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Enough is enough. Dd and me in tears tonight!

(42 Posts)
rebellove Tue 02-Feb-16 21:53:46

Dd 6yrs gets loads of homework which we manage to get through at the weekend just about but this week she also has 'mad minute timetable' tests daily with sheets coming home to practise every night. Along with this we have reading and spellings to do and have to try and work this around all the after school activities which she loves. I've noticed that she's comparing her times tables scores to others and she's determined to improve. However, she can't get her head around some of the calculations i.e. she knows her 2, 5 and 10 tables but she didn't get 4x1 and we had a meltdown tonight because she was just too tired but yet determined to practise.
I realise the pressure is on to get them ready for sats but it's just way too much!

steppemum Tue 02-Feb-16 21:59:01

do you mean 6 years old or year 6?

because I have a dd in year 6 and they don't get this much, and year 6 sats are much more important than year 2, as year 6 are external.

SanityClause Tue 02-Feb-16 22:01:03

There's loads of ways to learn times tables. You can buy times table "snap" games, or it would be quite easy to make one (ie, a card that is 3x4 would be "snap" with a card that is 12). You can a get times tables CD of songs (should imagine you can get it as a download - my DC are older!). Get her to test you. She says 3x4. You say, 13, perhaps, and she needs to know if it's right or wrong. (But start off "getting it right" more often, until she is more confident.)

Hopefully making it more fun will help take the pressure off, a bit.

Hassled Tue 02-Feb-16 22:02:00

Talk to the teacher - that sounds like a ridiculous pressure. The danger is that she will start to hate maths - at 6, it has to be fun still.

nameschangerer Tue 02-Feb-16 22:07:24

Yes it's too much. Give her a yourself a break. X

steppemum Tue 02-Feb-16 22:09:28

just to add, the National Curriculum does not require then to know their tables by the end of year 2. It used to be year 4, not sure if it still is, it may now me year 3.

Soooosie Tue 02-Feb-16 22:11:03

Sats are just for the school to monitor each child's educational development. It's really not something you or your DD should be giving time or attention to.

Why are you doing so much homework with a 6 year old? Seems silly that she's getting competitive at such an early age. I often see perfectionist competitive behaviour at secondary level and it actually has a very negative impact on mental health.

Put your foot down with the school. Some homework (like reading) will be important. Spellings and timetables less so. Education is wider then the three R's. Quality and rich home life matters most.

MrsKCastle Tue 02-Feb-16 22:13:51

Firstly, I would speak to the teacher and explain that the homework is too much and you won't be able to complete it all.

Then I would work out a realistic amount of work that you can do e.g. reading every day (even if only 5 minutes at bedtime) + 5 minutes of either spellings or times tables, not both. Look into fun ways of practising. Do you have a tablet? There are plenty of times tables games out there that are fun to play, or try websites. Search for ictgames, woodlands junior school or arcademic skills builders.

Whatever you do, don't push the homework when she's tired and lacking confidence.

rebellove Tue 02-Feb-16 22:18:31

Thank you for your comments. She is in year 2 and is one of the youngest. I'll try the card game with her - that sounds good.
I'm hopefully going to speak to her teacher in the morning.

MrsKCastle Tue 02-Feb-16 22:20:34

Is she in Y2? I'd suggest talking to the teacher and explaining that the homework is too much. Just focus on the basics, especially reading for at least 5 minutes every day. Anything else is a bonus! Then for the spellings and times tables, do you have a tablet that your DD can use? There are plenty of free or very cheap x table apps as well as ones for basic addition and subtraction. Or try websites like ictgames, phonics play and academic skills builders.

Your DD may be willing to play maths games for 5 minutes a day!

MuddhaOfSuburbia Tue 02-Feb-16 22:21:47

govt has bee in its bonnet about times tables atm I think

flowers for you, dd -and teacher

rebellove Tue 02-Feb-16 22:21:48

Just read the last two comments - thank you. Yes it really feels like it's starting to have a negative impact. I think I have been pushing her too hard too but yet it's not me that's sending all this work home! Need to put the brakes on. The teacher does seem to have strict ideas.

MrsKCastle Tue 02-Feb-16 22:23:58

Aargh, not sure why I posted twice! Glad you're planning to see the teacher. FWIW I'm a Y2 teacher, so I fully understand the pressure on the school and teacher, but I still believe very firmly that 6-7 year olds should be spending their time playing.

Kewcumber Tue 02-Feb-16 22:24:11

if she likes computer games try BigBrainz

Lindy2 Tue 02-Feb-16 22:27:16

From what I've read in year 2 they do 2, 5 and 10 x tables. In year 3 the target is to learn 3, 4 and 8s. I presume the rest is done in year 4.
It sounds like your school is pushing for quicker results. Are they private or pushing to be "outstanding"?
Your daughter is very young to be put under so much pressure. Learning at age 6 should still mostly be fun.

rebellove Tue 02-Feb-16 22:29:31

It's not a private school but has maintained an outstanding for many years I think..

WonderingAspie Tue 02-Feb-16 22:29:52

Wow my DS has those times tables challenges to do but he is in year 3 and he doesn't have to practice at home, only if he wants to. No spellings this term and they like us to do reading regularly, we fit it in on the nights we can. They have a project type homework but it's to be completed over half a term. It sounds way too much for your DD to be doing. I hate the way primary schools pile homework on such young children! They should be chilling out, playing or going to clubs out of school hours at this age.

Yseulte Tue 02-Feb-16 22:33:32

The easiest way to learn your times tables is record it for her on a continuous loop and let her go to sleep listening to it.

rebellove Tue 02-Feb-16 22:36:35

Well she's learnt the ones we were told she needed to learn in yr 2 but now they're throwing in ones which she hasn't been taught!

VashtaNerada Tue 02-Feb-16 22:37:26

DD is year 3 and we only have homework at the weekends, which is just as well because by the time we get her home at night it's time for bed. It's not reasonable to expect parents to do homework every night when many of us work long hours and barely see them during the week.

rebellove Tue 02-Feb-16 22:42:54

Exactly Vashta. Dh and I work plus we have another dd and time is limited. I feel as though I'm nagging her too much to do the work. Tonight it was obvious that it's become too much for her and now I feel awful and am worrying about her mental health!

goddessofsmallthings Tue 02-Feb-16 22:44:00

Back in the day we learned the times tables by rote and I have fond memories of Friday afternoons spent saying them out loud in unison with my fellow prisoners little classmates.

Can you encourage your dd to say them with you while you're going to and from school/shops etc or while you're cooking dinner or similar? If you repeat each one 3 times it won't take as long as you may think before your dd's got them down pat.

Dancergirl Tue 02-Feb-16 22:50:53

Firstly don't worry about the SATS and don't let the school pressurise you.

Learning times tables is ongoing throughout primary, all children learn them at different rates. If they learn them early it doesn't necessarily make them better mathematicians though.

I agree it's far too much, she's only little and has been working hard at school all day. Chilling, family time, playing are all of MUCH more value at this age. Good advice above to decide how much she'll do each night and stick to it. Reading is important but it doesn't have to be the school reading books which are often very boring and lacking in interesting vocabulary. Find good books you can read to her, or she can read a bit to you, and discuss them.

Schools are under enormous pressure these days but be firm, put your foot down. She's your child and you know her best. And I guarantee that even if she does no homework at all at primary level, it won't affect her future exam grades.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Tue 02-Feb-16 22:56:44

One thing that helped my ds was a cd with times table songs on.

I played it as he went to sleep.

The only downside was he sometimes answered in a funny voice...

Three-times-nine-is tweeeeeenty-sevvven! In a lovely robotic tune.

SingingSamosa Tue 02-Feb-16 22:56:51

My daughter is struggling with homework at the moment (yr 3). The homework gets handed out on a Friday and has to be back the following Wednesday. This weekend my daughter was away (first time ever without family!) at a residential orchestra course, from Friday pm until Sunday pm. Mondays she has judo and Tuesdays she has swimming. Her homework for this week was two sides of A4 of comparative fractions, two sides of A4 where she had to fill in the blanks within a story with appropriate adverbs, a sheet of spellings to learn, times tables to revise and reading! She also has violin practice to do each night so all this homework was way too much for her sad She's only 8 years old!

I also had my 6 year old in tears tonight because she's struggling with learning her times tables - 5s, 10s, 2s and more recently 3s. I don't actually know why she's struggling as she's a bit of a maths whizz, but she is struggling with these. It's horrible seeing her in tears over homework!!

I use an app on my phone (I think it was free) by DK, called 10 minutes a day times tables (or something like that) and I let both girls play on it for 10 minutes a day. It's set up like a car race so there is a time pressure to do it, just like in school. They seem to quite like it and it's only for 10 minutes.

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