(1) Why give Homework?
· To re-inforce what the child learns during the day.
· To provide a link between teacher and parent.
· To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic.
· Homework is meant to be achievable by a child i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in the class. However in Senior Classes some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
(2)How often is Homework given?
- Homework is given on each night except Friday.
- Homework may be given on Fridays if (a) homework has been neglected during the week (b) if Senior Classes are assigned some weekend Project work. Additional work may be given during the week or at weekends if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy Homework.
- On occasion, at the discretion of the Principal or the Class Teacher homework may be dispensed with as a treat or to mark some special occasion.
(3)How much time should be spent at Homework?
- The following are guidelines for time spent at Homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time 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 the homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only :
Junior & Senior Infants : Maximum 15 minutes
1st Class / 2nd Class : 15-30 minutes
3rd Class / 4th Class : 30-45 minutes
5th Class / 6th Class : 45-60 minutes
(4) What is the content of the Homework?
- Ideally Homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. This balance may not always be possible and may vary 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, drawing / colouring, collecting information /items and finishing work started in class.
- Children often feel that learning off pieces is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading / items to be learned, thus ensuring that this work is well done.
(5) How much help should parents give ?
· Parents should try to help their children with homework by (1) providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework (2) preventing interruptions or distractions like television / other children etc.
· Children should do written work themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty. If a child has difficulty the parent should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanations 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 difficulty.
· Shared Reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child. If it is not enjoyable, share reading should not be done.
(6) How often should parents monitor Homework?
· Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal each evening. The journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
· All written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the Homework Journal. Messages of a sensitive nature should be put in a sealed envelope.
· Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly on the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
(7) How often should teachers monitor Homework?
· Teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers this is not always possible.
· 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 the children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for the children.
(8) When should parents communicate with 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 same.
· If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
(9) When should Homework be done?
- Each family situation is different …. both parents working, child minders etc. Ideally homework should be done soon after school before any television is watched, and while your child is still alert. However some children may need a break before starting homework.
Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability…no more, no less. If Homework is a stressful experience for both parent and child then 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.