As children move into higher grades, these skills and strategies help them organize, plan, and learn independently. This is precisely where parents make a demonstrable difference in students’ attitudes and approaches to homework. Parental concerns do my homework about their children’s homework loads are nothing new. Homework provides an opportunity for parents to interact with and understand the content their students are learning so they can provide another means of academic support for students.
The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat.
The relationship at the elementary school level is only one-quarter that of the high school level. Every year, I explain to the parents of my third-grade students the three primary reasons I regularly assign homework. First, it gives students a chance to practice what they’ve learned in class, but in a different setting.
Finally, teachers value homework as a way to keep parents connected to the school and their children’s educational experiences. Evaluations show that elementary and middle-school students in classrooms that have adopted TIPS complete more of their homework than do students in other classrooms. Both students and parent participants show more positive beliefs about learning mathematics, and TIPS students show significant gains in writing skills and report-card science grades, as well as higher mathematics scores on standardized tests. Experts agree that the amount and type of homework should depend on the developmental level of the student. The National PTA and the National Education Association suggest that homework for children in grades K–2 is most effective when it does not exceed ten to twenty minutes each day. In grades three through six, children can benefit from thirty to sixty minutes daily.
For example, students might learn in class about factors that led to the French Revolution and then be asked as homework to apply them to the American Revolution. Finally, integration homework requires the student to apply separately learned skills to produce a single product, such as book reports, science projects, or creative writing. There is currently an enormous debate as to whether or not homework should even be assigned in elementary school. Parents often wonder what is considered too much, and what purpose it serves. There are many reasons teachers assign homework, but, be assured, it is always meant to benefit you and your child. Plenty of studies have sought to analyse the value of homework and how it benefits academic performance.
He reported to me that he had several hours of homework nightly in middle school and high school. However, he recently shared with me, “I would not have been as successful in college without that homework, because it helped me learn to manage my time.” College students do homework, study for tests and work on projects. My son reports that he spends three to four hours working outside of class on an average day, and that he spends up to 12 hours a day preparing for exams during the week of finals. Fortunately, both of my son were “college and career ready” when the time came. Cooper’s analysis focused on how homework impacts academic achievement—test scores, for example.