Dear SOF families,
Homework is a great opportunity to learn more about what your child is engaged with at school. We understand that families have different beliefs and approaches to homework and we also understand that because every child is unique, homework can impact home life in different ways. I often receive questions about homework, including how much time students are expected to be working, how families can best use pupil path, and what are fair expectations from teachers in terms of communication. While acknowledging that some of these questions play out differently for our families, I wanted to clarify SOF’s stance on homework.
SOF believes that homework is an important opportunity for students to independently further their understanding of the work explored in class. It allows students try out approaches from class and further solidify their thinking. It also is an important opportunity for our adolescents to develop constructive habits around planning and managing tasks and negotiating roadblocks. SOF’s homework load is a big jump from elementary school as both the content is more intense and we want our students to have ownership over what they are learning, which takes time. However, we do not want homework to completely take over family time or generate unhealthy stress in our kids.
How long should my child spend on homework?
Between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. Again every child is different, but if your child is routinely spending less than 1.5 hours on homework, I would be concerned that s/he is not doing it very well and you can start using pupilpath to help encourage your child. If your child is routinely spending more than 2.5 hours on homework, chances are that s/he going above expectations and providing time limits will help him him/her do strong work while protecting sleep and down time. Please be in touch with Sam, our guidance counselor if your child is spending too much time on homework and is feeling stressed. We don’t want this either!
How can PupilPath help my child manage homework?
When you sign on to Pupil Path, you’ll see the classes listed. Click on the class, and the ungraded assignment listed on the top is tonight’s homework. You can also click on the calendar. Finally, click on the magnifying glass to see any descriptions listed and look at ‘other materials’ for attachments like worksheets and rubrics. When looking at the grades, look for assignments in red, as this indicates your child hasn’t done the assignment or has done it poorly.
What support can I expect from teachers around homework?
The teachers should post homework assignments and include descriptions and attachments as much as possible. Attached are the grading rubrics and expectations for assignments your students receive frequently. Hopefully, these can help you understand what teachers are looking for in the work when you help your child.
What is ‘too much’ to ask teachers?
Our teachers spend a great deal of time planning exciting and purposeful curriculum. And they spend a lot of time looking at students’ work. So, we want to preserve their time as much as we can. We also want our students to be responsible and learn to solve problems for themselves. Please do not ask teachers to list all missing assignments as this can be gleaned from pupilpath; please do not ask teachers to re-explain class lessons as our students should be engaged in class. As alternatives, use pupilpath, look at your child’s notebooks or get in touch with a classmate.
If these actions don’t bear fruit, please then set up a meeting with the teacher or email me.
I hope this clarifies some questions regarding homework.
Please reach out to me if you’d like to discuss any of this further in person.