Developing the ability to work independently, to take responsibility for ones learning and to develop organizational skills are some of the benefits that we, at Evans, believe are derived from homework. We also believe that homework is not a replacement for social and community activities, but that these are important parts of a child’s development as well.
Homework should be appropriate to the age and abilities of the student. It is not intended as a form of accelerated, academic learning nor is it intended to be punitive. It is intended to be productive for the child related to the classroom program. We appreciate that time with family members is valuable and can also provide rich experiences that are equally important. In an endeavor to bring clarity to the notion of homework, the following guidelines have been developed.
The amount of time that a student would, or should, spend on homework depends on a large number of factors:
- all learners, regardless of age, need personal time for things such as recreation play, religious and cultural activities, home duties, family responsibilities, and social activities.
- the activities of some learners and their families, and/or their home situations, could provide difficulties in finding a suitable location or sufficient time for school-related tasks.
- the ability of the student.
- the student’s age and grade.
- the difficulty of the subject for the student.
- the self-discipline of the learner.
- the amount of in-school time available to complete the homework.
How Much Homework:
Routine homework assignments are not considered appropriate for this level, beyond daily reading. Parents may support their child’s program by encouraging the use of books for pleasure. Number games may be an effective way for the home to be involved.
Grades 1 – 3:
Students may spend about 10 – 30 minutes per day on varying types of homework.
Grades 4 – 6:
Students may spend about 40 – 60 minutes per day on varying types of homework including participation in the Home Reading Program.
What Homework Might Look Like:
In the primary grades, homework or home study should support the child’s learning and should be of limited duration. Homework may take the form of a Home Reading Program, playing games, having discussions, and building on responsibility by helping at home. In the early grades, homework will be interactive with the parent working with the child. This form of guided practice is intended to support classroom learning.
In the Intermediate Grades, homework will move from guided practice activities to more independent work. Although students are encouraged to develop independent work habits, it is still appropriate for parents to clarify concepts and assist with homework when needed. Established literacy and numeracy activities started in the primary grades may be continued as homework, but homework may also include completion of work not finished during class as well as research and project work. During these years the time spent on homework will increase.
From time to time, parents take students on extended vacations during the school year. Although we respect the fact that it is not always possible for families to take their vacations in conjunction with the school year we feel that classroom instructional time is vital for our student’s success and it cannot be replaced with a package of homework. It is also not always reasonable or even possible for teachers to provide ‘homework’ at these times because it is challenging at best to decide how far a class will progress with new concepts and/or how soon one theme will end and a new one will begin. If you are planning a holiday, please speak to your child’s teacher in advance to determine what, if anything can be provided. Take-home assignments should not be a cause of stress. Quality home assignments do not interfere with families; instead, they help to build connections between students, parents and teachers.
If you want your child to keep up his or her skills while away, a good strategy is to make a project out of your holiday. Have your child make a scrapbook of souvenirs and keep a daily journal to share with his or her class upon return. By completing these tasks, reading and writing skills will be kept up and best of all, your family will have a lasting and meaningful document of your holiday together.
Suggestions to Students:
- Before leaving school, be sure homework is written down and materials are in your backpack.
- Before leaving school be sure you are clear on criteria expectations for the completion of assignments.
- Ask your teacher if you aren’t sure of something.
- Complete homework by the due date; return it to the school.
- Choose the right time – establish a routine homework time and stick to it.
- Find the right space – find the setting in your home or at the library that works best for you.
- Organize needed materials.
- Prioritize assignments – complete one assignment at a time and check it off your list. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and your motivation to continue will increase.
- Take breaks – when you find your mind wandering, or after finishing a difficult assignment, take a short break.
- Reward yourself – give yourself a reward when all homework is completed. Watch a favorite T.V. show, call a friend, or ask your family for a round of applause. You deserve it.
- Keep to your regular bedtime.
Suggestions for Parents:
- Ask “What do you have for homework?” NOT, “Do you have homework?”)
- Ask “Show me what you’ve done.” NOT, “Have you finished?”
- Support completion of tasks by checking student planner / assignment.
- Support development of time management skills, i.e. work completed in an appropriate amount of time and at an appropriate hour.
- When needed, clarify concepts being learned.
- Assist with proofreading and editing written work.
- Contact the teacher if your child repeatedly requires very long periods to finish assignments.