Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I don't know why it is, but 3rd grade A seems to have a good bit more homework than 6th grade M. Now, each kid's school claims that they aim for the 10 min of homework per grade level, meaning that M should have 60 minutes and A 30, but that's not how its working out in practice. Instead, A is spending closer to an hour (not including his reading, which he enjoys and spends more than the required 15 minutes). Meanwhile M is spending 20-30 minutes max (again, not including reading, though I'm not sure if there is any particular requirement - other than 25 books over the course of the year - in and out of class). And some nights M isn't doing any homework. If he doesn't have any specific homework, he is supposed to be "studying or reviewing his notes". Yeah, right. Some one of these days its going to come back and bite M that he doesn't study and doesn't know how to - but for now, he is making A's without particularly studying - so, from his point of view, why should he?

Another mom from A's class asked me about homework last night and we both agreed that it is getting out of hand some nights. One night last week A spent almost 2 solid hours and was in tears when he realized that it was almost dinnertime and he hadn't "had any fun yet". He had done a bit of paperwork that wasn't actually homework - he asked me to show him how to write his name in cursive - but to him it felt like he'd been at the homework all that time.

I emailed the teacher this morning about another issue (miscommunication over a classwork/homework issue that had A thinking he had to do 2 days work in one - she didn't explain well to the kids or (more probably) A didn't listen/understand) and mentioned that he was spending a lot of time on homework. She explained the miscommunication, but didn't comment on the excessive time on homework. If/when we get another night of too much homework, I'll talk with the teacher again. But I heard that several parents were going to "express their opinions" on too much homework, so maybe the teacher will moderate the amount. I can always hope...

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Blogger Carol P. said...

Can you set a timer and when 30 minutes is up, he's done? He's done his time, and it's time to move on, so he doesn't miss out on play time too.

Of course, this would require A to be willing to go along with it, including taking incompletes or feeling like he should've done more. And you might have to write notes that say that A applied himself diligently for the 30 minutes (some teachers might doubt this) and accomplished this much. If you could get others to do the same, the teacher could get some feedback on what typical students can accomplish in the 30 minute limit.

And if Aregularly had more than 30 minutes after a few weeks and the teacher hadn't changed policies, then you could talk to the principal with some actual data.

Just a thought.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

I like the idea. Watching A this afternoon, though, I noticed that he bounces around a good bit. He kept asking me for ideas on how to illustrate his vocabulary words. We'll have to work on the whole 'sit here and work diligently without getting up' thing.

I heard from another parent that there was an email to teachers asking them to remember to keep the homework to reasonable levels, so maybe that will help too.

8:47 PM  

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