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Old 09-16-2013, 10:27 AM
239 posts, read 986,415 times
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We have our son at a private school in the area and I am trying to get a feel of the average time parents are finding it takes their 4th grader to complete homework. For us, it is roughly 1.5 to 2 hours (excluding reading time). The school believes 10 minutes a grade (including kindergarten) so at 4th grade it should be 50 minutes.

Is this what you have found? We are very frustrated as homework is consuming our evenings.

There are many schools of thought as to whether homework is useful/helpful...I am just interested in hearing the average amount and if your child is in private or public. Thanks
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:38 AM
Location: Cary
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This is hard to answer. I have boy-girl twins in 3rd grade public school in different classes. They get pretty much the same homework but with slight differences.

Daughter: less than 20 minutes on written assignments, less than 10 minutes for spelling activity, and 20 minutes of reading. She reads at night to make herself sleepy so her average time for the assignment/spelling portion is about 20 minutes. I think the teacher's target time is in the 40 minute range but she enjoys the free time she earns after HW so she buckles down and knocks it out as soon as she gets home.

Son: tends to drag the above activities out so he ranges anywhere from 30 minutes to ~2 hours for the assignments/spelling. His average time is probably close to an hour. He reads in the morning when he gets up so reading is completed first thing.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:41 AM
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
16,787 posts, read 25,858,657 times
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My 4th grader is taking about 20-30 minutes to complete her homework. I don't include the 20 minutes of reading in that, she likes to read before she goes to bed. If she has an assignment related to the reading, she bases it on what she's done the night before. Other than that it's generally a page of math and two pages of something else.

I'm sure if your child is taking twice what the school recommends, they've advised you to contact the school/teacher. Last year, middle school started off pretty rough and it turned out even the teachers were overwhelmed by what they were assigning as they had to correct it all - so made the decision to cut back.

What sort of stuff is your child being assigned for h.w.? I don't mind some h.w. but I cannot abide busywork (spelling homework, I'm looking at you!)
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:10 AM
Location: Chapelboro
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No way. My 4th grader (in the gifted reading program in Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools) has a math worksheet she needs to complete. Sometimes it's harder than other times if it's the gifted worksheet (although she is not enrolled in the gifted math program), but usually that's like 20 minutes. She's supposed to read also, but she would do that w/o being told and there's no log-book or spelling. My 7th grader had the teacher my 4th grader has now in 5th grade and he doesn't like to give a lot of homework so I don't anticipate the load increasing much. She may get some language arts stuff from the gifted teacher, but we haven't seen that yet. FTR, I loooooove her teacher and think he is amazing. He won teacher of the year previously and another award last year. He is particularly gifted in teaching science.

My 7th grader (in a charter school) has a ton of homework, but she's usually given a couple of days to complete assignments so she has to learn how to juggle the different assignments and not put it off until the last minute.

I am not a huge fan of homework. I like a small amount as a communication tool (here's what your kid is doing in school, help reinforce it at home), but not so that it takes over the whole evening.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:44 AM
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I have a 4th grader in AIG Language Arts and Math classes in Durham Public. She has to read every night for 30 min (which she does at bedtime anyway), a spelling test every Friday (study words during the week), and she gets a math assignment a few times a week. Occasionally she'll have another assignment or two during the week. Her non-reading homework usually takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes if she stays on task. Your child's situation sounds excessive.
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:48 PM
Location: Cary
98 posts, read 159,283 times
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My daughter was in 4th grade last year, and it was a tough transition for us regarding the amount of homework (so I know where you are coming from!). She typically had three homework assignments per night (math, reading comprehension, and spelling/vocabulary) with math and reading consisting of a two-page worksheet. It took her 45 to 90 minutes per night and I thought it was way too much!

However, now that she is 5th grade, she has an equivalent amount of homework but has become much more efficient and gets in done in about 45 minutes with very little complaining. So that is worth something.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:10 PM
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I found that the amount of time my kids spent on homework was driven much more by them than by what the school/teacher did.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:34 AM
Location: Finally in NC
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As a teacher and mom of 4, ok, as of August, a former teacher, I HATE homework. My daughter was in 4th grade in WI she had so much homework, she was often up well after bedtime. teacher insisted it shouldnt even take an hour. Well, lets see, read a couple chapters-sometimes 50-70 pages, answer some questions, read a science or social studies packet and answer questions, a couple pages of math, and 20 minutes of independent reading. The funny thing was, when it was their testing time (equivalent to EOG here) they brought home a note that said "get plenty of rest" but she was doing homework until 11:00 and still didn't finish. We could NEVER do anything on a school night-not even run to a store, because she did homework from after school until bedtime, minus dinner time.
Last year, (our first year here) in 5th grade, she had many nights that were similar and she couldnt get it all done, and a LOT of it was busy work-packets the teacher gave out in class for early finishers. It wasnt part of any curriculum (I would know) and yet the teacher said she had to do it or she's spend recess walking laps. I actually emailed the teacher and asked if these were required (stacks of worksheet packets) and she said they were. I really don't understand the need for all of the homework. They are in school all day, give them time to be a kid.
I had parents complain if they felt I wasn't giving enough homework, and of course there were kids that did none of it. I can see if your child is struggling in an area and needs extra practice, but piles of worksheets every night is overkill, IMO.
Now with 2 in middle school, sometimes they have a ton, other nights are not so bad. My DH wanted to go out to dinner last night (his only night off this week) and DH cried because she would never get all of her worksheet packets done if we went somewhere. The best part is the packets are science and social studies questions, but they are not allowed to bring books home, so they have nothing to reference to answer the questions, do the darn crossword puzzles, etc.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:33 PM
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I have a 4th grader at Hunter (magnet) who is not in any gifted programs. This week he had a front and back "remembering" math page, a packet of about 5 pages of math that make no sense at all to me, reading 20 minutes per night and documenting how many pages per night and summarizing, making a "quilt" for reading strategies that had what they would do about words they don't know, etc that had to be figured out, written, and colored. He also had to draw a picture from a scene from a book they read in class and then summarize the scene. We get homework on Fridays and it is due on Thursdays. Not sure how much he averages a night because he plays travel hockey so he does a lot on the weekends and on the school bus because he has practice all the time. He'll also do some in the morning when he wakes up. I have been more surprised at the "off beat" homework. He has been in school for 3 weeks and already had a poster due, a video, and now a picture. He likes that stuff better than worksheets though! We haven't had spelling homework at all so far this year and none last year. They just teach strategies for spelling. He seems to be spelling very well so I am not complaining
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:03 PM
Location: Cary, NC
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My 13yo son is ADHD-inattentive coupled with a yet-to-be-determined learning disability. Homework has been a constant battle since the day he first stepped foot into a classroom. Even now, right this minute, he is procrastinating his evening away (yes, it's almost 11pm...he's been "doing his homework" for 4-5 hours). He'll fall asleep, set his alarm early, and finish it in the morning before the bus comes. This is our everyday life. It is frustrating, exhausting, and impossible to manage without losing your sanity. On the advice of his counselor/teaching team last year (7th grade), I stopped hovering and micro-managing and nagging him, and I put the responsibility for completing his homework entirely on his shoulders. This requires tremendous restraint on my part, believe me, but it has made a huge difference in our stress levels -- his and mine/my husband's!

I know he will never be an A-B student; if he passes his classes, it's a win. We didn't learn he'd passed math last year until three days AFTER school ended (the final grade was, I believe, "barely squeaked by").

Happy to share more details privately...DM me if you'd like.
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