Don’t Get Me Started… Part III

Posted by Debby on 9th February and posted in Random Education

MT: has read all the great comments on my previous status and decided that I’m not going to make C do homework anymore. If she’s graded for turning in homework, then I’ll do it for her. I’m sure her teacher is going to love me when I tell him! I’ve felt homework for primary grades was pointless but thanks to DK, I feel validated!

JR: Margo, I didn’t want to say anything – but I’m so happy you’ve come to that decision. I don’t think homework for the primary grades is fair or helpful, especially when it causes so much family conflict.

RR: If your decision is that she does not need to do the homework, and that she is not going to be turning it in, then I don’t think you should just be doing it for her and turning it in. honestly is always the best policy, whether she is going to be doing the homework or not, the teacher should know that is your stand on it.

JB: We pulled A out of her school in October because she had 2-1/2 hours of homework every single night, including Fridays for over the weekend. She hated school, hated reading (and no time for it anyway), hated writing, and every evening was miserable and tense for her and for me. Since switching to a different school with maybe half an hour of homework at the very most, and not every night, she’s enthused about school again. She picks up a book and sits down to read all on her own. She’s taken to writing reports about animals just to do it. She’s a different kid. I read everything DK said about this topic with great interest and it really resonated with me.

MT: JB, if her teacher reports that she is graded for turning it in then I will be honest and tell him that she will be returning completed homework to him each week but that I will be the one doing the homework.

DHS: wrt to RR’s comment: besides, who cares about primary grades. They are meaningless in the grand scheme.

MT: J- C only has one page (double sided) of homework per day (Mon – Thurs) so it’s really not a lot but it can take her over an hour to get it done b/c she just can’t focus on it. She did report to me today & yesterday that she completed her classroom work so I think that as long as she’s learning to be productive in class, I shouldn’t force her to be productive at home. I haven’t heard from her teacher re: my request for a meet with him on Monday (prior to and separate from the SAT meeting which is also with the Principal).

HRF: Hooray for you! (and for me on Mondays and Wednesday *paranoia*). Seriously, I think that this is the best idea for C and for you.

RR: I’ll be interested to see how the teacher reacts to that, MT. Will you post about it? If homework is reinforcing what they are doing in class, I’m wondering if they are going

DK: doesn’t the teacher follow you here on FB? just let her read the comments lol

MT: LOL DK – almost everyone BUT C’s teacher is a FB friend. I’m friends with Liam’s teacher and one of her paras; the Vice Principal (who is also my Sunday School teacher) and a member of the School Board but C’s teacher is not on FB. I guess taking a zero for homework isn’t going to affect her overall “grades”. The homework does reinforce what is taught in class – at the beginning of the year she was doing the entire week’s worth in one sitting b/c it was reivew from K and she knew it all. I was asked not to let her do that b/c later on, the homework in later days would cover stuff they hadn’t done in class yet (i.e. if she tried to do Wednesday’s page on Monday, she wouldn’t have learned that math concept or those spelling words in class yet that week).

MF: When O was in gr 3 he had a teacher who required homework that took him 3 or more hours a day. I sent her a letter stating that our school district policy was that kids his

DK: That is an excellent response MF! More people need to do that!

MW: I’m glad that you are standing up for her to her teacher! I am OK with the amount of homework V gets per week BUT she gets a paper on Monday and its due on Friday. She enjoys doing it but I know I’d feel the same if she had homework every day and if I had to fight with her everyday to get it done. I don’t see the point in having homework in 1st grade either.

DK, you made some great points!!

LF: My kids are gown,went to public schools just fine, grads with honors , in college now. Homework…. what I saw as the point of homework, was.. we had time to talk about the day , the assignment ,even if it was stupid or crazy. I asked them what they thought,asked how can I help . We talked AND we (hubby & me) helped with answers too.If I did 1 math problem, they had to do 2. No harm came, no need to tell the teacher, we had family time that’s all. Don’t forget to have good brain snacks too!

LF: GROWN kids here, not Gown kids, LOL got to get glasses fixed!

ES: I really like MF’s idea. Set the timer for 15 minutes and let her do what she can. With that pressure taken away, maybe she’ll be more productive.

GJ: I agree with MF’s approach. For C’s age, 10 min is plenty. You could give incentives for the amount of work completed in that time. If she doesn’t get much done with incentives, you’ll know the ability to focus is not there. If she starts finishing the work, you’ll know the desire wasn’t there before. 🙂

GJ: Also wanted to agree with B and others – don’t do the work for her. At some point in time you may want her to start doing some/all of her homework, and if you’ve been doing it for her, it will be a hard habit to break. Plus, you have 3 other children – unless you want to do h/w for all 4, I wouldn’t go there.

MT: I’ve practically bribed her — she just can’t focus. It’s just such a battle. She was 2 hours and she finally got it done and it was easy for her (easier than usual b/c she actually paid more attention in class today). It’s possible that if she can do better paying attention in class (a big issue – she’s below grade level due in large part to inattentiveness in class and poor use of class time for assignments) homework might go smoother too b/c she really will know it. But if she pays attention in class and therefore knows it, why do it again at home?! She’s a smart kid – once she “gets it”, she’s got it.

RR: MT, I can totally relate to knowing your kid is smart, but they aren’t paying attention enough and homework is difficult to sit still for. N was like that. Maturity is a huge factor here. At that age he was a lot like your daughter and now he is very good about homework, so work with the teachers, be honest, and see if she can get some extra time/more help with assistance on doing the work while she’s *in class* since she isn’t focusing as much at home. Hopefully you will have less of a battle if they can work with you on this. All kids are different. Now I have Aaron who stresses about homework and will sit and work for 1-2 hours a day on K homework because he is nervous about putting words in alphabetical order! Such a change from his brother, because he will sit still for it, but it’s STILL a stressor.

DK: maybe if she didn’t feel like she was doing school ALL the time, she could focus better on school when she was there. maybe it’s just not interesting to her. maybe it’s not clicking into her preferred learning style. maybe she needs her learning chunked into smaller pieces with play breaks in between. maybe she just needs to be able to stand up in the back of the room and wiggle instead of having to sit at a desk. there are so many possible reasons and so many possible solutions…

RW: I think Debby is on to something 🙂 Good post DK!

FD: N has homework too and it’s not a HUGE amount but I don’t like seeing a lot of it. In grade 2 I felt Sandrine had a grossly unfair amount of math homework EVERY night. There were 8×8 grills of numbers. There would be a series of 8 numbers across the top and a series of 8 numbers down the side and she had to fill in the grill depending on if … See Moreit was adding or subtracting the numbers. But it was like…164-27 and 373+111. I felt that 64 numbers, which took literally “forever” was far too many. Once you’ve understood the concept there is no reason to do more than a few (5-10) for practice…these are NOT numbers you have to memorize like times tables. It would have made more sense to have them doing things like 550-225 because at least numbers like that relate more to money or something you are more liable to be doing in everyday life on a regular basis.

ERJ: DK knows her stuff. I’m feeling fantastically liberated having brought L home, even though he is still in “public” school through K12 ( Go MT!

RPW: I’ve heard great things about K12. We homeschool and use a computer based program but in the past have considered K12 at least twice. It was a hard decision to not go with it as it sounds like a fantastic program. Who knows we have a lot of years left of schooling in our family so we might just be using it one day 🙂

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