Homework load at College Prep

Can anyone give us an idea how much homework the kids do at College Prep?  For example, is it 5 hours every weekend?  I know it’s a great school, just wanting to know the reality of the homework load to ascertain if it’s a potential fit for our teen.

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RE: Homework load at College Prep ()

Home work load is A LOT.  My student is usually extremely efficient, so much so that in an independent middle school, homework never came home. But at College Prep, if the weekend homework is to be finished in one day, that would be at minimum, 3-4 hours non-stop, highly highly efficient work on average. On weekday night, it was 1 hr average, after the open period in school that was fully devoted to homework.  Most of kids in my student's year spent 2-3 hours every night.  If you ask on your visits, the students and admin will tell you that homework are not busy work and are meaningful.  That is the standard answer (and dare you say otherwise!).  The reality is, a lot of them are busy work (especially Physics and history).  Math homework are meaningful and you do learn a lot.  But other classes give homework for the sake of homework (especially on weekends). To give you an example, Physics would give 40-50 problems a night before a major test--just think how long it will take to just read through them.  My student is extremely strong academically (and is doing extremely well academically) and found these homework very frustrating and take time away from real meaningful learning.  This learning style works well for students who are smart but not very self-motivated and self-disciplined.  If your student is very creative, super smart and motivated, this will kill that passion and love of learning. 

RE: Homework load at College Prep ()

So in reality, the amount of homework someone does while attending College Prep depends upon your kid. Are they disciplined? Do they structure their time well? Or do they get distracted? For my kid, the first year was about an hour a day with more for finals, (she also worked through her free period.) Second year was a little more. Junior year, when every class is honors or AP, there's about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, plus your kid is studying for the SAT/ACT, AP and SAT subject tests, and beginning college searches. It's a lot, but she manages her time well and still has sports and friends in the mix. Most importantly, does your teen want to go to College Prep? It's a fantastic school, but students should be willing and eager to attend. Good luck with your choice!

RE: Homework load at College Prep ()

In my experience as a CPS parent with a recent grad, it's hard to say how much homework - in terms of hours - your kiddo will have. It depends on the kid's strengths how long they will need to work to be successful in this unique environment. The work is hard. History and English are deep, rather than broad. History, in particular, stresses critical thinking and argument over memorization of facts and dates. Math is taught using a socratic method that works for some kids, not others. The kids I saw who were most successful had the capacity for long hours of work. Some kids care more about getting all As than others. If your kid wants As, they will be working long and hard. Great school for certain types of kids. Not a great match for everyone. That said, everyone comes out very well-prepared.

RE: Homework load at College Prep ()

At College Prep, it's not about the amount of the homework assigned but what the student gets out of it. I have one child who graduated and one who is currently attending. From what our family has seen and experienced, the students who are successful at Prep are ones who are organized and highly motivated. The actual homework load is not overwhelming. If your child is efficient and gets down to business, they can keep up with the assignments. But your student needs to want to do the homework and do it well. If they rush through their English reading rather than carefully taking notes, the discussion around the Harkness table in class will not be engaging. If they don't do their math problems fully, the students' presentation of problems on the board in class the next day will difficult to follow. Your student may be one of those who currently gets As on tests in middle school without studying. Those days will be over. It's an adjustment and your child will need to be prepared to put in the effort all through high school. As you are thinking through this, focus on the level of motivation your child has rather than how many hours of homework they can handle. Good luck in your high school search process!

RE: Homework load at College Prep ()

In my experience, it depends on the kid. Some kids load up on classes, which can be time-consuming; and some kids just get through things more quickly than others.

My child is not efficient, so for the majority of time, he would study most of the weekend on top of the long hours he put in during the week. I'm not sure, but my guess is that he's in the relative minority with respect to the amount of time he spends on homework. There are kids who get things done faster and therefore have more time for downtime. Regardless of individual circumstances, my sense is that most, if not all, kids at CPS feel the demanding homework schedule and work really hard year-round. 

The school does a great job of providing a nurturing and supportive environment, however. My child, for example, loves CPS; he likes the fact that there isn't any busywork and that he is constantly learning. My advice is for your child to visit the school. Most likely, he/she will know if it's the right school for him/her.

Good luck!

RE: Homework load at College Prep ()

The homework load is very heavy – at least 5 hours on the weekend and at least 2 hours weekdays. Our son came from a middle school with a reputation for a lot of work. It was nothing to this. There are days when he has to choose which questions to skip or which material to study fully and which not because we require that he get enough sleep, and he simply runs out of time. Our son wanted to go to CPS even though he knew it would be hard. Still, we underestimated the amount of work it would take to keep up.