Is it just me or is primary school a lot more stressful/higher pressure than it used to be?
I remember it being fun, very little homework until grade 7, lots of running around the playground, relaxed atmosphere etc.
Now there's homework from prep, show n tell is more of a polished presentation than the old bring in 'something you love' it used to be. There's naplan next week, and a spellathon with 300 words this week. We've got forms home about ICAS competitions this term as well. And there's homework and presentations aplenty. Homework's 45-60mins a day. And we're only up to grade three. I'm exhausted keeping up with all of it and I'm an adult - it just seems all too intense for 8 year olds.
I want to be clear - this is not a rant against teachers. Most of the teachers I know at DDs school don't agree with everything that needs doing, but say it's the curriculum these days, and the school leadership's emphasis on NAPLAN that's driving a lot of it. Plus other pressures filtering down. DDs teacher is fantastic, but forced to follow the school's policies obviously.
I've hardly mentioned NAPLAN to DD. Its not a big deal to us at all, but apparently they've done repeated drilling for it at school, weekly practice tests, this weeks mammoth spellathon with words off the grade 6 list. One teacher even said they don't do anything except NAPLAN until the test is over and then they start on the rest of the curriculum. It doesn't make for fun and interesting schooling and I'm rather over all the spelling tests in particular.
Maybe I was just lucky as a kid, but my memories of school are nothing like this. Are other schools like this or do we just have an over the top one? I'm looking at changing schools even though this one has the best reputation in the area because it just seems too much of a high pressure environment. I worry she'll be burnt out by high school.