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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 10-12-2006, 01:49 PM (1 of 21)
I don't know about anyone else but homework is a real pain in the butt in my house. My grandson has AS, he will do anything rather than hit the books. I told him to get as much done in school as he could.

There have been many, many parents in our area complaining about the amount of homework the kids are getting.

One of my other grandsons is 9, he gets about 20-25 pages the first of each month. They are to be done by the end of the month. When did grade 4 get so hard???

I read an article in Macleans (a :Canada: magazine) that said homework has not proven to be of any benefit to the kids. One of the parting remarks by the author was if it causes constant problems at home, maybe it isn't worth the hassle.

I know the teachers are overworked and short on time. They do what they can, just venting. :sick:
MaryW
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: Magot
Date: 10-12-2006, 02:22 PM (2 of 21)
Our 9 year olds get a weekly sheet - maths problems (differentiated) and on top of that they are to read for 3 x15 minutes a week. Sometimes they will have a history project that they have several weeks to complete.

In my Study Support club tonight the 13 year olds had a variety of types of homework- History:find a picture of Elizabeth the 1st, RE: draw a comic strip of the life of Abraham, English: write a poem/monologue/diary entry from the point of view of the main Character in the painting 'the Scream'. Maths: correct your tests, Maths:creats an acrostic of your name using mathematical definitions.

Homework does not have to be all writing essays and is useful for consolidating knowledge and discovering the depth of the childs understanding. My favourite homework recently was that the childen had to make a model digestive system - great now I have 120 guts to display alongside mine on the walls. It is looking pretty gory in the labs at the moment.

I have one autistic spec/aspergers kid come to Study Support. He finds it very hard to settle - he needs his own space, to sit on the right chair at the right computer and to be given enough take up time to get started. He is very disruptive to the others and it often takes quite a time to get everybody settled.
love and kisses, Jan
Guts-R-Us
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: Pudge99
Date: 10-12-2006, 02:22 PM (3 of 21)
OH yeah I hate homework!!! OUr school district acually requires that each student be given X amount of homework per grade year. It gets to be more and more each year. I got nasty last year with some of my oldest teachers and said "You have her for 8+ hours a day. When you figure in sleep and dinner time she only has about 2 hours left and you give her over two hours of homework each night. When exactly do you expect her to get it done?" I got no useful answers back from them. The thing is when I was growing up the only homework you had was what you couldn't get done in class, study your math tables and spelling words, and a project or two a year. Now they have assignments to complete in class AND work that is to be done at home. My dd is slow so she has classwork to finish plus the assigned homework. The child has no life beyond schoolwork.
I have thought of doing what many other parents do. Do it for her. I already let her lie on her reading log because with all the other homework she has there is no time to read, and if she does not complete this reading log she will fail the class. She was already reading at college level in the 6th grade so I don't worry at all about her reading skills. My biggest worry is finding books that interest her that are at her reading level.
Well anyway this turned into a longer ramble than I planned.
Thing is I agree that all this homework is ridiculous.
Gina
Pictures of my successes and failures
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User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: Mom of Six
Date: 10-12-2006, 02:25 PM (4 of 21)
Homework is actually more work for teachers. They have to correct it mark it in the grade book & hand it back. And if a student doesn't do it they have to find a suitible punishment. I would think more teachers would have done away with it by now. My Dd is in the 10th grade & she has very little hamework. most is just what they don't get done in class or studying for tests. They do get a few long term projects/papers. She is an honors student & was told she was going to have more work & it actually turned out to be less. I have conferences tonight so we will see if it is working.
Barb
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: mommydionne
Date: 10-12-2006, 04:48 PM (5 of 21)
Mary I'm with you, we have mega homework here, the teacher says we should spend 45 minutes a day on homework. It takes much longer than that, I'm finding the ontario schools are much tougher than NS (Adrian is in grade4) we get the book every fri with the homework and schedule.

There is a homework "club" at the school, it is $15 per hour after school on tues, wed and thurs. Ugh, I can afford this but I am sure there are many parents who can't. So what do they do??

I don't do his homework, it's his job but things are getting a little crazy at times. It is very demoralizing for the kids. I liked the MacLeans article too, should have saved it to send to the school...

venting as well:bang:
Jeanette
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: Mom of Six
Date: 10-12-2006, 05:34 PM (6 of 21)
Just got back from conferences. DD has straght A's as of midterm. Some classes she is even working ahead & still is getting her work done. For the first time in 11 yrs. I only have 1 student to go to conferences for. I was home in 1 hr. instead of 3. this is great.
I do agree that most teachers give to much homework that is busy work.
Barb
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Bama
Date: 10-12-2006, 07:06 PM (7 of 21)
My son has never been able to concentrate on homework after sitting in school all day. I remember when he was in elementary school, he would cry because he was so sick of sitting still in class all day. When he got home he just wanted to go outside. It was a fight every night getting him to finish his homework.
He's always had high grades on tests. The homework scores always bring down his over all grades. He does fine on creative assignments like science and art projects. It's sitting down and answering questions or doing math that is so boring to him. You'd think a kid that can get straight A's on all of his tests wouldn't need homework. :mad: THANK GOD this is his final year of high school. (If he can keep up the homework grades :nervous: )

Someone mentioned teachers having more work to do because of having so much homework to grade. I'm sure that's true with alot of them, but several of the teachers my children have had always had the kids trade papers and grade each others work. That bothers me. Other kids should not be allowed to look at my kid's work, much less mark off the ones that are wrong. I wonder how many kids get graded wrong because of it.
User: Bama
Member since: 03-21-2000
Total posts: 2116
From: Sancin
Date: 10-12-2006, 09:35 PM (8 of 21)
Someone mentioned teachers having more work to do because of having so much homework to grade. I'm sure that's true with a lot of them, but several of the teachers my children have had always had the kids trade papers and grade each others work. That bothers me. Other kids should not be allowed to look at my kid's work, much less mark off the ones that are wrong. I wonder how many kids get graded wrong because of it.

I don't' recall much about my children's homework but do recall a letter, probably meant to be well meaning asking me to both do my children's homework with them and to ensure it was done. It was written as a contract. As a post secondary educator I was incensed. I returned the contract with a notation that I would do this as long as they promised not to progress a student that was not ready to be progressed. In first and second year college I got very tired of correcting assignment errors that should have been corrected as early as grade 7 and having students tell me they were 'A' students in high school. My retort was that they were cheated out of a good education. :bolt:
My personal belief is that as long as a parent is interested in their children as individuals, who read and learn themselves, and provide reading material (almost any kind) for children they will learn what they need to learn. Nothing can beat curiosity and enthusiasm. If any student waited in line to see me during office hours and was reading, especially a novel, I knew they were going to be a good student.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: Chrysantha
Date: 10-12-2006, 10:35 PM (9 of 21)
Here in FL they have FCAT tests...if you don't pass, the SCHOOL gets a bad grade. (yes they grade the schools) so the teachers TEACH THE TEST, all YEAR. Thats ALL they teach because there isn't time for anything else.
I've seen so many 'kids' (10-20 yrs old) who can't read, it's insane. They don't have recess in the elementary schools anymore. Kids are stuck inside all day, most don't have P.E. (no gyms).
They actually count the days you are absent, as part of your grades. You HAVE to have a Dr's excuse and it has to be appoved by the school counselor, or your grades go down so much each day you're out.
In HS the Marching Band can be taken INSTEAD of P.E.
(of course the Band only marches during foorball season which is almost over here already, because the kids started school Aug 3rd and DIDN'T get Columbus Day off, even though we haven't had a hurricane, (hurricane days are usually made up on holidays and end of school).
FL has THE weirdest school system I've ever seen in my life. Teachers get 1/2 or whole days off during the yr to do school work. I don't know what work they do, if all they teach is tests. (I live next door to a teacher and her kids are illiterate...)
My neighbor across the street, her (now ex) boyfriend has a son with Aspergers. He's about 25/26, but he's 'high functioning'. He went all though school here and college and didn't find out till he'd graduated college at 23, that he HAD Aspergers. Then they tried to put him on meds, but being who he is, said no. He works at Publix as a checker. If you didn't already know, you'd just think he was a kid who smiled too much. (and acts a bit geeky...and we all went to school with those kids.)
He lives on his own, bought his own car...So if his parents and a school system didn't know...what does that say ??? They didn't care to look or he's a rarity ?!?
(obviously he's a rarity because he can READ.)

-I- personally wouldn't want to be a kid these days.....
I'd be kicked out of school. (instead of being sent to the principals to set in his office, cause I corrected the kids who couldn't read...:dave: ...at least he had a nice fish tank...)( I WAS kicked out of college...:bg: due to something I called a teacher...he was a lecher and I told him so...so out I went...oh well..:wink: )

Kath ('the whole truth and nothing but the truth..')
Chrys
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: Sherri
Date: 10-13-2006, 12:25 AM (10 of 21)
My son is 9 in grade 4. He has Aspergers as well. The homework he gets commonly takes 4 hours. It is to much I have been fighting with the teacher all year about it. Then she says he doesn't have to do every question(because of his IEP). But the few days he didn't he got homework incomplete.

Our schools have mandated homework. And it is homework for homework sake. It is not marked it is just checked for completeness.

My son gets a week long worksheet. A long term project. Spelling every week. 2-5 (twice it was 12+sheets) sheet of math twice a week. French and possibly music homework. As well as reading. OH and possibly other assignments as well.

My daughter in Grade three gets 4 worksheets and spelling on Monday that needs to be completed by Friday. This is much more manageable.

But I disagree with the whole homework for homework sake. It interferes with socialization and out of school activities and takes away from family time. It makes scholl unbearable. Because why bother when you are just going to have to do 4 more hours at home. My sons homework only teaches him to hate school it does not teach him anything.

Sher
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User: Sherri
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Total posts: 357
From: Magot
Date: 10-13-2006, 02:27 AM (11 of 21)
Sounds like our lot don't do so bad then! It accelerates to 2 hours a night after 14 if you are the type of person who does it.

Our after school homeowork club is free - I run it - but the only children I get are the special needs/behaviorally challenged kids. The idea is to provide nternet eaccess for those who don't have it at home and that is the type of homework they are set. I spend a lot of time telling kids theat when they have research to do they are better off using a BOOK aimed at their age range that cutting and pasting from the net. They get cross with me when I don't let them do that unless they can explain to me what they have on the page..Y
Can you can imagine 12 social misfits in one room, bless 'em - life gets hairy at times! I run a system whereby everytime you complee a piece of homework you get a sticker in your attandance sheet and the most stickers wins the Prize of Chocolatey goodness at the end of term. The thing that irritates me is the teachers who send along kids that they don't want at parent meetings ( who have nothing to do) or the teachers who tell kids to go Study Support for detention - excuse me?!
love and kisses, Jan
Guts-R-Us
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: DorothyL
Date: 10-13-2006, 08:53 AM (12 of 21)
What kind of drop out rates do you have in Canada?
Here it is absolutely disgraceful and I don't think piling on all that extra work helps at all.
Learning, for kids as well as adults, is fun. If it isn't you don't learn. (We should all have a teacher like Jan!!)
And now that the schools are fighting to survive through test scores they are, like Kath said, teaching for tests and pushing out kids they know will bring scores down.
It's too bad we, as a culture, don't care enough to invest in our children, both financially and emotionally.
I'm glad mine are grown. My oldest never would have finished with that kind of homework. She would spend more time and energy avoiding it than it would take to just do it. And she was a smart kid with no learning disabilities except a rebellious streak and a passive aggressive attitude.
Dorothy
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: mommydionne
Date: 10-13-2006, 09:13 AM (13 of 21)
I wonder about the testing thing here too, the open house started with a presentation on how great the school did on their test scores last year, blah blah blah...
I always get scared when I hear that b/c that often means the test become the goal, not teaching.

I'm also getting a vibe the teacher wants Adrian out of her class and school b/c he is having problems, that's it just shove the ones out that you may have to work with a tad, :cool: but we will not go so easily. To me that is not a solution. Just transfers the problem to someone else. I'm also getting the vibe (big on vibes this week) that she feels I'm not capable of helping him out with his schoolwork. :bg: We need to have a little sit down meeting.
The kid reads well, he just is wired for sound and needs to s l o w d o w n.... and take his time.

Jan you are fabulous! the attitude here now is that no teachers do extra stuff without getting paid. (ie the $15 per hour homework club)

Our old school had PE every day, now he gets it 2x per week, not enough I say but that's always been one of my peeves.

We worked for an hour on spelling words last night, dug out the scrabble board and did them that way, the novelty seemed to hold, hopefully he learned them that way!
Jeanette
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: MaryW
Date: 10-13-2006, 09:30 AM (14 of 21)
I have always asked for "sit downs" with my grandson. Most need an explanation of his background but once they see we are serious about his future and watching carefully, they will come around. They think he is a problem child when really, he is just as Jeanette says, wired differently. He takes time and understanding, not an easy kid but we love him dearly for all his quirks and problems.

These kids take extra time and discipline to properly educate. That is a major problem in the schools here.

Homework can turn a kid off school so badly. There just has to be a solution. I know there is one but it would take overhauling the entire system.

I don't know what the drop-out rates are here but you can bet my grandson will be thinking about it. He is sixteen next month. Yikes, had him since he was 11. There is a program for those kids interested in going to community college in his school. They take 2 day mini courses in all sorts of things including IT work. My grandson applied and was interested in seeing what was available. They turned him down. :bluesad: They only had 22 spots open and over 66 applications. If ever a kid should have been accepted, it is my grandson. We were all very disappointed.
MaryW
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: Magot
Date: 10-13-2006, 10:45 AM (15 of 21)
Altruism not withstanding Jeanette the school pays me to run the club (7 per hour - woo!) but does not charge the students.

We do run an afterschool science club for fun - that is free all round - funding for our bangs and smells comes out of the science budget...

Our aspergers kids have moderated homework, (don't make them work on one thing for more than 20 mins type thing), some of kids with learning difficulties are excused french and so on. We have a lot of pick up programs running to make sure that everyone can at least read when they leave school..

A friend of mine worked in a fantastic cerebral palsy school for 11-18 year olds. If failed the school inspection because they were not teaching the students French - lets face it, they were too busy teaching them to be able to say Yes, No and toilet please... ridiculous.

We are falling into the teach testing trap ourselves here. The worst news I have heard for a long timw is changing the science curriculum so that a lot of time is spent discussing science in the news - I have no trouble with people responding to the challenges and moral dilemmas that scientific research can imply - but wasting your time debunking " Yes we really did walk on the moon" myths instead of teaching empirical fundamental science is going to leave this country bereft of a generation of scientists as no one will have the knowledge to be able to study A levels let alone follow through at Uni.

Sorry
Rant over.
love and kisses, Jan
Guts-R-Us
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: DorothyL
Date: 10-13-2006, 11:15 AM (16 of 21)
If the tests for schools were drop-out rates and college acceptances and they were infused with talent and money if needed when they fell below the norm the schools would come up with ways to teach the kids to think and learn and do well.
I agree, Mary, fixing the schools means a complete overhaul -- so why don't our assorted countries do that?
That's what I don't understand. Where is the common sense?
Dorothy
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: weezyrider
Date: 10-13-2006, 12:51 PM (17 of 21)
I got yelled at by daughter's kindergarten teacher. Daughter interested in reading about 2 1/2 - 3yrs old. So I taught her by using phonics. School didn't like that one bit.
Whatever they were teaching wasn't working as I heard from a lot a parents in the school district. There were about 4 or 5 parents that switched their kids to private schools. The teacher that got snippy got told that I wasn't raising an illiterate, and the school could stuff it. Her 1st grade teacher complained about what we made her watch on TV. She loved Carl Sagan and Cosmos at age 6. She'd hear the music and be downstairs. Also liked Last Chance Garage, and This Old House. Shows were all clean and no violence and it was her choice.
We also taught her to make change early. I could leave her at a fabric counter, she would tell the clerk how much I wanted, get it cut. - Then give her the money for checkout. She must have been about 8 at the time.
A lady asked me how old my daughter was. Apparently the lady taught jr. high, and had 8th graders that couldn't do this.
Doesn't mean life was easy with daughter. We fought about the usual.

Weezy
User: weezyrider
Member since: 08-19-2003
Total posts: 218
From: Mom of Six
Date: 10-13-2006, 06:41 PM (18 of 21)
My DD's honors High school English teacher told me last night that she has to reteach spelling to her students because they either were not taught the rules of spelling or they all forgot them. That is they only test DD has failed this yr. & she was in the majority in the class with her grade. She is going back to 2nd grade spelling rules to start with.
Barb
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Patty22
Date: 10-15-2006, 01:55 PM (19 of 21)
Hey Barb...........

When my one son went to the high school guidance counselor to talk about his "future" she informed him that although he had very good grades he should consider farming as a career since spelling was not his forte.

Thank goodness my husband and I were both sitting there. I asked my son to look at the letter from the school notifying us of the meeting. They had spelling his first name and last name wrong. I told my son that being a high school guidance counselor was also an option.

My kids suffered through the school switching over from phonetics to "whole language." It was also an era of the school deeming that they knew better for the kids than the parents.

I did a "happy dance" when my youngest graduated HS and we didn't have to put up with the school system.

Oh, BTW, my son didn't turn out too bad - he graduated Cornell and is now a landscape architect in NY City.
Patty
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: Mom of Six
Date: 10-15-2006, 05:48 PM (20 of 21)
My DD plans on being a Zoologist or possibly an ecologist. If she doesn't change her mind in the next 3 yrs. I still don't know all the career options with her choices. She used to plan on being a teacher either elementary Art, or specialize in Social Studies. Then she decided to get into the computer design/program field. But when they enter high school they give them all a career pathways questionnaire to fill out. That is where she came up with the choices she has today. I have always believed in letting my kids choose their own path but with DS (18) I may have to push a little. He is working for our school district TV station as a cameraman or an Audio Tech. I think this is a good career choice for him but they work very sporadically. He needs a job to support himself if he isn't going to college. So I have given him the rest of this yr. to decide either college or a better job.
Barb
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Sancin
Date: 10-16-2006, 02:47 AM (21 of 21)
Barb - theatre, TV, and movie, etc techs actually get good jobs. My son is a lighting designer and started out doing sound and light technical work, and even still does if he doesn't have a design job. He usually has more work than he can handle. He does have to travel around. Your son should check out IATSI group in your area- the technical equivalent to ACTRA - they are the ones who find individuals work. In some ways it is a bit of a closed society but connections are made. Interestingly while in high school my son was being encouraged by the school to do something with writing which he is very good at, but he was interested in the sciences! He did start uni in humanities programs but switched to theatre in 3 years.
No one was more surprised than I was. I agree they need to follow their own interests.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
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