There aren’t many children that like doing homework, but it remains an integral part and effective way of learning. Students also stand to gain invaluable time management skills, especially when homework involves multiple deadlines and subjects.
Homework is extremely beneficial for teachers too. After all, it provides a unique insight into how students are performing, their understanding of a topic, and attitudes towards education.
But how can you guarantee that all of these advantages come to fruition? Here are some tips on setting homework for children.
Make homework the rule, not the exception
For students to understand the importance of homework, it should be a part of their routine and not issued sporadically or at random. Failing to establish a schedule could cause students to fall behind or produce substandard work.
Start by thinking about how many hours of homework your students should be completing on a weekly basis according to their age and ability. Encourage students to do homework in the evening and at weekends too.
Allow enough time for completion and questions
If possible, avoid issuing homework to be completed overnight, chiefly because this isn’t realistic in terms of time and provides few opportunities to ask for help.
Another reason why this doesn’t make sense is that certain students will have other commitments, such as extra-curricular activities, school-based sporting functions, or family occasions. Parents won’t be happy if they are forced to cancel plans or lose money because of little foresight from you.
Stick to a schedule with marking
If you’re asking students to stick to a schedule when completing homework, it’s only fair that you do the same with marking. Homework is a two-way street, where marks and feedback are often just as important as the teaching material itself.
Keep to your end of the bargain and don’t dawdle. It goes without saying that teachers are always pressed for time and have to juggle a multitude of tasks, but homework that remains unmarked for days at a time can easily end up staying that way.
Collect homework at the first opportunity
Seeing as several students believe school ends when the bell rings, there is a strong chance that certain pupils will look to complete homework at break time, during lunch hour, or even in class.
For this reason, try to collect homework at the first opportunity, such as before class in the morning. It’s not fair on hard-working students who sacrificed their free time to complete homework for others to get away with doing it at school.
Recognise and reward effort
Homework is more about the lengths your students have gone to rather than their individual performance. Examples of going the extra mile and devoting time to a project should be recognised and rewarded in class.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – simply giving out gold stars or sending letters to parents is enough. The aim is to encourage students to demonstrate the same level of effort at home as in class.