19 answers

How Much Homework in the 5Th Grade??

Hi All,

I have a step son who is a 5th grader, who gets zero homework.. none!!

We have met with the teacher to voice our concerns and she said that she went easy on the class the first quarter to get used to them etc.. promised this quarter there would be more.. there hasnt been. We gave him our own homework to do each night to try and make up for it.

I am concerned that becausemy step son is already very lazy, this is not helping. My fear is next year he will get a tougher teacher and be expected to do a ton of homework and not be able to keep up.

He was held back in 2nd grade because his psycho bio-mom let him miss something like 100 days of school, so weve been playing catch up ever since, I fear this will put him further behind.

I am requesting a meeting with the principal to find out if we can switch his class, but wanted to have an idea of what other kids get nightly???

Thanks so much!


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More Answers

Hi L.,

I feel your concern. I have a 17 year old junior who is seriously behind due to the amount of homework, and the fact that he just doesn't like school. I am considering having him not take elective classes and hoping that he can make up failed classes from the 9th grade. If that fails, there is always job corps.
I made the mistake when my son was 12 to tell him about my Christian belief in the rapture. He now just doesn't care about anything else but heaven. He is not suicidal, is a good kid, but is just not wrapped up with the concerns of the world. I have tried to tell him we must stay busy until Christ returns...but he seems unmoved.

I hope that your son will do well in his pursuit of education. In our family, eduction is important...His grandma was a teacher, his cousin is a teacher...all the cousins have graduated college, as have their aunt and uncle. Their dad is also a college graduate. SO, I don't know what God has in store for my boy.

Have a great New Year!

1 mom found this helpful

you dont mention if he has good grades. that is the the key and monitor how he does on standardised tests or whatever methiond your school uses. that is the best monitor. i think it is ridiculous to have kids in kinder havehomework. if the teacher cant teach them at school then there is a problem. my son is graduating this year and we had a couple of years where he spent hours after school doing homework he got so depressed and anxious. i found him doing homework at 3 am on morning. becaus i had made him go to be at 11. there was no time for him to ba a kid and that was in 3rd grade. i think that in junior high or high school., some homework is ok, they should make the kids do work without anyone to be able to answer questions. i am a college graduate but i never had to take trig or calculus and i cnat help my son with that. our hogh school started something great this year. they ahve a whole period right before lunche every day taht is mandatory attendance and they have to do their homework. the teacher for that class has a list of homework for each class they have and they have to do it there. if they dont get it finished during that period they can stay after school. if they are playing sports they cant go to practice until that teacher signs off that they have their work done. i knw because my husband is a wrestling coach. in the after school session parents can volunteer. i volunteer with english and chemistry and anatomy and physiology because i am comfortable with that. i aslo work with specila needs kids because i am dyslexic and i can work with them and help them with their disabilities.i think that if the kid is doing well inschool then dont worry about it but if he is falling behind then ask the teacher to helpim after school or at lunch and maybe she will agree to send work home. but please let your kids be kids. let them play outside for an hour after school. maybe he is lazy because he is not motivated. get him into an after school program that is active such as soccer, pop warner or martial arts.

I don't understand why so many parents are concerned because their child doesn't have enough homework. My kids are in a charter school and this issue came up there with some parents.

My daughter does not have homework every night, other than to read. She is in the top of her class and way ahead of students in the public schools she would have gone to. I think kids need some down-time away from mental fatigue to just be kids. That is part of growing up and developing too. I like homework when kids are truly falling behind. Then they need the extra work to catch up. My other son is in 5th grade and is ADD, so he needs extra help. What my charter school does for these kids is to provide a half hour after school 3 days a week to do this extra work so they don't have alot of homework going home and can have a break.

I am a single mom too, who doesn't have much time to spend trying to get three kids through 1-2 hours of homework at night. As long as my kids are keeping up and doing well, I don't get concerned about the amount of homework they get.

J. L

Hi L.
I taught for 12 years with many years in your son's age group and have a master's degree in elementary ed. Kids in the fifth grade might bring home a half hour to an hour (depending on the student's working speed)three nights a week. (But if there's any way your son might be more accelerated, he might manage his time well enough at school to finish homework. Some kids do just that.) I'm sure there are things like math concepts or spelling list that require nightly interaction and review for ten or fifteen minutes. Then you might expect projects that require more time every so often. If you're really feeling like you need more for home then I would voice your concerns and ask for SPECIFIC things from the teacher. The teacher should have grade level content area work he/she can give you to enrich/accompany what is going on in the classroom. For example, if math is your concern then ask for work in the topic being covered in class. But I would also be VERY careful of pushing so hard at home he burns out at school or has negative feelings about school. Middle school is right around the corner and cultivating a postive feeling in your son's mind about teacher's and school is so essential. By reviewing your son's report card and talking about his progres with the teacher/s you should be very clear on where he stands and if he needs much homework. Good luck.

You are so lucky! I have been complaining about homework load for my kids for years now. I like my children to be well balanced - volunteer, have creative free time and be in sports, but they are so loaded with homework, it seems that is all they can do. My neighbor has loads of research that shows that more homework is actually making students perform worse on tests and be burned out on school before college - NOT GOOD! Kids need free time to become resourceful and creative! I am not talking about video games and T.V. - that is not allowed in our home. Just free time to sled and play and build forts and come up with wild adventures. Call me a Hippie!

When my boys were in fifth grade they had a minimum of 45 min plus reading every night. I home school now, but they did attend public school through the fifth grade.

The formula has been mentioned in several other responses: 10 minutes per grade. So, since the teacher isn't giving the homework, and it is January, do not go and mess things up at the school for your son. You/HE are mid-year and he will be more shaken by a move now, academically and socially, than YOU taking charge of the situation. Homework is in your home, and you are in charge.

You can have expectations. Homework can be 30 minutes of reading a chapter book per night. Then, for 20 minutes he can do things that you are interested in... family talk time (adult conversation stimulates the brain), family game time, fun walks outdoors to find things, etc. Or, buy the simple fraction drill/skill flash cards and there are a ton of simple/fun workbooks.Go to any bookstore and ask for a 5th grade level support book, there are many.

Plus, the state of New Mexico on the Public Education website, has all the standards for every grade. You can download what the average 5th grader MUST know, and work up some easy 20-minute practice activities for him.

Trust me, do not go to the school and shake things up so much in the name of saving your "lazy" son. Kids are not lazy, they are beaten down. Please reflect on that. Motivation will not come from you causing havoc in his world. I say this because I am an 11th grade teacher who has seen so many students who have given up on school because they were pulled so many ways by so many authorities. The teacher is the authority in the school, you are the authority in the home. You do not need a teacher to dictate homework to you, there are many avenues.

Plus, count your blessings. Too much homework could really solidify the "lazy" label, which needs to be shed immediately.

Hi L.,
My son is in the 2nd grade and he has 4 pages of homework per night AND nightly reading!!!The work takes him about and hour or so to do and his teacher informed us that there is a district policy that he has to do at least 30 minutes of homework every night. I would check what you district policy is on required homework as well as see about switching teachers. good luck!!

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