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Homework from nursery!

(31 Posts)
LCarbury Mon 01-Oct-12 22:13:51

DC has just turned 3 and the nursery is sending home reading books and a newsletter to fill in! Am I being really grumpy or is this homework for parents a bit much, frankly?

I am very happy to read to my child but if parents pay a grand a month at the nursery is it really not normal for them to also have e.g. a copy of "Peace at last" at home? The thing that really bugs me is the written newsletter homework, clearly parents have to fill this in so what is the point?

It is not a true pre-school in my opinion, as there is no qualified teacher, it is childcare so is this really necessary? I feel like it is the nursery trying to pretend to be posher than it is, they can't even spell properly in their own newsletter for goodness' sake. I feel I pay them to reduce my administrative hassle and be nice to my child, not to give me extra admin and things to feel guilty about.

Someone please tell me that Ofsted require this sort of thing and then I will not feel like it is the nursery doing it to wind me up.

InfinityWelcomesCarefulDrivers Mon 01-Oct-12 22:15:28

Well DS's nursery didn't do it so I don't suppose it is a requirement. Sounds like thy're just getting the kids (and parents!) ready for school tbh. Do it when you feel up to it, don't when you don't.

InfinityWelcomesCarefulDrivers Mon 01-Oct-12 22:16:47

I was more stressed about the "What does your child like? What has your child been doing? Significant events in your child's life? Things that make your child happy? Things that make your child sad?" forms they got us to fill in every 3 months or so...felt like I was being judged as a parent!

LCarbury Mon 01-Oct-12 22:17:21

I have to do it or they'll tell my nanny off (I know that sounds but anyway that is how it is). I love our nanny.

wonkylegs Mon 01-Oct-12 22:20:27

I'm pretty sure this is a normal thing as part of the early years curriculum DS's nursery did this with him at 3.
It really was little hassle he just had as one of his bedtime stories and I wrote a line or two in his book. Tbh we'd have been happy with it changing more than one book a week as DS really likes books which has really helped him now he's started reception.
It's a great way to get kids interested in books whose parents either don't have many books at home or can't be bothered.

teacherlikesapples Mon 01-Oct-12 22:21:37

OFSTED requires nurseries to show how they involve parents in their children's education. Many centres have mostly working parents (who can't make it to stay & plays, coffee mornings, visits etc...) So they have to choose another pathway.

Sending books home to read creates a nice link between home & nursery (part of the curriculum guidance) It promotes the child's communication and literacy. You would be surprised how many people don't read to their children or only have a very limited supply of books in their home. The nursery library service or book home loan scheme allows busy working parents (who don't have time/access to a library) a larger selection of books.

Not sure what you mean about the newsletter bit? Maybe they are trying to create more a centre community? Invite involvement, participation?

naturalbaby Mon 01-Oct-12 22:21:58

what kind of info do they want on the newsletter? I had to do a basic one when ds started nursery - a getting to know you style report.

LCarbury Mon 01-Oct-12 22:23:47

I remember all that from DC1 when he started nursery, I spent a lot of loving care telling them how much he liked "Incy Wincy Spider" and so on but it was ignored. Every day I picked him up I had to listen to his day when they wrote the same thing in the book every day ("DC had a good day. Snak: Bananana") and I knew by spending time with him whether he was all right or not, particularly once he started to talk!

I am glad they do not make us complete forms like that every 3 months, but only because I know they would file them and not actually use them to plan activities or interact with the children.

It is a perfectly nice nursery BTW, very nice staff and a good big garden and play area. I just feel like I have enough on my plate with work and paying for childcare and all the usual responsibilities of motherhood. I can't take any more admin and certainly not emotionally-loaded admin!

LCarbury Mon 01-Oct-12 22:25:23

Ooh more replies thank you can't keep up! It was a page of A4 to complete on "what I did at the weekend".

InfinityWelcomesCarefulDrivers Mon 01-Oct-12 22:27:53

lol at "Snak: Bananana"

InfinityWelcomesCarefulDrivers Mon 01-Oct-12 22:28:05

maybe he had one and a half

marquesas Mon 01-Oct-12 22:30:07

At my DCs nursery the older ones (4+) were given "homework" but it always came with a note saying not to feel under pressure to complete it. I didn't mind and my youngest enjoyed it as it was like the older siblings proper school homework

LCarbury Mon 01-Oct-12 22:30:57

Actually that could have been it, he does like bananas!

Glad you are laughing, I read that back and feel I am such a spoilt cow with childcare really but honestly I do need the support with my work, and DH is away again at the moment (he travels quite a lot with work) so sometimes it is easy for things to feel like the straw that breaks the camel's back.

LCarbury Mon 01-Oct-12 22:33:06

marquesas that sounds fair enough, maybe the class DC2 is in now is a range of ages up to 4 and then that would make sense. After all, August-born 4 year olds are in Reception in September.

insancerre Tue 02-Oct-12 17:29:40

" I feel I pay them to reduce my administrative hassle and be nice to my child"
wow, you pay a grand a month for that?
Seems like the 4 years I've just spent doing a degree and the next months acquiring EYPS were a waste of time then.
I just need to be nice to them.

LCarbury Wed 03-Oct-12 07:52:05

Sorry insancerre if that's how you feel. I am pretty sure the nurses at DC's nursery do not have degrees as they are not old enough to have finished school and gone to university. I think the manager has what you have done, though, so it is definitely a good idea and I would definitely appreciate it if a nurse in DC's class had those qualifications.

insancerre Wed 03-Oct-12 18:37:52

Thank you LCarbury. I don't really think it was a waste of time. I know I'm making a difference to children's lives even if sometimes the parents don't always recognise it.

LCarbury Wed 03-Oct-12 18:48:50

I read something you had put on another thread about qualifications being necessary so that nursery workers know why they are doing things, and this improves their standard of care. I believe that is true but I also believe the nurses at DC's nursery do not necessarily know why they are doing things, and so the level of care is probably not as good as you yourself provide, but not poor because their manager knows why things are required.

I think this is what leads to writing homework being given to a 2 3/4 year old child, because the manager knows that the older children in the class need to be prepared for school etc. and then passes down the instruction which is then applied willy-nilly...

If it helps, the same is true at my work e.g. I am ridiculously overqualified for the day-to-day work of my team in some respects, but every now and then, something goes wrong, and that is when the skills of knowing why the work needs doing come particularly into play. The rest of the time it is fine for more junior members of the team to do the work before they have the full knowledge because I and others my level are supervising the quality of the output.

winniesmum Mon 15-Oct-12 19:52:17

Hi i am a deputy manager at a private nursery (B.A Hons ahem wink). We dont send out a form but we are we required by ofsted and local authority to involve parents in the child's planning and learning, seems like thats your nursery's way of doing it. Sending books home creates home-nursery links for the child...

LCarbury Mon 22-Oct-12 21:39:26

Thanks for posting winniesmum. I have diligently been doing my homework, on the assumption that was indeed the case. The last 2 books they sent me to read to my DD had a couple of pages missing but luckily we were still able to follow the plot. No more written homework for me, thankfully!

anon990000 Fri 09-Nov-12 22:49:57

LCarbury I undertand completely! I often hark back to my own simple childhood - with a mother who was herself an infants school teacher for nearly 40 years, but who believes, like I do, that children these days are often way too pushed (as are parents). Homework for a 3 year old is ridiculous and it is not absurd to think that one of the key purposes of nursery is to allow the parents/carers some time to do other things (and be better parents/carers for the children for having had a break) while the children have a good time learning lots through play and activities and plenty of interaction with other children and inspiring nursery school teachers and assistants.
I am a full time mum and greatly appreciate the 3.5 hours a day break I get when I drop off my lovely daughter (her nursery is great and I really do like the staff). BUT it's a bit of a shame that I am also expected to read and act upon the various emails/handouts/homework/news diary entries/dressing up requests in remaining part of the day. I'm afraid I just don't really bother with it all - I have a wonderful relationship with my children - I just don't think it matters at this stage that there is so much acadameic achievement - I focus much more on the social/emotional front.
I know that lots of other mums I speak to feel the same way as me - much as we love our children - we don't want to be doing too much admin for them and there are better ways to help them feel secure and happy in life.
But I'm afraid it all seems to be going in one direction with targets/government guidelines - and this is only the beginning - just wait till they get to real school!! My friend whose son has just started at reception is up to all hours doing homework when she gets back from work - he's only just turned four. The world has gone mad! ;-)
All the best.

ReallyTired Fri 09-Nov-12 23:03:39

I'm surprised that you employ a nanny and spend £1000 on childcare. I am sure you have your reasons. It does seem weird to give homework like that to a child who isn't even even three.

Neither my children ever had home work at nursery. The idea of nursery is to play and have fun. They had books home to share with parents, but not formal reading books. Its this nursery attached to a private school. Surely your nanny could do any reading or homework.

I think I would refuse to do the newsletter. Its not as if they can put your child in detention. If they are rude to your nanny then I would take it up with the manager.

notcitrus Fri 09-Nov-12 23:34:45

I got told there was homework once ds was 3 and in preschool. I collared the teacher and basically said 'you cannot be serious'.
She explained that its meant to be a way to see what ds is doing at nursery and enabling him to do more if he wants. That's all. So it's there each week if he's interested. We read the book but in over a year he's scribbled on a worksheets once. Fine by all of us.

LCarbury Sat 10-Nov-12 13:18:10

Thanks for more comments!

Anon - think I am spoilt with my DS's state primary as it is Ofsted Outstanding but at the same time quite chilled, no homework other than reading in Reception & Year One, no school uniform, teachers known to the children by their first names. Both my parents, 2 aunts, an uncle and my grandma are / were teachers too and they agree formal homework is not a key element of education at this young age.

ReallyTired - Ds breakfast club + DD nursery x 5 mornings + nanny x 5 afternoons for both DC is actually marginally cheaper than full-time live out nanny for both DC in London, and means we will not need to make nanny redundant when DD starts state school nursery, and also DS and DD have friends they have made at nursery that have gone with them / will go with them into primary school. It's not a nursery attached to a private school, it is a normal daycare nursery.

notcitrus - you are braver than me, I just grumbled on MN and smiled sweetly in real life.

Tups67 Sun 11-Nov-12 21:12:05

LCarbury- 'I have enough on my plate with work and paying for childcare and all the usual responsibilities of motherhood. I can't take any more admin and certainly not emotionally-loaded admin!'

I seriously can't believe I am reading some of these comments! I am fed up of parents thinking they can have children and then when they reach 6 months can dump it on someone else!!!!! YOU HAVE A CHILDREN....LOOK AFTER IT YOURSELF! If you don't want to do that then don't moan! If you can't afford to look after it then don't get pregnant!

I am a reception teacher and you can tell those children who have had very little input from their parents! They are usually the ones who come into school behind and can't sit still. Often really badly behaved too!!!

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