MamaMoopsie
How much homework is too much homework for a 4th grader?
January 30, 2013 at 8:21 PM

My daughter is not suffering in school. She brought home all A's and B's this last report card and in the communications I've had with the teacher have all been great reports about what a great student my daughter is. For the majority of the year the teacher has sent a homework packet home on Friday's and it is due back on the following Thursday. This packet consists of 4 pages of math work and three spelling assignments. That's it. She has a week to do all that and we haven't had any trouble with her getting her homework packets done on time. Once in a while if my daughter doesn't get something finished in class she brings that home and finishes it, but that's been rare until recently. Lately she's been bringing home several things a week that she hasn't finished in class. Oh, and she has to read at least 75 minutes a week and log that on the homework packet.

Well, tonight she had quite a bit and I asked why she didn't get it finished in class and she said her teacher had her help grade papers while the other kids got to work on their class work and as a result my daughter didn't have enough time to finish hers. I asked why the teacher had her do that and she said "My teacher says she doesn't always have time to grade our work. I asked my daughter if this is why she's been bringing so much homework home and she says, sometimes yes, and other times it's because the teacher asks her to help the other students who are having trouble understanding. I'm confused here. Isn't it the teachers JOB to grade the papers and help the kids who are having trouble with the material? I mean, I get when they all group grade an assignment, because that's something they're all doing and a single student isn't losing work time to help the teacher out.

Tonights homework, I kid you not, has taken my daughter almost three hours to do and now she's just starting her reading. I did give her a thirty minute break and she's not complaining, but I'm worrying. I have parent/teacher conferences on Friday morning, so I plan on bringing this up, but I wanted an outside opinion on this. On average when my daughter doesn't get work done in class she takes about an hour on top of the normal 45 minutes to an hour of regular homework she does.

Replies

  • Autumn19
    January 30, 2013 at 8:24 PM
    that is not ok id be at the school talking to someone about that asap
  • goddess99
    January 30, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I would bring it up. That is ridiculous. My dd is in 4th grade, on the Honor Roll as well and she might have a half hour of homework maybe twice a week and that she does after school during a homework program.

  • MichelleMc
    January 30, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    That is totally unacceptable. For sure be bringing it up. 

  • SarahlovesLiz
    January 30, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Nobody but the teacher knows the true situation here.  She may have thought your daughter was finished when she asked for help, but asking students to help with certain jobs in the classroom is pretty standard.  I always make sure my kids have their work done first, no matter what.  If we have time, I might ask them to move clips for lunch back, pick up or file papers, etc.  The kids LOVE to do these things, and it helps me out a lot, too! 

    On the other hand, if she is not getting her work done in class, and the teacher knows this but is still having her do something else, I would talk to her and see what the situation is.  The worst thing to be is confrontational, but explain that she isn't getting her work done and having to bring it home because she is helping the teacher grade papers.  Ask about it and see what she says.  If she's full of crap, then tell her that your daughter isn't to do those tasks anymore, and she is to just do her work.  You want to spend time with her without having this much work to do, and kids need a break!!  I have third graders, and I don't assign near this amount of work.  Just talk to her about it.  I'm sure something could be worked out.  If not, and she's a douche, go to the principal!  :)

  • MamaMoopsie
    January 30, 2013 at 10:09 PM

     Thank you for the great advice. I wasn't planning on being confrontational. I've only had one other potential run in with this teacher, she's a second year teacher--this is her first year teaching 4th graders, last year she taught 1st grade. The other run-in involved a miscommunication between her and my daughter. The teacher wants the kids to have their parents sign their agendas every night. If the agenda isn't signed then the student stays in for recess the day after...let me try to make that more clear. If I don't sign on Tuesday, then the teacher checks Wednesday and sees it wasn't signed and keeps the child in on Thursday. I don't agree with keeping a child in at recess, simply because it is the only scheduled recess the entire day and otherwise they get no exercise or completely free time. However, I do understand that sometimes it is a necessary thing. My daughter is really good about reminding me to sign, but on Halloween night she reminded me as I was getting her younger sisters into their costumes, I told her to put it on the table and I would sign when I was done. I completely forgot and it didn't get signed. My daughter stayed in from recess the very next day instead of the day after but her teacher thought she was staying in because she hadn't had her agenda signed two days before instead of just the night before and told her she'd have to stay in the next day too which broke my daughter's heart and she shut down instead of explaining that she'd come in of her own free will instead of having to be told.

    I went to the school and talked to the teacher and got it all worked out. She's not a bad teacher, but I do know that she likes to let the students help and my daughter LOVES to help, even at her own detriment. So, yeah, I'll bring it up on Friday and hear her side of things. I don't mind her having my daughter help if she's completely done but if she knows my daughter isn't done and is still having her help...that's way out of line and I will put a stop to it.


    Quoting SarahlovesLiz:

    Nobody but the teacher knows the true situation here.  She may have thought your daughter was finished when she asked for help, but asking students to help with certain jobs in the classroom is pretty standard.  I always make sure my kids have their work done first, no matter what.  If we have time, I might ask them to move clips for lunch back, pick up or file papers, etc.  The kids LOVE to do these things, and it helps me out a lot, too! 

    On the other hand, if she is not getting her work done in class, and the teacher knows this but is still having her do something else, I would talk to her and see what the situation is.  The worst thing to be is confrontational, but explain that she isn't getting her work done and having to bring it home because she is helping the teacher grade papers.  Ask about it and see what she says.  If she's full of crap, then tell her that your daughter isn't to do those tasks anymore, and she is to just do her work.  You want to spend time with her without having this much work to do, and kids need a break!!  I have third graders, and I don't assign near this amount of work.  Just talk to her about it.  I'm sure something could be worked out.  If not, and she's a douche, go to the principal!  :)


     

  • Janet
    by Janet
    January 31, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    The homework part seems right. But she shouldn't be doing the teachers work when she has her own work to do. You do need to talk to the teacher about this. I have a third grader and he has about an hour of homework a night, sometimes more. He has all these projects he has to do. Starting at 3rd grade it gets hard.

  • delanna6two
    January 31, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I'd say talk with the teacher....hope all works out....

  • breebree04
    January 31, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    My son is in 4th grade and has homework everyday on top of reading he "should" be doing. I say "should" because I always make him do his homework but dont make him do his reading. His reading is part of an AR program at school but they expect them to do all the reading at home on top of homework and they are all chapter books. We dont get home until 6pm every night so by the time we get home, have dinner, and take showers it is bedtime. We usually dont even get any family time which I think is ridiculous when they are already spending 7 hrs a day in school. I definately make my kids take school seriously and they know school is very important but it is just getting ridiculous. I want to have family/bonding time with my kids and think that is an important part of them growing up also

  • MamaMoopsie
    January 31, 2013 at 4:23 PM

     Yeah, my daughter is in the AR reading program, too, but her teacher gives them time in class to read, too. My daughter is the second highest reader in the class and they keep expecting her and the other three high readers (we're talking 6th and 7th grade reading levels) to whip out at least a book a week and take tests on a book a week. I'm a big reader. I love reading and encourage it in my daughters as well, but on top of being in school from 7:50-2:45 every day and the hour + of homework every night my kid isn't going to read a book a week that is at her reading level.


    Quoting breebree04:

    My son is in 4th grade and has homework everyday on top of reading he "should" be doing. I say "should" because I always make him do his homework but dont make him do his reading. His reading is part of an AR program at school but they expect them to do all the reading at home on top of homework and they are all chapter books. We dont get home until 6pm every night so by the time we get home, have dinner, and take showers it is bedtime. We usually dont even get any family time which I think is ridiculous when they are already spending 7 hrs a day in school. I definately make my kids take school seriously and they know school is very important but it is just getting ridiculous. I want to have family/bonding time with my kids and think that is an important part of them growing up also


     

  • breebree04
    January 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

     Right, thats how I feel. I definately encourage my kids to read and they like too but we just dont have time to make it a priority every day on top of all the other homework and daily things we have to do. By the way I hate the AR program lol its so hard to even get AR books from the library, they dont have very many but expect the kids to read so many in a marking period


    Quoting MamaMoopsie:

     Yeah, my daughter is in the AR reading program, too, but her teacher gives them time in class to read, too. My daughter is the second highest reader in the class and they keep expecting her and the other three high readers (we're talking 6th and 7th grade reading levels) to whip out at least a book a week and take tests on a book a week. I'm a big reader. I love reading and encourage it in my daughters as well, but on top of being in school from 7:50-2:45 every day and the hour + of homework every night my kid isn't going to read a book a week that is at her reading level.

     

    Quoting breebree04:

    My son is in 4th grade and has homework everyday on top of reading he "should" be doing. I say "should" because I always make him do his homework but dont make him do his reading. His reading is part of an AR program at school but they expect them to do all the reading at home on top of homework and they are all chapter books. We dont get home until 6pm every night so by the time we get home, have dinner, and take showers it is bedtime. We usually dont even get any family time which I think is ridiculous when they are already spending 7 hrs a day in school. I definately make my kids take school seriously and they know school is very important but it is just getting ridiculous. I want to have family/bonding time with my kids and think that is an important part of them growing up also