IEP – Too Much Homework

What to do when you feel your special needs child is being overwhelmed with too much homework after missing class for Resource

Sonia Billadeau April 11, 2014
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8314929977_28fd740070_qMy blossoming fifth-grader is excited to be in her class this year. Last year when she started school, she started towards the middle of the school year. This is her first year being adopted and also not having to move around to new schools. We went to the open house, and I loved the teacher that they had chosen for her. The teacher has a lot of structure in her class, and seeing that my daughter has ADHD and Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF), this class seemed to be perfect.

We have received a progress report, and my daughter is doing great. She has four B’s and two A’s , which is a far cry from the F’s (and I do mean all F’s) that she had when she came to us last year. She is truly trying her best, and we cannot be any more proud of her.

My daughter has an IEP at her school due to her disabilities. For those of you who do not know what Borderline Intellectual Functioning is, it is when a child has a low IQ- not low enough to be deemed mentally retarded but just high enough to impair their thinking. She would be considered a slow learner. However, her IEP is not based off of her Borderline Intellectual Functioning disability; rather, it is based off of the fact that she has ADHD. The Board of Education does not deem a slow learner as a reason to have an IEP, but the diagnosis of ADHD does qualify you for the services. She gets extra time on finishing homework, and she gets a teacher that helps her in class. She also has to go to speech classes since my daughter was not talking until she was four years old, so she has a language barrier.

She does pretty well with understanding what you’re saying, and she does her best to answer it, but sometimes she does not choose the right words or use them in the right content. What I am  having a problem with now is her teacher. When my daughter goes to speech, she sometimes misses things that they are working on in class. Her teacher has been adding what she didn’t get to do in class as homework that my daughter needs to do when she gets home. It already takes my daughter quite a bit of time to finish the work that she has due to the fact that she works a lot slower than most kids because of her disabilities. I am teaching my daughter proper time management in getting homework done while keeping in mind that she’s doing the best she can do. I do not agree with her teacher. I think it is unfair to give her extra homework just because she was away for speech even though the other kids in her class had time to do this work during the day.

She came home the other day with a packet of math homework that needed to be completed. It had 50 questions in it! She had worked on this the whole time she was in the after school program and still had more to do when she got home. This was not the first time that this had happened. I have set up a time to go to the school next week to speak with the teacher about this. I hope that we can come to some kind of resolution, so my daughter does not have to spend her evenings doing homework. Of course, if we cannot resolve it, I will have to involve the vice principal on the issue. Everybody needs a break when they get home. It’s your time to unwind and to chill-out from the day, but my daughter doesn’t get that opportunity because she’s doing a lot of homework.

I am the first one to say that nowadays kids are not as active as they used to be. They like to sit on the couch and play with their iPads and video games. I do not see many kids outside playing around anymore.  But they have the right to be couch potatoes when they work really hard during the week. My child is at one of the top schools in the county, and I understand that they want to keep it that way, but this is just too much. I don’t know how the other parents feel about it. There are more kids in her class that have special needs. But I know how I feel about it- it is unfair! While her teacher is just trying to prepare her for sixth grade, she’s just piling it on a little too thick.

I would like to keep her in the same class since change can be very difficult because of her background in foster care. If need be, I would have to request that she goes to a different class, but hopefully I will not have to take this route.  She’s not going to get penalized because she takes a little bit more time or she’s out of class for speech. That is the purpose of the IEP to provide the services to the kids that need a little bit more help. I’m going to go up there next week and advocate for my daughter, because if I don’t, no one will!

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Sonia Billadeau


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