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too much homework???

Posted by coolmama (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 2, 07 at 4:05

My daughter is in third grade.Every night she has over a hours worth of homework that involves stuff like ALGEBRA! Also,much of the homework doesnt even come with vaild directions.My husband and I find it a guessing game often helping her do it.

I was just wondering if anyone else's kids has this much homework,and if you really think it is that nessacary at this tender age. My daughter says she feels like her brain is exploding sometimes from all the work.

I always had homework in school,but this seems a bit much for a 3rd grader!!! I was in 6th grade before I had the amount of homework that she has now.
I have even read studies that say homework is not even very effective as far as learning goes.So why do they have to try to cram so much in and make it so hard on these poor young kids???


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: too much homework???

When my son was in 3rd or 4th grade, I recall him having a teacher like that. She had a reputation for piling it on. She admitted that most parents complained about it at her parent teacher conferences. I can say my son turned out to be a very disciplined and hard working student. Not sure if she deserves all the credit though?

I personally don't mind them giving homework, but if it seems too difficult/much I wouldn't torture her with it. I would return it with a note explaining why it didn't get done, and follow up with a call.

Also, I think some schools need to improve students scores on state testing. I guess they figure the extra work will pay off.


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RE: too much homework???

I have a fourth grader and she does about 20-30 minutes a night. That doesn't count the book reports and projects that come up every other month. She also has to read every night for 20 minutes and have us sign a reading log. I guess that would put it about 40-50 minutes give or take a few, this is fine considering all of the other activities going on at various times throughout the year such as sports, orchestra, drama etc.

Each class is different as the other 4th grade classes haven't even done a book report yet and my daughter has done 3 so it depends on the teacher. Ours was a 6th grade teacher last year and has brought some of his ideas and teaching techniques to the 4th graders. So far so good for us. He has a very open line of communication and sends out weekly update via e-mail which has been helpfull.

I have heard of little to none with some classes to well over an hour for a teacher at one of the neighboring schools. I think it varies quite a bit and also depends on the student.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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RE: too much homework???

You are right. Over an hour is way too much for a third grader....these kind of hours put in for homework will burn these kids out by 4th grade. I don't know what state you're in; but here in CA, teachers have curriculum standards that they must cover in the year. I'm a FORMER teacher; my daughter struggles very much, and it really depends on the teacher on how they view homework. I was taught in college that homework is for students' independent practice; that is, first the teacher teaches the lesson during classroom time; then they have "guided pratice" during classroom time, with the teacher there. Homework then becomes "independent practice". "No Child Left Behind", thank you Prez Bush, is leaving a lot of kids behind. Because the teachers have to whiz through so much material every week, they can't go in depth with any of it. Because they can't go in depth with it so that the kids have a solid knowledge, the kids end up getting further and further behind. If your kid has an average IQ, forget it, they leave the kids to fall behind. I was reteaching the lessons every night at home. My daughter has an average IQ, but after 7 years of the public schools telling me that she might have "some problems" but not enough to qualify for special ed resources help, I'm now paying about $1500 to get a private education evaluation done for her. We had the elementary school teachers agree to let me sign off on her homework after 30 minutes. You should push for this too (and this goes for any kid, not just kids with learning challenges). If the teacher won't agree to it, go to the school counselor (worked for us!) and/or the principal. Since there is only one teacher to deal with, it should be ok. Now, in 6th grade this year, with multiple teachers, it has been horrible. We were doing, I'm not kidding, 3 hours of homework a night. The counselor and the vice principal intervened at my request (We had an Student Success Team, or SST, and a 504 Accomodation Plan). Even with this, we had one teacher who wouldn't accomodate us. The counselor (wonderful lady!) offered to switch us from the room, but basically, most of the classrooms were like that. We pulled our daughter out of there and put her in private catholic school - and she does 1 1/2 hours a night of homework, which is what the public school counselor said is appropriate for 6th grade, and the teachers are kind and gentle with her, unlike the "drill sargeant" we had at public school.

If your daughter is doing her homework under your supervision, isn't off-task, isn't watching tv, and it's taking her over an hour in 3rd grade, speak up. We must advocate for our children. I'm sadly confident that our educational testing is going to validate what I've thought...that our daughter has some problems that many teachers have treated her as lazy or disorganized...and it's not her fault, it's the way her brain works.

And you're not crazy, by the way, yes, they are starting algebra in 3rd grade! I took a class in human development, and most kids' brains are NOT ready for such abstract thinking at that age. So...consider it an introduction, and don't fuss if your kid's grades aren't As or Bs...we all learn at different rates. If it doesn't click now, it might in 2 years when they go over it again.

Good luck, and please let us know what happens.


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RE: too much homework???

Some primary schools in Australia have abolished homework. I don't know how common it is, they sometimes do stories on tv about it, light on actual info, just showing lots of happy kids talking to an obviously envious reporter. I think a bit of homework establishes good habits for the more senior years. How old are sixth graders over there, about twelve? Three hours sounds crazy.


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RE: too much homework???

I remembered this thread when a story came on the news tonight. The Council for State Schools (or something like that) has suggested that there should be no homework apart from a bit of reading and spelling in primary school and a review of the amount of homework in high school.

Hope things are going better for your daughter.


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