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Old 02-11-2016, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Charlotte Area
3,170 posts, read 2,906,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbab5 View Post
People get good at what they practice. If a kid never has any homework until all of a sudden middle school hits and BAM 3 hours a night, they are going to be completely overwhelmed, not know what to do, and be really bad at it. It takes many years to develop good study and homework habits, and if you don't start practicing until middle school then you may not get the hang of it until, say, junior year of high school. And by then it's too late to get the grades that you want to do what you want in college.


A better way, I think, is to start small and gradual when you are young. 10 minutes a day in preschool. 20 minutes a day in Kindergarten. 30 minutes a day in 1st grade. 45 minutes in 2nd grade. 1 hour in 3rd grade. And on up, gradually. By the time you get to middle and high school, you have a deep habit ingrained over many years. You know how to do homework, you know how to best study, you know what works for you, and you're GOOD at it. And it wasn't too stressful to learn it, because you learned it gradually.


And even more, your parents can help with something called scaffolding. It's like how a parent teaches a child to brush their teeth. At first the parent brushes for the child. Then the parent lets the child put on the toothpaste, but does the brushing themselves. Then the parent lets the child brush a bit, and the parent will brush some more after the child has done some. Then the parent will let the child do all the brushing, but will stand behind and watch and tell the child what to do. Then the parent will just watch without saying anything, but check and make sure it's done. Then the parent will not even watch, and will just ask/remind. And then finally the parent will just trust it's being done, because they know that the child has learned it and it has become a habit. This process takes many years.


You can treat homework the same way. In preschool, good homework is to have the parent read to you. The parent does all the work. Then in Kindergarten, have the parent read to you, and maybe color a picture. The parent does most of the work. Then in 1st grade, read with a parent, do a worksheet or 2, and maybe a project over the course of a week that the parent needs to help with. The parent is still doing a good bit of the work, but the child is doing more. And so on, until by middle/high school all the parent has to do is ask/remind, and eventually doesn't even have to do that, because the child will just do it on their own, because it has become a habit.

A lot of parents believe in this philosophy of teaching their children. Slow and steady practice of what's important. Developing good habits gradually. Lots of parent support that tapers off as the children get more proficient, until finally the parent doesn't have to do anything at all, and the child has become self-reliant and responsible.


This is not a bad parenting philosophy. It may not be YOUR philosophy, but it is not a bad one. It's the one I believe in for sure. Doesn't mean it's the best one. But it's certainly not a bad one.

The problem with this is that if the child is having problems with the material it won't be clear to the teacher because the parent is doing most of the work.

My son has assessments that come home as homework. If I did most of the work what would that show the teacher? That I knew the material and not my son. I'm also finding that some of the work that comes home is not being taught in class and I'm having to teach it to him. I don't mind helping him but I want his teacher to have at least introduced the material. He's good in math and if he happens to have a problem I find that my way to help him is outdated as they don't teach them anymore like I was taught.

I believe in helping my son and do nightly but he does the work. I make sure he answers the questions and he reads the material. If he happens to answer the question wrong, I have him go back and figure out why and then answer the question correctly. There are a couple of things that I won't help with but I made sure I found someone qualified to help him with those particular things.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:02 AM
 
1,891 posts, read 1,135,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley09swb View Post
The problem with this is that if the child is having problems with the material it won't be clear to the teacher because the parent is doing most of the work.

My son has assessments that come home as homework. If I did most of the work what would that show the teacher? That I knew the material and not my son. I'm also finding that some of the work that comes home is not being taught in class and I'm having to teach it to him. I don't mind helping him but I want his teacher to have at least introduced the material. He's good in math and if he happens to have a problem I find that my way to help him is outdated as they don't teach them anymore like I was taught.

I believe in helping my son and do nightly but he does the work. I make sure he answers the questions and he reads the material. If he happens to answer the question wrong, I have him go back and figure out why and then answer the question correctly. There are a couple of things that I won't help with but I made sure I found someone qualified to help him with those particular things.

You misunderstood me. I don't mean the parent is filling out the math worksheet for the child. Of course not.


I was talking about the project assignments that come home that ask for the parents' help. For example, for our 100th day project, we got sent home a paper 2 weeks in advance asking for the parents' help with a 100th day project (basically decorating something to go on the wall). The idea here is that the parent shows the child how to work on something a little bit every day. It's their first exposure to that type of homework.


Also, in Kindergarten, they sent home a book every day, and told the parent to "read it with their child". Which means at the beginning of the year, the parent does all the reading. Gradually throughout the year the parent encourages the child to read some of the book, while the parent reads the rest. By the end of the year, the child is reading the book to the parent.


Other types of help is help in studying for spelling words. Where the parent quizzes the child on the words, or buys a subscription to Spelling City and puts the spelling list in for the child, and then the child plays the spelling games on the website. The child is still the one learning the spelling, but the parent is putting some work in too.


We're talking about the same thing here.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:08 AM
 
1,891 posts, read 1,135,868 times
Reputation: 4923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley09swb View Post
I'm also finding that some of the work that comes home is not being taught in class and I'm having to teach it to him. I don't mind helping him but I want his teacher to have at least introduced the material. He's good in math and if he happens to have a problem I find that my way to help him is outdated as they don't teach them anymore like I was taught.

Another solution to this is to teach the math concept BEFORE it is introduced in school, and then let the school's math be a review, or a different approach, to something they already know. If you are confident in your math abilities, you can always grab a workbook (like Flashkids or Singapore Math) and do this.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:57 AM
 
2,813 posts, read 1,400,861 times
Reputation: 6116
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbab5 View Post
And even more, your parents can help with something called scaffolding. It's like how a parent teaches a child to brush their teeth. At first the parent brushes for the child. Then the parent lets the child put on the toothpaste, but does the brushing themselves. Then the parent lets the child brush a bit, and the parent will brush some more after the child has done some. Then the parent will let the child do all the brushing, but will stand behind and watch and tell the child what to do. Then the parent will just watch without saying anything, but check and make sure it's done. Then the parent will not even watch, and will just ask/remind. And then finally the parent will just trust it's being done, because they know that the child has learned it and it has become a habit. This process takes many years.

You can treat homework the same way. In preschool, good homework is to have the parent read to you. The parent does all the work. Then in Kindergarten, have the parent read to you, and maybe color a picture. The parent does most of the work. Then in 1st grade, read with a parent, do a worksheet or 2, and maybe a project over the course of a week that the parent needs to help with. The parent is still doing a good bit of the work, but the child is doing more. And so on, until by middle/high school all the parent has to do is ask/remind, and eventually doesn't even have to do that, because the child will just do it on their own, because it has become a habit.

A lot of parents believe in this philosophy of teaching their children. Slow and steady practice of what's important. Developing good habits gradually. Lots of parent support that tapers off as the children get more proficient, until finally the parent doesn't have to do anything at all, and the child has become self-reliant and responsible.

This is not a bad parenting philosophy. It may not be YOUR philosophy, but it is not a bad one. It's the one I believe in for sure. Doesn't mean it's the best one. But it's certainly not a bad one.
I guess I've never felt overwhelmed by my kids' homework because i've never considered the above to be homework. I also don't have much of a problem saying no to things we don't have time for or that I don't think are important. I'm pretty good at prioritizing what our family needs day by day, and I take a LONG VIEW of most things related to learning (ie, I'd rather have a kid learn to read in 1st grade and LOVE reading than a 3 yr old that I've pushed to read early. Just an exams!) I've definitely acquired these skills and attitude as my kids have gone through school. I have heard so people say "Oh just wait until X grade! That's when the real work starts!" Or "So-and-so has SO MUCH homework!" I currently have kids in middle school, elementary school and preschool. None are overwhelmed by homework. But, again, I don't consider 20 minutes of reading a night to be "homework." Reading is just something we do, and if we don't get 20min in one night, I don't mind a bit because I know we're going to make up for 10x over in the course of a week or month.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:14 AM
 
1,891 posts, read 1,135,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfternoonCoffee View Post
I guess I've never felt overwhelmed by my kids' homework because i've never considered the above to be homework. I also don't have much of a problem saying no to things we don't have time for or that I don't think are important. I'm pretty good at prioritizing what our family needs day by day, and I take a LONG VIEW of most things related to learning (ie, I'd rather have a kid learn to read in 1st grade and LOVE reading than a 3 yr old that I've pushed to read early. Just an exams!) I've definitely acquired these skills and attitude as my kids have gone through school. I have heard so people say "Oh just wait until X grade! That's when the real work starts!" Or "So-and-so has SO MUCH homework!" I currently have kids in middle school, elementary school and preschool. None are overwhelmed by homework. But, again, I don't consider 20 minutes of reading a night to be "homework." Reading is just something we do, and if we don't get 20min in one night, I don't mind a bit because I know we're going to make up for 10x over in the course of a week or month.

I'm the same way as you about "fun reading". But I do try and distinguish "fun reading" and "homework reading" a bit. So we do "homework reading" every night, with books at an appropriate AR level, to prepare for an AR test. But then we also do lots and lots of "fun reading", of whatever you want to read, and however much of it we get to. We go to the public library every Thursday and get stacks of whatever their little hearts desire, and that is their "fun reading". Some weeks they've read two bags of books, some weeks they've read 2 books. It varies, and that's okay.


It also helps my daughter, because her school reading level is waaay above her enjoyment reading level. If I only ever let her read books at her AR level, she would hate reading. This way, her AR books are just homework, but she still loves reading, because she can still read "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" over and over and over.


I try and think of it like real life, where there is reading I have to do for work, which I have to pay attention to and do something with, and then there is reading I do for fun.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:16 AM
 
2,779 posts, read 4,502,069 times
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I have two children. One went to Montessori school until the end of elementary with no homework except reading. One goes to a private academic school with up to 90 min of homework, he's in 4th grade.

Both are excellent students and do very well in school and on our standardized state testing.

In many places in Europe kids don't even start school until age 7, let alone have copius amounts of homework. And yet many of those kids test better than ours do.

I agree that a parent needs to be involved in their child's academic life, but I don't think worksheets and busy work are the key to a great education.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:19 AM
 
1,781 posts, read 1,172,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
It amazes me (in a bad way) that anyone would defend this amount of homework for a little kid. It's pretty indefensible in my book.
exactly. It is quite literally stupid.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:24 AM
 
1,891 posts, read 1,135,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hml1976 View Post
I have two children. One went to Montessori school until the end of elementary with no homework except reading. One goes to a private academic school with up to 90 min of homework, he's in 4th grade.

Both are excellent students and do very well on our standardized state testing.

In many places in Europe kids don't even start school until age 7, let alone have copius amounts of homework. And yet many of those kids test better than ours do.

I agree that a parent needs to be involved in their child's academic life, but I don't think worksheets and busy work are the key to a great education.
I've actually done a fair bit of research on those places that "don't start school until age 7", namely Finland. And to say they don't start school until age 7 is greatly misleading. What actually happens is that they are not REQUIRED to start FORMAL STATE schooling until 7. But in places like Finland, they have free daycare and preschool from early toddlerhood until formal schooling starts. They have something like 97% of their children starting preschool by age 3. Most of them know how to read well already before entering "formal school" at 7.

And yes, it's true that they don't have a lot of homework, but they also have highly paid elementary school teachers with rigorous advanced degrees from very selective colleges, and a huge system of state funded special education and remediation teachers. Over half of their kids receive some sort of special ed or other remediation help at some point. Those that can't read when coming in get lots of help, really quick.

Their system is a lot different than ours. We'd have to change a WHOLE lot of other things in order to make "start school at 7 and don't do any homework" actually work.


In fact, if your kids are at Montessori, and private academic schools, that is actually quite similar to what it's like everywhere in Finland. We'd have to provide that to everyone in the US at all public schools before that could work here.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,501 posts, read 15,968,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley09swb View Post
Off topic - How did you manage? I ask as my daughter is in a Mandarin Immersion program and all of us parents are struggling with the helping of the homework. My daughter was only speaking to me in in Mandarin last night and she told me I needed to figure out what she was saying so I could respond. Um no. She's 6. She needs to speak to her mom in English if she needs something LOL. I know it's helping her to speak it at home. I can help with the flash cards and mini books as they have sound with them.

What did you do over the summer? Did the school have a summer program so they didn't lose what they learned over the summer? This is the 1st year of the program at the ES so they are doing things as they come up. /off topic

In response - French is a lot easier to decipher than Mandarin, once you see "dessiner" a few times in the directions of a homework assignment you know it means "draw" and "e'crire" means "write", etc. They also had (optional) classes for parents to learn French. My husband and I actually started to understand quite bit of French. Yes, they had summer school. The program started about 40 years ago so they have "worked out the bugs'.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:29 PM
 
9,056 posts, read 6,732,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbab5 View Post
Another solution to this is to teach the math concept BEFORE it is introduced in school, and then let the school's math be a review, or a different approach, to something they already know. If you are confident in your math abilities, you can always grab a workbook (like Flashkids or Singapore Math) and do this.
I think this would have worked years ago. My child is doing common core math, and you might as well be asking me to teach Greek at this point. It has no relation to the concepts we were taught and I am loathe to confuse the issue further.

I don't know if your child has come across the break apart method of problem solving yet, but it is the seventh circle of hell for those of us who are not mathematically inclined.
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