We should never underestimate the importance of everyday home life in generating pleasure, confidence and ongoing interest in learning. Indeed, some of the best 'homework' is to be found in:
Shared stories where Mum or Dad and children read to each other.
Watching a television show with the child/children and discussing it afterwards.
Private reading in bed before lights-out, as a family ritual.
Sharing computer activities with your child/children.
Family games, activities and hobbies.
Visits to the local library.
Visits to a variety of places of social, historic or natural interest.
Helping with various household tasks.
Lots and lots of conversation.
The kind of 'imaginative' play that comes naturally to children - especially in the early years.
Homework set by teachers at OLR is regarded as a worthwhile activity. Homework should be given high priority amongst the many things children do at school. It is not an optional extra. Teachers at OLR have developed homework guidelines for each year level as set out below.
Individual teachers decide the format and procedures for homework. This might be nightly or in contract form.
How does homework assist children to become better learners?
It enables them to consolidate what they have learnt at school, thus increasing the pupil's confidence and enjoyment of learning.
It allows for the fact that children learn and work at different rates and have different needs.
It gives parents opportunities to encourage, express approval, and in general, relate positively to their children.
It develops self-discipline by making reasonable demands and fostering long term habits of learning and planning.
How can parents help with homework?
Make homework time as pleasant as you can:
Praise rather than criticise.
Provide a pleasant work area i.e. quiet spot, desk, lamp.
Turn off the television and remove other obvious distractions.
A predictable routine can help. Having a limited time and a regular place makes things much easier.
Encourage the child to work efficiently, and don't allow him or her to work on and on when frustrated and tired. Let the class teacher know there has been a problem. Then you are actively helping, keep explanations as simple and practical as you can. Demonstrate, encourage and express satisfaction. If you find yourself becoming frustrated and the atmosphere becoming tense, stop giving 'assistance'.