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Homework

What is homework?

Homework may include:

  1. Completion of the assignments that were started in class. The purpose of this type of homework is to help students stay on track with the classroom program. Parents are not expected to teach lessons to their children, the students would have had an opportunity to begin the assignment in class and ask their teacher for clarification.
  2. Practice of new skills taught in class. For example, practicing numeration skills, editing written work or reading for fluency. To be effective, this type of homework requires the student to independently perform the task. Parents of French immersion students are not expected to assist with this type of homework; however it is helpful if they can be an audience for students practicing their reading skills.
  3. Preparation for tests or upcoming lessons. Studying for tests or quizzes, collecting information or materials for a project, and organizing binders are examples of preparation work that may be required to be done at home. Parent assistance may be required for some tasks (e.g. going to the library, using the internet, finding items).

Please note that homework completion is recorded and reported on in the Learning Skills and Work Habits section of the report card. Work completed outside of the class however is not used to determine grades. Only work completed in class is used to determine a student’s level of achievement. 

How much time should be spent on homework?

Students work at different speeds, so the amount of time spent on homework will vary. Students should be able to do their homework and have time to participate in other activities, including sports, free play, music lessons and family activities. Homework should not exceed 50 minutes/week in grade one, 100 minutes/week in grade two, 150 minutes/week in grade three, 200 minutes/week in grades four to six. If the time spent on homework exceeds these limits, please communicate with the classroom teacher. 

What if your child is having difficulty with homework?

Let your child know that it is OK to ask for assistance and encourage your child to speak to the teacher if they need help. If your child is getting frustrated or upset, have them take a break and try again a bit later. If your child cannot complete the homework after trying their best, please send a note to the teacher with the incomplete homework, explaining why it wasn’t finished. Homework may be modified to meet the individual learning needs of the students. 

How can parents help?

Homework provides an opportunity for parents to become aware of their child’s school life, their progress and their work habits. It is important that parents and teachers work together to ensure homework is supportive of student learning and each other’s efforts are reinforced.

1. Help your child establish a homework routine and minimize interruptions during homework time. 

2. Ensure your child has ready access to materials (pencil, ruler, possibly a dictionary or calculator).

3. While your children are doing their homework, you might wish to be close at hand. Offer help; however note that for the most part, children should be able to do their homework on their own. We encourage children to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for their learning.

4. Read together with younger children daily and encourage older students to spend some time each day reading independently. 

5. Monitor your child’s homework and communicate with their teachers if the homework is taking a longer time than suggested, or if your child appears to be unclear regarding expectations.

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