Friday, 12 October 2012


I'm not a great fan of homework. At least not for my little big girl who after all is 16 months younger than I was when I started school. Plus I didn't have to be at school all day long, school was out at 1pm for us. Play is how young children learn and it is self directed/free play as well as some directed activities that she should be able to choose to explore the world on her own terms when school is out. Moreover, there is so much that children can learn that has nothing to do with maths and literacy which has to have a chance to get explored too.
So I often don't even ask if she has homework. Some evenings, she'll draw, some she'll watch TV (semi educational because we're a DVD only household, we don't actually have live TV - not by design but by chance and lack of enthusiasm to get a faulty aerial fixed. Also watching DVD is a great opportunity for some, if passive, German input), or play, some evenings I put on music and we'll all dance and sing. All of this while I try and also cook a meal. Sometimes I try to at least have a look at what she did during the day an repeat some of it with her, just briefly as a way of a reminder.
Tonight, she picked up her piggy bank. Or rather, her doggy bank. Without any prompting she decided to order the coins by type and then she went on to count them. With a tiny bit of help she managed to get through them all. I didn't pay much (obvious) attention (apart from offering the help when asked for and secretly eyeing what was going on), and she had to work quite hard in getting her little sister not to interfere with her plan.
Incidental learning taken place:
  • Numeracy and recognising, matching and correctly labelling coins
  • dexterity in building a pile of coins
  • Counting to 94 (quite a feat for her)
  • Social skills of persuading toddler to hand back coins and not to destroy the piles of coins or interfere with the grand plan
All of this in 10 minutes and without calling it homework, learning or even having it directed by an adult. Self-motivated, self-directed, meaningful and fun. I had no input in it other than keeping me (and Snowflake) out of it.
Would you have thought that there are 94 coins lying on that ugly carpet of ours?

1 comment:

northernmum said...

am with you on the no homework rule, they are only little once x



Blog Widget by LinkWithin