After a day at school, and perhaps after school activities, it is likely that the last thing your child (and you) want to do is homework! While Pear Tree advocates for down-time, time with the family, and doing things for pleasure, we also have reasons why our teachers assign a reasonable amount of homework to our students. Please check out some of these reasons:
- Connection between School and Home. Although your child receives tasks that they should be able to do independently, homework is a great opportunity for parents to show your children that you, too, are involved and invested in their learning and their education. Whether you ask them what their homework is about, look over it when they are done, or have them explain a concept to you, all of these things will reinforce to your child that their learning is important and that you care about it.
- Reinforcement of Concepts and Skills. As we take a project and problem based approach to education, practicing skills outside of the class (i.e. at home) will help your child be more prepared to apply these skills in context to tasks we do in class.
- Development of Strong Work Habits. Important work habits, such as accountability and responsibility are reinforced through a homework routine. This includes completing the work to the best of their abilities, and remembering to pack it in their bag for school the next day! Fostering these skills, now, will serve them well throughout their life.
- Work-Play Balance. As an adult, you know the challenge of balancing work and free time! We also know that work does not necessarily end when we come home from work. Starting to practice this balance at an early age on a small scale, in a supported environment, will help them develop the skills to do this later in life.
If you find homework a challenge each night, try to set up a routine: do it at the same time (such as right away when you get home, or right after dinner); find a good place to work (such as their own desk, and somewhere away from distractions); and set a timer so that it does not take up your whole evening. Let your child try to work as independently as possible, and praise them for completion. Homework shouldn’t be a constant source of stress for you and your child, nor should it take hours every night!