Monday, 7 May 2012
Grrrrrrr. We have just spent half an hour on a Bank Holiday Monday doing homework with A (age 6). Homework I ask you, for a six year old? Every week she gets sent home with two sheets of paper, one for literacy and one for maths. Both are the most uninspiring, boring, pointless and useless pieces of work serving only to feed her loathing of sitting down in her free time to complete it. I certainly don't make her, if she doesn't want to then that's fine by me. But she does do it as she doesn't want to be told off, she does it quickly and badly and if its difficult she moans and cries and we have an argument. Age 6.
A few weeks ago A had some maths homework which included VERY difficult sums, I'm not joking.
15 + 7 =
OK, so I tried to explain how to do it. We had run out of fingers and toes so we got 25 felt tip pens out (I am not suggesting that 15 + 7 is 25 by the way) and counted our way around the equations. She had no clue how to add up these difficult numbers and I had no clue how to teach her. So we counted out pens. What did she learn? How to count, but she can already do that. I don't know if she has been taught a method in school but obviously she got all the answers correct as I sat down with her to do it.
What does the teacher gain from this?
1. Homework has been given and completed
2. Feedback that A has understood in class and could complete at home (that's a load of rubbish)
3. A pile of marking
4. Knowledge that A has parents at home willing to encourage/help or do her homework for her
"MAKE THE HOMEWORK A MEANINGFUL CONNECTION TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD"
John T Spencer
Please. Or don't issue it at all.
She is 6 and has another 12 years or so of this factory education, such an impressionable age. Encourage her thirst for knowledge, its there in full force right now, excite her in the 6 hours she has in school and leave her for the rest of the day to play, interact and reflect on the days learning - without work sheets.