For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due.
Some researchers say that the question isn’t whether kids should have homework. It’s more about what kind of homework students have and how much. To be effective, homework has to meet students’ needs. For example, some middle school teachers have found success with online math homework that’s adapted to each student’s level of understanding. But when middle school students were assigned more than an hour and a half of homework, their math and science test scores went down.
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Good homework assignments might have helped a student learn a lot about, say, Ancient Egypt. But if the reading passages on a test cover topics like life in the Arctic or the habits of the dormouse, that student’s test score may well not reflect what she’s learned. One possible explanation for the general lack of a boost from homework is that few teachers know about this research. And most have gotten little training in how and why to assign homework. These are things that schools of education and teacher-prep programs typically don’t teach.
Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise. Both you and your child need to discuss pros and cons of different settings to arrive at a mutually agreed upon location. There are two key strategies parents can draw on to reduce homework hassles. The first is to establish clear routines around homework, including when and where homework gets done and setting up daily schedules for homework. The second is to build in rewards or incentives to use with children for whom “good grades” is not a sufficient reward for doing homework. However, although I don’t agree with using manipulative measures in general, I don’t see this particular one harmful to children even if the parents do not like homework themselves.
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Advise students to keep all their homework in a central location, such as a pocket folder. Designate one place, and one place only, for all subjects. If students start filing information in separate notebooks, or corners of their lockers, assignments will get lost. Teachers often make the mistake of creating an environment of dependency in the classroom. Some students may overly rely on teachers and peers for guidance and information. To truly master the day’s material, students need the opportunity to work independently through the learning process before they leave for the day.