- Why give homework?
- To re-enforce what the child learns during the day
- To provide a link between teacher and parent/guardian
- To develop and encourage the habit of independent study
- Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practice work already done. The teacher in class normally prepares it. 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 in all classes and on Fridays in 3rd to 6th classes only. If homework has been neglected, parents/guardians will be given written notification and there will be follow-up from the school if this pattern continues.
- On rare occasions 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.
- Children may be asked to repeat homework during the week or at the weekend if they have not made a suitable effort or have presented untidy work.
- 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 including Maths, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class
- Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents/Guardians can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
- How much (time) 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 is the recommended maximum duration of homework, i.e. time spent actually doing the work:
Junior Infants – 20 minutes
Senior Infants – 30 minutes
First Class – 45 minutes
Second Class – 45 minutes
Third Class – 1 hour
Fourth Class – 1 hour
Fifth Class – 1 hour 15 minutes
Sixth Class – 1 hour 30 minutes
- How much help should parents/guardians give?
- Parents/Guardians should try to help their children with homework by:
(i) Providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework
(ii) Preventing interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other screens
- Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty.
- 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. Parents/Guardians should also try and ensure that they are using the same method of completing work as has been taught in class e.g. renaming for maths or look, say, cover, write, check for spelling.
- Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable experience between parent/guardian and child.
- How often should parents/guardians monitor homework?
- Parents should check a child’s homework every evening
- The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents/guardians and teachers and should be checked and signed on completion of homework daily.
- How often do teachers monitor homework?
- Teachers check homework on a daily basis.
- 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/guardians communicate with the teachers about homework?
- When a child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
- When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect
- If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
- Parents/Guardians are afforded the opportunity to discuss homework with teachers at open evening.
- Parents/Guardians should contact the class teacher if they are unsure of the content involved or the expectations of the teacher.
- When should homework be done?
- Ideally, homework should be supervised, checked and signed by a parent/guardian and done before the child tires. However, each family situation is different – parents/guardians working, child minders, children attending after school club, etc. In these circumstances, parents/guardians are expected to review homework completed outside of their supervision.
If homework is a stressful experience for parent/guardian or child, something is wrong!
This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, the class teacher should be contacted by a parent/guardian.