Why give homework?
•To reinforce what the child learns during the day
•To provide a link between teacher and parent
•To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
•Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practice work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity
•Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less.
How often is homework given?
•Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays.
•Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given
“Homework off” as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion
What is the content of homework?
•Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks
•This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work
•Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class
•Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
•Often ‘Shared Reading’ is part of the child’s homework where parent and child sit down together to read a book. The parent allows the child to read and only prompts when necessary. This activity is designed to be an enjoyable learning experience for both parent and child.
How much (time) homework?
The following are guidelinesfor time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Junior Infants 0 - 10 minutes
Senior Infants Up to 20 minutes
Rang 1 Up to 30 minutes
Rang 2 Up to 40 minutes
Rang 3 Up to 50 minutes
Rang 4 Up to 1 hour
Rang 5 Up to 1 hour 15 minutes
Rang 6 Up to 1 hour 30minutes
How much help should parents give?
•Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
oProviding them with a suitable place and time to do their homework
oTo prevent interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other children
•Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty
•If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcomethe difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem
•Parents are asked to encourage a pride in the child’s own written work and ensure that neat and tidy work is presented
•Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child.
How often should parents monitor homework?
•Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening
•The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers
•Ideally, all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal. If parents prefer not to communicate via the journal then a note in an envelope is acceptable
•Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed
•Other letters to parents are folded and placed in the current day of the homework journal. Please check your child’s journal/bag for such notes on a regular basis.
How often do teachers monitor homework?
•Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day
•As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week
•Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
•When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
•When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect
•If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
When should homework be done?
•Each family situation is different - both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched soon after school while your child is still fresh, however, some children need a break before starting homework
•Homework should never be left until morning time before school
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.
Ratified by BOM: 2018