Homework is seen as an important tool in the process of learning. It reiterates the lessons of the day and uses repetition to help you remember new information.
However, as an adult, you know when you’ve had enough and can put your pen down. Children don’t necessarily have that luxury, they’re given homework and it’s expected to be completed.
But, how do you know how much homework they should really be doing?
In fact, the general rule is quite simple, 10 minutes per night for the first year in school and 10 minutes extra for every year thereafter. By the time you’ve spent five years studying you should be doing 50 minutes per night.
Under an hour is enough to ensure concentration levels remain high and that there is a noticeable benefit to completing the homework.
In addition, it’s a good idea not to give weekend homework, this is supposed to be time for a child to rest and recover, not focus on more work.
The Importance Of Starting Young
It may seem peculiar for very young children to have homework. But, if you check with some of the best early learning centers you’ll find that it is normal. The reason is not to improve grades or pressure the child.
Instead, it simply sets up homework as being the norm, preparing children for the years of study that are to come.
Of course, this homework time can be used to reinforce any subjects or areas that a child is struggling with. But, the main aim is building a habit.
For this reason, it doesn’t matter if a pre-school child does just 5 minutes of homework, the principle is still established.
The Best Homework
If you want children to learn at school and at home the work needs to be interesting and fun. In fact, the same is true of adults.
It’s important to remember that children only have a few hours after school to complete homework and see friends. If the homework takes up all this time they will become resentful and stop doing it, or at least stop doing it properly.
That means setting homework that essential repeats what you’ve done that day, and does it in a fun, simple way.
This will actually improve the chances of the child absorbing the information and avoid them from becoming stressed.
Your child may not want you to monitor their homework but you can monitor their grades. If they start to slip it is likely that they are finding the homework too difficult and perhaps stressing or becoming tired.
This is a good time for you to step in and assess whether they are doing too much or simply need a little more help.
What is important for teachers and parents to recognize is that homework is a useful tool but that it should never be done just for the sake of it. Homework should be completed to help a pupil understand a topic if they already understand there is no harm in not giving out homework.