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Old 01-29-2013, 01:07 AM
waterfall waterfall is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,426
Western USA
K-3 Sped Resource Teacher
Parent who keeps asking for more work

I have a parent who keeps asking for more and more homework for her child. I feel that we already give a lot of homework for 3rd grade (at least one reading, spelling, and math page per night as well as independent reading time and fact practice). I have already given her some extra things and she keeps asking for more and tells me how they spend hours on websites reading and answering questions and things like that. The student is in special education and identified with a learning disability. To her credit, he's probably the most successful student in the program and is performing at a much higher level than the other identified students. However, his grades are still in the C range. He had huge handwriting problems (completely unreadable) and last year apparently she was taping a pencil to his hand while he slept thinking his hand would "memorize" the correct grip and he'd start writing better. The sped team quit providing OT and has moved him to typing all assignments because they thought she was going way overboard and wasn't going to let up on the kid. I've already told her that I think he's doing enough work and that I want him to have time to relax/play after school too, and I've mentioned that I'm afraid he's going to get burnt out. She doesn't take the hint. So what do you do? Just keep giving her more and more work and just make it a "family" decision and stay out of it, or only provide so many extra assignments?
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:59 AM
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swansong1 swansong1 is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,493
Disney country
Back in the saddle again!
It sounds like it's time to have a conference and bring in the school psychologist or social worker. Someone has to convince her to let up...good grief!...taping a pencil to his hand?!!
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:42 AM
Marylander Marylander is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 71
4th Grade Teacher
More work at night is just what this child does not need. Has the mother been like this since the child first started school? If so, how have other teachers dealt with her? Have you conferenced with her? This is something to have your special education team help with. All the extra homework in the world is not going to "fix" this child, and the mother needs to know this. Your advice about playing and relaxing is great. Mom will probably resist because she might be feeling guilt. I've worked with these kinds of parents before, and they are never easy. With all their good intentions, they're just making life more stressful for their children.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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monsieurteacher monsieurteacher is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,442
New Brunswick, Canada
4th Grade Teacher
I had a student like this one time as well. This child struggled academically and socially. He's raised by his grandparents who are absolutely lovely people and do the best they can, but they struggle with their own academic problems. They were convinced to send their grandson to Sylvan to get him up to speed. It took a meeting with the Vice Principal and myself to finally tell them that the money for Sylvan was being wasted, and that the child just needed time to learn how to socialize. I still see him in the halls, I had him in grade one and two, and he is now in grade four... he is doing so much better now, and I think the grandparents are happier.

See if you can get someone to meet with you and the mother that could help build your case against additional homework.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:31 AM
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Rabbitt Rabbitt is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
Primary Elementary Teacher
I agree with the others. Contact a social worker.

With that said, you probably will not be able to stop it. The mother may not have an intereat in life outside of her child. So you're best off trying to redirect it. Try to give her something educational without traditional work.

jigsaw puzzles

Maybe together they can make a powerpoint presentation on a non-fiction topic of high interest. or i-pad
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:20 AM
a2z a2z is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,062
You all know a very commonly used phrase when a child is struggling academically is, "What are YOU doing at home to help your child _____?" This is the dark side of wanting parents to be responsible for their child's learning.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:13 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,116
5th Grade Teacher
One great thing that most districts have done in the last 15 years is to post an amount of homework that each child is to get. I find it rare to find a district or school without a policy whether it is public or private. I would let the parent know. Our guidelines for homework for 3rd grade is 30-45 minutes/night Monday-Thursday. I bet yours is not that different.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:40 PM
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MissScrimmage MissScrimmage is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,288
2nd Grade Teacher
I have a class wiki page with links to fun and educational websites. I direct those parents to check it out.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:50 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 20,873
New Jersey
Grade 3
Originally Posted by MissScrimmage View Post
I have a class wiki page with links to fun and educational websites. I direct those parents to check it out.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:30 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
I have a packet of game related activities that I send home when parents want more work. I also have some websites that I encourage them to use.

For this parent, I would look for ways to make the practice more fun for the student. If he enjoys playing basketball, maybe suggest shooting hoops as he practices his math facts. If he enjoys music, maybe mom and son could make a song for his spelling words. Little things that are more generic, not worksheets.
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