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We’re not long into a new school year and already I’m feeling the strain.
Me and the Hubs have constant negotiations about who is dropping off and picking up from school and the childminders. Throw in work for both us, after school activity clubs, tea time, bath time, oh and don’t forget the reading Boo must do five times a week, the spelling practise, family time at weekends, and it’s fair to say WE are knackered and we are the grown ups. Imagine how a six year old feels!
Let’s face it, for a six year old that is a lot. It’s an early start and a late finish. You need a lot of stamina and concentration to get through the day. This is what we are asking of our young primary school children. But it doesn’t stop there, that’s not all we are demanding. There is also HOMEWORK! My girl Boo (who has just gone into year two) is expected to read five times a week and practise spellings and do a piece of set homework a week. And I’m the first to say it’s too much!
It’s too much for her and it’s too much for me. Boo is an enthusiastic learner and when I can see on her face the tiredness and the lack of will I know it’s time to worry. I’m talking about a girl who self directs her learning, she reads independently far more than the school instructs because she ENJOYS it. She loves nothing more than sitting at the table and writing her own stories. There’s been times I’ve gone upstairs to say goodnight and she’s happily tucked up in bed practising French. WTF! These things are great, I encourage it, I don’t push it. She does these things because she’s enjoying them. It’s feeding her thirst for knowledge and she’s challenging herself. But it seems these things don’t count because they haven’t been prescribed by the school, because they haven’t been evidenced, and they can’t be measured.
In 2012 Michael Grove scraped the government homework guidelines which stated 5-7 years olds should do one hour of homework a week and instead gave schools greater freedom to set their own homework policies….