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#31 of 109 Old 10-04-2012, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Middle school starts in 6th grade here, so yes she's in a new school. Doesn't middle school usually start in 6th? (Back in the olden days when I was a kid I went to one year of Junior High (7th, 8th, 9th) before they built a middle school and then went there for 8th.)

 

No, my child is not organized at all! Didn't mean to give that false impression. She will never in her life be organized! She is, however, with plenty of parental reminders, managing to not end up with a huge pile of homework to do all on Thursday night most of the time. It's a big learning curve for her, but I think she is developing some skills that will help her later on.

 

She did not get any instruction on writing research papers or citing sources prior to this year. She did get a little bit of instruction on writing persuasive essays and maybe something similar in her social studies/writing class last year in 5th grade, but there was no writing papers in science class last year at all.

 

I don't think I got explicit instruction on writing a research paper until maybe high school. It's all a bit hazy, though, could have been sooner. I remember writing plenty of papers, but not usually for Science. I wrote History papers and English papers, etc. I think the only thing she's had to write for English so far has been a book report. She's done far more writing for Science than any other class including English and Social Studies. I think that's a bit odd, but overall I really like her Science teacher.


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#32 of 109 Old 10-04-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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No, not a timeline. He didn't assign it all at once. It was just daily assignments. Last Tuesday's assignment was a 1 page research paper on tardigrades in space, including two different references, reading a science packet (4 pages or so), answering the questions in the packet, and defining the science vocab words. It was due Thurs, two days later. The week before that on Tuesday he assigned a 2 page research paper with 4 different references due for Thurs.

 

Students do have planners and should write all their assignments in their planners. I am trying to get dd1 to do this consistently, but she's a little flaky on it. 

My ds has the planner, too, and he is not good at using it.  The only class he really needs it for is math, and that teacher has some assignments due daily and other weekly.  Luckily, because the math teacher gives soooo much homework and does not give full credit for late work (1 day late 50% reduction and nothing after that), she does post their assignments on a website and will also text message it.   I am under the impression that a large part of the grading in math class is on organization instead of math.  Maybe it will help by the time ds gets to high school.

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#33 of 109 Old 10-04-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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Middle school starts in 6th grade here, so yes she's in a new school. Doesn't middle school usually start in 6th? (Back in the olden days when I was a kid I went to one year of Junior High (7th, 8th, 9th) before they built a middle school and then went there for 8th.)

Duh. pardon my menopausal brain. of course new school. shy.gif however where i was elementary goes upto 6th grade or 8th grade and middle school is 7th and 8th grade. another part of the city under a different district mostly has k - 8th and the few middle schools they have start in 6th grade. so for dd who will be transfering in 6th grade, she will start middle school in new district.

 

No, my child is not organized at all!

AHA!!! then dd has good company. it is because of that dd gets study hall all the time (during lunch recess) as she forgets stuff to bring home, do  - you name it she has done it. however her teacher is understanding too. if she missed due to some reason like illness she will forgive that.

 

She did not get any instruction on writing research papers or citing sources prior to this year. She did get a little bit of instruction on writing persuasive essays and maybe something similar in her social studies/writing class last year in 5th grade, but there was no writing papers in science class last year at all.

this is really sad to hear. dd's school (she's been in 2 schools - regular public schools) and both schools start some sort of research skill in first grade (using library books in the beginning and then introducing computers). they had to do a science project in 1st grade and had to do a paragraph writing. their first paper was in 2nd grade. but now that you mention it - yes dd's writing was more in science than english. by size. she did more writing for english from 2nd grade on (paragraph maybe once a week), but long research writing (a one to two page paper) was done in science. the good part was she was allowed to type for science, but had to handwrite for english which was the bummer. they learnt different sorts of paragraphs (persuasive and argumentative in 4th grade). 

 

not sure if this is the case with your school district but every middle school has a feeder elementary school mainly so that the children have continuity. well, dd next year is going to break that continuity as she is going to go to a brand new district. hopefully she wont have many holes.  75% of the kids in her class will go to the middle school associated with her school. 


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#34 of 109 Old 10-04-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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this is really sad to hear. dd's school (she's been in 2 schools - regular public schools) and both schools start some sort of research skill in first grade (using library books in the beginning and then introducing computers). they had to do a science project in 1st grade and had to do a paragraph writing. their first paper was in 2nd grade. but now that you mention it - yes dd's writing was more in science than english. by size. she did more writing for english from 2nd grade on (paragraph maybe once a week), but long research writing (a one to two page paper) was done in science. the good part was she was allowed to type for science, but had to handwrite for english which was the bummer. they learnt different sorts of paragraphs (persuasive and argumentative in 4th grade). 

 

Well, I'm probably downplaying the writing she has done previously, but the whole citation thing is definitely new. Has your dd been using the standard MLA citation since 1st grade?

 

I guess what I'm most surprised about is she's been asked to do all this writing (and I do find it unusual to do so much writing in Science, but not necessarily inappropriate), yet the kids haven't  been given explicit instruction about how to organize their papers beyond the instruction on using MLA format for works cited. The English teacher told them to do a book report, but didn't tell them anything about how to do it and reportedly just wanted to see what they came up with. 

 

Her Science teacher last year was fantastic also, but didn't ever give homework. I don't know, maybe she wrote papers in class but I never saw it. She did score very high on the state standardized science test they give in 5th grade so I guess the way he taught worked for her.


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#35 of 109 Old 10-04-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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no the MLA was introduced last year in 4th grade. but citation training began in 2nd grade when they learnt not to use wikipedia to cite. the teachers showed them how to create a simple bibliography - like author and illustrator and title  and publisher or article name, author and webaddress. last years science and mission report was supposed to have been done in MLA style but wasnt insisted upon. some kids did it in full MLA style. many didnt. to help them the teacher had the source of research color coded so all book excerpts were in yellow, website in pink, newspaper in blue.... but they didnt have to cite each and every info. but they needed to know where they got them from so that when she asked questions they were expected to know where they found it. they had put in so much effort that they DID know when she asked them. but they had to have a perfect bibliography. 

 

not sure if your dd knows about this. http://www.bibme.org/

 

you know that's what surprises me - that your dd hasnt been given specific instructions. dd has been getting age appropriate instructions since first. 4th was when they went all out. the teacher spent a LOT of time in class teaching them how to do the report. they had to do a science report AND history - missions and gold rush report. the gold rush was explicitely stated to have no parental help. dd did it totally on her own. last year i have to admit she did perhaps 15 reports total (including your own business venture and they even had to go find out if they needed a business license, and yes with help from parents - guidance not doing all the work, the kids did find out on their own and i loved their ideas) - all of which involved AT least a page of writing and lots of research. this year so far it seems more homework and less project work. 

 

woah!!! i wonder if the teachers expect your dd to already know all the guidelines. i wonder if they expect the kids had been taught in the early grades. 


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#36 of 109 Old 10-04-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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The thread is reminding me of "Race to Nowhere."

 

I think some of this is a little crazy. Gotta say, neither of my kids were writing research papers in elementary school, but both do well with them in high school.
 

I think that when a child switches from having the same teacher pretty much all day to having a different teacher for each subject, it can be quite an adjustment. There's the random spike in work load PLUS the organizational part. For many kids, which ever year this hits (6th or 7th)  is rough. I'm not convinced doing this switch even younger than we used to is a step in the right direction. 

 

Beanma, does the school have a specific writing focus or writing goals in their mission? One thing that happens here is the big high schools require VERY little writing, even in AP classes, because the teachers just can't grade it. In a lot of high school classes here  -- even the "good" high schools, the kids are may be going to do one 5 page paper the entire year in a challenging class.

 

The charter's and privates tend to go overboard the other direction because it's one of their "selling points."  Being in a school by choice means smaller classes and sometimes even fewer classes for the teachers. Ergo, more time for teacher's to read students' writing.


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#37 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 05:08 AM
 
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The English teacher told them to do a book report, but didn't tell them anything about how to do it and reportedly just wanted to see what they came up with. 

I feel like DC's school has done this sort of thing in the past. Maybe it's a way for the teacher to evaluate where she/he needs to begin instruction. That seems fine to me and maybe is kind of interesting, even for both your DC and the teacher. P.s. I just asked DC and she said her teachers ask them to do things like this a couple times/year. So, not uncommon in my DC's world. 


 

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Well, I'm probably downplaying the writing she has done previously, but the whole citation thing is definitely new. Has your dd been using the standard MLA citation since 1st grade?

 

I think your DC's writing instruction seems plenty age appropriate. I think that meemee's DC's writing instruction is either introduced earlier than average or the way the school chooses to talk about their writing instruction process is more detailed. 

 

DC's school doesn't use any computers and they do to papers on science and book reports but DC said (I just asked her) that they don't cite sources yet. Her class is going to the public library this year (5th) and I suspect they will introduce citations this year. It's not a complicated aspect of writing and it can be introduced and understood when needed, imo. It's a cool thing to learn early, if that's something that the school thinks is important but there are way more important aspects of writing that need to be built over years and that's where I'd prefer to see a school focus. 


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#38 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel like DC's school has done this sort of thing in the past. Maybe it's a way for the teacher to evaluate where she/he needs to begin instruction. 

 

Yes, I think that was the English teacher's intention and I'm fine with that. And I'm really okay with the science papers. Dd1 is getting pretty good at cranking them out and her progress report was good so her level of writing doesn't seem to be hurting her grades. I would like to see the expectations for a paper outlined a little more clearly, personally, but it doesn't seem to be bothering dd1 and her grade is not suffering so probably I should just tell myself to shut up about it already. 

 

I don't know if they expect kids to already know the basics of writing a research paper or not. It's a charter with an emphasis on environmental science and art and not a particular emphasis on writing. The kids come from a variety of backgrounds, but they have a lot of kids who were homeschooled thru elementary and are now having their first building school experience, so I'm sure kids come in with a wide variety of skills. Maybe all this writing is the science teacher's way of teaching them by having them just do it?! He did point the class to some of the citation building sites — easybib was the one he recommended.

 

Overall we're pretty pleased with the instruction and there's a lot of hands-on work in Science in particular so that's great. The papers just surprised me. It seems to be less of a big assignment and more of an everyday thing here. When I was in school it was a big fat hairy deal when I had a PAPER DUE (aaaaghghgh) and now it just seems to be part of weekly homework. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. When I was in school (back in the Paleozoic era) we spent a lot of time learning how to properly format and craft a research paper and a thesis with an introductory paragraph, conclusion, and all the in between bits, too. They often came out pretty stilted so maybe it's better to learn it in a more organic fashion. I do try to help her organize her thoughts and paragraphs (hate reading papers—or internet posts—that are all one giant paragraph with no indentation), though, because she will just go all over the place otherwise. 


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#39 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 08:22 AM
 
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The thread is reminding me of "Race to Nowhere."

 

I think some of this is a little crazy. Gotta say, neither of my kids were writing research papers in elementary school, but both do well with them in high school.

 

I've been reading it and thinking exactly the same. I live in a different country. My ds wrote his first formal research paper last week, in 11th grade biology. He did an amazing job. He's been reading research papers and primary sources for several years, out of a desire to learn things, to follow up threads of interest, to exercise his skeptic's muscles. He's had good models and he has come to understand the true purpose of research. Learning the mechanics of writing his own papers took him a couple of hours, not 8 years -- because he was developmentally ready. He loved doing his paper and was really proud of it. He wrote it on a science topic he is passionate about and has copied it into his blog full of things he's done that he wants to keep forever. I can't believe that 2nd graders really need to be introduced to the MLA manual. What a joy-killer. Will they ever greet the writing of research papers with passion and pride and motivation if they get such an (IMO) inappropriately long head-start at them? How many research papers do most adults need to write? Even working research scientists write maybe three or four a year. Why is it that children should need to write dozens a year from age 7 or 8? In what way is this appropriate preparation for real adult life? 

 

My kids researched things all the time when they were young. But they typically shared what they had learned verbally (out of excitement) if at all. Mostly they researched out of a desire to learn. Which is the best motivation of all for research, in my opinion. I can't imagine that their desire to learn would still be as strong as it is now if they had been saddled with the requirement to write a daily paper about what they were learning for all those years.

 

Maybe I'm just totally not getting it because of some cultural disconnect between Canada and the US. Because wow, daily research papers in 6th grade sounds totally insane to this Canuck.

 

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#40 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I see your point, Moomin, and I am calling them "research papers" as shorthand for a paper where the student is asked to research a topic and write a page or two about it and cite their sources, but maybe that's a little bit confusing. It's not the big fat formal research paper I did in college or high school, but it does have the citation part. It's a few paragraphs— a page or two—and more like weekly instead of daily. (I just meant "everyday" in the sense of "ordinary" not "every day".) Dd1 is interested in doing the research part, too, and the teacher is so engaging in the classroom it seems to spill over to the homework and she's excited to find out more about the topics. Getting started with the writing has been hard at times, but I've shown her how to develop a shorthand outline for herself by jotting down points she wants to share as she reads (usu .edu sites on the net) and then building paragraphs around those points. It seems to work for her.

 

The science teacher does also teach AP Env Science so he has pretty high expectations for his high schoolers and some of that may be filtering down to the middle schoolers, too. 

 

I really want to help her develop her keyboarding skills, though, because if she's going to have to do this much paper writing it's going to be so much easier on the computer where corrections are as simple as the delete key and cut and paste. Her typing skills aren't there yet. She does fine on the computer to navigate the web, or bang out a short email to grandma, but actually sitting down and typing something long would be hard and frustrating for her. I'm having both kids do the BBC Dance Mat for just a few minutes daily in hopes that will at least provide a foundation for touch typing instead of hunting and pecking. I'm not a true touch typist. Mainly use my index and middle fingers, but I can do 50 wpm on a good day and that's reasonable for your fingers to keep up with your brain (at least my brain—it doesn't operate at 120 wpm). I hope they can get more comfortable with typing so it will be easier for them.


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#41 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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it does sound like a Race to Nowhere doesnt it? 

 

but in dd's case it wasnt so. the writing part was hard for her till she started typing. so while some kids wrote many paragraphs she wrote mainly a couple. and the teacher accepted that. she enjoyed the projects every year. one component was writing, the others were hands on stuff - either model making, or poster board or dress up. she does not have the kind of OMG as i have when i have to turn in papers. they do a lot of their work in class with the teacher helping them individually. in fact when we got back from our winter vacation at a real log cabin dd went through the whole method last year - doing slides and notecards to share the history of the area. other kids who were just asked to bring in a rock and talk about it, did some research and brought it in. 

 

in second grade the kids were supposed to write two paragraphs about their section of the forest, dd wrote two pages single spaced. i remember she couldnt wait to share with the class that there are some monkeys in the rainforest who never touch the ground. by 4th grade her writing didnt go beyond 2 pages but the quality of research and the information she found impressed the teachers. dd loves every aspect of the project work, just not the writing. and so being allowed to type has really saved her. 

 

dd's favourite project was on alchemy. the favourite part of it was that no parents were allowed to help her at all. everybody wanted that topic so dd was pretty proud she got it. 

 

so i dunno. i think dd enjoyed the part that they werent relying on text books. last year they had more project work (one a week) than regular hw. because of that that was her favourite hw year. this year so far she prefers her new teacher over her old but doesnt like all the hw she has to do. which is nothing compared to what her 6th grade waldorf friend has to do. 


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#42 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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My son is in 8th grade. Although the teachers say to plan on 30 minutes of homework PER CLASS a night, he rarely has that much. (That would be 2 1/2 hours for his academic classes: advanced algebra, LA, history, earth science, Spanish.)

 

He has math homework most nights, but that teacher says to stop after 30-45 minutes and let her know if it is taking longer so she can help. (Ds usually breezes through math, unlike his Mom.) Some of the teachers leave time in class to get started on homework.

 

It's still middle school, and the teachers try to coordinate so that big assignments are due on different days. They warn the kids that high school teachers don't do that. There is a big emphasis on "working your plan" from all the teachers, so they understand that organizational skills need to be taught.

 

This year, something has clicked and ds is much more organized about getting his work done in a timely manner (and remembering to hand it in). In 6th and 7th grade he had a real problem with writing assignments down in his planner: now he is very good about that (and about actually looking at the planner instead of trying to remember what he has to do, another issue in the past).

 

He has some ongoing assignments that he has to remember to do: sketchbook for art, journal 3 times a week for LA, weekly observation for science.  These are more challenging to keep up with since they need to be done but don't get written in the planner every day.

 

Some nights are harder than others: football until 6pm, then a quick dinner and off to hockey practice, leaving little time for homework. So far, ds has managed to plan ahead for those nights and get work done early.

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#43 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 10:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View PostLearning the mechanics of writing his own papers took him a couple of hours, not 8 years -- because he was developmentally ready. He loved doing his paper and was really proud of it. He wrote it on a science topic he is passionate about and has copied it into his blog full of things he's done that he wants to keep forever. I can't believe that 2nd graders really need to be introduced to the MLA manual. What a joy-killer. Will they ever greet the writing of research papers with passion and pride and motivation if they get such an (IMO) inappropriately long head-start at them? How many research papers do most adults need to write? Even working research scientists write maybe three or four a year. Why is it that children should need to write dozens a year from age 7 or 8? In what way is this appropriate preparation for real adult life? 

 

I think this is a great point. We have to remind ourselves that earlier doesn't mean more efficient learning. While I think it's pretty cool for a kid to learn to write research papers if that's what interests them and they're thriving and it's not taking the place of other more age appropriate things, we should by no means translate that into thinking that most kids need to learn this stuff early in order to one day be proficient. I only learned to use MLA a couple years ago (I'm 37!). It's something that can be learned on an as needed basis and not even something that one needs to know by memory. 

 

The organizational stuff of a longer paper is more a skill that I think can be built over time and it sounds like that is something Beanmama's DC is learning. I can see that kind of skill crossing over into more subject matter than the actual MLA stuff. Even math, science, even art and home life. 

 

DC's school has a debate club and I am kind of in awe over the level of organization and persuasion these young kids are working at. But this is an extra club, outside of school and there are other activities offered to kids who aren't interested or ready for that type of work. 


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#44 of 109 Old 10-05-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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I didn't read through the whole thread yet, so I'm just going to answer the question...because, schools are so different now since I was a kid....and they have been stressing me out since my oldest started Kindergarten (11 years ago).

 

How much homework? Too much.

 

When homework was first sent home to my kindergartner a few years back, I almost fainted.

 

When homework packets were sent home with my first grader, I got really upset.

 

When reading logs were sent home with my other first grader, I started to really question the system.

 

I have four kids, from ages 16 to 6. Even in that span of time, schools have become WAY overbearing, crossing boundaries and they blame the parents for not trying and not helping their kids after school...you know....that wonderful phrase, "parental involvement".

 

Again, Too much homework.  Elementary kids, and even Jr high kids should have NONE unless there is a serious need.

 

Too many parents and teachers follow the leader.  I'm so sick of it. That's why I'm homeschooling two of my kids for now....since I have no choice really.

 

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#45 of 109 Old 10-06-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Again, Too much homework.  Elementary kids, and even Jr high kids should have NONE unless there is a serious need.

 

It's a good thread if you decide to read it (and not that long!). 

 

My DC's school (public, charter elementary) didn't have homework and the parents revolted - myself included. What ended up happening with the no-homework policy was that, despite a very active and involved communication strategy, there really wasn't enough chance for parents to help add another layer of instruction to what our kids were learning in school. I know that no-homework is a progressive idea embraced by folks like Kohn (who I love, btw) but I didn't find it all that great in practical application. Well thought-out, age appropriate, perhaps optional homework that reflects the work in the classroom should be the goal, imo. 


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#46 of 109 Old 10-07-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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And that's the problem....parents revolting because of no homework. Come on...homework in early elementary....?!! What is going on here?!! Did you have homework at that age? Did you get pressured that if you didn't pass the state test, all hell would break lose?

 

The poor teachers now are being judged if their students pass the state mandated tests....and they pass off their stress to parents and call it "parental involvement".  ENOUGH already!!! Kids spend more than enough time learning their academics at school. Let them play...

 

Schools have gone backwards. They blame the parents for not being "involved".  I will not accept it.

 

Homework doesn't create sucessful kids. A passion for learning and life does.

 

Don't bitch about homework not being assigned. You are just making our life more difficult. If you want homework that bad...there is more than enough recources online that you can print out and force your kids to do.

 

I want free time with my kids. We work all day. let us decide what we should do at home, thank you very much..

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#47 of 109 Old 10-07-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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And that's the problem....parents revolting because of no homework. Come on...homework in early elementary....?!! What is going on here?!! Did you have homework at that age? Did you get pressured that if you didn't pass the state test, all hell would break lose?

I always had homework growing up and there were a few large tests than we were very pressured to pass. Homework was never called parental involvement though and there were several tests we took, though not as many as there are now. I had never heard of not having homework until reading about the debate around homework in a methods class in college. Did you go to a school where they didn't have homework? If you don't mind sharing the years than would be interesting. I was in elementary school from 1987 to 1993 and by then nobody questioned homework that I knew of.
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Don't bitch about homework not being assigned. You are just making our life more difficult. If you want homework that bad...there is more than enough recources online that you can print out and force your kids to do.

 

I want free time with my kids. We work all day. let us decide what we should do at home, thank you very much..

I can see that you're super stressed and I don't really want to debate the issue here - I think I expressed myself above in a way that should make it clear that homework is valuable to us (and to the other parents at DC's school) because of the opportunity to interact with our kids in their school work provided by the teacher. As a HS'er I think it is easy enough to understand the value in the educational perspective that a parent can provide. Perhaps the term "revolt" was too strong - it was kind of a joke. Basically, the school had a no-HW policy and the parents in general did not like it. It's one of those things where the philosophical/research based ideas did not fit well with reality. shrug.gif These things happen. But the school has effective and efficient avenues for communication and I think the choice to make a change is one that everyone is happy with. It sounds to me that the HW issue is only one thing in a bunch that made you pull your DC's out of school. I can't imagine HW alone being a deal breaker in an otherwise healthy school. 

 

That said, there are certain types and amounts of HW that I would not like and I would be happy to join you on a thread about that  - or even to share my perspective on no-homework. If you start a thread, just link and I'll join!  

 

I'm curious if you got around to reading the entire thread because it's a thoughtful one and one that I think you will largely appreciate. 

 

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#49 of 109 Old 10-08-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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I always had homework growing up and there were a few large tests than we were very pressured to pass. Homework was never called parental involvement though and there were several tests we took, though not as many as there are now. I had never heard of not having homework until reading about the debate around homework in a methods class in college. Did you go to a school where they didn't have homework? If you don't mind sharing the years than would be interesting. I was in elementary school from 1987 to 1993 and by then nobody questioned homework that I knew of.

 

I started Kindergarten in 1980. Third grade was when spelling tests started, so I studied for those. Very rarely, was a work sheet sent home to do.  It wasn't until 5th grade I got math homework. My husband and I talked a lot about our expierences in Jr high and high school (we went to school together since elementary) and, he never had homework, or rarely did. I was always bombarded with it 7th grade through my senior year. I was an honor roll student all those years, but, I failed ONE semester my senior year because I got so burned out, and I couldn't graduate with my class.

 

Yes, schools have changed a lot. The requirements in HS changed when I was a sophmore, so I had to take 4 years, instead of 2, of history, math, english, etc. While my husband, who was a grade higher, only needed two, and was able to have work experience in his last two years.

 

Anyway, I don't mean to hijack the thread...I just wanted to answer the question and explain somewhat why I feel so strongly with this issue. My parents, and their parents didn't have half of the pressure placed on them as we do now. Their kids all did fine and was able to suceeed.  My Mom is blown away on how the schools are now. It really has changed, and not for better.


 

  

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#50 of 109 Old 10-09-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really started this thread because I was interested to compare the amount of homework my child was bringing home in 6th grade (the first year of middle school) to the amount other kids were bringing home, especially other middle schoolers. Thanks for all the feedback on that.

 

Our kids were in a school that had optional homework when they were little and that worked out okay for us because early on I was just interested in socialization for my kids, esp dd1 who had some social anxiety. As they have gotten older, I am in favor of some homework, however. I do think it helps dd1, especially, both for us as parents to know what's going on, but more importantly for her to be able to really learn the material. She is the kind of kid that really benefits from practicing what she's been doing in class at home. I am not in favor of 4 hrs of homework a night or anything, but I do think she is better able to learn if she can go over it again with us. It just reinforces concepts, especially in Math which is her weakest class (although, she's done fairly well — mostly Bs).

 

As far as I can recall I started having homework in elementary school. This was in the 70s. (Early 70s—I'm old enough to be some of y'all's parents, I'm sure!) I don't remember my parents ever helping me with my homework, except for a model of a medieval castle I made in later elementary school. I do remember my mom helping me with that (an oatmeal canister was the tower). I don't remember them helping with daily homework and usually it didn't take too long unless I had procrastinated about a paper I had due (more likely in high school). 

 

My younger daughter is the kind of kid who can knock out her 3rd grade homework in 10 minutes or less and she's very focused about it and usually does it immediately after school (as in, in the car on the way to pick up dd1) and doesn't leave it until the last thing before bed. She's just wired that way. 

 

Dd1, however, will put it all off until the last minute if given the opportunity and then drag it out so that it lasts for hours and hours. We really have to help her stay on top of it and focused, but I think by having to deal with homework she is learning some organization skills that she really needs to learn. I have seen it begin to spill over into other areas a teeny bit, too. She's storyboarding a project she's working on in her spare time for herself (not school related). That kind of planning hasn't always happened before and she's just plunged into things with minimal forethought.


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#51 of 109 Old 10-09-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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As far as I can recall I started having homework in elementary school. This was in the 70s. (Early 70s—I'm old enough to be some of y'all's parents, I'm sure!) I don't remember my parents ever helping me with my homework, except for a model of a medieval castle I made in later elementary school. I do remember my mom helping me with that (an oatmeal canister was the tower). I don't remember them helping with daily homework and usually it didn't take too long unless I had procrastinated about a paper I had due (more likely in high school).

Just giving you a shout-out since I also went to elementary school in the 70s! lol.gif

 

My memories of homework are similar to yours. I do remember staying up late or getting up early to finish stuff in middle school and high school, but it never felt super-excessive (except the middle school teacher who made us do dumb stuff like memorize all the presidents, first name and last, overnight - really??). I didn't feel close to burnout until college (from work, school, activities), but I had a couple of great profs who worked with me so that it wouldn't happen. I am really keeping an eye on things with my kids after seeing Race to Nowhere and hearing about all the similar problems in my community at the high school level.


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Just giving you a shout-out since I also went to elementary school in the 70s! lol.gif

When I read that Beanma was in elementary school in the 70s I was like - woa...till I realized that I, too, started elementary school in the 70s. orngbiggrin.gif  I also remember homework. Certainly projects but also memorization - like the multiplication tables and spelling. Anyone remember making a flashcard reader out of a milk carton? I'm tempted to make one for DC. eyesroll.gif   In fact, I think I remember writing a paper on King Henry the VIII in 5th grade! I LOVED that teacher and that subject so, so much.  I still remember everything I learned in that class (or at least it feels that way). 


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When I read that Beanma was in elementary school in the 70s I was like - woa...till I realized that I, too, started elementary school in the 70s. orngbiggrin.gif

 

Well, I'm sure I'm still older than y'all. There are a few of us older moms here, but I haven't seen too many of those familiar names on this thread. I started elementary school in '70 or '71. It was segregated the first year! Busing started in 2nd grade. I'm all ancient and withered and everything orngtongue.gif

 

In any case, homework wasn't overly burdensome for me—what I remember, that is! There were certainly some assignments that were boring or that I viewed as drudgery and there were some times that I let stuff pile up and I had to stay up late, but overall I was pretty much able to deal with it with no problem even in high school taking AP classes. I was definitely the kind to pull some all nighters for school work in college. I distinctly remember one project I stayed up all night working on, but I got an A on it, too, so my procrastination was rewarded.

 

However, my dd1 is easily overwhelmed, yet she's the kid of mine that I think most benefits from having some homework. Like everything else with her homework is a fine line. Some is really, truly helpful for her. Too much just sends her spiraling over the edge. Dd2 is pretty easy and could do fine with more homework or no homework. She's more likely to get it all on the first go 'round in class and could also easily manage (organize and complete on her own) much more homework than she gets now.

 

Dd1 also often brings home work she didn't complete in class, which she has done again today (another writing assignment, but for Social Studies this time), so that adds to the homework burden, but really it's classwork that didn't get completed. She also has math, science due on Thursday (involves making a poster — something she loves, but can easily spend too long on), some reading for English, and some vocab for English. This is all basically due this week. I think the Social Studies and Math are both due tomorrow.


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Well, I'm sure I'm still older than y'all. 

Yep - by 10 years. You're the same age as my partner in crime and my DC's dear old dad.2whistle.gif  I'll ask him about homework when he gets home from taking a bunch of kids to "game night". Which brings me around to your other point. What would NOT work well for us is homework that can not be planned out. DC has drama this afternoon and ten minutes to change for game night this evening. They will get home around 8:30, which is DC's bed time. If she could not budget her homework on lighter days it would be impossible.  (no idea why this is highlighted, btw). 


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We rarely have those back-to-back activity nights (on purpose), so that helps. My DDs tend to want to do homework right after school, which helps, too. Hope things continue well for you!

 

PS I started kindy in 1976.


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#56 of 109 Old 10-09-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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I started KG in 1968. I'm older 'n all-o-yahs. No homework until middle school (7th) and not much then. Some in high school, maybe 2-3 hours a week not counting revision before tests, which I didn't do. But I'm in Canada. We don't seem to believe in homework in the same way here. I remember doing an exchange trip with a US public high school in about 1977 and being amazed by how long the school hours were, and how much studying was expected. Yet Canada has much lower dropout rates and much the same (slightly better?) overall scholastic performance. 

 

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#57 of 109 Old 10-09-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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I started grade school in 1968! My memories of homework as a child were that it was quite involved in grades 3 thru 6. It was not uncommon to be assigned a 10 page paper (typed) plus an experiential project to go with it. We had math, reading and penmanship every night. My sisters and I all sat at the kitchen table and did it until it was done. Junior high was also challenging--lots of writing and essays. High school, more of the same.

 

The expectations my kids have for the production of work is actually MUCH less than what I had at similar grades. This was in New Jersey and PA, if that matters at all.

 

So interesting!!
 


 
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#58 of 109 Old 10-10-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Moomin & Lauren! You win, but just by a nose. I started K in '69. I remember when the year flipped to '70 and we all had to start writing that on our papers instead. Just had my 30th high school reunion (which I skipped).

 

Ugh, dd1 dragged that social studies assignment out way, way too long. I have to be very hands on with her or she won't be able to focus and get it done. So frustrating because I know she can do it.

 

I think in my ideal world she would have maybe 1 assignment from each class each week, so like Monday would be math day, and Tuesday would be Science, etc, etc, but it doesn't work that way. Right now she's making her life more difficult by not completing all her work in class all the time, and by not using her study hall period to complete homework, so she's bringing homework that could have been done at school home and also sometimes bringing work that should have been done at school home.  


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LOL, I missed this "competition" yesterday. I'll 'fess up - I started kindergarten in 1967. Sigh. 

 

I recall homework in elementary school - spelling lists to memorize and social studies projects and that sort of thing. One project had us building a model home from a different culture - the kid who picked "cave" and brought in a lump of clay with an indentation in it was a GENIUS! I spent a weekend gluing straw to a cardboard "hut" and trying to get it to balance on "stilts". I don't remember homework as onerous or overwhelming, but I was a compliant kid who liked schoolwork so my memories are probably biased. I'm pretty sure I sought out extra work. I know I brought home the "reader" (English text) and read it pretty much cover to cover and then got in trouble in class because I wasn't following along when the class read a story together. I had already read it and I was daydreaming.

 

By middle school, the homework was more involved. I recall study sessions with friends. I attended a new-fangled "semi-open" school with classroom pods around a "resource centre" (NOT a library). Looking back, I think there was an attempt to incorporate more group work - we sat in groups at tables rather than desks. There was definitely math and science homework, English essays, history research etc., although, again, I don't recall it being onerous or overwhelming. 

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I asked DH and he said he remembers projects but he doesn't remember homework being something his parents were responsible nor does he remember it being overly burdensome. Perhaps this is the real change we're seeing in some schools today. 

 

On a side note - I did a little reading on HW (wanted to refresh my memory of Kohn and etc.) and saw a good suggestion, which is to look into your district's guidelines for homework. I wasn't even aware that they put those out but if yours does and your child is getting far more than the guidelines, that seems a good place to start. 


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