My son just started third grade, and I was informed by his teacher that the only homework required is a recommended 20 minutes of reading per night, and a weekly spelling list. Since my son started public school in first grade (he went to a full-day private kindergarten) he hasn't had any homework. He had more homework in kindergarten than he's had in the past two years! This worries me because I'm afraid he'll starting getting homework in later grades and will lack the experience or discipline to do homework on a nightly basis. Should I go to his teacher and request homework packets? I've bought extra third grade workbooks already that we worked on during the summer, but why should I be responsible to keep this up during the school year? I don't know the curriculum my son's learning on a weekly basis. I think he should do at least 15 minutes a night in extra work...why don't teachers assign homework???
Jeanne Brock provided a wonderful answer to your question. As an educator, I'd like to add an additional point for consideration. Teachers don't want to overload students with homework. So, we use a simple rule of thumb. For each grade level we suggest about 10 min. of homework nightly Mon.-Thur. (For a third grader that would be 10 min. x 3 grades = 30 of homework).
I love that your son's teacher is asking him to read 20 min. a night. Consider setting a specific time each night for "family" reading. When you sit down to read the newspaper or a magazine, then your son can do his 20 min. of reading. This helps to show your son that reading is important as a life-time activity. Also during the week, make time to sit down and read stories with him. Children love to have stories read to them.
It's wonderful that you are on top of your child's educational needs. It is somewhat surprising that there is no formal homework in a third grade class, but some teachers believe that children that age need nonacademic time after school. You could ask your child's teacher to talk with you about her philosophy of teaching--that might make you more comfortable with her approach. If that doesn't help, you could ask her for perhaps weekly assignments (not daily) as a compromise. If she is not willing to do that, then I would continue with the workbooks you already have, but only a few days a week. We want children to look at learning as something positive, exciting, and stimulating so it is important not to overdo academics at younger ages.
Good luck with third grade!
Jeanne B. Funk
education.com clinical child psychology expert
hi there what your son needs is just a routine to be internalised in his mind so his mind is conditioned to things at the right time. So all you have to do is make sure he has a routine for everything including learning. and when schools encourage parents to to do something with their children like reading, helping to do an assignment because they want you to bond with your child and learn to know every detail of your childs behaviour, working style so that you can provide that environment and be a part of your child's learning life. it will also make positive memories in your child's brain and that he will use when he will have his own family as we all learn from our past experiences.
Wow, so many parents wish they could be in your shoes! I get complaints constantly about too much homework and how it is eating up into their children's lives. At times homework seems like just busy work. You could take full advantage of this situation by having your child read after school, play a board game, learn an instrument, do a sport or even just play outside with friends. Enjoy it now, as the years progress it gets harder and harder to have any free time.