Homework: Aiming for a Happy Medium

Written by Karen Langridge from the Really Missing Sleep blog

Homework is a great way to confirm whether children have understood what is covered in class. It can identify gaps in learning and help them develop the skills to work independently at home and manage their time effectively having to finish the set tasks for the following week.

However, teachers have very different approaches to setting homework, which consequently might not always complement the expectations of the parent.  If no after school curricular activity is set, parents might be concerned their child is missing out and could ask for a copy of the homework policy to confirm what the school guidelines are.

Alternate Methods of Homework

As a teacher; if you’re of the belief homework is not important, explain why you think that to the parent. It would be helpful for parents to receive a handout at the start of term with a list of websites for supplementary work for parents to set out tasks themselves. Furthermore, let your students have the option to take a book home each week from the class library. Hopefully that should appease the parents who like to see some element of homework because they can squeeze in some extra work if they feel their child would benefit. Showing parents where to access learning resources empowers them to help their own child.

On the other hand, if you set too much homework then you might have parents complain about the pressure their child is under to complete the work in time. They may prefer that their child was spending their time differently, relaxing or with family.  It’s hard finding that happy medium to satisfy everyone.

Homework for children
Source: Pixabay

Finding a Happy Medium

Apparently, when children spend two hours a night doing homework it has been linked to better results at secondary school. Theories like this only serve to fuel those parents who consider homework to be an essential part of school life.  However, children might have activities and clubs after school and, as a teacher; you don’t want to overload them either. This is due to potentially too many demands on top of a tough day at school that can leave children feeling stressed and over worked. My advice as a parent is: listen to the parent’s worries which could identify another problem.  If they are having a real battle with their child completing the work that child might actually need a little extra help as they are not keeping up with their peers so feel frustrated and angry about the homework they are set.

Parent to Teacher Advice

When homework is set it is nice for teachers to find the time to give feedback. Sometimes this doesn’t seem to happen which can be frustrating when children have gone to the effort to actually do it. Parents also like seeing how their child is getting on, so if you do set homework make sure you mark it.

By Karen Langridge – 18/04/2017

Have your say

Karen is a hard worker and a mother, and like any parent, her children’s future is of utmost importance. A steady increase in the development of a child’s education is what many parents aim for, and for some, homework is one of the attributes to achieve this. However, as previously mentioned in this article, not all parents or teachers agree with this method of after-school education. If you have any thoughts or advice on this matter, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. Join the debate and let us know your opinion!

If you’d like to read more posts on motherhood, education and lifestyle, head over to Karen’s blog here.

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