Should I be concerned?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by FestiveChicken, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. FestiveChicken

    FestiveChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2010
    My daughter just started 2nd grade. She is going to the same school she has been in since KG. Now, I know it is only second grade. BUt she is not getting any homework sent home. Or any of the classwork she does during the day.
    When we asked her about having homework the answer we got for the first two weeks was "Mrs A says she wants us kids to get into the routine first" Ok. I will buy that a bit. But they are in second grade. They should know the "routine" by now.

    Now a few more weeks in(they began school the last week of August) She is getting a page of spelling words sent home on Monday. And THAT IS IT for homework for the week. Nothing else. No pages to practice writing the words. Nothing. Even in 1st grade they sent home the words and the meanings of the words etc. My husband and I have discussed the lack of homework and that we feel she should be getting some sent home for reinforcement of the classroom teaching. And also so that WE know what she is learning and how she is doing.
    Anyway. Tonight was the schools open house. We went and ran into a parent of one of her classmates and asked her about it. She had already been to the classroom and met with the teacher. She pulled out a sheet of classwork her daughter had done, but that was not sent home. Nor did it have a date. Anyway. All it said on it in purple marker was "Fix this" It didnt seem like it had been explained to the kids what was expected. We then asked her how she felt about the "homework" or lack there of. And she told us what the teacher told her. That the homework is the spelling words. Words like "tune" "page" "erase" "vote" and that she AND the other second grade teachers are not sending home work to do.. and here's the kicker "because it takes too much time to make sure all the kids get the papers, bring it back and then she has to look them over." I dont know, but I always thought THAT WAS THE JOB!

    When I asked if she could send papers home to reinforce what was being taught in the classroom she looked at me and
    said "I dont send home busy work" To my husband and I this is NOT busy work. It is reinforcing what she should be being taught in the classroom. When it was obvious that she wasnt getting what I was asking for I told her I would be getting one of the grade two workbooks for Sarah. She said "Well if it's busy work you want then by all means"

    Am I missing something? Is this the way kids are being taught all of a sudden because of the cuts to education? Or is this teacher just lazy? Or is it because of the standardized tests the kids have to take now. We live in MASS and MCAS begins in 3rd grade. I know some of the parents are probably happy with only the spelling words being sent home. But I want my daughter to get an education. I am a parent that gives a rats behind and is involved.

    I dont know. I will be getting the 2nd grade workbook this weekend and we will do a page or two a night in that. Just to make sure she is getting taught. I dont want her to fall behind or not be challenged because her teachers doesnt have or want to take the time to send work home and grade it when it is returned.
     
  2. babylady4

    babylady4 Mother Goose

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    Mar 30, 2009
    Central WI
    I don't recall having much if any homework when I was in second grade. To make yourself feel better about what is going on, by all means have your daughter do the workbooks, or even have her log into a learning site that will keep track of her progress.

    I think homework for me was learning the multiplication tables...... stuff like that.
     
  3. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Personally I figure an 8 hour work day is more than enough for a 5 year old, no need to bring additional work home... one more bonus to Home School... but that's me... considering that a lot of class time is spent ONLY teaching what's on the standardized tests around here it's no surprise that anything else has to be sent home... though that is often in TAKS format too...

    Meh... if you're worried about her retention of spelling jot the words down, maybe on index cards, and review them. We also do flash cards for math... go through them during breakfast actually... DD, also 2nd, does subtraction and addition, DS, 12, does Multiplication and Division. I was rather disturbed to find that DD hadn't even covered the "family" thing... you know, what all combos = 10... 1+9, 2+8, 3+7... and so on... and then the same for 20... I thought that was UBER basic stuff, but she'd never seen it before.

    You don't have to go full on HS by ANY means, but you can supplement if you think your kiddo could benefit from it. [​IMG]
     
  4. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    [​IMG] and [​IMG]

    The public school system is not what it used to be! I think you're on the right track - work with her at home, math and reading. Private schools are sounding better and better. I'm so glad my DD is in her 20's now and doing well. My young nephews aren't made to memorize multiplication tables at our local school. How you can function without knowing the x's tables is beyond me.
     
  5. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    My daughter is in first grade and is bringing home homework every night. Granted, it isn't hard stuff, and only takes like 5 minutes to do, but it is reinforcing what she is learning in class. She even brought home homework just about everyday last year in kindergarten.

    It sounds to me like your daughters teacher is lazy. I would be taking it up with the principal and maybe even the school board.

    Last year when my sons handwriting was horrible, I talked to his teacher and had her send home extra writing homework for him. She had no problem doing this. He wasn't so thrilled, but when I couldn't even read his homework to correct it, he needed the extra time spent on it.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  6. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Does the school have a website? Ours has a website the kids and parents can access to get homework assignments and such. I ran into some of the same issues with PS with my kids. We homeschooled for 3 years and just this year let DD 13 go back to public school. THANK GOD we did the homeschooling as long as we did! We got her through the basics and have given her a strong foundation for high school if she remains in PS. The state tests got harder this year, they raised the bar on the kids, and a load of students scores dropped dramatically, DD did better than she ever has! I am pleased with how that turned out. I say that...to say this, KEEP pushing to be involved in her education!! Nothing is better for a child than parental involvement whether it be homeschool or public school or private school. it's not just the teachers job to see to it they get the education they need, it's the parents responsibility too, and it sounds like you are doing a GREAT job keeping up with her progress and pushing for her to get enough reinforcement. The teachers won't always take that initiative with kids, they have too many children to do very much one on one.
     
  7. Tangeygirl

    Tangeygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May daughter is in the 2nd grade also...she gets 1 assignment a night. Sometimes it's a Practice Math page going over addition and subtraction and other nights it's a page related to their 15 spelling words of the week. Which this week included words like "remarked" "licked" "backed" "mistake". She also needs to read 10 minutes a night.

    Seems like the teacher your daughter has is a little flippant. I'm with you. A little homework to go over what they're learning in the classroom isn't a bad thing. And my daughter loves homework...she definitely doesn't take after me!! [​IMG]

    Getting the workbook and doing pages with her at home sounds like a great plan. Good luck!
     
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    My dd attends a Christian school and she does have homework four days a week even on Fridays. I say it takes her ten minutes to get it finished. She does the reading and writing homework and once in a while the teacher would ask us to do the math homework.

    Everyday, my DD HATES it, kept saying I wanna go back to the "old" school, "tell the teacher she is stupid", "I want to blow up the school", "I'm going to punch out the teacher because she wont let us talk or let the kids talk". All that kind of thing. I am surprised to hear from her from day one from this teacher which it was shockingly different than her K teacher. I told her she does not need to make those threats or she will get into trouble with the teachers, the principal and law authorities if she keeps saying it (mostly to get it her way or none). Yes for granted, the teacher IS strict with her and does not let my dd get away with things. My dd is very very smart and very intelligent and kept saying she is bored, bored, bored. With the reading book, she could sit down and read thru most of the first 100 pages without a problem which they were on page 25! Jeez! And she did OK with her math if she takes her time with it. One time my father threw her for a loop by putting down the 1 - 2 = ? problem and she said and wrote down ONE in the hole! [​IMG] The teacher NEVER taught her to do that neither anyone in our family did that either. Shocking isn't it? Hope it was a fluke but she could figure out the problem without asking why the first number is LESS than the second number. She can add basic numbers and they started in subtraction last week.

    Major problems I see in right now and near future, is that I am from the old school teaching and my dd is new school teachings and what they did back then, would not be used for today. Like counting fingers, that is a no no of today.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Back in pre-historic times when I was in grade school, routine homework did not begin until 3rd grade. I do recall making posters and reading in 1st and 2nd grade. Our district did not have kindergarten, although my parents did send me to a private one. It was mostly social and play; never homework.

    Older son went to a private school from kindergarten through 3rd grade. There was always reading homework and occasionally spelling packets or math. Other than the spelling packets, most of the homework was unfinished classwork. 4th grade was a gifted public program with a teacher who was extremely strict on turning in homework assignments--much too much so for 3rd & 4th graders (mixed grade class), but probably appropriate for about 8th grade and up. If even 10 minutes late, it would earn a 0, but still must turn it in. I ask...what is the kids incentive to complete and turn in an assignment that will earn no credit? Anyways, 5th and 6th grade he had an awesome teacher, some homework, but most was either book reading and reports, longer term projects or unfinished classwork. I will say that I believe she deliberately assigned more classwork than most kids could finish at school. Anyways, all assignments by all of these teachers were always graded.

    Younger son went to public kindergarten and 1st grade, charter 2nd -5th and public from 6th on. No kindergarten homework; weekly busywork packets in 1st grade and with some teachers in 3rd and 5th. Busywork is ungraded, assigned weekly and reviewed only to see that the work was done, not reviewed for accuracy. Everyone gets the same thing, whether it has been mastered or not. "It teaches responsibility" is the mantra explaining its purpose. IMO, if an assignment is worth assigning, it is worth grading. I do NOT believe it teaches responsibility. One does not learn anything useful when an assignment must be accomplished, but does not even get looked at or reviewed for accuracy. I also have a problem with assignments that a child has already mastered. One can only learn 1+1=2 or c,a,t spells cat once. If a child knows it, why is it still being assigned? Especially if it is not graded. And then there is the problem of math or spelling papers that are assigned as homework, but not graded to see if the child understands the problems. If the child understands incorrectly, and the assignment is not graded, then incorrect information is being reinforced in the child's mind.

    The length of the school day does make a difference IMO as to whether homework is appropriate or not; as Pineapple Mama said, if they are at school for 8 hours, giving additinal homework is too much; if they are at school 4 hours, certainly reasonable; but in the later case, I think age makes a difference. A kindergartener in school 4 hours is entirely different than a 6th grade in school 4 hours. In general, I would prefer a longer school day and less homework. How many spouses are annoyed when their other half brings work home to complete? That said, I do think some types of homework are good: regular reading, including book reports, practice of basic math facts that are not yet mastered, unfinished classwork, current events (read and report on newspaper article or TV news report) or attending various types of cultural events (museum, theatre, etc.) that cannot be accomplished at or during school.

    Kids are bored in school for one of two reasons. The work is too difficult, and therefore they give up and do nothing, or the work is something they have already mastered, and they need more advanced materials.

    There are a lot of different ways of organizing math curriculums. Older son used Open Court, and was doing negative numbers in kindergarten. It organizes similar concepts and teaches them all at the same time: addition and/or subtraction of objects, money etc. may all be on the same work page. What will be similar is the amounts used (1+1 or $3 + $4 versus 53+26 or $27+$31). Lots of use of word problems and number lines. More commonly, many curriculums treat money or time problems entirely separate from object problems.

    Anyways, it sounds like the OP needs to schedule an individual conferance with the teacher and ask for explanations of what they are doing in class, what she considers busywork, and her overall educational philosophy. It does sound as if the entire set of 2nd grade teachers are more or less on the same page, but being on the same page does not necessarily mean doing everything exactly alike. Consider whether a different teacher might make a difference.

    As for papers being sent home, they may be doing a lot of things that do not generate paperwork. There are tons of educational games and manipulatives that teach a LOT, but do not generate paper. Or they may do a lot of work on whiteboards or chalkboards. Consider observing for a whole day, or volunteering in the classroom, which will allow you to observe regularly..
     
  10. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    At the 2nd grade level, my kids usually came home with their reading books and were required to re-read the story they read in class that day and they had a list of spelling words they had to do an activity with them every night, like put them in alphabetical order or write them 3x or use in a sentance. Every once in a while, they had a math worksheet to finish. So my 2nd graders had homework, not a lot, but it reinforced what they were learning in class and helped them study for the reading and spelling tests on Fridays.

    I'd be even more concerned about no classwork getting sent home. Every Monday my school-age kids bring home a "Monday folder" with all the previous weeks tests, quizzes, essays and worksheets. If this teacher doesn't have any classwork to send home - what on earth is she doing all day?

    I would be concerned about the lack of meaningful communication with this teacher and I'd probably make appointments to discuss it with someone in charge!
     

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