Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm Not Sure

But I think 2 hours and 45 minutes of homework (5 subjects) is a bit much for a nine year old.

It's 7 PM and she's been doing homework (with a break for dinner) since she got home at 4 PM... and she's not done.


Brenda said...

I think that's way too much. You should check with the teacher to see how long she thinks the assignments she's giving should take. I think the general "rule" is 10-20 minutes per grade, so she should be around 40-60 minutes per night? Kid is probably being extra thorough and doing everything perfectly, which will take more time than her average classmate. K is the opposite...it's his inattention makes everything take twice as long as necessary to get done properly (or he just does a crap job in no time flat). I still think of back to school time as back to school for me too, since I end up encouraging/explaining/refocusing/supervising so much of the homework.
I'm sorry, you are probably all exhausted by now :(

wootini said...

I hate homework in elementary school!!!!

So much of it is busy work, it seems to me. And exactly how is it that we are supposed to accomplish all these other things (exercise, activities, family dinner, family time, bathing!) in the scant 3.5 to 4 hours between when they get home and when they need to go to bed?

I'm a little bitter, I guess, after almost 6 years dealing with elementary school.

I hope it lightens up for you all.

Mrs Furious said...

yes the homework situation is insane in the membrane... not quite sure how it boils down... is she not finishing her school work so she has more to bring home? Is she just taking 2x as long as expected on homework? The teacher had said there would be an hour, but bringing home 5 subjects of homework just won't = 60 minutes no matter how you slice it. All there work has to be done in cursive to boot. The math is a textbook and she has to copy out all the problems (even word problems) and then solve them... which is fine... but obviously it takes a while to just plain do math let alone also copy all the problems out of a book first. Yes, she's slow and methodical... but she is also easily distracted and I hate having to stand there and be a task master when she's obviously had a long day and is tired and is NINE and just needs some downtime. I don't know how this can be sustainable, you know? It's not a good childhood choice. After dinner and finishing up her spelling lesson she had 1 hour before bed of free time. I think it's part problem with too much homework part problem with Ruby's work style but in the end I just don't know that this is a good trade-off. She is so committed to it and won't complain, it is going to be really hard to take her out against her wishes. We'll see. I'm giving it 2 weeks... if this is the typical homework situation then we can't live this way.

Brenda said...

I hate having to stand there and be a task master

Preach it, sister.

This is so much of what I hated about elementary school for K. I actually can't believe she has to copy the word problems out of the book in cursive. That seems very tedious. But I'm also amazed that she won't complain. My guy would be in tears of frustration.

Hope it gets better...

wootini said...

Brenda, mine would be in tears too (the 11 year old). Mrs. F it sounds like he and Kid must be cloned LOL. Extremely perfectionistic tendencies combined with the fact that he is easily distracted make this a major challenge area. And like you, I find it (truly, he and I both find it) very tedious to have to monitor him to stay on task... day after day.
But good night - if he had to copy word problems out of a textbook IN CURSIVE (that's just total BS busywork IMO) we'd still be here doing last night's homework.
Last night (first day of school) there was hardly anything and he was still stressed out. He does taekwondo, and after class last night he said "I feel so much better, and so much less stressed."
And how is that not a good thing? Setting up a positive, lifelong habit of stress relief via working out? But it takes a couple hours out of the few available by the time you factor in travel to & from.
Sigh. Good luck to you guys - I feel your pain, I really do.

Nutmeg said...

I think you definitely need to tell the teacher what is up, and ask for a modification for R. Simply not copying down the problems would help.

She also might be unaware of how long the homework is taking.

Mrs Furious said...

I should make it clear that she would ABSOLUTELY be complaining and crying if she wasn't afraid I'd pull her out if she did (I would). She's just trying to hold it together so she can stay there. I kind of want to respect that, but then I have to remember that there are a lot of unhealthy things a child might wish to do and for Kid school might fall in that category.

Mr F said we should just do her homework and I had to remind him that our handwriting isn't as good as hers is! I wish she'd ease up on it, it's so perfect and it's tiny... about the size of typed font. So, yeah... that takes her awhile.

Mrs Furious said...

Yes, I'm giving it this week to see how the homework goes. I'm not sure if yesterday is the norm or a fluke because they had Monday off. If by Friday this is the week's average than it is a PROBLEM and I'll address it with the teacher. I wish I knew some other class parents so I could ask them how long it is taking their child. If they say 40 minutes then I know the problem is more related to how Kid works. Although I don't know a kid who could pound out 5 subjects of homework in 40 minutes, not with math like this.

Kid has said two things yesterday that have me wondering about the intensity over there...

1) that the day flies I asked if she meant because they have to go to specials, etc and she said no because they are so busy sitting at their desks doing so much work

2) it was raining and during break they had to stay inside, she and a friend wanted to do their math homework and were told "no" that they needed the break from doing work. On the one hand I TOTALLY agree but on the other hand maybe this academic setting is a lot more intense than I had thought.

Kellie said...

I think even the teacher stating there would be an hour is too much! They are CHILDREN, they need to PLAY! I am anti-homework can you tell? Obviously you should review what you learn, but aside from that they need some free time.

Julie said...

If I wasn't so fucking tired from dealing with Murphy and his homework, I'd have more to say. And he does not have nearly the howework Kid has.. Murphy spends more time melting down about homework than it takes to actually do it. Word to Mr. F. on just doing the damn work. Plus, that is just wrong that Kid only ended up with an hour of downtime.

So it was only day 5 of our school year and M refused school today. Today was a real gem. He just started the Middle School so I get it that he's overwhelmed--in our town middle school starts in 5th grade. Stupid. So here you have this little ten year old kid who has anxiety, ADHD, sensory disorder & his "PDD-NOS" was just upgraded to Aspergers (but of course, not 'typical' like one thinks of aspergers...so it is perplexing, but also makes sense. Sort of) and he is expected to have several different teachers and change not just classes, but BUILDINGS in which you have to walk outside and get lost in. He did the first 3 days and came home yesterday stressed out--he said that he thought he was going to really like Middle School. He says he hates it. He alternately sobbed saying "why do I have to be like this? why does it have to be so hard for me" and basically spewing the "F" word at me because it is all my fault naturally. My heart breaks for him.

Having to copy over the questions from the book? Stupid. In cursive? wth? Who writes in cursive anymore?

(or he just does a crap job in no time flat). Brenda, you just described my child perfectly. Or he doesn't actually read the whole question so he answers it wrong.

If I can ever find the time, I will update my blog. So much and so little has happened. Part of the reason why I don't ever write there is that I don't want to burden anyone with the constant 'good times' that go on over here. I hate to be that 'friend' who always has problems.

And as crazy as M sounds, he really is a good little kid.

Brenda said...

Ah, Julie. God, the stress of the changing classrooms and teachers... we went through that last year—in 7th grade—and it was still "challenging". Something I can offer you is that the "why do I have to be like this" stuff seems to have gotten better with time. I feel like K is moved on to acceptance - this is just how things are for him. I'm sure M will get there too. Of course K is 13 1/2 now... so, you know, in a few more years... ;)
Who writes in cursive anymore? Word. Even in public school they have those 1 or 2 years where they try to make kids use it. Then they start typing everything and no one cares anymore. What a time suck for kids like mine.

Mrs Furious said...

"Or he doesn't actually read the whole question so he answers it wrong. "
ding ding ding ding
Yes, half of what she had to do for homework today was the work she had done incorrectly today at school because she does not read directions. I keep begging her to take the one extra second to READ THE FUCKING DIRECTIONS before she does something otherwise she has to do it twice. So I have to go through all her work from school and make sure she did it correctly plus manage her homework (seems like all school work is potentially homework it kind of reminds me of high school). Fuck it. I'm 100% hating this lifestyle.
She pays an absurd amount of attention to somethings and absolutely none to others... when you point out that she didn't do it right and didn't read the directions it's like it never occurred to her. I want to beat my head against the wall. She just makes an assumption of what she's supposed to do and does that.

and changing teachers and buildings?... hell no... Kid can't do that. One reason we picked this school is because it goes straight through 8 one class per grade. If I switch her back to ps 5th is like that here, too and I know she can't handle it. Hell, she can't handle reading directions on a worksheet, or remembering her classroom OR CHANGING INTO GYM SHOES. For the love of God. I really don't know why I'm doing this. Things were going so well at home and so low stress and she was covering more academically while being engaged. I know from sitting there all night and monitoring her homework that she absolutely pays no attention to what the teacher says at school... it is in one ear and out the other... so then I have to read her textbooks and teach her anyway. Why am I paying for this?!! Gah.

Oh, yes, I'm finally going to make the appointment and pay for neuro psych testing. Out of pocket. If she wants to go to school we need to get some accommodations.

Sarah said...

That is way too much! I will say, that I previously taught at a private, Christian school. We gave tons of homework. They had something in every single subject, along with several home projects throughout the year. Plus, we were required to grade the homework. Now, I was for many of the ideas of private school (especially end of grade testing), but the homework and amount of book work, I was not a fan of. I teach 4th grade this year in a public school. My students have math (for practice-not a grade!), which is usually 5 problems and 20 minutes of reading each night. Every once in a while, they will have homework for another subject or a home project, but not very often. Nightly homework should be practice or studying, NOT intense labor!!

Mrs Furious said...

interesting! Thank you for sharing that. Yes, everything they do is graded. And she's a stickler, if a math problem answer is 17 and you just write 17 instead of 17 fish (for example if that was in the question) you get it wrong.

and of course, as you know, they have memory work. Tomorrow is her first time having to recite and I don't know if that is graded (I'm sure it is). This week's is the longest and hardest so hopefully she pulls it off.

We just had a long talk about going back to homeschooling but she's really committed and said she likes it and doesn't mind the homework (I do!). I put a timer on tonight to keep track of when it went over to unreasonable amount of time. Tonight it took her 1.5 hours and that was with me sitting there the whole time keeping her 100% focused. I don't think we can do it faster than that. Again 5 subjects of homework tonight.

Brenda said...

Mrs. F: You are so living my homework life from elementary school. You and Julie make me feel so much less alone! At one point last year I made a list for K to follow when doing homework and the first item was "READ DIRECTIONS". He's so self-aware now, after all he's been through. He's has these frank moments where he tells me things like "I've learned to read directions, because if they didn't want me to read them, they wouldn't put them there". Yes! Such a light bulb moment (not that he always remembers, but...)! Gaining maturity really does help with all this stuff. The neuro psych testing is so valuable. Not sure if they have to allow accommodations in private school, but in public school, it is all that keeps us afloat.

I feel like I am hijacking your blog...but I have a lot of passion about this particular subject, and I know you ladies get it...

Mr Furious said...

What sucks is the fact that we don't really care about her scores or grades, or if she completes her homework. She's there for all the intangible things about school, not busy work on shit she already knows. But failing to complete homework means loss of recess — arguably the best and most valuable part of her day.

Plus, KID CARES. She wants everything to be perfect and was so excited about her perfect test/A+, and will be devastated by anything less.

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