Struggling with the afterschool program to allow my child to do homework at home! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-14-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
EvolvingMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Great Basin, California
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi Mamas,

I am a mother AND a special education teacher. My 5 yo son is in kindergarten this year, at the school where I teach, which is really nice! We get to see one another through the day. 

 

He is enrolled in the afterschool program, which is run on site at school by a non-profit organization. It is a grant-funded program that is nationwide. My son gets a homework packet to complete every week, due on Friday. In my mind, that means that he brings it home on Monday and, through the week, his dad and I get to work with him on developing homework habits and to see what he is learning. 

 

The afterschool program, however, has homework time, and offers their own "Rainbow Bucks" to kids who get their homework done there - not at home. They can earn 2 bucks per page of finished homework, which they can trade in for prizes on Fridays. I just found out about this policy. Until now, I have made sure to bring his homework packet home with me on Mondays, circumventing the issue altogether - the afterschool program teacher is also his kindergarten aide in the morning, so she has that continuity with the kids into the afternoon. She has been providing Hayes with a different packet to work on while the other kids are doing their "homework" with her! So no problem, but today, my son saw that I had left his homework packet in my classroom by accident, and was adamant that he should take it with him to class, so that he could work on it in the afterschool program and earn those Rainbow Bucks. 

 

I had to go to the teacher with this -- she is a colleague. It seems so crazy to have to fight for the right to parent my child and support homework at home, but that is what I am doing! As a teacher, it frustrates me, too, because now our school culture around homework is that parents expect it to be done at the afterschool program. 

 

Our compromise is that the teacher will print a SECOND packet for Hayes to take home and do with us, to turn in on Fridays. He will do the homework packet in his folder at the afterschool program for the Rainbow bucks. So....double homework.

 

If we didn't need the child care, and if Hayes wasn't getting alot out of the program socially, I would definitely pull him out. 

 

I want to address this issue with the program coordinator, but I don't want to be snippy or negative....any suggestions from other moms on how to approach? It's awkward, because I work with these people.

 

Thank you!


Laurie wash.gif (44), wife to DH thumb.gif(60), mama to DS guitar.gif (18), DS reading.gif(6), DSD heartbeat.gif(15), and DD (4)jog.gif 
EvolvingMama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-14-2012, 06:22 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

so let me see if i get this right.

 

1. you would like your ds to do his hw at home.

2. ds would love to work at his afterschool to get the rainbow bucks.

 

can you come to a compromise since you work there. take his hw from him after school on monday (when he gets the packet) like you usually do, yet get him some of the homeschool supply workbooks so he can be part of the afterschool activity? leave the workbooks at the afterschool place so he always has some work to do and doesnt miss out on the rainbow bucks and friday prizes.

 

i will have to say your request is unique. i have had dd in afterschool care and i'd rather she finish her hw at aftercare. i had her circle the questions that she had trouble with and i checked her hw at home to make sure she did them correctly. so i knew what hw she was doing.

 

i did not want to spend time at home over hw because then it would become this big old thing and 10 mins of hw would take an hour.

 

i am not sure how you would work around this because i think you would be in the minority with hw being done.

 

he has reading also doesnt he? can you let him do his written work at afterschool and do his reading at home?

 

your son does not seem to mind doing homework twice right?!! just to avoid boredom, i'd make sure he has plenty of stuff to work on at the afterschool program.


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:59 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,808
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)

Rather than doubling up on the homework, I would either find him enjoyable enrichment work he can do at afterschool care to earn Rainbow Bucks (I guess you'd have to negotiate that with the staff), or else spend the time at home you would otherwise spend on homework on fun, interesting, hands-on enrichment activities. Surely if you are on staff at his school you have a decent inkling of what he's learning. If he's completing HW at daycare just fine, then clearly he doesn't need to do homework at home in order to learn good homework habits. My inclination would be to see homework during daycare as a helpful arrangement that can take some of the workload off you and him during your precious time together. During the evenings I would do cool things like playing Snakes & Ladders, reading together, telling stories, playing number guessing games and twenty questions, building with K'nex or Lego, doing stop-motion animation, making popsicle-stick bridges, teaching him to knit, and so on. You might not get as clear an idea of what he's doing in school, but you'll get a far richer picture of how he learns, and who he is, from discovery-oriented, playful hands-on activities. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
moominmamma is online now  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:46 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I think you are making this too complicated and looking for little things to fight about. Working with children is hard and i find myself doing this sometimes when i am not handling my stress well. I think you need to really assess what outcome you are hoping for and how realistic that is before making this your hill to die on.

I see no reason why you can't go back to the old way you were doing it which involved no fighting and explain that to him. I think they have been nice to help him feel involved in the homework time while also respecting your desire to do homework with him at home. Homework time at afterschool care is standard and something most programs advertise around here because it is a drag to have to spend time on homework at home when you would rather have quality family time. Going to.the supervisor may get him excused from the homework time that he seems to.enjoy but they are unlikely to stop a program most parents appreciate and your son will probably not be pleased that you won't let him earn what the other kids earn.
One_Girl is offline  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:48 PM
 
elus0814's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

What about giving him real dollars to save or spend on even better things than the prizes they have there in exchange for doing the work at home?

elus0814 is offline  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:16 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)

one great piece of advice I got when my kids first started school that has served me well is:

 

Take it as a package deal and don't get too hung up on any one thing. Just look at overall, "Is this working for my child?" Let the rest go.

 

Him doing is homework during aftercare is a little thing. It's not something to get hung up on. Him doing double homework so that you can do homework is not reasonable or fair to him. Take that time and do something fun, like read together or bake cookies or build some lego.
 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:04 AM
 
Nightwish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I don't understand why you wouldn't let him do his homework at daycare. He wants to do it, he likes doing it with the other kids (even if it's for a reward). Why would you want him to work twice as much? On kindergarten homework?
 


Ds 9 and dd 5
Nightwish is offline  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:36 AM
 
mtiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't understand why this is an issue, either. He is apparently developing a homework routine - which is part of what you have been trying to accomplish. As for seeing what he is learning, maybe you could do as another poster said her child does - have your son mark what parts of his HW he had trouble with and then you and/or Dad could go over it with him in the evening. Or simply review his work together if he doesn't indicate any problems.

 

Alternately, you could review his HW packet when he gets it, and incorporate the concepts his class is working on during activities when at home in the evenings to solidify his understanding. Review his work the night or two before it's due so the two of you can go over areas he's not quite grasped - and reinforce those over the w/e.

 

Don't view HW as the only way you can "teach" your son. Your influence on him involves many more teachable moments than HW. Why waste those opportunities on his doing additional HW - or the same HW a second time. That's busy work, and the three of you could utilize your time together in much better - and enjoyable - ways. IMO, anyway.
 

mtiger is offline  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
EvolvingMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Great Basin, California
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank you everyone, for your input and perspectives. I am sure we will find a solution that works for our child and keeps the learning fun! I didn't mean this to become a negative discussion, so I'll bow out now. 


Laurie wash.gif (44), wife to DH thumb.gif(60), mama to DS guitar.gif (18), DS reading.gif(6), DSD heartbeat.gif(15), and DD (4)jog.gif 
EvolvingMama is offline  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:53 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvolvingMama View Post

Thank you everyone, for your input and perspectives. I am sure we will find a solution that works for our child and keeps the learning fun! I didn't mean this to become a negative discussion, so I'll bow out now. 

oh please dont leave. i want to know how you look at this situation as its so different from the norm.

 

obviously this is really important for you - enough so that you would have pulled your son out of the program if he didnt enjoy it so much. 

 

if you dont mind me asking, (of course just because i ask doesnt mean you have to answer either) why do you want to do the homework at home? is he struggling with some of his work and you'd rather be the teacher than the afterschool staff? are you against the rainbow bucks? do you not want him to participate in the rainbow bucks system? 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:41 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,808
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)

We are a totally rewards-free family and way back 11 or 12 years ago my eldest dd was taking piano lessons with a teacher who was all into stickers and prizes as rewards for practicing time. There were weekly awards, and then bimonthly group classes or recitals where the students with the most minutes logged were given larger prizes. I realized that it would draw more attention to the prizes if I spent all sorts of energy explaining to my dd why she wasn't going to be participating in that system. It would likely make them more alluring to her, being unattainable. So I just let her play along, logging her practice time and cashing in for rewards. I'd throw out little comments like "Isn't it weird that some teachers think they have to pay kids to learn? As if you don't want to learn anyway!" She took her cues from me; she never really thought the rewards had much importance. (I also bought her extra stickers that she could use to decorate her piano book and practice chart. She could plaster them anywhere, or dole them out to herself for successfully doing certain tasks -- whatever she wanted. I guess in economics terms I was flooding the market, printing money to devalue the currency.)

 

It all worked wonderfully. Within a couple of months the reward system was totally off her radar. She earned rewards like crazy, but they were just the accidental result of good piano practicing habits and they had absolutely no importance to her as currency. 

 

If the Rainbow Bucks are part of what's bothering you about your ds's homework, I think there are ways to play along while trivializing the system and taking away its power.

 

miranda


Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
moominmamma is online now  
Old 11-15-2012, 12:47 PM
 
KCMichigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 925
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I actually agree w/ OP.

 

As a teacher and a parent- My DD and I  enjoy doing homework together (2nd grade). They DO the homework, but I sit with them and review it or talk about it, etc. It IS family time for us. Plus, it gives me a glimpse of what they are doing in class, facilitates discussions about school, and allows me to see specifically at school what they may be struggling with (that we may not see in the things we normally do at home). I will often email the teacher to clarify something and/or let her know a DD struggled with a specific topic. 

 

We also have plenty of time to play games, go on walks, and do lots of fun activities.

 

DDs get 10-20 min of actual worksheet or study type (spelling or math facts) homework and then 20 minutes of reading. Which is fine with me. More would be too much and less and I would  not be as aware of what they were working on at school.

 

As a teacher- I like to know that parents are aware of what the curriculum is like. A good way to connect to the school is for parents to look over and/or assist with age appropriate homework.Doing or reviewing homework allows a window into what your child is learning (since many of the ways they teach now are much much different than when most of us were in school).

 

I ,too, would not want them to do it in an after-school program since I treasure that time with them on many levels.

 

Also, I think after school kids need to relax,play, and have some time to decompress-- not jump right into school work.

 

 

For some kids, it is a great way (after school program) to get the homework done. But on the flipside, for some families- the preference may be to do it at home.

 

It really should not be a MUST DO IT THIS WAY for homework. Different families- different preferences.

KCMichigan is online now  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:09 PM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

I actually agree w/ OP.

 

As a teacher and a parent- My DD and I  enjoy doing homework together (2nd grade). They DO the homework, but I sit with them and review it or talk about it, etc. It IS family time for us. Plus, it gives me a glimpse of what they are doing in class, facilitates discussions about school, and allows me to see specifically at school what they may be struggling with (that we may not see in the things we normally do at home). I will often email the teacher to clarify something and/or let her know a DD struggled with a specific topic. 

 

We also have plenty of time to play games, go on walks, and do lots of fun activities.

 

DDs get 10-20 min of actual worksheet or study type (spelling or math facts) homework and then 20 minutes of reading. Which is fine with me. More would be too much and less and I would  not be as aware of what they were working on at school.

 

As a teacher- I like to know that parents are aware of what the curriculum is like. A good way to connect to the school is for parents to look over and/or assist with age appropriate homework.Doing or reviewing homework allows a window into what your child is learning (since many of the ways they teach now are much much different than when most of us were in school).

 

I ,too, would not want them to do it in an after-school program since I treasure that time with them on many levels.

 

Also, I think after school kids need to relax,play, and have some time to decompress-- not jump right into school work.

 

 

For some kids, it is a great way (after school program) to get the homework done. But on the flipside, for some families- the preference may be to do it at home.

 

It really should not be a MUST DO IT THIS WAY for homework. Different families- different preferences.

 

I agree that this was our family's experience with homework especially in the early years. My kids were often enthusiastic about showing us what they were doing in school. They actually looked forward to sharing their work with us. Sure there were lots of other ways I could (and did) check on their progress and enjoy enrichment activities together, but sharing schoolwork was also quality family time for us. 

 

I suppose the complicating difference is the whole Rainbow Bucks reward system and his desire to participate. We didn't have to deal with that issue. Perhaps some of the suggestions upthread will be helpful. Good luck sorting it out. 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
Old 11-15-2012, 02:43 PM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:

It really should not be a MUST DO IT THIS WAY for homework. Different families- different preferences.

Well, to be fair, it's not. They could opt out. The OP could tell her child that she disagrees and doesn't want him doing his homework there. Obviously he misses out on the Rainbow Bucks or has to do extra work each day if they go that route. It could be a valuable lesson for making decisions, though, and if I felt that strongly about it, that's the way I would approach it with my children. We choose not to do some things at school or modify our participation, and we use those decisions as times to have frank discussions about why we made the decision we did.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

 

It really should not be a MUST DO IT THIS WAY for homework. Different families- different preferences.

 

I agree. I think that doing homework together helps parents know how easily their child is mastering the presented work.

 

None the less, I don't think this is a battle that the OPer can win because I suspect that most parents with kids in aftercare are happy to have it done and be free of it for the evening. 

 

I agree with her in principle, but in practice, my advice is still to let it go because there's no point in fighting this battle. The battle will most likely make her son unhappy.

 

It's important to know when to let go of stuff or you can just drive yourself crazy.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I'be directed an afterschool program, and my DS has attended them. I'be never heard of a program requiring the children to do their homework while there. It's usually up to each child's parent and can vary from day to day. I'be never had DS do his homework at afterschool. We always do it at home. There's always a quiet option for the kids who aren't required to do their homework or don't have any. I'ce also seen well-meaning afterschool staff give too much HW help/not enough HW help/helping the children incorrectly/etc. I have no probleim with families who choose to have their kids complete their HW, but it's not a given that all parents want that. Plus,kindergarten homework is usually more active and hands-on than HW for older children.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 11-16-2012, 07:27 PM
 
avismama24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NH
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

One of the things I am enjoying about MDC is that it is a really good reminder/wake up call that not everyone agrees with me.duh.gif I read the OP and was like "uh huh, yes, agree, agree, totally understand why this is a concern."

 

It was thought provoking that other mother's had such a different take on the situation....I am reminded that "our perception is all to often our only reality." I don't have much to add to this thread...just that it humbled me a bit for the evening....we are all human, unique in are approaches to life and parenting. namaste.gif
 


Me, slinggirl.gif mama to 1.5 yr old kid.gifDS, step mama to two tweens, married to a sarcastic sports nut censored.gif. We are unschooling! mdcblog5.gif http://twocoolfourschool.wordpress.com/

avismama24 is offline  
Old 11-17-2012, 01:43 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

as a mother to a 10 year old who lives an unconventional lifestyle - one thing i have noticed that is HUGE in our family, is that no matter what outside influences are - the family value trumphs all of them. with regards to rewards i also believe in no rewards. in all her 5 years so far, she has had a reward system in all her classes but she doesnt fall for it. a lot of things i dont do - like she gets no pocket money, no birthday present, no christmas present but she gets presents whenever i have money. we buy stuff all the time. sometimes its tiny, sometimes its a big spending. presents, gifts is not a big deal in her life. in fact today she considers her bday party as present enough. 

 

so if you are concerned about the reward OP - your son will figure it out. 

 

like dd tells me - somedays i get a lower grade in class because having fun was more important than getting the right answers. i love that. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 11-17-2012, 06:20 AM
 
mtiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvolvingMama View Post

Thank you everyone, for your input and perspectives. I am sure we will find a solution that works for our child and keeps the learning fun! I didn't mean this to become a negative discussion, so I'll bow out now. 

 

I didn't think it was a negative discussion. Just because some didn't see why this was a problem for you, you got a lot of good input (IMO) as to how others might handle it. Not agreeing with your position doesn't make it negative.

mtiger is offline  
Old 11-19-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
EvolvingMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Great Basin, California
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hello again everyone. I agree that there is so much richness in perspective on MDC! I enjoyed and appreciated reading your posts. I will explain a bit more about my perspective here, in answer to some of your questions. One thing that this issue has taught me is how very differently, and very strongly, parents feel about homework. I see that "agreeing to disagree" respectfully is where many of us will stand, all with the best intentions for our children.

 

I don't think I mentioned that I have an older son. He started school in the same K classroom that my younger son currently attends, with a different teacher, 12 years ago. He is now a senior in high school and applying to college, excited for the next jumping off phase of his life. When he started school, there was no afterschool program; there was a "bus room" for the students whose families live out of town, which was really a recreational time. My son's dad picked him up after school for the first few years and he did his homework - usually a sheet of math and reading - at home, with his parents, establishing a routine that has empowered him to develop independent study skills that serve him as a Calculus student now, and will as a college student later, and through his life as an adult learner. 

 

I was teaching at our little school by the time the afterschool program started - when my older son was in 5th grade. In the time since the program began, here is what has happened:

  • 1. Most parents no longer expect homework to be done at home - they EXPECT the afterschool program to "do" it with their children. Some actually get angry when the homework is not done by the time they pick up their children. The afterschool program does have a parent contract that emphasizes the importance of parents checking their children's homework and making sure it is complete.
  • 2. The children do their homework in groups, copying off one another's papers, and don't do careful work. The 2 adults working have no way of going over each problem or question with each student.
  • 3. The noise level is high.
  • 4. The students who are in 9th and 10th grades now - with no afterschool program anymore, and very little parent involvement since kindergarten in homework - aren't doing their homework. They are failing classes left and right and have no developed homework skills. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders are starting to show this tendency, too, even though they get some homework time at afterschool. Parents are upset that they themselves have to help their children, and they haven't had to yet, so everyone is struggling. These are just MY observations as a parent and as a teacher, who sees the students at school.

 

My older son had very limited homework in K. It's kindergarten, for goodness sake! However, my younger son has a packet of about 12 pages of math, reading and writing to do over the course of a week. 

 

I want to establish homework at home as a comfortable, even fun, family time, that is a PART of all that we do. Of course we play games, go for walks, build with straws and connectors, and make telescopes, treehouses, construction sites, etc.... at home. It isn't going to be either homework OR family "quality" time. It's all family time, and it's all learning. 

 

Thank you for helping me form my own opinion about what to do for our son....if they're going to assign homework, he'll be doing it at home, and enjoying the afterschool program as enrichment on a limited number of days. We may be a minority, but I see the big picture for him, based on my experiences with his older brother and in teaching all of the kids as they have come up through the afterschool program. There is richness socially for him there, but innumerable ways of providing experiences and fun and social opportunities with his family, as well.

 

Thankfully,

 

Laurie


Laurie wash.gif (44), wife to DH thumb.gif(60), mama to DS guitar.gif (18), DS reading.gif(6), DSD heartbeat.gif(15), and DD (4)jog.gif 
EvolvingMama is offline  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:35 PM
 
mtiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think an afterschool program that includes homework time needs to be a negative. Both of mine are just a bit older than your oldest (#2 graduated last June, #1 2 years earlier. Both attended an afterschool program where there was homework time. And yes, I did expect them to at least make a start on it at that time. That didn't mean that I never looked at or went over their homework with them. It simply meant that they got a headstart. Didn't affect either of their academic careers.

 

It really comes down to what works best for each individual situation.
 

mtiger is offline  
Old 11-19-2012, 08:53 PM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Your longer explanation really just makes it seem like you maybe don't want your son in the after-school program at all, which I think is reasonable. My family's experience with homework is nothing like yours. My husband and I both took math well beyond calculus, and neither of us needed "comfortable, structured time" for homework. Neither of my children need our help in any way with homework. To me, if they can pop it out in 5 minutes while at after-care, that's just less for them to do later. Of course, one of us looks over it, and they've always gotten the answers right...just like they do in class. I don't find that your idea that doing homework in after-care is the sole, or even a major, reason that high school students aren't doing well a convincing one at all, and I think you are being incredibly judgmental about people who prefer their children to do homework at after-school care.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
EvolvingMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Great Basin, California
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am glad we can all speak from our experiences. I think each family needs to figure out what works best for them, as many of you have said. We are figuring that out for our family. Peace to all of you!


Laurie wash.gif (44), wife to DH thumb.gif(60), mama to DS guitar.gif (18), DS reading.gif(6), DSD heartbeat.gif(15), and DD (4)jog.gif 
EvolvingMama is offline  
Old 11-20-2012, 06:06 AM
 
avismama24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NH
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvolvingMama View Post

Hello again everyone. I agree that there is so much richness in perspective on MDC! I enjoyed and appreciated reading your posts. I will explain a bit more about my perspective here, in answer to some of your questions. One thing that this issue has taught me is how very differently, and very strongly, parents feel about homework. I see that "agreeing to disagree" respectfully is where many of us will stand, all with the best intentions for our children.

 

I don't think I mentioned that I have an older son. He started school in the same K classroom that my younger son currently attends, with a different teacher, 12 years ago. He is now a senior in high school and applying to college, excited for the next jumping off phase of his life. When he started school, there was no afterschool program; there was a "bus room" for the students whose families live out of town, which was really a recreational time. My son's dad picked him up after school for the first few years and he did his homework - usually a sheet of math and reading - at home, with his parents, establishing a routine that has empowered him to develop independent study skills that serve him as a Calculus student now, and will as a college student later, and through his life as an adult learner. 

 

I was teaching at our little school by the time the afterschool program started - when my older son was in 5th grade. In the time since the program began, here is what has happened:

  • 1. Most parents no longer expect homework to be done at home - they EXPECT the afterschool program to "do" it with their children. Some actually get angry when the homework is not done by the time they pick up their children. The afterschool program does have a parent contract that emphasizes the importance of parents checking their children's homework and making sure it is complete.
  • 2. The children do their homework in groups, copying off one another's papers, and don't do careful work. The 2 adults working have no way of going over each problem or question with each student.
  • 3. The noise level is high.
  • 4. The students who are in 9th and 10th grades now - with no afterschool program anymore, and very little parent involvement since kindergarten in homework - aren't doing their homework. They are failing classes left and right and have no developed homework skills. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders are starting to show this tendency, too, even though they get some homework time at afterschool. Parents are upset that they themselves have to help their children, and they haven't had to yet, so everyone is struggling. These are just MY observations as a parent and as a teacher, who sees the students at school.

 

My older son had very limited homework in K. It's kindergarten, for goodness sake! However, my younger son has a packet of about 12 pages of math, reading and writing to do over the course of a week. 

 

I want to establish homework at home as a comfortable, even fun, family time, that is a PART of all that we do. Of course we play games, go for walks, build with straws and connectors, and make telescopes, treehouses, construction sites, etc.... at home. It isn't going to be either homework OR family "quality" time. It's all family time, and it's all learning. 

 

Thank you for helping me form my own opinion about what to do for our son....if they're going to assign homework, he'll be doing it at home, and enjoying the afterschool program as enrichment on a limited number of days. We may be a minority, but I see the big picture for him, based on my experiences with his older brother and in teaching all of the kids as they have come up through the afterschool program. There is richness socially for him there, but innumerable ways of providing experiences and fun and social opportunities with his family, as well.

 

Thankfully,

 

Laurie


What an extremely thoughtful and mature response Laurie. You have clearly taken the time to really think about what works best for your family, and why you have the goals you have.


Me, slinggirl.gif mama to 1.5 yr old kid.gifDS, step mama to two tweens, married to a sarcastic sports nut censored.gif. We are unschooling! mdcblog5.gif http://twocoolfourschool.wordpress.com/

avismama24 is offline  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:10 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvolvingMama View Post

I was teaching at our little school by the time the afterschool program started - when my older son was in 5th grade. In the time since the program began, here is what has happened:

  • 1. Most parents no longer expect homework to be done at home - they EXPECT the afterschool program to "do" it with their children. Some actually get angry when the homework is not done by the time they pick up their children. The afterschool program does have a parent contract that emphasizes the importance of parents checking their children's homework and making sure it is completel

let me speak for those parents who expect their child's hw being done in afterschool.

 

they pick their child up from a.s. at 6 and the kids are either in bed by 8/8:30 pm or getting ready to be in bed. 

 

what i want to make sure you understand is that just coz the hw is done at a.s. doesnt mean they dont check the hw when the kids get home. most of dd's class has working parents. the two hours they have at home is spent on school projects or home projects and hw checks not hw. for most kids including mine, hw was a pain in the neck. it is busy work which most of them get and its something i never wanted to have to have dd do at home. 

 

now from about K to even 3rd - parent involvement in hw is to a minimum unless they need help. actually i would say for us - i was only involved if dd needed help or she had class project to do. she has needed more help from 4th grade when she had a lot of projects, and in 5th grade where she had queries. 

 

dd has been in 2 a.s. programs. yes while many children could 'cheat' their hw, most of them dont really. in fact in her first a.s. program dd loved doing hw there because they did it under the trees outside. sometimes we still do this. 

 

but i am all for hw being a fun time. dd is not in dc anymore and so she does hw at home. in fact our home is full of the neighborhood kids ranging from 5th grade to junior in highschool doing hw together helping each other out. of course dd now has a different definition of family time and doing hw together is not one of them. but yes i have been more involved since last grade when dd had a project a week. the teacher always gave us a weeks time so that the parents who work had the weekend to help their kids with their project. 

 

i still dont know what dd has for hw unless she needs my help. but i know what they are doing in school through projects they bring home - even for math. i also know from what she and her friends tell me about stuff they are excited about. like the differences in plant and animal cells or how to take notes. 

 

so what  i wanted to tell you is that when i had limited time with dd i wanted it filled with stuff she and i wanted to do. not something she was forced to do. in fact even now that is how it is. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:11 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,808
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 

our home is full of the neighborhood kids ranging from 5th grade to junior in highschool doing hw together helping each other out. 

 

This is "me too" post in terms of there being many pathways to enjoyable, responsible study habits. My kids were unschooled until high school. When they started school they did so in part because they wanted a life apart from home and family, and I honored that by given them complete responsibility over their schoolwork, including deadlines, projects, structuring homework, deciding when and how it was done. Despite not having had any assigned schoolwork previously, their academics being rather capricious and self-led, they have never had any difficulty completing homework that was assigned once they began school. They're diligent, efficient, and responsible, and they get top marks; dd18 graduated first in her class and my middle two (16 and 14) are doing great as well, consistently honor roll kids. And, like meemee, my kids love study groups ... clusters of kids from various grades and courses doing homework together at our kitchen table, helping each other out, keeping each other company. Obviously as an unschooling parent I was very aware and supportive of their learning during their early years. But that didn't require helping them do bookwork every day.

 

To the OP, I would venture that if there are 9th and 10th graders in your school who are struggling with academic responsibility, there are plenty of reasons besides that they didn't do homework with their parents' help every evening when they were 5 or 6. I'm not saying that the path you're choosing with your son won't be effective, but it's simply not true that lack of daily home-based study time will create a risk of high school failure. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
moominmamma is online now  
Old 11-21-2012, 08:46 AM
 
contactmaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)

i will get back to this thread after i have read it, we have similar dilemmas, but i found an unusual solution....

contactmaya is offline  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:35 PM
 
blessedwithboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,559
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

I don't understand why this is an issue, either. He is apparently developing a homework routine - which is part of what you have been trying to accomplish. As for seeing what he is learning, maybe you could do as another poster said her child does - have your son mark what parts of his HW he had trouble with and then you and/or Dad could go over it with him in the evening. Or simply review his work together if he doesn't indicate any problems.

 

Alternately, you could review his HW packet when he gets it, and incorporate the concepts his class is working on during activities when at home in the evenings to solidify his understanding. Review his work the night or two before it's due so the two of you can go over areas he's not quite grasped - and reinforce those over the w/e.

 

Don't view HW as the only way you can "teach" your son. Your influence on him involves many more teachable moments than HW. Why waste those opportunities on his doing additional HW - or the same HW a second time. That's busy work, and the three of you could utilize your time together in much better - and enjoyable - ways. IMO, anyway.
 

This is basically what I would have said, especially the last paragraph.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvolvingMama View Post

Thank you everyone, for your input and perspectives. I am sure we will find a solution that works for our child and keeps the learning fun! I didn't mean this to become a negative discussion, so I'll bow out now. 

I didn't see it as negative at all, and I'm glad you came back!  :)

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

We are a totally rewards-free family and way back 11 or 12 years ago my eldest dd was taking piano lessons with a teacher who was all into stickers and prizes as rewards for practicing time. There were weekly awards, and then bimonthly group classes or recitals where the students with the most minutes logged were given larger prizes. I realized that it would draw more attention to the prizes if I spent all sorts of energy explaining to my dd why she wasn't going to be participating in that system. It would likely make them more alluring to her, being unattainable. So I just let her play along, logging her practice time and cashing in for rewards. I'd throw out little comments like "Isn't it weird that some teachers think they have to pay kids to learn? As if you don't want to learn anyway!" She took her cues from me; she never really thought the rewards had much importance. (I also bought her extra stickers that she could use to decorate her piano book and practice chart. She could plaster them anywhere, or dole them out to herself for successfully doing certain tasks -- whatever she wanted. I guess in economics terms I was flooding the market, printing money to devalue the currency.)

 

It all worked wonderfully. Within a couple of months the reward system was totally off her radar. She earned rewards like crazy, but they were just the accidental result of good piano practicing habits and they had absolutely no importance to her as currency. 

 

If the Rainbow Bucks are part of what's bothering you about your ds's homework, I think there are ways to play along while trivializing the system and taking away its power.

 

miranda

LOVE!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvolvingMama View Post

Hello again everyone. I agree that there is so much richness in perspective on MDC! I enjoyed and appreciated reading your posts. I will explain a bit more about my perspective here, in answer to some of your questions. One thing that this issue has taught me is how very differently, and very strongly, parents feel about homework. I see that "agreeing to disagree" respectfully is where many of us will stand, all with the best intentions for our children.

 

I don't think I mentioned that I have an older son. He started school in the same K classroom that my younger son currently attends, with a different teacher, 12 years ago. He is now a senior in high school and applying to college, excited for the next jumping off phase of his life. When he started school, there was no afterschool program; there was a "bus room" for the students whose families live out of town, which was really a recreational time. My son's dad picked him up after school for the first few years and he did his homework - usually a sheet of math and reading - at home, with his parents, establishing a routine that has empowered him to develop independent study skills that serve him as a Calculus student now, and will as a college student later, and through his life as an adult learner. 

 

I was teaching at our little school by the time the afterschool program started - when my older son was in 5th grade. In the time since the program began, here is what has happened:

  • 1. Most parents no longer expect homework to be done at home - they EXPECT the afterschool program to "do" it with their children. Some actually get angry when the homework is not done by the time they pick up their children. The afterschool program does have a parent contract that emphasizes the importance of parents checking their children's homework and making sure it is complete.
  • 2. The children do their homework in groups, copying off one another's papers, and don't do careful work. The 2 adults working have no way of going over each problem or question with each student.
  • 3. The noise level is high.
  • 4. The students who are in 9th and 10th grades now - with no afterschool program anymore, and very little parent involvement since kindergarten in homework - aren't doing their homework. They are failing classes left and right and have no developed homework skills. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders are starting to show this tendency, too, even though they get some homework time at afterschool. Parents are upset that they themselves have to help their children, and they haven't had to yet, so everyone is struggling. These are just MY observations as a parent and as a teacher, who sees the students at school.

 

My older son had very limited homework in K. It's kindergarten, for goodness sake! However, my younger son has a packet of about 12 pages of math, reading and writing to do over the course of a week. 

 

I want to establish homework at home as a comfortable, even fun, family time, that is a PART of all that we do. Of course we play games, go for walks, build with straws and connectors, and make telescopes, treehouses, construction sites, etc.... at home. It isn't going to be either homework OR family "quality" time. It's all family time, and it's all learning. 

 

Thank you for helping me form my own opinion about what to do for our son....if they're going to assign homework, he'll be doing it at home, and enjoying the afterschool program as enrichment on a limited number of days. We may be a minority, but I see the big picture for him, based on my experiences with his older brother and in teaching all of the kids as they have come up through the afterschool program. There is richness socially for him there, but innumerable ways of providing experiences and fun and social opportunities with his family, as well.

 

Thankfully,

 

Laurie

I'm sort if famous (infamous?) on MDC for being altogether very anti-HW, but after reading this, I agree with you that you should stick to your guns and insist that HW remain your special time with your kiddo.  Best wishes to you!


Bring back the old MDC
blessedwithboys is offline  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:10 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I think kids struggling in high school is something that goes deeper than homework. To me, and my dd's teachers, homework is skill practice and not a time for parents to have to get deeply involved with reteaching. If your district tends to give homework that requires parent involvement beyond telling a kid to do their homework and checking to be sure they did then I can see why so many kids are struggling in higher grades when they aren't able to do the work independently and their parents don't realize the homework requires their participation. I would call that a school issue that requires more communication with parents about how much support their kids need with homework and by maintaining a homework philosophy that isn't embraced by a community that expects kids to learn at school.
One_Girl is offline  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
EvolvingMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Great Basin, California
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank again, everyone. As a final note, here is how we are handling this situation. Having a whole week off last week helped me put things into perspective and reground our family together again as the main support for our children.

 

On Mondays, I will pick up his homework folder as usual in the morning from his teacher. If he can, my husband will pick little mister up when his kindergarten morning is over and they will go home and do family stuff - which could include homework but might just as well include digging, building something, or just - whatever! We will look at his packet when I get home later, and work on it as usual through the week. At this point, the homework packet has not been "unfun" and has been something he is happy to show us. It is not a drudgery, nor do I want it to be so.

 

On other days, he will attend the afterschool program when DH is working, or when there is a special event, like the monthly birthday party or the first Wednesday science day, and always on Fridays for the "Fun Friday" events. This way, he will get the great enrichment of the program, while taking the homework out of the afterschool program - for HIM. This is our choice, what we are going to try for our family, with our family's values, not a judgement of what other families do.

 

It feels good to be making decisions based on what is good for our son, and explaining them to him, and not taking the easy way out and giving in to the pressure we were getting to make the program work for the program. No apologies - we are trying to make the program work for our son without detracting from what they are trying to do for kids, who have many different kinds of family situations and expectations.

 

The high school issue is related to the afterschool issue, and I brought it up because there really is a direct link in our small community that I have seen over the years. Of course there is more going on! That is a whole other topic. 

 

Thank you to the private messagers who offered such kind words! I always learn something from this forum.

 

Peace,


Laurie wash.gif (44), wife to DH thumb.gif(60), mama to DS guitar.gif (18), DS reading.gif(6), DSD heartbeat.gif(15), and DD (4)jog.gif 
EvolvingMama is offline  
 

Tags
School
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off