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 Homework

Introduction

Homework can be a valuable part of schooling. Homework provides students with the opportunity to deepen understanding and proficiency in a content area.  It allows for practising and consolidating work learnt in class.  It provides opportunities for students to practice planning and organizing their time and it has the potential to challenge and extend learners.  It also provides opportunities to consolidate their classroom learning, pattern behaviour for lifelong learning beyond the classroom and involve family members in their learning.

Homework can also provide parents and caregivers with an opportunity to see the type of learning activities their children are working with at school, but should not be seen as an effective way of gauging their progress at school.  This really requires a parent / teacher dialogue.

Guidelines

Teachers -

Homework is most useful when:-

  • it is regular and helps to establish a study routine;
  • it is appropriate to the phase of learning (early, junior & middle years);
  • develops the student’s independence as a learner;
  • when it is revision and critical reflection to consolidate or extend class work;
  • when it is challenging and purposeful, but not frustrating for learners, parents and caregivers;
  • it assists students to apply knowledge and skills in new contexts;
  • it helps prepare students for forthcoming classroom learning.

The teacher's expectations will be communicated. These expectations will clearly state:-

  • The amount and type of homework set
  • How homework assignments to be completed are recorded
  • When home work is issued and corrected
  • What happens if homework is not completed
  • What to do if homework is too difficult or is causing problems at home

When setting homework account must be taken of the developmental age and ability of the learner, as well as students’ home responsibilities and extracurricular activities.

Teachers need to ensure prompt and useful feedback occurs and that follow-up is provided regularly to students.

Teachers in the middle years need to explicitly teach strategies to develop organisational and time-management skills and provide opportunities to practise these strategies through homework. Homework has the potential to affirm the partnership in learning between parents and teachers.  It is essential that the importance of family and leisure activities is recognized in the amounts and type of homework that is set.

Parents -

Parents and caregivers have an important role in assisting the school in the development of their school’s homework procedures.   They can help their children by:-

  • Reading to them, talking with them and involving them in tasks at home including shopping, playing games and physical activity
  • Helping them to complete tasks by discussing key questions or directing them to resources
  • Encouraging them to organise their time and take responsibility for their learning
  • Encouraging them to read and take an interest in and discuss current local, national and international events
  • Helping them to balance the amount of time spent completing homework, watching television, playing computer games, playing sport and engaging in other recreational activities
  • Contacting the teacher to discuss any concerns about the nature of homework and their children’s approach to the homework.

Students –

Students can take responsibility for their own learning by:-

  • Being aware of the school’s homework expectations
  • Discussing with their parents or caregivers homework expectations
  • Accepting responsibility for the completion of homework tasks within set timeframes
  • Following up on comments made by teachers
  • Seeking assistance when difficulties arise
  • Organising their time to manage home obligations, participation in physical activity and sports, recreational and cultural activities and part-time employment.

The following information is provided as a guide:-

Homework Hours over a Week

In the Prep Year, generally students will not be set homework.
Years 1-3 – could be up to but generally not more than 1 hour per week
Years 4-5 – could be up to but generally not more than 2-3 hours per week
Years 6-7 – could be up to but generally not more than 3-4 hours per week

(Recommendations as per Education Queensland)

Year 8 – 1 ½ hours per day or 7 ½ hours per week
Year 9 – 2 hours per day or 10 hours per week
Year 10 – 2 ½ hours per day or 12 ½ hours per week
Years 11-12 – 3 hours per day or 15 hours per week

(Recommendations from Carmel College)