Guest Sachertorte

How much time and resources do you devote to your children's education?

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    Guest Sachertorte

    Hi there,

    On here to take some pain off my chest so thank you in advance for reading on :wubclub:

     

    My husband and I have started to notice the first cracks in the provision of education in our eldest's primary school. This is in reception-year 1. We have noticed how little work has been done from looking through her classwork literacy and especially math books.

     

    However the teacher has made negative statements about her math abilities, based on a couple (yes 1 or 2!) classroom exercises. We agree she is not very numerate, but not hopeless.

     

    The next thing, one of her classmates, on the base of this couple of exercises (counting buttons) done right, has received a certificate of achievement during a school assembly and the principal has hailed her a "future mathematician".

     

    On hearing this announcement I felt really upset. Both my husband and I have perused the classroom activities book and pondered about the events. Surely children cannot be given sufficient knowledge and let alone be assessed on the base of such little work!!

     

    We now realise that the children who seemingly succeed might have well been primed (to use an understatement) at home, by parents who obviously put several hours in to make up for the shortcomings of the lessons' content. And obviously if mum or dad are teachers, then the knowledge of how the system works makes it a whole lot easier.

     

    We are lucky that I have a science PhD and my husband is also a science graduate, with 4 uni degrees between us. But, like many on here who don't have relatives in Adelaide, we have very little time after work.

     

    So the reality is that one is not just supposed to help your child at home (which is obvious and fair), one has to basically homeschool the children to fill the substantial gaps.

     

    We suspect the unspoken truth is probably made of kumon classes, 10-12 hours a week spent to do extra reading, spelling, maths with your children.

     

    Are we off the mark? How much time and resources do you employ to keep your children on track?

    Edited by Sachertorte

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    Guest vikkiann

    I am a very strong believer that the 1 thing that we can give our children is a good education. I wasn't happy with the high school here and find that the primary school is very laid back. With regard to the high school I soon realized that private and state schools pretty much cover the same curriculum so there was no point in moving our 14 year old. With the primary school I've been told that they try and build confidence first before education. I'm not sure how true this is. I buy books from target and do them with my girls who are in reception, year 1 and year 4. Just to keep their brains active! When my 5 year old started they were amazed that she could read, we go to the library and within a week she has moved up a level. I don't spend ridiculous hours with them each work but we play schools, they are the students, I am the teacher and when we do good work they get stickers and rewarded.

     

    Dont know if this answered your post or not but it's what we do in our house.

     

    Vikki

    xx

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    Guest Sachertorte

    Thanks Vikkiann,

     

    you answered some of the questions, thank you :)

     

    What I would also like to hear from other parents is whether there is a sense that behind this laid back front, parents are in fact putting the hours in and keeping the practice to themselves!! How on earth are you supposed to understand written Naplan-style tests if you have never seen them before?

     

    Please keep the feedback coming! Thank you all :smile:

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    Guest R175

    We moved to the area we are in on the basis of the school doing and offering certain things to the children...the fact that I am writing this tells you they don't.

     

    I have made 3 complaints about 3 different teachers and I am on my way again after I write this to have another go as my youngest has been bullied...by her teacher.

     

    The school my children are at till the end of term expect them to do all there work at home and spend time socialising and doing bugger all at school, but when homework is not handed in then there is hell to pay.

     

    I think I need to add that both my children are in the same class (one year 4 & one year 5). The eldest is bored in school and they were told she was a gifted child, which we were guaranteed would be dealt with...they don't even deal with the poor children that are struggling and do nothing but put the children that help there friends understand the Q's down.

     

    I hope you get some answers as it is very difficult to know what to do but in my opinion (and mine alone I may add) if you can change there school and are not worried to tell them what you expect then DO IT...

     

    Both myself and my wife work shift work, my wife is a uni grad but I left with nothing so I think we are both sides of the education coin and totally understand the problems with not having a good education...a bit like my kids...one gifted and one that needs to be pushed...hard...but is also on the line of gifted.

     

    I look forward to reading the answers to as people on here are generally very knowledgeable and helpful... ;-)

     

    Good luck with it all....

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    Guest Sachertorte

    The school my children are at till the end of term expect them to do all there work at home and spend time socialising and doing bugger all at school, but when homework is not handed in then there is hell to pay.

     

    I think I need to add that both my children are in the same class (one year 4 & one year 5). The eldest is bored in school and they were told she was a gifted child, which we were guaranteed would be dealt with...they don't even deal with the poor children that are struggling and do nothing but put the children that help there friends understand the Q's down.

     

    Dear 175,

     

    My feelings exactly! The learning of the "academic" side of things is expected but not delivered by the school- it is the parents who have to do it!!

    I wish somebody had opened up about this - it is not a trivial detail.

     

    In our experience parents here are also *really* competitive and they had rather have an advantage over you and yours than help you when you are looking for answers.

     

    Anyone had this experience at their school too?

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    Hi.

     

    My kids have only been at school in Australia for a week now but so far this is not my experience of the school at all. My oldest is in year 5 here (just finished year 6 in thr UK) and he is finding the work comparable to when we were in the UK. He gets homework every night during the week but didn't get any on the weekend, and the homework has been very much the kind of thing he can just get on with. One night he had some maths questions to complete, another was to write a book review on a book he had read. The kids get rewards during the school day for working hard or doing well. One teacher gives out ticks during the day for things like good behaviour, answering questions etc, and then at the end of the day the kids with the most ticks get a prize (usually a fredo frog).

     

    My youngest is in year 2 (just finished year 2 in the UK). He doesn't really talk much about what he's been doing at school, he never has, but he did mention they did something in maths one day that he thought was hard, although I think it was more that the approach was different to the way he had been taught in the UK. He certainly seems to be enjoying school more than in the UK - he was often bored in class in the UK - although I'm not sure if this is a good sign or a bad one.

     

    The school my kids attend here does the International Baccalaureate, but I'm not sure how much difference this makes to the school. They also have quite a number of international students and teachers and a head that spent some time working in the UK which might make a difference.

     

    Personally I've never done very much in the way of formal coaching with my kids at home, although I did get my oldest workbooks when he was younger to help with his writing. We do have 'educational' conversations though, where we might give the kids a mental maths problem to do or something, but these are often initiated by the kids rather than us. We've always encouraged both kids to read and I've always been happy to buy them books if they ask for them. As parents I don't think it is our job to teach our kids (unless we home school) but I think we should be encouraging them to be curious and ask questions and help them find the answers to those questions.

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    What I would also like to hear from other parents is whether there is a sense that behind this laid back front, parents are in fact putting the hours in and keeping the practice to themselves!!

     

    No, I don't think that in the public system there is lots of secret practice going on. I think the schooling system is just very different, and hard for us, as parents, to adjust to. I think the lack of a precise curriculum is both helpful in the way that the schooling is more flexible and a negative in the way that teachers can (within a broad range) choose to teach what they want, so your child might get to year 5 before they come across a teacher who believes learning times tables is important.

     

    Reading your post, you are obviously both very highly educated and expect the same of your children, I would say that probably private education might suit your family needs better, as they do seem to push the kids to achieve a lot more.

     

    Hope you get sorted.

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    Guest Sachertorte

    NicF

     

    Thank you for your reply, it is great to hear you are happy so far, a week in is early days but hopefully that will continue unchanged for you.

     

    All looked great for us too at the beginning, IB school, head also spent time in UK, all the right boxes were ticked at enrolment.

    We are now 1 year in and things don't look the same as they did then!

     

    We also have educational conversations and use support reading such as the ABC Reading Eggs (http://www.readingeggs.com.au), but if the maths is delivered scarcely and improperly in the classroom things can go haywire pretty soon!

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    Guest Sachertorte

    Hello Foxychick,

     

    Thank you for your reply. You make very good points. In fact if we could afford it, we would send our girls to Mercedes College, but it is not an option for us at this moment in time.

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    Guest Smurphy

    Hi, We arrived 3 months ago and our daughter is in year 1 despite completing three years of school in the UK (seems like a good opportunity for her). The school suggested putting her in a year 1/2 composite class giving them the chance to assess her over the first few weeks to ensure she was positioned correctly and they feedback after the first week that she sits best with year 1. Our daughter was on an individual education plan (IDP) in the UK for her literacy and her new school quickly identified similar concerns. In the UK it always appeared that they were following a process with the IDP and would not do more than was necessary but here they have been fantastic. They have taken her back to basic phonics and worked with her in a very small group regarding spelling strategics. They plan to arrange independent testing in the next few months if they still have concerns although we are hopeful it won't be necessary based on performance so far.

     

    We are also happy with maths. It seems the approach is different then the UK with maths being more around applying what is being learnt. The school has recently sent teachers on courses to improve their approach to maths and they have good naplan results for both subjects (plan to keep an eye on maths).

     

    We spend around 25/30 minutes most evenings on school work with our daughter, although this includes extra work supplied by the school due to their concerns. It would probably be 15 minutes otherwise (reading book, spellings and weekly show project).

     

    Reception to Year 2 in our experience is a difficult time as children develop at different rates and speeds, and it is natural for us to compare children. Our daughter was only just 4 when she started school and with no older sibblings this appears to plays a big part (our son is 4 and he is far more advanced than his sister was at 4). Providing the school is working with us to address the concern, we are happy and they are certainly doing that.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Sue

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    Guest Sachertorte

    Smurphy, I noticed you are in Glenalta, would you like to share the name of the fantastic school you send your kids to?

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    Hi there,

    On here to take some pain off my chest so thank you in advance for reading on :wubclub:

     

    My husband and I have started to notice the first cracks in the provision of education in our eldest's primary school. This is in reception-year 1. We have noticed how little work has been done from looking through her classwork literacy and especially math books.

     

    However the teacher has made negative statements about her math abilities, based on a couple (yes 1 or 2!) classroom exercises. We agree she is not very numerate, but not hopeless.

     

    The next thing, one of her classmates, on the base of this couple of exercises (counting buttons) done right, has received a certificate of achievement during a school assembly and the principal has hailed her a "future mathematician".

     

    On hearing this announcement I felt really upset. Both my husband and I have perused the classroom activities book and pondered about the events. Surely children cannot be given sufficient knowledge and let alone be assessed on the base of such little work!!

     

    We now realise that the children who seemingly succeed might have well been primed (to use an understatement) at home, by parents who obviously put several hours in to make up for the shortcomings of the lessons' content. And obviously if mum or dad are teachers, then the knowledge of how the system works makes it a whole lot easier.

     

    We are lucky that I have a science PhD and my husband is also a science graduate, with 4 uni degrees between us. But, like many on here who don't have relatives in Adelaide, we have very little time after work.

     

    So the reality is that one is not just supposed to help your child at home (which is obvious and fair), one has to basically homeschool the children to fill the substantial gaps.

     

    We suspect the unspoken truth is probably made of kumon classes, 10-12 hours a week spent to do extra reading, spelling, maths with your children.

     

    Are we off the mark? How much time and resources do you employ to keep your children on track?

     

    Hi,

    sorry to hear that you are not happy with the current situation.

     

    I would say that I have heard more comments about kids being tutored and kumon etc, compared to the UK. I have heard that kumon is very boring, but that may not be the case and different things suit different children. Our youngest is in reception and never gets any maths homework but has reading and spellings every week night. Homework for our two older boys has increased as they have got older. I make (try) sure that they do their homework and complete it to a good standard.

     

    I appreciate it's hard as my wife and I both work and she is also at uni. This added to swimming lessons and other commitments, can make it difficult. My advice would be to try and sound out what other teachers are like and how pupils are progressing as they get older. Snap judgements on ability are not helpful. Checking the current level of where a child is working should inform the teacher and guide their instruction. Sadly, testing can be done to just 'weigh the baby'

     

    Cooler

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    No, I don't think that in the public system there is lots of secret practice going on. I think the schooling system is just very different, and hard for us, as parents, to adjust to. I think the lack of a precise curriculum is both helpful in the way that the schooling is more flexible and a negative in the way that teachers can (within a broad range) choose to teach what they want, so your child might get to year 5 before they come across a teacher who believes learning times tables is important.

     

    Reading your post, you are obviously both very highly educated and expect the same of your children, I would say that probably private education might suit your family needs better, as they do seem to push the kids to achieve a lot more.

     

    Hope you get sorted.

     

    I completely understand the bewilderment that parents face as they navigate the schooling system here, it is so very different to the UK and adds to the stress of having moved your children to the other side of the world. As an experienced teacher myself, there was a lot I questioned when we first arrived nearly 5 years ago, having put both kids into a local state primary. They do things differently and it is, in many ways, less academic than the primary phase in the UK, but they do learn and are generally speaking at the same stage by the end of primary. My kids' school is also an IB school and I believe this program is more rigorous than those used in many of the private non-IB schools, so would not be swayed that there is a better outcome if you pay lots of money. Much of it comes down to the individual teachers (as it does in any schooling system.) In the UK this can be less of a problem as all teachers have to cover the same elements of the curriculum and they will be held very accountable if they do not. Here they can pick and choose much of what they do and this may mean important things are left until another teacher picks them up.

     

    The IB system does place a lot of emphasis on individual research and a kid's own responsibility for their learning; this is what as parents we can support, rather than the nuts and bolts. If you have concerns about their progress it may be a) the teacher, b) the child - either their ability or willingness to put in effort or c) a lack of understanding on the part of the parent. All three can be explored and sorted out.

     

    It is easy to get very emotional over this (I know I felt strongly about certain aspects of the education system here and still do to some extent!) However Aussie kids are generally confident and capable and turn into doctors, bankers, cleaners etc in exactly the same way UK kids do.

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    Guest R175

    Hi beanbear

     

    As a teacher may I ask you your opinion on on the SHIP program..?

     

    When my daughter was in the UK was had no choice but to put her into a place called explore learning as even my wife who is uni educated struggled to deal with her thirst for learning.

     

    If you have any advice it would be extremely appreciated as we are running out of ideas

     

    R175

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    Hi,

     

    My daughter is in the first year of this program at high school, as she is a high achiever, and so far it's going well. It is not used at every school and only at high school level. The other program is ignite, for which they have to sit a test. I believe Glenunga is an excellent school that uses this program.

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    I woud also add though, that if your child is completely outperforming her peers in every subject - and this would be confirmed by her NAPLAN results, then it might be worth exploring her skipping a year. Many schools (both here and in the UK) struggle with provision for gifted children, and this is one way in which this can be remedied- however if she is young in her year it does have social implications. If it is in one subject, the school should be able to organise that she do much of the work of the year above so she can be challenged.

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    I woud also add though, that if your child is completely outperforming her peers in every subject - and this would be confirmed by her NAPLAN results, then it might be worth exploring her skipping a year. Many schools (both here and in the UK) struggle with provision for gifted children, and this is one way in which this can be remedied- however if she is young in her year it does have social implications. If it is in one subject, the school should be able to organise that she do much of the work of the year above so she can be challenged.

     

    Our middle boy has skipped a year and he could cope academically if bumped up another year. He does not have the maturity for that and there have been times that being a year younger has shown - especially as he is in a yr 4/5 class.

     

    A teacher who had all her children pushed up a year said that she regretted it as they all had to wait a year to drive etc, compared to their friends. That is something that we never considered.

     

    Cooler

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    To the OP, It may be worth noting that SA as a whole state did not perform as well as most other states for maths in the primary school naplan tests. This has been the same for the past 2 naplan test years I believe. This does appear to have made our school realise they need to start concentrating more on their delivery and emphasis of maths in the daily programme, and implement changes.

     

    I know that is not helpful for your situation, but I guess I am just trying to say, maybe it will improve?

     

    One of my kids really struggles academically (he receives great help at school) and I panicked that if we ever returned to the UK, he would be so far behind it wouldn't be funny, so a couple of years ago, my friend (who teaches in the UK) sent me the expected acheivement levels for his age group, and to my surprise, as I read through, he was middle of the road with his capabilities in most areas, which was a relief.

     

    I am not really a fan of the myschools listings, but is it worth looking at those to see if there is another local state school that may be performing better than your current school?

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