September 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm 28 comments

Can we start complaining yet?   As I’m sure I’ve said before, I am conceptually in favor of homework, given that CPS has pretty short school days and big classes.  I like to know what my kid is learning and whether he’s keeping up and I feel like all CPS probably need some one-on-one attention given the challenge of getting it during the day.

However.  Yech.  At least my son isn’t writhing in his chair any more.  But I have a feeling the assignments will be longer and tougher this year.  Not good for a slacker.

Yes, I know I always complain about his slacking and here is a perfect example.  First night of school he tells me they need to bring in a bag with 5 items that represent things they like.  He then proceeds to look downward to his art table and picks up the first 5 items he sees and finds a way to explain why he likes them.  A pen.  I like to draw.  A nickel.  I like money.  A cartoon character cutout.  I like that show.  Etc.  So he’s not a total slacker in that he was still intending to to the assignment.  He just didn’t want to have to walk more than 8 inches to do so!

I’m cringing at the thought of 45 min per night at Edison.  I am going to the school to protest, even though my child doesn’t attend school there.

I would say that those who are complaining about the curriculum so far to keep in mind that it’s only day 2.  The first few weeks of school the kids will take the DIBELS reading test where the teacher can assess their skills.  She/He also needs to get to know them and see what kind of work they can do.  But then… I’d start the push for making sure that the entire class isn’t spending their day learning the alphabet, etc.

Entry filed under: Homework.

Focus groups on education news CPS Data – ISATs online, No big CPS book printed this year

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 2ndtimearound  |  September 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    So far so good, with this being our first year in an options class, even though our son is in second grade. even though homework was never hard at his other school, it was always a struggle, so it took forever and we were both frustrated at the end of the day. This year, I tried to find a leverage point to motivate him to just get through it while at the same time convincing him that it was not too hard and that he could complete it in a short period of time. So now, if he gets it done quickly and without complaining, he earns 15 minutes of computer time. happy mom and happy son!

  • 2. brenda  |  September 10, 2010 at 4:56 am

    We’ve been in Edison for 3 years now and have yet to see 45 minutes per night. What grade do you think that number is for?

  • 3. Stressed Out  |  September 10, 2010 at 10:18 am

    @ brenda – Do you see more or less than 45 minutes of homework?

  • 4. brenda  |  September 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Much less! Probably around 20 minutes on even the worst nights.

    Now, that doesn’t count flopping about and moaning time before actually starting the homework. My daughter doesn’t really do that anymore, but we had a few evenings like that in K and 1st grade.

  • 5. RL Julia  |  September 10, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I thought the rule was ten minutes a night per grade. – first grade 10 minutes, second grade 20 minutes etc….

  • 6. Stressed Out  |  September 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    It’s funny because I was at a school fair last year and parents were telling me that 45 minutes was average for homework after kindergarden at Edison.

  • 7. Christine  |  September 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    30 – 45 minutes per night is what we were told to expect at Skinner North for Kindergarten. Although she did have homework this week, it was much less than that. But then again, it’s only the first week.

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Heh, I love the flopping on the floor comment. I was joking with a parent in my class today about how it would look if our kids exhibited these same behaviors in the workplace someday…

  • 9. cps mom  |  September 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I think homework time depends on the kid. At a magnet school that doled out plenty of homework, my son spent at least 45 minutes in the lower grades. Then there’s those wonderful “family” projects that consume the weekend. Because my son attended an after school program homework consumed the entire evening starting with 4th grade. There also time required for getting a drink, looking out the window and extended time in the bathroom.

    Is it only the girls who just do it and get it over with?

    We do have someone in our office that throws tantrums. He’s extremely good at what he does so he can get away with it.

  • 10. Mom of Boys  |  September 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Homework is the WORST part of starting school. My oldest boy (who is now in 6th grade) at non testing magnet changed last year and there was much less moaning but trying to get him to study or do extra work for practice nearly killed me! The youngest now in third grage at a classical school is killing me slowly–sometimes I can feel the blood vessels just bursting in my head when I’m trying to get homework out of him! The projects go a lot better especially the science fair. I think for boys that testosterone abd competiveness consume them and they want to win so bad that they work hard. I’m proud to say that both have won every year so far…

  • 11. A different Christine  |  September 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

    @ Brenda. I’m wondering who the teacher of your child was in the 1st grade at Edison..but my son…my goodness..if the homework was less than 45 minutes..I’ll go like “YES!!!”…but no..it was almost more than that every night..that was our experience…I hope this year will be ‘better’.

  • 12. first grade Edison  |  September 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Quote from teacher’s letter sent to home. “Nightly homework typically includes math, literature and spelling. This should take about 45 minutes to one hour.” Yes, I should strap on the blood pressure cuff during this painful sessions. If you would just write instead of squiriming we would be done already. Loud breath.

  • 13. A different Christine  |  September 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    @ first grade Edison:..LOL..goodluck..hope you CAN keep your cool..and your blood pressure NORMAL..(and I’m serious!).

  • 14. Mom of two  |  September 11, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I’ve been practicing the breathing skills I learned for when I was in labor . . . and they help during homework, too!

    Here’s what raises my blood pressure the worst (off subject, sorry) – the fund raiser material that showed up yesterday. Grrrr. How do I tell my kids that the stuff they’re selling is mostly not worth buying, and that the “prizes” are also mostly junk? They’re crushed when I try to bring them back to earth and reality about the “MP3 player I could win if I only sell 125 items, Mom!” I guess it’s a lesson in real life for them, but a sad way to earn money.

  • 15. first grade Edison  |  September 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    O M G – yes, can we talk fundraisers. I’d rather just write a check for $200.00 and call it quits!!

  • 16. To #15  |  September 12, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I’m with you…just tell me what you hope to get from each kid! $50, $75 or $100—I’d rather just give the money! I’m a state employee so you are really NOT supposde to sell things at work (but most people do anyway) and going door to door on any other block than your own is a waste of time especially with all the homework! I’ve only received the information at one child’s school that I have to sell 66 assorted candy bars for $1 which people could catch a sell and get for 50 cents! It didn’t sound mandatory but who wants to be the parent who says no!

  • 17. brenda  |  September 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    1st grade at Edison was just a year ago for us, and no, it really wasn’t 45 minutes a night. Weird.

  • 18. Edison Mom  |  September 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    We have also been through first grade at Edison and I don’t remember ever having 45 minutes of homework in first grade. Unless you count the projects that you have weeks to complete that we always left until the last minute……

  • 19. Grace  |  September 14, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Let me tell you a horror story. My kids started at Lenart a few years back. The first semester of first grade was a full second-grade curricululm. The second semester was a full third-grade curriculum. Parents and kids were cramming all the time.

    In adition there were plenty of projects. The kids read 2 short novels and Charlotte’s Web. They gave a speech dressed as a historical character – Sojourner Truth, MLK, etc. They did science fair. There was never a break. You get the picture.

    We were lucky to keep the homework to a minimum of 1 hour each night, and that was if your child was focused and had great fine-motor skills.

    And, Lenart doesn’t offer regular daily recess.

    Parents agreed that first grade at Lenart was the flunk-out year. Lenart really didn’t want a child around who couldn’t handle all that work and pressure. The administration used to shrug and say, “This school isn’t for everyone.” The implication being that your child really isn’t gifted.

    One mom hired an educational consultant to observe classroom practices for her son in second grade, she was so concerned about his disinterest in the homework. Consultant’s opinion was that no effort was made to account for the developmental age of the child. Only his IQ.

    The mom also used to write the answers for him on his worksheets from time to time, attaching a note explaining that she had asked him the questions, and he had answered them, but he wasn’t able to write any longer that evening, so she filled in the worksheet for him.

    I just heard that their test scores are going down.

  • 20. SEN  |  September 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    The Lenart story is horrible. First grade is the “flunk out year”. What a terrible thing to do to a child. These kids are tested at such a young age, why would a school have the attitude that they did not “want a child who could not handle all the work and pressure”? Six and seven year olds should not be under that kind of pressure and the parents should not allow it either.

  • 21. ChicagoGawker  |  September 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Grace, we had nearly identical experience as yours in 1st grade at Beaubien. I removed my child after concluding on my own what your educational consultant did -curriculum and classroom practices NOT developmentally appropriate. However, I would go farther than saying no effort was made to account for the developmental age of the child individually. They wouldn’t even have to assess individually, just use common sense about where the typical 6 year old is with emotional-social development. Options Coordinator even gave us a book on gifted children discussing how high IQ does not mean you are ready for tasks requiring psych/emotional development above your age. Do these people take NO basic psych classes to get their education degrees?

  • 22. cpsobsessed  |  September 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Whether that is true about Lenart or not, my impression IS that the top gifted programs have prided themselves on homework amount, which I too am opposed to. Well, on the one hand, the CPS day is short than many schools and with big classes, you could make the argument that smart kids *could* work an extra 45 min or so a day to match what may be happening in good private or suburban schools. But man, that is a tough sell for little kids. In my fantasy, there would be cool, interesting, engaging homework that kids would WANT to do — but I can’t even imagine what that would be for my son unless he was able to earn college credits by playing Club Penguin.

    I took a peek at Lenart’s recent ISAT scores and they are not down, up a little in fact. So if they have cut homework, it’s not hurting…
    Well, hard to measure when 100% of the kids meet/exceed the state standard every year. But the Exceeds % is up this year. 87% Reading, 82% Math. Not too shabby.

  • 23. cps mom  |  September 15, 2010 at 8:44 am

    The homework situation is the same at the magnet schools. Homework every night – if your child cannot just sit there and do it, it can consume a whole evening. A bright child with ADD or even just a little less maturity about performing the given task at hand will be impacted the most. Yes – 1st grade is the “flunk out year”. They can’t force you to leave but they do put the pressure on. I was surprised when my own son was singled out in 1st grade for lack of performance on a reading assessment. He was totally immature. I was called in and told that he needed to bring up his score. I was confused since he loved reading. At the 1st grade level all he wanted was to be read to since he loved stories so much and his reading them kind of wrecked that. He started Harry Potter in 2nd grade and is an avid reader surpassing most in his class with quality, amount and comprehension of reading. I can look back at that first grade incident with amusement but it was very serious and stressful for both me and my child at the time.

  • 24. RL Julia  |  September 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Chalk one up for a good neighborhood school – where they can’t pressure you out. I love mine- those teachers have seen (and know how to appropriately handle) EVERYTHING. Nothing phases them.

  • 25. Lenart  |  September 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Yes, a child from Lenart was accepted into the classical school that my son attends in second grade last year. The parent said that first grade was horrible (even K was horrible). The parent said he had no idea that in K they would just hand out 2nd grade books in K. They thought there would be cool projects and things that make HW fun. I turned down Lenart and sent my son to a classical school four years ago because I knew he would crack under the pressure of all that work. Love my son dearly but he is a slacker 🙂

  • 26. pastedisonstudent  |  February 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Just wait until your son or daughter is in 6th or 8th grade. Their teacher for social studies expects them to do 2-3 hours YES HOURS of work every night (on top of about 45 minutes of other homework). He literally says that to the class. Whether your a parent or a student you will start to hate the cause of this, History Fair. Although your child may be very independent with homework, and I believe people who say that their kid was like that, you will still need to take him/her to the library at least once a week to get research for his/her History Fair project. In ll you need 50 pages of typed, annotated, and paraphrased research over a span of three weeks in which he gives you other assignments. Then after you’ve turned in your 50th page you can move onto to a finished 6 foot poster board that has to make him go WOW and a presentation due to next week. 5th and 7th grade aren’t gems either. However, 4th grade parents, don’t worry homework will be coming your way soon!

  • 27. Navigator  |  February 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

    How is the homework amount at schools with a longer day schedule? Have you noticed a change?

  • 28. Another Anonymous  |  February 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Just chiming in to say that I have children at Edison and I have not seen anything near 45 minutes of homework a night. I have one in 5th grade and his homework yesterday was spelling and that’s all…15 minutes and done. Perhaps some of the “homework” that’s being complained about is work that was supposed to be finished during school hours, but was not so it arrived as homework.?

    Regarding the social studies teacher…he is awesome! My child was never very interested in anything but math and science, but this SS teacher has changed all that. Now my kid loves SS! He enjoys all the little projects like making up a country and drawing a detailed map of it.

    I will say that I am nervous about the history fair next year; I’ve heard that it is intense. But with the longer school day, I’m hoping it won’t be too bad. Edison is saying that will add homework/torturing time as part of the schedule for the older kids.

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