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Is this suitable homework for y1/2

(24 Posts)
homeworkhell Tue 13-Sep-11 18:16:55

My dd has had homework over the holiday which we still haven't done. I think it is unreasonable homework for a just turned 6 year old (even the 4 year olds in her school have the same title, including those which haven't even started in reception yet-they had to do it to take on their first day)

The title is "produce a double page spread about a person, past or present that has made a difference to the world- not a pop star or sports star)

Well- dd is bright but she can't yet use the internet for research, she can't use an encyclopedia, she cannot choose her own person for this topic (other than her suggestion of God), she can't organise and decide how best to set out information yet, and all the information about the person has had to be researched and taught to her by me.

The amount of adult input into this piece of work I feel is unreasonable. What is the point? I don't have a problem with doing things with her, but think it is more valid if the child can take more ownership for their work. Why couldn't they write about their holiday, make a collection of objects form their holidays, design a postcard, or something which is more relevant to their own experience.

Did anyone elses small child have to do something like this during the summer or is it just dd's school?

MigratingCoconuts Tue 13-Sep-11 18:21:43

my DD is the same age and I can't imagine her doing this!

Oggy Tue 13-Sep-11 18:23:40

Sounds tricky for most 6 year olds, sounds ludicrous for a 4 year old!!!!

DeWe Tue 13-Sep-11 18:29:26

We had no hw over holidays even for my now yr6.
I wouldn't like it, but I don't like hw for primary aged children.
Suggestion of God makes me chuckle, but if that's what she wants then I don't see why she shouldn't.
I'd start by finding a large photo on the internet of the person and hey presto that's one page done. grin
Lazy? Me?

dikkertjedap Tue 13-Sep-11 18:46:16

Maybe a collage of things and pictures of Cinderella or another famous fairy tale figure. Surely they have made a real impact on the world.

sugarandspiceandallthingsnice Tue 13-Sep-11 18:54:15

Could it be a collage of pictures? Like dikkerjedap said, fairy tale would surely be ok? Can she write short sentences?
As a teacher I would expect no more than that.

KittyWalker Tue 13-Sep-11 18:55:18

DS is the same age - he wouldn't have a clue.

DD has just gone into Y4 ad she could do it with some assistance.

Dancergirl Tue 13-Sep-11 19:02:03

I completely agree with you. At that age it should be something they can more or less manage on their own. And the same thing for a 4 year old???

My youngest dd is about to start reception and I've heard the current reception teacher gives a lot of homework. Of course I'll try and support dd as much as possible but realistically if there is something set that requires too much adult input and that dd will gain v little from doing, then we won't do it and I'll politely apologise to the teacher.

homeworkhell Tue 13-Sep-11 19:03:00

DD can write very well, but she can't plan and organise the work and she doesn't know any famous person which has made a difference to the world. How would a fairytale cover this title? Somehow I don't think that is what the school were aiming for! We don't really have a problem doing the work- we have picked a famous inventor and she is writing about him with some support and we are printing pictures off the internet to stick in and she is going to label them. My issue is with the amount of adult input that is required to do this- she would find it impossible to even begin on her own- surely homework should support what is done in class and be relevant to their own experiences, and be able to be done with minimal support.

Rarily Wed 14-Sep-11 09:34:43

I'd go for her God suggestion and see where she ends up!

Rarily Wed 14-Sep-11 09:38:00

ps, nice thing about 'God' is that she doesn't necessarily need an encylopaedia or the internet. She can look around her, nature, sunset, family etc and describe these, along with maybe values like love or however God sits in your family.

rabbitstew Wed 14-Sep-11 11:08:32

Maybe the problem is that you as the adult are putting your rather adult interpretation onto what the school is expecting rather than leaving it up to your child to interpret it as she sees fit - with an eye to the fact that other parents will probably be doing this. If your view of homework is that it should always and only ever support your child's learning and be done with minimal intervention from the parent, then stick with that and let her write about God - what's wrong with her interpreting the work in this way? It could provoke a fascinating discussion about God and how people imagine God (clearly, in your dd's case, as a person).... I'll bet other children who have been left to their own devices will have written about their parents, or their siblings, or their grandparents, rather than going out to impress with famous inventors, peace activists, etc... Everyone makes a difference to the world one way or the other, even if only by dint of the fact they've produced the child doing the work.

whenIgetto3 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:30:05

we used to get loads of things like this for homework when we lived in the US. When DS (5 at the time) had the poster board of someone important who had changed the world he did his Daddy grin he put a big picture of him on one page and one of all of us on the other and wrote little 1 line sentances underneath about how daddy was his hero, had changed the world by having him and his brother and sisters who would eventually end up being really famous people who will all in some way or another change the world. He said that as the future was in the future they couldn't argue that it wasn't true grin. However must say he is a bit of an out of the box thinker can turn any homework into aliens, monsters, dinosaurs or about himself.

The 3 A2 size who am I topic was his favourite ever

Lizcat Wed 14-Sep-11 11:34:17

As rabbitstew said let her write about god in her own words. DD had a similar thing to do in year 2 having recently visited Anne Frank's house she wanted to write about her. She wrote in her own words 'Anne and her family had to hide in the annex, because Hitler was being mean to the Jews. They had to be very quiet. They were very scared. Anne wrote a diary. Anne died. After the war her daddy let everyone read the diary.' When I saw the other children with their publisher generated projects I was a little surprised and a bit hmm. However, DD won one of the prizes. The teachers can see who has stuck to the spirit of what they set.

scaevola Wed 14-Sep-11 11:40:49

I don't think it sounds unreasonable. The child could draw pictures, rather than print them off the Internet, and I'd hope that by year 2 (as that's where most 6 year olds are in September) they would have enough familiarity with non-fiction books to use one.

If your DC is an early birthday year 1 and this is homework given to a group if mainly 5 year olds who have just emerged from reception, then I'd agree it was too much.

dizzyday07 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:50:59

Last summer when the royal wedding was going on, DD had homework around the topic of her favourite King or Queen. She's in a class of mostly Yr2s though she is one of the Yr1s in it. She's an avid watcher of Horrible Histories so she chose Henry VIII. We googled for a picture of him so she could draw him. She also chose to write about him, his wives etc, so we searched for details such as - dates of birth and death, how old he was when came to throne, listing his wives and what became of them etc. She covered a page in bullet points.

I think the trouble with your topic will be for the kids to actually "know" somebody enough to choose who to write about!

Insomnia11 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:14:29

Sounds like the kind of thing I'd have to do in Y6!

We have had research type homework in Y1 but it was things like:

Choose a dinosaur. Draw or print a picture. Write three sentences about it.

I note that in DD's classroom work she has done longer written work such as a page of A4 and a drawing, but we've not had anything that required more than a few sentences of writing or took more than half an hour to complete for homework.

Insomnia11 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:16:48

Having said that she'll be getting the first lot of Y2 homework tomorrow so we'll see!

scaevola Wed 14-Sep-11 12:20:06

This sort of project can be done at a variety of ages - you'd expect a different age-appropriate standard.

It's no different, really, to insomnia11's example - as all you need to do is change the word "dinosaur" to "famous person". You could equally ask a year 6 to do a dinosaur research project.

redskyatnight Wed 14-Sep-11 12:27:05

My DS had lots of "mini project" type homework like that through KS1. It can be as hard or easy as you like. If she can't think of a person make some suggestions. Read the bit out of the encylopedia to her (and show her how to find it), get her to pick a few facts and draw a couple of pictures - job done.

DD's holiday homework (she's just started Y1) was to draw pictures and write about her family. DD is very self motivated but even that needed a fair amount of parental involvement. Any homework does at this age.

homeworkhell Wed 14-Sep-11 13:28:18

Have kept past pieces of homework simple and just got her to draw pictures etc- which have come back with the comment "Nice work but next time can you include photo's or leaflets". (this was aimed at dd at the start of last year- (she is a young Y2, August birthday, but that is irrelevant really as this homework was even given to children who were about to start in Reception- some of them would still have been 3 at the time!!!) The school seem to have this strange policy that all children from R-Y6 have the same title- which works for some of them but not all. I can imagine all the staff deciding the title at a staff meeting, must be tricky to find something every holiday which can be interpreted for the whole school.

racingheart Wed 14-Sep-11 14:49:17

TBH, I think it's great homework. My guess is the school is encouraging children to be exposed to impressive figures past and present, not just slebs. At 6 most of them have heard of lots of TV and pop stars but not brilliant humanitarians.

Why not start them young, developing an interest in role models who have really contributed? I think it's Ok to help them navigate websites, or take them to the library and have the librarian or you show them where to find books on heroes from life. Read them together then she can put into her own words what she remembered as important once she gets home.

In Yr 2 my DS had to write something similar about Florence Nightingale and later about Samuel Pepys. He loved it, and it sparked his interest in history.

God is a great idea. Good for her.

lostinthought Wed 14-Sep-11 15:09:55

If this was my now year 2 DD's homework, I might have encouraged her towards the book on her shelf about Guy Fawkes and why we mark 5 November. Lots of potential for colourful pictures! As it is, her holiday homework was handwriting practice!

PontyMython Wed 14-Sep-11 19:16:48

For a yr1/2 child, pretty good HW. For a 4yo about to start reception it's actually pretty disgusting IMO. Seriously, WTF, 4yos shouldn't even be thinking about 'work' yet!

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