My son was given a spelling exercise book from his aunt recently while we were staying with her and other members of the family. “For rainy days,” she announced. She’s a teacher – I forgave her.
He actually seemed quite excited about it and flicked through the pages straight away, although I couldn’t help noticing a distinct look of envy when he saw the prehistoric animals book his brother had been given.
Well, we actually did have a rainy day (quelle surprise!), so the book came in very handy and I sat with him for quite a while going through the exercises, adding missing letters to spell words correctly, matching rhyming words etc. This is a book which supports the school curriculum for his age so it was very educational.
Since the schoolbag came home at the end of June, I haven’t ‘pushed’ anything seriously educational at my son. Yes, we get reading books from the library because he seems very interested in being able to read independently and yes, we have the odd bit of handwriting practice when writing birthday cards or little notes for cousins etc. Working through the spelling book I did notice that some of his handwriting seemed to have regressed and I became instantly paranoid and wondered whether I should have been doing more activities with him over the long summer break to retain the knowledge he left school with in June.
What do you think? Should parents be continuing some form of basic homework over the school holidays, or is it important, and perfectly OK, to give everyone a break, safe in the knowledge that they’ll soon get back into the swing of things in September?
That said, the prehistoric animals book was an absolute hit and both my boys are now experts in the subject. I pity the poor teacher who ever gets to teach them that!