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DD has just brought her first homework home. I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to 'do' with it.

(38 Posts)
ShowOfHands Mon 09-May-11 17:51:22

She has the following...

An Oxford Reading Tree book that is as dull as dishwater.

A white board, plus marker and eraser.

Sheets that she's used to practise today (the letters s a and t).

An envelope with laminated words, letters and numbers as follows:


Preschool drop off/pick up is chaos and I was given this bag full of stuff with a cheery 'here's some things for her to practise at home' and shoved out the door.

So we've read the dull book. She can write s a and t (which she could do anyway tbh) so we've written it a few times and she's remarked that it spells sat and if you changed the s for an m it would be mat. We covered 'sh' briefly as the aforementioned book is all about 'sh'. Some child or other with a ship shop and some shells. I resisted quite admirably the urge to get her to sound out s-h-i-t. She knows her numbers up to 20 so can recognise and write them. But what else? Am I supposed to be teaching her the words in the envelope? And what? As flashcards? Or to sound them out? Or write them?

She's 3yrs old and I'm inclined to just let her go and dig up some worms tbh. But they've told me to write something in her homework book when she's finished. I'm tempted to write "dd spent Monday evening pretending to be Spiderman. She recognises this begins with s, as does the spaghetti she had for dinner. She liked the white board marker and used it to draw a spider motif on her chest to aid in aforementioned superhero aping'.

WTF am I doing here?

LynetteScavo Mon 09-May-11 17:57:36

"dd spent Monday evening pretending to be Spiderman. She recognises this begins with s, as does the spaghetti she had for dinner. She liked the white board marker and used it to draw a spider motif on her chest to aid in aforementioned superhero aping'.

Yes, please write this. grin While she digs up worms.

And if you think that book was dull, wait until she is on level 8. Not only are they still dull, they take longer to read.

lovecheese Mon 09-May-11 17:59:02

Jesus, homework at 3?!? I agree, WTF. Get her to a different nursery, pronto.

bustersmummy Mon 09-May-11 17:59:58

Let her go and dig up worms.

Hassled Mon 09-May-11 18:03:48

a) she knows more than any 3 year old should reasonably know grin
b) the nursery seem a bit barking. Or they recognise her abilities and are trying to stretch her. But it does seem a bit much for your average 3 year old.

I'd go with the smile and nod approach to nursery. Write anything or nothing in the book. Do what you want with the stuff - just don't make it ever feel like a chore for your DD.

ShowOfHands Mon 09-May-11 18:07:01

Oh she loves preschool. It's a lovely place and she usually spends the day playing on the slide and constructing elaborate games with her best friend (who she swears is called Ben 10). And thankfully she quite likes sitting down to write and sound out letters. But I absolutely fundamentally do not think it's necessary for her to be doing this at preschool. It's a preparation thing for the children who are due to start primary school in September. They are doing PE too (which I do agree with as the getting changed thing has been very useful for them to do and they all love tearing round madly for half an hour in a sanctioned way). They're trying to prepare them (which is what I thought reception year was for).

I just can't fathom what the random list of words is for. Or what the hell anybody gets out of ORT level 2 'Sam has a ship shop'. <snore> They did say if she found the book too 'easy' I should ask to swap it next week. Sod easy, it's boring. Have they got anything with a bloody plot?

Hassled Mon 09-May-11 18:09:27

You can kiss goodbye to the concept of plots for a while yet. You have to make up your own based on the dull pictures and by looking for the subtext.

bustersmummy Mon 09-May-11 18:11:14

I fucking hate Kipper Biff and Chip.

I really really do.

Sorry TSC.

Rant over.

bustersmummy Mon 09-May-11 18:11:33

And Wilf and Wilma.

And Floppy the Dog.

And Dad and Mum.

coccyx Mon 09-May-11 18:13:18

Oh no, my heart just sank. She is so young. Let them introduce her to numbers and letters while she is playing.

ShowOfHands Mon 09-May-11 18:17:32

Make up my own plot?

This is Sam. Sam likes chips. Chips are Sam's favourite. Other people see that Sam likes chips. Saffron and Sebastian have seen that their son Sam seems to like chips. Saffron and Sebastian are socially scorned. People sneer at Sam eating chips. Saffron and Sebastian are savvy. With the cunning use of phonics and middle-class conditioning, they train Sam to replace ch with sh and he opens up a Ship Shop.

Read more in level 2 part b, 'Sam likes carrots'.

Did I do well? Enough s sounds?

ShowOfHands Mon 09-May-11 18:18:56

Is Kipper the earnest looking boy? I thought it was the dog for a minute but I suspect I am wrong.

Biff and Chip were in there too. These people crop up a lot I assume?

bustersmummy Mon 09-May-11 18:25:06

Just wait til they find the Magic Key


ShowOfHands Mon 09-May-11 18:31:57

Does it open the drinks cabinet?

bustersmummy Mon 09-May-11 18:38:01

Sadly, no

5318008 Mon 09-May-11 23:33:36

hah at sadly no

Gran rocks, though, with her red (?) sports car vrooom vrooom

FreudianSlipOnACrown Mon 09-May-11 23:37:52

Bloody hell. She's 3. Just... Wow. sad

As an aside I don't know WTF they're doing with the Words. Not very synthetic-phonics-friendly is it.

FreudianSlipOnACrown Mon 09-May-11 23:40:12

The words are 'sight words' btw - the 100ish most common words she is supposed to know without sounding out. Sigh.

Gooseberrybushes Mon 09-May-11 23:42:28

I'm going with the worms.

Al1son Mon 09-May-11 23:42:57

The wonders of the world of the magic key await you ShowOfHands. You have no idea..... wink

How many children do you have? I thought the first time round was bad but then you do it all again with DC2.

As an Early Years practitioner I strongly suggest that, unless your DD is desperate to do this homework for fun, you ask the pre-school to forget trying to teach her numbers and letters and send her out to find more worms. There are many, many far more important things she should be learning just now. Yes the PE changing is useful but playing with water, exploring gloop and mud, pretending to cook the dinner, etc are far more useful to her in terms of being a successful learner in the future.

This 'homework' could do far more harm than good in the hands of a less enlightened parent than yourself.

bustersmummy Tue 10-May-11 08:01:41

Gran is a total rebel.

BoattoBolivia Tue 10-May-11 08:04:09

Agree with everything Al1son says. Go find worms!

ShowOfHands Tue 10-May-11 10:04:01

DD is my only child atm so this is all new to me.

I must say that we love the preschool. She does all the playing, splashing, singing, reading, dancing, instrument-playing etc that her heart desires.

I do understand in some ways why they've introduced what they're referring to as a 'stepping up' programme. Because some children such as dd enjoy it and if they come to it willingly and want to do it then I can't disagree with it. It is also only one afternoon a week, the rest of the week is mostly free play. And they're trying to prepare them for moving up into the primary school which has a mixed age class and is a very different environment to the preschool. DD however, is not going to this primary, she's going to one out of catchment (only a couple of miles away) which has a separate reception class. This was the key thing that sold it to me. It was a lot more like I expect a reception class to be. On visiting the catchment primary, it was clear that due to the mixed ages, there was more emphasis on formal learning. Perhaps it does make sense that they're slightly prepared for this. I did notice the 4yr olds struggling with tasks that the 6yr olds were becoming bored with when we visited. But I'm not sure pushing the preschoolers before they're ready is the way to deal with this. To be utterly honest, the school has a lot of problems and this is the least of them. If the preschool is bridging a perceived gap then I'm glad dd won't be going there.

To my mind preparing dd for school has been more about teaching her to share, clean herself properly after going to the toilet, wait her turn, do up her laces, get changed quickly and neatly, navigating some of the thorny social situations that come up (one toy, two children) etc. Everything else is just enjoying being a child.

I'm letting dd do what she wants to do with the letters/numbers/words. I answer her questions about what the words are. I assume if they're 'sight words' then that's all they expect. I've read the dull book, played eye spy and then put the thing in the drawer.

DD does have a good grasp of numbers and recognises all letters but from reading great, funny, engaging, wonderful books and counting shells on the beach and singing silly songs. You won't convince me that isn't the best way to learn at her age.

I'm afraid I did write a rather sarcastic message in her homework book. Her keyworker read it this morning, laughed and asked dd if she wanted to go and play dinosaurs on the trampoline. Much more like it grin

Oh and, er, pretending to cook dinner? Actually letting her cook dinner is a no no then? Better do it myself tonight...

Al1son Tue 10-May-11 21:21:49

You clearly know what you're doing, OP grin

I'm with you on the choice of school. At three years old I would much rather see the pre-school staff getting the children questioning and experimenting than learning letters and numbers but if she's enjoying it it's doing no harm.

The EYFS is very clear that children should be learning through play so it's a shame that the catchment school are making them sit down to complete prescribed tasks but at least your little one will be in a more appropriate environment.

ShowOfHands Tue 17-May-11 07:48:28

They've moved her up a level as she's finding it 'too easy' (she's finding it dull, they're misreading her). ORT just doesn't get any better.

Last night, Yasmin went to a shop. It was thrilling stuff. There was even a mild plot in there.

Thankfully her new teachers from reception came to visit and meet dd yesterday. They laughed at her ORT book and told me not to worry about any of it and that Reception would be the most fun she could possibly have in a school environment. They were lovely.

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