There have been recent discussions surrounding the topic of homework. The Pine Glen Handbook references homework on page 25. The handbook states the following:
The purpose of homework is to review and reinforce skills and lessons taught during the school day, to develop organizational skills and to develop and increase independence and responsibility. Each teacher has created a classroom procedure that reinforces and supports a child’s ability to pass in and take down homework assignments.
Students require parental support at home in order to be successful with homework. It is recommended and strongly encouraged that parents identify a quiet “homework spot” supplied with student materials. Also, setting time each day for students to complete homework has proven to be an effective strategy to ensure more success. Often students are tired at the end of the day and require parent support and encouragement to complete homework. Homework assignments and time may vary depending on the child’s grade level. Generally, 10 minutes per night per grade (e.g., grade 2 = 20 minutes, grade 5 = 50 minutes) is assigned. Any student who excessively struggles with homework for long periods of time, the parent is encouraged to call their child’s teacher. An overview of each teacher’s expectations is given at Back to School Night in September. Homework is an essential and important component of the educational experience and requires a strong home/school partnership in order for students to be successful.
Elementary age students brains are developing and they are beginning to learn and grasp the concept of time and planning. Students at this age don’t have the hindsight and foresight from years of experience to draw upon when approaching tasks. As a result, they might be inclined to procrastinate or be drawn to a more appealing or recreational item they are familiar with (i.e. playing with their toys) in lieu of homework. Also, some students might be overwhelmed and want to stop the task altogether. Often, helping students initiate a task or breaking down the task into smaller manageable units is key. Choosing a public spot in the home as a place to complete homework is another useful strategy. In addition, a monthly calendar with assignments, tests, quizzes and extracurricular activities and events ( i.e. hockey practice, dance recital) planned out or “chunked” can be very helpful in making homework less intimidating. Please don’t be afraid to help your child. Daily incentives or motivators sometimes help too.
Another resource that can help with homework is your child’s teacher. In fact, one of the best sources of factual information about your child’s education and development is their classroom teacher. If a parent has a concern with homework, please contact your child’s teacher. Teachers do not want to see students struggling with homework and want to be made aware if this is the case. If a student does not do his or homework, it is not an automatic disciplinary consequence. Often if there is a problem, a teacher will contact home to communicate this observation. It is through this home/school partnership and communication that the shared goal of students review and reinforcement of skills will be accomplished. All school work- be it academic or social/emotional learning - is a collaborative effort amongst the teacher, parent and child.