Homework, if used correctly, can be quite an effective tool for increasing student achievement.
Unfortunately, as many teachers know, getting students to complete homework can be a frustrating task to say the least.
Teachers try all sorts of strategies to help students complete homework. We have them write the homework in their planners/agendas, we get them started on the homework in class to clear up any confusion, we post the homework on websites and/or blogs etc.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, when it comes to checking/collecting homework the next day we see the same old thing…many students simply do not do the homework, or they don’t complete the homework.
Usually, at this point, teachers start assigning detention, making phone calls home etc. do my homework for me
However, one homework strategy that is often overlooked is getting parents involved with your homework policy from the beginning. No, I don’t mean just letting them know the percentage of the grade and the consequences for incomplete homework, but rather what the parents can do to help their child complete the homework.
Here’s a list of some homework strategies that teachers can share with their students’ parents:
1. Set up a consistent place for homework to be done. Homework should be done in the same place every night – not on the couch one night, at the dinner table the next, and the bedroom the following night.
2. Organize your homework spot to maximize efficiency. Have a box with everything your child might need to complete any given homework assignment…pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, markers, paper etc. This will greatly reduce homework procrastination.
3. Help your child establish a consistent schedule for completing homework. Depending on the child’s after school schedule, it may not be possible to do the homework at the same time every night. Therefore, it may be wise to sit down Sunday night each week and create the homework schedule for the upcoming week.
4. Do not sit with your child and do the homework together. The purpose of the homework is for your child to practice what he or she has learned in class. If your child cannot do the homework by herself then you need to contact the teacher.
5. After your child completes the homework, discuss it…What did he or she learn from the homework? What steps were easy? Difficult?
6. Your child should spend roughly 10 minutes per grade level on homework. For example, a 2nd grader should spend 20 minutes on homework while an 8th grader should spend 80 minutes. Again, if your child continues to consistently spend more time than this on homework make sure to contact your child’s teacher.