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Can we talk homework?

dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 460 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
I read a lot on CC about homework last year and from everything I read it seemed like homework, even at the tippy top BS was generally manageable if you have a kid who can manage their time well. Of course, there will be a few late nights here and there but several hours of homework seemed to be the consensus. Fast forward to actually living it. Wow, so much more homework than we were lead to believe. Definitely more than the school policy indicates, maybe twice as much. Many quizzes without getting back previous quizzes, papers due right after the rough draft when the rough draft was pointless as it got no teacher feedback.

Teachers saying things "like you have to learn to prioritize and not be so meticulous." If you are telling my kid to let things slide then you are assigning work with no point and that is professional laziness in my opinion. If an experienced teacher cannot work out how long an assignment is actually going to take a 14 year old then they aren't a good teacher. And what is the point exactly of learning to let things slide? Never understood this as in my experience it was not a skill I needed at a top college while playing a varsity sport at said college. I always had plenty of time to do my work as did my pre-med husband, also a varsity athlete at the college. So confused as to why a 14 year old needs to learn to either kill herself or settle for sliding grades since that isn't a skill needed until, IMO, you become a mother. Certainly, if they are "prepping for college" they are waaaaayyy overdoing it first month of freshman year.

Also, if this is the reality why do they lie their faces off when you question them explicitly about homework?
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Replies to: Can we talk homework?

  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 434 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    Speak to your child's advisor! Something is clearly up, and it would be good to figure out what.

    While there is a lot of homework, it can get done in the time they have. If your child is up till 2 (or whatever) then something needs fixing. It could be any number of things. It is very unlikely that the school is assigning too much so that most kids are having problems.

    Isn't your child in the 1st year at BS? Don't forget that right now is the adjustment period when kids are figuring things out.
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 460 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @cinnamon1212 Yes first year. It is not just my kid though. Pretty much all kids are up till 11-12 using their phone flashlights to do work. Or I should say, the kids my kid has asked - smaller school so she knows a fair amount of freshmen. So I would say many kids are in the same boat. I have been impressed that the kids don't seem to lie to each other and say they feel the homework is a breeze. They all say they are in the same boat.

    I did mention it to a dean and got two responses:
    1. We can't control what the kids do i.e. working after lights out. This seems to me to indicate that they know kids are mostly staying up later than advertised to do work and they don't really care to do anything about it. IMO you can do something about it. Actually enforce the homework policy with the teachers.
    2. The kids need to learn when to let things slide.


    There are certainly kids who don't seem to work very hard, but they may be super fast or not care about grades as much.
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 460 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    Perhaps I am simply in a minority thinking that 6-7 hours of sleep is not enough for a 14 year old who is also playing on a varsity team 6 days a week. Injury from lack of sleep is a real thing yo.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 434 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    @dogsmama1997 , calm down (said while giving you a virtual hug!). I completely agree, kids need more than 6-7 hours of sleep, and I agree, something needs to change. But again, speak with your child's advisor. They can help figure out what's going on for *your* child specifically.

    I had kids attend Hotchkiss and Millbrook, on the chance (unlikely) that it's one of those 2 schools. But if it is maybe I can be more helpful/specific.

    Don't generalize from one or two kids. I had a parent from another school say to me in shock "I hear the kids at Hotchkiss are up until 4 am every night doing homework!" No. That was one kid, who was struggling with time management. That year my son was in bed by 10:30-11.

    Your child maybe doesn't have an issue with time management, but it could be several other things. You will feel better after speaking/emailing with her advisor so you will have a better sense of what's going on, and probably will have a plan to deal with it.
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 460 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    Will send out an email to the advisor - thanks for the good idea.
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  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom 5248 replies240 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @dogsmama1997: Definitely reach out to the advisor and try a PM to @stargirl3.
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  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom 5248 replies240 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 18
    I hate to say it, but 6-7 hours of sleep and kids doing work after lights out was pretty much SOP at Choate. I think our son was lucky if he got that much sleep (he got less in college). He slept on breaks and all summer long. I don't see how any school can control this. It's up to each student to determine how to manage their homework, study, and sleep schedule. Eventually, they all figure out what works for them. By junior/senior year, they are pros. And, they're young. It's amazing how resilient those bodies are. ;)
    edited September 18
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5715 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Aw, @ChoatieMom . It's mutual!
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22975 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If the kid is actually sitting at a desk from 7-10 pm, no phone, no chatting, no internet, and the student still needs to stay up until midnight to finish the work, then it is time to make an adjustment - help with study habits, reassess the level of the course (lower math class? help with how to write a paper?).

    My daughter was really (I mean REALLY) slow at reading and doing work. In hs, she didn't help things by having her phone ping every 5 minutes and taking time to answer. She did her best studying on Sunday mornings when all her friends were asleep. At college, she had study tables for 2+ hours every night and she buckled down and did work for 2 straight hours - no chatting, no phones, no breaks every 10 minutes for food or the bathroom.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7266 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We didn't do BS but in my D's college prep HS, the teachers seemed to always give more work in the beginning of the year. Part of it was to be sure the kids in the advanced classes were committed. There was always lots of movement down to regular courses in the first few weeks.

    Hopefully it will even out for your D.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1379 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @gardenstategal Great points.
    One of my kids is a perfectionist and that takes time!! One of my kids knows how to focus effort in a pinpoint fashion ( not always but mostly). I honestly try to discourage the A+ type thinking. Perfectionism takes away from real learning. The Kids can’t expect work to be returned in order to move to the next step.
    Freshman year I think it’s honestly getting used to the school and realizing that top BS’s are filled with top kids. Students will only receive top grades if they are truly warranted. Some will stay up all night to get the grades and others will learn time management, etc.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39229 replies7004 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Agree with your comment, ski, but it takes a while for kids to figure this out. That's what freshman year is all about.
    Oh, I know. But it's not me you need to tell; I've lived through it already. :) I'm just trying to read between the lines to look for possible reasons for the OP's (or kid''s) concern after 2 weeks.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 79 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Interesting comments. I agree that reaching out to an advisor can help a lot.

    I also agree that schools misrepresent the amount of homework students normally get. I have a friend who teaches at Milton and a friend who teaches at Taft and they laugh at the mis-information about homework that is given out to potential students.

    I also think that people responding should keep in mind that it's very possible @dogsmama1997 actually does know her student and that said student is not lying about how they are spending their time at BS. I sometimes think people get a little over the top with the "well kids aren't honest about ...."

    My older one had a similar experience, way more homework than we expected and no she wasn't goofing around. ALL of the kids in her dorm the first two years stayed up way past lights out. Lights out was in fact a total joke. No one cared that the kids weren't getting enough sleep. Schools also get blinders on and ignore the reality on the ground. After the first two years lights out wasn't a thing so kids just stayed up to get stuff finished. LOL

    I am puzzled by the number of parents who seem to think that it must be kids not using their time wisely and not that schools are just getting out of control with homework. I don't think there is any reason for a highschool freshman to have more homework than a college student. I don't think that is really "prep" for college, it's just punishment. Maybe everyone else on CC has a kid who can do 3 hours of homework and get A's. Both my kids are very bright (in totally different ways) and neither of them could do that at their schools. In addition to that (I polled them last night out of interest) they both said they don't know anyone who only had three hours of homework on a consistant basis except maybe the one "genius."
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 898 replies72 threadsRegistered User Member
    Definitely have your kid talk to their advisor.

    I've found my experience taking 3 honors STEM courses here that it's not too bad of a workload--definitely a lot, but our block system helps so much with not being overwhelmed. I find myself having free time during study hours, honestly. I really hope your kid can get adjusted and maybe their workload will drop down as the year goes on, teachers relax, etc.

    Their advisors, prefects, teachers, and deans can all provide a support system and help him to get through any issue!
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39229 replies7004 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I have a friend who teaches at Milton and a friend who teaches at Taft and they laugh at the mis-information about homework that is given out to potential students.
    Assuming either of these teach 9th grade, I have to wonder about teachers who believe that more than the standard (whatever the BS defines as a standard) amount of nightly HW facilitates learning. Is it a power trip?Napoleon complex?
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