Over the past year, I have posted entries by Diane Hewlett-Lowrie here , here, here and here. Now, another parent in her Plumsted, New Jersey, community has written a letter to the same second-grade teacher:
I am writing to express my concerns with the homework situation. There are very few nights when things go great and homework gets done and everyone is happy. I have planned on discussing this with you at our parent/teacher conference [next week] but my frustration level has hit its brink. Other than writing the spelling words 3x’s, ABC order and math addition facts, there is not one piece of homework that my child can do independently. This is very concerning and I wonder if this is being recognized within the class room? [My child] and I sit and do homework together every night. The amount of time varies from 20 minutes, which is rare, to close to an hour if not an hour. I am not in the classroom with her everyday and do not know how to help or explain to her how to figure out her homework. I work full time and when I come home I don’t expect to have to “teach” my daughter what she should have learned in class.
I believe that homework should be a review of what she is doing in class and if you are in agreement with this then “why are we struggling with homework/studying?” I don’t know how else to explain the situation but there are nights that [my child] is in tears over “not knowing” what she is doing, or she thinks she did it right and I have to tell her “no erase it because it is wrong”. I thought about gettinga tutor but considering I am a single mother with a very limited budget, I really can’t afford a tutor at $40 an hour.
What I am asking for is a better homework experience with my daughter, not a crying fit where she is yelling at me telling me she hates me. I am not an expert but I can almost assure you that she is not retaining the information that we go over when our nights start and end in crying fits. I am mentally and physically drained after nights like tonight and I cannot continue with this way of doing things.
I am open for any suggestions, but I need some kind of answer. Is it that she is not paying attention in class or that she just doesn’t get it?? I don’t think that spending more time at night with her studying and reviewing after a full day of school is the answer. I have another daughter that is 13. She attended [another elementary] in [another town] and I don’t remember her having any homework except for studying spelling words, reading 20 minutes a night and maybe a project or two.She is now in the 8th grade and a straight “A” student.
I’m hoping you can see or hear the level of frustration I am having. When you have already had a daughter go through the 2nd grade and not have a problem, to having a daughter that just doesn’t understand what she is doing 95% of the time, it makes you think what element is failing–the student, the parent or the teacher. I don’t want to fail my daughter. Please work with me in finding a way to help her.