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#31 of 40 Old 04-16-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post

And Linda is right, this doesn't specifically have to do with little kids, but in response to parents who seem put off by the nerve of schools to expect children to take schoolwork home at any age, I have to say you are being unrealistic.

 


The other thing is that most kids are out of school by 3:30, and when they are my kids' ages, 9:00 is an early bed time. Plus, there's all weekend. The idea that every minute of that is so precious as family/down time that spending a few hours per week doing some independent school work is a travesty is pretty silly to me.

 

I'm on the side that homework taking a few hours a week is reasonable, but a few hours a day is not.

 

We, as a family, are really enjoying the more reasonable pace of our kids current school over the homework they had last year in a public middle school, which often took 3 hours per night. That was completely over the top. There is a happy medium on this issue.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#32 of 40 Old 04-17-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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I get all of that, but I think it creates unequal access to education for those kids who, for whatever reason, have parents who can't or won't do it.  I'm not dropping that to get all sidetracked on how parents should care and be involved, but that's just not the reality for a large proportion of children (not just in a particular neighbourhood, but across all neighbourhoods).  Whether it's a language barrier, parents' personal issues, working multiple jobs and having no time...I think that the hours between 9 and 3 are sufficient to offer a solid foundation for children up to, say, grade 4.  I also know many of the arguments against this perspective smile.gif, but this is my "sort of" utopian vision - that school become an equalizer among children.

 

I very much appreciated my daughter's grade 5 teacher who didn't just hand over homework, but provided all kinds of strategies to manage their paper, workload and time.  I also appreciated DD's earlier teachers who did not assign regular homework.  There were specific projects to practice "homework," but it wasn't constant.  This really worked for us.


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#33 of 40 Old 04-17-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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I guess I am having a hard time understanding how a book log disrupts family time.  I have read to my kids since they were babies and it is enjoyable to us as a family activity. Our school has required logs since kindergarten, and most of the time it takes less than a minute to fill out the books read and who read them.  The students have further motivation for turning them in.  They get rewards from the teacher, like free meals at local restaurants and eating with the teacher.  At the end year dd's class  will go swimming and kids that do not turn in their logs have to sit out 5 minutes for each log missed.  We read regardless, so writing it down is not a big deal.  OP, if he is reading at a 7th grade level then why doesn't read at home?  There are tons of books for that level- talk to your middle school reading teacher, if the elementary librarian is at a loss, which honestly surprises me, too.  

 

Ds is in 4th grade and his book log is much more extensive.  Each day the week he has to write about different aspects of the book, such as predictions, questioning, and summary.  I help him with this task because he has a writing disability and it takes about 5 minutes for him to dictate the information.  It is part of our morning routine as we get ready to go to school.  Ds is also required to keep a day planner, which parents are supposed to sign.  Students who do not return signed day planners or logs miss recess.  I am pretty sure the reason the school is doing this is to try to instill habits of success for future grades- not just busy work for parents and teachers.  We treat home work as responsibility, and they get more as they get older.  Whether or not you feel it is a waste time because it your child that has to bear the burden of not handing work in and potential consequences.  

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#34 of 40 Old 04-17-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

I guess I am having a hard time understanding how a book log disrupts family time.  I have read to my kids since they were babies and it is enjoyable to us as a family activity. Our school has required logs since kindergarten, and most of the time it takes less than a minute to fill out the books read and who read them.  The students have further motivation for turning them in.  They get rewards from the teacher, like free meals at local restaurants and eating with the teacher.  At the end year dd's class  will go swimming and kids that do not turn in their logs have to sit out 5 minutes for each log missed.  We read regardless, so writing it down is not a big deal.  OP, if he is reading at a 7th grade level then why doesn't read at home?  There are tons of books for that level- talk to your middle school reading teacher, if the elementary librarian is at a loss, which honestly surprises me, too.  

 

Ds is in 4th grade and his book log is much more extensive.  Each day the week he has to write about different aspects of the book, such as predictions, questioning, and summary.  I help him with this task because he has a writing disability and it takes about 5 minutes for him to dictate the information.  It is part of our morning routine as we get ready to go to school.  Ds is also required to keep a day planner, which parents are supposed to sign.  Students who do not return signed day planners or logs miss recess.  I am pretty sure the reason the school is doing this is to try to instill habits of success for future grades- not just busy work for parents and teachers.  We treat home work as responsibility, and they get more as they get older.  Whether or not you feel it is a waste time because it your child that has to bear the burden of not handing work in and potential consequences.  



I can tell you how it didn't work in our house. In Kindegarden my child was reading at about a grade 6/7 level based on the tests given by the school. His reading log was supposed to be books he was reading independently or with help to an adult (not ones that an adult was reading to him).  He clearly did not need or want practise reading aloud. He was also very private about his learning and not interested in performing or displaying what he was learning for approval or external rewards. So in trying to meet the teacher's needs for a written log to document a skill he had clearly learned I would have to either 1) badger him about what he was reading, what pages he had covered, what the summary or "main idea" was or 2) make a guess/lie and move on or 3) be honest and tell the teacher that what she was doing was missing the mark for him and actually causing him to read and discuss his book LESS often.  The more insistent the teacher was that he needed to follow her dictates (regardless of the fact that weren't actually achieving anything in his case) the less and less interested he was in complying.  He wasn't motivated by external rewards so he could have cared less about restaurant coupons and probably would have abhorred eating with his teacher. And I would have absolutely fought the teacher on excluding him from a year end trip because of the log issue. That's downright cruel in my opinion and teaches kids all sorts of lessons that have nothing to do with education or reading or responsibility.

 

I think that children need to be self motivated.  My now-homeschooled son has never been forced/co-erced or manipulated into trying to develp habits for success and yet will happily work for hours on his algebra, or history project or writing because they are interesting and valuable to him in their own right - not because someone is going to hand him a coupon for fries and a coke at the end of it. 

 

 

 


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#35 of 40 Old 04-17-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

I guess I am having a hard time understanding how a book log disrupts family time.  I have read to my kids since they were babies and it is enjoyable to us as a family activity. Our school has required logs since kindergarten, and most of the time it takes less than a minute to fill out the books read and who read them.  The students have further motivation for turning them in.  They get rewards from the teacher, like free meals at local restaurants and eating with the teacher.  At the end year dd's class  will go swimming and kids that do not turn in their logs have to sit out 5 minutes for each log missed.  We read regardless, so writing it down is not a big deal.  OP, if he is reading at a 7th grade level then why doesn't read at home?  There are tons of books for that level- talk to your middle school reading teacher, if the elementary librarian is at a loss, which honestly surprises me, too.  

 

Ds is in 4th grade and his book log is much more extensive.  Each day the week he has to write about different aspects of the book, such as predictions, questioning, and summary.  I help him with this task because he has a writing disability and it takes about 5 minutes for him to dictate the information.  It is part of our morning routine as we get ready to go to school.  Ds is also required to keep a day planner, which parents are supposed to sign.  Students who do not return signed day planners or logs miss recess.  I am pretty sure the reason the school is doing this is to try to instill habits of success for future grades- not just busy work for parents and teachers.  We treat home work as responsibility, and they get more as they get older.  Whether or not you feel it is a waste time because it your child that has to bear the burden of not handing work in and potential consequences.  


My argument wasn't that it is disruptive to family time. Though this is a homework heavy school and he does do all his other homework, making the reading log a bit much when piled on top of the rest. But that really isn't my issue with it. My issues involve the fact that a reading log takes something that is natural and easy for him (reading) and adds an element that is unnatural and forced into it (recording the reading). He tends to read before bed and after school at the sitters and it's just not a natural progression to write it down. He hates writ ting, but loves ready. If he thought he had to write something like you son seems required to do when he finished reading  he'd skip the reading (or only do the very bare minimum). Since we don't write it down right away he forgets what he read over the month (plus since he is reading such easy materials most of the time he may have read 10 book in his 20 minutes of reading each day, he's not going to remember that much). Then the end of the month comes and we end up making up 1/2 the log. Making-it-up teaches the wrong values and is not something I choose to encourage. Plus, at this age, I try to set him up for success. He is honestly just not going to remember to write it down. Even if too you it is a simple 2 minute task every day, it is just not that simple in our household. Even at my age with much more advanced focus skills than he has I would have problems remembering a reading log (in my favor I read longer books so would have fewer to remember). We simply won't remember to write it down. Reading is simply not enough of an event to make it something we take note of, and that is exactly the way I feel it should be.

 

As for his reading level and the materials we are working with him on reading. I feel you misunderstood. His school librarian, his teacher and even his principle are helping to get him books closer to his level that he'll enjoy. He does read every day (how else would he be such a gifted reader). He just doesn't write it down. My point is that I choose to devote my time and energy spent on his reading helping him find books at this level and encouraging him to try them. He reads at a 7th grade reading level but usually chooses books at a 1st or 2nd grade reading level. I have no problem with him reading those books, but do want him to also read stuff that is at least at a 4th or 5th grade reading level (lots of reasons there). My kid can only handle so much guidance/nagging/requests/whatever about a topic. I choose to spend what I have available working on encouraging books I think he will enjoy that stretch him a bit more than his normal choices, not reminding him to write down what he read (plus I find them kinda pointless, since we all read on our own without anyone telling us we have to).

 

The whole system you describe for you kids with writing tons of information about the books, punishments for not doing it, etc. is horrifying to my. It would not have motivated me to read and would have, in fact, discouraged me as a kid. I would not tolerate such a system in my child's classroom. There is something to be said for reading purely for pleasure and turning even leisure reading into a chore is abhorrent to me. I love reading and so does my child. I can't think of a quicker way to kill that enjoyment than the system you describe. Wow. <shudder>

 


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#36 of 40 Old 04-17-2011, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can tell you how it didn't work in our house. In Kindergarten my child was reading at about a grade 6/7 level based on the tests given by the school. His reading log was supposed to be books he was reading independently or with help to an adult (not ones that an adult was reading to him).  He clearly did not need or want practise reading aloud. He was also very private about his learning and not interested in performing or displaying what he was learning for approval or external rewards. So in trying to meet the teacher's needs for a written log to document a skill he had clearly learned I would have to either 1) badger him about what he was reading, what pages he had covered, what the summary or "main idea" was or 2) make a guess/lie and move on or 3) be honest and tell the teacher that what she was doing was missing the mark for him and actually causing him to read and discuss his book LESS often.  The more insistent the teacher was that he needed to follow her dictates (regardless of the fact that weren't actually achieving anything in his case) the less and less interested he was in complying.  He wasn't motivated by external rewards so he could have cared less about restaurant coupons and probably would have abhorred eating with his teacher. And I would have absolutely fought the teacher on excluding him from a year end trip because of the log issue. That's downright cruel in my opinion and teaches kids all sorts of lessons that have nothing to do with education or reading or responsibility.

 

I think that children need to be self motivated.  My now-homeschooled son has never been forced/co-erced or manipulated into trying to develp habits for success and yet will happily work for hours on his algebra, or history project or writing because they are interesting and valuable to him in their own right - not because someone is going to hand him a coupon for fries and a coke at the end of it. 

 

 

 

You put it more succinctly that I did. This /\, except I don't homeschool.

 


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#37 of 40 Old 04-18-2011, 04:41 AM
 
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I agree with previous posters that I want my kids to experience reading as a pleasure.  How much would you enjoy your favorite hobby if you had to fill out paperwork every time you engaged in it?

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#38 of 40 Old 04-18-2011, 05:39 AM
 
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I think it is entirely reasonable for elementary school children that the family should not be expected to squander family time on homework, which research shows to be of no substantive benefit.  The school has the entire day for school-directed learning.  Family time should be for family-directed learning, relaxation and whatever activities the parents decide.

 

Having observed many typical elementary school days, schools squander a great deal of contact time.  If teachers think they are unable to accomplish what they need to do, schools should be looking at what goes on during the school day, not foisting stuff off on parents to do during family time.
 

 



Love it!

 


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#39 of 40 Old 04-18-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

I guess I am having a hard time understanding how a book log disrupts family time.  I have read to my kids since they were babies and it is enjoyable to us as a family activity. Our school has required logs since kindergarten, and most of the time it takes less than a minute to fill out the books read and who read them.  The students have further motivation for turning them in.  They get rewards from the teacher, like free meals at local restaurants and eating with the teacher.  At the end year dd's class  will go swimming and kids that do not turn in their logs have to sit out 5 minutes for each log missed.  We read regardless, so writing it down is not a big deal.  OP, if he is reading at a 7th grade level then why doesn't read at home?  There are tons of books for that level- talk to your middle school reading teacher, if the elementary librarian is at a loss, which honestly surprises me, too.  

 

Ds is in 4th grade and his book log is much more extensive.  Each day the week he has to write about different aspects of the book, such as predictions, questioning, and summary.  I help him with this task because he has a writing disability and it takes about 5 minutes for him to dictate the information.  It is part of our morning routine as we get ready to go to school.  Ds is also required to keep a day planner, which parents are supposed to sign.  Students who do not return signed day planners or logs miss recess.  I am pretty sure the reason the school is doing this is to try to instill habits of success for future grades- not just busy work for parents and teachers.  We treat home work as responsibility, and they get more as they get older.  Whether or not you feel it is a waste time because it your child that has to bear the burden of not handing work in and potential consequences.  


And to this I say "BULLSH!T" and "Not MY kid!" 
 

 


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#40 of 40 Old 04-18-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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 Whether or not you feel it is a waste time because it your child that has to bear the burden of not handing work in and potential consequences.  



See, it's not like that at all, not when you notify the teacher that HW simply is not a requirement for your child.  Availing yourself of the provision of HW opt-out means that there aren't consequences for the simple fact that HW is no longer part of your family's life.  So my child has no burden to bear.

 


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