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Lydmom April 7, 2011

My older son is in 1st grade. He frequently has almost an hour of homework a night. Sometimes more. This seems excessive to me. Am I over reacting or is this normal?

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MMurry_1 April 7, 2011

I would rather take an hour of homework compared to none. You heard me none, zip, zero, ziltch. How can they learn and be reinforced what they learn through the day if there is no homework being sent home. I prepare my child's homework myself becasue she never has any from her teahcer. I think they are jusyt trying to pass them off to the next grade.


MagnetMom April 7, 2011

Hi Lydmom,

Have you talked to the teacher? Sometimes some of what is coming home is school work that wasn't finished rather than homework. That will require a bit more investigation.

If you find out that your son is bringing home just homework, ask her how long she expects it to take.

Nearly every school or district has a homework policy that states homework takes so many minutes in various grades. For instance 15-20 minutes for kinder or first, 20-30 minutes in 2nd or 3rd, and 45 minutes for 4th and fifth.

Some schools will add the policy that once that amount of time has elapsed, you can draw a line, sign it, and the child will get credit for completing the homework. If enough families bring up the issue of excess homework, you might find a teacher willing to adjust the homework load.

Keep in mind, the teachers are held accountable to the standards, to the point now, that people want to tie their salaries to how well the students do. And you have to remember, there are parents who want to start their children's Ivy League college chances before they can tie their shoes.

I've been in several classes where the teachers understood family time, sports, and didn't over load them, and we had one year where the homework was more than my college-aged, math-major son was bringing home.

Be persistent, and make sure the school knows your philosophy, and hopefully next year you can get a better fit with a teacher.

Good luck!


gwend100 April 8, 2011

My daughter is currently in the 2nd grade and the homework seems to me to depend upon what the teacher decides to give them. When my daughter was in 1st grade she had about an hour of homework also. I to thought the same thing. She is only in 1st grade how can they have so much homework already? Now with her being in 2nd grade she rarely has any homework at all. I of course was concerned about this as when she was in 1st grade she had a lot and I got use to her having that much. But I found out that the format that he has for teaching and homework was of course different from her 1st grade teacher and that she was still learning what she needed to learn. She still was getting the same grades. But it took me a long time to adjust to each of the teachers formats.


Jamilah56 April 17, 2011

Yes, an hour is definitely too much for first grade. When I taught the rule of thumb was 10 minutes per grade level. According to that, your son should be getting no more than 10 minutes of homework each night.

You should talk with the parents of his classmates and approach the teacher or, if necessary, the principal together.


Chickenchaser April 17, 2011

Yep! Too much. However there should be homework. See other tips. Some kids finish it in school soooooo. Read as often as you can . .to your child. Reading is secondary to being cuddled.


tracystr April 18, 2011

Homework is sometimes too much when you have a billion other things to do before bed time . so I use it as some extra mommy and me time. Also it does seem to reinforce what they learned in school that week. My daughter is in third grade and trust me homework is very important. They are learning things her 18 and 19 year old brothers didn't do at that grade. We have to keep up with the rest of the world. But I feel they are losing some of their childhood.


steelerfan500 April 18, 2011

I would say an hour is too much but it depends upon if he is getting so much work that most kids take an hour to do it or is your son not focused enough and drags it out or perhaps having trouble with a certain subject? My son typically gets a page or two of math, a spelling word writing assignment and 10 min of reading and if he does it when I get home from work he can get math and spelling done in about 20 minutes but there have been plenty of times he dragged out to an hour!


Ianzmama April 18, 2011

I'm with MMurry_1. My son didn't have homework until this year after Christmas break. He's in second grade and has been in danger of falling behind. I found myself creating stuff for him to do at home just to get in the extra practice.


miljel23ziv April 21, 2011

It would be the best if the child, after a short break, immediately learns all the lessons and do the homework from the present school day. Follow the course of learning, find out how much he/she remembers from the school and go through his/hers notes. Do not let him/her sit too long over the book, encourage him/her to be focused, limit the time for each subject, if necessary. If your child doesnâ??t understand something, ask him to read you that part of the book, and then say how he understood it. Ask him questions, and let him arrive to conclusions on his/hers own. You should never read and present the complete solution.


TeacherParent April 21, 2011

It's become far more typical but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Schools like everything else can jump on a bandwagon and increasing hours of homework has been the bandwagon many schools have jumped on over the last 20 years. Years and years ago, homework in 1st grade was fairly unusual but a few years ago, America's schools came under criticism and they've responded to that criticism by assigning more homework and generally raising the expectations placed on children in school.

Not everybody thinks this is a good idea or an effective way to educate young children. Some teachers are responsive to parents when told the children are struggling at home with homework. Other teachers think the point of school is to struggle. Have you spoken to other parents in your son's class to see how their children are faring?

I recommend to every parent that you put your ear to the ground about next year's teachers and see if there is one that you think would be a better match for your child and then request that teacher. Till then, I also recommend to parents that they not hesitate to help their children with their homework. Young children can lose heart when it comes to homework and then grow disspirited about school in general.

There's an interesting book called "Whatever Happened to Recess and Why Is My Child Struggling in Kindergarten?" and another one called "The Homework Myth". Both writers believe that America has jumped too much on the homework wagon and that learning and homework aren't necessarily one and the same thing.

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