Maryland school abolishes homework...makes me want to move there!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2012
Maryland school abolishes homework...makes me want to move there!
10
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 11:46am

I heard on "Live with Regis & Michael" (man, that still sounds odd to me, lol) that an elementary school in Maryland has abolished homework! Considering the nightly struggles I have with my girls about it, this sounds like a dream right about now!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/gaithersburg-elementary-s_n_1865859.html?ir=Education

I jokingly asked DH if we could move there, LOL. All joking aside, though, I could also see some drawbacks to this such as the kids not having as much self-disclipline for when they get into jr or senior high school and HAVE to study as homework.

I wish school would at least compromise a bit and maybe set some limits on how much HW is given. I feel so bad for my girls b/c the majority of the time, it's too dark to go out and play by the time they are finished with homework. We've tried letting them go out and play first but it just made it harder to sit down and focus on it later.

How much homework do your kids get each night?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003

getting my kid to do home work is LOT easier they getting his reading in so 30 min or reading vs what we have now not a huge sell. We do have schools here that are extended learning time schools. You have get approval from the state and as part of the guidelines there is NO homework (i'm not sure about reading I will have to ask my friends DH he works in one) but the theroy is they are asking for longer hours to work with students so the reinforcement of work done at home shouldn't be needed. What they would have given for homework under a traditional structure, would be worked on under the extentended learning time. I did look at an extended learning time school for DS but for other reasons it didn't work for us. Wish his school had it but I'm sure with the push on reading, that reading requirment at home still exists and there lies my nightly fight still.

So far so good with homework. He is in an after school program so gets homework help most nights so only 2 nights a week I do it with him and its been a math and reading sheet that does reinforce what they are working on. Will say I have never thought of what he has brought home as busy work. Usually what he has is a continuation of what was done in school and I think thats fine. We start homework in kindy here and even the teachers admit its more training, start them off from the get go with it so it becomes second nature. I would be interested to see if the kids in the extended day schools have issues when it comes to high school (we have k-8 schools) and homework because I can see how never having it can throw you for a loop if you are used to coming home and vegging...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2009

Our rules states that there will be no more than 10 minutes per grade level in homework.  So far both (2nd and 5th) have had minimal amounts of homework, but they do have some every night.  And they have reading too.

 

If you notice, they 'replace' standard homework with reading time.  For some that's a bigger struggle than doing a few math worksheets.  My 5th grader is responsible for doing his own homework, without prompting.  I feel that some homework is good for building independence and responsibility-- things that they will need in high school, college, and beyond.  If they don;t independently and responsibly do their homework now-- is Mom and Dad going to go to college with them to make sure they do it?




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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
This is the first year, in many many years, that my boys have not had much homework. My 4th grader only has 30 minutes of reading each night. I LOVE it! No more fighting to get math sheets, busy work, or cursive writing practice done. We hang out together, he reads while I read, and have 30 minutes of quiet time. It's wonderful! I emailed his teacher to make sure that's all he should be doing and she said yes. She's organized her day in such a matter that the kids have time in class to finish anything they need to. I'm impressed!
Faith

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.~ Dr Seuss

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005

After really crazy, age-inappropriate loads in K and 1st, so far this year seems reasonable.  They dropped the book reports down to one a month instead of one a week.  Spelling and current events is the same, but more reasonable for 2nd graders than it was for the younger kids. Plus we've had one math worksheet a night, not a hard one.

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
I didn't have homework until 4th grade, and then only enough I could get it done on the bus on the way home, and this was the way it went until 7th grade. And I did fine when I went to high school, and college.

Kids need time to be able to play, to have hobbies. My kinder daughter had homework every night which I felt was really silly and it really had nothing to do with what they were learning, both in kinder and 1st grade.

How to do homework can be taught at any age. It doesn't need to be taught in elementary school. Parents DO need to be kept aware of any issues with reading or math though, so that they can ask for intervention if needed.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005

I didn't have homework beyond the occasional special report or project until 7th grade.  My 6-year-old got so much hw in K and 1st (2nd just started here, so not sure how this year will be yet) that it was ridiculous.  If they want him to burn out and hate school before age 8, they're doing a good job. 

Gwen

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

Well, after spending several nights already struggling with my new kindergartener to do her homework, and already having a hard time adjusting to kindergarten, I am all for it.  Not only does she have written homework each night, and then we are also supposed to ready at least 15 minutes a night, but honestly, getting home at 5:45-6, struggling to get her to do homework as soon as we walk in the door, getting dinner on the table (no afterschool activities at all for this reason this year), and trying to get them into bed by 8 or 8:30 at the latest just so we can be back up at 6 a.m., reading has fallen into the cracks so far.  I wish they'd at least give them kindergarten to get used to the transition of a traditional school setting.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003

I feel your pain with the nights. We get home around 6ish. We all are gone at work/day care/school from 7am until 6pm, so there is a LOT to do between the time we get home and bedtime for ALL of us. People think oh if you are gone all day your house should be clean. Yah right we still live in that house and even if you are gone all day, unless you eat out ALL the time still have to clean up after meals, plus laundry. My kids still get some down time (if they didn’t they’d burn out) so toys need picking up. Mail can pile up, plus paper work from school. I get up at 5am so I’m ready for bed when kids are so that leaves us about 2 hours a night for dinner, housework, homework. I am lucky we do get homework help 2 nights a week in his after school (silly me somehow skipped Thursdays homework help, not making that mistake next session) so that just leaves reading. We too are supposed to read nightly but to be completely honest very rarely happens even 50% of the week. It gets to the point where it becomes too big of a battle that it becomes counter productive; if he is reading because I tell him he HAS to, to me it’s making reading a negative. I used to feel bad but hearing more and more even from non work out of home moms that their kids aren’t doing the expected nightly reading I don’t feel as bad.

 

We only do baseball in the spring and our schedule is the main reason. We lucked out this past spring; his teacher decided she was retiring at the end of the year and pretty much at that point she gave up on them. Sucked for the kids and I’m sure his current teacher is not that happy but if she hadn’t stopped assigning homework on a regular basis we would have been up past 9pm working on it.

 

In kindy we were eased into the homework. They didn’t start it right away and when they did they did it over the weekend. I will say what I really like about our school is we have usually 4 different classes for each grade but each teacher follows the same schedules so no matter who you have you are doing the same thing and that goes for homework and each teacher is told how much and what to assign with the exception of work not finished in class. My sister has twins and she request them be put in different classes and last year in kindy 1 teacher did no homework the other did weekly things. Now it’s hard to judge as far as if it made one more advanced than the other because they have always been at different levels. If there wasn’t already a difference in them it may have been interesting to see if the homework made a difference or not…

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

Yes, there is soo much to do at night, and my DH is gone a lot, so while most mornings he's home to get Emma ready for school and put her on the bus and I take the littlest one, evenings are completely mine to take care of most of the time.  I am trying to streamline dinners, lots of crock pot meals and bulk cooking on the weekends, but it doesn't always happen.  They don't start having the kids do homework in afterschool care until 2nd grade, but I have threatened once or twice in the heat of the moment that I will ask them to help Emma so I don't have to.  Its always simple stuff, and all the kindergarteners have the same homework across all the classes, but its every night, Monday - Thursday and we have the calendar for the entire month, so I never thought about seeing if we could double up or do all ahead of time on the weekend.  Every night they have to write the 3 "sight words" 3 times, most nights they write a specific letter lowercase and uppercase 5 times, and then there is 2 other small things, like one night last week she had to sort her laundry by colors (which admittedly did help me with laundry that night), last night was draw a picture of a word that rhymes with "dig" and write her first and last name 3 times.  So its never a ton of homework, she could easily get it done in 10-15 minutes, its just the act of getting her to sit down at the table to do it.

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