I don’t mind the home work that Florence’s school set for her but it is rather extensive and time consuming. For Florence it’s ideal because she loves to be set talks and in fact she often finishes what has been set and asks me for more sums or tasks to do in her book. She is a child that it works for and for us it’s brilliant. I have spoken to other parents however, who have said they simply cannot make their child do it and that it is all a bit much for them at only four years old. I totally see that point of view as well and assumed the school took the same view as me, if it works then it works but if it’s too much just leave it…
After half term however and I’m a bit grey over whether that view I had of the school and how they feel is right or not?Something was said this week which, didn’t annoy me exactly, but made me wonder whether perhaps they might take things far more seriously than I had thought for the reception children and far more seriously than I think they should!
Over half term Florence didn’t read her school books at all. We took them away with us but she didn’t ask for them and to be honest there just never came a point in any of the days that we were relaxing and having fun that we thought about structured reading and sitting down to ‘learn’. It was the holidays!
Did she read anything at all? Of course she did! She reads everything that she sees or has a go at it anyway! Signs, notices, labels, packaging… If there are words and letters then she’s trying to put them together because she’s interested. We also read other books together in the evenings at bed time and yes of course she had a go at some of the words in them too. Why wouldn’t she? It’s natural because she’s learning this new skill and enjoys it but I simply wasn’t prepared to make a point of reading the school homework books because, as I said, it was the holidays! If she’d asked, then of course but I think children and especially reception children on their first break from school, need to USE their holidays as holidays and actually switch off, have fun and not worry about school work.
Anyway, at the beginning of the week she came out of school a little bit worried because Mr Foxy had asked her why she hadn’t read her books in half term? She told me that he had said she ‘should’ have been reading them and she was concerned that she’d done something wrong by not. I told her, very firmly, to tell Mr Foxy this: ‘My Mummy says holidays are holidays and the time when I read for fun not for school work’!
There is a time and place for everything and having fun, not thinking about things, and properly resting from the every day is just as important a time as any other in my opinion. I’m happy with the amount of school work in general as I said but if they expect us to work in the holidays, well… They’ll be waiting a long time for us to comply I can tell you!
The first week back has been exhausting so I am super pleased Florence really had that break in half term. She was almost asleep standing up when I picked her up on her first day back and has steadily got more and more tired as the week has gone on. Jimmy has been missing her again and keeps asking if it’s time to pick her up yet which is very sweet and they’re getting on so well playing together at the moment – it’s lovely!
I’m still helping a friend out with some child care until her daughter’s nursery opens the week after next so we’ve not ventured too far away from home but Jimmy and I did pop into town to go to the Transport museum in Covent Garden which is signalling Christmas is on the way already! I’m just going to go with it and enjoy the festive feel in London!
Anyway, the first week back is done and there weren’t any tears! Phew! And onto the weekend which we’ve kicked off with our Sheep Tea Friday Night Treat Tea!