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What is your primary age child's workload like (learning from home)?

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  • What is your primary age child's workload like (learning from home)?

    We are starting our 4th week of lockdown (regional NSW) and I'm ready to throw in the towel entirely with the learning from home set up.

    DD1 (9) is in year 3. Her teacher has told us all on Friday that it is now a "requirement" for all kids to be on Zoom with her for 2.5 hours every morning. During this time they have a meeting, reading/writing task, ten minute break, maths task, fitness task. Then there are more tasks that they are expected to finish independently after that.

    Her teacher is very nice and dedicated. I believe her aim is to alleviate pressure on parents to be helping so much, and to get the the work done quickly rather than it spreading out/piling up. But I don't think she realises what this looks like at home.

    I have already spoken to two friends who are teachers in NSW and they say this is way over the top, unachievable and not age appropriate. So I'm just wondering what it's like out there for others!

    For the record, I know that her saying this is a requirement is not true and we won't be adhering to this schedule at all. I've also got a 7yo (year 1) and a 3yo, my partner works long hours at a hospital and we have a large property with animals to tend to. Aside from that, DD1 has been struggling with the workload already and has been stressed by it. She hates zoom. I just have to get through this with our sanity in tact!

  • #2
    OMG 2.5 hour zoom [emoji15]

    I would be telling the teacher that it’s too much. It’s not a requirement to do zooms and the department of education only recommends 20 minutes a day. They recommend pre recorded lessons if that’s the path the school wants to go down but zooms are not a requirement. I would definitely be communicating with the school about that. I think that is ridiculous. It can also disadvantage students who don’t have the technology.

    At this point in time my kids’ primary school has totally eased up on work. One compulsory task a day. They introduced zooms in week 5 but it is a catch up zoom rather than teaching. They’ve lost interest now so they don’t go.

    My children have been home learning for 8 weeks now and they are over it so I just get them to do some things. Sometimes I give them the day off. At my school we have wellbeing Wednesday every second week where we don’t set any tasks on google classroom and encourage parents to take a break from “teaching” and do something nice together. It also gives the teachers a break from marking.

    At this point in time your child’s wellbeing is the most important thing right now so if that means lowering your expectations then that’s ok.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global/2...bHS_66OY0SsAz0

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    • #3
      ETA - I’m giving my kids next week off. They just can’t give anymore.

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      • #4
        I'm intentionally keeping the work really light on. I've had one parent contact me to ask for more work for their child. Every other parent I've spoken to in the past week has commented that they really like the way I'm doing my work packs as they're not causing stress for the parents or children. That makes me happy, as that's my aim right now. I don't want the work taking more than 1.5-2hours. We're a country school so the majority of our parents need to run their farms through all of this.

        That said, I on-site supervise as well and can see quite a bit of variation with the expectations from one year level to the next.

        Each grade has a 30 minute online meeting. I find that's more than enough time each day and work really hard to keep their focus for that long. I read stories, do mini-lessons linked to the work, answer questions, do structured discussions (where I will ask each of them the same question such as 'what was something you did outside yesterday?') And make sure the kids all get the chance to tell me things they're excited about (like new calves, a new toy, a drawing they did, etc)

        As we haven't gone down the route of providing devices/internet dongles like last year, we can't make any online content/participation compulsory as it would discriminate against the families with no technology. Even then it was hard as many farms have awful signal and no option for NBN/ADSL.

        My advice- speak up! Let the teacher know that this isn't going to work for your family and explain why. If the teacher responds that it's a school policy that they've all been told they must follow - call the principal and let them know what your issues are with this.

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        • #5
          Thanks to you both. Yes we are at a small rural school too (less than 50 kids) with a large amount of farmers. It's not just us this won't work for!

          I have already talked to the teacher a lot, even gave DD the day off on Friday which I explained to the teacher was due to her being overwhelmed and close to tears at the thought of more zoom! And now it's increased hugely.

          I'll get in touch this morning.

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          • #6
            2.5 hour zoom 😳😱 That's the stuff of nightmares!

            Last year ds1 was grade 3. Once we were into the swing of things, it took about 3 hours of work daily, then twice a week they had a 30min zoom just to catch up, "see" each other and remain connected.

            This year he's in grade 4. There's an average of 3 hours a day, some are 4-5 hours, some we can blitz through in 90mins. It really depends on the tasks, if he likes them, and what else is going on.

            Ds2 is in prep this year, he has about 2 hours of work, which sometimes drags out to about 3 or 4 hours. It's infuriating because he could easily knock it over in even less than 2 hours most days but he's too busy complaining he doesn't want to do it, he's bored, or too busy swapping devices (from ipad to laptop) or connecting mice and Bluetooth speakers, finding chargers etc. He's a real tech but but it drives me crazy. Ie he will watch a story being read on the laptop, record a short video with the ipad of his response, transfer it via Bluetooth back to the laptop THEN send it he could do it all on either device, but, that's just what he does. As I said, he drags it out unnecessarily. They have a zoom for 30mins a week, but I've noticed by 20mins the teacher is starting to finish then up. She usually reads a story, asks them a question/ let's then say what's going on/ what they're happy with etc, then they have a "dance party" and she ends it. He's ALL over it and looks forward to it all week.

            Ds1 had scouts via zoom last year and it was an epic flop. The leader did get best to try and engage them by it just didn't work. They were about 45mins.

            I find 10-20mins is about all they get out of ds1 on zoom. There's no way he'd do 2.5 hours.

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            • #7
              I’m in SA and only did 4 days of it this year. She’s in year 2 and had it all set in writing , no zoom at all or watching anything videoed by teacher. We spent 4-5 hours a day. We have a nearly 3 yo and only did 4 days and it was hell lol. I don’t know how nsw are coping

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              • #8
                I have a 11yo (learning delays) and 9yo homeschooling via different systems. 11yo public, 9yo independent.

                11yo workload not too bad. Opting to do it all via paper and app rather than google classroom. He had last week only doing cooking, gardening based learning because wasn’t coping.

                9yo workload is huge. Zoom daily at 10am for an hour to go through the days work (easier tasks set for before 10am) and mark previous days work. I love zoom as she has her teacher and class to go through the work which takes a load off me. Full English, Math, Science, History, Geography, Art, Music and Language as if she were at school. Works from 8.30-3 with about 1.5hr break (same as a school day). Her teacher is avail via email all day which is nice. She can also pop onto google classroom and chat with friends around the days work.
                She is a fairly independent worker, I’m buzzing around with the 11yo and 4yo so can answer questions and sit with her a bit but it’s keeping her entertained. I don’t think she would cope without it.

                I’m taking their lead. We are also regional NSW so likely have been in lockdown the same amount of time. I haven’t had pressure from anyone, just doing the best I can for each of my kids needs/wants and I have no doubt that is all anyone expects.

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                • #9
                  For year 3 that’s way too much!

                  DS is in year 5 and I’m actually really happy with the work load - we are at a school that does the IB which encourages Independant learning so he’s adapted very easily - they have a 10 - 15 minute zoom with their teacher and class and check in at 8.25am , she explains what they have on that morning , then they go to the canvass app and see what the tasks are, they always do English first then maths , they have until 12.15pm when there is another 10 -15 min live check in with their teacher who goes over the answers/discusses the morning tasks ( all boys have to upload their work to seesaw by 12.15 and the teacher checks it by that afternoon) DS is always finished by 11am as he’s like me and gets it all done in one go! Sometimes they have break out rooms, so usually 4 boys do a group task for English like they would at school , he loves that as he gets to interact with kids!

                  Afternoon tasks are either library, sport, art, music, mandarin or Unit if Enquriy (history/geography ect) and usually there is a live or Pre recorded instruction from that teacher and they upload their work again when finished and the teachers mark it by the next day - he’s usually finished by 2.30pm at the latest which I think is plenty

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                  • #10
                    What is your primary age child's workload like (learning from home)?

                    Originally posted by GreenMama View Post
                    Thanks to you both. Yes we are at a small rural school too (less than 50 kids) with a large amount of farmers. It's not just us this won't work for!

                    I have already talked to the teacher a lot, even gave DD the day off on Friday which I explained to the teacher was due to her being overwhelmed and close to tears at the thought of more zoom! And now it's increased hugely.

                    I'll get in touch this morning.
                    How did you go? Did you get in touch with the school?

                    Home learning should not imitate school day/hours. This is the recommendation from the department. IMG_9639.jpg

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                    • #11
                      Honestly I don’t feel like my ds has enough, he is in grade 6. They have a google meet every morning at 9.30 for about half hour and he is usually finished all his work around 11am. He does rush through it a bit though. But I worry he is going to get a shock when he goes to high school next year.
                      Dd is in year 8 and she has too much work, and has been having trouble keeping up.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sairz View Post
                        Honestly I don’t feel like my ds has enough, he is in grade 6. They have a google meet every morning at 9.30 for about half hour and he is usually finished all his work around 11am. He does rush through it a bit though. But I worry he is going to get a shock when he goes to high school next year.
                        Dd is in year 8 and she has too much work, and has been having trouble keeping up.
                        Which state are you in?

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                        • #13
                          What is your primary age child's workload like (learning from home)?

                          My grade 2 has a 15 minute class zoom at 8.45am plus a 20 minute zoom at 9.30am with her extension group (3 others). She has finished everything by 11am at the latest. Her writing, reading and maths are what she would have at school, everything else not so much.
                          My grade 5 is in his first year of middle school (his school is p-12, grade 5 is treated as the beginning of high school).
                          Grade 5 has a home room meet up at 8.30 for 15 minutes. Then he can have between 3 and 5 zoom meetings depending on what teachers and classes he has for the day. Generally he is done by 12.30pm but will generally have a zoom at 2pm. His work load is what he would have at school. The constant zoom meetings with different teachers are doing my head in!!
                          We are in Victoria.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BigRedV View Post
                            Which state are you in?
                            Rural vic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sairz View Post
                              Rural vic
                              Thanks. Was just curious as NSW det doesn’t allow google meets.

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