how much homework should my DD11 be doing?

Posted by: LLR

how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/20/15 02:49 PM

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.
Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 11:43 AM

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.
Posted by: ConnectingDots

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 11:57 AM

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.
Posted by: Ivy

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 12:29 PM

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).
Posted by: puffin

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 03:12 PM

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.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 03:25 PM

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.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 04:53 PM

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.
Posted by: Cookie

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 06:58 PM

I don't believe in much homework. So I am not much help.
Posted by: aeh

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 07:20 PM

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:

http://www.sedl.org/pubs/sedl-letter/v20n02/homework.html
Posted by: ndw

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 07:52 PM

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.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/23/15 10:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Portia
Originally Posted By: bluemagic
... 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...


I was in a school like this for 5th grade as well. I spent all my time on homework and none developing social skills outside of school, outside interests, etc. It is the one schooling decision my parents actually regret. I think there is a lot more to childhood than just academics and school is not the primary place those other things are learned even though children spend more time there than elsewhere.

That being said, I am a firm believer in meeting a child's academic needs. That does not necessarily translate into homework.
Yes I regret this although because by 6th grade he developed anxiety disorder. Since we have tested DS and found that he has low-average PS & WM it explains things a lot. We weren't the only ones who thought the homework load was excessive but looking back on it the same amount of work probably took him even longer than some of the other students. Most of the class time was taken up by group projects, in depth class discussions, and other good projects for gifted kids. And most of the seat work sent home for the students to do on their own.

Ironically I put him in this program because it didn't give him as much busywork. It he had stayed in a regular class with GATE as an extra pullout, he would have been expected to do a huge host of boring busywork and only be given the more challenging stuff as extra. I had already determined that this didn't work well for him.
Posted by: cmguy

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 08:19 AM

There was a movie made about homework a few years ago ("Race to Nowhere" was the appropriate title). I remember way way way too much homework - to the point where it was harmful as other posters noted. At some point the workload became so irrational that cheating was widespread as a coping mechanism.

We supplement school with projects at home - but the nice thing about that is we can turn the projects off if it stops being fun and constructive. It is a lot harder to stem the flood of school homework.
Posted by: MomC

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 09:42 AM

My dd11 rarely has homework. Her school is a private school for gifted and their philosophy is that the kids should work hard during school hours and that afterschool should be for recreation. Sometimes dd has reading to finish if they are using a lengthy text; or studies for a test; but there is no regularly assigned homework. Dd does study hard at school and I know that she's learning a ton so I love the school's philosophy. I agree with others that you should check with the school.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 11:54 AM

I hate homework. Personally, I would like to cut it back to a bit of math practice and nightly reading (of anything) in the primary grades. I suppose a bit of penmanship or spelling might be called for in K-2.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: cmguy
There was a movie made about homework a few years ago ("Race to Nowhere" was the appropriate title). I remember way way way too much homework - to the point where it was harmful as other posters noted.

One reason some high school students are spending so much time on homework is that they are not smart enough for some of the classes they are taking. Pushing everyone to take AP classes has become a political crusade. Some AP Calculus teachers may be assigning too much homework, but there are also some students taking AP Calculus who have not mastered algebra and trigonometry and therefore struggle with calculus problems.
Posted by: mecreature

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 01:06 PM

My ds 12 in 6th grade has quite a bit of homework. Too much homework is one thing but I don't really get the no homework crowd. When you look at where these kids are headed, study is a huge.

What am I missing?
Posted by: ConnectingDots

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 01:33 PM

In my experience, a great deal of homework is nothing more than busywork or repetition of things already learned.

I think the major difference with college study requirements is that one is typically not in class nearly as many hours as a 1-12 grader is -- thus, there's time to study or work on assignments outside of class.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: ConnectingDots
In my experience, a great deal of homework is nothing more than busywork or repetition of things already learned. Waiting till my son went away to college to learn the executive skill of doing homework would be a disaster.

I think the major difference with college study requirements is that one is typically not in class nearly as many hours as a 1-12 grader is -- thus, there's time to study or work on assignments outside of class.
On the other hand learning & practicing to do homework before you hit college is often very helpful for students. I do think some amount of homework is necessary in junior high/H.S. Learning to be prepared for class isn't instinctive for many kids. Studying for tests, reading books, practicing math program, writing an report, memorizing a poem, memorizing/practicing vocabulary for a foreign language. And for many kids having a quite space works better than a crowded classroom for learning these things.

I'm even in favor on small amounts for early elementary students. IMO one of the primary uses for homework in the early elementary grades is for teacher-parent communication. It's much easier to accept and understand how your student is doing in the classroom when small amounts of work are sent home for a parent to supervise. (Key here is SMALL amounts) Supervising my children do homework in the younger grades gave me a much better idea of how my children handled grade level work. (Struggling, bored, taking forever to do something easy.) I got a much better idea of issues both my children had watching them work on assignments than just seeing the same assignments returned with comments/grades.
Posted by: ConnectingDots

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 02:48 PM

Bluemagic, I agree that reasonable practice of report writing, working out problems, memorization, etc. prior to college is appropriate and necessary. However, school systems don't seem to be very good at balancing assignments between classes (i.e., so that one student doesn't wind up with hours of homework each evening).
Posted by: Quantum2003

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 03:30 PM

DS11 & DD11 are 6th graders, which is middle school here so a completely different ballgame from 5th grade last year. Regarding 5th grade, which is still elementary school here, there should not be a huge amount of homework if your DD is not 2E and a good student. As 5th graders last year, DS/DD had periodic projects in different subject areas and math and reading/language homework 3-4 days a week. However, they usually managed to get most/all of the regular homework done at school or while waiting to be picked up. I believe that was true for a good segment of the students in GT classes/groups.

6th grade/middle school is a bit different due to more subjects covered and the expectation of independence in preparation for high school. Again, how much homework really depends on the individual kid and specific teacher. DS and DD are in most of the same classes and I can only say that if I didn't parent both kids, I would have had a skewed view of how much homework is given. It's not just a level of giftedness issue but particular strengths/interests and personality. For example, DS would have just fired off a couple of pages, most of it in class or between classes while DD would have labored over several pages in a couple of hours at home. Much of their homework now involves extensive writing, whether it is a 3-page lab report for science or a 2-page researched essay for language arts. There are also periodic projects, which cannot be completed in school due to time constraints. Math homework is probably 4 days a week and likely helpful practice/application of new materials introduced in class now that they are in Pre-Algebra (DD) and Geometry (DS).

As for studying, if they have learned and assimilated the materials when they are taught, then studying beyond a quick review is likely unnecessary for most bright kids at this early stage.

In short, I think 5th graders should only average 30-45 minutes a day while 6th graders should expect 1 to 2 hours. Again, if the kid works fast like DS, then homework will only take a fraction of the time.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 04:07 PM

I'm all about no homework. To me, school is like work for kids. None of us like to bring work home with us, why should our children have to?

I honestly never really did homework in school. When my teacher said do problems 1-144, even only, I just chucked my book in my locker after class and took the 0. I put no effort whatsoever into school.

When I got to college and grades mattered and I cared, well, I looked at the syllabus for the classes before I signed up and chose only classes that had no homework.

I had no trouble in college and was always a top student. I listened in class and read the text the night before tests and aced all of my tests. If there were papers to write, I wrote them the night before and usually was late to class waiting on them to print the following day.

After college I've always been a good employee, never been fired or disciplined for anything. I keep my home clean and I manage to take care of everything that needs done with my sons therapies and medical needs.

So, yeah, I don't think work ethic is something you need to drill into kids by making their lives miserable and monotonous. I think it's bad enough they have to spend so much time in an institution each day. Childhood is gone before you know it. Looking back on mine the last thing I find myself thinking is that I wish that I had played less and worked more.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: PanzerAzelSaturn
When I got to college and grades mattered and I cared, well, I looked at the syllabus for the classes before I signed up and chose only classes that had no homework.

In math, physics, computer science, and other subjects, you learn primarily by grappling with problem sets. I did.
Posted by: Val

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: PanzerAzelSaturn
When I got to college and grades mattered and I cared, well, I looked at the syllabus for the classes before I signed up and chose only classes that had no homework.


TBH, this isn't something I'd brag about (or maybe even admit).
Posted by: Cookie

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: MomC
My dd11 rarely has homework. Her school is a private school for gifted and their philosophy is that the kids should work hard during school hours and that afterschool should be for recreation. Sometimes dd has reading to finish if they are using a lengthy text; or studies for a test; but there is no regularly assigned homework. Dd does study hard at school and I know that she's learning a ton so I love the school's philosophy. I agree with others that you should check with the school.


This is exactly how it should be. Reading to finish and review for a test is plenty of homework...kids have sports practice, instruments lessons, scout stuff to do, religious or community activities, games to play, bikes to ride, trees to climb, dogs to walk, chores, showers, dinner and pleasure reading. Nobody has time for more than 15-20 minutes of homework.
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 08:08 PM

Firmly in the anti homework camp here.

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: PanzerAzelSaturn
When I got to college and grades mattered and I cared, well, I looked at the syllabus for the classes before I signed up and chose only classes that had no homework.

In math, physics, computer science, and other subjects, you learn primarily by grappling with problem sets. I did.


Which is why my grades slowly drooped at university. Giving kids work that's far too easy for their whole lives does them no favors. I was in my late 20s before I discovered that you could actually work to understand something you didn't immediately grasp. What a concept!
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 08:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: cmguy
There was a movie made about homework a few years ago ("Race to Nowhere" was the appropriate title). I remember way way way too much homework - to the point where it was harmful as other posters noted.

One reason some high school students are spending so much time on homework is that they are not smart enough for some of the classes they are taking. Pushing everyone to take AP classes has become a political crusade. Some AP Calculus teachers may be assigning too much homework, but there are also some students taking AP Calculus who have not mastered algebra and trigonometry and therefore struggle with calculus problems.


There was no trigonometry in the calculus I learnt.
Posted by: Val

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 10:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Tallulah
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: cmguy
There was a movie made about homework a few years ago ("Race to Nowhere" was the appropriate title). I remember way way way too much homework - to the point where it was harmful as other posters noted.

One reason some high school students are spending so much time on homework is that they are not smart enough for some of the classes they are taking. Pushing everyone to take AP classes has become a political crusade. Some AP Calculus teachers may be assigning too much homework, but there are also some students taking AP Calculus who have not mastered algebra and trigonometry and therefore struggle with calculus problems.


There was no trigonometry in the calculus I learnt.



Bostonian, a lot of K-12 homework is busywork and of limited or no value to student learning. My middle schoolers are routinely assigned word searches and other silly assignments that don't teach them anything, yet take a lot of time to complete.

That said, I agree with the idea that a lot of students are taking courses that are too hard for them, or, alternatively, overall course loads that are too much for them cognitively.

Then there is the factor of bad course design combined with bad textbooks. One of my kids was forced into a crappy pre-algebra course last year and two hours a night wasn't enough for him to learn that material. Even my eldest (math whiz) would have done poorly in that course. It was a mess of mixed-up concepts from beginning to end.

Talullah, maybe you took a very light calculus course or you've forgotten the course content. It's not really possible to get a proper grounding in calculus without trigonometry.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/24/15 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Tallulah

There was no trigonometry in the calculus I learnt.

I'm going to second the above comment. Tallulah, you defiantly need a good grounding in Trig to do well in calculus. Perhaps you can get through the fist semester of Calculus without it, it's been a while since I've taken it. Looking online what you need is exactly what my DS is doing in pre-calc the trig identities. Many times Trig is rolled into an Algebra II course. In fact this is part of the new CC implementation. But you do need to have seen and understood Trigonometry before finishing a full year of college calculus.
Posted by: puffin

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 02:14 AM

I did first year calculus at university and don't remember any trig either. I will have to check my books sometime.

I think if they did things a bit more efficiently at school they wouldn't need to send homework. But I think the lack efficiency isn't due to the teacher. Mixed ability classes and teamwork waste a lot of time as does teaching things that should be able to be left to the parents. Breaks are never a waste though and I would drop something else rather than cut into those. I remember thinking as a kid that if the teachers coukd just get on with it we would finish before lunch. I don't remember homework but I had a lot of down time.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 04:20 AM

I feel the same way on principle as PanzerAxelSaturn but recognize the pragmatic reality expressed by Bostonian's comments wrt learning by grappling with problems.

On top of that, I wrestle with my conscience several times a day because I after school my DD10 using AoPS. I was a terrible student as a kid and looking back I believe that I was disengaged from school academics because I was under challenged - when interested or motivated by a good teacher I shone but mostly I cruised.

I know that unstructured time in the evenings and weekends is vitally important to a child but also that being under challenged is also fatal.

My DD (5th grade) gets about 30mins to an hour of regular school homework 4 nights a week plus about 5 hours of AoPS a week where a large chunk of that time is spent on the written challenge problem.

After Friday, when she finishes her Algebra 1 class she will do a Python class to have a break for a couple of months.


Posted by: mecreature

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 06:10 AM

My ds12 goes to a private gifted school and has homework in Algebra, Spanish every evening. He always has a project in LA and History but gets these done in class most of the time. He also always has a couple long term projects in the works. They have bench marks to report in class but it is at least 75% you are on your own. The most recent was a 3000 word creative writing project and a 10 minute documentary movie. Each has a rubric to follow so if you budget your time you are fine. If you get behind you are stressed.

He still does not really study for test or quiz. You can tell on some of the grammar test.
The kicker is all he has to do is look over it once, even a brief glance and no problem.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 06:30 AM

Quote:
Reading to finish and review for a test is plenty of homework...kids have sports practice, instruments lessons, scout stuff to do, religious or community activities, games to play, bikes to ride, trees to climb, dogs to walk, chores, showers, dinner and pleasure reading. Nobody has time for more than 15-20 minutes of homework.


This.

At the moment I am looking at the results of 4 years of very heavy homework and high expectations at my DD's magnet school. They are all about to move on, and I am having feelings of deep sadness over all the childhood lost. Many of these kids did not get accepted to the local magnet middle schools due to having lower grades than kids at nonmagnets. I am not sure it was worth it. They will never get that time back. It's gone.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 06:32 AM

I want my children challenged--don't get me wrong. In k-5, can you challenge them in the dang classroom and let them come home and be children? 10, 20, maybe 30 minutes at grade 5. Okay. Middle and high school, more is appropriate. But the little ones. No.
Posted by: NCPMom

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 06:50 AM

My ds11 is in 6th grade, in a full time gifted program (Middle School). He gets home before me, but always calls me at work to let me know he's home. I always ask if he ask homework, and most of the time the answer in no. Delving deeper, I find out that he gets it done in Directed Studies, or gets the work finished in class (usually math - he's in 8th grade accelerated - is a case of you do it as homework if you don't get it done in class). I know he's supposed to read 30 minutes, and journal every day, as well as write a 1000 word essay monthly in ELA. Social studies and science vary, so once in a while he'll have something to do for them. One time he was doing a group project with 2 others, and they did meet up out of school 3 times to work on it (it was for a C-Span documentary contest). To be perfectly honest, I leave him to his own devices, and thankfully, so far, he's doing a great job of getting it done without my interference. Having said that - and re-reading the original post - in 5th grade (elementary school)- he never had homework.
Posted by: ConnectingDots

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I want my children challenged--don't get me wrong. In k-5, can you challenge them in the dang classroom and let them come home and be children? 10, 20, maybe 30 minutes at grade 5. Okay. Middle and high school, more is appropriate. But the little ones. No.


Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Children in our area are in the school building for 30 plus hours a week. That should be plenty of time for learning with little need for homework.

On the slightly favorable homework environment side, DS' school offers aftercare for a reasonable fee (since the school closes before most parents are out of work). The first hour is quiet time for homework, then reading. Teachers supervise the time and check homework. This works very well.
Posted by: Ivy

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 09:41 AM

Interesting collection of different perspectives here. I think that learning to budget time and plan for larger projects and self direct learning outside of class are very useful skills. I think that spending time just to spend time as part of some misguided idea that homework builds character is just foolish.

So as always it's more about the quality. Sure, we can make some kind of logical maximum limit on homework (x min per week based on grade or x number projects per term or whatnot) but it has nothing to do with whether the child is learning anything in class or whether the work is appropriate for them.

I think that some homework can be useful (both for academic learning and executive function skills building). But I will always vote for no homework over pointless homework.
Posted by: amylou

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 10:24 AM

For our family, hw in 4th-5th grade was all about establishing a routine of recognizing and fulfilling expectations. For ds (now in 9th grade) especially, who has a certain, um, rigidity in his mindset, I believe this was a really important. The hw consisted of a half page math worksheet. Every. [SPAM] Day. It took 5-10 minutes to do, tops. But ds resented doing it, because he never had to before. The teacher, who handed them the worksheets right at the end of the day, and the parents worked together to make sure he didn't weasel out of it. At first, he often "misplaced" his worksheet by the time he got home, so we'd make a photocopy for him, as conveniently, his twin sister brought home the same daily worksheet.

This really paved the way for good study habits when they started Alg. 1 Honors in 6th grade. Ds tried to slack off in 7th grade and got a B in math one quarter. The B was a wake up call for him and provided another important lesson: personal investment = results.
Posted by: puffin

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 10:48 AM

I suspect a lot of us have a different perspective because we after school to provide the challenge they don't get at school.
Posted by: Can2K

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 11:29 AM

Hi AmyLou

That sounds like a useful routine. Was the worksheet something the teacher gave all the kids, or something special for your DS? Was it the teacher's idea, or yours?

My DS7 (grade 1) gets weekly homework, which he does without too much fuss, but it's things like 'circle the sight words' and coloring. I feel really silly making him do these things, and was thinking of asking his teachers if they could send harder worksheets home. I've tried getting him to do worksheets that I've picked out, but since he doesn't 'have' to, it's not popular at all...
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 11:31 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I want my children challenged--don't get me wrong. In k-5, can you challenge them in the dang classroom and let them come home and be children? 10, 20, maybe 30 minutes at grade 5. Okay. Middle and high school, more is appropriate. But the little ones. No.


It fills me with a white hot burning anger that they will warehouse kids for six hours a day and then stll not let them do anything worthwhile or fun afterwards. Why are there so few schools who'll agree to take the kids, teach them how to think, then send them home to climb trees. And so few parents who want that?
Posted by: FruityDragons

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/25/15 07:59 PM

Quote:
At first, he often "misplaced" his worksheet by the time he got home, so we'd make a photocopy for him, as conveniently, his twin sister brought home the same daily worksheet.

Ha! As a twin myself this made me crack up.
However - and I'm pretty sure I'm just weird like this - I always get messed up by my habits, in a way. In middle school I decided I would practice my musical instrument at 7:00 every night, whether I needed to or not, and then found myself practically incapable of practicing at, say, 6:45. Actually, I always had to practice at a "round" number: if I missed 7:00 I had to wait till 7:15 or at least 7:05....Nobody in my family does this, though, so I guess it WAS just me.
Either way, forming the habits early is important, but I'd say 20 or 30 minutes tops is plenty enough.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/26/15 05:17 AM

My first grader does harder/differentiated work in the classroom but gets the "regular" HW with everyone else (although she doesn't send home sight words for him). I don't mind, because it takes him 10 minutes tops.

I don't afterschool my kids. I used to do it a little, but they just spend so much time in school, and they need time for all the other stuff. Sometimes, I think I'm being dumb. But we do provide a ton of non-schooly enrichment...stacks of books, hours of board games, drawing instruction books, cool science and building toys. We have a strict screentime limit, so they find a lot of things to do. (Note: screentime rules are different if they're doing something creative.)
Posted by: amylou

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/26/15 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: amylou
For our family, hw in 4th-5th grade was all about establishing a routine of recognizing and fulfilling expectations. For ds (now in 9th grade) especially, who has a certain, um, rigidity in his mindset, I believe this was a really important. The hw consisted of a half page math worksheet. Every. Single. Day. It took 5-10 minutes to do, tops.


Originally Posted By: Can2K
That sounds like a useful routine. Was the worksheet something the teacher gave all the kids, or something special for your DS? Was it the teacher's idea, or yours?



The short worksheets were the teacher's idea. She had a repository of them - I forget the source. It was a 4th-5th class and our kids got the hw all through 4th and most of 5th, until she ran out of them. I suspect (but don't know) that at least most of the kids got some math hw, but I would guess the worksheets were different for different kids. (It is a long story, but for a variety of reasons, that was the one case where we experienced a classroom where in class differentiation worked -- I would guess there were kids from the 1st %ile to the 99th+ %ile in math achievement.)
Posted by: puffin

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/26/15 10:58 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
My first grader does harder/differentiated work in the classroom but gets the "regular" HW with everyone else (although she doesn't send home sight words for him). I don't mind, because it takes him 10 minutes tops.

I don't afterschool my kids. I used to do it a little, but they just spend so much time in school, and they need time for all the other stuff. Sometimes, I think I'm being dumb. But we do provide a ton of non-schooly enrichment...stacks of books, hours of board games, drawing instruction books, cool science and building toys. We have a strict screentime limit, so they find a lot of things to do. (Note: screentime rules are different if they're doing something creative.)

If your child is getting differentiated work in class that is harder rather than more you shouldn't need to after school. Mine aren't so I do.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: how much homework should my DD11 be doing? - 02/27/15 05:14 AM

Well, his teacher does what she can. It's a little scattershot. Basically, she's doing her best not to have him die of boredom, so he gets other projects, books to read (he doesn't do the easy readers) and activities, but it's not a planned, intense curriculum or anything.