2Nd Grade Homework - Saint Petersburg,FL

Updated on October 14, 2013
S.S. asks from Saint Petersburg, FL
18 answers

Hi. My son is in 2nd grade and we have lots of homework this year. Daily reading log, daily worksheets, studying for weekly spelling tests and doing projects. We work hard to tackle much of it on the weekend but this weekend, the second and third projects sent us for a loop. Needless to say, downtime is limited. I made sure we went for a bike ride and watched a little tv but I can see the way of things to come. We have to do more work on school nights. Does anyone have a system that seems to work? My son has hockey Sat morning and religious school Sun morning but he has no activities during the week. How much responsibility for getting work done on time do you put on your child at age 8? What is realistic so our family has school work time and play time? What does an afterschool timeline look like from 2:30 pm until bedtime? I have Zumba 2x a week at night and my daughter has ballet one of those nights. I am looking for mamas that have this balance thing down like a yoga master! Thanks.
P.S.--My son just started gifted this year so we are balancing more projects and assignments than before.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Kids get home around 4:30pm. My kids are in 1st & 4th grade. They both have to empty lunchboxes, take out anything I need to look at from backpacks and do any homework that needs to be done. If they homework isn't done by dinner they work on it after dinner. No playing until homework is done.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

On 2nd grade, he should get 20 minutes per night.
30 MAX.
My son is in 5th (middle school) and we found out in K it's best if he comes home, has a drink/snack and bangs it out before dinner. (Yes--even on Fridays!)
Everyone is happier and it gets done more quickly.
It doesn't really interfere with his activities that way, either.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Honolulu on

With both my kids no matter what grade they are in:
Homework is completed, after school. Which is, after we get home, they have a snack a bit of downtime, then it is homework.

My kids also do have extra curricular activities.
So, they have to finish homework, BEFORE they go to their lessons/activities.
AND both my kids also just play. And have time to do that.

Time management.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

S., my kid started a gifted program in third (she is now in seventh grade). And even in second, the homework got to be more. It's normal and it is doable! This is something you and he will get the hang of, I promise!

A couple of thoughts:

Don't let yourself get in a twist over other parents saying things like "In second grade he should have 20 minutes a night and no more" or any formulas like that. They are not productive or useful. You cannot say, "Oh, you did 20 minutes, time to stop right now no matter where you are in your work for the day." I hear and read a LOT online, not just here but at other parent sites, where parents are furious about their kid having "more than the 30 minutes the teacher said it would be!" and it's just wasted energy. "Minutes per night" is a guideline that some teachers give but it's best to start right now with "You get what you get, and you don't get upset."

He does not sound over-stretched from what you describe. Many (around here, most) kids have one or several weekday extracurricular activities, and he has none, so that is not an issue, truly. Hockey only on Sat. and religious school on Sun. are fine -- don't even think of those as issues! He needs outside activities, and right now yours cluster on weekends so you are, frankly, lucky this school year.

Look at how far in advance he gets assignments and how far in advance YOU know about them. Does his school use any form of "planner" notebook, where each child has a formal planner and must write every assignment and due dates into it the day they're assigned? If not -- create one just for him (or suggest it to the teacher, but I would not wait for that, I'd also do his own). Ensure that you check in every single day about what he has due. Kids at this age still don't think very long-term, so is he sometimes getting a project that's due in two or three weeks but doesn't tell you until there's a week left to go? Time to work on his telling you the same day it's assigned, then you and he figure out what days and times he'll work on it -- over the entire two or three weeks, not in the last few days, of course. He will learn early that it's easier to work a little bit all along than to say, "It's due in two weeks - I can start the second week."

Weekly spelling test study and reading log should be so routine that they don't take long -- if they are, look at why. If the worksheets are math, that should take as long as it takes -- but any good math teacher will say that if a kid is spending forever on one problem, then he should stop, move on to the other problems, do what he can on the difficult one and bring it in to discuss. Does he fully get that perfection is not the idea in homework? If he's polishing and fussing over worksheets and projects to the point it's taking forever, he is being a perfectionist -- and homework is for learning, not for being perfect.

Schedule out things with him. Use a planner he carries to school and check it with him daily. Stay in close touch with teachers especially if they fail to coordinate things, and he ends up with multiple projects due the same week as a big test, for instance (teachers should be sure that doesn't happen but...it does).

Be sure that he is doing homework efficiently during the weekdays (he should not be cramming in this much on weekends, truly). Does he have a calm place to do it, where he is not distracted by fun stuff around him? A kid's bedroom can be a lousy place for homework; even if he doesn't ever touch his toys and stuff, they're still so very present around him. Does he have a place that his sibling(s) don't disturb him and he can't overhear them playing? Or overhear the TV? Does he have ready access to all that he needs or is he popping up and down to get a pencil, sharpen it, get the book he needs, etc.? Think through the setting where he does homework.

Afterschool timeline can look like this: Come home. Snack (essential to keep their focus up). Depending on his personality and needs, maybe 30 minutes of down time, reading, etc. -- not TV or video games; too hard to stop those. Then homework starts at a specific time. (I know some parents say to give kids a couple of hours of down time or play before homework but that really depends on your kid. If my daughter waited until 5 or 6 to start homework, she would have lost her focus and would be much harder to get going. So she starts within 30-45 minutes of getting home, or it would be a struggle.) Begin each session with review of the planner and short- and long-term assignments. Ask him: "What do you think you should work on today that is due tomorrow; what is due on other days in the week and what should you do towards those deadlines?" When he's done let him blow off steam with physical play. If he's a kid who needs to do that first, before homework, do it first, by all means. You really need to think about what will give him the maximum focus and energy -- longer down time/running around first, or after. Each kid is different.

Teach him to break up tasks. For instance, say he has to turn in a vocabulary list each week where he has looked up the words and writes sentences with them. Due every Wednesday. So Monday becomes word homework day (looks them up, writes down meanings) and Tuesday is the day to write the required sentences and check it all over.

Praise him a LOT for using time wisely: "Wow, your project is due in two and a half weeks but you already have the books checked out and are starting your notes -- that is a great use of time, just like an older student would do." And so on.

This was a tough week for him (and you) with two projects due at once but not all weeks will be this way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

My 2nd grade son goes to an after school program at this school and gets all of his nightly homework done there. It's wonderful as it's supervised by teachers who are also there to provide help if needed. When he gets home, my husband or I go over his homework and check for accuracy.
So when he gets home, his nightly homework is done, except for reading. We do reading after bath and right before bed. He fills out his reading log at that time.
He does have some special projects that try to tackle on weekends. These aren't a weekly thing, just every now and then. Regardless, he turns in all homework completed each week, no exceptions.
My advice is to break up the homework for each day of the week instead of trying to cram it into the weekends. Maybe make a chart with the daily work broken down by day. He can then mark it off and it won't seem like so much at once.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My kids generally did their homework at the kitchen counter or table, while I was making dinner. That way I was nearby to help (if they needed it) and make sure they were staying on task. This seemed to be a natural fit for us, as NONE of them liked doing homework alone in their bedrooms.
So they had about two hours after school to relax, snack, play, homework between about 5 and 6 (hardly ever took the whole hour, until 5th grade or so) then a few hours of play, TV, bathing, etc. before bed. They did their daily reading IN BED. I had them keep their reading logs on their nightstand attached to a clipboard so they could check it off each night before turning out the light. The only work they ever did on weekends were book reports or other special projects. All the daily stuff was done during the week.

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answers from Gainesville on

I homeschool now, and have for 3 years, so I'm going on rather distant memory here.

The way you're describing this makes it sound like if he's not at school, at hockey or at religious school, he's basically doing school work. Is that pretty much right? If so, I would look at that. He should not be having to spend *that* much time on homework. If he is, then to me it would be either too much homework or he's struggling with something(s). I would talk to the teacher and ask her how much time she thinks the homework should be taking, too.

I do remember asking my son's teacher one time how long she thought the homework should take - she gave me a time, but it was how long it would take me, an adult who knows the material, to do it! She'd based it on how long it took her to complete the assignment, giving no allowance for the fact that kids are learning this stuff and will take longer. So homework that she said would take 20-30 minutes would actually take an hour. Of course, she never changed anything as a result of our conversation, but at least I knew then how it was figured.

In terms of actually balancing it all, sometimes you have to just play with things until you find what works. Try doing things one way for a week or two, then switch them up and try another way for another week or two. Figure out which one seemed to work the best for you and go with that one. Don't be afraid to make changes and tweak things if you start finding that what you're doing isn't working but doesn't necessarily need a complete overhaul.

If you take him with you to Zumba and ballet, plan his homework so that he does what he needs help with at home, and he takes the stuff he can do by himself along for the ride. That keeps the forward momentum without dragging you away from what you're doing. Are you married? If so, maybe having Dad help with homework while you get dinner made or housework done so that everything isn't waiting for you to finish would also help a bit?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

My kids both do homework as soon as they come home - after a quick snack. That way, everything is back into their backpacks and ready to go for the next day. Some days I let them slack and do it right before dinner; usually a beautiful sunny day where they can go out and ride bikes with the neighborhood kids first.

I would say the timeline is this:

3:45 home, wash hands, eat snack
4:00 homework.
4:30 or so they are both done and allowed to go outside and play.
5:30 or so I'm getting dinner ready.
On a soccer night, we'd eat early; about 5 to be out the door at 5:50.

They are in 3rd and 1st grade, and so far have not had any additional projects outside of nightly homework. If they did, we'd add about 10 minutes each night to the homework to plan out and tweak the project. They're both pretty good about accomplishing everything they need. But then again, I sit down with them and keep them on task.

You sound as if you've got a lot more on your plate than my family does, though.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Second grade homework should not require a huge amount of time outside the classroom. Many teachers assign portions of projects to be completed by certain dates so students are not working all weekend or all night finishing a project with parents. Also, many teachers have time within the school day for children to work on any unfinished work, projects and sometimes homework.

As for reading, that can easily be done at bedtime and keep the log by the bed.

Spelling patterns of the week are typically introduced on Mondays so the children can work on the spelling packet all week for practice for Friday's test. This spelling packet typically has a couple of Language Arts sheets to help with grammar, etc.

Math concepts are usually introduced in the beginning of the week as well and most children receive review boxes - 1 double sided math sheet, with about 16 relatively simple problems. They don't have to be done all in one sitting but the review boxes are due on a certain date, Usually Fridays.

It is important to learn time management even at this age because as you progress, there will be more work and more projects and deadlines.

Most children I know, get home from school, have a short downtime and then finish homework which is usually less than an hour then go play or to extracurricular activities. My daughter always did her homework at the table while I was making dinner and then we were off to her other activities.

Most of all, try to keep things balanced so no one gets stressed out about the schedule and everything stays positive.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It depends on the kid and the homework. If a project is due, I would ask the child to break it down. Then do x amount per day. So if he has a research paper, maybe you take him to the library while your DD does ballet one night.

My DD is in class til 3:30 and when she comes home, she gets a snack. Then we look at her homework and I read through the packet. She has 4 nights of work and has to do at least 1 page a night. On Thursdays she has dance, so I try to get that work done earlier in the week. When my stepkids were smaller, they got about an hour of down time at home (after daycare, if applicable) and then it was dinner, homework, bath, bed. If they got their HW done, they had more free time. I would guide an 8 yr old. Ask what he has to do and where he wants to start. I was never a fan of "go to your room and do your HW" myself. some kid need that quiet. SS did. But SD and DD want to be in the main part of the house, so it is not uncommon for DD to be in the kitchen at the table while DH cooks.

Where is SS when you are doing zumba or DD is doing ballet? Could that be focused HW time?

You can also mix it up. Spelling can be boring. So see if you can make a game of it. "Son, can you find the letters in x word in the signs on our way to the store?" Can he read in vehicles without getting sick? Might be great reading time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

You put him in a gifted program so you've committed to a lot more than the normal kid has. In 2nd grade we got the spelling list on Monday and they took the test of Friday. We put the list on the visor in the van and when ever we got in to go anywhere we went over the words. It was the easiest thing we did. There was very little other stuff.

As for projects...in a gifted program you're going to have to give hours and hours to them each week. I suggest you consider the status of this gifted program if it's too hard for your family to do all this. We would never do that. We stay too busy.

All kids should read a few minutes every evening, at least 20 minutes. This will help them over all plus they should have that down time.

In second grade our girl had less homework than any other grade and she had the highest test scores and was better in class.


answers from Hartford on

For my girls because they're all different, it takes as long as it takes. Homework is a judgment of how well they're understanding their classwork. If they're struggling with their homework and need a lot of help and/or it takes them a lot of time to figure it out then I make sure that their teachers are aware of that fact. I do NOT help them by doing their homework for them because that doesn't actually help them. The teachers need to be able to see whether or not my children were able to do the work and why or why not and therefore adjust their teaching.

Homework works around our schedule if there's something important going on for the family. Otherwise we work around the homework schedule. They get every chance to get their work done without having it completely stress them out. I want them to enjoy their education the way I did.



answers from New York on

I've got a 2nd grader in a g/t program, and he's got nightly assignments -- anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour per night. Our schedule is:

2:30 - 5: Karate, after-school, or music lesson
5-6-something: Free time -- run around, read, lego projects, be a general goofball
6-something to about 7: Dinner
7-something - 7:45: Homework
8: Dessert
8:30: Bed

This actually works really well, but it pins us down to a pretty tight routine. If anything doesn't go as planned, or if the HW is unusually challenging, it can be trickier. We also have a no TV on school nights rule, and that helps him both use up more energy pre-homework and focus better during homework.



answers from New York on

Isn't homework given nightly. Why are you trying to do it all on the weekend. It is never too early to teach time management. Start now.
Comes home, has a snack, half hour of free time and then homework.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughters both love to read and probably averaged 1-2 hours per night. To make it easier on all of us, I filled out the reading log.
Re: spelling... I only had my daughter's study the words that they didn't know. My oldest was in gifted my youngest was not and usually my youngest didn't even have to study. I bet your son already knows how to spell the words so why make him study something he already knows?
Re: special projects... Just make sure you have lots of supplies on hand. I would also help with the busy work like cutting and coloring but let my kids do the research and design of poster etc.

I don't like HW, especially when it interferes with family time, piano, sewing theatre or other activities my kids enjoy. I can recall a handful of occasions when I wrote a note apologizing for not completing the assignment but that we had other commitments and just could not get it done.



answers from Detroit on

2nd grade? Age 8? I'd say don't stress. If he does NO homework, he will not be any less smart. If he tested into gifted, he's probably quite smart. This is in his genes. He'll do fine.

We believe in family time, exercise and playing and exploring, and reading for fun. That's what kids need to succeed in the future. Come high school, you can all stress about the homework. :) Our 2nd grade teacher gives almost nothing out, by the way.

It doesn't take balancing like a yoga master. I too have 3 times a week Zumba (love it), and my kids are in lots of sport-type stuff for exercise weekends and the week. We do NOT stress about homework for young children.


answers from Houston on

I do not know why teachers load homework. Homework should take 15 mi jets and be a review of the objective of the day. Tell that to the teacher.


answers from Austin on

Sounds like our daughters homework at that time, but she was a young 7 year old in second grade.

Our schedule was come home, have a snack maybe a little down time and then homework. I let her pick what homework item she wanted to start with.

I did not sit with her, instead, I was "around" if she needed assistance.

We also went over the words the first day. The ones she could already spell, we did not concentrate on them. Sometimes, I would have her call out the words to me and I would make spelling mistakes, when she "graded them" she was supposed to find my mistakes. Red Pen and all!

The reading was not a problem for us, our daughter read way over an hour every night.

Projects we discussed and then she contemplated how SHE wanted to work on them and what she would need from me. (Supplies, Hot glue gun.. etc) And sometimes, she just wanted me to sit with her, so I would work on "my homework".

She knew that homework was her priority each night and she liked getting it over with.

My husband liked also "working" with her on homework, when she was stumped on a concept or needed some creative ideas.

She got faster and faster as the school year went on.

Wait till 3rd grade. the focus is not so much learning to read, or learning to spell, but instead the comprehension part.. This what they will be tested on from then on.

The secret to these tests, is to teach your child to read the questions first, then read the content, they can then highlight the answers in the text.

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