Am I the only one who feels like this?

2016-03-15 06:00


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IT is 2016 and we are well into the new school year, which was a beginning for many, yet for my four going on five-year-old this has brought about a whole new set of challenges for her and for me - Grade R - my child’s first steps into the “schooling world”.

So as we settled into the routine of things, parents were invited to a meeting to chat about the expectations of their child and themselves.

At the meeting our elation and excitement about seeing our little ones desks, chairs and books soon turned to anxiety and concern.

The principal’s two-and-half-hour talk made me question if I’m ready to go on this journey with my child. Parents were told how vital Grade R is and what is expected of their child. To my amazement Grade R is no longer about learning colours, counting, phonics and nap time, now children have to know rhythmic rhymes (I only learnt what this meant at the meeting), number relations, fractions, problem-solving, data-handling, reading or analysis of newspaper articles, reading of books, the list goes on.

The best part is that I will have to show her all of this. Apart from her learning it at school, it is my responsibility to ensure she is on par with what the curriculum requires of her.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a little bit of homework, yet these new concepts make me feel as though I am going back to school myself. After a long day’s work, I am expected to now sit for hours teaching my daughter and myself the syllabus.

It also makes me wonder if, I as the parent, am required to assist my child with learning all of this. What is the 10k or more I pay on school fees going towards. It seems as though I am the one sitting with one-on-one attention- drilling these concepts to her, and she just goes to school to revise it.

I would like to know other parents’ thoughts on homework - be it Grade R or Grade 12. How do you cope with it? What are your views on the new school system? Do you feel it’s fair to expect children to spend hours doing homework after a long day of school, not forgetting the extracurricular activities they have every day?

Email me on and give me your feedback.

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