Homework fosters indepencence, self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation and responsibility and life long learning. It is an essential part of primary education as it re-enforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their child’s education.
In general, homework is meant to be achievable by a child working on his/her own to the best of his/her ability. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. It can be used to practice what is done in school or can be designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
How often is homework given?
Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays with certain exceptions:
- If homework has been neglected during the week.
- In senior classes some project work may be undertaken at weekends
Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children may be given ‘homework off’ as a treat or as an acknowledgment of some special occasion.
Usually, homework contains 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, pieces to be ‘learned by heart’, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class. Music and IT may also be included from time to time. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well.
Duration of 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 it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines:
- Infant classes – up to 20 minutes
- 1st & 2nd class – up to 30 minutes
- 3rd & 4th class – up to 45 minutes
- 5th & 6th class – up to 75 minutes
- Enter homework accurately in homework diaries
- Ensure they take home relevant books and copies
- Complete homework assignments to the best of their ability
- Present written homework neatly
- Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age.
- Encourage children to work independently as far as possible. Resist over-helping.
- Encourage children to organise themselves for homework. Have all books and materials to hand. The pupil should have the Homework Journal open to tick off work as it is completed.
- Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account of age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
- Providing a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and T.V.
- Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
- Sign the homework diary (1st to 6th classes) checking that all homework is complete.
- Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary, P.E. clothes, if needed for the next school day.
- Communicate difficulties to the teacher using the homework journal.
Where appropriate parents/guardians will be assisted in understanding the homework policy and minimizing any obstacle that language etc. might present in contributing to a positive homework environment.
- Set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students.
- Monitor homework on a regular basis to help identify pupils with special difficulties
What happens when homework is not done?
When homework is not done regularly the teacher will make contact with the parent/guardian initially via the pupil’s homework journal to try to resolve the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter is brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the parent/gaurdian and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved.