Why is Homework Important for the Carol Morgan Student?
The mission of the Carol Morgan School is “to prepare students to become leaders in a multicultural global society.” Leaders have strong work habits that are built in the PK-12 school experience. Homework is an extension of classroom learning and provides the opportunity to enhance student performance, and to help students become organized, independent, and self-directed learners.
Research has shown that homework should have different purposes at different grade levels. We know that in the earlier grades, the value of homework is in helping students develop positive attitudes and work habits. In the middle and high schools, homework practice helps students develop and expand their content knowledge as well as solidify their academic skills.
What Do Students Gain by Doing Homework?
Homework assignments should be assigned for the following purposes:
- Practice to help master specific skills that have been presented in class
- Preparation to help students gain the maximum benefits from future lessons
- Extension to transfer new skills or concepts to new situations
- Creativity to require students to integrate many skills or concepts in order to produce original responses.
How Much Time Should It Take to Do Homework?
The amount of time students spend on homework should be age-appropriate. The following are guidelines for how much time should be spent on total daily homework *:
Grades PK-1: 10 mins.
Grades 1-2: 10 - 20 mins.
Grades 3-5: 20 - 50 mins.
Grades 6-9: 30 - 90 mins.
Grades 10-12: up to 2 hrs.
Students do work at different paces, so it is the responsibility of the student/parent to communicate with the teacher when a student is consistently spending more time than outlined in the above guidelines.
*Note: Student selection of courses, such as AP courses, which are college-level courses, require an increase in workload and in homework.
Guidelines for CMS Teachers
- Use clear and consistent routine for homework expectations and procedures.
- Communicate clear goals for each assignment.
- Assign homework that has a meaningful connection to the curriculum.
- Give explicit instructions regarding grading criteria and completion timelines.
- Provide timely (returned within 5 days) and varied feedback so that students comprehend their level of understanding – check the homework.
- Give students sufficient time and flexibility to complete major pieces of homework.
- Coordinate major projects/tests using the master calendar.
- Avoid mandatory assignments over long vacation breaks (excludes AP coursework and S.E.E.).
- Ensure that a student’s work is their own work – not copied or completed by someone else.
- Encourage parents to contact you with homework-related questions and concerns.
- Encourage students & parents who are struggling with homework to utilize enrichment and in-school resources. Do NOT recommend a tutor to students/parents (as per school policy).
- Use parent/student feedback to make adjustments to homework either through differentiation or ensuring work is developmentally appropriate and academically challenging
- Differentiate homework for students with special needs as defined in their IEP.
Guidelines for CMS Students
- Keep track of assignments, due dates, and materials in an organized way, which may include the use of a school agenda.
- Have a clear understanding of homework assignments before leaving school.
- Ask your teachers if you have questions.
- Complete assignments using your best effort and turn them in on-time.
- Follow-up on missed assignments in a timely fashion.
- Ensure academic honesty: do not copy work, let your work be copied, or allow someone to complete the homework for you.
- Communicate with teachers when assignments are confusing or taking too long to complete.
- Use enrichment time, class time, and school resources as supports for homework that is challenging to complete.
- Understand that the courses you select may increase the expectations in terms of work load and amounts of homework.
- Seek support and advice from counselors when needed.
Guidelines for CMS Parents
- Provide organized place(s) for homework to be done – please note that varying the location can increase what a student is able to recall. Homework will require access to the internet.
- Help your child establish a consistent schedule for completing homework.
- Show an interest: If your child is practicing a skill, ask him/her to tell you which steps are easy, which are difficult or how s/he is going to improve. If your child is doing a project, ask him/her what knowledge s/he is applying.
- Do NOT complete the homework for your child - encourage, motivate, and prompt your child. The purpose of the homework is for your child to practice and use what s/he has learned. If your child is consistently not able to do the homework by him/herself, please contact the teacher.
- Communicate openly with teachers - If your child is consistently unable to talk about the knowledge s/he is practicing or using, or if your child is consistently spending too much time on completing the homework.
- When bedtime comes, please stop your child, even if s/he is not done.
- Guide your child as he/she chooses classes and schedules activities, keeping in mind the homework load and time commitment.
- Encourage the use of enrichment and in-school resources before contacting a tutor.
- If working with a tutor, ensure that the tutor follows the above guidelines, does NOT complete work for student, and communicates with teachers.