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To push or not to push!!!

(33 Posts)
tigerfrog Sun 16-Oct-11 17:02:19

I have just returned from a play date with my DD, i dont think we shall be invited back again!! I have been friendly with DD friend's mum since baby group so thought i knew her quite welll!! Both girls are now year 2 but different schools. We got on to the conversation about schools and how the girls are doing. She got quite heated about how her daughter needs to be pushed. She insists that school must be taken very seriously, that there's no need to have fun, homework should be done as soon as she returns from school (at least an hour) and if they are going to succeed in life we must start to drill it into them now!! I disagreed!!!!!!! I believe school is about having fun, being inquisitive, happy children learn. Primary years are about being a child surely. My DD does her homework, we read together every night and play silly maths games in the car but the rest of the time shes playing. So should I be pushing her more? Should I be insisiting that school is about hard work and for her to take it more seriously or should I leave that for the many years of senior school she has ahead of her?

Hulababy Sun 16-Oct-11 17:07:56

I feel very sorry for your friend's little girl.

"no need to have fun....!!

How depressing is that thought.

Elibean Sun 16-Oct-11 17:15:41

Oh dear. Sounds to me like your friend is heading for some sort of crisis - not to mention a depressed child.

You, OTOH, sound healthy wink

MollieO Sun 16-Oct-11 17:16:58

I wonder what she'll be like by the time she gets to secondary school? Ds is in yr 3 and I certainly don't push (although I think I am expected to by the school). I don't on the basis that I had no homework at all in primary school and it didn't stop me achieving. I want ds to enjoy learning, not be made to feel he must learn.

RosemaryandThyme Sun 16-Oct-11 18:56:21

ummmm - do get fed-up of everyone clamping down on parents who recognise that some children do, really do, need to be pushed academically.

I have three and one of them is very very lazy, he absolutley needs reading, writing and topic knowledge focused on at home, in a group he can just glaze over and drift off.

Also there is considerable playing time in the infant years, the actual time spent deliberatley following a taught syllabus is around two hours per day, with the average child being directly spoken to (1:1)for only 18mins per week (TES website) some children do need moreone to one at home just to keep-up with others who are better able to stay focused in class.

2BoysTooLoud Sun 16-Oct-11 19:22:19

I guess it is all about balance and I think an hour of home work a night for a year 2 child is a huge amount.
I think there is a danger of putting a child off school for life if pushed too hard too early. That does not mean that reading etc should not be encouraged but in the early years learning should be as fun and as joyous as possible.
I am glad that my ds does not have daily homework at 6 apart from reading.
Encouragement =yes
Fun= yes
Stifling your child with work pressure at 6 = Big no [In my humble opinion!].

MollieO Sun 16-Oct-11 19:43:27

I agree about pushing academically.....in secondary school. I know someone who has got a tutor for their five yr old. I was rather hmm at that.

Ds now has homework club at school so we don't have to deal with it at home other than weekends. This weekend we've been really busy. He hasn't done his reading. As far as I'm concerned he can do it at school tomorrow.

iggly2 Sun 16-Oct-11 20:05:58

I do think DS should do 20 minutes homework a night after school (this is what school says as well-he is year 2). If it is done in less time I get him something else to do to fill the rest of the time (eg write a couple of sentances do a bit of maths). This is as it is easier for me to get him to stick to a routine. He was getting a bad attitude to doing homework when it varied in length or was too easy. He does nothing at weekends (including reading). I think this is okay. He has lots of friends over so does not interfer with play/TV grin.

iggly2 Sun 16-Oct-11 20:08:16

I know loads will say I am horrendous for this sad.

Elibean Sun 16-Oct-11 20:21:55

iggly, 20 minutes is not an hour as per OP - plus, if its to help because of having routine, I kind of get that. Though in Y2, I would make it 10 minutes per night, given the choice, personally.

MollieO Sun 16-Oct-11 20:27:45

Just as long as you don't give him spelling sentEnces to do iggly2 wink

gabid Sun 16-Oct-11 20:33:47

My DS is fairly young in his year and a bit immature, I think they start school way too early, should be 6/7 to start formal learning. I therefore left him alone in Reception and most of Y1. He refused to read or do maths. Towards the end of Y1 at age 6 I started reading with him every day. I had to force him though, he is about average now. And now in Y2 we do a few maths games too, as he seems a bit behind, but he doesn't do it for the fun of it!

I have to push him to read with me and do a bit of maths every day, oh and the spellings. I feel like a pushy parent, but will he ever want to do it? He is 6 now and seems to fall more and more behind if I don't do something. He should be old enough for a bit every day now, but it doesn't always seem that way to me.

gabid Sun 16-Oct-11 20:37:19

We do the reading and maths before school as DCs get up early and there usually seems plenty of time. After school we just do the spellings after dinner which takes less than 5 min.

MollieO Sun 16-Oct-11 21:08:08

6 is very young to have understand commitment!!

gabid is he behind? Has the teacher told you or have you just worked it out from chatting to other parents? If the latter I'd be careful as most parents who talk about their dcs achievements tend to exaggerate. If the former then I'm very surprised that the teacher thinks its okay to force your ds to do homework.

scarevola Sun 16-Oct-11 21:14:52

Whether it's nature or nurture, she's probably doing the right thing for her child in her environment, and you're doing the right thing for yours in yours.

rabbitstew Sun 16-Oct-11 22:33:40

Now, what you all need is a child who likes homework. Then it's play.

liesandmorelies Sun 16-Oct-11 22:42:30

Think we need to try to make our children self motivated/love learning. For example play fun games such as shops if help is needed with numeracy or create a comic book to help with writing not an hour of homework. Surely the aim should be that they think they are having fun and you have quality time together and they will learn naturally. Fail to see how pushing will work even at secondary surely they will rebel at some time or is that just my family. One of the most important traits to get on in life is to be self motivated. Also cant see how spending precious after school time pushing will help parent relationship.

Elibean Sun 16-Oct-11 22:56:54

I used to love homework blush

Yet I somehow turned out a spectacular underachiever confused

themed Mon 17-Oct-11 09:31:51

My DD1 in Y2 has to do about 20 minutes reading every day, then another 10 minutes talking about the book and then writing a thought on the book in her school diary. Then 10-15 minutes maths or spellings in the morning, that takes it to about 45 minutes - then she normally does 15 minutes or so piano practice and that takes it to an hour. Sometimes she also gets writing homework to do on top of that, so that would take it to 1 hour and a half as she does take a while to do it!

This is a normal state school btw, so I guess this is what they expect of a Y2 child.

Sometimes it does feel a bit of a drag and if she is really tired etc I will let her have a couple of days off, but the school does expect it all to be done!

themed Mon 17-Oct-11 09:35:08

PS the teacher also gives optional additional homework but we hardly ever get round to doing it tbh!

gabid Mon 17-Oct-11 09:55:39

MollieO - what would you do then? He is in Y2 and we are stuck in the system and there is an expectation, that you read the reading book and write in the log. There are spelling tests which I don't agree with but do I leave him to get it all wrong because he doesn't want to practice? And 5-10 min of maths games etc. in the morning to help him along a bit isn't the end of the world I would have thought.

I know that he must be in a lower set because he can't quite do the staff that is expected in Y1, e.g. calculate within 20 etc. counting in 2s, 5s etc, he is getting better though.

gabid Mon 17-Oct-11 09:57:43

However, I always have to make him do it. He never says: 'Yes, lets do the reading and maths!' Am I alone?

cory Mon 17-Oct-11 10:02:05

by the sounds of it, the OPs friend is not just quietly getting on with giving her own dd the individual support she needs: she is being annoyingly evangelical about it and my eyes would be glazing over very quickly

my parents did a lot of extra work with me- but they didn't preach about it to other parents

gabid Mon 17-Oct-11 10:34:27

I don't discuss what my DS can and can't do with other parents. I don't think that's the done thing and it would just breed bad feelings on both sides.

MoreBeta Mon 17-Oct-11 10:43:42

If your child is reading, writing and doing maths at or above national average level for his/her age and you are making sure he/she is doing the homework the school sends home there is no need to do more. If they are struggling then they need more home support.

DS1 is very self motivated so needed no pushing at all but DS2 is lazy and always has to be pushed to do homework.

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