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January 28, 2010


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Ooo, that sounds like a lovely evening and I think you are absolutely right.Your daughter won't be learning if she's stressed. Learning should be fun, especially when you're 6!

Metropolitan Mum

Sounds like a great idea. Tomorrow will be a brighter day, I am sure. xx MM


I think that you have hit it right on the button, i often do the same with my children and when asked 'what will i say to the teacher' i reply 'TELL HER THE TRUTH '. We as adults need time off, so at 6 its even more important.

Sally Whittle

Fab post. Flea never does homework. Ever.

At this age (and 6 just as much as 4, I think) school is just one part of a child's life. Sure, it's important but so is going to the beach or riding her bike, or watching a movie, or swimming, visiting friends, or just creating a toy mountain on the rug (which Flea spent an hour doing last night. She's weird, what can I tell you).

I've always been very honest with Flea's teacher and said that when she's older if she isn't keeping up, then I've no objection to a reasonable level of homework but that I don't agree it's useful for primary school children and we won't be doing it. That way, it's not Flea's choice or issue to deal with - the teacher is very clear it's a choice that I've made.

Rosie Scribble

Sally, I agree completely. In fact, I remember actually asking for some homework from school when I was nine years old. We were never given any, it just didn't happen in the late 1970s, and I actually enjoyed maths (odd as it may sound now). Maybe it is school targets that have changed the way today's education system seems to be working.

Like you, I want my daughter to be creating things, playing with friends and having fun. Last night she sobbed for two hours about her numbers group. That is why I got fired up and wrote this post because I can't have her that distressed over school work aged just 6! (Actually, I did have a quiet word with her teacher today and told him she had been upset, I couldn't walk away without mentioning her distress). He is going to talk to her. We'll see what happens.


I think that is a huge amount of work for a six year old. Great post. We dont do much home work with maxi and I chose wether to do the weekly project. I dont let him watch the news and would not let him next year either.

Enjoy your girls night!


Sometimes they need a day off school.if you are a sahm (like me) it is easy to say.you are too tired to go i declare a pyjama day instead. we have reading, spelling and words for our homework (she is 6 also) i think that your school is giving your daughter an awful lot for a 6 yr old.
good for you.
lets us know about the meatball film


We have reading and spellings at the moment (she's 5 and a half). Reading two books and learning 10 spellings is fine because she does it at her own speed over the week. She chooses when she wants to read to me and when she wants to do her spellings. ... and she enjoys it. But, anymore and I think it would be too much.

She has so many other things to do, chasing her brother, feeding her Nintendogs, scooter riding, making dens, watching films.

Your plans sound perfect. Let me know what the film's like.

My 5 year old is particularly sensitive to stress at the moment (that's a whole other story) so like you I'm trying to recognise the signs and act on them.


Sounds like a brilliant evening. Couldn't agree with you more, am not a fan of structured homework for younger kids. Hope you both have a fabulous time. Enjoy.



Very Bored in Catalunya

That's crazy that she is getting so upset about the amount of work she is expected to do at aged 6. School should be fun at that age. Good for you for having a fun night. xx


That sounds very sensible. There is absolutely no need for her to feel pressurised at her age.

Enjoy Meatballs - we all did!

Emily Vest

And popcorn. Make sure you have popcorn!

Karin @ Cafe Bebe

You've inspired me Mrs...My Little Miss isn't even two...she learns from everything around her...not from lessons per se. It never occured to me that you could say NO to your child's assignments! I like it! I want Little Miss to learn in a productive, comfortable way...not be dictated to and measured. Maybe we need to move?

So glad you're having a great evening watching a super film. Hope you have a wonderful time. I'm sure IJ will glow afterward! Lucky girl...both of you.

:) Karin


Soooooooooo healthy. Great choice. And smart of you to notice it was needed. I read a story online recently (can't remember where) about a family that decided their son was never, ever going to do homework. They consistently explained their policy to teachers & administrators, and never gave the school an option. Just said, 'this is the way it is with our family.' And the kid graduated! Radical. Cool. Brave.

A Modern Mother

Great post! There are some links on my post to colouring pages -- did you see them (hidden at the bottom).

And I hope that mummy can ban things when she gets stressed too!

Muddling Along Mummy

That sounds like an awful lot for a little person to do - I hope that she is happier and more relaxed tomorrow


Good for you. It sounds like she needs a break and it sounds like a ridiculous amount of homework for a 6 year old. In fact, plain daft I think.

I hope you enjoy/enjoyed your evening.


Good idea, I am sure that you help her enough in the normal everyday routine that she doesn't need to worry about homework once in a while!

Oh and make sure that you can watch a film after she has gone to bed too!

Dr.Leah www.singlemommyhood.com

I got emotional reading this post. I used to do exactly the same things when my kids got stressed out from school. When my little girl was crying about her kindergarten homework ...wake-up call!

We used to take "mental health days" together ...my daughter, my son, and me. And we'd snuggle, eat what we felt like eating, and just be present with each other. My "babies" are grown-up now, but these wonderful family times are well remembered and cherished.

Thank you for helping me remember good times with my kids. And for opening up a such an important conversation.


Wow, they expect 6 year olds to watch the news?! Makes me glad I live in Sweden. Here they don't even start school until they are 7. Anyway, sounds like you are a great Mum and your little one is very lucky!

1 Husband, 2 Kids

Completely agree. Having only recently entered the whole world of school I am in slight confusion about the fact that classroom activities seem to have changed from everyone sitting at desks getting facts relentlessly drummed into them to 'skills based learning' which often means play... which I'm entirely in favour of for my 4 1/2 yr old... whilst the introduction of homework at such a young age seems destined to change after school time from a relaxing chance to play / see family / do whatever you want to into a mad clamour to complete the school's demands as well as feed, bath, cuddle and play with your child. You are so right to take a stand.

Sara Bennett

Great idea! Now, if only every other parent would do the same, we could get rid of homework altogether for young children and everyone would be better off. And, if you feel the need to back up your good common sense with facts, please take a look at my book, The Case Against Homework, or the FAQs on my website, stophomework.com.


I think you're brilliant and even though I haven't got kids at school yet, it's this very thing that I've been worried about. Thanks for writing this - I shall be printing this out and showing it to the boyf who thought I was mad to be worried!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment Kath. You are absolutely right, learning should be fun especially at primary school age.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks MM. Today she is so much happier. My relaxing evening with her certainly had the desired effect!

Rosie Scribble

I do the same, I tell my daughter to tell her teacher the truth. I'm sure many teachers would fully understand the reasons why, on occasions, homework does not get done.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks. Six-year-olds need to be having fun and not be put under extreme pressure bu homework. I don't let me daughter watch the news either. Some members of her class may be emotionally mature enough to cope with Newsround but she isn't just yet.

Rosie Scribble

Pyjama days sound a good idea. The film was very good, quite an original plot line. My daughter is alot more relaxed today after our night off.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Laura, at the end of the day we are the ones in the best position to recognise signs off stress and, like you, I work hard to recognise them and act on them. At six they should be playing and having fun, there will be many homework years ahead!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Catherine. We had a great evening and my daughter went to school so much happier today. Relief all round!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. I agree, school sould be fun at that age. Six is far too young to start hating school and feeling under pressure with homework.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, we enjoyed Meatballs too and suddenly my daughter is keen to eat more healthy food! Result!

Rosie Scribble

We opted for chocolate fingers in the end! Lovely!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, Karin. IJ is so much happier today. The film was really good and we both benefitted from a relaxing night off.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Kerri. My daughter was getting so stressed that it was clear she needed a break. It seems to have worked. She went to school so much happier this morning, which makes me so much happoer too. Hate to see her distressed about school when she is only 6.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Susanna, I've found the links, we will be enjoying some relaxing colouring after school this evening!

Chic Mama

I hope you had a lovely evening. I really really want to watch that film! ;0)

Rosie Scribble

Many thanks for your comment. In fact we watched DVDs for two days in a row and did no homework whatsoever. She is like a completely different child now which is a huge relief.

Rosie Scribble

Too much homework at that age is daft, I agree. She will have plenty of tough homework years ahead. I remember all that in secondary school. She should be having fun now. We did enjoy our evening, thanks!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, she felt much better after a night off homework. I then relaxed with Slient Witness which gave me nightmares! I should probably stick with kids' DVDs!!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. So many people seem to be agreeing that it is pointless a child getting so stressed about homework aged 6. In fact, the more I think about it the more daft it seems that they are under pressure from such a young age. There are better things to be doing at this age surely? As my daughter is an only child I see it as hugely beneficial for her to be playing with friends after school rather than being stuck in doing sums all evening. And friendships teach much needed social skills too!

Rosie Scribble

Your children don't start school untul they are seven? How fascinating. I hadn't realised that. I'm off to investigate the Swedish education system. I'm intrigued. Thanks for your comment.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. I am starting to wonder how the introduction of SATS has altered education in the classroom. My daughter takes hers next term which, to be frank, I think is ridiculous as she is far too young and does not need that pressure. And I agree, after school time should be for relaxation and play. Often primary school children are exhausted after a full day of school. Sitting them down at a table to work seems cruel in fact.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment, Sara. I had not heard of your website but I will certaining take a look. Sounds very interesting!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Natalie. I think as long as you can recognise when homework is stressing a child, then you can take action whether that means giving them a night off or raising the issue with their teacher, but you're not at that stage yet so I wouldn't start worrying just yet!

Rosie Scribble

We did have a lovely evening, thanks. We have watched the film twice now. I'd recommend it!

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