What Kids Need: Homework

What Kids Need: Homework

There is a movement in schools today where teachers do not assign homework.  They give the kids time to do it all in class, or so they say.  But what is the value of doing homework?  Is there a value?  I believe that there is value in doing homework.  It adds resilience to kids by teaching them the rigor the self-discipline of sitting down and completing the work, and it adds dimension to their cognitive ability.  Homework one is the intellectual discipline of completing the work.  It also helps establish study habits, which will be vital in their continuing education.  It also gives teachers more time to spend on curricular materials in class.  If teachers are not assigning homework and given time to complete the class assignment, then less of the curricular content is covered in class.  Something has to offer; it cannot be both ways.

Help your young people by giving them a quiet and comfortable place to do their homework.  One that is well-lit and without distractions, that is, no television or music.  Work with your child to establish a regular homework routine that will not be interrupted.  For example, many parents have a habit where kids get home, grab a snack, enjoy a few minutes of free time, and then spend time on their homework within 30 minutes of arriving back.  How much homework is enough depends, but generally, six hours a week should be adequate unless students are in advanced placement or International Baccalaureate classes.  It is best to have homework completed before dinner if possible. Kids will be hungry, so having some healthy snacks on hand will help motivate them.

Having an adult on hand to help answer questions or help them memorize vocabulary words and check their answers will be of great assistance.  If an adult isn’t available, an older sibling or the adult can scan the homework or quiz the child when they arrive home.  Helping kids learn to plan their homework is a vital lifelong skill that they need to develop.  Keep a calendar in their school bag to write down papers that may be due in advance.  Help them plan out the weeks leading up to that due date or test date.  With some guidance like encouraging them to do the problematic homework first, then the more comfortable classes, they can tackle their assignments successfully.

Many communities have available after-school study programs.  Some after-school study programs are at the school, and others are in community centers.  Be sure to check the facility out first; don’t just drop your kids off.  Check to see what adults are there; how do they ensure that kids work on homework first and then play a basketball game?  Generally, the centers have adults from the community, and they have strict standards for behavior and process.

I challenge you to approach your child’s teacher(s) to find out the homework policy and then enforce it at home.  Remember that most homework assignments are listed online now. By checking online, you can verify if the child is telling the truth when they say, “I don’t have any homework, mom.”

Closely related to Homework is Planning Skills; click here for this link What Kids Need: Planning Skills – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

A practical resource for homework help is Homework – Helping Kids With Homework | Parents


Yours for Better Parenting,