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goldenecho

Too much homework to afterschool...

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Anyone finding their afterschooling plans squelched by the amount of homework your child has?   My Junior higher has 2 hours of homework every night, and even though there's stuff I'd really like to work with him on that the school is not teaching, I don't feel like I can add to that load.  My high schooler this semester (only semester he hasn't had an easier elective) is getting 3-4 hours a night of homwork (more than that when he's had make-up work from being sick).  He likes to study graphic design on his own but it doesn't leave him much time to do that.   Spanish, the one class he's struggling with (grade wise) AND is open to me doing extra to help him with (we did do extra last trimester, since he had a break from Spanish and wanted to keep from loosing what he had learned)...it doesn't give that much homework, but the massive amounts his other classes are assigning doesn't leave me any time to work on the one subject he actually NEEDS help on.   He feels like the rest is mostly busy work that actually involve a lot of things that he doesn't feel he needs to understand the concepts (he actually says they take time away from him studying in ways he feel work better for him.).   So frustrated...just venting.

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This is one of the reasons that we are homeschooling next year. My daughter is only in the 3rd grade now but every year, it got harder to do work after school due to the homework load. 

 

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Yes, I pretty much only do it on the weekends, and not all weekends.  Even on days when they have little or no homework / test study, they feel like that is "their" time at this age.  They feel like I'm stealing the little bit of time they get to just breathe.

I used to try to get around this by having them in classes like Sylvan, but now I am not sure that was as smart as I thought.  When they decide they don't care to progress in those classes, there's nothing I can do.

At this point, I'm just pushing a few videos and read-alouds on weekends, plus some literature via audiobooks.  Come summer, I hope to be able to push some academics most days, plus they will get something out of their summer camps. 

I hope that when they get a little older, they will take a more serious interest in their own education.

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What we have to remember is that if a child is in school all day, he/she should really not have to additional work outside of school. The further along I got in afterschooling, the more I realized that my daughter needed the free time more than the afterschooling. 

A modern kid spends hours of every day in school and then hours at home in the evening doing homework. Their day is totally scheduled and controlled. 

 

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My 12 year old recently transferred into school and I'm still figuring out the school's balance of homework with how she works. She's had way more projects than I was expecting, but a lot less daily afterschool work so it's mainly figuring out how to divide it all up that suits her 'I want to get it all done and out of the way but I also want to do all these other things' personality. 2 hours in junior high sounds like a lot to me as my daughter's school tries to be firm on a one hour a night max of homework/revision policy, but this varies so much by school.

During the school week, I tend to keep any additions bitesize - I try to keep to the school's policy of one hour additional work including instrument and additional language practice (I typically add in reading) and add at least one hour entirely hers (which she gets way more than most days though it can be a bit tight on Cadet night), and one hour with the family and helping (dinner, tidying together, and family time). While I'm considering another addition or two later once she's more in the flow, I keep anything bigger than that for Saturday mornings and breaks. 

With my kids still at home, we already do a Tuesday to Saturday schedule and I've adjusted so the main work is Tuesday-Friday and on Saturday mornings we do things the now in school child wants to be included in or that I think is important for her to still do that she isn't in school. Some Saturdays, she spends the whole time on school projects because she's been given 3-4 of them and she wants to get them all out of the way so she isn't worried about it later. We did a bit more over the recent spring break (though she had a project in almost every academic subject + art), but it's still a struggle figuring out that balance and how to prioritize the time. She misses doing a few things and there are a few things I'd like to at least review with her, but she needs her downtime. 

I'm trying to focus on what is the minimum I want to ensure we pass on, additions that I'd like or she would like to do, and ways to review more regularly in a short and fun way as a family that doesn't feel like more work to her on already busy days. It's difficult, especially when schools pile on a lot, but I think if I keep those in mind and try to be realistic that I wasn't getting everything even when she was home and the opportunities she has at her new school mean I need be even more selective of what I think is most important to include at home. I think most school days giving her space and being a soundboard for her thoughts and helping her find ways understand and express them better is just as valuable as anything else I could come up for her.  

Edited by SporkUK

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The 8th grader gets about 3 hours of hw per day. So, we afterschool Friday-Monday for about 1 1/2 hours. Up until a month ago, it was advanced math.  Now, it is AP Chemistry. BTW, we miss a lot of Mondays because of hw. 

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I used the homework that was assigned as a springboard for my afterschooling.  Since the school didn't teach writing, we talked about writing with any assignments that came home (and all writing assignments came home).  Anything else I dealt with in a cuddle/hang out on the couch and talk sort of way.  This included read alouds.

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On 5/9/2019 at 5:43 AM, gstharr said:

The 8th grader gets about 3 hours of hw per day. So, we afterschool Friday-Monday for about 1 1/2 hours. Up until a month ago, it was advanced math.  Now, it is AP Chemistry. BTW, we miss a lot of Mondays because of hw. 

 

Wow...3 HOURS for an 8th grader is a LOT.    You still get 1 1/2 hours in after that?   Is it interest based stuff?

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Your dc's school may really push the homework, but it's not always the reason for so much work coming home.  Where I used to teach, there were always kids who had more hours of homework than seemed reasonable; usually, they didn't use their class time well.  When given time to work on assignments in class, they often chatted or did nothing. Even when they completed the assignments, they often wasted remaining time instead of working on something for another class.  The students who best used their small bits of time had the least amount of work to take home and the most time for extracurricular activities.   

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39 minutes ago, klmama said:

Your dc's school may really push the homework, but it's not always the reason for so much work coming home.  Where I used to teach, there were always kids who had more hours of homework than seemed reasonable; usually, they didn't use their class time well.  When given time to work on assignments in class, they often chatted or did nothing. Even when they completed the assignments, they often wasted remaining time instead of working on something for another class.  The students who best used their small bits of time had the least amount of work to take home and the most time for extracurricular activities.   

This. When I talked with my son's early elementary teacher about homework, it turned out the packets were basically a way to placate parents who were vying with other parents for "my child's school is the best." If she didn't send packets out, she got a lot of push back, she just wanted us to do spelling daily. I told her we'd skip the packets and she said, "Great idea."

Then, later, when my kid was getting terrible spelling grades with her spelling practice homework, I asked to skip the packets and teach him the word lists using the writing road to reading (Spalding) approach. Not only did she tell me to go ahead and do so (I had already done so for two weeks and seen great improvement in his scores, which I told her). she asked me to tell her about the approach some time! 

So, maybe you can talk with the teacher about what is work and what is busy work? This will of course apply less at later grades. Sigh.

Emily (who lucked out with that amazing teacher)

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20 hours ago, goldenecho said:

 

Wow...3 HOURS for an 8th grader is a LOT.    You still get 1 1/2 hours in after that?   Is it interest based stuff?

His school is a nationally ranked ivy league feeder. 9-12 grades is 3.5-4.0 hours.  we after school so that he is ahead in math and science. He is happy with our set up.

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13 hours ago, EmilyGF said:

This. When I talked with my son's early elementary teacher about homework, it turned out the packets were basically a way to placate parents who were vying with other parents for "my child's school is the best." If she didn't send packets out, she got a lot of push back, ...

 

I have also heard:  "The homework keeps them from playing video games".   As if it was an either/or situation.  

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I think that homework is just useless. Maybe if homework was to strengthen the practice, then it would be a good thing.

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I felt the same way, but then I realized the arty homework didn't need the time the dc put into it.....I'd just search on the assignment, find out what the original assigner intended, and that would tell my dc what they really needed to do to finish quickly.  The academic homework was done during the review time in full inclusion classes or lunch; that freed up study time for actual studying.  With spanish, have him make a vocab list and go over that list at the beginning or end of each class period - spaced repetition throughout the day is quite helpful.  We also grabbed the Practice Makes Perfect Basic Spanish book and used that as a supplement -- the school here only taught via auditory mode and then tested in writing, so very difficult as spelling counted but was never in the hw.  PMP gives the writing practice needed.  If you have a textbook, use the online website at home and buy the game supplement; very helpful for those who don't learn it all solely by hearing it and added bonus that they pronounce all the words the teacher omits but are on the test.

Edited by HeighHo
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Yes, this happened when each of my kids went back to public.  It is frustrating because you want them to get THE GOOD STUFF, not just lots of stuff.  But we all have to choose which trade offs we are going to accept. 😔 

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