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  #1  
Old Mar 15, '06, 8:31 am
JMJ Theresa JMJ Theresa is offline
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Default How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

One reason that we homeschool is that we aren't willing to put time into homework after our kids have been away all day. Any time I consider putting the kids in school, the homework factor is the major stumbling block. We have two very good Catholic school options.

When our kids were in 3rd and 4th grades, the 3rd grader had about a hour. The 4th grader generally had two hours. But, our kids went to an independent Catholic school that had a shorter day and also had to make time for daily Mass. I observed several classes, and there was no time to do the homework during the day.

I'm sure that it flunctuates, but what would you estimate the average homework time for your children?

Ironically, when I was a high school teacher, I was a big proponent of homework. Sorry all you former Biology students!
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  #2  
Old Mar 15, '06, 11:43 am
JMJ Theresa JMJ Theresa is offline
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Default Re: How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

I guess I should have done a poll--if I knew how to.
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  #3  
Old Mar 15, '06, 12:53 pm
Cupofkindness Cupofkindness is offline
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Default Re: How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

I would have to say that the homework load comes in waves. At our Catholic Blue Ribbon school, the children attend Mass twice a week, monthly Benediction, Confession, etc.

There is probably 10 minutes a night for 1st-2nd grades, mainly phonics, with an occassional book report that is always an art project or a costume assignment where they retell the story. Religion focuses on preparing the children for First Confession and Communion. My school uses Saxon phonics for reading and spelling and math is a workbook.

My third grader generally has 20 minutes a night which includes a 10 minute math log. Our school starts ramping up the work in this grade. Extra work comes when the book reports are due and these are more demanding, for example, the Caldecot book report had them read 50 Caldecots in a month (which sounds like a lot, but remember these stories are generally short, so most books can be finished in 5-10 minutes) and do an art project which is usually drawing one of the scenes from the book. There are also biographies at this stage too. There is weekly spelling that is more complex (ie writing sentences) and science, plus social studies. Fourth grade is just about the same, but the book reports are a little easier, I can't explain why. The children are now tracked according to math ability in this grade, where ultimately the Math-One kids do algebra in the eighth grade.

Fifth grade notches it up again, so that there are about 45 - 60 minutes a night if you can get your child to remain seated from start to finish. In fifth grade the students are required to write weekly essays in science and social studies, which means that the kids have to plan ahead to complete the work. Book reports are now written out half of the time and are art projects the other half. Math is also getting more demanding. A wonderful vocabulary program is added in fifth and continues through eighth grade.

Sixth grade is a lot like fifth, that is about an hour of work a night, except that the students have to have more depth in their book reports and essays and most reports are written, with the exception of a biography. The students have to memorize all of the countries and their capitals continent by continent. Science becomes more memorization, less labwork, some big projects. Religion begins Confirmation prep. This is their last year of having mainly a homeroom teacher who teaches most of the subjects. Next year, the children are on the move from classroom to classroom since the teachers are a bit more specialized.

All grades, from first grade to sixth to this point have had Spanish twice a week at a very basic, conversational level. In seventh grade Spanish is a full time class meeting several times a week. Seventh grade knocks these kids for a loop because the homework load goes from one hour to an average of two. Some nights there will only be thirty minutes, other nights six hours. While that is frustrating the lesson learned is that the child must plan ahead and work faithfully on long term projects every day so that you aren't overwhelmed at the end of the grading period. Science ramps up in seventh grade too, with the projects demanding more detail. Texas History is added and is very demanding. Literature takes the place of reading, with an emphasis on Poetry. Electives like speech, choir, art, band must be chosen carefully. Unlike prior years that included art and music in the daily curriculum, the children now must choose.

Eighth grade is also about two hours a night, plus the addition of lots of Confirmation prep in the form of weekend retreats and meetings. The children in Algebra generally carry a heavier work load. Eighth grade culminates in a 20+ page Civil War research paper, a biography on the Confirmation saint, the Stock Market Game for all math students, large literature projects, Spanish projects, field trips and of course, Confirmation. During most of eighth grade the kids are under the added stress of applying to the Catholic high schools, which is a demanding, stressful process in itself. By the time these kids have graduated, the could go to college because they are very well prepared. For most of these kids, their freshman year of high school is a piece of cake compared to eighth grade.

I guess that is a very long answer to your question, Theresa. I hope it helps.
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  #4  
Old Mar 16, '06, 8:53 am
Namid Namid is offline
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Default Re: How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

When my son was in Catholic school we would have 4-5 hrs every night. Now that they are in public school we have around 1 hr.
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  #5  
Old Mar 16, '06, 9:21 am
Libero Libero is offline
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Default Re: How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

I get about 2 hours a day - as a Year 11 (age 15 - 16)

As a Year 3 - 5 (ages 8 - 10) I received about 1 hour a day, maybe half of that depending.

Either way, I never got any help from parents anyway...
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  #6  
Old Mar 16, '06, 3:08 pm
JMJ Theresa JMJ Theresa is offline
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Default Re: How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupofkindness
I.

I guess that is a very long answer to your question, Theresa. I hope it helps.
Wow. That's a lot of homework. It does sound like a well rounded education. Definitely more composition than we are doing.

With that much homework, does it effect your family time?
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  #7  
Old Mar 16, '06, 4:13 pm
Cupofkindness Cupofkindness is offline
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Default Re: How much homework does your 3-8th grader have?

It's only a lot of homework in the upper grades and the children are fairly self-sufficent in terms of getting the work done in a timely manner. The projects are demanding, but I must say that most of them aren't busy work but encourage children to use different talents to learn material. Thankfully, our children are self-motivated and driven to succeed, so we rarely have to push them to do homework. In fact, my third grader does homework while she waits in car pool for me to pick her up! She's the only one in the whole school who does that as far as I can tell.

How does it affect our family? Well, evenings are for homework. We try to help the children as much as possible, plus we try to read aloud to the youngest four in nightly, plus praying with them too. Oh, and making sure that we have clean uniforms for the next day! Afternoons are lessons and activites, plus picking up my two highschoolers who are each at a different school, a boys' and a girls' highschool. I think the hardest thing is sharing one computer between six children. And two parents between seven children! And since my husband travels a lot, I'm on my own during the week quite a bit. Actually, the highschool girl has her own laptop and the four and six year olds don't need it, but that's the major issue around here: juggling one computer between my 9th, 7th, and 5th graders, who all seem to have projects due at around the same time. Plus, the high school teachers post homework and tests on-line, so we have an internet jam too.

I forgot to mention that the children also have P.E. (in addition to our ballet lessons and team sports), Library, Computers, and of course, good old homeroom every day. We are trying to get everyone on an instrument, so they need to make time for that commitment too. It's mind-boggling, Theresa. And I know that I'm working as hard as I was homeschooling (but now everyone is in school). But you know what? When May is over, we're done with that grade level. I must confess that I never, ever had a summer off when I homeschooled. I wish my children were learning Latin instead of Spanish (actually my 9th grade son is in Latin), but living in Texas demands that we teach our children Spanish. I alos wish they studied Church history instead of Texas history, but thankfully Texas has a very rich history so at least it's interesting. And lastly, the Religion classes are what you'd expect: luke warm. We try to balance it at home, and I think we are raising children who are pro-life, pro-Magisterium Catholics. But we struggle to do the right thing for each child, that is, the right thing in God's eyes because the demands of a large family are endless, even as we are determined to keep it as simple as we can.
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