Too much homework is really a thing...

Too much homework is really a thing...

My daughter started Kindergarten last school year. She did fairly well, making honor roll throughout the school year. Her teacher praised her regularly, and she won first place in the all-school spelling bee. As parents, we are extremely proud of our little lady. What parent wouldn't be proud of their child excelling across subjects with ease? While we were happy overall with her initial introduction to school, at times we felt as if she was being given too much homework.

Being that last year was my first time having a child in school, I waited it out to see if it would be the norm as she grew older. Fast forward to the current school year, and she's in first grade. I still wonder if the homework assignments are too much, are redundant or repetitive. Often times I ask my daughter if she's gone over the subject matter at school, and sometimes she says they haven't. In those cases, I jump in even more and make sure she has an understanding of what's expected of her and why it makes sense.

Homework is sometimes easy breezy on days when they finish all or most at school, but other times it could be frustrating to see my child struggle with focusing on certain assignments. She's at school five days a week from about 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM which includes an after school program. We typically make it home between 7-8 pm to only have to do about 30 mins to an hour of homework depending on how much is assigned. Sometimes even longer.  I've noticed that my daughter breezes through certain things, but is more reluctant to do things like trace letters or other assignments that she considers to be "baby work." Those are her words not mine. I've shared this with her teacher to ensure that the school understand what she's more receptive to. As a parent, I understand that homework is just as much my responsibility as  is the teacher's. I'm not debating whether or not my child should be given homework, but at times question the relevance of some of the assignments.

For instance, my daughter has textbooks and workbooks for about eight subjects in first grade. She has multiple workbooks for some subjects that are often redundant to one another as it relates to completing assignments. If she's working on fact families across three different math books, is it really more beneficial than if she was working from one consistent work book? I often wonder this. If the goal of homework is to reinforce what's learned in the classroom, I think it can be highly beneficial. But at times, I can't help but wonder if some assignments are just busy work.

I did a little research on whether or not other parents felt that their children were receiving too much homework, especially in earlier grades. It turns out that this has been a discussion for quite a few years. One that wasn't relevant to me until last school year of course. Now this post isn't to bash my daughter's school, because I really do appreciate the hard work they do and can see how much my child learns. She continues to be an honor student and excels in class. On the flip side, I still notice that certain assignments frustrate her and make it harder for her to complete everything. It's never usually a matter of her not knowing how to do something, but I often have to explain that she has to do all of her homework and not just the assignments that don't seem like busy work. While I may not always agree with the amount of homework being assigned, I do my best to ensure that it's done accurately.

Would love to know if any other parents have different thoughts on homework for your little ones in K-3 mainly. I know the homework will increase throughout the years as expected. Do any of you feel as if your children are receiving too much or even too little homework? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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  • Also, a look at older textbooks from the 60's and earlier will show you that math wasn't taught as a bag of tricks to be memorized. There were actually explanations of why particular algorithms worked. Standard algorithms were taught first, and after mastery of those, alternative methods (the same ones being taught now under the Common Core standards) were taught to shed more light on the standard algorithm and provide alternative ways of doing a particular procedure, be it adding, subtracting, multiplication or division.And now what we've got?
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