How common is it...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ShakespeareMamaX, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. ShakespeareMamaX

    ShakespeareMamaX New Member

    ...for a child's school to send him home with homework AND all of his classwork, every night?

    I'm talking 6 or 7 pages of work, here.

  2. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Ahh yes we had this. One of the many things the school tried to do with us. We had to stand up and tell the school that they need to do their job. You are supposed to help with homework but they are supposed to teach (unless of course you homeschool). I would fight this/ nip it now. Set the ground rules with the school. You don't need the school battle at home.

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Your district should have published standards for homework levels by grade, and if your child is not getting all classwork finished, then homework needs to be modified. AND the school needs to figure out WHY the child is unable to finish the classwork and find a solution.

    For example, in our district, my 5th grader is only expected to do an hour of homework a night. And that's regardless of whether he's a general ed. student or in an accelerated class. Now, this is not always realistic, because of his difficult child-ness and timing of medications, etc. I play it by ear, but I do have the authority to call it a night when I feel he has done enough and is on the verge of becoming overwhelmed or up past his bedtime. I simply send in a note or a quick e-mail to the teacher to know what happened. I've learned this through many tears and other forms of trial and error, made sure we had this understanding at his 504 review meeting at the start of the school year.

    So, to summarize, I'd say NO, your situation is NOT normal.

    Hope that helps!
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a little different take on this. First, have you questioned why the classwork is not being done at school?

    My difficult child knows, that if he decides not to do his classwork at school, it becomes homework. That is his consequence for messing around. I have held firm on this for four years. At first, it was double time with homework and classwork. Then he slowly realized that this was taking up too much of his play time. It slowly began to improve. I believe I have seen four pieces of classwork come home needed to be completed this year.

    Now, I must add that I don't have homework battles with difficult child. Like any typical kid, he doesn't really want to do homework and would prefer to be doing something else and usually will grunt or groan when "homework time" is announced. But the rules were laid down years ago with my kids. 5:00 is homework time. They have plenty of time to catch a snack and "chill" before it's time to sit down in a quiet place and do their homework. I usually sit at the table with a magazine or book to keep him on task or be available if he needs my help. It's a little down time for me too!!!

    I believe you need to address what he's doing in school that is preventing him from doing his classwork. Personally, I don't think it's odd that they are sending the incomplete classwork home. Just because he's not doing it in class doesn't mean he shouldn't get homework like everyone else. Now, this is assuming there are not some serious issues in play here. I think you need to get to the bottom of the reasoning behind why the classwork is not being done.

    With my son, he could do the work, he just chose not to if he didn't feel like it. In my book, that's not a good enough reason since I do things every day I don't feel like doing. That's life!

    He may be feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with the work and so he doesn't even try. I think you need to step in and find some answers before this goes on longer. Your difficult child is still a little boy and there is time to figure out a game plan before the demands in school become greater.

  5. I work in a behavioral classroom as a para. There are 3 adults to 6 children, grades 3-5. On any given day we will have at least one child refuse all work. Everyday it is the same routine. The child is lessoned with some success, then when it comes time to put pencil to paper, the refusals start. We have the luxury of working one on one, attempting to motivate, offering incentives, offer alternative assignments (ie, lower level-stress free), withholding priveges. We have quite the bag of tricks and sometimes we go through them all without success. At the end of the subject period, the papers are removed (if not previously shredded) and put into the earned time pile. We move onto the next lesson and repeat. Recess is withheld if the assignments are still being refused. Earned time is withheld. At the end of the day the fifth grade students may have 8 pages, journal entries, independent work assignments piled up. We will try to present the same material for 2 days. If it is still refused then the work is sent home with a hope and a prayer. We know the stresses involved for the parent. Sometimes its successful, sometimes not. We then move on to the next lesson.

    One of our students has not picked up a pencil since Halloween. He is passive in his refusal and is willing to sit quietly and do absolutely nothing day after day after day. The acting out refusal just seem more natural to me. Then again I know that I am skewed by my own issues at home.

    This is one of the most frustrating aspects of my job. These kids are all quiet capable of learning and the work. We also see the cyclical pattern and try to ride some of it out, hoping they can catch up in better times. One student last year refused for 4 months and then worked like the wind starting about March and was caught up and beyond by the end of the year.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    This was happening when my difficult child was in the 3rd grade because she was shutting down. Well, actually she was distracted. They had the desks grouped together to form tables and because of her Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), she couldn't focus on schoolwork because of someone tapping their pencil or shuffling their feet or bumping against their desk which would bump hers.

    When I asked her teachers (she had 2 teachers in the classroom and 22 students) what she was doing when she was supposed to be doing classwork, they said they didn't know. That really annoyed difficult child's therapist who asked, "They can't see that her pencil isn't moving?!" Anyway, the teachers' response told me that told me that she wasn't being disruptive. A simple move to a desk not grouped into a table would have solved this, but they refused to do it.
  7. ShakespeareMamaX

    ShakespeareMamaX New Member

    Alright... I'll try to answer all of your questions and then some.

    My difficult child is in 3rd grade.

    Tonight he has 11 pages of work, 4 of which he has to read entire pages and answer a slew of questions about what he's read (about 10 questions per page read). And he, also, has 40 minutes of reading time he has to do.

    Normally, he would get 2-3 pages a night (and 20 minutes of seperate reading). The teacher said he should only be spending a half hour on the worksheets.

    My difficult child, flat out, refuses to do any work. He'd rather run away from the teachers, principal, etc... Do flips, cartwheels and run with chairs on his head.

    We just had a PPT today. I barely said anything. My mind can no longer register anything. I cried when I realised nothing can and will be done until the school FINALLY does the evaluation they should have done forever ago. Maybe the school seeing me break down will change their outlook on things... I bet.

    My son goes to an after school program from 3:30 to 6. Of course, he won't do any work there when he has the option to play the entire time (it's with the YMCA). They already have to restrain him from running out of the school (like today), so attempting to enforce him to do his homework is like attempting to enforce Bush to stop the war. Yeah...not happening.

    We get home at 7 (after picking my difficult child up, going to mom-in-laws to eat dinner >my daughter's already there< and driving home). A half hour...even a FULL hour is reasonable time for my difficult child to do his work... 9 o'clock is bedtime, though. And that's that.

    The school complains my difficult child is tired in school and I should have him get more sleep. Ha!

    My difficult child will sit with me and do his homework neatly and perfectly (most of the time).

    My difficult child will NOT sit in another room and get his homework done.

    My difficult child's teacher neglects to check his bag and is constantly badgering me on why she hasn't gotten any of his past assignments (or she just sends the same page home, twice).

    My difficult child already has had his desk moved about 3 times, so far. He now sits right against the teacher's desk, away from all of the other children. It seems to be working like a charm...

    My difficult child's class has 24 kids in it.

    They have no one-on-one resources, nor smaller classes.

    In my opinion, this school has too much ego to admit they cannot handle my child.

    It kills me that me, his MOTHER, has had to come to terms that I can't properly care for him in some of the states he gets in, yet, the school...well, I've listed the way they work.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I teach 5th grade and give a fair amount of homework. By fair I mean it shouldn't take students more than an hour a night and many nights is less. I do realize some children it takes longer for them to do the work.

    However, I do modify amounts when needed for kiddos with IEPs or others I feel just can't get it all done.

    My own difficult child has it written in his IEP that there are no homework expectations. In first grade a 10 minute assignment would take over an hour and involve meltdowns and violence. He also has a learning disability in addition to his behavioral issues.

    I hope the evaluation is done soon so that a plan can be tailored for your child that meets his needs.
  9. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    My difficult child is in middle school this year, sixth grade. When we had his ARD for his IEP meeting the end of the school year last year, one of the attendees was the school district's lead psychologist. One of the issues I brought up was the WAR we had at home over homework. It was horrible and I felt that my difficult child had no safe was war at school with no allys, war at home with me or husband being the martyr. The lead psychologist quickly put an end to that problem for homework. On our own, I still insist on reading for 20 min. and practicing his trumpet (what a laugh!), but really, our children need to have some place, some where, that adults aren't nagging all the time. My poor difficult child was being nagged and punished day after day at school and home. It needed to stop. I'm so grateful that there was someone who understood that our difficult children are human beings and need to feel wanted and loved. My difficult child felt attacked at every turn. husband has always maintained that his teachers don't have to work ELEVEN hours a day, so how can they expect a difficult child to work eleven hours a day? Add to the stress being UNmedicated by then...and you have a war.
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm going to try and address a few issues as your son is still in the evaluation process. Hopefully you will "file this post away" so that you can plan what you need to ask for in his IEP from those of us who have responded.

    The first thing I would do would be to send a letter to the school requesting an interium 504 plan meeting since your difficult child qualifies due to his diagnosis of adhd. If they have not even started the testing yet, it could easily be 90 days or more before an IEP is implemented. The 504 meeting will have to be held within 10 days and you can write it right then and there and it is immediately in effect. I would have them write exactly what Wiped Out has in her son's IEP "no homework expectations" (the reasoning at this point is that there is noway he can do both his missed classwork and his homework - the classwork is more important since it teaches what the homework is). In the meantime, keep doing your best to assist him with at least the missed classwork so he doesn't fall too far behind.

    40 meetings of nightly reading it excessive for the typical 3rd grader! Add a difficult child kid into the mix and this is a nightmare!

    Have you asked for testing before? You say that the evaluations should have been done forever ago. I am wondering if you had asked the school before and they did not respond or denied your request?

    You say that he does him homework for you. That's wonderful! You also mention that he will not do it in another room. That's fine - I don't think a third grader should be forced to go do his homework alone. Many children need to be near the family to help them stay on task or some kids just need more assistance. Whatever works works!

    You cannot expect his teacher to retrieve his homework - what if she had to do that for all 24 kids? Now, this is another issue you may address in the 504. Purchase a folder with pockets for his classwork/schoolwork. Ask, in the 504, that the teacher place his work in the folder. Also request that in the am, the teacher request the folder back. You can ask for those things in a 504. I would, however, give the teacher a little break here because she must be frustrated as well. It's great that his new desk position is working. That's why so many IEPs have "preferential seating" in them.

    Take a deep breath. Breaking down at the meeting with the school is not a good way to show that you are a strong and knowledgable parent. I know it is an emotional issue when you see your little boy having this much trouble. I have been there too. But presenting yourself as their equal in the meeting is extremely important.

    I would suggest you spend a little time over on the Special Education archives here on the site. There is a wealth of information there. I've been here for years and, even yesterday before my son's re-evaluation meeting at school, I browsed the archives!

    There will be some progress made here but it definately takes time. School is one piece, homelife another, therapy, medications, his desire to get better, etc., are all pieces of the puzzle. Several need to be there before things begin to "look right".

    Hang in there! You work hard and are doing your best for your son.