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#1049075 - Mon Jun 16 2014 04:12 PM Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
bloomsby Offline
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This question arises from a query that reached me via a correction notice.

My own recollection is that I was first set homework - about 25-30 minutes a day - at age 10, and I think that was fairly typical in England at the time (1955) except at fee-paying schools, where homework usually began a little earlier (age 8 or so). On the other hand, the school day was much longer in the 1950s, generally running from 9 am to 4.30pm.

Nowadays, many schools in the U.K. start setting homework much earlier.

So, when did you start getting homework on a regular basis?


Edited to add: Please give the country or state and decade as it could be significant. smile



Edited by bloomsby (Mon Jun 16 2014 04:14 PM)

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#1049076 - Mon Jun 16 2014 04:24 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
ren33 Offline
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Yes, about 10-11(UK 50's).
Here in Hong Kong it is 3+
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#1049083 - Mon Jun 16 2014 04:51 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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3+ in Hong Kong! Wow! At age 3 I hadn't the foggiest what a classroom looked like!

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#1049085 - Mon Jun 16 2014 05:16 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Age 6. First grade here in the US, right after Kindergarten. (Mid-1990s)
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#1049090 - Mon Jun 16 2014 05:23 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
postcards2go Offline
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My children, in the U.S., started having homework at the age of 5 in Kindergarten. Mid-1990s
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#1049092 - Mon Jun 16 2014 05:25 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
dg_dave Offline
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If I remember correctly, it was 2nd grade for me (1985-86 school year). That was also the first year I changed classes for half the day, then was in one class the other half (this was in Tulsa, Oklahoma which did that starting that year, however, some 2nd grade classes were an all day class (outside of lunch and recess), but all students in grades 3-5 were half a day in one class, and changed the other half).


Edited by dg_dave (Mon Jun 16 2014 05:25 PM)
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#1049094 - Mon Jun 16 2014 05:49 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
MiraJane Offline
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First grade, age six. But it wasn't every night. New York State, USA.
Stayed in one classroom, except for gym, music and art, for the entire day until 6th grade, age 11. Started with a different teacher for every subject in 7th grade. However, some school districts started different teachers in the 6th grade. It depended on the buildings available.
Do I really have to say when?

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#1049096 - Mon Jun 16 2014 06:10 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
agony Online   content

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I don't really remember homework as such, at all. Instead, we'd be given, oh, a certain number of workbook pages to do, or a number of pages to read, toward the end of the lesson. Any not done in the final fifteen minutes or so of that subject were to be finished at home.

And then by about age 10 or so we started getting assigned projects to be done over a week or a couple of weeks - five pages on "India" or whatever - that we were given some class time to work on but which mostly needed to be done at home.

Homework as homework - work specifically assigned to be done at home - was something I didn't really encounter until I had kids. They started getting it in grade two - seven years old.

I went to school in western Canada in the sixties, and my kids in the nineties.

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#1049102 - Mon Jun 16 2014 06:42 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: MiraJane]
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Originally Posted By: MiraJane
Started with a different teacher for every subject in 7th grade. However, some school districts started different teachers in the 6th grade.


In our school district we started having different teachers in 5th grade, during the second half of the year, and we rotated as an entire class. In 6th grade, we had different teachers for the entire year, but we didn't all have the same schedule - it depended on each student's strengths. There were three different levels of English, Social Studies, Math, and Science into which you could be placed.

The children I tutored last year, K-8th grade, all had homework, though the Kindergarteners were just learning shapes and patterns and very simple words.
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#1049108 - Mon Jun 16 2014 08:39 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: kaddarsgirl]
MiraJane Offline
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Originally Posted By: kaddarsgirl

In our school district we started having different teachers in 5th grade, during the second half of the year, and we rotated as an entire class. In 6th grade, we had different teachers for the entire year, but we didn't all have the same schedule - it depended on each student's strengths. There were three different levels of English, Social Studies, Math, and Science into which you could be placed.



Ah, yes, the tracking system! A and B track for college bound students, an unnamed track for everyone else. A track was for the "smarter" kids. Where you were was based on tests taken in 5th or 6th grade, depending on if you started switching classes in 6th or 7th grade. The school district I was in changed that at some point to Regents and non-Regents, meaning Regents = college bound.

Non tracked kids got put in shop classes and "Household Arts" instead of physics, chemistry, and advanced math classes. It was rare for one of those kids to take a foreign language either. Math classes were things like "personal finance" where they learned how to balance a check book. Apparently, the "smart kids" didn't need to learn that silly stuff.

And we switched classes with different teachers, it wasn't as a whole class but most of the same kids were in the same classes anyway.

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#1049110 - Mon Jun 16 2014 09:04 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: MiraJane]
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Originally Posted By: MiraJane
Ah, yes, the tracking system! A and B track for college bound students, an unnamed track for everyone else. A track was for the "smarter" kids. Where you were was based on tests taken in 5th or 6th grade, depending on if you started switching classes in 6th or 7th grade.


We also had a program at our school called the Extended Projects Program (EPP) for students who excelled in math and "language arts". You had to pass a specialized exam to get into each one, and for half the year students in the program were removed from their regular math classes for more advanced EPP math, and for the other half of the year students were removed from their regular English classes for the more advanced EPP language class. There were pretty much the same kids in both, though some students were in just one or the other. I was in both, and I have to say, they were much more enjoyable than the regular classes (which seemed like a piece of cake after EPP).

Those in the EPP math class started Algebra in 7th grade (on track to AP Calculus senior year of high school), while those in the middle level math classes started Pre-Algebra in 7th grade (Pre-Calc senior year), and those who struggled with math took Pre-Algebra spread over 7th and 8th grades and took Trigonometry their senior year if they stayed in math classes for that long. Those in EPP English classes were generally the ones who took both Advance Placement (AP) English classes in high school.
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#1049127 - Tue Jun 17 2014 12:07 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
ren33 Offline
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I will try to explain the vicious system here that brings children to the torture of homework at 3.
I am quoting one of our expat forums mainly peopled by despairing non Chinese parents.
:"If you think you had a hard time at school (and maybe you didnít), you should give going to school in Hong Kong a try. A childís first interview could be at the age of two-and-a-half to get into K1 (Kindergarten 1). If they fail to get into the right kindergarten, there will be more pressure on them to get into the right primary school. Then they will probably have another interview at five to get into Primary 1. If they donít do well, and donít get into the desired primary school, their life is effectively over. Or thatís what the adults around them will have them believe.

There is an inordinate amount of pressure on kids here to do well at school. Everything is about being the best. In class they are ranked and everyone always knows who is the best in the class, but also who is the worst. Alongside normal school hours kids will have after school classes, activities and, more often than not, tutors to help them with their homework. Saturdays and Sundays, are packed with kids coming for extracurricular lessons. "

One of the most important aims is to get into a school that teaches bi-lingually , and again you will have homework to help you attain the acceptable standard in one of those.
Maybe this will explain how it is that children have to attend "interview classes" after school, or language tuition leading to huge piles of homework .


Edited by ren33 (Tue Jun 17 2014 12:27 AM)
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#1049134 - Tue Jun 17 2014 12:47 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: ren33]
MiraJane Offline
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Originally Posted By: ren33
I will try to explain the vicious system here that brings children to the torture of homework at 3.
I am quoting one of our expat forums mainly peopled by despairing non Chinese parents.
:"If you think you had a hard time at school (and maybe you didnít), you should give going to school in Hong Kong a try. A childís first interview could be at the age of two-and-a-half to get into K1 (Kindergarten 1). If they fail to get into the right kindergarten, there will be more pressure on them to get into the right primary school. Then they will probably have another interview at five to get into Primary 1. If they donít do well, and donít get into the desired primary school, their life is effectively over. Or thatís what the adults around them will have them believe.



Law & Order had a plot like this. The little boy was put on a waiting list and mama, needing to impress her
mother-in-law, started killing off the parents of the kids ahead of him on the waiting list, and for good measure, a few parents from kids that had been accepted. Why the parents? Because then the kid's family would probably move out of the area.

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#1049140 - Tue Jun 17 2014 01:48 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
zorba_scank Offline
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We have a similar system here, Ren. It's been there since the time I went to kindergarten which was some 25 years ago. Apart from interviews for the child, kids are also selected/shortlisted based on the parents' educational qualifications and job profiles. I had homework in the form of worksheets right from pre-primary when I was around 4-5 years old. The kind where you draw straight lines and colour shapes etc.
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#1049172 - Tue Jun 17 2014 05:34 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
TabbyTom Offline
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My schooldays lasted from 1950 to 1963. I don't remember getting homework at my primary schools. It started when I went to the grammar school in 1956 at the age of 11. We were given work in two subjects every night from Monday to Friday: each piece of work was expected to take half an hour, giving us an hour's work a night.
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#1049179 - Tue Jun 17 2014 07:12 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
agony Online   content

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Although we do have tracking here in a way, it's nowhere near as rigorous as in Hong Kong and India, or even the US!

For both me and my kids, (and so far as I know, this is still the case) it started in tenth grade, when students enter high school. There are generally three tracks, one of which will get you into most universities, one of which will get you into most colleges or trade schools, and one which will at least get you your diploma. Although students are encouraged to aim for as high as they can realistically get, they are allowed flexibility within the tracks.

My daughter, for example, knew quite early on that while she might go to university, she would not be going into a Science faculty. As long as her English and Social Studies marks were good enough, she could get into most university Arts programs with a second tier high school math, so that's what she took, as she had always struggled with math and disliked it. As a bonus, she found that the more practical approach taken in her Applied Math course suited her, and for the first time in her life she started doing well in math. She ended up going to a community college for certification, rather than for a degree.

The same went in a way for me - I took the academic university-bound courses for the most part, but since I was not at all sure I'd want to go to university, I also took the office skills courses like typing and shorthand. The other students in those classes were mostly not the ones I was seeing in my Biology and Physics classes - they were taking a second tier General Science or even a third tier science. This kind of mixed track path was a little unusual, but the administration had no problem with it - it was allowed.

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#1049201 - Tue Jun 17 2014 09:20 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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As TabbyTom, except that I had some homework in my last year at primary school.

Streaming - well, the whole school system was streamed from age 11+ into secondary modern and grammar schools. The former lasted till 15 or in some cases 16, whereas at the grammar schools one could stay till 18+, take reasonably serious leaving qualifications and perhaps proceed to university. (In some areas, there was a third type of school in between these two types). There was usually streaming within the grammar schools (into A, B, C and D streams though they sometimes had other names) across all subjects and regular placings in class (1st-30th) in each subject and overall.

In the last three years at grammar school (age about 15-18) we had homework by the imperial ton - about 3 hours a night and 5 hours plus on Fridays (for the weekend).


Edited by bloomsby (Tue Jun 17 2014 09:22 AM)

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#1049527 - Thu Jun 19 2014 04:08 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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The Wikipedia article on "Homework" has a short section on the history of homework (in America). It says that until the 1950s, "Historically, homework was frowned upon in American culture. With few students interested in higher education, and due to the necessity to complete daily chores, homework was discouraged not only by parents, but also by school districts".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homework#History_of_homework

Any thoughts or comments on this?

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#1049533 - Thu Jun 19 2014 05:02 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
Christinap Offline
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My experience would be similar to Bloomsby. No homework until first year at Grammar School and that was around an hour to an hour and a half a night for that year. From then on the pressure increased, peaking in the last two years with the lead up to 'O' levels (as they were then) when it was unremitting pressure right up to exam day. If it wasn't homework it was revision for those all important exams. I left in 1966 so around the same tine frame as Bloomsby.

I do recall in the month before the actual 'O' level exams teachers would go round rooms and halls at lunchtime physically removing books from hands and forcing pupils outside for a minimum of 30 minutes fresh air and relaxation. We revised everywhere, no homework that last month, just revision. Books were out on the school bus to and from school, even on the beach one sunny weekend.

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#1049546 - Thu Jun 19 2014 07:22 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
bloomsby Offline
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Yes, I remember the run-up to 'O' levels being very demanding, and years later I wasn't at all surprised to read that some university admissions officers found that performance at 'O' levels was a better predictor of degree class than 'A' level results.

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#1049672 - Fri Jun 20 2014 04:49 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
guitargoddess Offline
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I remember first getting homework in grade one (1993), age six, but it wasn't every day (except for studying 'dictťe' word lists). By grade three it was just about daily, but often more to work on special projects, not necessarily the daily math or English exercises (but I usually finished those super quick, so I may have just gotten all my regular homework done in class).

I started switching classrooms/teachers a couple times day starting in grade one (sometimes we the kids stayed in the same classroom and another teacher would come in) due to being in the French immersion program, always had an English and a French teacher. One or the other of those teachers also led the class in gym, art, religion, "family life"... everything except Computers.

In Ontario, we have almost the same 'tracking' system as agony described. In grade nine and ten, you can take either 'Academic' or 'Applied' courses (but some like gym and art were neither stream), and in grade eleven and twelve, you take either U (University), C (College), M (Mixed) or O (Open) courses, depending on your intended track. I knew I'd be going into the arts/humanities areas in university, so I absolutely had to take the U English courses, but took the M math.
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#1049914 - Sun Jun 22 2014 08:23 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
satguru Offline
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We weren't expecting it in primary school so assumed it arrived in secondary at eleven. But I was moved to a prep school at nine which had plenty of it, and may have started earlier had I gone there when I was even younger, this was Britain in 1969. I never really saw the point in it before preparing for actual exams as we were already in school for about seven hours a day doing the same things so why make us do even more afterwards? The only one which helped was when we had to do a crossword over the weekend and I learned how from my father and have been doing them ever since.
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#1049965 - Sun Jun 22 2014 11:30 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
Copago Offline
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I reckon it was somewhere in upper primary at around 9 years old (late 70s) ... although there was reading to do before that.

With the system that my son is on (School of the Air) he's never had to do any homework all through infants and primary. He's gong to get an awful kick in the pants next year when he's off to high school!

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#1049972 - Mon Jun 23 2014 12:49 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
ren33 Offline
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Well I suppose you couldn't expect the poor boy to do homework when he is already home, could you?
It is unbelieveable that he will be at Secondary school already!

http://s55.photobucket.com/user/rensara/...82c961.jpg.html


Edited by ren33 (Mon Jun 23 2014 01:11 AM)
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#1049974 - Mon Jun 23 2014 01:33 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it? [Re: bloomsby]
Copago Offline
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he rode in his first rodeo a month or so ago ... how old does that make you feel?? shocked
http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab261...zpsypemqd4x.jpg


Edited by Copago (Mon Jun 23 2014 01:34 AM)

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