Why give homework?
- To re-inforce what the child learns during the day
- To test child’s level of understanding of work covered or competence in skills
- To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
- To develop skills of autonomous learning
- To provide a link between teacher and parent
- To engage parents as partners in their child’s learning, by providing an opportunity to see the work undertaken by children and to assess their progress
- Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practice work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity
- Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less.
How often is homework given?
- Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. There are exceptions if homework is being neglected during the week or senior classes are asked to undertake project work.
- Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “Homework off” as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion.
- Untidy or incomplete homework may be given for completion on the following night, including Friday.
What is the content of homework?
- Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks
- This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work
- Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class
- Children sometimes feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
How much time for homework?
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Junior/Senior Infants No formal timeframe for homework. Activities set can include phonics, reading, words, maths/number, Grow in Love (religion)
Rang 1 / Rang 2 20/30 minutes
Rang 3 / Rang 4 30/40 minutes
Rang 5 / Rang 6 50/60 minutes
How much help should parents give?
- Parents should set aside time each day for homework, taking into account other needs such as recreation and family circumstances.
- Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
- Providing them with a suitable place to do their homework
- Minimising interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other children
- Ensuring their child has the necessary equipment e.g. pencil, eraser, sharpener
- Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty. Be nearby, don’t take over.
- If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem
How often should parents monitor homework?
- Parents should check homework on completion and sign their child’s journal every evening
- Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed
- The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers
How often do teachers monitor homework?
- Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However it may not always be possible to check each child’s homework journal every day
- As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week
- Some items of homework (and classwork) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
- When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
- When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect of work assigned
- If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
When should homework be done?
- Each family situation is different – both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done soon after school while your child is still fresh.
- Homework should never be left until morning time before school
Your child will make mistakes. Encourage them to find and correct their own mistakes. Children must be able to accept that making mistakes is part of the learning process and it is important that they can go back and try a different method or approach.
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.