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#1049981 - Mon Jun 23 2014 03:25 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
ren33 Offline
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#1049989 - Mon Jun 23 2014 04:35 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
Creedy Offline
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In Grade 5 in Australia, but it was very light. Just a few spellings to learn and sentences to write from same. By grade 8, it involved a lot of study, but hardly any written homework. Grade 9 it started to grow heavier. By grade 10, 11 and 12, it was a few assignments and a lot of study. Then onto university, and that was like being hit with a ten ton truck, but, oddly enough, far more enjoyable because it was meaningful.
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#1049990 - Mon Jun 23 2014 04:36 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
Creedy Offline
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And just for the record, I think the amount of homework being given to kids now is absolutely horrendous. They need to have more time to just play and be kids.
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#1050001 - Mon Jun 23 2014 08:25 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
agony Offline

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Quote:
They need to have more time to just play and be kids.


Yes, they really do *need* this. Especially for very young children, we know that they get most of their knowledge and growth through play - it is essential for their development. This isn't just a question of "Oh, play is nice and what we think childhood should be".

Educators who pile homework on in the early grades, or who advocate for less time for recess so there can be more instructional time, are working directly against most of what we know about how young children learn. Many child learning experts are in despair over the direction some school boards are going, against all the informed advice.

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#1050166 - Tue Jun 24 2014 11:48 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
Gil_Galad Offline
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In grade 1, age 6. I don't remember anything about it, except that I disliked it from the first day. Lazy from the get go, I guess.

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#1050391 - Thu Jun 26 2014 04:40 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
bloomsby Offline
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Quote:
By grade 10, 11 and 12, it was a few assignments and a lot of study. Then onto university, and that was like being hit with a ten ton truck, but, oddly enough, far more enjoyable because it was meaningful.


Oddly enough, I found the combined workload of contact-hours and homework (and everything else) heaviest between ages 15 and 18, and generally slightly lower at university. On the undergraduate course we had very few contact hours (about 5.5-6 hours a week, including lectures) and practically everything was 'homework'. Moreover, I found the BA course intellectually and academically less stimulating than the last year or so at school.

In my experience, school and university didn't dovetail. I suspect that part of the problem was that at that time entry to all (or practically all) British universities was highly competitive and I had the impression that at university the lecturers hadn't adapted to the situation.

Now, I'd better stop, as this kind of talk is heresy. smile

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#1050743 - Sun Jun 29 2014 11:19 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
sue943 Offline
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At grammar school, so aged 11, almost 12. They didn't give us any homework in primary school even on the run up to the 11+ examinations.

It came as a rude shock to begin at grammar school and to get four evenings with four subjects and one with three subjects each week, we were supposed to spend 30 minutes per subject but I have always been a slow writer so inevitably it took me longer. After the first year we had four and five subejcts per evening.
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#1051048 - Tue Jul 01 2014 03:38 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MadMartha Offline
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In second grade, age 6-7, my teacher had a bookshelf filled with wonderful stories for children. She let us "check" them out to take home for homework. That was where my love for reading began!

Do any of you remember diagramming sentences? We had tons of homework with one particular English teacher who felt it very important that we understand sentence structure. I actually thought it kinda fun!

My opinion: Some homework during week days, but in moderation!
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#1051143 - Wed Jul 02 2014 11:38 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
sue943 Offline
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One thing occurs to me, at primary school we started at 9am and finished at 4pm with an hour and a half for lunch, also we had 15 minutes break morning and afternoon.

In grammar school we began school at 8.40, finished at 4pm and had an hour for lunch and a fifteen minute break in the morning.

How does this compare with other countries, and indeed these days, I am referring to the 50s.
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#1051150 - Wed Jul 02 2014 01:23 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
agony Offline

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In elementary school - age 6 - 12, roughly - we started at 9 and went until 4, with fifteen minute breaks morning and afternoon, and an hour for lunch. This was during the 60s in Alberta Canada.

For a few years they experimented with an hour and a half for lunch and letting out at 4:30, as some of the kids lived pretty far and getting home for lunch and back in an hour was difficult. If I'm not mistaken, the intake for our school was a mile in any direction, so the kids at the far end of our district had a decent walk. The trouble with that plan though was that it's dark here in midwinter by 4:30, so they had little kids walking home in the dark (nobody was picked up by a parent in a car - how could they be, as families only had one car and dad drove it to work? Mom of course did not have a job). By the time I left that school, they were beginning to accept that they'd have to let kids bring their lunches and arrange some sort of supervision.

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#1051167 - Wed Jul 02 2014 02:57 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MiraJane Offline
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Wow. And hour and half for lunch, with breaks!
First though, what are the grade levels for primary and grammar school in Britain? In the US, grammar school is kindergarten to fifth or sixth grade. Then it is middle school or junior high, depending on the grade level. Middles school can be grades 5-8, 5-9, 6-9, 6-8, that kind of range. "Junior High school" would be grades 7-8 or 7-9. High School can be 9-12 or 10-12. It all depends on the buildings available and the age groupings of each district.

The school district I grew up in, Nassau County, New York State, was founded in the late 1940s. Some of the old school calendars are online. Plus, the principal for 60 years of the grammar school (K-6) I went to is on Facebook and loves to friend all former students. He even says he remembers us! I asked him about the hours for the early years & he said they basically never changed. My brother has kids in the district now & same school system and the hours are basically the same as when we were in school.

K-6 or K-5 hours: 9-3:30, half hour to 45 minutes for lunch. On days you had gym, it was only half an hour. Gym was 2x a week. No other breaks unless the teacher was being driven crazy and we were sent outside, even in the dead of winter.

Middle school or junior high hours: there are two of these in the district with different building configurations. Length of lunch was the same as any class period, 42-44 minutes. In one school, the time between classes was longer because it was a long building with three stories and the only staircases students could use were at the ends of the building. Of course no classes were scheduled near each other and it was always a mad dash from end of the building to the other. Began at either 7:10 to 7:20 ended between 2:30 and 2:40.

High school: same length of time as classes, 42-44 minutes. Experiments were done for the "how much time do they need to run from one end of building to other with 4,000 other kids doing the same thing?" which is why the periods changed. Start & end times varied but ranged from 6:40 to 7:05 and ended at either 2pm or around 2:30.

The start and end times would occasionally because of bus scheduling. The buses did the HS run, the middle or Jr. High run, then pick up the youngest.

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#1051170 - Wed Jul 02 2014 04:10 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
bloomsby Offline
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The term grammar school, as used in England and Wales, is confusing for Americans. Until the 1970s, in most parts of the country there was a 'clean break' at age 11 in local authority ('state') schools: all kids had to change schools. (As far as I can tell, this corresponded roughly to grade 5 or 6 in the U.S.).

Up to age 11+ kids attended primary school, and at age 11 they took an exam to determine what kind of secondary school they would attend. (The exam consisted of an IQ test and tests in English and Arithmetic). There were, at least in principle, three kinds of secondary schools: 1. Secondary Modern schools, which lasted till age 15 (grade 9), though some lasted till age 16 (grade 10); 2. Technical schools, which lasted till age 16 and grammar schools (often called high schools if for girls). One could stay at grammar school till age 18+ and proceed to higher education (university). Note that in some parts of the country there were no techincal schools.

Entry to grammar schools and technical schools was competitive and became hugely controversial, as can be imagined. However, a few counties still have grammar schools (with competitive entry).

In a few sparsely populated parts of the country, arrangements were different, and the fee-paying sector traditionally had 13 as the age of transfer (from prepartory to secondary schols, some of which were - again confusingly referred to as public schools.



Edited by bloomsby (Wed Jul 02 2014 05:19 PM)

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#1051171 - Wed Jul 02 2014 04:30 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MiraJane Offline
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I'm guessing a Technical School in Britain & Wales is school where, along with some academics, a trade was taught? What made Secondary Modern Schools different? What type of future was projected for the children in a Secondary Modern School?

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#1051173 - Wed Jul 02 2014 04:45 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
TabbyTom Offline
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I can't remember the hours at my primary schools (i.e. those that I attended up to the age of 11).

At the grammar school, which I attended from the age of 11 until 18, the hours were from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (with a break from 10:40 to 10:55) and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The first twenty minutes of the morning were taken up with roll-call and assemblies: the rest of the day consisted of seven 40-minute lessons.
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#1051175 - Wed Jul 02 2014 04:53 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MiraJane Offline
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And while I'm at it ...
What are O levels and A levels?

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#1051178 - Wed Jul 02 2014 05:31 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
TabbyTom Offline
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Quote:
What are O levels and A levels?

These are nationwide examinations for secondary school pupils. Once upon a time the "General Certificate of Education" (GCE) had an "Ordinary level" (O level), which pupils typically took at the age of 16 or thereabouts. The "Advanced level" (A level) was taken a couple of years later. "O levels" have gradually morphed into something called the "General Certificate of Secondary Education" (GCSE). "A levels" retain their old name, even though there is no longer any other "level". They still fulfil the same function as they always did, in spite of changes in terminology.

The examinations are set by a number of authorities accredited by our Department of Education (which is probably called something else at present). Performance in GCSE will influence the job prospects of pupils who leave school at 16: performance in A levels will play a great part in securing a place at a university.

Quote:
I'm guessing a Technical School in Britain & Wales is school where, along with some academics, a trade was taught?

Yes, I think you're right. In practice, very few of these schools were established in most of England and Wales.

Quote:
What type of future was projected for the children in a Secondary Modern School?

Well, officially they would receive an "education fitted to their aptitudes and abilities". Depending on the quality of the teaching, the abilities of the pupils (who made up more than 70 per cent of all school pupils) and the ability of teachers to motivate students, they might achieve almost anything. Generally speaking, however, I think they were seen as destined to become "hewers of wood and drawers of water".
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#1051179 - Wed Jul 02 2014 05:35 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
bloomsby Offline
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Posts: 4095
Loc: Norwich England�UK���...
Quote:
What type of future was projected for the children in a Secondary Modern School?


I think it's fair to say that, while no specific 'official' assumptions were stated, it was generally thought that most of them would become unskilled or semi-skilled workers or learn a skilled trade by becoming apprentices. At a few Secondary Modern schools it was possible to stay till age 16 and take 'O' levels. Please see next section.

_______________

'O' (Ordinary) levels - This was a recognized exam usually taken at age 16 (end of grade 10) in about 8-9 subjects.

'A' (Advanced) levels - This was/is an exam ususally taken at age 18 (end of grade 12) in three subjects and good grades were essential for university entry, which was competitive. (If one wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge one had to take an additional exam - the Oxford [or Cambridge] Scholarship and Entrance Examination - in addition to taking three 'A' levels).

All this information applies to the period from c. 1950-75 and has been simplified a little.

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#1051180 - Wed Jul 02 2014 05:36 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
bloomsby Offline
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MiraJane, you now have two sets of answers to your questions. smile

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#1051181 - Wed Jul 02 2014 05:57 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
TabbyTom Offline
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It may also be worth while to mention that in the GCSE (formerly O level) and A level exams, there are separate papers, which can be passed or failed, in individual subjects.

In the French baccalaurat (as I remember it in the 1960s), a student normally had to achieve an average mark in a number of subjects. There were different modalits, but every one of them involved taking papers in several different subjects. If you did brilliantly in French but failed miserably in everything else, you'd be very unlikely to get your pass mark.

In England & Wales, however, you can count your passes in individual subjects. If you pass your GCSE exams in English, French, History and Geography but fail in several other subjects, you can claim to have "four GCSEs". Employers may specify that candidates for employment must have "five GCSEs including English and Mathematics". A university may say that it will,accept you for your proposed course of study subject to "an A-level A in the subject you propose to study, plus an A and a B in two others".
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#1051185 - Wed Jul 02 2014 07:23 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MiraJane Offline
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I decided to look up the recommendations for homework for American students. This is from the NEA, or National Education Association, website. The NEA is a professional organization for educators from the pre-school level to university graduate programs.

How Much Homework Do Students Do?

Survey data and anecdotal evidence show that some students spend hours nightly doing homework. Homework overload is the exception rather than the norm; however, according to research from the Brookings Institution and the Rand Corporation (see the Brown Center 2003 below). Their researchers analyzed data from a variety of sources and concluded that the majority of U.S. students spend less than an hour a day on homework, regardless of grade level, and this has held true for most of the past 50 years. In the last 20 years, homework has increased only in the lower grade levels, and this increase is associated with neutral (and sometimes negative) effects on student achievement.

How Much Is Appropriate?

The National PTA recommendations fall in line with general guidelines suggested by researcher Harris Cooper: 10-20 minutes per night in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade level thereafter (e.g., 20 minutes for second grade, 120 minutes for twelfth). High school students may sometimes do more, depending on what classes they take (see Review of Educational Research, 2006).



http://www.nea.org/tools/16938.htm


While the NEA may recommend a total of 120 minutes for 12th grade, it was more than that. That comes to 24 minutes per the basic subjects: English, Math, Science, "Global Studies" or "Social Studies" a mix of history, the oft ignored geography, a tad bit of sociology and anthropology tossed in, and an elective. There were eight periods in a day. One was lunch. Another one was "study hall" (sometimes) where one learned the art of making spitballs. Most people I knew took a second elective. And, oh, yes, phys ed, where the days of PE alternated with the lab time for science.

I remember getting way more than 24 minutes worth of homework everyday for every subject.

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#1051187 - Wed Jul 02 2014 08:26 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
agony Offline

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MiraJane - you mean you did not get recess in primary school, when you were a little kid?

What are they thinking? We know that young children - basically prepubescent children, but especially the younger ones - learn much better if they can go outside and run around at very regular intervals. Those breaks aren't for fun, they are very functional. Sigh.

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#1051198 - Wed Jul 02 2014 11:36 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MiraJane Offline
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Agony, we had about 20 minutes at most to eat lunch and on nice days went outside afterwards. On lousy days, we ran or walked in circles in the gym. There were gym classes 2-3x a week, don't remember how often. Again, nice weather outside in embarrassing uniforms and bored to tears inside in winter.

But besides the lunch break, no there wasn't a daily "go outside and run around or throw balls at each other" time. Except in kindergarten. I know we got at least one play outside break a day. The kindergarten classrooms had their own playground.

Edited to add: there was an exception to the not getting a break to go outside, especially in high school. On the first very warm spring day, teachers would take classes outside and hold class as we sat on the grass. This was because the students spent the day staring outside and not paying attention. In high school, we would simply cut class and hang round outside. My high school was built on reclaimed marshland and there was a marsh at the south end of the property and a stream all along the back of the property. The other high school in the district had a salt water lake on the property. The teachers would come out and round up students for classes on those wonderful days.


Edited by MiraJane (Wed Jul 02 2014 11:45 PM)

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#1051209 - Thu Jul 03 2014 02:04 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
sue943 Offline
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MiraJane, one reason for the hour and a half for lunch was that the school lunches had to be in two sittings with each child having to have the two courses, with no choices, and it took time for them all to line up to collect their food, twice, once for the main course and once for dessert. These meals were fresh cooked and I know from my mother who used to be a school cook, that no meal was repeated in a three week period. Children not staying for a school lunch had time to get home to eat lunch then get back to school, in my case that would be walking to the bus stop (we didn't have school buses), travelling a couple of miles as I lived on the border of the catchment area, eating lunch then catching the bus back to school, you needed an hour and a half for that.

Playing outside was compulsory, you were normally not permitted inside the school premises during breaks. With hindsight it was probably health and safety as we could be supervised by one or two people if we were all in the playground rather than by many if we were in classrooms. The weather had to be atrocious before we were permitted to stay in the gym for break times. We were not permitted outside the school gates unless we were going home for lunch, we couldn't go for a wander down to the shops and this was the same in grammar school as for younger pupils.
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#1051234 - Thu Jul 03 2014 07:28 AM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
MiraJane Offline
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We got everything at the same time if we bought lunch, mushy vegetables, warm milk, desert, and repeated within the same week main all on one tray. The whole school never had lunch at same time, even in primary/elementary school. I think in K-6, it was three seatings for the larger schools, two for the smaller ones. In the upper grades, it was four.

In high school, 11 & 12 graders could leave the building and fo where ever they wanted for lunch and were encouraged to do so. There were about 4,000 students in my high school and there simply wasn't room in the two cafeterias for a 1,000 at a time. Of course, 9th and 10th graders tried to sneak out all the time!

In the lower grades, only if you lived closed and had written permission on file from your parents were you allowed to go home for lunch. The kids that took a bus to school wouldn't have had rime to get home and get back. No buses were ever provided for lunch. In K-6, the distance you lived away from the school to get a bus was 1 mile or 1.6km. In high school, it was 2 miles or 3.2km.

Most of the supervision in the cafeterias and the playgrounds during lunchtime was from mothers of students. Some got paid for it, some were volunteers. A teacher or two would roam the playgrounds and fields also. That job was rotated among the teachers. Some hated it, some joined in kickball or baseball games with us.

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#1051310 - Thu Jul 03 2014 04:36 PM Re: Homework - At what age did you start being set it?
guitargoddess Offline
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Speaking of school meals/cafeteria - I'm curious if it is/was very common for everyone to have had cafeterias in their elementary schools? I went to three different schools (in the same city) before high school (so from around 1991-2001) and none of them had any sort of bought lunch option or a cafeteria (high school did). Going home for lunch was also very rare. I remember one or two kids doing it in the early grades because they lived literally across the street from school. In later years, I'm fairly certain it wasn't even allowed - you weren't allowed to leave school premises at all during the day unless your parent came to pick you up. They even tried to do that in high school, but try telling high school kids they can't walk down the block to the pizza place at lunch time.

I don't remember the hours that I was at school, but I'm absolutely positive that it was never past 3:15ish. In high school, the day went from 8:55-3:10, but I had spare period in the afternoon both semesters in my grade 12 year, so several times a week I finished at 2 smile
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