Tracy Talks: Too much homework?
by Anne Marie Fuller
Oct 04, 2013 | 3268 views | 8 8 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Was your child up late last night doing homework?

A popular topic among parents during any school year is the homework load and the frustration of countless hours children spend on assignment after assignment.

As parents, we have all been down this road from time to time.

“I think kids get too much homework,” said Erika Johnson, who has two children in Tracy area schools and a third who graduated from high school in June. “There is also the weight of the books to consider. I feel bad for kids these days, and the adults that are put in place to inspire and assist do not.”

Paul Hall, the director of student services and curriculum for Tracy Unified School District, said the right amount of homework may be different for each child.

“Sometimes homework can be an individual kind of thing,” Hall said. “If the student is not engaged, then it could take a longer time, because it becomes a laborious task instead of something they enjoy or that piques their interest. I think it’s also important to ask your child if they understand their assignment, as this can have a major effect on homework time.”

According to the district, a board policy and administrative regulation, No. 6154, is set in place for homework levels. A detailed description can be found on the district website,, but a summary follows:

• 30 minutes of homework each day for primary grades, kindergarten to third grade

• One hour per day for fourth and fifth grades

• 90 minutes per day for sixth to eighth grades

• 10 hours or more per week for high school, ninth to 12th grades

• In Gifted and Talented Education and similar programs, more homework will be assigned.

“I am not against homework as an enrichment tool; however, I am strongly against my students bringing several hours of school work home during the week, plus weekends, and over vacation as well,” Jessica Benotti-Reddoch, mother of a local high school student, wrote in a comment on the Tracy Talks Facebook page. “Students deserve time for family, friends, Scouts, sports, music, acting ... in addition to their education.”

Parents have some possible recourse if they think a child is being assigned too much homework. The district recommends first having a meeting with the child’s teacher. If the issue does not get resolved, next try meeting with both the principal and the teacher together.

What do you think?

• Anne Marie Fuller, a Tracy arts commissioner, Mrs. California BOTN and National Mrs. BOTN., is also the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26 at 7 p.m. Fridays. Contact her at

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October 24, 2013
I feel that it's just a way for the teachers to push more of their load on to the parents - the parents who work all day and commute home. Hmmm - so I wonder than what the teachers are doing at night while they are home resting.
October 24, 2013
Grading papers.
October 04, 2013
“There is also the weight of the books to consider."

I hope this comment was meant to be funny.

“Students deserve time for family, friends, Scouts, sports, music, acting ... in addition to their education.”

Oh, now I see why what seems to be the majority of young people these days feel so entitled to everything. I deserve this, I deserve that. I have a right to this, I have a right to that, it's the parents.

I find it rather amusing to hear parents whining about the kiddies having too much homework. I wonder if those complaining are aware of the pathetic average of college level civics exam scores. I also wonder if they are aware of the

pathetic world rankings of our students in just about every course of study.

October 04, 2013
I would like to know how many minutes of communicating these pupils are logging on their phones.

October 04, 2013

In reference to a pupil's homework "load," Erika Johnson says, "I feel bad for kids these days, and the adults that are put in place to inspire and assist do not.”

Would someone interpret this sentiment and assertion for me?

October 04, 2013
I would venture to say that Johnson is saying teachers who give homework are in class to inspire and assist the students, not assign homework.

When I was in middle school (called junior high back then) we didn't have backpacks to carry our books. Nosiree, we lugged them around using both arms, sometimes carrying 4 or more books home, not to mention those blue 3 ringed binders filled with college ruled paper and school assignments. It got worse in high school, although I'll have to admit that we had school lockers back in those days. THS has no school lockers and I'm not sure about WHS or KHS.

I paid my dues. Looks like it's time for this generation to pay their's too.
October 04, 2013
Frum personal observation, many times a student has homework because that student frittered away thair time in class an didn't get thair classwork done. Use ta monitor gate classes an thair teachers. Th teachers didn't assign homework but expected all th classwork ta get done. If it didn't that classwork became homework fer th student ta finish. Parents of children who feel thair child is overloaded with homework really should contact th teacher ta make certain it's homework or just unfinished classwork. My bet is usually it's unfinished classwork an it's th student that caused it ta become homework. This is not th case fer all students but does apply ta some of em.

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