Hello Classical Families and Friends!
I have been shifting through the recent results from the Classical School Board follow-up survey regarding homework and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about homework and the survey with everyone.
Daily homework is a part of the Classical School experience and an educational tradition we believe is essential to a developing mind. Children learn more effectively though distributed practice and review of concepts originally taught in the classroom. Homework is used as the means to provide this distributed practice so that children will have an easier time retrieving newly acquired knowledge when the teacher references it the following class period.
Homework develops strong academic and work practices. In addition to the knowledge and skills acquired and reinforced, daily homework helps students acquire disciplined habits and routines. By the time they are in middle school, students will have several classes’ worth of homework to balance. By giving our children gradually increasing amounts of homework—generally 10 minutes per night per grade—we help them develop the discipline they will need as they progress in their education.
Because homework was a theme from the responses to the May 2017 parent survey, the Classical School Board wanted to follow-up with parents to determine the average amount of homework per child and how parents perceive this amount of homework. We’ve had a high return of responses by coupling the follow-up survey with our parent-teacher conferences.
While the full tabulation and analysis is not complete, the average homework time for our K-6 students ranges from approximately twenty minutes to seventy minutes. The increase of homework time is fairly consistent with the grade level steps and the parental perception of this amount of homework hovers around “Just Right.”
I’ve spoken to many parents over the years about ideas to make homework more efficient and these are my general suggestions:
Talk to your child’s teacher about the time it is taking to complete homework. Your child’s teacher will appreciate knowing this information and can provide support during school and ideas for at home.
Sit with your child or be in the same room while they do their homework versus allowing them to be by themselves.
If you believe your child is taking too long to do homework, time the homework one night and then gradually reduce the time given for homework completion by five or ten minute increments.
Prioritize homework. (e.g. First, complete your math then any writing assignment.)
Prioritize studying by looking for upcoming tests in your child’s assignment and focusing on those subjects. You don’t have to study every subject every evening.
Children’s rooms can be quite distracting to younger children and might not be the best area for efficient homework completion.
Most children finish work faster when sitting at a table or desk.
Many of our former families and alumni speak of the daily discipline of homework as being pivotal to their later academic success. This is one of our goals as a school – to give your son or daughter more opportunities in life. The ability to work independently and consistently is essential to meeting this goal.
The staff at Classical School have your children’s interest foremost in their hearts and minds.
Thomas L. Bomann
Principal, Classical School