Emily here! Homework is a hot topic for educators and parents alike. I’m not here to cheer for Team Homework or tell you why your child’s teacher shouldn’t assign homework. I would like to share some information on the subject and give you tips that you can use immediately to help your child experience homework success!
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and National Education Association (NEA) both endorse a “10 minute rule” for homework. The rule states that a child should be assigned 10 minutes worth of homework per grade level. This means that a second grader would be expected to do 20 minutes worth of homework and a high school senior 120 minutes. The NEA states that homework is beneficial because it provides practice, can prepare a student for an upcoming lesson, or could also extend a student’s learning on a particular topic.
It is important to note that these organizations simply offer guidelines for educators- teachers and schools are free to design their own homework policies. Here in Southern Maine, the trend for elementary school students seems to be completing 20-30 minutes of reading per night with no other homework assigned. Middle and high school students appear to have more extensive assignments across subject areas.
If your child does receive homework it is important for you to provide support as parent participation with homework appears to be positively connected with academic success. This is particularly true when students are experiencing some learning or academic challenges. A study completed in 1998 found that 95% of students reported that receiving homework support from a parent helped them do better in school.
Some of the benefits to helping with homework include:
The downside may be
There are multiple ways that parents can potentially assist but there is one thing parents should not do and that is simply monitoring that your child has completed the work. There needs to be a active engagement while homework is being done. So how can you help?
Help your child get organized and establish good study habits. You can start by setting rules about when and where homework should be done. Have an interactive conversation with your child about these guidelines and make sure he or she understands them clearly. Then you can enforce the rules and, of course, provide praise when they are followed!
Show interest in what your child is learning. Ask questions about the subject and engage in some conversation. Share what you know about the topic. You might even what to read the same book or article and talk about that.
Stay close during homework time and be available (but don’t hover!). Your child needs to know he or she can reach out to you but that you aren’t constantly monitoring work at every moment. Maybe you can read quietly in another section of the living room? Or make dinner while your child is working at the kitchen table?
Communicate with your child’s teacher about the homework process. This is particularly important if he or she is being frustrated or anxious during homework time or frequently unable to complete the work.
Answer your child’s questions. Some students might need direct help. Do the best you can without doing the work yourself. If your child is becoming confused because you are explaining a concept differently than the teacher is, it might be best to stop. In some cases, parents are unable provide this for a multitude of reasons and in that case you might want to seek out some outside support (Hyperion is here to help!).
I hope that this information helps your family decrease stress and experience homework success! Reach out if you need help!!
Patall, E., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. (2008). Parent Involvement in Homework: A Research Synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 1039-1101. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ursus-proxy-6.ursus.maine.edu/stable/40071154