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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel awful. DD asked to go back to school after homeschooling almost 2 years. She made a case for me, wrote a list of the pros and cons of returning to school and continuing to homeschool. She put alot of thought into it and felt very strongly about it, so I put her back in private school. It has been nothing but hell since then. The school I put her in is a magnet school. Had I put her in public school, she would have been ahead of the game as far as the curriculum goes, but our public schools here are hideous. She has been struggling to catch up with this program. 6 hours of homework the first night and 3 hours every night since. My child is losing her childhood. This is tearing away at me. Anybody have any encouraging words?
 

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I had a hsing child make a fabulous case for attending school. After debating it a year, dh and I let the child go. It's been nearly two years, and the child is happy as a clam and is a wonderful kid.
: It cost$ us big time (small independant school) and we would rather have that money in our bank account or for trips. However, the child is happy, lovely, thriving and delightful. It's not turned out at all as I had thought.
He's so cute. Some kids like a certain sort of day and pace. I'd *so* rather the child be at home, but he's thriving in this particular situation.

Is your child happy? Is your child happy to be who she is? Is school supporting who she is, or is the school working against her, or your family values? If I saw my little guy unhappy or changing into a child who didn't trust himself, wasn't confident, didn't have time to have interests etc., I would have different thoughts about his school situation.
 

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My dd(7) is in a ps now, and despite the excessive amount of work she does like it.If your child does not like it then consider other options. Perhaps by winter break she will catch up,and there will not be so much homework for her.
 

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That, IMO, is entirely too much homework.

I would ask to discuss with the teacher other options. Could she go back a grade? Is all the homework new information?

How old is DD? My DD was homeschooled for K & 1st and went to 2nd last year. The homework took her too long at the beginning of the year until her writing improved, but it was never more than 40 minutes/night 4X weekly.

Now, in 3rd grade she has 2-3 hours weekly. I think the standard guideline is 10minutes/grade/night. So a 1st grader would have 10 minutes nightly, a 5th grader 50 minutes and a 12th grader 2 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, 10 minutes per grade??? Never heard that, but it would be awesome.

DD is 9 years old in 4th grade. She is very happy with the idea of school. She likes to be with her friends every day. Other than that, she really resents the homework (who wouldn't?). I am going to talk with some parents in her class to see if it takes their kids as long as it takes her to complete her homework. Maybe since she is catching up in some areas it is taking her a little longer.

Here is an example of Monday homework. From what I gather so far Monday is the largest volume of homework:
59 pages reading book
12 pages reading science and study for quiz
10 pages science reading and study for quiz
30 spelling words, written twice
2 pages math (new concepts, took some time)
15 pages of history reading and study for quiz

Every other day of the week was reviewing science, history, and math preparing for a Friday test, and writing spelling words twice and about 8 definitions per day. Also, 2 pages (new concept) math every day.

I told the teacher we would work really hard to catch up with multiplication and division by playing a math game that really helps my daughter retain information. She said "Honey, you won't have time for games with my homework load
"

Wahhhhhhhh!!!!
 

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Okay, that just would not be okay with me.

30 spelling words is much too much. If I remember correctly the optimal is something like 10. DD has 18/weekly.

DD is in a full time gifted program. It is a 3rd/4th grade class but everything is taught 1-3 years "ahead."

WEEKLY Homework (given Friday, due the next Friday):

First page--- random assignment. This week it was writing 10 5digit numbers in expanded form. Generally it is a 8-10 sentances on a topic or coming up with 10 different questions to "get" a word (like Jeapordy), etc...

Next 4-6 pages--- "spelling" Write each word once, then a practice test. Different word usage/definitions/parts of speech/grammar/etc... on the other pages.

2-4 pages of "math". Generally at least one page "random", one page with longer story problems (that all focus around a central theme), and then a few other things.

Reading Journal--- respond (generally in only one sentance) for 5 days of reading.

One huge difference I see is that DD is assigned NO reading at home. They don't bring books home, or their notebooks (which is, now that I think about it, odd for that age). She is "supposed" to read about 20 minutes nightly, but that is recreational reading.

There is also a project of sorts every 4-6 weeks (she has only had one so far). The first one was to read a Science-Fiction/Fantasy book (she chose Inkheart), do the report (about 5-10 paragraphs) including illustrations and present orally to the class.

I get the feeling her class is very middle of the road- a bit heavy on homework for this area (though it is nice it is weekly).

I just would NOT let my child do that much homework at that young of age. There is so much other stuff they need to do!

When DP & I agreed that DD could try school out, we decided that 30 minutes was the maximum nightly (no weekend) homework we felt was reasonable (2nd grade--- excluding personal reading, of course). At the beginning of the year it was taking her longer than that, but once she got used to the format of the "spelling" it was taking her about 1.5 hours/week.
 

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I can't find a resource right now for that "10 minutes/grade/night" but I did a quick search and that does seem to be the ballpark.

Just random schools:

http://public.sd38.bc.ca:8004/~DeBec...eworkGuide.htm

Quote:
During these years the time spent on homework will increase, however, it should not exceed 30 minutes per day three or four times per week in Grades 4 and 5. In Grade six it may increase to 45 minutes three or four times per week on average and up to 60 minutes from time to time by the end of Grade 7.
http://www.dmps.k12.ia.us/schools/1w...nformation.htm

Quote:
Fourth Grade Homework Statement
Homework will be a review of all concepts taught in the classroom. New concepts will not be assigned as homework. All homework should be graded or recorded by the teacher. Students are expected to spend 30-60 minutes two or three times a week. Parents should see that the homework task is completed.
http://www.cfsd.k12.az.us/schools/sdes/

Quote:
K,1 0-15 minutes daily homework assigned 0-2 days/week
2 15-20 minutes daily homework assigned 2-4 days/week
3 15-30 minutes daily homework assigned 2-4 days/week
4 30-45 minutes daily homework assigned 3-4 days/week
5 30-60 minutes daily homework assigned 4 days/week
http://www.renton.wednet.edu/bensonhill/homework.html

Quote:
In grades 4 and 5, homework activities should not exceed 40 minutes each day.
 

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I haven't gotten to read it yet, but Alfie Kohn has a new book out:

The Homework Myth
http://www.amazon.com/Homework-Myth-...e=UTF8&s=books

Here is an article (haven't finished reading it) about the increase in homework:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...9/NEWS4221.dtl

Quote:
Even with the increase, though, it says:
Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that, on average, 6- to 9-year-old children did more than two hours of homework a week in 1997, up from 44 minutes in 1981. Kids 9-12 were buckling down for more than 3 and a half hours, an increase of about an hour since 1981.
Currently, your DD is doing more in a NIGHT than the average of the 9-12 group for a week!

Another article:

Is homework load too much for kids?
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/199...omework22.html

Quote:
He cites a rule that reflects guidelines suggested by the National Education Association and the National PTA: 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night.
 

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Here is a scholastic article:

"I Finished My Homework"
http://www.scholastic.com/schoolage/...dependence.htm

Quote:
Part of the issue, say many teachers and education experts, is that children are often being given too much homework too soon. The National Education Association (among other organizations) recommends no more than 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night. In other words, a second grader should be spending about 20 minutes a day on homework, and a sixth grader no more than an hour.

If you find that this 10-minute rule is greatly being exceeded, that assignments are going unfinished, or that exhaustion and frustration levels (both your child's and your own) are running high - it's time to talk to the teacher.

Here is something from the NEA:
http://www.nea.org/parents/homework.html

Quote:
How much time should my children spend each night on homework?

Most educators agree that:

for children in grades K-2, homework is more effective when it does not exceed 10-20 minutes each school day
older children, in grades 3-6, can handle 30-60 minutes a day
Additionally, it doesn't seem very reasonable *at that age* to be sending new concepts home for homework (versus review work).
 

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That amount of homework is way out of line to me. Is it the teacher who is so gung-ho on high volumes of homework, or is it the school? If it is the school, and you are not happy with the quantity of homework, you may need to rethink this situation.

Good luck - hope you get some relief soon!

Kathy
 

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This sounds like some super intense academic school. Is it really competitive ivy league prep or something? Are they worried about test scores? What's the point of this? Is the teacher really teaching much during the day? I can't imagine needing to assign that much homework and I'm a really rigorous teacher. And calling a parent "honey" is unprofessional.
 

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I just had to agree with everyone. That is an insane amount of homework - I couldn't pay for my child to go through that. Our school system also have a 10-15 minutes per grade (starting in grade 1) policy with no homework on weekends.

Don't know what I would do if the public schools are horrible though - is there another private school where she could experience the "pros" from her list without all that drudge work???

BJ
Barney & Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Right now, we have only 3 options. The private school she is currently in, another very small private school in a not so good area of town, and public school. Of course, I guess a 4th option would be homeschooling (i would be cartwheeling for that one). I am going to wait and see if the homework dwiddles down once she catches up on the new concepts. Maybe other kids aren't taking as long to do theirs. I'm waiting on a few parents to call me back so I can see.
I really appreciate all of the resources you ladies gave me. Since it is a private school, my b****ing probably won't do very much. If it doesn't work out we'll work something out.
Thanks, guys.
 

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How much have you checked out the public schools (I know, the ones you said are "hideous"
)?

If it's by reputation alone, do be sure to actually visit, preferably more than one, and to explore whether there are any alternative programs or anything. You never know, there may be some good 'pockets' in your system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've actually been to the public school twice. I met the teachers, toured the entire school, read their handbook, talked with other parents who have kids who go there. I've also checked out textbooks there. This particular public school is the only one we are zoned for. We actually live CLOSER to a different school that I wouldn't mind sending her to, but we aren't zoned for that one. That's a totally different outrage. We're just taking it day by day right now.
 

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One other thought - in our system there is 'optional enrollment' at schools other than the one you are zoned for. Each year a school is designated either open or closed to optional enrollment, depending, I suppose, on how much room it has. If it is open to optional enrollment you can seek to enroll your child there even if you are out of the catchment area. Does your district have anything like that? It's not exactly advertised here.
 

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On the zoning issues....sometimes it comes down to busing - they will only "bus" your child to the school in his zone. If it is the same school board, and you can get them there yourself, it sometimes becomes a non issue. The other thing - is their a program at the desired PS you could claim you DD wants or needs - thus getting your DD in that way?

As for the current private school - if your DD is behind the other children, is there a resource teacher to help her catch up? It does not sound like the school is doing its part (which you apy for!) So many hours of work will just overwhelm you DD - which is not going to be helpful (unless she hates it so much she asks to be HS)
: (joking - sort-of) Alternately, does she have to do **all** the work she missed? Teach the concept on the page the teacher outlined, have her do 3 correct questions in a row, and move on. Quite frankly, there is a lot of repetition in school, and if she missed it, she will catch it next go-round. The only thing I would insist she have a solid foundation in is math - that is a building block, often linear kind of subject.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
One other thought - in our system there is 'optional enrollment' at schools other than the one you are zoned for. Each year a school is designated either open or closed to optional enrollment, depending, I suppose, on how much room it has. If it is open to optional enrollment you can seek to enroll your child there even if you are out of the catchment area. Does your district have anything like that? It's not exactly advertised here.
How cool! I'm going to check into that.
 
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