Third grade blues

Third grade has been tough for us here this year.

I've been talking to other people about it, and it seems like a lot of parents are finding third grade markedly more difficult emotionally because of all the homework than previous grades. And a surprising number of people seemed to have had difficult third-grade years themselves.

My own third grade year was pretty horrible, with a teacher who seemed to have no kindness in her heart at all for 8-year-olds.

One of my coworkers, who used to teach 4th adn 5th grades, thinks that that might be because testing starts in the U.S. in third grade, so teachers are under the gun to give much more homework.

Has anyone else experienced frustration and sadness about third grade? Either for your kids or for yourself? If so, what do you think makes(made) it so rough?

And if you aren't having problems, can you pinpoint anything that seems to be different for you than for the people who are?

Homeschoolers, do you have anything to say?

People from other countries with differentgrade years and/or no testing, please weigh in. Third grade in the U.S. is ages 8 and 9.