consequences for not doing homework - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-21-2009, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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DS is in Kindergarten. On Mondays they send home a homework packet for the week and we are supposed to sign it and send it back on Friday. I'm not thrilled with the idea of homework for K, but I accept that it is school district policy and so we do it. (Well, actually I send DS to afterschool care for long enough for them to do it there.)

One of the assignments for the past few weeks has been to take in something that starts with a particular letter--this week is "t." Sometimes you are supposed to bring it in on Wed, sometimes on Tues.

Since DS does his homework at aftercare, I don't check it every night and I forgot to check on Monday. So he did not have his thing that starts with t yesterday. He tells me that he had to sit on the bench for part of recess because of this.

I don't think it is reasonable to have any consequences at all for Kindergartners not doing their homework. Because, really that's my fault, not his. He can't read the directions for himself, even. I asked him if he was supposed to make it up by bringing something today and he told me that he drew a picture already. I'm fine with having him make-up the assignment in some way, but I don't think he should have to miss part of recess.

Am I really off-base here? Is this worth a conversation with his teacher?

(To add to my mommy guilt, he has an anxiety disorder--and IEP to go with it so the teacher does know--and he did all of his homework for the week last night and insisted that he was going to take it to his teacher along with his library book which isn't due back until the end of the week. I really think he's trying to make up for missing the assignment and make sure he doesn't get in trouble again.)

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Old 10-21-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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Yeah, I'd talk to the teacher. It doesn't have to be confrontational, but IMO homework in kindergarten is bad enough -- he certainly shouldn't be punished at school over it!
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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Not all kindergarteners even know the day of the week consistently. None of the kids will be able to read the assignment. The kid can't be held responsible.

It might be worthwhile contacting the teacher and asking for a quick conversation about expectations and responsibilities. Yeah, kids gotta get this stuff figured out. But at age 5, this is not age-appropriate expectation.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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You can (and I WOULD) have it added to his IEP that he is not allowed to be kept in, or sit out of recess for academic reasons. For instance, if he pushed someone down, it is appropriate to sit on the bench. Forgot his homework, IT IS NOT.

I have this in my daughter's 504. Although I found out at the end of last year that her teacher WAS keeping her in at recess (all two of them) for not completing her work even though it was in her plan he was not allowed to.

I went round and round with my oldest daughters school about this issue. She doesn't know the day of the week let along that her home work is due. "I" forgot it not her. "Well it is so and so's responsibility to bring their home work in." DUDES SHE IS 6. I ended up changing schools.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I guess I'll try to talk with the teacher. I'm helping with a cooking project this week so maybe I'll get a chance then. (I should also say that it is possible that DS has his story confused. He's usually right about what's happened at school, but I will start by making sure he really did have to sit on the bench at recess for the homework and not something else.)

It would make some sense to add it to his IEP because he also has an ADHD dx so having him miss chance to burn off energy is counter-productive in the long run. I'll have to give that some thought--his IEP comes up next month.

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Old 10-21-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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I don't think that any child should be denied recess, and since you can get it added to his IEP, I would.

However, it only takes a few minutes to check through their school things and make a note to yourself about what they need the next day (or whenever). It's not just Kindergartens who need this -- last year my 5th grader needed me to keep track of stuff like next Wednesday they should wear their "character shirts" and if she wanted to be in chorus I needed to sign this piece of paper and get it back on Monday (but not sooner). There seemed to be a lot of random stuff to keep track of and she had a hard time making it out the door with the right thing on the right day.

It seemed like there was a logistical side to having a child in school that I wasn't expecting and I needed to learn to manage!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 10-21-2009, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I don't think that any child should be denied recess, and since you can get it added to his IEP, I would.

However, it only takes a few minutes to check through their school things and make a note to yourself about what they need the next day (or whenever). It's not just Kindergartens who need this -- last year my 5th grader needed me to keep track of stuff like next Wednesday they should wear their "character shirts" and if she wanted to be in chorus I needed to sign this piece of paper and get it back on Monday (but not sooner). There seemed to be a lot of random stuff to keep track of and she had a hard time making it out the door with the right thing on the right day.

It seemed like there was a logistical side to having a child in school that I wasn't expecting and I needed to learn to manage!
Yes, I admitted in my first post that it was my fault and said that I feel guilty about it.

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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I wasn't trying to add to feelings of guilt! Just to say that figuring out how to keep track of this stuff was a a problem for me, too, and that it won't end after K.

Honestly, it took me most of last school year to figure out how to have a child in school. May be I have some sort of mommy LD and should have a mommy IEP.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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It seemed like there was a logistical side to having a child in school that I wasn't expecting and I needed to learn to manage!
I agree, this was one of the hardest parts of sending my kids to school. There is SO much to keep track of, it's overwhelming.

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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I agree, this was one of the hardest parts of sending my kids to school. There is SO much to keep track of, it's overwhelming.
I have three kids in three different school districts. Google Calender is my friend!
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:29 AM
 
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Not all kindergarteners even know the day of the week consistently. None of the kids will be able to read the assignment..
Don't assume, please. DD is in K this year and reads at a 3rd grade level with equivalent comprehension. She tells me what's in her communication folder on Mondays because she's already read every single page on the way home (just because she wants to).

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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Okay, maybe a few exceptional children will be able to read the assignment, but the OP's point still stands. This business of punishing children for unfinished homework is outrageous and does nothing but make children miserable. Elementary school homework is all about the parents, and punishing a child because their parents forgot something serves no purpose.

If you haven't already, you should look at:

The Case Against Homework, Bennett and Kalish
The Homework Myth, Alfie Kohn

www.stophomework.com
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Okay, maybe a few exceptional children will be able to read the assignment, but the OP's point still stands. This business of punishing children for unfinished homework is outrageous and does nothing but make children miserable. Elementary school homework is all about the parents, and punishing a child because their parents forgot something serves no purpose.
Yes, and even if a 5 yo can read the homework, etc. I don't think they should be expected to reliably remember "Oh, tomorrow is Tuesday, I need to bring a T item." (or whatever) and go find that item, put it in their backpack, etc.

I agree that this teacher is basically punishing this child because his mom forgot. And yes, the OP should check his homework/backpack every night, write everything on the calendar, etc. But no one is perfect. I write things on my calendar, have reminders sent to myself, etc. but sometimes I do still forget things. And I would not want my child punished because I forgot he was supposed to wear red or bring a T item or whatever.

So OP, I would talk to the teacher about this. My son's K teacher will do things for the kids who forget things like this. Like on "wear red day", if someone didn't have on red, she gave him/her a red heart sticker to wear. Maybe you could suggest the students who forget could think of an item that starts with T (or whatever letter) and describe it or draw a picture or something?? And now I just re-read your post and saw that your son did draw a picture and he still was punished??? That is not right, IMO.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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Sounds like you have gotten some great advice. i HATE that our local schools punish the kids for the PARENTS mistakes. We went round, and round, and ROUND with the school, because they gave elementary school kids detention for being late to school. It is a city district, no bussing, all the parents walk or drive their kids. if the kid doesn't get to school on ime, it's clearly the parents fault. Granted, some kids might be particularly awful in the mornings, causing issues which contribute to the lateness, but generally, if the kid doesn't get there in time, it's the parents fault. We could NOt get them to acknowledge or comprehend this at ALL.

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Old 10-22-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Sounds like you have gotten some great advice. i HATE that our local schools punish the kids for the PARENTS mistakes. We went round, and round, and ROUND with the school, because they gave elementary school kids detention for being late to school. It is a city district, no bussing, all the parents walk or drive their kids. if the kid doesn't get to school on ime, it's clearly the parents fault. Granted, some kids might be particularly awful in the mornings, causing issues which contribute to the lateness, but generally, if the kid doesn't get there in time, it's the parents fault. We could NOt get them to acknowledge or comprehend this at ALL.
What the hell?? I have never had a child punished for being late to school. The most I have ever had was the principal call me and say well you know.. so and so had been late 30 some odd times this trimester.. please work on this. Hehe.

And with DD 2 she was late 36 times the last trimester of 5th grade.. never got in trouble (although she does have a 504.) Making her stay in recesses is NOT going to make her get dressed in the morning rather than farting around.

I am horrible about being late myself. It drives my oldest dd crazy. BUt really there is nothing to be done but live with it.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I talked with his teacher and she says that he was not punished for forgetting his "t" item. Several kids did and she apparently did make a bit of a stink about it (she has a rather dramatic personality), but just had all of them draw something that began with t. She agreed that it was the parent's responsibility with kindergarteners and said that she had even told DS that it wasn't his fault. I'm not sure why DS reported that he had to sit on the bench. I asked her if he had to for something else, thinking maybe he was confused about why, but she said no. At this point, I don't think it is worth revisiting the issue with DS--he probably won't tell me anything different and it may upset him to bring it up again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
Sounds like you have gotten some great advice. i HATE that our local schools punish the kids for the PARENTS mistakes. We went round, and round, and ROUND with the school, because they gave elementary school kids detention for being late to school. It is a city district, no bussing, all the parents walk or drive their kids. if the kid doesn't get to school on ime, it's clearly the parents fault. Granted, some kids might be particularly awful in the mornings, causing issues which contribute to the lateness, but generally, if the kid doesn't get there in time, it's the parents fault. We could NOt get them to acknowledge or comprehend this at ALL.
Our school does this. Kids who are tardy have to sit down for the first 5 minutes of recess. I gather they have had a signficant and growing problem with tardies over the past couple of years where many children have typically arrived about 15 minutes late every day. Again, I think at the grade school level it is the parent's responsiblity and it is unfair to punish the kids. I assume the school administrators think the kids will push the parents into being on time. I decided not to argue about this because DS is one of the few kids who arrives by bus (there are only 2 routes and it happens to be easier for us to get to one of the stops than it is to the school) so it shouldn't be an issue for him.

Thanks to everyone who posted, I appreciate your thoughts!
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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I know this thread isn't exactly about tardiness, but I wanted to share something about schools' perspectives on tardiness. The school I teach at takes the "Well, your kid's been tardy a lot--can you try a little harder?" approach. But my principal recently told us that our school did not meet Annual Yearly Progress with the state for one issue--attendance. If our school has a lot of tardies and unexcused absences for a few years in a row, our school could lose state funding. As a school we hate coming down on parents for this kind of thing. I totally get it that a family values experiences outside of school and may take kids out for trips and special events. Fine (as long as it isn't excessive!). I completely understand that M's mom was in a bad accident a few years ago and is in a lot of pain in the mornings and can't get herself--or her kid--in the car and to school soon enough. But the state doesn't, and our funding is contingent upon meeting their expectations. It sucks.

I'm glad your son wasn't being punished for not having the assignment on the right day. That would be stupid.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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This thread was removed for review. The second half of it was pruned due to numerous off topic posts that were also quite negative in tone and bordering on UA violations. It is now being replaced.

If a member wishes to start a new thread about tardiness feel free to do so. Just be sure to start fresh and not to reference this thread.

Also, be mindful of the UserAgreement and the need to speak and share respectfully!

 
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