Homework is defined as out- of- class tasks assigned to students as an extension or elaboration of classroom work.
There are three types of homework: practice, preparation, and extension.
Practice assignments : reinforce newly acquired skills.
Preparation assignments : help students get ready for activities that will occur in the classroom.
Extension assignments: are frequently long- term continuing projects that parallel classwork. Students must apply previous learning to complete these assignments, which include science fair projects and term papers.
Research in the last decade has begun to focus on the relationship between homework and student achievement and has greatly strengthened the case for homework. There are mixed findings about whether homework actually increases students’ academic achievement.
Many teachers and parents agree that homework develops students’ initiative and responsibility and fulfills the expectations of students, parents, and the public.
Studies generally have found homework assignments to be most helpful if they are carefully planned by the teachers and have direct meaning to students.
How can parents get involved?
Share any concerns you may have regarding the amount or type homework assigned with your child’s teacher or principal.
Encourage your child to take notes concerning homework assignments in case questions arise later at home.
Provide a suitable study area and the necessary tools (for example, paper and books) to complete the homework assignments.
Limit after –school activities to allow time for both homework and family activities.
Monitor television viewing and establish a specific homework time.
Plan a homework schedule with your child. Allow for free time when assignments are completed.
Younger children need more parental assistance with homework than older children. Go over homework assignments with your child. Do several problems or questions together, then observe your child doing the next one or two.
If your child is in elementary school, check completed assignments. At all levels, ask to look at homework once it has been marked and returned.
Ask your child’s teachers about their homework policy and specific assignments.
How much time should my students spend on homework?
According to some researchers, two ways to increase students’ opportunities to learn are :
To increase the amount of time that students have to learn.
To expand the amount of content they receive.
Homework assignment may foster both these goals. Reports show that students are completing considerably more homework that they did a decade ago.
From kindergarten to third grade, no more than 20 minutes per day.
From fourth to sixth grade, 20 to 40 minutes per day.
From seventh to twelfth grade, the recommended amount of time varies according to the type and number of subjects a student is taking.
Why should parents be concerned about a school homework policy?
Lack of an established homework policy may place either insufficient or unrealistic demands on your child. Students may not be expected to work to capacity; alternatively, they may receive too many assignments from different teachers on the same day.
Schools with homework policies tend to set guidelines for teachers to correct, grade, and return homework systematically to their students, thus reinforcing learning.
Schools with homework policies generally provide specific guidelines regarding what is expected from parents.
Schools with homework policies tend to carefully design and provide homework assignments appropriate to each grade level.
Students may not always view homework as a pleasant experience, but if the assignment serves a good purpose and parents reinforce the completion of the tasks, students will benefit by gaining higher grades, better study habits, and more positive attitude toward school and learning.
Homework assignments give parents insight into the school curriculum and offer a greater opportunity for student learning to occur.
Why students don’t like homework?
After receiving an article about homework from the principal of the school where I work, I asked my students from fourth grade these questions:
Is homework important? Why?
What do you consider a positive homework and a negative homework?
How much help from your parents do you need to do your homework?
Most of them think homework is important because it gives them chance to review what they have learned in class and they have the opportunity to investigate about things they like.
They consider positive homework those they can do alone without someone else’s help and homework that make them investigate.
They consider negative homework or silly homework:
- To color, or too easy homework. They consider them a waste of time
They think that too difficult homework bothers them because they have to ask help to their parents and most of the time parents don’t have time to help them and the worst is when teachers don’t give them enough time to complete homework. Let’s say if they have to research they may have at least three or four days to complete homework.
Almost 40% of the class needs parents’ help , but unfortunately parents don’t have time or arrive home too late.
It bothers students when teachers give them weekend homework. (They don’t have time to go out with their parents)
Now what do you think about the homework you give to your students?