When we were at ISA, Asian parents always complained that their children do not have enough homeworks especially Mathematics. We feel that our children are always "playing" in school. Initially, that's what I felt too. But, as time went on, I could see the benefits in my son. His reading and writings (Language Arts) had improved. Most importantly, he had more exposure of global issues like saving water, saving the planet, recycling, taking care of our health, respect for others, charity etc..etc.. When it comes to homework and Maths, yes I agree that the school needs to improve on that.
Then, we moved to Den Haag and to the British School(BSN). BSN is different from ISA, for one thing they have Home Learning. I will write about Mathematics on another day, insyaAllah :))
Home Learning is homeworks/activities that children have to do at home with the support of parents. This is a sure way to get parents involvement in their childrens' learning!!! Let's see what BSN has come out with on the suggested activities for Year 4 Term 1.
The Do's of the booklet
Do complete a minimum of 6 different activities for Term 1 (ie until Christmas holidays)
Do spend at least one hour each week (it's ok to take 2 hours- ie. 2 weeks)
Do discuss and give a little help and guidance
Do ensure that your child keep notes of what he is doing in the diary
Do sign the diary so that teachers know that children are completing an activity
Hmmm that sounds like a lot of work..... Now let's see the Dont's
Do not do the work for your child.
Do not make sentenses for the child. Children should write in their own words at their own level
Do not copy word to word from the internet
Now that sounds a bit stern right? But it's true, that's what is written in the booklet. Now let's see the suggested activities as laid down by the teacher.
If you look at some of the suggested acivities, I do believe that this is a little bit too much for 8/9 year olds. Bear in mind that they have to do research, write in their own words and then, they have to practice because they are expected to do excellent presentations in class !!! The time allocated is certainly not enough, believe me. Further, not copying from the internet is very difficult to do when you are dealing with facts (which most of the suggested activities are). For some children, to compose a sentence is certainly mind boggling.
Uhhuhhhhh... if I ever complained before, I regret it now :))))