At least for first graders...good grief.
I just got back from our elementary school's "Curriculum Night." Basically when I was in grade school, it was called "Open House." Parents go and meet the teacher, see the kids desk and classroom, hear what is going to be learned that year in school.
Does my DS have a ton of things he will need to know by the end of first grade! I am sure that he is quite capable b/c things come easily to him. But the homework amount is unreal.
First of all, he is expected to read at least 10 minutes every day. (Once again, not hard for him b/c he's a big reader.) 240 minutes for the month. But the killer is...WE HAVE TO DOCUMENT THE TIME! (I'm rolling my eyes here!)
Tonight, I learned about his monthly "site words" that he will be "assessed on" each month. He will have weekly vocabulary lists and "assessments." He will have projects to be done at home. Special books to be brought home every week. The list is long.
But more than anything...HE WILL HAVE FRIDAY HOMEWORK! Due on Monday. Yikes. What school sets up their first graders to have so much work at home? I am really feeling for my son right now. (Yes, I understand, there are lots of bench marks that need to be reached this year. I also heard an expert say on NPR that homework is over-rated and over-used and it is basically useless.)
On a positive note, tonight I went to DS's classroom during the second session of Curriculum Night. As I was coming in, some neighbor's were leaving. They mentioned that DS's journal could be found in the pocket on the back of his chair. I said, "I'm sure that it says 'I love my mom.'" I found the spiral notebook, opened it up. On the very first page it said, "Mom, I love you." How's that for knowing my son? And how's that for my son knowing me! Boy, how impressed where those parents who overheard my comment and the comment that I read!
I left notes on his desk, in his desk and in the chair pocket. I certainly hope that he enjoys those notes as much as I enjoyed reading his first journal entry!