Curious About Homework Load - 6Th Grade

Updated on November 04, 2008
E.L. asks from Frisco, TX
11 answers

Hi all!

I'm meeting with my daughter's teachers today and the big issue I want to ask about is the amount of homework. My sixth grader seems to spend every available minute doing homework. She does have soccer practice two nights a week, but even on the nights she does not have soccer, she is up until 10:30 or 11:00 and is up again in the morning doing more homework. I asked the girls that carpool to soccer with us and two of them spend 2-4 hours a night on homework, the other who is in a gifted program said she has little homework!

The problem, other than she is exhausted, is that she is left for no time to study for tests. Actually, another problem is that they have never been taught how to study. How much homework do your kids have, how do you get it done, and do you have any tips for helping them study? I used to always write what I needed to know on index cards for review, but any other tips or tricks that work for your kids?

Thanks so much!


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So What Happened?

Hi all!

Thanks so much for all your help and suggestions! I met with the teachers yesterday and they were super - it was such a reminder that our teachers just want the best for our kids! We realized that there were two things going on - one is that she is a perfectionist and two is that she is not prioritizing. My daughter also asked that she be moved closer to the front of the room in each class so that she could see better.

To help her, they suggested that she take advantage of the tutorial time for each class and so she and I wrote a schedule in her agenda of which tutorial to attend on which day. She will then be able to do (or at least start) her homework in tutorials and the teacher will be able to get a better idea of what is taking so long or will be able to answer questions on things that might have been slowing her down.

The other thing that came of the meeting and everyone's comments is that I realized that because she is so responsible, I was leaving everything up to her and focusing on my son that needs someone to be with him the entire time that he does homework. No wonder she was feeling overwhelmed - I was not giving her any support at all! So, we decided that I would look at everything she needed to to and help her decide what to do first, how long it should take, and help her where needed.

So, I think things will improve and it was great to see the relief she felt and knowing I would be supporting her more! Thanks again to everyone that took the time to offer suggestions.


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answers from Dallas on

My kids go to HEB isd and we too are having a problem of finding time for homework and studying! My kids are only in 1st grade and kindergarten and are already swamped! ...I can't imagine what it's like in 6th grade. It's crazy!! My first grader is learning fractions and percentages!!..stuff I didn't learn till middle school! I don't know what to tell you, I think I'm going to have a talk with their teachers and see how other parents get it all done (IF they do).

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answers from Dallas on

Hi Elsa,

My son goes to HEB and he is in the 6th grade. Last six weeks he had a total of 12 late papers. I know you are saying OMG, but he did. He has math homework every night and it takes me, dad, and my son and the computer to do. Thank GOD for google. Not only does he have math but anything that was not completed in class has to be completed. The math is an all nighter and throw another paper in and we are up to 12. Not to mention he has reading counts and has to read at least a 5 point book a week to get his grade. We were so busy trying to keep up with all the other classes he got a zero in Reading counts because he didn't have time to read. He does play football but he was going to practice late, not going at times and missed a game..

Our weekends are spent going over papers trying to help him understand what he did wrong. He doesn't have a math book like I had in school so you have to rely on the examples he wrote down in class which sometimes I cannot read. I have been frustrated since school started. I was almost in tears at his conference but I was pleased he passed last six weeks. You can see my post from a couple of weeks ago.

Tip- If your daughter doesn't have a planner get her one. This really helps. Does her school have a website where you can check what her assignments are and when she has a test? This helps me out a lot since my son is going thru this phase I have to remind him to do everything. Also my son started with 3 binders. A big one and two small ones. I added one folder that he keeps all the papers he needs to turn in. So when he gets in class he knows the yellow folder has all homework or redos he needs he needs to turn in. He keeps that folder inside his planner at all times. Use binder clips in the planner so she doesn't have to flip thru a lot of pages to get to the right date. I use colored sticky notes and put words of encouragement in his lunch and on his folders sometimes just as an added boost of confidence. My son gets really down when he does something wrong or does not turn a paper in but he has to be punished.. As far as studying I really use the going over the papers to kind of help him prepare for tests.

I know this is not much but I hope it helps. We are doing okay but we have a long road ahead of us this first semester..

Good Luck. I will be watching your post to see what other responses you get.. I am always looking for ideas to help out.. I have found the best advice sometimes comes from a conplete stranger..

Take care and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Angie that all of his teachers prob do not know how much the other is assigning. A 6th grader should have about an hour or a little more of homework each night.
Also, is she in her room playing around ,talking on the phone, etc or really doing her homework? I always told the parents of my students (6th grade) to try this: set aside an hour each day (or at least a couple times a week) at the kitchen table for your child to do homework while you sit right beside her reading the paper, a book, doing the bills, mail or some other quiet activity. This way, you are setting a good example by reading AND you can help if there's questions.



answers from Dallas on

I have the same problem. My daughter is a 6th grader and she spends 2-3 hours a night doing homework. 5th grade was the same. She even has homework every weekend!!! Not to mention "projects" in addition to normal homework. She is not in any outside activities but I work outside the home and get home around 6:00 each night. We agree that she needs a snack after school and 30 minutes down time to relax after a long day at school. She spends 1 hour before I get home doing homework, we eat supper then go back to homework. I find she does better if I am sitting at the table with her or at least in the room. The rule is she does everything she can and leaves the problems she doesn't understand until the end. I review her work and work with her on the problems she didn't get. This doesn't leave any "me" time but I figure good grades are worth it. She is a straight A student and has been since 5th grade. Projects are done on the weekends along with the homework from Friday usually on Sunday afternoon. Since you have more than 1 child, it might be a good idea to have "study time" with all at once so that the one isn't distracted by the others. I hear from other Moms and teachers that 5th and 6th grade is hardest on homework but it gets better in 7th. Look forward to that!!



answers from Dallas on

That's too much time for a 6th grader! My daughter is an 8th grader at a pretty rigorous private school and she had maybe an hour per night in 6th. I'm also a teacher. Something's wrong here--is your daughter struggling with the content? Is she having trouble focusing and taking a long time to do a moderate amount? Talk to her teacher(s) ASAP because the amount of time you're describing is TOO MUCH--there's something amiss!



answers from Dallas on

I just wanted to say that I think teachers probably dont realize how much homework they are giving (being a 5th grade teacher). We only switch three classes so they can only have 3 assignments, max. But I can see where in 6th grade when they have 7 different classes that they probably DO have excessive amounts of homework. Im sure the teachers dont coordinate their homework with the other teachers or have any idea who is assigning what.

Sorry, this probably doesnt help much. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

My 6th grader has about 1 hours worth if not a little bit more. The standard I think most schools are using is 10 minutes per grade level. So a 6th grader should have 60 min worth. Mine doesn't know how to study either. They don't teach them that anymore. I hope it all gets straightened out.



answers from Dallas on

Hi E..
I think the general rule of thumb is that a student should have about 10 minutes per grade level, so a 6th grader should have about 60 minutes of homework per night. However that depends on how much they get done during the day. I know my daughter usually has more than her peers because she is not good at using her time in class to get work done. Also, I would find out what subject consistently has the most homework and ask that teacher what you can do to make this subject easier for your child. I KNOW the teacher will appreciate it if you approach it from the point of "I want to help you achieve your teaching goals with my child. What's going on that could be going better?"


answers from Dallas on

My son is in the 6th grade in PISD, he's in the gifted program too, however, he usually has about 1-2 hours of homework a night. However, he says he gets most of it done at school. He hardly gets homework on the weekends. I also have a 13 year old, but she was in San Antonio for 6th grade, but her homework was about the same too.
My kids get an assignment notebook from school that tell what subjects they have to do work in. I check it most of the time, but I do take their word for it, when I ask if they have homework. They are pretty good about doing their homework as soon as they get home from school. My husband started this with them when they were young. He said they still have school on their brain when they get home, so have them do it then and they can have the rest of the night to watch TV and run around. They get home around 4 unless they have practice, they do their homework for a good hour, they usually finish up after dinner if they aren't already done.

I think it's good to talk to the teachers, they will give you insight. Maybe ask the teacher to spread it out more, if she doesn't give homework on the weekend ask her what they are going to be doing, then your daughter can do some of it on the weekend and spread it out more.

Good luck,



answers from Wichita Falls on

I agree that kids today have way too much homework. The "experts" say that kids should have 10 minutes for every grade of school so, for a 6th grader they should have 1 hour of homework. When I was in nursing school, I had to learn to study efficently. I learned that I could remember stuff if it was written in color. For example, when I had a vocabulary test, I would write out the words and their definitions in different colors. Then when it came time to take the test I could visualize the paper in my mind and "read" what I had written. Good luck with helping your daughter learn to study. Hope things go well with the teachers.


answers from Dallas on

My daughter is in 8th grade Plano ISD. I always expected her to have more homework than she has at home. I know she does complete a lot of hw at school when she gets an opportunity. Some of her teachers give them the time to complete work in class.

I have heard other parents talk about the hw load children have (especially PACE) but we have not seen it that bad. Of course, occasionally she will spend an hour or so at home working on homework. She also has the required Science Project to do but the teacher has time tables for when portions of that are due so they do not put it off until the last minute.

My DD is in all honors classes, cheer practice 2 afternoons a week, 1 game a week, violin practice for chamber orchestra daily, and candidate work for the NJHS.

As for study habits, most teachers have a review that the students complete and then a review day before the test. If you know what is on your review, you can do well.

I hope that helps some. Good luck to your daughter. Middle school is a big adjustment.


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