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Argh, this is the thread I said I wouldn't make.

(58 Posts)
ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 09:41:12

We are in the third week of school for DD1, who is 5 in March. I KNOW I'm being daft here, and if I read someone else saying this, I would roll my eyes.


She is whizzing through the work, and is moaning that they hardly do any reading and writing in school, and she likes the choosing but the table time is silly. I know 4yo children talk rubbish, and the school is known for being quite strict and pushy, but the homework doesn't seem very ambitious either (eg it asks for grown ups to do all the very simple writing, she was asked to just memorise the names of the ORT characters on the flashcards, she read her reading book at the first sitting). She did much more than was asked (off her own bat) for this weeks homework (my sister, who is a teacher, was shocked at how hard the original homework was for reception), then went off and did her Jolly Phonics workbook as well, and made me write down a story she had made up. We have a box of colouring in that I have printed off the internet (eg cbeebies type things) and the odd puzzle sheet or whatever, and she always finds the puzzle sheets or a map to do, so it's not that she is being forced to do these things.

Gah. Even reading this back, I know I need to chill out.

So, is there anything I can do to keep her learning while the teacher gets round to sorting out harder work? (I know the teacher is busy and needs to help the kids who maybe haven't had the same luck as to had a burst of learning before school, and I am not thinking she will be some kind of genius, but I don't want her bored and turned off for now. I'm happy for her to play at school and us provide more interesting stuff for her at home for now.)

I know she isn't hugely ahead, and there could be areas where she is behind, I wouldn't know as this is the first time we have really seen what seems to be expected. I kind of lean towards going over stuff now to make sure it is firm in her head, but how can I do that without her getting annoyed and bored? If we were still doing HE, I know what I would do - keep on with reading, work our way through the story of the world, do harder sums with buttons etc to help her count, and easier ones in her head, find things to research, write stories, etc, but would that fit with school or confuse her?

Should I make her do more colouring in? She doesn't like colouring in - I don't think she sees any point in it, but I suppose it will help her pen control.

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Mon 03-Oct-11 09:45:09

Just marking my place. My DD is 5 in March too, she has has 9 sounds/letters so far (think they are jolly phonics, they have actions with them) but she really wants to get cracking and read for herself, like, yesterday.

I would like to help her move on a bit but no idea where to start.

yummybunny Mon 03-Oct-11 09:48:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 09:49:43

I don't want to be "that parent" though, and I know that the teacher is very busy with 30 new children, all at different levels. If DD really is ahead, the teacher will notice soon enough.

yummybunny Mon 03-Oct-11 09:51:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2BoysTooLoud Mon 03-Oct-11 09:51:15

Don't think you need to get her to do any more than she is doing.
You know you should RELAX so do it!!

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 09:51:24

She doesn't like drawing, so maybe I could try and persuade her to do more of that? She does know how to draw, say a person, but she really won't do it unless she can't avoid it. Maybe I could find a way of making that into a puzzle so she will do it?

2BoysTooLoud Mon 03-Oct-11 09:52:44


ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 09:55:09

grin at yummybunny

I've looked at kumon previously, and we have better resources than that at home - due to a previous job, I have stacks of educational games, reading books and so on hanging around the house. We were going to HE, so we have quite a few books, workbooks and so on, but not sure where they fit with the NC.

SenoritaViva Mon 03-Oct-11 09:55:18

Really, you are expecting homework from reception?

Our school sends nothing back except some reading support and encouragement for writing. They held a literacy workshop to give parents ideas of how you can do this.

Honestly, don't rush your child, you'll find that the majority of those that are 'behind' will catch up with your DD in the end.

How about thinking about other areas of development not just literacy? Reception is still part of EYFS and not even KS1 yet, the aim is learning through play rather than sitting and learning like Y1. Refer to EYFS for the areas of development and think about how you can help them develop physically, socially etc. Perhaps your DD just really likes the literacy element and therefore says they 'aren't doing enough' because she doesn't like the other things they're doing? Also, I don't understand if she's finding it all so easy why 'table time is silly' (what are they doing at table time?)

If you want to know more about the school then can you volunteer to get some idea of what they are doing?

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 09:55:30

lol, 2boys, you are right.

<and breathe>

Quintessentialist Mon 03-Oct-11 09:55:55


She has years and years and years of education ahead of her, where you can push her to your hearts content, but this is reception.

FWIF, children dont start school in norway until they are 6, and dont usually learn to read until then. They learn really quickly though, and the late start does not disadvantage them at all.

horriblemonster Mon 03-Oct-11 09:55:55

If you don't think school are going to get round to reading for a while, try reading chest.

PollyParanoia Mon 03-Oct-11 09:56:28

My dd in reception has had no sounds so far...
Wasn't at all concerned. Am a bit now. Argggh.
It's a source of constant surprise to me that I'm among the least neurotic parents on the mn education boards and yet in real life, among the most. Very self-selecting this place.

redskyatnight Mon 03-Oct-11 09:56:44

Reception is play based these days so she won't be doing much "formal" reading and writing. However she can choose to do as much of this as she likes - DD and her friends in Reception spent lots of time e.g writing signs for games, role playing, writing notes to each other (and reading each other's notes), writing stories (sometimes intelligible to someone outside). When DD was ill her friends (off their own backs) made her "get well soon" cards with messages inside (along the lines of "we really miss you, please don't die" ).

It sounds like you are wanting DD to do lots of formal learning and Reception is really not about that.

If you want to do more at home you can introduce the same sort of "learning through play" - maths is covered by board games, cooking (weighs and measures). Can she write a shopping list and work out the correct money in the shop?

Thefoxsbrush Mon 03-Oct-11 09:58:38

Why would you force her to do something she doesn't enjoy? Learning should be fun! Just spend time at home reading to her and letting her read to you. You could practice her pen control and writing skills by giving her the task of making family/friends birthday cards. She has plenty if time to knuckle down to hard work.

SenoritaViva Mon 03-Oct-11 10:00:46

Polly Honestly, the children catch up during the year, unless a child with specific difficulties they come out of reception doing fine and the gap closes. The point in reception is to keep it fun, if you slog through it too much then it becomes a horrible grind for them. They often take a lead from the peers that can do it.

* Disclaimer, somewhat assuming that your school is good!

Chandon Mon 03-Oct-11 10:10:02


now breathe



...and now throw the colouring in pens in the bin, and go and do something fun after schools, like playing with friends or going to the park or just playing at home.

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 10:14:41

I suspect it is "silly" because she thinks it is easy. We have to rein her in a bit sometimes, she can be quite bigheaded - she was the only child and only grandchild on both sides until DD2 came along, so she has picked up quite a large vocabulary from being talked to by adults, and so people say she is clever. It's not so much that, as she talks like a little old woman grin

Senorita - I think you may have hit the nail on the head re literacy. She definitely prefers that and history/geography to the more maths/science type stuff we do at home, and she pretty much uses the art stuff we have to make geometric shapes (she's a strange child!)

She does gymnastics and football, and is asking to do dancing (but I'm resisting, at least until she has been at school a bit longer) and we go out for long walks with plenty of clambering, jumping in puddles, etc.

Socially, I do think she needs some work tbh, but not sure how we could engineer that more than school - if she is at school all day (and sometimes gym or football) we don't have much time to take her to meet more people. She says please and thankyou, and will talk to most people, and can do imaginative play and "look after" her baby sister.

I didn't expect homework tbh, but school send it home, so we do it. This week she had flashcards, a reading book, a sharing book and she had to find leaves and put them in order of size and tell an adult some things bigger and smaller than the leaves. She got a ruler and measured the leaves, then measured things around the house and wrote them down herself. Her spelling is awful (eg "coNcre instead of conker), but she is four, lol.

It is a catholic state school, quite small (one form per year) and she seems to be amusing herself learning all the catholic stuff, as we aren't religious.

We aren't pushing her, but we do want to let her learn if she wants to - both mine and DHs memories of school are full of people telling us to stop asking so many questions and do boring work that was far too easy - we don't want her to be bored of learning. She can be bored if she likes, I quite often engineer boredom at home so they play with thier toys and so on, just not bored of learning.

I also don't want her to think learning is too easy, so that she gives up when she comes up against something hard (like I say, she isn't so advanced that she won't become well within average quite naturally at some point)

ThePosieParker Mon 03-Oct-11 10:17:19

DD has done fuck all since being at school, she's already five. I would imagine the first few weeks is all about friendship and routine.

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 10:18:21

Just read that back and we sound awful! By history/geography, I mean things like playing at romans or looking at maps. Science and maths is things like baking, catching bugs, talking about seasons, going to the shop etc.

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 10:23:15

One thing she is rubbish at is going to the toilet, but we have tried everything, we even had the health visitor out, who just gave us some reward charts she had printed off sparklebox hmm - obviously we already do that, but we are quite relaxed about it. I probably am getting a bit stressed there though, but our nearly two year old is asking for the potty, so I get frustrated that our nearly five year old is still wetting herself. Maybe I should get somehow more onto that?

ButterAndPie Mon 03-Oct-11 10:25:46

Honestly, the vast majority of her time at home is spent watching cbeebies, playing with toys, fighting with her sister, dressing up as rapunzel, talking to worms, etc. This is why I was quite shocked when the homework was so behind what I thought was a relaxed and very average child.

piprabbit Mon 03-Oct-11 10:28:09

She'll be learning so much more in reception than reading and writing. All you need to do at home at the moment is provide her with lots of opportunities at home which she can pick and choose from if she fancies.

BTW, you were talking about encouraging her drawing. My DD has always loved playing the game where she takes in turns to draw monsters (or aliens or funny animals) with me. Fold a piece of paper into 4 sections, then take it in turns to draw the head, body, legs and feet (making sure that you keep the paper folded so you can't see what the other person has drawn). Then unfold to reveal your whacky monster.

DD also enjoys drawing mixed-up animals. She asks me for a combination (perhaps a chicken and a hippo) and then she draws an animal which is a mixture of them both. We can do this for hours!

SenoritaViva Mon 03-Oct-11 10:28:46

B&P you can help with social skills more than just meeting people. E.g. play with dolls (you have one and she can have one) or teddies or lego men (depends on her choice!) and have them in different scenarios, how it would make them feel etc. How children play with each other etc. You can use this for talking about the toilet etc. as well.

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