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Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2nd Grade Teacher at a school in Melbourne, Australia. My job: push kids to think. My passion: helping kids to tackle the life-long skill of searching for meaning, skills, answers and more questions.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Homework vs Home Learning – From the mouths of babes.

Homework vs Home Learning – From the mouths of babes.

“I think HL could change students’ thoughts about school!” XMan

Today's blog post is simply a highlight reel of comments from my Yr 4 class from last year's Home Learning (HL) trial.  This selection represents all of the key positives and major suggestions that the wonderful kids offered.  I have shared their nicknames at the end of each child's words.  They might be reading this one day and get a kick out of their 'fame'
I asked the class to write a paper about HL and tell me their honest thoughts.  It doesn't get much more honest than a 10yr old who has 2 days to go in the school year....  Enjoy.  Please ask questions of me if you see something that you want to know more about.

 Key Positives:

“I love the way HL gives us the opportunities to learn what we want to learn.”
“You don’t have to lie.”
“You use the Transdisciplinary skills and themes.” EJ

“HL helps you prepare for the future of writing in diaries.”
“You’re doing the learning for you, not just some random worksheet.” Mon

“We get to choose what we want to learn instead of having to do worksheets.”
“You can just relax and get on with it!”
“We can educate ourselves and have fun when we are learning.” Snick

“HL can help students make a skill of writing.  This skill makes the students’ writing more specific and complicated.” XMan

“I enjoy Wonderopolis because it asks unusual questions about anything.”
“I have worked towards my goals by working hard at them.” Cal

“Video games can be good for your self-management skills.” Frenchie

“I have been getting much better at reading that what I was earlier on.”
“HL is enjoyable, educational and engages us in our work.” Quadie

“We can catch up on things we didn’t finish at school.” Clarkey

“HL is a great way to learn things at your pace and learn how to document your actions.”
“HL makes children want to learn and to learn well!”
“Writing in your diary is good training for editing [skills].”
“Socialising is important for young, growing minds.  It creates a bond for when [we] are older so [we] keep in touch.” Gutsy

“HL reduces stress by not having deadlines.” Big Al

“HL has been helpful to achieve our goals.” Brekkie

“You can get help from other people and even do some social things with them.” Bb

“HL has helped a lot with stress.  I has helped me to be more balanced.” Moo

“”You get to achieve your goals at home by yourself.” Bella

“We aren’t shielded away from our family and we can talk to them without thinking, ‘I have to finish this.’
“We get to set ourselves tasks and we’re free to inquire into different things and talk to friends and family.”
“I have achieved all my goals because I have practised them in my HL time… I’m really proud of myself.”
“You don’t have to lie about anything!” Lollie

“I love the idea of not being set anything because then we don’t need to stress.”
“You don’t need to lie”
“No one can tell you what you have to do.”  Mini

“Thanks to HL, I know a lot of my times tables!” Gravy
“I enjoy reflecting.  It will definitely affect my future!”
“You don’t have to lie about what you did the night before.”
Out of ten, I’d give [HL] a 9!”  Kenz

“Mr Black left sheets out to grab if we want to have a fun but absorbing thing that we can do.” Freddo
“Mr Black doesn’t give us hard work.  We get to choose and we don’t need to worry or stress.” Apples.

“Because HL is pressure-free, I have fun and learn more!” Gabi

“Activities like playing an instrument, hanging out with family and friends or even walking the dog count as HL.”
“You choose what activities you think you might get some education out of.”
“There’s no stress.”
“If you’re hanging out with family and talking, you’re using your social skills.”
“HL has helped me to achieve my goals this year.  If we didn’t have HL, I wouldn’t have time to work on my goals.  We can learn cool things but have fun at the same time.  I wish HL started years ago.”  Lollie


Negatives and Suggestions

“Next year I’m going to have a crack at being more balanced.” Nath

“Some people might take advantage and not do anything.  I would like HL to have a bit of a kick [set task] first and then do free choice.” EJ

“The slight stress of writing in your diary in time.” Mon

“When you’re tired… you get into big fights with your parents about doing HL.” Snick

“HL should make the students’ parents sign the diary before handing it in.”
“I wish that [my whole class] took it seriously and tried so everyone could do HL and share its joy.” XMan

“I think I was not responsible towards my Maths.  I need to know the basics.” Quadie

“Some people have the chance to bludge and not do anything.”
“Some people do the wrong thing like doing the same thing all the time.”
“In the future, I’d like to do more educational things because right now I’m bludging only a bit.”
“I don’t think I’m being very balanced.  In the future, I will be more balanced.”  Bolt

“I don’t like the fact that we have to decide what we do [as this causes more work for the teachers]” “Writing so much in the diaries isn’t very enjoyable.”
“I know how to research quite fast but I haven’t done much work on asking deep questions.” Clarkey

“I don’t think I’ve been completely balanced.  I think I should do a little less basketball and a lot more times tables and Mathletics.” Gibbo

“I wish I didn’t have a lot of after-school activities on, so I could have a lot of time to work on my goals.”
“I wish we had more choices on the internet.” Brekkie

“I wish we could have more [variety of] worksheets than just the same style of maths ones.” Bb

“I wish we could have more [variety of] worksheets [so long as] we still get to choose what worksheets we do.” Bella

“I wish HL could spread around the whole school because I want everyone to share the same freedom that we have.” Lozz

“There’s not enough room in the diary!”  Mini

“Parents weren’t writing comments in the diary … kids might be making things up.”  Gravy

“The diaries have a very small space to write in.  It’s frustrating when you really want to write more.” Lollie


Bruce Ferrington said...

Wonder how it would work in a school environment where the kids were less engaged and the parents less supportive? - We do have a very special context where we work, don't we Capitano?

Richard Black said...

We do indeed have a special clientele, Fezz. I can't speculate on the impact this might have elsewhere, but I can guarantee that you'd find happier kids. Happier kids = more-likely-to-want-to-learn kids...

Kt-G said...

"I give HL a 9 out of 10"
Oh Mr B... delightful!