The learning debate…
In our house recently, we had a discussion regarding working hard at school, taking more responsibility for yourself and the whole embracing homework as part of every day life as a school child and that it’s not going to go away so you might as well get on with it so that you can then go on to do other things in your spare time.
Where we live we still have a middle school system and MasterB being ten (11 in October and so one of the older children in his year) has just gone up to year six.
Now I’ll be honest, they don’t get a lot of homework – well certainly not so far they haven’t and most of the time it’s work that can be done, slotted in during the week around activities, or if not, completed at the weekend fairly easily.
Saying that, it’s always met with the same emotion…
Why do I have to do this?
It’s not faaaaair!!
They didn’t show us that in class.
I already know how to do that!
… and lots of sighs, banging around, lounging across the table to be told ‘Please sit up right and concentrate‘ and sometimes even tears (and that’s just me!).
– As an aside, some people believe that children of this age shouldn’t even have homework –
And don’t get me started on those tweenisms again!!
It’s all so painful.
The family discussion went along the lines of…
‘We’re very proud of you and how hard you work at school and you’re a really good boy, but you need to start taking a bit more responsibility for yourself. You need to plan your time better. Unfortunately throughout your school life you will get homework – it’s a re-cap of what you’ve learned in school. It will help you to remember things better and help with exams which, unfortunately, are inevitable.
We know it’s a long way off and hard at your age to think about what you want to do when you’re older, but if you work hard at school now, you will have more choice in the sort of job you want, leading on to having the sort of life you want.
We want you to be the best you can be. To fulfill your potential and not just do the bare minimum – go above and beyond. We’re not expecting you to be top of the class, but want you to do the best for yourself.‘
It was quite a meaty drawn out discussion that encompassed other things too, but that’s the basis of it.
We all agreed that MasterB would take more responsibility for himself including packing his own school bag the night before, planning out time for homework as well as reducing his amount of time gaming each day.
A few days later I met up with a couple of friends with boys of the same age (and in fact at the same school) and the topic came up in conversation. We had mixed views, though none of us claiming to know the right answer, but all just doing what we think is the best for our children.
The question then arises, are we being too hard on him at the age of ten?
Ten is still very young – they’re still children at the end of the day. Should they be feeling bogged down with school work and homework and the pressure of doing well at school at this young age?
Are we being hard on him, or just wanting the best for him?
After all some children/teenagers need a bit of pushing and encouragement to put that extra bit of effort in and can go on to do really good things. We’re thinking MasterB might be one of these.
Some of the children in his year are currently preparing themselves to take the Grammar school test (not an option that MasterB wanted to take, which we supported his decision in by the way) and they are studying soooo hard. They’re the same age and yet have the desire to want to do really well at school even at this young age.
It’s hard though isn’t it; knowing what’s the right thing to do. Do you just let them ‘be‘ and find their own way at this age, or give them a bit more direction and help?
I’d be really interested to know other people’s thoughts on this subject.
I’m not sure there is a right or wrong – it’s probably down to the individual child but as always this parenting thing is as difficult as ever.
Carpe Diem x