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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering how much homework (if any) first graders in the U.S. or elsewhere have to do?

We're living in Vietnam and have our daughter in a Vietnamese school. This is because 1) we want her to learn Vietnamese and 2) while there is an International school here it is far away, ridiculously expensive, and they teach in English. The problem is, even though I have her in the best school I could find (a ritzy-- by Vietnamese standards - private school), they are giving her about an hour of homework every weekday and 2-3 hours over the weekend. It's freaking her out and honestly I don't blame her, she's only 6! Besides full day school she is in 5 hours of martial arts a week (which she LOVES and I am loathe to take her out). Add the homework in and it is just too much! It doesn't help that she is a perfectionist and gets really stressed; if she gets less than a perfect grade she cries because she got a "bad grade".

So I know I have to work with her on handling homework without getting so stressed, and we are... but I also have to decide if this is the environment we want her to be studying in for the next two years. I'm thinking it's much more homework than what U.S. schools give, but since she's our only kid I don't know that. If U.S. schools are the same, then I guess she just has to get used to it.

Other than the homework issue, school is fine. She likes her teacher and has been making friends. I don't want to take her out of that environment unless I have a good alternative. Unfortunately there are no homeschool groups here, so if she was homeschooled she'd pretty much be at home with Mommy and that's it.
 

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My oldest just completed first grade in the U.S. He had reading to do every night, which took about 10 minutes, if that. We always read a lot more anyway. But, other than that, he seldom had homework. Work only came home if he didn't get something completed in school that day. Now, he had a teacher who stated at the beginning of the school year that, other than nightly reading, she doesn't believe in homework for that age. I know some of his friends in the same school with other teachers had nightly worksheets. I think an hour of work a night for a 6 year old is excessive! Have you tried talking to the teacher?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I have. Technically the homework is optional but when the teacher gives it to you and all the other students are doing it, my dd feels pressure to do it. Although today she said she wasn't going to do it which honestly I think is a good decision.

However, this is just the summer "prep" session; my understanding is that in the fall the homework will be mandatory. According to the teacher, the parents put a lot of pressure on her to give homework. Many Vietnamese parents think it is a good thing.
 

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My mother told my elementary school teachers that she was only willing to have me work on school stuff for 30 minutes a day at most. Time at home is family time. Of course, she was also prepared to pull me out of school at any time. Anything not done after 30 minutes would not be done, period.

Incidentally, during that time, the most homework I remember doing--in like 5th grade--was about 15 mins.
 

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My little one just completed first grade and only got fun homework.

Little unstressful tasks and some reading with me.

And our school district is very good.
 

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I read somewhere that 10 minutes of homework per grade level in elementary school is a good way to do it. So 1st grade is 10 minutes, 2nd grade 20 minutes, etc. My son just finished first grade, and he usually had 10 - 15 minutes of work on weeknights, no homework on the weekends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies, it confirms my thinking that this amount of homework is just unacceptable. Unfortunately it is the norm here. But the bottom line is that our dd won't be going through the entire school system here (we figure that if we are still here when she's in 3rd grade we'll put here in the international school so she can have the benefit of a Western-style education; by that time she'll be fluent in Vietnamese)

DB, they have all different schools of marital arts here, but she is in Karatedo. It's so good for her!
 

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DS just completed first grade, and his homework consisted of 20 minutes (minimum) of reading each evening, as well as a specific homework assignment each weekday - which took all of 5 minutes to complete, as it was usually a practice spelling test, or writing three sentences about a topic, or a one-page math worksheet.

I didn't feel like it was too much, actually, just right for him at age 6/7.
 

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I am not surprised that schools in Vietnam give so much homework in 1st grade. I used to live in Hong Kong and the children in local schools had a great deal of homework, they are even given homework in preschool. The Asians have a totally different approach to schooling and eduction to the US, so I can totally understand why Vietnamese parents would want their children to have homework, it is expected.

My eldest DD attended 1st grade in an international school in Hong Kong and the only had reading homework. My middle DD attended 1st grade in public school in the US and never had homework.
 

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I was told by a parent that this up coming year (1st garde) my dd should expect atleast 30min of homework a night. dd is struggling with many subjects and I was told it would probably take her up to an hour.
 

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My oldest just finished 1st grade. He would get a packet at the beginning of the week that needed to be returned a week later. It had instructions and five worksheets with it. Every day he needed to complete a worksheet (they were easy ones for him) and complete one other task, like read the class book they sent home, write number patterns, etc.
 

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My dd recently finished 1st grade, and she had about 20 min. of homework a night. She had to read for at least 15 min. and usually had either spelling words or a math worksheet to complete. She could usually finish the math paper in 5 min.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by chel
I was told by a parent that this up coming year (1st garde) my dd should expect atleast 30min of homework a night. dd is struggling with many subjects and I was told it would probably take her up to an hour.
Actually, this is sort of the situation my dd is in. The homework they give is penmanship
: (honestly if it was reading I'd take it more seriously) and while other children can finish it in half an hour she is such a perfectionist it takes her over an hour.

I just can't stand seeing a 1st grader stressed out about homework.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by uccomama
The Asians have a totally different approach to schooling and eduction to the US, so I can totally understand why Vietnamese parents would want their children to have homework, it is expected..
I have to agree with the pp. While teaching a world music at a university, I would often have length conversations with my international students. One thing that really astounded me was the intensity of the educations system in Asian schools. It made our US education system seem like a playground exercise.


Kristen
 

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I have taught first grade for many years...in our school, we are asked to give 10 minutes a night. ( 2nd grade is 20 and so on). This was generally spelling practice or a family math activity. The families were also asked to read to their child every night, and when possible to have the child read to them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Thao
I just can't stand seeing a 1st grader stressed out about homework.
K stressed my dd out. I didn't realize it until the hairbrush she clung to for dear life (carried it everywhere, slept with it, and insisted it was in her backpack for school) lost all importance once school was over


She's now stating that she will just do two years of 1st grade, there was talk of holding her back in K. Teacher made it sound like a real possibility at the spring teacher/parent's conference but never mentioned it the rest of the year. Dh, dd and I were very concerned but it turned out that the district doesn't hold K back and it was more a scare tactic to push dd.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well she showed up for school today without doing her "optional" homework. I was planning on talking to her teacher when I picked her at the classroom, but was sick so dh ended up picking her up. What I heard from dd is that the teacher asked her if she wanted to do the homework during her free class time. Because all the other kids were doing it so she should you know
:. Dd properly said no. I am not happy that the homework supposedly is optional but there seems to be a fair amount of pressure to do it. Definitely gotta talk to them...
 
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