How do I balance my 1st grader's excitement about doing homework and teacher's rules about limiting it?

Erika - posted on 10/09/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )




My 1st grader is thrilled to be geting homework. Each Tuesday her teacher gives a packet of 4-5 pages to be completed and turned in on Friday. My daughter wants to finish it all the first night and the work is usually simple for her. She gets frustrated almost to the point of tears when I tell her she can only do 1-2 pages per night and begs me to let her do it all and not tell the teacher. Her teacher has specifically instructed she cannot do more than 1-2 pgs. per night, said it is intended to be simple and an introduction to homework. When I told her of my daughter's frustration and asked if she could send a few extra "family choice" pages, she said no and suggested that making her limit it to 1 pg per night would be a "growth place" for my daughter. Even though I disagree with this and feel that if she wants them to do only 1-2 pgs than that's what she should send home nightly rather than giving it all and making 6 year olds pace it out, I feel torn because I also want to teach my daughter that she should respect her teacher and follow her instructions. What do you think?


Elizabeth - posted on 10/09/2011




I'm really suprised about her teachers attitude. Here she has a child enthused about learning to the point where she WANTS to do all her homework at once and she wants to limit the amount she learns and practices what she's learned. That doesn't make sense to me, nor to my mom who is a recently retired elementary school teacher who spent most of her years teaching 1st grade.

Most Walmart/Kmart type of stores carry school type workbooks for a variety of subjects like math, phoenics,etc. Maybe you and your daughter could go pick out a couple, and she could work on them at her own pace. This might satisfy her desire to do schoolwork type papers while following the teachers instructions about her handouts.

When I was in elementary school, my mom would by me phoenics books and I would use some of my birthday money to buy them also. In sixth grade I was reading "The Illiad" and "The Oddesy" both of which are college level reading.

If you don't have money to buy workbooks, sometimes the library will have worksheets, and you may be able to find things on-line that you can print out,

Continue to encourage your daughters inititive and desire to learn.


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Tamara - posted on 10/09/2011




My daughter is the same way, i went and loooked at her workbook at school then went to the store and got a workbook that had the same stuff that i let her do a page or two extra a night if she wanted to, that way she can get the extra practice. with out going in to what the teacher had planed

Caitlin - posted on 10/09/2011




I can kind of see the point of spacing it out if I look at it in a certain light though, just as a different point of view. If a child learns a skill, and then rushes off and completes allt he workpages on that particular skill that night, it doesn't give it as much time to "sink in" as it would if the skill is reinforced 3-4 times during the week, it gives the child time to file away the new information in their minds, and then be able to retrieve it later on. There are also many kids in extra-curricular activities that don't have time to do worksheets EVERY night (and some parents that don't have time to sit down with their child every night either).

There are many ways to look at it, but if you daughter is looking for further enrichment, those extra workbooks or activities that you do at home are the perfect places to start. That way you are fueling her desire to learn, as well as challenging her to do more advanced work on the subjects that she excels in, and there is no teacher involvement required. Small "science" prjects at home are great too, and can help a lot with learning basic math skills (like measuring and baking and all that fun stuff) and they are fun for everyone. Don't be afraid to give your daughter the extra work at home, as long as she is enjoying it, but I wouldn't worry too much about the teachers point of view at this age, as long as she is learning in class, ALL kids are different.

Erika - posted on 10/09/2011




Thanks. We have always done a lot of learning activities at home. She has been interested in numbers and letters since she was 2. She can already do some simple multiplication and we often create and illustrate stories at home. We also play word and number games a lot. I picked up a workbook yesterday and will get some others as well. I think for her it has a lot to do with being a big kid. She is very proud that hers is the only classroom (of 4) with desks instead of tables. I find the teacher's attitude strange as well. It is especially hard for me because she is coming from a kindergarten tyeacher who was amazing in all ways but especially tuning in to children's individual needs.

Jodi - posted on 10/09/2011




Meh, I'd just let her do the lot and not tell the teacher. She'll eventually be not quite enthusiastic and will settle in to a routine. I find her teacher's attitude a bit strange too. My daughter is in 1st grade (since February, we are in Australia), and they receive their homework on a Monday and are expected to hand it in on Friday. Some nights she is less tired than others, some nights we have other commitments, some nights it is simply just not possible. Anything specific like that would be lost on us.

So yeah, IMO, the teacher is being a bit anal.

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