We all want the best learning opportunities for our children at school and at home.
At Papanui Primary School we use Seesaw to share what your child has been learning at school. What traditionally is called ‘homework’ may not be the best mechanism for supporting a child’s learning at school.
Dr. John Hattie, a NZ educational researcher, in his book “Visible Learning” said, “The overall effects (of homework) are positive, but there are some important moderators.”Some of those moderators included:
Increasing the amount of homework did not lead to greater achievement.
Parent support for homework has a positive effect on achievement, whereas direct instruction by parents can have the opposite.
Task-oriented homework, such as the rehearsal of basic skills, had higher effects than homework requiring deep learning or problem-solving.
Effects were also higher when homework was not complex, or when it had a novelty aspect.
Projects were one of the least effective forms of homework.
A large amount of homework or lack of monitoring tends to lower student achievement.
For many student’s homework reinforces the fact that they cannot learn by themselves and cannot do schoolwork.
Effects are higher when involving rote learning, practice, or rehearsal of subject matter.
Experience has also shown us that:
Children and families are busy and not all families undertake homework creating inequities that are apparent in class.
Kids need time to play – for learning and for relaxation. The value of play should not be underestimated.
Homework can create tension for children. It can also create adversarial roles between the child and parent.
The ‘have to’ element of homework creates compliance. Children learn best when they direct their learning.
Guidelines for Homework
So, with this in mind, Papanui Primary has set the following guidelines because we know these are effective.
We encourage parents to support their children by providing experiences beyond “school learning”. Spending more time directly interacting with your children in enjoyable ways will develop their self-esteem and character as well as Key Competencies.
Let the children play and play with them.
Read to your children – visit the library.
Monitor their screen time.
Talk, discuss and converse with them.
Get them contributing to the household e.g. helping /preparing a meal.
Joining a club – dance, cultural, sporting, St Johns, Keas…