Accommodations – extended time on assigments

It is a pretty standard accomodation to allow students with learning, processing, and attention issues extended time on tests and quizzes. But many school systems fight the idea of giving extended time for homework assignments. This has always driven my crazy. When talking with a student client yesterday I was finally able to fully articulate why this stance is insane.

Generally, school will give students with accomodations time and a half. Of course that seems pretty arbitrary to me. But let’s assume it takes a kid 1.5 times as long to finish a test. Why wouldn’t you then assume that it would take them AT LEAST 1.5 times as long to finish most of their homework? So imagine a day when that kid has homework in all six classes and they have soccer practice. That kid may have a three hour window of medicated time after school or after practice to do homework. On a normal day that might be enough. But on this day, that kid has three hours of homework (normalized for a neurotypical kid.) So that’s roughly 4.5 hours of homework for that kid.

Would it not be a reasonable accommodation to allow that kid to finish some of that work the following day or over the weekend? Don’t we want that kid to go to soccer practice and get fresh air, exercise, and social interaction? Do we want him to live a balanced life. Our society fought very hard for an eight hour working day. But many of our kids are now working a six hour school day plus three to four hours of homework. Why are we asking our kids to work a ten hour day and then punishing them is they can’t do it?

I think I’ll pick more up on this next week. But for now, I’ll leave you with this. Schools always come back with, it’s not fair for “these kids” to get extra time to turn in their work. I ask you if it’s fair to ask a kid to work a 10 hour day at 15?