Barely, a month into the new school year and the “parental homework” (that’s what I call it) is piling in from my youngest child’s teacher… There’s the maths booklet, grammar book, worksheets, reading activities, and the carefully crafted parental sign-off sheet to be completed nightly to prove to “Miss Diddums” parents are indeed ensuring all her homework assignments are done each night.
In the meantime, what are the kids concentrating on at school? Swimming week, swimming carnival, fundraising, bicycle education and safety training, plus everything else BUT academics! What’s going on in Australian schools these days? Why are they taking over all the stuff parents should teach and giving parents all the stuff teachers should teach?
I’m sure teachers think parents just sit at home all day twiddling their thumbs champing at the bit waiting for the their child to get home from school so we can all assemble around the kitchen table for a hour enthusiastically doing homework.
Let me make it quite clear to any primary school teachers reading this: IT’S YOUR JOB TO TEACH ENGLISH & MATHS TO MY CHILD – NOT MINE.
I want to be the parent who teaches my children to ride a bike, swim, or at least take them to swimming lessons because one week of school swimming @$55 out of a whole year teaches nothing anyway. I’m the best person to teach my young children about life and values, or politics, or even the environment!
I’m NOT the best person to teach my kids English or maths because much of the terminology I learnt at school 40 years ago has either changed or been totally forgotten. Therefore, it makes sense for professional teachers to concentrate most of the school day on these important and necessary disciplines rather than wasting time brewing up on the sidelines of a track or swimming pool or discussing the philosophy of mining vs the Great Barrier Reef with their class.
Unless you’re some neurotic mother (and there’s plenty of them) who are so absorbed in their child’s education (you’d think they were the ones repeating primary school) parents should be seeing very little homework from their primary school children.
And, if there is homework then it should be on the fluffy subjects such as religious education, history, geography, drawing a picture, etc or an occasional assignment instead of boring BS worksheets and grammar exercises about new terms we’ve never heard of before.
Yes, I concede there are times when some other non-academic type subjects need to be taught at primary school, however, these should be kept to a minimum and where possible incorporated into English and maths in a practical way instead of just workbook or blackboard stuff. Parents are busy these days and we don’t expect to pick up the shortfalls of the education system because of an over committed curriculum.
Governments and teachers should not be blaming poor academic performance on lack of parent’s involvement but we often hear them say, “parents must do more at home,” as if our lack of commitment is why overall primary and secondary education is going backwards in Australia. I’m sick to death of falling teaching standards and picking up the slack by teaching my kids literacy and numeracy.
My mother just shakes her head and can’t believe the difference in schooling compared to when she put me through school. She remembers very little homework or involvement from parents and if there was anything at all homework was appropriate and not directed at the parents. My mother definitely NEVER had to sign a homework parental sign-off sheet to prove to a primary school teacher our homework was supervised and completed.
All I want from the system is my child to leave school competent in Literacy and Numeracy (English and Maths) I don’t care much about anything else – please teach my children English and maths at primary school and leave all the other stuff to me!
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Just Teach My Children English & Maths Please... Geez
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