I am amazed at the vast difference in opinion regarding homework. Just in the last couple of days, I have heard a news story stating that homework is irrelevant to the 21st century and read a newspaper article stating that two hours of homework each night is beneficial to students. Click here for a previous post I have written about homework.
Isn’t there a happy medium?
In a discussion between @keelygriffiths and @M_Carreiro and myself (@ashleyazzopardi) we agreed that homework is relevant to the 21st century if it;
- Revises concepts learnt in class
- Builds on existing knowledge
- Integrates ICT
- Promotes inquiry learning
- Includes open ended questions
Click here for a Prezi I have created in a previous post regarding learning in the 21st century.
I have seen many schools with the following recommendations for the maximum time spent on homework each night (including reading):
- Kindergarten and Year One: 15 minutes
- Year Two: 20 minutes
- Year Three: 30 minutes
- Year Four: 40 minutes
- Year Five and Year Six: 60-90 minutes
What are your thoughts about homework?
Does your school have a homework policy?
photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Homework is an important part in a students’ daily routine as it helps to consolidate what they have learnt in class, however some parents do not see the value in homework or may be finding it difficult to get their child to complete their homework. As a result, they may benefit from an encouraging letter.
Teachers may provide parents with a letter containing;
- Information about why homework is given
- When it is given out to the students
- When homework is due
- Homework tips for parents
The homework tips may include;
- Set up a quiet place, away from any distractions, which is specifically for completing homework.
- There should be an allocated time each day for homework.
- Find out what works best for your child – relax before homework or complete homework immediately after school and relax later.
- Encourage your child to tick things off as they go.
- Help your child to set goals for each homework session.
- Use a timer to challenge your child to stay on task.
- Remind your child to complete their homework.
- Praise your child when they have tried their best.
- Be positive about homework; remind your child that school and homework are important.
- Provide guidance when your child asks for help instead of simply supplying them with the answers.
- Allow your child to complete their homework on their own at times, in order to foster and encourage independence.
- Set up incentives for your child to complete their homework. For example; placing a new sticker in a scrap book, watching a television show, playing a board game with the family and so on.
Take a look at this YouTube clip from School A-Z which could be useful to show to parents:
Have you sent out a similar letter?
What feedback have you received from parents regarding homework?
David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Some teachers believe in homework, while others do not. Some teachers give a lot of homework, while others give very little.
I believe that homework has its place and the amount needs to be reasonable to the age of the students, however most importantly it needs to be relevant.
Giving students homework for the sake of getting homework is pointless. I believe activities should be assigned that correlate to the work being completed in class. Homework should be planned ahead of time in correlation with the units of work.
For the older students, a homework table for the entire term may be given which could be placed in the front of their homework books. Each school week is listed in the table with activities to be completed by the student for that week. The activities are specific to a KLA and relates to the work the students are completing in class. This helps the students to reinforce the concepts learnt in class and also allows the teacher to observe the students’ understanding.
I also like the idea of including an activity pertaining to family life or a fitness/sport activity. You could also leave this in blank for the students to come up with something on their own.
No matter how you choose to set out the homework, whether it be a table like the one above or simple worksheets, ensure that the work you set is relevant.
Another important note regarding homework is to ensure that the homework is gone through together as a class if possible. This ensures the students understand the homework if they had any difficulty. Teachers should also provide students with feedback when marking their homework.
What do you think about homework?
Do you have any homework tips?
Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net