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Can I moan about my just turned six year old's homework please.

(17 Posts)
Preminstreltension Fri 18-Sep-15 20:14:36

He's Y2 but late August birthday so the youngest in the class. In any case I think this homework is too hard for most of Y2 - identify the prefix in these groups of three words and work out what the prefix means...

Ok for unhappy, unlike, unclear. He got that. But surface and surplus and surname? I basically had to tell him it means over or above and he doesn't understand why. As for inside, inborn, incredible...who has ever actually used the word inborn, for a start? And the in in incredible doesn't mean the same as the in in inside.

It's just badly thought through and unhelpful and leaves him feeling stupid because he can't do it without my help.

HoursTurnIntoDays Fri 18-Sep-15 20:17:45

What? Seriously? I'd struggle with that homework and I'm 36! I don't really get it

TeaAndNoSympathy Fri 18-Sep-15 20:19:46

Gosh that doesn't sound as if it's pitched correctly at all. Leave it and have a word with his teacher on Monday.

CarriesBucketOfBlood Fri 18-Sep-15 20:29:13

Terrible homework. The in- prefix comes from both Germanic and Latin roots and has definitely been INappropriately INserted INto this homework.

Ignore, write note, try not to feel too pissed off.

WidowWadman Fri 18-Sep-15 20:31:33

I don't see the big deal? Have you just told her what it means or taken the opportunity to find out together the etymology? Homework is hardly ever about getting the right answer, but about getting children to find the way there.

Preminstreltension Fri 18-Sep-15 20:32:42

Ok am glad in a way that this strikes others as wrong too. He's in a high achieving state school and I'm generally happy with it but at times like this I worry that it will damage his confidence.

I admit it's put me in a really bad mood this evening - I'm under the weather, and I'm having to coax every letter out of him whilst huffing and puffing at the inaccuracies and having an MN rant - but trying to remain supportive of the school's approach. We need an emoticon for smiling encouragingly through gritted teeth....numeracy tomorrow smile hmm

Preminstreltension Fri 18-Sep-15 20:35:39

I agree widow but there's no way he'd understand from these examples. Surplus is not a word most six year olds know and the relationship between surplus and surname...? And the incredible one is just wrong as it doesn't mean the same as inside.

mrz Fri 18-Sep-15 20:38:33

Knowing/using the prefix "un" is a Year 1 expectation now but using "in" (to mean not) is a Y3/4 expectation seems muddled

mary81 Fri 18-Sep-15 20:43:50

Some of that is a Year 5/6 objective (I'm doing a prefix investigation - not 'un', obviously! - with my Year 6 class next week) so I can understand why you're not too happy! A very badly chosen, unsuitable task.

CarriesBucketOfBlood Fri 18-Sep-15 20:56:04

Widow etymology is actually a bit of a passion of mine, but I think explaining to a 6 year old, even simplistically, about the roots of English might be difficult.

'The English that we speak now is a mixture of two different languages. One is from around Germany, one is from France. In French, 'in-' means 'not'. In German, 'in' means the same as 'inside'. When you see a word that starts with 'in', it might mean either of those two meanings.'

That's ignoring words like 'interesting', which come from 'inter' which means between.

I think a sense of meaning has to be developed alongside absolute literal interpretation, and that comes from reading and learning words in isolation, as well as being able to break down words into morphemes.

WidowWadman Fri 18-Sep-15 21:15:30

preminstel if he doesn't know a word ( and nobody's expecting a 6 year old to know all words) he can do things to change that surely? Look in a dictionary, search on the internet (under adult supervision). My daughter is year 2, and that's what I'd do with her if I found a task like that on her homework grid.

Preminstreltension Fri 18-Sep-15 21:17:59

Yes we know that widow but it doesn't help understand the relationship between two unrelated words.

And have you ever used the word inborn?

mrz Fri 18-Sep-15 21:34:22

Yes I've used the word inborn numerous times but I'm not 6

WidowWadman Fri 18-Sep-15 21:36:43

If there's no relationship you could talk about how some words (or parts of words) can look the same but have totally different meanings. Nope, I haven't used inborn recently and probably would use innate anyway, but a) I'm not a native speaker and b) just because a word is obscure, that doesn't mean that it can't be worthwhile to investigate it.

I'm not a teacher, mind, but I always liked that my daughter's school doesn't shy away from "big" words.

LifeHuh Fri 18-Sep-15 21:42:51

Oh , we had this. The only home work that annoyed me so much that I talked to the teacher about it. We had 'circus' too- prefix ?? exactly? The idea I think was that it had the same prefix as words like circumference.And there were words which had been made by the addition of a prefix in Latin or Anglo Saxon but that isn't helpful for a 7 year old looking at the language they speak.
Having said that DS did learn something - he is in Yr 11 now and still remembers my epic rant about the origins of English and the problems with the homework...

Whisperingeye1 Sat 19-Sep-15 00:42:58

All of this vocabulary is in the new curriculum. Teachers are not choosing to teach it. They must teach the vocabulary as it is a legal requirement.

mrz Sat 19-Sep-15 08:09:30

Not in Year 2

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