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Expert Q&A

Can a parent do anything if the child clearly has too much homework after school?

We live in Florida. I HATE FCAT!!!! My daughter is in the fourth grade and has a learning problem. I had her tested privately since the school would not do it. She also has ADHD, and is on a 504 Plan (FINALLY!). She takes Adderall and I still do not see any progress - although her teachers say differently. Her basic problems are reading comprehension and math.

Please tell me if I am overreacting or not. I feel she is being crammed with stuff for FCAT and am really sick and tired of it. She is 9 years old and I know she is stressed out.

Monday-Friday, she goes to her SAI class. Monday/Wednesday/Friday she attends another class from 1 p.m. until 1:45 for more FCAT reading comprehension instruction.

Tuesday/Thursday she has FCAT class after school for one hour (Tuesday reading and Thursday math). Every night she is REQUIRED/SUPPOSED to do 30 minutes of FCAT Explorer (weekends included). Every night she is REQUIRED/SUPPOSED to do 30 minutes of reading so she can take Reading Counts tests (weekends included). Then we have hours of homework almost every night and HOURS on the weekend. I say hours because I do it with her and try to make sure she understands it as it seems her school is not doing a good job. I will not let her just do and do it wrong.

Is there a limit as to how much homework they are allowed to give each night? I am looking into home schooling (and I work full time). We cannot afford private, (even with McKay funding).


Most school systems have standards for how much time should be spent on homework by students at each grade level. Under IDEA 2004, the school must consider not only the child’s academic performance, but their developmental and functional performance as well. If a child is spending grossly excessive time on homework, this may be evidence of a functional impairment that has not been previously addressed. In any event, any student with an IEP or 504 plan may be eligible for accommodations, which can include reducing the amount of homework, particularly with respect to the homework assignments that involve multiple repetitions of the same skill, e.g. math facts or multiple repetitions of spelling or grammar rules. Accommodations can also include extended time for completing homework and/or modified grading of homework based on work completed, as opposed to work assigned.

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