Friday, 25 November 2011

A homework rant this time

OK so maybe I am just jumping on the ranting bandwagon. Not only can I thank Sarah Mac for passing the fire on to me, but I am probably going to fuel her fire further with this post!
Little Man is in year 3 and has started getting proper homework in the form of his daily reading, spellings once a week from which he has to write his sentences and then a spelling test. As regular readers will know Little Man is struggling with the whole learning process and is quite far behind but they do send home spellings that are more geared to his level. The reading we have been doing daily since the word go and as for the number work, well that is a step too far for Little Man to cope with at the moment and we figure (rightly or wrongly) it would be better to concentrate on the reading and writing for now and get his confidence up on that front and let the number work come in time.

Anyhow despite struggling Little Man is keen and happily does his homework, rarely complains and works really hard at it. In September when school started we were sent home a sheet with the week on it saying Monday - PE kit, Tuesday - library book, Wednesday - nothing, Thursday - hand homework in, Friday - spelling test, everyday - reading book etc. This is pinned to my fridge as well as each one being on repeat in my phone.

The spellings are a sheet of paper with a list of 10 words, all normally related i.e. sigh, fight, night etc, or undo, unfit, unkind etc. These are listed on he left hand side of the sheet. On the right hand side it reminds you to read, say, cover and spell the word, then has a bit about what the number work should be, then under this a box suggesting daily reading. If we just open the book Little Man starts messing around and doesn't concentrate so I open his book and place a blank sheet of paper immediately over the list of words and we move it down a word at a time. At the last word, I normally just push the blank paper back inside his book and shut it until the next day when we do them again. From this list of 10 words he then needs to choose 5 and write a sentence with them in i.e Someone was unkind today. This is done in a separate book.

Two weeks ago I noticed before we left the playground on the Thursday night Little man's homework books were still in his bag and not handed in so we popped back to the classroom and handed them in. Last week on Wednesday when I picked Little Man up, he clearly wasn't well and his teacher said she didn't think he should attend school on Thursday. I agreed. He got home, fell asleep at 4pm and slept through to the next morning when he woke as bright as a button, raring to go, and after a very good breakfast I decided he was well enough to go in. He hadn't done his sentences though as we practice the words all week, then do the sentences wed night to hand in Thurs. I went in to see his teacher and explained and asked if he could hand them in on Friday. I was quite put out by her response when she said no, she marked the homework Thurs night and rules were rules, he would get a not done mark. I did protest he had been ill and she knew that to no avail.

This week Little Man was very upset Wednesday night and it eventually came out he had been told he had to attend homework club during his break times - he is 7 not 15. This was because he kept failing to hand his homework in. I assured him it was only once and it couldn't of been that reason but he was insistent. So the next morning I trotted back in to see the teacher. She informed me that homework day had been changed to Wednesday's back in October and the kids had been told. I am not being funny I still need to remind Little Man to put his pants on before his trousers, there is no way a message like that would 1) register with him or 2) get home. She then said it was written as well right on the bottom of the weekly sheet and showed me. Sure enough it was but due to my bit of paper method I never see the bottom of these sheets. I felt it was really bad he was being penalised for my mistake - he isn't capable of reading that message himself. She said she couldn't make allowances it wouldn't be fair, and his homework would not be marked this week. I was livid and she knew it.

On leaving the classroom I got collared by the SENCO who wanted to see me a separate issue we have with Little Man which is to do with a change of teacher which I will blog about separately. She asked if everything was OK so I explained about the homework situation.

Needless to say at 3.00 she saw me again and told me the teacher had been spoken to, and told allowances should be made, she had also had plenty of opportunity to have a quiet word with me about his late homework seeing as though we speak 2-3 times a week to catch up, and Little Man does not need to attend homework club. He came home a different child. His breaktimes are very important to him, as they are any child but homework club would break the school routine which could have a detrimental effect, luckily the SENCO gets thats.

I just hope the teacher doesn't hold it against me, I never intended them to speak with her, but it was out of order and I still feel they get an awful lot of homework for 7 years old.

No comments: