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    #211154 - 02/20/15 02:49 PM how much homework should my DD11 be doing?
    LLR Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/06/15
    Posts: 5
    Loc: Georgia
    We moved our DD11 to a private school for advanced and gifted children in January. One of the reason we did this was because despite being in advanced classes she was still not studying at home. We were and still are concerned that she does not have much HW and does not study for tests. We want her to be challenged so that she learns to study and exert herself intellectually. After 5 years in a regular school, I am afraid she has become complacent with not being challenged. Now, she is in a class with all gifted children and she loves it. The subjects are taught with much more depth and problem solving emphasis. Her confidence has soared and she finally feels like she fits in. However, she is still not having to study for her tests. And does not have much HW. I honestly don't know how much HW is reasonable for her age. She does read and do creative writing a lot in her free time, but she does not seem to have the burning desire to burn through academics like many parents report here. I am guessing we should have pushed for her to skip a grade or two early on, but now it seems like it is too late because she will miss content. Can I get some feedback on this? What is a reasonable amount for a fifth grader to be doing HW? I feel like she has a hit a ceiling but I am not sure what else to do. She is in after school creative writing and math. I don't want to push her too hard..but I also want her to realize her potential.

    #211228 - 02/23/15 11:43 AM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    st pauli girl Offline

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    Hi LLR,

    Do you have any sense of the school's philosophy about homework? My DS11 was in a GT program that didn't have much homework by design -- most could be done in school, and there was usually just some amount of reading on his own required. There were occasionally big projects that required some homework if he didn't finish in school. DS is now in 6th (skipped 1st grade), and he has never studied yet. They have time to review/study for tests in class too. I feel like when he was in his HG program, he was fairly adequately challenged, though he was still at the top of his class.

    I don't think it's too late to consider grade or subject acceleration if you feel like your DD is underchallenged. What does your DD think? It's great that she is fitting in! Maybe it's more school philosophy re: homework and studying than lack of challenge? What do you mean re: hit a ceiling? If I were you, I'd have a chat with the teacher and ask about HW and studying expectations. Also ask where your DD fits in with the rest of the class. Mention your concerns. Also, can you review what they're doing in school to get a sense if any of it is new material? There is a ton of overlap all the way through elementary. If you are really considering acceleration, I'd recommend the Iowa Acceleration Scales. I wouldn't worry about gaps. Curriculum is very circular throughout elementary.

    #211231 - 02/23/15 11:57 AM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    ConnectingDots Offline

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    I may have an unusual opinion, but I wonder if there's that much benefit to "homework" IF one is being educated appropriately during the day. That said, if your DD isn't having to study at all (whether during a break in class or at home), there is probably an issue of not enough challenge.

    #211235 - 02/23/15 12:29 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    Ivy Offline

    Registered: 02/08/14
    Posts: 337
    I agree with ConnectingDots regarding the dubious necessity of homework. I definitely don't think it should be used as a measure of the appropriateness of your DD's education. During the year of worst educational match for my DD she had assigned homework each day... boring pointless busy work that just highlighted how much her education was not working for her.

    I think you should focus instead on what study is going on in class and what she's learning about learning. If she's at the ceiling on every test and just coasting, then yes, maybe a skip is warranted. But it could also be that the school just does a great job with the in-class learning and she's getting a ton of benefit. The son of close family friends goes to an excellent school, very rigorous, great scores, sends multiple graduates to ivy's, and they don't really have much homework. They do however have very engaging, involved curriculum and great support for the kids' learning.

    If only they weren't so anti-acceleration, we might have tried it (it's really a lovely school, but still just not 'enough' at our DDs grade level).

    #211250 - 02/23/15 03:12 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    I am against homework in general. Studying for tests or reading is OK but just homework for the sake of homework seems pointless to me. Homework has to be able to be done by everyone in the class without assistance so it is usually low level busywork stuff.

    It is also a control issue. If all their time at home is taken up by state approved homework their is less time for the parent to undermine the teaching of the school. A bit paranoid maybe but we were basically told to alter our household management so as not to undermine the goals of the school.

    Edited by puffin (02/23/15 03:15 PM)

    #211251 - 02/23/15 03:25 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    It's hard for me to judge because my son was in a gifted program at that grade that had CRAZY insane amounts of homework for a 5th grade student. 3+ hours a night and more on weekends. He had more homework then they he does as a sophomore in H.S. And he often didn't get it all done. We did not like this, but there were parents who didn't think there was enough homework. From my perspective as long as the program in class is meeting her needs, there should not be a need to be homework except say reading. I think you should talk with the teacher about this and see what they say. School isn't a race and there is a lot else out there to spend time on than academics, if your DD is happy and learning I wouldn't obsesses that there isn't enough homework.

    As for tests. In H.S. my son still doesn't really need to study for most tests. It has become a problem because he doesn't really know how to study for them when he needs them. Doesn't mean he should or could skip these classes. His point of view is that he learns the material once when doing homework/seatwork and doesn't need to do much revision because once he knows material it seems to stick with him.

    #211252 - 02/23/15 04:53 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    aquinas Offline

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2302
    I was curious about this question, so I went back and dug through my old school agendas to get an idea of appropriate workload. At 11, I had 30-45 minutes of homework a few nights during the week, and it was mostly math problems and assigned readings. I did the vast majority of my work in class.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    #211258 - 02/23/15 06:58 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    Cookie Offline

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    I don't believe in much homework. So I am not much help.

    #211260 - 02/23/15 07:20 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3729
    There is surprisingly little good research on the educational value of homework, but what there is has resulted in the consensus (routinely ignored by educational institutions) of:

    1. 10 minutes of homework per year of grade.
    2. Homework in elementary is for the purpose of developing soft skills. Given good classroom instruction, it provides negligible added value academically, and should not affect grades other than those of the "citizenship" category.
    3. Homework has some academic value at the secondary level, mainly for lengthy readings in literature and history, and somewhat for readings in science. Some data suggests not only diminishing returns for greater homework time, but negative returns after a certain point. Middle school students should not be exceeding 60-90 minutes per night. High school students should not be exceeding 2ish hours a night. More than that is correlated with reduced academic outcomes. (Granted, this may be because the population which puts in more than 2 hours a night is enriched for students with learning difficulties, who tend to achieve at lower levels.) Homework should affect grades only in a positive direction, or not at all.

    Synopsis of frequently-cited meta-analysis on homework and achievement data, by the primary author of the research:
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #211264 - 02/23/15 07:52 PM Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? [Re: LLR]
    ndw Offline

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    I agree with aeh as I recently researched this topic because our school bought in a new homework policy. There was no good evidence that homework was of any value in primary (elementary) school, of some but little value in the junior years of high school and of value in senior school. The research was universely poor however.

    The difficulty is that work in senior school, here at least, requires the student to have well developed planning and study skills by senior school to cope with the workload.

    I do not agree with busy work. I do agree with incremental development of study skills across high school. Homework should relate to those skills and be formative not summative. Maybe write a short practice essay which we will go through it in class. Do the math problems on page 3 and we will go though the ones you had trouble with tomorrow. Summarise this section of the text and show me your notes to see if you have the idea of what it means to make a summary. This week, half the class pre read and summarize the chapter and the other half just rely on what we learn in class. Then we will do a test and see if there is a difference in the test results between the two halves. Test results do not count for your grade.

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