By Debbie Cluff
Walking into a family of 4's living room in big, bold letters a sign reads, "HOMEWORK IS A BUMMER". Can you relate? It is so interesting how homework can be the cause of such annoyance in the household. Many parents after a couple of years just give up and figure their student can handle the daily tasks by themselves. As a teacher it is so frustrating having the students come to class without their homework done. If you listened to the teachers in the teachers lounge, parents would be mortified to find themselves as topics of being non-caring parent.
Teachers give homework for a reason and that reason has nothing to do with creating arguments in the household. Most teachers differ on their opinion of the importance of homework. Here is some teacher insight to homework when she explains,
One of my co-workers and I differ completely on homework. I believe in it; he does not. We agree to disagree! He feels the work should be in the classroom and home is for "fun and relaxation". I believe homework is a reinforcement of what they learned in school and an opportunity to check to make sure you understand it. Too many times I thought I understood a concept (usually in math or statistics) to try it at home, and not be able to do it! All should read at home (and my colleague here agreed with reading at home). I also feel homework is a means for developing self-responsibility. I do believe that homework "grows" with age. I think the rule-of-thumb is 10 minutes per grade. In the earlier years, it should be reading and some writing practice. As they get older, homework leads to major projects to be accomplished over time (Larson, 2005).
It depends on the teacher's personal teaching style whether homework is important or not. As a parent you have to learn about what your student has for homework. This is really hard in the upper grades, but you are the parent and this is your responsibility. Melanie was having a hard time with her son Matthew finishing his homework. Every night is was a battle to get it done and to have him sit down and finish the work. Eventually she would just sit with him and help him with the homework. Turn homework into a positive event. Have rewards for finishing homework. Do anything that will make learning fun for your child.
Michelle, a mother of 3, has trained her children at an early age that the first thing they do when they come home from school is homework. Her kids have gotten into the routine if coming home, sitting down, and finish up their work. They learned not to battle and that after the work was done they could go and do what they wanted. Routines form habits that will develop into their adulthood. In reality, no expert can tell you how to run your homework routine. It is like potty training your child; you find what works best for that particular kid and go with it. You can read the best books in the word, read a million books, listen to every example from a teacher and a parent, but all in all you know what works best for your child.
Charles Wadsworth wrote, "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong (Quotationspage.com). When our children are older, 8th- 12th grade, they may not appreciate our help with homework, but will love us for the help and confidence later in our life. You are not alone in this struggle; teachers understand what you are going through. One middle school teacher explains, "I can say that it is one that I am constantly struggling at. As a teacher in a middle school I see homework as a constant battle with students. It is almost impossible to get some students to do homework and if you look at it logically, and consider many students home life you can see why. So from that perspective is homework worth it. It doesn't let you know what a student can and can not do, but I do see where it is a good way to give them extra practice (Hampton, 2005).
Our younger children will LOVE the extra help with homework. Nic is a first grader in California. His favorite thing to do is to come home and finish his homework. His mother has to hurry and sit down with him to "help him with his homework because he is finished to fast. Diane, mother of 4, likes to make a list of things for her daughter to do after school in regards to her education. She always makes time to read with her the required 20 minutes a day. Be involved in your students afterschool homework and help them to learn the skills of doing homework. This is preparation for when they are older and have a 16 unit semester with all core classes. If you can't do homework one teacher suggests, - if the students do not need their parents help with homework then at least the parents could make time for the household as a whole to have time spent together each night either having a 1/2 hour reading session together or playing an educational game (Zanotti, 2005).
About The Author
Debbie Cluff is the owner of Links for Learning, www.links-for-learning.com, an online tutoring and istant homework help site. She was born and raised in Pasadena, California. Her mother is a special educational teacher at South Pasadena Middle School which inspired Debbie to go into the teaching profession. She is the oldest of 10 kids, 8 of which were adopted. She grew up in an educationally based household. 5 out of the 8 children have learning disabilities and were placed on IEP's. At a young age she was interested in teaching children how to better their education and make their disabilities, their advantage. She attended California State University-Los Angeles and received her Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies with a Multiple Credential Degree. She taught in a Title 1 program at Ramona Elementary School in Alhambra, California were she found her passion for teaching reading and writing. Debbie then taught the 6th grade at Ramona Elementary School. She has received her Master's in Education from the University of Phoenix and is working on her administrative license. She loves children and loves teaching. She has been married for 5 years and has two children, Ben and Audrey. Contact our Founder at firstname.lastname@example.org.