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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My poor little first grader has 1-2 hours of homework, 3 nights a week. Basically, she comes home, has a snack, works, cries in frustration several times, works some more, eats dinner and goes to bed. I'm so sad for her that she doesn't have time to play much after school. We can never run errands after school, there's no way she could be involved in an after school activity, unless we wanted to forgo eating or sleeping or something.<br><br>
She gets 10 new spelling words every week. On Monday she has to write each word 5 times, Tuesday she has to write a sentance for each word, Wednesday she has to write a story using 7 of her words and Thursday she has to study for her spelling test. She also has math homework every night.<br><br>
I've spoken to her teacher about this and she says it's only meant to take 30-60 minutes every night to finish. I really feel like 30 minutes is bordering on too much. My dd is still just learning to write. I can't believe she has to come up with a *story* every week! It breaks my heart to see her struggle so much.<br><br>
I'm sure she'll be able to work faster with time and practice, but for now, it's really rough. Can anyone join us in our pity party?<br><br>
peace, Beth
 

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That's <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: In first grade?! I was so happy to learn that my ds's teacher gives very little hw. It's probably because she's got 3 elementary aged kids herself and knows how it cuts into family time and overloads kids. I'm so sorry. Can you find out if the district has certain hw standards (like so many minutes per night per grade) and see if your teacher is giving too much based on that? Our school dist does, so maybe it would be worth looking into.
 

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wow.. thats harsh!!<br><br>
i also have a 1st grader.. she started school last week.. monday was her 1st night of homework. the teacher sent a letter to parents saying hw should only take 15 minutes each night & to write her a letter if it was taking more .<br>
the sheet she sent monday took my daughter 3 mins if that..<br><br>
I would talk to her teacher again, tell her 30-60 mins a night is too much & if she insits, id go over her head
 

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I have heard 10 minutes per grade level of kid is appropriate, so that would be 10 minutes for a first grader.<br><br>
Be sure that the homework is required... a family member was having her child do tons of work that was sent home, and then found out it was just sent home for extra fun if desired. (I prefer to make my own extra fun, thanks, LOL.)
 

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No, this homework is required for sure. It's taken for a grade every day.<br><br>
My dd goes to a charter school, so they don't have to follow district guidelines for homework (or anything else).<br><br>
So, I guess this much homework is unusual for 1st grade? I have to wonder how long it's taking other kids in her class. This is dd's first year at this school, and I'm afraid she's a little behind, thanks to my questionable homeschooling attempt. Maybe kids who did kindergarten at this school are breezing through the homework. I just have to hope dd will improve with time. I'd hate to see her get burned out on school after only a few weeks.<br><br>
peace, Beth
 

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Wow my 3rd grade brother doesn't have to do all that! They are just now really getting into writing (as in stories, etc). As far as spelling, his school doesn't have spelling tests anymore. They have a word wall that they practice everyday for a week, then the next Monday she asks students to spell words for her. I don't know why they have banned spelling tests, but that was interesting to learn.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> hugs<br><br>
I had another idea... is the point to learn how to write, or to learn vocabulary and spelling? Is there any way to alter the homework so that she is getting the lesson and also getting the grade? For instance, for the story, she could dictate a story to you, and then she could recopy it. That would still take a while, but I know my son would find it easier if I was involved, and it doesn't seem like that would take away from the lesson. Plus you'd be modeling how to write, how to compose, etc.
 

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Well, my DS has about the same assignments, both this year (2nd grade) and last. It is supposed to take about 30 min. and most of his classmates can complete it in that time. And for me, 30 min. is a reasonable amount. But my DS takes at least 2x that long, largely because he doesn't focus and he can spend an hour moaning about how he doesn't like homework. And we are still trying to figure out how to handle that. But I know that the problem is DS, not the school or the teacher.<br><br>
In your case, I would start by doing some investigation. You know that the teacher doesn't intend for it to take this long. How are the other kids doing? Do you know any of the other parents so you can ask directly? Next, ask the teacher for her observations and advise. Last year DS's teacher said that we should let him work as long as we were comfortable with (we decided on about an hour), then send in the rest incomplete, with a note. Because the problem was DSs not focusing or trying, we (teacher and parents) decided that it was appropriate that he suffer the consequences for incomplete work, but teacher did say that if it were not obvious that DS's lack of willingness to focus was the issue she would not have imposed consequences for incomplete work.<br><br>
Now, if most of the kids are taking much longer than 30 minutes, the teacher needs to be prodded to change the assignment and/or look at how she is teaching during the day. It is easier to get to that point if you have several parents giving "too much time at homework" feedback though, which is why talking to other parents is key.<br><br>
Or, it may be that this is just too hard for your child given her academic progress to date. In which case, the teacher needs to make a specific and more appropriate assignment for her.<br><br>
Lastly, make sure you or your child isn't reading more into the assignment than is necessary. Last year DS would come to tears with the "write a story" part of spelling practice. When we went to talk to his teacher, turns out all she wanted was 5-10 sentences that were vaguely related, written in one paragraph. And here I had been worried about plot development and story progression! Same with "write a sentence" with spelling words -- she was perfectly OK with "I saw the cat." as a sentence.<br><br>
Just in case it matters, DS goes to a small private school with a strict homework expectation (which we knew going in and approve of). Since he is a scholarship kid, he has to keep up his grades to be asked back, so taking an incomplete on an assignment has some serious ramifications. Students also earn team points for homework completion (think Harry Potter, so not doing it also causes group dynamic issues.
 

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I always thought homework, when given, was supposed to be 10 minutes per grade - a 1st grader would have 10min, a 2nd grader, 20...<br>
.....and then I moved to Texas. Homework is INSANE from just the public schools. The 1st grader behind us had 30min to an hour each night, with three seperate assignments. They start preparing kids for TAKS as soon as they can write, even though the first test isn't until 3rd grade (and doesn't count until 4th)<br><br>
I would say talk to the teacher and express your concerns backed up with expert opinions about more homework not equaling better grades.
 

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When my dd was in 1st grade they had a list of things do choose from to practice their spelling words, and it didn't always have to be pencil and paper. A couple of times she jumped rope while she spelled the words, take turns writing the words on each others back, cheer the words, anything you can imagine. When she got the words the first night, she'd spell the words for me out loud and the night before the test we'd do a practice test, and we didn't always do something every day. As long as we did five things the teacher didn't care if it was done all at once, or every day. It generally took her 5 minutes to do.<br><br>
Now she is in 2nd grade and the still can pick different things to do. She got her first list this week so we haven't really reviewed it yet. She has until next Friday to get it done.
 

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what would happen if you just did 15 or so minutes with her, and tell the teacher she will not be doing more as its cutting into eating and sleeping time, and what little family time is left over. She is 6. She deserves to be a kid, and not be overworked or stressed. As her parent, I would do my best to protect my child from this.<br>
What's the worst they can do? Fail a 6 yr old for not completing homework? Not sure they could do this if she was meeting standards, in the core subjects.
 

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Recent research reveals that high levels of homework in the early elementary grades are correlated with WORSE performance on standardized tests, and lower levels of academic achievement later on. And while many charter schools market themselves by embracing "traditional academics" there's no reason to put so much emphasis on spelling in the first grade when many children are still emerging readers and holding a pencil for an extended period is often physically uncomfortable.<br><br>
Work with your daughter on homework for ten minutes a night, and then write the teacher a note explaining that she did what she had time for.<br><br>
Does this school have other amazing qualities that make up for this attitude towards homework?
 

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That is awful, and I agree with the pp that it backfires. Last year in first grade my ds attended 1st grade in the best elementary school district in the state based on test scores. It was an unbelievable school, and the kids constantly performed in the top percent on state and national tests. They had 10 minutes a night basically of homework, it didn't really get started until January, the first semester was just the spelling words (only 5) given Monday for a test on Friday. There was no homework allowed on weekends or vacations as per school policy. I really do not understand why any school would want to do more than that, I think it backfires. I am horrified that they expect you first grader to do all of that.
 
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