What should I do about my son's homework overload?

It's taking my third grade son several hours per night to complete his homework. I think this is too much homework! Can someone help me out? Is this normal? If not, how do you suggest I talk to his teacher about homework overload?

Asked by a member via Contact Us.
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), Helping my child with school work and home work
> 60 days ago



Jan 27, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

I cannot tell you if several hours of homework per night is too much for your child.  But what I would suggest is the following:
Ask yourself, "Is my child stressed or sick by the end of the homework period?"  or "Is he/she having fun or reviewing or redoing the homework because he/she wants to?"  "Why does my child bring home so much homework?  Do all the children in the class have the same amount?  Does it take most other children about as many hours of homework as it does my child? Or does it tke my child a bit longer because he needs the extra time?"
Once you know these answers, your next steps would be to speak to your child about how he/she feels about the amount.  Talk to other parents and find out their opinions.  And then talk to the teacher about your individual child and issues with homework.  Ultimately, if it is a whole class issue, all the parents may want to speak to the teacher and recommend appropriate adjustments.

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Additional Answers (1)

Karenmom writes:
My daughter is in 3rd grade and a typical night consists of:

Spelling-time varies depending on assignment, some nights it's as simple as just writing the words 5x each or looking up the words in the dictionary to identify parts of speech or it can be as involved as writing a story using each of the words, but roughly, I can expect about 20 minutes.

Reading-Minimum required is 20 minutes.

Social Studies-Read chapter and answer questions (about 20 minutes)

Math Worksheet-about 10 minutes.

EOG Computer Worksheets-you are allowed to work on these at your own pace, not required each night, so we often save until the weekend.

I can safely expect 1 hour of homework.  I allow her to have about a 30 minute break and snack when she first gets home, then start the homework, no tv, etc. until it's completed.  This encourages her to get the work completed in a timely manner, naturally you will need to help with some of the material.

If it is taking longer than 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete, I would want to speak with the teacher to see why.  I know sometimes, if she doesn't complete something in class from that day, the teacher will send it home to complete here, which would add to the time.

I know that's not helpful, but it will at least provide you with some insight on what a typical day is like with another 3rd grader.

Best wishes!
> 60 days ago

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