Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. This balance can vary considerably from day to day. It should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.
Homework may contain exercises based on 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 spellings, tables, etc. is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring that this work is done well.
Below you’ll find additional information on the following:
- How much time should be spent on homework?
- How much help should parents give?
- How often should parents monitor homework?
- When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
How much time should be spent on homework?
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. It is important to remember that 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 the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters.
Class Duration (minutes)
Junior & Senior Infants 10 – 20
First & Second class 20 – 30
Third & Fourth class 30 – 60
Fifth & Sixth class 60 – 90
Homework is given from Monday to Thursday. Normally there is no homework at weekends or on a school day just before a holiday. However, children in middle and senior classes may sometimes be required to work independently on projects at weekends or other times.
How much help should parents give?
Parents should try to help their children with homework by providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework and by preventing 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 to overcome the 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 child’s difficulties with the homework.
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.
Notices to parents may be placed in the homework journal. Please check your child’s journal for such notes on a regular basis
Please check that your child records homework neatly and ticks each item of homework when completed.
Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day.
In middle and senior classes homework may also be corrected 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.
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.