Homework Guidelines

PURPOSE OF HOMEWORK

Homework strengthens and enhances the interaction, partnership, and communication among students, teachers, and parents. It provides the opportunity for students to develop independence, self discipline, and responsibility to become life long learners.

  • Practice the skills they have learned at school during the day.
  • Prepare students for upcoming units of study.
  • Elaborate on content that has been introduced throughout the day.

THE MAPLE HILLS' HOMEWORK GUIDELINES

  • Students need a consistent, organized place for homework.
  • Students need a consistent schedule for completing homework.
  • Encourage, motivate and prompt your child as they do their own homework. (Parent involvement in homework should be kept at a minimum). If child is consistently not able to do the homework by themselves, please contact the teacher.
  • Discuss homework with your child to determine if they understand the purpose of the homework. If student is unclear about purpose, communicate this to the teacher.
  • Additional, meaningful learning experiences can be chosen after teacher selected work is completed. (See Parent/Child Selected Enrichment Ideas)
  • Refer to individual teacher's homework/communication format that will be explained on Curriculum Night.
  • When bedtime comes, please stop your child even if they are not done.

RECOGNIZED HOMEWORK TIMES

Although homework times may vary, the following chart summarizes current research findings that state homework should equal approximately 10 times the grade level.

Kindergarten5 - 10 minutes, 3 - 4 times per week
First Grade10 - 20 minutes, 3 - 4 times per week
Second Grade20 - 30 minutes, 3 - 4 times per week
Third Grade30 - 40 minutes, 3 - 4 times per week
Fourth Grade40 - 50 minutes, 3 - 4 times per week
Fifth Grade50 - 60 minutes, 3 - 4 times per week

Research supports that daily reading has shown numerous educational benefits to children. Therefore, additional reading is not included in the homework times stated above.

TEACHER SELECTED HOMEWORK

Your child's teacher will require specific assignments as homework. Some assignments will be due the following day. Others may have long-term due dates. A variety of homework may be assigned. The four categories of homework are: 

PRACTICE: Assignments in which the student repeats a skill which has been presented in class. 

  • Everyday Mathematics
  • Spelling Words
  • Handwriting practice
  • Independent reading

PREPARATION: Assignments to help students prepare for a future lesson or new concept. 

  • Complete existing assignments
  • Begin a collection
  • View an educational TV program
  • Conduct research
  • Read for literature groups
  • Make-up work

ELABORATION: Assignments in which the student transfers an idea or skill to a new or different situation. 

  • Science & Social Studies projects
  • Book reports
  • Reading response journals
  • Report writing
  • Discuss current events at home
  • Projects
  • Science experiments
  • Extra credit

PARENT/CHILD SELECTED ENRICHMENT IDEA

Parent/child selected enrichment activities are another integral part of making a well rounded child. 

Art: Lessons, attending exhibits, museums, practice a special art technique, complete a project to show something learned 

Community/Home: Community service projects such as helping at a senior citizen home, tutoring other students, picking up trash, home projects such as caring for animals or pets 

Computers: Keyboarding practice, computer aided art or design, educational games, using a computer encyclopedia 

Current Events: Watch and discuss the news, write a letter to the editor, discussions, reports 

Hobbies: Clubs, rocket building, map-making, story telling dramatics, sewing, reading 

Home Projects: Building, cooking, gardening 

Languages: Take classes, study languages on tape practice with a friend 

Math: Puzzles, practical problems, board games, practice math facts, logical thinking activities 

Music: Practice an instrument, sing, create a rhythm or song attend musical performances, dance 

Reading: Fiction or non-fiction, alone or with someone, be an "Eagle Reader" 

Science: Experiments and projects, visit a science center ' see science exhibits or demonstrations, classes 

Writing: Thank-you notes, letters,journals, reports, creative writing, use spelling words in a story, shopping lists 

BENEFITS OF HOMEWORK

When used effectively, homework can ... 

  • Promote self-esteem
  • Increase academic skills
  • Reinforce good study habits
  • Enrich the curriculum
  • Foster positive attitude toward school
  • Communicate the idea that learning takes effort at home as well as school

SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICY

The Issaquah School District Board of Directors has adopted a specific policy regarding homework. The following is an excerpt from that policy.

"The District believes that homework is a constructive tool in the teaching/learning process when geared to the needs and abilities of students. Purposeful assignments not only enhance student achievement but also develop self-discipline and associated good working habits. Homework, as an extension of the classroom, homework must be planned, purposeful, and clear.

PARENT RESOURCES

  • Maple Hills school library- some resources are available for check-out
  • District, school, and grade level web sites
  • Individual teacher's voicemails

Research

Vacca, J.L., Vacca, R.T., Gove, M.K., Burkey, L.C., Lenhart, L.A., & McKean, C.A. (2003).

Reading and learning to read. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). 

Classroom instruction that works: research based strategies for increasing student achievement. Danvers: McREL

Prepared by Maple Hills Site Council 2006-07.