Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh (B)
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. 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 for classes up to and including fifth class. There are two exceptions to this arrangement:
- homework that has been neglected during the week may be assigned for the weekend
- senior classes may be assigned project work to be undertaken at weekends
- 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.
- extra homework may sometimes be assigned during the week or at the weekend if a pupil has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.
What is the Content of Homework?
- Ideally homework will contain a balance of tasks including some or on occasions all of the following: reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
- 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.
How Much Time Should be Allocated to Homework?
The following are guidelines for the amount of time to be spent on homework. Different children will complete the same homework tasks 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.
Junior Infants 10 minutes approx.
Senior Infants 20 minutes approx.
Rang 1 30 minutes approx.
Rang 2 40 minutes approx.
Rang 3 50 minutes approx.
Rang 4 50 minutes approx.
Rang 5 1 hour approx.
Rang 6 1 hour approx.
How Can Parents Help?
Parents can help their children with homework by:
- providing a distraction free environment
- providing a comfortable location
- taking a supportive role
Children often do not put a lot of emphasis on reading and learning tasks. Parents can play an important role in addressing this by listening to their child’s reading and examining them on items to be learned thus ensuring this work is done well.
When Should Homework Be Done?
Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched and preferably soon after school while the child is still fresh. It is important to remember that some children need a break before starting homework. Homework should never be left until morning time before school.
How Much Help Should Parents Give?
Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty:
- by providing where possible further explanation or examples. Parents should not do the actually homework
In situations where a parent cannot assist a child the parent should write a note of explanation in the child’s journal to the teacher
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’s not enjoyable, shared reading should not be done.
How Often Should Parents Monitor Homework?
Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening because:
- The child’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework.
- It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
Ideally, all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal (additional pages available at the end of the journal). Parents should check that their child records his homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
How Often Do Teachers Monitor Homework?
- Ideally teachers will check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers it is not always 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 a child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
- When a child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect of the task assigned.
- If the amount of time spent at homework is regularly longer than the recommended amount of time.
If homework is a stressful experience for parent and child, something is wrong. Such situations lead to poor learning experience thus defeating the purpose of the homework. Should this happen on a regular basis the class teacher should be contacted.