Thursday, November 25, 2010

Home Learning

Schools in Europe are definitely different from what I was used to. Here they believe that children should not be pushed too hard, that they need to learn at their own pace, that different kids are different, that boys and girls are different etc..etc.. We as parents do not know exactly what the children are learning at school. They do not even have textbooks to give us some guidelines. And they hardly have any homeworks too.

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 Home Learning Booklet given to parents

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

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 :))))


Cheqna said...


I actually like some activities that u wrote here and try to apply them with my anak2 sedara..i.e making different activities with them.

can u please enlarge the photos..tau ajelah nak baca thru gambar yg kecik2..pedih wehh mata, enuf stress kat office..hehe


I amsterdam said...

Cheqna, they are very interesting indeed. It's good activities during the holiday :) The presentations can be in any form: powerpoint, booklet, diary, song, poem, scripts, photos, poster, leaflet, 3D model etc...etc..

Try clicking on the photos, it gets slightly bigger right. Hope it works :)) Tell me if it doesn't work.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Mother of Ilham,
I'm home-schooled, in between my naps, that is. My Mama says even cats need to know how to read and write...and blog too. purrr....meow!

I amsterdam said...

How often do you nap Angelina? most of the time??? Har..har..har..

TK said...

Teachers nowadays are taught not to give homework macam kita zaman sekolah dulu2. Zaman dulu, Cikgu cakap buat page 4, exercise A,B,C,D.Hantar esok! I went for the course on Homework in 2008 and we were told not to give homework camtu lagi. Betullah tu apa yg dorang bagi. Tapi kat Malaysia belum dilaksanakan sepenuhnya.
No doubt, parents involvement is very important!

I amsterdam said...


Seems like we try to follow British system then..

La ni, mama ilham pun jadi "tension" bila homework x siap

Cheqna said...

Ok got it, thank you :-)

nowdays parents yang tension tgok budak2 relax..they all selamba je..sanggup bangun pagi nak siapkan hoework! :)


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