Wednesday, 26 November 2008

What on earth??

Two things have happened this week which have not made me happy. Actually, quite alot more than two things but I'm only going to put two on here! (I ever know, I may slip one in further down while you're not looking...).

Yesterday Toby (in Year 2, age 7) came home from school and said 'Mum, if we don't do our homework we have to stay in at playtime to do it'. What?!! They are 6 and 7 years old. He has 3 or 4 sets of homework each week to do plus a reading book. This is madness. What are they doing in school time? Why can't they do all the work they need to do there? When my boys come home from school they need to let off steam. They have been working hard all day (as far as I know...) and they need to play and have some freedom, within my limits, as I have written about before. The last thing they need is me nagging them to do something they don't want to do. I don't want to turn them off from learning and from school because they have a negative experience of it.

We also find it very difficult to do the homework with him. I have 3 boys, one of whom is an extremely active toddler. I cannot sit down with Toby and give him half an hour of my undivided attention (and this is what it needs - he can't do it on his own). I have to wait for Jared to come home from work, which then gives us a very small window of opportunity to do it in. At this time of night Toby is tired and grumpy and it is very hard to motivate him. Should I stand up for my boy and speak to the teacher about this? I really don't think it is right for children at this age to have so much homework. Toby asked me 'who invented homework anyway?', and I answered 'someone who doesn't like children'. That must be the truth. If you truly understood what young children needed, you would not burden them with homework.

So, what was the other thing that made me unhappy? Today, Toby tells us that they're not allowed to run in the playground at lunchtimes. Is this health and safety gone mad? Apparently children are getting hurt. This was red rag to a bull for me. If they stop children (especially the boys, who need to run) doing this they will pay for it later on in the classrooms. The boys need to run off their energies so that they can then go into the classroom and learn. So, I told him that I say he can run. Of course I do not want to teach him to break the rules, but I also know what he needs. No-one else is going to stand up for my boys, I have to do it. I will happily go in and explain to whoever has made up this ridiculous rule why my son will not be obeying it.

And now of course I can hear all the teachers amongst you shouting at your computers again...... It's not that I'm anti-teachers, or anti-schools particularly, it just frustrates me so much when schools do not take into account what the child needs. Every Child Matters? Yeah right.....

1 comment:

Eleanor said...

Great rant!!
I never had homework 'til I was at high school.
As for the running... What? Kids run & they fall over. Having scraped knees is part of being a kid.
You're right... Health & safety gone mad.
E x