There are over 100 major mathematical concepts in algebra and geometry
that your child needs to master to be able to move on to higher levels
of mathematics properly equipped for success. Forty-three minutes
per day for fewer than half the days in a year is enough time for me to
present the ideas, but it is not enough time for your child to master the
concepts. There is only one alternative - homework. In my experience
I have found that homework is one of the most powerful learning tools that
is available. Not "drill and kill', but drill for skill. Practice
results in proficiency.
The fiddler who practices most plays best!
Parents need to strike a balance in the management of their children's
homework. This means offering support and assistance but not taking
over. This enables children to learn and think on their own and to
learn from mistakes. It is important that parents monitor whether
homework is done, and how well it is done, but guard against doing the
homework for their children.
You can’t learn to pull the wagon by riding on it.
"A study by University of Illinois scholars ... discovered that the simple
act of doing homework tests out as being more important to a child's success
in school than race, class, or the parents' educational background."
The Globe and Mail, Fifth Column, November 3, 1995.
WHY IS HOMEWORK SO IMPORTANT?
It helps children internalize
by practicing skills previously taught.
It helps children learn, remember, and understand information.
It helps children understand the relationship between effort and results.
It helps children develop time management and organizational skills.
It helps children develop a positive attitude towards life-long learning.
It helps children take responsibility, show initiative, and be creative.
It enables parents to see their children's progress.
It keeps parents tuned in to what their children are learning in school.
It strengthens the ties between home and school.
AS A PARENT, WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT HOMEWORK?
Be consistent yet flexible. Agree on a study schedule and a homework
plan at the beginning of each school year, allowing for the fact that some
nights more time will be needed than others. Each child needs a homework
routine that fits his individual age, health, temperament, and study skills
Discourage personal phone calls and digital distractions during scheduled homework time.
Establish a quiet, well lit study area with the proper tools for schoolwork. This can be anything from a desk in a bedroom to the kitchen table.
Ensure that children are not tired, hungry, or short of time.
Help children understand what they're to do and why.
Help children get ready to do their homework - for instance, by guiding them to first read the introduction to the chapter they have been assigned, or to look over the last work they did on the subject, or to review notes they took.
Provide required knowledge and information for homework/study projects, for example by organizing a trip to the library.
Teach children to work independently and help them learn to manage their time.
As your children are reading their chapter, they should pause after each
section and 'test” their understanding. It helps to take notes of
the main points as they read. The act of taking notes and reviewing
them will help children understand and remember.
Involve yourself as the "audience" for ready practice of spelling, mathematics problems, reading, etc.
Be sure children understand that homework is their responsibility. Make yourself available but be clear about your role is as supporter and monitor. (You don't have to know how to do the work yourself to be a good supporter.)
Good notes are important. Encourage students to organize them immediately after class while the ideas are fresh, and to review them that same evening. Students in my classes maintain spiral notebooks that contain notes from class as well as homework.
Your children should review material more than once, well in advance, instead of ‘cramming' the night before a test.
Show interest in what your child is doing. Talk about successes and difficulties. Encourage your child to do well in school. If you believe that the hours of studying are worth the effort, then so will your child. Give praise when praise is due!
Turn your child into the teacher. You play the part of the student. As he teaches you, he'll be absorbing important information.
Provide children with homework tools such as dictionaries, rulers, calculators, and so on.
Expand interest in a subject by using supplementary material.
If your child has difficulty with one subject, have his begin a homework session by completing that assignment first while he's fresh. Save his favorite subjects for last.
Do your own "homework" while your kids are studying, if possible. Pay bills, write letters, balance your checkbook, or read. When kids see that study time applies to everyone, they'll be more likely to take it seriously. The number one homework distracter is television.
I promise that I will never assign busy work. All homework is valuable, and all homework counts.
Tell me how and I may or may not know how.
Show me how and I will know
how for a day. Give me homework for practice, understanding, review, and
extension and I will know how for life. Hansen
If the brain were a muscle then class work would be the weight training,
would be the roadwork, and tests would be the competitions. Mathematics is the sport
of the mind. Build yourself up and get in the game; no one can keep you out of the
game but you. Hansen
Doing homework is like making regular deposits in the intellectual bank.
pays great interest, and just like money oriented banks, no deposit - no return.
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From Duke University