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Homework in mainstream school

(10 Posts)
used2bthin Mon 01-Oct-12 20:49:36

DD (six) is in mainstream with support for now but just found out her levels from last year and she is p2-p4 so quite low. I (hope I) have started the ball moving for a move to special school but in the mean time am wondering what is usual with homework?

DD came home with a worksheet in her homework book today and with lots and lots of help she can do some of it but I am not convinced she gets it. That was the numeracy.

The spellings stuff she also got she is nowhere near able to do as far as I know! And other than an optional extension activity, everyone seems to have the same homework or maybe they haven't but I am unsure as to whether this is way out for dd. Wwyd?

Ineedalife Mon 01-Oct-12 21:04:45

Hi used, I cant speak from personal experience but a good friend of mine has a Dd with Down syndrome, she has always had one to one support in primary but homework has been a real pain in the ass for my friend as the school insist on sending the generic worksheet home every week.

My friend adapts them and does what she knows her Dd can do but she knows she shouldnt have to do this.

used2bthin Mon 01-Oct-12 21:15:00

Thanks that is what I do, I agree we probably shouldn't have to. Differentiation should mean the same for homework, it worries me that I underestimate what DD can do or something but then her levels show she is doing less than she can do at home so I don't THINK its that.

madwomanintheattic Mon 01-Oct-12 21:19:03

If they want her to do homework, it should be differentiated appropriately.

Tbh, I used to ignore or revise the hw for dd2 in y1, but the teacher was on side. With her it wasn't so much the academic content, but the dexterity and fine motor required to accomplish it. Hw that took the rest of the class 5 minutes would have taken her a good three hours if I had made her do it as requested. I tired to work out what the learning target was, and then modified it.

I would be asking ct for appropriate hw - don't ask her what her expectations are, as you will get a wishy washy 'just do her best' answer. Guaranteed.

used2bthin Mon 01-Oct-12 21:34:25

Ah now I was thinking of asking whether she thought DD could manage it or not!! She is fairly direct about things but yes good pointI think I may need to just say it isn't right for her.

Last year I did as you describe and just ignored it if it wasn't apprpriate (and sometimes wrote in the home link book why we hadn't done it) or did what she could of it.

The whole school thing is pretty worrying atm and dd is seeming stressed o its hard to know if I am being overl sensitive about it!

AgnesDiPesto Mon 01-Oct-12 22:19:10

Yes this is our experience - it comes home undifferentiated. I just ignore it and if they ask I say its completely unsuitable.

I am hoping I will have less trouble with new teacher who seems more on the ball. Last year CT kept asking where his homework was (in reception!) and I ended up sending a pointed note saying it was completely beyond his capabilities (eg what he did over the holiday - at that time he did not know what a holiday was) and therefore was she expecting me to do the homework on his behalf and therefore it was really homework for me or for him to just scribble anything (he would probably have written the alphabet). DH also dropped into conversation with another teacher that we had found it insensitive (it came with a note that said 'we find the children really want to be like their big brothers and sisters and have their own homework' - err no DS ignores his brothers) and that I had been quite upset wink as it was a reminder how far behind DS was. We never got hassled again.

DS is year 1 (mostly P5-6) and has ABA but even then the teachers seem to 'forget' and send home the wrong work (eg same as everyone else). Our ABA supervisor is always very clear that learning has to be functional for DS and the EP agrees. So for eg a current target for the class is to learn number bonds to 5. I do not doubt DS could do this but what would be the point. It would be another string of pointless information at this stage. Until he has grasped concepts such as why we count, what money is etc then knowing number bonds is not going to be functional. We are lucky as the EP is really on side eg DS does not need to know about the tudors, he needs to be able to wipe his own bum. I do not doubt that DS will be able to access academic stuff later once his understanding and language have moved on but right now its a distraction from all the stuff he needs to learn which is functional and useful. LA SEN Officers however are a different story. It is a brave school I think which is prepared to say we won't teach this bit of the curriculum to this child as its not functional for him - that are all pushed to say that the child will be included in a differentiated curriculum. In reality DS does not have a differentiated curriculum he has an individualised autism specific one and without this he would never be able to progress to the point where the other stuff would be useful to him.

It depends how annoying you want to be but i have used inappropriate homework as a way of insisting on 15 mins a week 1:1 teacher time per week this year so the teacher gets to know what level he is at and can contribute to the target setting with ABA. I didn't quite say unlike the teacher last year who didn't get to know him at all, but I think they got the point.

used2bthin Tue 02-Oct-12 10:38:13

Thanks agnespesto thats interesting and makes a lot of sense to me. I just had a chat with the teacher about somethign else and she mentioned dd had scribbled over her work, I said oh yes she scribbled over her homework too, she managed one bit but got angry. The teacher said as DD struggles with fine motor skills if it is numeracy (it was number bonds to ten!) then we could just do photos of dd building blocks or something to work out number bonds to ten-dd would actually enjoy and get more out of this so I may try it.

DD really needs to be able to communicate atm rather than anything else so I really get what you are saying about being functional-eg she can understand some number stuff but its very hard for her to describe what she wants to say and if she does it often isn't understoof

AgnesDiPesto Tue 02-Oct-12 19:38:23

If schools are going to be made to think about outcomes, then they have to take the point they / parents want (expect) the child to get to and work back. DS1 and DS2 both super bright NT and I want them to do it all, number bonds, Tudors the works. They should both be able to get professional jobs, be financially independent. For DS3 the outcome I want is for him to be happy, have some friends, to have some sort of relationship with his brothers that means they will want to look after him when I have gone, be able to do a job -any job, and for him to be as independent as he can, as safe as he can and not be too vulnerable. Working backwards that means he needs to be able to communicate, he needs to be able to make social relationships, he needs to be able to go to a shop and use money, we need to find something he can do - even one thing and turn it into something he could get paid for, we need to teach him how to be safe and how the world works.

I think some Montessori materials are good for numeracy - we have a montessori counting thing on the iPad. There are youtube videos of montessori stuff as well - it tends to be more hands on learning.

I remember having cuisenaire rods when I was little which is a nice visual hands on way of working out how many combinations of numbers to get to 10

You should ask the teacher to set a fine motor skills programme for your DD too!

Nigel1 Tue 02-Oct-12 19:54:20

With home work at what ever age I would suggest asking the CT how long the child should spend on the work. Take that amount of time with the child and do what you can. Then annotate the work to say this is as far as far you got in that time. This should demonstrate the child's actual ability to the CT which can become blurred in day to day classroom management. That may lead to further recognition in the long term as to actual abilities.

used2bthin Thu 04-Oct-12 13:02:19

Sorry to reply late I am strugglin badly with dd1s behaviour and dd2's incessant night time feeding.

I like the little rods I may get some of those as they could work well I think.

The other homework was a spelling wordsearch which I really don't see dd being able to do but they have a reward system for completing each week-this seems so unfair I need to talk to them I think. And/or ring the ss to see about moving her.

nigel1 thats a good idea too. Not havig a good day but I do feel resentful of having to constantly come up with the ideas for school sad its a good school in that they are supportive but it feels I have to ask and check a lot. Which I know is the way it works for a lot of us and better that than not.

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