MECS Blog

Homework?

Homework?

Thursday, 14 March 2019  | Jacqui - Teaching and Learning Coordinator

It seems everyone has a strong opinion on homework. While some prefer students do all their work at school and leave home time for other things, others prefer the consolidation, extension, and growth of study habits that homework provides. Whatever our opinion, research continues to support the importance of meaningful homework in the development of students as effective life-long learners, throughout their school years.

The quality of set homework tasks plays a significant role in its usefulness. Homework should be developmentally appropriate, related to class work, and should foster effective study habits. The setting of homework by teachers should also take into account the need for a balanced lifestyle in our students. It should not ‘take over’ home life in place of family time, sports and recreation, employment, and church/youth group activities.

In the Primary School years, we encourage reading, reading, reading. We agree with the old saying that ‘readers are learners’. In the Middle School years, we recommend students spend at least 40 minutes each afternoon/evening dedicated to homework or study. This time should increase over the years as they head into Senior School.

The following includes ways in which teachers and parents/care-givers can support students with their homework, as well as some ideas as to what your child can do when they say they have no homework.

Teachers support learners by:

Providing homework tasks with purpose and clear instructions;

Providing students with enough time to complete homework, including the consideration of home obligations and extracurricular activities;

Ensuring students have the necessary resources and skills to complete homework tasks;

Ensuring homework can be completed with minimal to no assistance;

Assessing homework and providing timely and practical feedback and support;

Setting varied, challenging and meaningful tasks related to class work to suit the student’s learning needs;

Equipping students with study skills so they are better prepared for independent study;

Helping students develop organisational and time-management skills.

Parents/care-givers support learners by:

Speaking positively about school subjects even if they were a personal challenge;

Encouraging a growth mindset in learning – praising effort rather than ability;

Ensuring there is a balance between the time spent on homework and family time/recreational activities;

Communicating to teachers if there are any concerns related to homework;

Encouraging effective time management – with the use of printed or online diaries/calendars;

Providing an area that has good light, is quiet and free from distraction for your child to do their homework;

Linking homework and other learning activities to the family’s culture, history and language, linking with relevant services, clubs, associations and community groups.

What students can do when there is no assigned homework…

Read! – it does not need to be a school novel or text;

Practise spelling words;

Practise mathematics skills;

Practise physical education skills;

Practise drawing skills;

Play a musical instrument;

Write a creative piece;

Do word games or number puzzles;

Have a discussion with parents about an article in the newspaper/online;

Further research into a topic they are studying or simply an area of interest.

When it has meaning and purpose, homework deepens student understanding and plays an important role in developing study skills. Homework is essentially a partnership between the student, teacher, and parent. Both parents and students are encouraged to contact teachers if they have any concerns with homework expectations, or if they would like more direction with homework tasks.


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