Monday 2 September 2013

Homework - Can you help?

As regular readers will know, Ruby started school last week and she absolutely loved her time there; I am pleased to say that I coped well and held it together as I said good bye to her; I didn't shed a single tear! I was worried I was going to though.

I am shocked that after one day at school, Ruby has been set some work to do at home. I never expected her to be having homework this early on, it just does not seem right and it really does not sit comfortably with me. Do you think four is too young for homework? She has gone from a play school where she was able to wear what she wanted and have independent play, to a school in which she wears a uniform, the days are structured and she is in an environment very different to what she has previously experienced; I think that it is such a big transition and change for a child of any age, let alone Ruby who turned four just a few short weeks ago.

For her homework, Ruby was asked to talk to me about what makes her feel happy, what she likes to play with and what she wants to learn at school. Ruby had no problem at all talking to me and telling me that she is happy when the sun is shinning so she can play outside, making cakes with me and cuddling Lottie. She then went on to tell me that she likes to play with her play kitchen and dressing up clothes. When I asked Ruby what she is looking forward to learning and doing whilst at school she said she was looking forward to making new friends, playing with new toys and learning how to write her name.

The second part of Ruby's homework was a lot more of a challenge. Ruby has never really been interested in drawing and colouring in things, I think I may be to blame in part for this as I never actively encouraged her with pens and paper as I was always worried about the mess. Well back to the homework, Ruby was asked to draw her home along with members of her family.

I sat down at the dinning table with colouring pencils and plenty of paper, it took some persuading to get Ruby to come and sit at the table as she would much rather be outside playing. When she eventually sat at the table I explained what she needed to do, however she ended up just scribbling so I showed Ruby how to draw a house with straight lines, but she did not have the concentration or motivation to do any more. I was really disappointed but decided to not push too hard to get Ruby to draw a house as she was getting annoyed. I think I tend to forget that Ruby is one of the youngest in her school year and because she is so confident in so many areas, but drawing is certainly not one of those.

I really need your help, how can I encourage Ruby in her drawing? I am going to make more of an effort to try and get Ruby to spend more time just drawing as she pleases but what else can I do?


  1. Hey,
    I understand your frustration as William has never been very interested in drawing either. If she hasn't been very interested up till now she may struggle to draw a house as we would like to see. William has only recently started enjoying drawing and only things that he likes, like cars, diggers etc! (And they are stil rather squiggly too but that is because he hasn't had lots of practice till now)I think he would struggle to draw a house too. I would encourage any mark making (even if using paint, chalks, mud!) and suggest new ways she can make marks,' Try this Ruby, look what shape I can make! Using crayons may be new skill for her and she may need to play and explore them before making obvious shapes. I would also talk about the things houses have- doors, windows. Look at houses as you walk down the street, talk about differences between houses. As a teacher I would guess the picture idea is to see what she can do and for her to use her picture to talk about family etc. Even if she can't put much down on paper it is great that its her work and good to see what she can do. Would she draw with chalk on pavement and maybe you could take a photo of it? Sometimes little pieces of paper can be tricky for children to draw on and using big scale is more comfortable. Hope that helps. Try not to worry hun as she will develop drawing skills when she is ready and better to have fun getting there than trying to do something she isn't confident in yet. xxx

  2. Both my girls got homework in nursery from the age of 3...Just to colour or draw a picture which my youngest hated....But I think it's a good thing to have homework from so young as it won't come as much a shock to them when they're older when they get lots of it!

    My youngest was quite capable of drawing what she needed to but would just scribble and mess about....One day we'd had enough of trying to force her to do it and just took her scribble into school and showed her teacher...Her teacher was great and gave us less of the drawing homework and more writing, cutting and sticking and number work to do!