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Amount of homework in primary grages

Posted by Momma_Bird_OH (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 26, 02 at 8:41

My oldest DS is in 2nd grade. In 1st grade, he had 1 homework sheet about 3X a week. Any work not completed in class was sent home on Friday to be completed and returned the following week.

The first few weeks of 2nd grade, he was having one worksheet per night, either reading or math. On Monday, the teacher sent home a letter stating that she was dramatically increasing the homework now that the children are settled in. She is sending home work on Monday that is to be worked on all week and returned on Friday, in addition to sending home 2 to 4 worksheets a night. This is a DRAMATIC increase. This week it's taken my 8 y.o. son at least an hour a night to do homework.

Is this jump normal in 2nd grade? Have others of you had the same experience? Thanks in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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Answer -- A little long

I have one in 3rd grade and one in 5th grade. Until this year, they attended a small christian school and had 1-2 hours of homework a night. They are now in a public school in an accelerated academic program and have an hour or less of homework each night. Both teachers told me that they work the kids nonstop during the school day so they don't inundate them with homework. They also told me that they do not "check" homework -- they do check to make sure it is done and turned in but they do not check it for accuracy.

With homework, I found it was completed quicker when they sat down and did the work immediately after school (whether at home or at aftercare). Yes, I know they need some down time but if we waited until the evening, then they were tired or they had other things that they wanted/needed to do. If they do it right after school, they have the entire evening to relax and unwind.

Figure out how much time your child should be spending on each worksheet and then spread the work out throughout the week. Also, most kids are usually better in one subject or another -- have your child work on the items he has difficultly with first so that by the end of the week he will be working on things that are easier for him.

Also, get ready for 3rd grade as it is a major change in your child's responsibilities at school. I have seen this with both schools my kids attended/attend. It seems that the powers that be have decided that 3rd grade is the year that kids need to become responsible for themselves -- less parent/teacher interaction, less reminders, using an assignment book to keep track of what is due and when it is due.

Hang in there!!!


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RE: Amount of homework in primary grages

It does pick up each year. She may be doing lots of review to get them ready for this year's curriculum. Second grade seems to me to be the year that they strengthen their math and reading skills that they developed in first grade. Those that were slow in first have a chance to catch up, and the others refine their skills and move on with the whole class to building more advanced math and language skills.

Having said that, we had one teacher who over did it for our oldest, also in 2nd grade. I talked to the teacher and then the principal when talking to the teacher had not worked, and the whole thing backfired. I was seen as a "difficult" mom and my DD was seen as inadequate.

As a result,that spring when I was asked to be the PTA president the next year, I decided to agree ONLY because the principal would then have to decide to get along with me. Luckily, she left our district in a few years, as did the teaacher, and I continued from school PTA president, to district PTA president, to county PTA president to school board member--all from my difference of opinion about what was too much homework for a 2nd grader!

Find out if your child needs more remediation or if this load of homework is for all students. Find out the school's philosophy of how much homework is the max for each night in 2nd grade. Then go from there--gently, firmly and carefully. Young teachers especially often do not understand that the parents have planned activities for their children (scouts, sports, doctor's office visits, family activities) that are as important as homework and, therefore, moderation is desirable. I really resented teachers who thought they were giving me/ guiding me to experience valuable parenting time by requiring parent and child to do homework together.


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RE: Amount of homework in primary grages

The teacher in question is being a little harsh in my opinion. It is important to set good homework habits young, however I think spending 1 hour per night on homework in grade 2 extreme...

I am currently in 10th grade and my school has a policy that each student is NOT to do any more than 2 hours per night and half a day per weekend.. This ensures we have family/lesuire time...

Perhaps you could discuss the matter with other parents. Maybe you son takes a little longer at completing the homework than other children?.. even if this is not the case, it is still an excessive amount of work..

good luck


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RE: Amount of homework in primary grages

A rule of thumb adhered to in our school district is 10 minutes of homework per night per grade, Monday - Thursday:

1st grade = 10 minutes
2nd grade = 20 minutes
3rd grade = 30 minutes
etc. through the primary grades......

As a former elementary educator, and having two kids myself, I would pretty much agree with this -- for WRITTEN assignments. I am a big advocate of reading together, alone, aloud, silently in addition to the above guidelines. My kids (3rd & 6th) could easily spend more than an hour a day looking at screens (TV, gameboy, computer, etc.) if allowed, so I don't think spending half that time on school work, (or practicing piano, or practicing basketball lay-ups, or writing letters, etc.) is asking too much.

You get the picture -- it's all about balance.

There are other factors you need to consider, such as:
is most of the class also putting in this amount of time or is your child struggling with this particular subject?

Someone else mentioned that their child's teacher does not "check" homework....because?????

I have to wonder what purpose this serves -- building homework habits? Busy work? This seems to me to be a waste of the student's time. The purpose of homework is to reinforce what was covered in class. If a student does homework incorrectly then a good teacher will review it before moving on in the curriculum. I would advise this parent to check the homework since the teacher does not, and if there is something your child does not understand then bring it to the teacher's attention.


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RE: Amount of homework in primary grages

" The purpose of homework is to reinforce what was covered in class. "

The other purpose of homework is to offer the teacher an opportunity, early on, before a test (which usually falls at the END of the unit, when the teacher wants to move on), whether the student or students are understanding the subject matter.

(Maura makes this point even though she didn't explicityly state it)

If the teacher isn't checking it, I'm w/ her--the parent better, or a tremendous opportunity is lost.

Heck, even if the kid DOES understand it, if no one checks it then no one can say "good job--you got it all right, and you did it at all!"

Praise is what creates self-motivation.


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