with their schooling - teachers will make sure of that once they are back.

The set work cannot be compulsory - some kids don't have access to the internet or don't have access to a laptop or tablet (some houses might only have one for the whole family for example). Some people are still working - either at home or still going out to work, so time for homeschooling is very limited. Kids are struggling with this situation (as are adults) so look after them emotionally.

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