By Gail Kent
Homework: Importance and Procedures for Success
Ever have difficulty figuring out how to help your child with homework? Why is homework so important anyway?
Homework is used to reinforce skills and information learned during class time. It is important for students because it allows them to further interact with material and repeat learned skills. In addition, it readies them to perform independent work after high school. Below are some best practices for homework completion:
Establish a consistent time and place for homework completion. Use a desk, the dining room/kitchen table, or someplace with a hard writing surface.
Set up the homework completion area for success:
- Be consistent
- Eliminate distractions
- Maintain homework tools:
- pencils, pens, colored pencils, highlighters
- tape, glue stick
- hole punch, scissors
- ruler, calculator
- miscellaneous items that your student may need
Monitor but don't get involved in the routine completion of homework. The goal is for your student to become independent. While students may need more direct help to set up a routine at the beginning of the school year, slowly decrease your support.
Learn the work cycle of your student and when students need a break. Breaks can happen at certain time intervals or after certain goals are accomplished. Just make sure breaks are taken before students reach points of frustration.
Give positive feedback. Make a point to talk about the things your student is doing well and praise their effort not just their accomplishments.
Expectations. Talk to your student about getting to know their teachers' expectations. Each teacher may have a slight variation of their expectations. Make sure your student knows what these are. If a teacher does not provide a hand-out at the beginning of the year (or for each assignment) listing basic expectations, encourage your student to ask for one.
Use the notes. If your student doesn't understand something, encourage them to look in their notes. Notes are the best way to get information from what happened in class. Asking your student to reference their notes encourages them to take better notes, see potential places they could improve their note-taking, and become more independent learners.
It's still not working. If students still have questions, encourage them to email their teacher.
Don't do it for them!
Gail Kent, an academic advisor, has been a teacher and tutor at Landmark for 20 years.