Homework and its Importance
Homework is defined as out-of-class tasks assigned to students. In general, there are three types of homework.
- Practice: This type of homework reinforces newly learned skills. For example, students who have just learned a new method of solving a mathematical problem should be given sample problems to complete on their own.
- Preparation: This type of homework helps students get ready for new activities that will be taught in the classroom. For example, students may be required to do background research on a topic to be discussed later in class.
- Extension: This type of homework is frequently long-term continuing projects that parallel class work. For example, science fair projects.
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. Although 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. Assigning homework serves various educational needs. It serves as an intellectual discipline, establishes study habits, and eases time constraints on the amount of curricular material that can be covered in class, and supplements and reinforces work done in school. In addition, it fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility and brings home and school closer together.
How can you help your child with homework?
*Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do homework. Avoid having your child do homework with the television on or in places with other distractions, such as people coming and going.
*Make sure the materials your child needs, such as paper, pencils and a dictionary, are available.
*Help your child with time management. Establish a set time each day for doing homework. Don't let your child leave homework until just before bedtime. Think about using a weekend morning or afternoon for working on big projects, especially if the project involves getting together with classmates.
*Be positive about homework. Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.When your child does homework, you do homework. Show your child that the skills they are learning are related to things you do as an adult. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, check your loan, or talk about your mortgage, check your receipts or bank account.
*When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers. Giving answers means your child will not learn the material. Too much help teaches your child that when the thing gets rough, someone will do the work for him or her.
*When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, do it. Cooperate with the teacher. It shows your child that the school and home are a team. Follow the directions given by the teacher.
*If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, stay away. Too much parent involvement can prevent homework from having some positive effects. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.
*Stay informed. Talk with your child's teacher.Help your child figure out what is hard homework and what is easy homework. Have your child do the hard work first. This will mean he will be most alert when facing the biggest challenges. Easy material will seem to go fast when fatigue begins to set in.
*Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration. Let your child take a short break if S/he is having trouble keeping her mind on an assignment.
*Reward progress in homework. If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (e.g., pizza, a walk, watch movie, play games etc) to reinforce the positive effort.