Too much homework for a 7-year-old!

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My daughter is 7 and in grade 2. She just brought home a project she has to do. She has to pick an animal and do some research on it and then write a report. Considering she's not a great reader or speller how is she going to do this? I'm going to have walk her though everything. I don't mind helping with homework but this is just too hard for a grade 2 student and as a single parent I don't have time to do a whole project with her (nor do I want to do homework since I'm not in school anymore). And thats on top of the at least 1 hour of homework she has every night. A lot of nights she doesn't even have time to play with her friends or anything. Does anyone else think it's just too much for such a young child? How do you deal with it?

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Barbara - posted on 05/29/2009

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I think the whole homework thing has gotten totally ridiculous. I know I don't want to have to work for eight hours a day only to have to bring more work home with me! When do kids get to be kids? They don't need that kind of stress. I know that teachers are the ones who are feeling the pressure to get our nation's children up to par, but more work and more stress for the children is not the answer.

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Tee - posted on 03/18/2013

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omg i have to do this tonight, i totally agree..my son is already asleep and we didnt start yet lol!!!

Yaumara - posted on 07/09/2010

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I had a similiar situation with my son. It got to the point where he would cry every night because he had no time to play outside with friends and homework was so stressful! I was always there helping him through it but it was still too much! Finally, I decided that it was not worth putting my son through this much stress. I contacted the teacher and explained that this was unhealthy for him and that getting play time with his friends was also important to his social and health growth. I told her that from that day on he would do what as much as he and I felt was comfortable and nothing more. She agreed and that was that!

Rogina - posted on 07/09/2010

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I think the idea of homework at that age is silly. No wonder " family time" is becoming scarce. Between school. homework, dinner,sports and lessons kids are doing more than the average adult. If she is having trouble reading and writing perhaps her time would be better served at night by reading a book with you or practicing writing stories.I graduated in 1998 and was amazed at the poor reading and writing skills of some of the people I graduated with. Report writing is a valuable skill but getting the basics down first is so much more important.

Beth - posted on 07/09/2010

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Before you get anymore stressed out, set up a meeting with your teacher to go over your concerns. I have four children with the youngest just finishing second grade...they all had similar projects to do, but us moms tend to forget they are to be done on a second grade level. An animal report might consist of the name, where it lives and two or three other facts that consitute a paragraph "report". You and her teacher could also look at the amount of homework and see if there is some way to reduce the amount she does: every other math problem, shorter spelling list, etc. If you haven't spoken with her teacher, the teacher is probally assuming everything is fine. Most teachers appreciate parents taking the time to come in and discuss problems because it shows that you are giving your daughter priority in your life. Good luck! Oh, and my seconds graders generally had 1/2 hour of homework at night.

Geralyn - posted on 07/09/2010

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Honestly, I'd be less concerned with how much time you have to devote to helping your daughter and perhaps be more concerned with the fact that she is struggling with reading and spelling. This post was written in May, so I am not sure whether your daughter is just finishing up 2nd grade? and is a 3rd grader in the fall? 3rd grade is pivotal because that is where the emphasis changes from learning to read to reading to learn. If she is struggling with reading and spelling now, she will continue to fall potentially further behind. It will also affect her writing as well as her exposure and understanding of general concepts across all areas of curriculum. I frankly think that you have bigger issues that need addressing on the horizon....

Angela - posted on 07/08/2010

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I have a son in 2nd grade, when he was in 1st grade his teacher set him about 10 minute´s homework each day, which was fine. His current teacher doesn´t think homework helps learning so he doesn´t have any. I am fine with that. But looking at his skill level, I think a project researching an animal and presenting findings would be something he would enjoy doing in class with his teacher and with the classmates but not something he would enjoy doing at home with us - it just seems a bit much for homework, but still a cool idea for a class project.

Mary - posted on 07/07/2010

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I am a teacher and a parent of an 11 year-old and 6 year-old (and 8 month old) and I have been surprised at times at the projects sent home for my child to complete. However, I realize a teacher wouldn't assign a project if it wasn't important to my child's learning. It is our job as parents to be our children's teachers also. There simply isn't enough time in the day for teachers to fully cover every topic schools teach. At this age I would be surprised if your child was expected to complete this project on her own, so yes you need to help her. However, it's also important to understand the teacher's expectations. I would guess that the teacher is expecting something that is age-appropriate. As for the hour of homework, I would check with the teacher that this too is what he/she expects. That does sound like its taking too long and this is an issue you should address. It is so important to communicate with your child's teacher and have a positive relationship for your daughter to be as successful as possible.

--- - posted on 07/24/2009

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well what type of homework is it? part of homework is teaching the child study skills that they will need later on and to teach them to work independently. I have been working with my daughter on her academics since she was 9 months and I am proud to say that at 4 she will entering the classroom reading, writing, spelling and with complete knowledge of the English phonetic alphabet not just the names of the letters but the sounds they make. We have been using the Montessori method which is why she has learned so quickly. many parents think it is not their job to sit down and educate their child but it is. a child should be entering their grade 1 year with some basic know how to read and write properly. If they cant than as parents we are setting them up for failure.
I have never heard of a child having an hour or more of homework every night in primary school. It is typical to have a project, a few math sheets, a list of spelling words to practice and maybe a few language arts sheets. this is normal and if the child has the know how she should be able to complete each paper within 5 /10 min and finish everything within 30 min tops. If your daughter is having trouble I suggest spending more time working with her. Maybe try hooked on phonics to help her refine her reading and writing skills. For reports take her to the library to pick out a children s book about animals or whatever she is studying. she can use the internet for research with your help. dont think of it as you dont have time, instead think of it as your special time with her. and if she dreads it than try to make it special. Prepare a nice snack to share and make sure your time with her is uninterrupted. We are teachers for our children and she will learn to hate school and homework if you dont take the time to teach her how to love it.
well good luck to you and your daughter.

App+7mnejhu - posted on 05/29/2009

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I used to be a third grade teacher so I have a perspective as a mom and a teacher. A good rule of how much homework is considered "normal" is 10 min. per grade level. So second grade about 20 min. Now what's hard is that some kids depending on ability and focusing can take a lot longer or be a lot quicker at the same task of course. I hardly ever gave extra specific work that only was to be done at home but instead my daily homework was whatever the child didn't get done in class. Many kids wasted their in class work time so they had a lot more to do at home while others never had anything to take home because they used their time wisely. Sometimes when parents complained about the amount of hw I knew it was because of their childs work habits and other times if I knew that their kid worked really hard but still struggled I could make adjustments so I would encourage you to talk to the teacher and get her perspective. As for the report again talk to her about the expectations. Most likely it is just a short minor report. Go to the library and check out a couple short animal books intended for kids and read them together and while reading have her pick out a few things she heard that would be good information about her animal and have her retell it in her own words. When you talk to the teacher make sure you approach the subject in a kind way only showing concern for your child and not attacking the teacher. Tell the teacher you wanted to share your perspective but to also hear hers so you together can help your child succeed. Hope that helps!

Carrie - posted on 05/29/2009

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I am a first grade teacher and I have to agree that this is way too much. I know that we are raising the bar these days to compete with other countries, but many recent studies have shown that homework does not improve a child's learning as previously thought. This definitely sounds like more work for you and that your daughter will get very little if anything out of it (anything positive that is).

Kelly - posted on 05/29/2009

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Try asking her teacher what exactly is expected of her out of the project. You may find that she's just trying to see what level each child is at and not so much expecting too much. Though I have found over the years (watching my neices and nephews and god children ... my children still being too young for school) that the bar has been raised. Kids are learning skills a lot earlier than when I was in school. If you are concerned talk your child's teacher and maybe some of the other parents of kids in her class... you may find they have the same concerns. If they do.. you can all approach a higher power and correct the potential problem.

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