School Projects over Vacation

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from katenjake. Show katenjake's posts

    School Projects over Vacation

    My child's 4th grade teacher assigned a project over February vacation (essay and poster).  We ae going away for April vacation and I am afraid she will do it again.  This seems unfair - when did vacation stop being family time?  Should I say something to the teacher?  Am I out of touch? 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I don't think it could hurt to mention to the teacher that assigning a project to be completed by the time vacation is over is not really a reasonable thing to do since many people are not at home (and, even if they are at home, don't they deserve to enjoy their break?!).

    That being said...when I was in high school, just about 15 years ago, teachers routinely assigned research projects, extensive reading, etc. over school vacations.  The research projects usually weren't a surprise and were something we had been working on for a few weeks already, but they were DUE the first day back from vacation.  That meant that kids that were going away, would usually be scrambling to get them done before vacation on top of trying to study for all of the tests that teachers schedule just before a break.  It's life and it can't hurt to learn to prepare ahead of time, but I think it's different with teenagers/high school than w/elementary school since so much more parent involvement is required for younger kids' projects.

    My parents were always very annoyed when this kind of thing happened, because not only did they usually take us somewhere during breaks, they usually tacked a couple days on to either end, and these vacations were planned up to a year in advance, so it wasn't like they were going to change it just because I had an assignment due.  I remember sending teachers assignments by certified mail (dated and receipt) and even faxing something to one of them once because they were inflexible about the due dates.  As far as I know, the school had no policy discouraging against the practice of assigning extensive work over vacations.  And if they did, the teachers ignored it.

    I don't have any personal experience b/c my two are only 10 months old, but I do think you should talk to the teacher.  She may have a good reason, or she may just be clueless.  If it's the latter and she's inflexible, I would write her a letter re-stating your opinion on the matter and cc the principle.  I don't know what good it will do, but at least you'll be on-record, and if it is something the school discourages, at least the principle will be aware of what's going on.  You can't be the only parent who isn't happy about this.


     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I used to be an elementary school teacher and I've never heard of this.  The only time we would give students an assignment over a vacation is if their parents were taking them out of school to go away, and even then the assignment was only to read and perhaps make a few readers'-journal entries.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I am a middle/high school teacher and we have an explicit policy that there is NO homework due the day we return from break or projects/papers due within the first few days that would require working over break.

    I would speak with the teacher first and if you don't receive a satisfactory answer, go ahead and call the principal and/or assistant principal. I think it's really unfair to expect kids and families to devote break time to schoolwork. Break is a "break" for good reason!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    My son's school assigned a big project to the 5-6 graders over Feb vacation.  I think it was actually a city wide Science fair thing.  I fully expect my son (in K) to have one over April vacation.  He had one last year when he was in pre-k.  It won't be due the day they go back but shortly after that.  I think it would be fine to send a note to the teacher explaining that you have a trip planned and want to be prepared.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    My two boys always had projects to do during school vacations. Usually, they were given plenty of time before - so they could plan, and the projects were usually not due until a week or two after school started. So, if we were planning on going away, they knew they better give up some of their play time in order to go.
    Besides science projects, they were also given a few to several books to read during their vacations depending on their grade level. Then they had something to start working on after their vacations.
    Three months summer vacation is a long time to keep a brain idling. Three monts also gives plenty of time to do whatever is assigned. It did not hurt my boys any.
    However, if a teacher assigns a project the last day of school before one week of vacation and expect it back just the day the students arrive back - I would definitely talk to him/her about it. But most of the time, that is just not the case, even though your child wants you to believe so.
    If you already have planed to go away during April vacation - let the teacher know in advance, and ask him/her to get an extension for the project. Teachers are human too, and many of them have children of their own and know, what it means to have quality family time together.




     
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I was in 4th grade in 1981, and I don't remember having any projects due over breaks before 6th grade, and even then my mom, a kindergarten teacher and early childhood development specialist, was against it.  She was outspoken, but it didn't do any good.

    Better luck to you!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    During high school and college I had projects and papers due on the day I returned from breaks, but I don't remember that happening when I was in elementary school.  I'm of two minds about it: on the one hand, I am a firm believer in quality vacation/family time and don't think kids should be burdened with projects over breaks.  On the other hand, as adults we juggle things like this all the time and this could be a great lesson in time managament and not procrastinating.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from teacherinmass. Show teacherinmass's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I'm a teacher (4th grade) and I don't assign homework or projects over vacation. I do ask that my students read for 20 minutes a day and keep a reading log (just intials from student and parents that they did it). My school doesn't have a policy and teachers do assign projects over vacations. I will call the teacher now and explain the situation to see if your son can do the project in advance or after vacation.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kc0509. Show kc0509's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I'm a high school English teacher.  Last year I had a few complaints from parents of my honors students about a substantial project over a break.  The parents sent polite emails and made good points.  This year, I gave the kids a popular, short novel over break with instructions to just read it for pleasure and write a brief personal response to share.  The kids came back refreshed and really enjoyed the book.  See, we do listen! 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from smileyd. Show smileyd's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    I'm a teacher as well, and I'd say talk to the teacher, but be reasonable.  At my school, the principal reminds teachers that they shouldn't assign anything more over vacation than they would on a typical night / weekend for homework.  It is still part of the school year and we don't want our students to get out of the habit of coming to school with work completed at home, but it is also vacation and everyone (teachers included) should have some down time.  If you choose to extend the vacation and pull your child from school, then you should also be prepared for them to have additional work to make up.  That is a choice you make (and in many situations I think it is the right one), but realize that your child will be missing work that they should be held responsible for.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from KEK. Show KEK's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    As the parent of a high school student I just wanted to add that homework in general has always been a pet peeve of mine.  I really think the amount of homework given in elementary school is excessive.  I think 5th grade was absolutely the worst.  My child was doing at least 2 and often times 3 hours of homework every night.  I just think this is far too much.  There was no time left for anything else. I was the most annoyed when I was told the class had watched a movie in class, only to have to write, edit, and type an essay that night. 
    We got through those years and I find the homework in high school is "easier".  Granted, my child is older and doesn't need as much help, but in general I think the teachers are more reasonable with the amount of work they assign. 
    As for assignments over vacation, I would talk to the teacher and explain the situation.  I'm sure you are not the only parent that feels this way. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

        I always thought that vacation homework of reading was a fair thing.    Many of the teachers where I attended most of my schooling had a policy,  of which parents and students were notified,  of assigning major amounts of reading, no other homework  starting Thurs before a vacation week, with the clear understanding that Tues or soon after, an assignment for a project, paper, test or take home exam would be given.  The reading was mandatory.
        The major reading extras lists for vacation weeks were all given out about 2 weeks before the vacation for those who wanted to get a head start,  and for all to buy books or borrow them from libraries,  or the school storeroom where there were 40 to 100 copies of many items, the supply controlled through the school library.

        The school philosophy was that reading an  average of 2 hours a day, 7 days a week,  or homework,  was a perfectly reasonable use of a person's time from age 12 through adult hood,  all of the time.

       Learning to budget time - maybe doing 2 hours of daily homework and then reading 6:30 to 9:30 pm,  getting six  extra hours in  2 days a week,  and perhaps 8 hours on a weekend (not 4)   would give up    10 hours on days when  other activities meant just a few minutes or an hour for daily homework was available,  like a 3 day a week activity.
        So vacations, with no daily homework for 11 nights,  20-22 hours should be manageable as part of daily living.  Even at Disney World or a ski area,  spending 2 of the 14 hours of waking time was okay.   12 hours of concentrated fun  is plenty for a vacation day.
         Kids these days-  like an old song - have school days where 14 hours a day is left after a night's sleep and breakfast, daily hygiene.  7 or 8  is school time including a meal.   The other 6-7 hours,  with a dinnertime meal,  should allow for activities, schoolwork, free reading time,  and allow for just frittering away 2-3 hours.
    Lots of kids moaning and groaning about no time!  Are spending up 4 hours of tv, computer and social time, on average school days.  Maybe 10 hours each weekend day.

         Parents and kids who want to do something with their lives need to look at these 50 hours a week,  and seriously justify how they can  NOT  having kids spend 15 hours of it reading or studying,  even when school is replaced with 7 hours of vacation activities per day in place of school.  Turn off the tv, cell phone, and computer,  no hanging out or mall time,  a few hours of study time a day.

       And teach kids that on the computer,  they need to allow 3 hours to get 2 hours real  work done, given time wasted retrieving files and selecting, searching, and loading pages.    So even if they never stray to other things, sometimes a library or text book is a heck of a lot more efficient than  computer homework time.

        In college,  with no one to impose disciplined habits on the student, it is normal to   attend 4.5  hours of labs and classes 5 days a week,  and read or study for 45 hours a week, roughly 15 to 20 of that on the weekend.

        How will they learn to do that if they cannot manage 6 hours class time  school days and a total of 15 to 20 hours study and reading time a week  in the years leading up to it?
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

    Reading a bit isn't a big deal, but reading a book assigned the last day before Spring break and requiring a report written the day they return is obscene.  I think if the report is due the Friday after they return, that's reasonable because the child can either use some of their vacation to get a jump on the work or choose to have to do more per night upon their return.  It's a good learning experience regarding time management.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: School Projects over Vacation

         The follow up assignments should not be due so soon that they must be started on vacation.  One of my many gripes when we moved for a couple of years down to Sudbury MA.  Building science Fair projects, or writing term papers where the topic was chosen or assigned 1-2 days before vacation and due the second day back.  No Way.

     
    It caught everyone by surprise, 5 of 6 of us getting complex and time consuming stuff that was not portable.    My Mom had notified not only the school principal's offices but sent a brief letter to every one of our teachers, 2 weeks in advance, saying we would be leaving Thurs before a school vacation - for Finland.

       One teacher told my sister a novel and 1 biography to be read.  No one else.  I was first in the door that Thursday, saying, so, do you want to fight with our schools before we head to the airport, or the day we come home?
     
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