Sunday, 20 November 2011

November Nightmare

November is always the worst month of the year for me. In the last three weeks I've worked 50 - 60 hours a week, I've done a Sixth Form Open Evening, an UVI Parents' Evening, marked 100 tests and then written the corresponding reports (only 50 more to do this week) and then yesterday, I worked another Open Morning!

On top of that there's been extra parental duties with daughter attending a party last Saturday (I took my laptop and sat in a corner writing reports, very antisocial, but very necessary) and husband abandoning us to yet more football matches leaving me to do all the choir, piano, swimming, riding and Brownie runs. I even had to return to school after dropping daughter at choir to attend her Parents' Evening!

Talking of which, I was chatting to another mum before I went in to see daughter's teacher and I said I was going to raise the issue of the amount of homework that is set (about 3 hours a week; yes, she is in year 3) and the other mum said, quite earnestly, "Do you think they don't get enough?".


It seems I am lacking in the pushy mum gene because I don't make my daughter do an hour of homework a night! Apparently I am dooming my child to failure because I just rely on the 8 hours hard work my daughter and her teachers put in every day to educate her. Funny how she came top of her year in the creative writing test, then. Do you think that has anything to do with her playing imaginatively in her room and in the garden, reading lots of books on her own and writing her own stories in her myriad of notebooks? And do you think my playing those games of Uno, Set and Acuity with her might have something to do with her having a maths age 4 years above her actual age? And all those books she reads and tells me about with great enthusiasm, do they contribute to her having a reading age 4 years above her actual age? There are many more ways a child can develop than being chained to the kitchen table doing homework.

Okay, rant over.

Anyway, back to November. It's the Christmas Fair time of year as well and so far I've donated bottles and chocolate the the school fair, decorated a Christmas cake for a colleague to raffle, donated chocolate to the Brownie's stall at the church Christmas fair, made 10 sweet and toy filled jam jars for daughter's class stall at the school Christmas Fair and sold 20 raffle tickets for the PTA (okay, I wrote a cheque for £20 and wrote various people's names on the stubbs) and I've yet to bake the cakes to take in the day before for the Cake stall. Help?

On top of all that, I'm rehearsing for Christmas concerts in Manchester and at the Bridgewater Hall and also rehearsing a piece written to celebrate the Olympics which we are performing around the country next year.

And I think there is something happening next month that I should be getting ready for............

What is it now?...........

Oh, that's it!



Polly said...

I am a firm believer that homework should involve spending time with family and finding time for some fun. Kids don't need to be working all the time, being a kid teaches you so much and helps shape that little person. So glad to see someone with the same attitude as mine.

IzzyB said...

My son is 4 years old and goes to playschool. They've started asking us to do homework. I have flatly refused!

ADDY said...

OMG. When do you sleep? (You DO sleep, don't you?)

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I'm tired just reading this post, lol. You work damned hard and I really admire you.

I'm very much against homework, especially for young children. I know teachers work so very hard during the day so I presume the children do, too. If this is the case, do children really need to be doing "work" at home? Shouldn't home time be their time for play and spending with families?

Amy doesn't get homework because she can't cope with it but she does well at school which is important.

CJ xx

Lorraine The Party Times said...

Shattered just reading this post!! Hang on in there!!
Our primary school sent out copy of government guidelines on how much homework is expected per key stage group and don't think it was as much as your daughter is getting - would certainly query!!

Working Mum said...

Polly - Schools are currently being slated for not providing enough trips due to Health and Safety issues, but it's precisely those type of learning opportunities that parents can provide if they don't have to do so much homework!

Izzy B - I would absolutely refuse to do hwk at age 4. Reading to your child at bedtime is enough.

Addy - I do sleep, very well because I'm so exhausted!

CJ - Being on the other side of the fence, I can see year 7 pupils coming to school exhausted and stressed at having to do hwk after their karate, street dancing, singing, etc and learning to do work not to the best of their ability because there isn't time to do so; is that what we want them to learn? I campaigned for a reduction in hwk for our years 7 - 9 which has now been implemented and is so much better.

Lorraine - I think my daughter is getting double the recommended amount and told her teacher that so now she's come up with some strategies to help her reduce the time she spends on it. Why not set less to start with?

Catharine Withenay said...

Homework is one of my bugbears - it never quite seems an appropriate amount - nor necessarily well thought through in its presentation to pupil or parent. Last week's said my 9y-o daughter was to look for (and I quote) 'split digraphs'. What are they? I had to look it up in the dictionary! How does a teacher expect a 9y-o to know?

Grrr.... rant over...

Mrs Average said...

That's why you are a Working Mum on the verge!

Maggie May said...

You are so wise about the homework. I think children suffer greatly from pushy parents.

November is usually a very dismal month for me but because of the marvellous weather, today I was sitting in son's south facing garden while he put up a shed. (I did hold up corners while he screwed it together!)
The weather makes all the difference to how you feel.
Maggie X

Nuts in May