Parents Doing Homework

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Miss Bliss, May 1, 2007.

  1. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    May 2, 2007

    You are not alone at all, Miss Frizzle. That is what my post was all about. Kids need responsibility. They will eventually grow up to be adults...I'm sure we want responsible adults.
     
  2. GardenDove

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    Yes, and parents can give children responsiblity. My children have many chores around the house. It's not up to the schools to structure our lives.

    I hear, on the one hand, teachers here complain that they are not the be all, end all former of the character of our young. Then I hear that if the schools don't send home busywork, then children will not learn responsiblity.

    Not only can't you have it both ways, but also, some people prefer the raise their own children, shape their morals themselves, and would like to do so with minimal interference from the public school system.
     
  3. MissFrizzle

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    Homework should not be "busywork" - it should reinforce what was taught in class. Apparently some children get busywork and that's wrong.

    I agree that responsiblity should be taught at home, but shouldn't it also be reinforced at school.

    I'm done with this thread.... and the homework war rages on..........
     
  4. TeacherGrl7

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    Miss Bliss, it starts early!! I teach 4 year olds in Pre-K, and yes, I sent home homework 2 afternoons a week. I am required to send it home, and I agree with it also. My students look forward to getting a sheet to practice their letters on, and often ask me, "Are we getting an assignment tonight?" "No, we don't have homework tonight." "Oh.....can we get an assignment tomorrow?" Many of them have older siblings and love to sit down with them and do their own "grown-up" work- I have actually had parents request extra sheets sent home so that their little ones have something to do with big sister as she does her homework.


    In the beginning of the year I was helping them adjust to using scissors- something that I think HAS to be worked on at home, because the first few times you use scissors someone has to physically hold your hand and show you what to do- something that I don't have the opportunity to do individually as much as I would like to. I had students coming in with scissors practice sheets that were cut perfectly from one point on the page to the other- not from the side of the paper, where they cut, but from the actual DOT to DOT on the page that shows the line to follow. It was as if someone had neatly poked a hole in the paper at the start point and cut across and stopped perfectly in the right spot. These kids would come in the next day adn attempt to do an art project and have no clue how to even hold the scissors- tell me they could cut perfectly like that?

    I gave them assessments with their scissors in September and shared them at parent-teacher conferences and saw a lot of blushing faces as they realized that I knew all too well what their children were actually capable of. Who do parents think they are helping by doing things like this? If a kid is struggling, even one of my little ones with cutting, I want to know. Otherwise I can't help!! I love parents taht let their children write their letters terribly and include notes to me letting me know that "R was a hard letter for James tonight." I can work with that. I can't work with beautiful Rs that lead me to believe that he's getting it, when he's not.
     
  5. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    May 3, 2007

    I think there is also a difference between academic responsibility and other responsibilities. Teacher have to the responsibility to instill this academic responsibility.
    Homework should be short and to the point and in most cases not needing any parental help at all to accomplish. The schools around me do give alot of busy work homework and I can see how that could be frustrating. However with out reinforcing the material at home many students would forget everything they learned and need the lesson the be retaught multiple times


    ..thats just my opinion
     
  6. runsw/scissors

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    I have heard it said in different workshops I've attended that doing for a child what a child can do for him/herself is an insult to the child's intellegence and rather demeaning. While I agree, I know there are times when students need help. Many parents today are almost in competition with each other over this stuff. Who spoke first, walked first, and it carries up to the school. Who gets better grades, who played the most minutes, who can get work done fastest. It's as if many parents feel all children must be perfect and at the same time wish teacher to accomodate so their children get all A's on the report card. I don't get it. I would rather have a child who is self reliant, responsible, and could tackle a problem once grown than an adult child who wants everything done for them.

    I know not all parents are like this. Some really do expect the children to do their own work.
     
  7. 4monthcountdown

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    If it's a basic review of what is done in class and it only takes a few minutes, there is no reason for parents to do it for them other than to save time and trouble. A lot of the homework that I have gotten back completed by parents is stuff like copying spelling words. It's just teaching a kid to be lazy and dishonest. I say call the parents out on it on the first offense.
     
  8. Research_Parent

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    IMO, parents need to help their children with homework...

    because many times the only reason my kids have to bring it home is because they didn't understand it when the teacher presented it, so I suggest a different way. I also let the teacher know when something takes a long time to complete (more than half an hour for one assignment). But, I never give answers (I ask lots of questions until they get to the answer themselved), nor do I write things on behalf of my children.
     
  9. runsw/scissors

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    I know that some students need help when they get home, but what with time given in class to work and a carefully monitored amount of homework given each night, I still have parents telling me it takes Johnny four hours to complete 30 minutes worth of work. Everyone else got the assignments done, many in class. So I generally ask what is the homework routine after school. That is often an eyeopener; most of the time the child's unmonitored or the parents decide not to start until 7:30. I can't rearrange my work because of one child when the expectations are reasonable. Well, I can, but I shouldn't have to. It's all part of the learning responsibility, time management, organization skills.
     
  10. Missy

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    I don't view giving a reasonable amount of meaningful work as infringing on a parent's right to shape their child's morals. I do think that a parent encouraging a child to forge their initials is teaching morals with which I could not agree.
     
  11. MissFrizzle

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    I agree Missy.
     
  12. Tbelle1035

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    I give a reasonable amount of homework for responsibility and practice purposes. First grade, a few words or sentences to read aloud, a short drawing or writing assignment, a page of math and 5 spelling words. All of this goes home on Monday and is due by Thursday, Friday for the spelling.

    When I begin homework in the fall, I send parents a letter. In it I suggest that parents "let your child hold the pencil." Only once have I seen a homwork assignment done in handwriting other than the child's. I wrote a note, "Billy, next time please do your homework in your own writing." It never happened again.
     
  13. GardenDove

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    May 3, 2007

    The collective attitudes on this thread, as well intended as they are, are a big reason for the huge interest in homeschooling today. I know this for a fact, having spoken to many homeschooling parents.
     
  14. Mamacita

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    I gave my last final this morning, and stopped by WalMart on my way home. At 1:00 p.m. the store was full of school-age kids, no doubt doing their homeschool math lesson. . . .

    It must have involved cotton candy and slurpees today.
     
  15. teachingmomof4

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    Did those homeschooling parents also tell you that it's not as easy as it sounds and that often, those kids come back, sometimes after only one year away.

    I am sorry that you feel this way about the educational system. Is your concern with homework or something deeper? It sounds to me as if you are bashing the entire system, teachers included.
     
  16. loves2teach

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    May 4, 2007


    I agree...
     
  17. Tbelle1035

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    GardenDove, I must say I agree with many of your arguments against homework, based on experiences with my own 2 children one who is ADD and one ADHD. Homework was always a big issue at my house. I hated spending the short time I had with my children arguing about getting it done. Although I required them to sit until it was completed, it was seldom quality, and their hearts were not in it.

    Oh, and now they are both doing well in college, after some bumps in the road of course. Experience has always been their best teacher.

    When they got in high school there was block scheduling (with teachers who mostly lectured, torture for my two) sports and community service, all to be done after school hours.

    When they are little, I believe they should be outside playing. A 7 hour school day does not have to be extended for a 6 year old.

    I actually had a parent complain to me this year that I was giving much less homework than the other first grade teachers, and would her child be able to keep up with the second grade after school work load.

    So why do I give homework at all? Mostly for the responsibility piece (getting it home, doing it and returning it to school) and because it is a requirement in my district.

    It does not work for everyone.
     
  18. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I recall writing an essay for my son when he was a Senior . He was perfectly capable(smart) but I wanted to do it (he didn't) to see how well I knew his 'inner thoughts and beliefs. It was fun and when he read it, he was amazed at how much I knew about him! We got an A on our paper and were very pleased. He'd do the same for me(if I was in school!) Oh, he graduated from college with honors and is a successful business man(and father.)
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

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    That's an interesting point. Do you think we have more time in these days?
     
  20. GardenDove

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    That's not very charitable. You know homeschoolers have their own schedules, and also that it takes less time to finish their work. I homeschooled my children last year and they are both getting straight As this year. Yes, there are flakey homeschooling parents, but statistics point to the fact that it is a very viable option for many.
     
  21. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Thanks for making my points so well. This is what I'm talking about.
     
  22. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Ha ha, very funny.
     
  23. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    I think you are being defensive. I certainly don't feel that way when people are exasperated with the medical system. I've noticed that some teachers take critisms of the educational system, and the choice to homeschool, very personally. Yes, there are people in the healthcare system who vilify those who choose alternative treatments or options, and I really don't understand that attitude.

    We are there to support people in their choices and do the best job we can. We live in a multicultural, individualistic society, and we should understand that there is a rainbow of viable life options out there, and not just one way to skin a cat.
     
  24. teachingmomof4

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    Yes, I am defending my position as a teacher but I am also trying to prove a point. I give homework as a review of learned concepts but also as a way to help children become responsible. Teaching is not an easy job just as being in the medical field isn't. We all do the best we can to provide a service for our "clients." Your services are different than the ones I provide but no less important. Yes, parents SHOULD give their children morals and values at home but not all do. A lot of my kids go to daycare both before and after school. I am their only constant. If I can provide a bit of values and morals in their lives and help them to be "good people," I have done part of my job. Being a teacher isn't just being a teacher...we have many roles to play.

    I hope you understand and please don't think I am being "defensive" or rude. I love my job and could never see myself in any other career.
     
  25. 4monthcountdown

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    Maybe it was an early release day for a school nearby. Maybe it was a a non-school day for a private school. Maybe they were homeschool kids and they had finished their lessons for the day.

    I didn't know there was such a thing as the homeschool police.
     
  26. Mamacita

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    In this town, that would be Barney Fife with his one bullet kept in his shirt pocket. If you need him, you can always find him at WalMart in the early afternoon, hanging out between the video games and the food court while Aunt Bee is loading up on spiral notebooks (forbidden in our public schools) and canning jars for her pickles.

    You know, I always hated Aunt Bee. The show would have been perfect if not for her. She was just too stupid; I couldn't stand it. Barney was smarter, and that's sad.
     
  27. Tbelle1035

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    Oh Mamacita, hate is such a strong word. I think you are being way too hard on poor Aunt Bee. She may have been naive, but never stupid. I thought she was the epitome of goodness and unconditional love. She didn't have a mean bone in her body. Definately not well-educated, but you can't blame her for that. Much like my grandmother, who immigrated in the 1900's, she did the best she could do considering what she was taught as a girl.

    Come on, Mamacita, have a heart!:love:
     
  28. Grammy Teacher

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    I never liked Aunt Bea either. She had that irritating high pitched whiney voice and never let her hair down. I don't think she was a bad person and did a great job taking care of Andy and Opey, but that VOICE!
     
  29. Mamacita

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    She was a good-hearted person on the show (in real life she was meaner than I am) but she annoyed me terribly with her babyish voice, her dangerous-for-her-age naivety, and I'm sorry, but she was NOT very smart. Nothing to do with education, either - she was just not very smart.

    Have a heart? MOI? Heh.
     
  30. Grammy Teacher

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    I heard that she was very difficult to work with, not a nice person at all. Yes, she seemed very dumb on the show. I just can't stand her. She's my least favorite person on that show. My favorite one is Floyd...the way he'd turn his head and his eye would get real big and he'd say something's fishy!
     
  31. mrachelle87

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    I am not big on homework. I assign reading four nights a week, but you can pick the four nights. I give my homework calendar a month ahead, and check them on Friday. I will not grade homework, so I give 1 to 5 bonus points (depending on the assignment) for returned work. I never punish a child for parent not signing homework..in 2nd grade it isn't their fault.
     
  32. 4monthcountdown

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    That sounds very reasonable.
     
  33. GardenDove

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    Mayberry was an unreal Southern town where no Black people ever stepped foot. A totally surreal place.
     
  34. GardenDove

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    I understand where you're coming from, from this post. I do sympathise with what teachers have to deal with, regarding the inadequacies of so many parents out there. Believe me, my parents were teachers, so I heard it all!
     
  35. MimiBee

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    All I can say is that when my fourth grader brings home TWO HOURS worth of homework at least four nights a week...it's TOO MUCH. I would be THRILLED to get by with only having to help her with 30 minutes of homework along with the hour of homework my 10th grade son brings home.

    At times, I feel as though some teachers expect the parent to be the teacher...hello? I'm not paid enough in my own teaching job to do their job, too! Just my opinion and I know that this statement does not apply to everyone in the teaching business, myself included.
     
  36. teachingmomof4

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    I agree that too much homework defeats the whole purpose. There is no reason at all for a fourth grader to have 2 hours of homework. None! If it is taking that long, it should be looked into as to why. Are they not finishing at school? Is the work too difficult? Are there just too many assignments? My students (2nd graders) have about 30-40 minutes of homework a night. This includes reading for 20 minutes.

    Thank you for your understanding, Gardendove. I hope you don't think I was being harsh. Just trying to prove my point.

    I think what is really important is that parents and teachers work together for the common goal. I don't expect my parents to teach the work to my students but I would appreciate some help at home. Whether it is helping them with homework, reading with them, or even just asking how their day went and what they learned. As a parent, I want to know what is going on with my own kids, especially since I am unable to go into their classrooms myself. I guess if I have to sign a folder or two to show that I "saw what was in it" that's what I've got to do. At least this way, my kids know that I am on board with their teacher and what is happening in the classroom. We are all on the same page.
     
  37. 2ndTimeArnd

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    May 4, 2007

    Homework

    I agree with the last poster - the issue here is responsibility, not so much making sure they get 20 or whatever problems right. I teach 2nd grade and we do Everyday Math; it has a nightly homework component, but there are nights that it's 2 problems and shouldn't take a child more than 10 minutes to do. It's a way for them to reinforce what we did in class, even if they don't get it right.

    Plus, we require nightly reading (15-20 minutes of reading) and a response page (we send the book home with them). I teach in a 70 percent free lunch/ 40 percent ELL school, and I feel these homework habits are good ones to develop ... as another poster said, otherwise they go home and park themselves in front of the Playstation, computer, Wii or whatever (it amazes me how these free and reduced lunchers have more technology in their homes than I can afford myself. But that's another rant, I guess).

    And I have a few who I know an older sib or a parent does it for them; I just continue the message every day that I care more if THEY do it and get it wrong than if Mom does it. And with 2nd graders, I can tell by the handwriting.

    It's never too early to teach kids that learning, reading, and thinking about something other than a video game are worthwhile pursuits.
     
  38. teachingmomof4

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    May 5, 2007

    As I have said before...it's all about responsibility. I always tell my kids, "Your mom has already been in second grade. She shouldn't have to do second grade work anymore. It's your responsibility."
     
  39. Research_Parent

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    That's funny because one of my daughters has the exact same initials as me. I had one teacher tell me she was practicing forging my initials, and I told her no those are her initials too.
     
  40. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    My oldest son had my handwriting down by 9th. grade. He wrote his own notes to teachers as needed. We never had a problem and still laugh about it. He's 30 and we all survived.
     

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