Over the last 4 years that we have had a school aged child Bren and I have come to the agreement that we wont enforce homework. Of course this will change as the girls move up in their school years but for now unless they instigate it we wont be making them do it.
When Indi was younger we would argue over her reading. I wanted her to read every night so she would gain the skills to escape into a book and enjoy the freedoms that come with reading. She resisted and would beg me to read to her instead. After a while I gave up and in her own time she discovered the joys of reading and now at 8 loves going to bed with a good book.
The girls are at school for 6 and a half hours a day. During that time they learn literacy, numeracy, art, music, history...when they come home we think it is time for them to play and to learn things from us.
Living on a farm they learn about the seasons, about planting and harvesting, about keeping and caring for animals, they come to market and often take charge of the money transactions, we cook with them, dance with them, talk to them and make stuff with them.
When we got back from up North last week both of our school girls were presented with their first ever project. All last week parents I spoke to were buzzing about the work they and their children were doing. I wasn't sure how to go about it all. Should I take them to the library, make suggestions, research the internet or let them take charge?
I suppose I worry a bit about them getting into trouble for not making the effort or falling behind but both teachers are aware of our feelings about homework.
Jazzy's is a project about animals. She plans to put some photos of animals we met at a wildlife park last week all around her tree.
Indi's is to have an Aboriginal theme. She is going to write the dreamtime story of The Rainbow Serpent around her painting and decorate it with lots of dots.
So its ok this time but what about next time and time tables and spelling words?