Homework is part of the curriculum at Merici College. The College expectation is that all students will complete homework. The College recognises that at certain times homework can be a source of stress for families. If this is the situation, parents are asked to communicate with the school so alternative arrangements can be made. The School Planner is a good way of connecting with the class teacher about homework. On the whole, students should not be spending more than the suggested time below on homework tasks.
Homework provides an important link between school and home, a vehicle for communication about what is expected and what is being taught at school…Homework also provides an opportunity for the development of autonomy and helps to develop an understanding in students about when they need assistance.
The benefits of homework
Homework is valuable because it can help students:
- review and practise work covered in class
- get ready for future lessons
- learn to use resources, such as libraries, reference materials and websites to find information
- explore topics more fully than classroom time permits
- extend learning by applying skills to new situations
- integrate learning by applying many different skills to a single task, such as book reports or science projects
- practise, extend and consolidate understanding of concepts
- learn how to plan and organise time
- work independently
- establish habits of study and concentration which will be useful for the future.
It can also:
- strengthen home-school links
- provide parents and caregivers with insights into what is being taught in the classroom and into the progress of the students
- reaffirm the role of parents and caregivers as partners in education
- challenge and extend gifted and talented students
- encourage self-discipline and responsibility (assignments provide some children with their first chance to manage time and to meet deadlines).
There is a strong correlation between homework, test results and grades. Evidence suggests that students who complete required homework obtain better results than students who do not. This is particularly significant in the later years of schooling.
Parents’ Role in Homework
Parents can assist with homework by:
- providing a suitable place for students to do their homework
- showing an active interest in the homework to be done
- helping students with time management to enable them to meet deadlines
- limiting assistance with homework to guiding, aiding, reviewing, listening to reading and recitation and answering specific questions
- encouraging students to engage in regular reading for pleasure
- contacting the teacher if your child continually tells you they have no homework communicating with the teacher if your child is having difficulty completing homework
- checking and signing the Student Planner weekly
Each student is issued a Student Planner as a tool to manage their home study and aid personal organisation. The Students Planner can also be the first point of contact to teachers. If parents are concerned about homework they are asked in the first instance to contact the student’s class teacher. If the concern is not elleviated they may contact the Junior (for students in Years 7 – 9) or Senior (for students in Years 10 – 12) School Coordinator. Students are expected to:
- record set homework in the Student Planner and take it home each night
- monitor assessment due dates
- complete assigned homework
- seek help from the teacher when needed
- be accountable for their actions regarding the completion of homework
Suggested Amounts Of Homework Across Year Levels
Years 7 and 8
5 to 7½ hours per week (1 to 1½ hours per night averaged over five nights)
Years 9 and 10
7½ to 10 hours per week (1½ to 2 hours per night averaged over five nights)
Years 11 and 12
12 hours per week minimum. This is the minimum suggested for seniors. Seniors have at least two study lines and so can be doing 6 hours of study per week during school time. Although the major focus will be on assessment tasks, further self-directed learning, revision and independent study are essential in students achieving success in their senior years.
Types Of Homework
Homework may comprise:
- Practice exercises – letting students apply new knowledge or review, revise and reinforce newly acquired skills. Examples of such exercises are learning mathematical tables, practising spelling words, essay writing and reading for pleasure.
- Preparatory homework – allowing students to gain background information on a topic to prepare them for future lessons. Examples are reading newspaper articles and collecting geometric shapes.
- Assignments – encouraging students to pursue knowledge individually and imaginatively. Assignments might include writing a book-review, researching local news or reviewing items from the Internet.