Thursday, August 12, 2010

Holiday homework

It is summer holidays here in Japan which means the battle is on every day to get my children to do their homework. My memories of New Zealand schooling is that when school was out for the summer holidays, school was really out and the pencil cases were put away till the start of the new term. Therefore I have a huge problem with the amount of homework my daughter has been given this year (she is 9 years old...) and feel like telling the teachers to stuff off and let the children play in the holidays, but at the same time she goes to a Japanese school and therefore has to do what is expected of her. Tonight she finally finished her big project. I can remember doing projects at primary school and actually enjoying them. I can also remember that we were given a basic theme and a basic overview of what was expected of us. Title page, contents page, introduction, habitat etc. etc. My favorite project was one about a toe-biter. The theme was rock pools (if I remember correctly).
My daughter came home with a big piece of white paper, no expectations from the teacher and was told to research something during the holidays, present it on the big piece of paper and hand it in on September 1st. I personally think it is a little difficult for children of this age to do this without a bit more direction, so I helped her to do some basic brainstorming and worked through how she might present it etc. She decided to do it on our solar electricity system and the sun etc. and in the end it was all her own work and she is very proud of actually getting it done with some time to spare. Now she only has about 15 pages of maths homework, 20 pages of kanji homework, 3 pages of diary and a whole book of experiments etc. to do before we leave for Hong Kong on the 26th.... it could be a painful few days!


  1. We're the opposite - rough start on the craft, but a lot of the prints and natsu no tomo done. I also remember enjoying learning about rock pools in elementary school! Probably because we went to the beach to go look in them.

  2. Awesome job Emily-I wish I could read your project.Hang in with the homework -you'll manage it.nanna D

  3. Love the project and she looks so proud. My favourite bit is that the sun is so hot that if you touched it you'd definitely get burnt. Definitely!

    We have broken our first two clay sculptures and are about ready to swap to mud balls or tie-dying (grade 1 had a list to choose from). I had no idea how time consuming it would all be!

  4. I agree completely. We didn't get any homework during the Summer in the US either. So same as you said growing up in NZ.

    And like you mentioned, I also always feel really bad about the amounts of homework Branden brings home too. But I have him do it, just like you said...since they're going to school here.

    The packet they bring home, the ones with math, kanji, etc about 20 pages thick. My son finished that one. He did the 3 diary's and the 3 book reports. But he has yet to do the science experiment yet. He's doing his on something about salt water/tap water. @_@

    I loved Emily's sun project she did. Well done Emily. Your teacher is going to love it. She'll get all her homework done, she's a smart girl and then she can go and enjoy Hong Kong knowing that the homework is over with. ; )

  5. oh- I learned something get homework in the summer. Hubby said, yup-summer off is not really summer off in Japan for the kids. Interesting. I kind of like that idea though. Better than letting them get slack...