The Value of Homework
Homework is broadly defined as a task assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours. Assigning homework serves various educational needs. It serves as an intellectual discipline, establishes students’ study habits, reinforces newly-acquired skills and knowledge and supplements work done in school. In addition, it encourages students’ self-discipline, fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility and brings home and school closer together.
Homework can be in many forms, for example:
- General assignments to reinforce learning of concepts , topics, ideas
- Preparation assignments to get ready for activities that will occur in the classroom
- Doing background research on a topic to be discussed in class
- Extension assignments/projects that parallel classwork whereby students apply previous learning
Teachers assign homework for many reasons. Homework can help children:
- review and practise what they've learned;
- get ready for the next day's class;
- learn to use resources, such as libraries, internet, reference materials, and encyclopedias; and
- explore subjects more fully than time permits in the classroom.
Importance of Parents’ Involvement
- Children need to know that their parents and adults close to them view homework as important. If they know their parents care, children have a good reason to complete assignments and turn them in on time.
- Homework can bring together children, parents, and teachers in a common effort to improve student learning. Helping your child with homework is an opportunity to improve your child's chances of doing well in school and life.
- Homework is an opportunity for students to learn and for parents to be involved in their children’s education. A parent’s interest can spark enthusiasm in a child and help teach the most important lesson of all – that learning can be fun and is well worth the effort. When parents get involved with their children’s homework, communication between the school and family can improve. Parents will be more aware of what is expected of students. It gives parents a first-hand knowledge of what their child is learning and how well he/she is coping in school.
- Be positive about homework. Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.
Notes of Caution:
Parents’ involvement can have either a positive or negative impact on the value of homework. It is positive if parents give proper guidance and good supervision at home. They can help to keep track of their child’s progress, his/her weak areas or his/her strong areas. This will help to speed up the child’s learning. Parents’ involvement is negative if it interferes with their child’s learning. For example, parents may confuse children if the teaching strategies/tools they use differ from those used in the classroom or parents help to complete the tasks given to child instead of letting the child do on his own. It will also leave a negative connotation to the child if parents punish their child severely if the child does not know how to do the homework or parents use threats to get their child do the homework.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP WITH HOMEWORK (ROLE OF PARENTS)
- Ensure a conducive (quiet & comfortable) environment. Ensure that your child has a quiet environment in his own room or the hall. Avoid having your child do homework with the television or radio on or in places with other distractions, such as people coming and going.
- Make sure the materials your child needs, such as stationery and a dictionary, are available.
- Help your child with time management. Establish a set time each day for doing homework. Explain to your child the effects of procrastination and do not let him leave homework until just before bedtime. Allow some time for your child to rest in between homework.
- When your child asks for help, teach him. Don’t give answers or do it for him. Giving answers means your child will not learn the material. Too much help teaches your child that when the going gets rough, someone will do the work for him or her.
- Help your child distinguish between hard homework and easy homework. Have your child complete the hard work first. This will mean he will be most alert when facing the biggest challenges. Easy material will seem to go fast when fatigue begins to set in.
- Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration. Let your child take a short break if she or he is having trouble keeping her or his mind on an assignment.
- School work comes first over tuition work. Remind your child to complete the school homework before doing the tuition work.
- Reward progress in homework. If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (e.g., pizza, a walk, a trip to the park) to reinforce the positive effort.
HOW PUPILS CAN AVOID TARDINESS IN HOMEWORK (ROLE OF PUPILS)
In order to benefit maximally from the value of homework, students should ensure the following on a daily basis.
- Refer to the whiteboard in the classroom for any homework assignments.
- Record the homework assignments in the Pupil’s Handbook. Do not rely on memory.
- Ensure that they understand what needs to be done. If unsure, ask the teacher or friend.
- Organize textbooks, activity books, worksheets and files.
- Ensure that homework is not left in school i.e under the school desk or in files left in school.
- Establish a home timetable (together with parents) and follow it.
- Have a neat study area at home, away from distractions such as television, radio and computer.
GENERAL GUIDELINES ON DAILY HOMEWORK
Kranji Primary School seeks to ensure pupils’ well-being by not overloading them with too much homework assignments. It adopts the following guidelines to manage the workload of pupils.
- Estimated amount of time spent on homework daily.
|Level||Estimated time spent on homework daily|
|Primary 1||30 minutes to 1 hour|
|Primary 2||30 minutes to 1 hour|
|Primary 3||1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes|
|Primary 4||1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes|
|Primary 5||1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours|
|Primary 6||1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours|
2. During school holidays and PSLE Marking Exercise, homework assignments will be issued. Estimated amount of homework are:
|Level||Minimum number of homework assignments per subject|
|March & September holidays & PSLE Marking Exercise Days||June Holidays|
|Primary 1||1 assignment per subject|
|Primary 2||1 assignment per subject|
|Primary 3||1 assignment per subject|
|Primary 4||1 assignment per subject|
|Primary 5||1 assignment per subject||2 assignments per subject|
|Primary 6||2 assignments per subject||2 assignments per subject|
3. Homework assignments will not be given over festive periods during term time such as e.g. Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji and Deepavali.