After being in school from 8:30am until 4pm, students need to go home, play outside, and spend time with their families and friends. We never expect parents to be teachers; if your child does not understand something, then the teacher should be informed so that she can explain it to your child in a different way.
Furthermore, homework often causes a stressful atmosphere in the home when we know from scientific research that stress causes short-term memory loss. When a child is stressed, he cannot lay down a new memory or access already existing memories. This means that he cannot think clearly or learn! (www.fi.edu/learn/brain/stress.html#stressmemory) Since the prefrontal cortex (the thinking brain) is inaccessible when a person is stressed, then asking children to do homework during this time is setting them up for failure and frustration. Homework time then becomes a war zone, and the child and the parents lose. All aspects of learning need to be enjoyable, not a time of conflict or a fight for survival!
In addition to the research done on the brain, Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, states that “There is absolutely no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary or middle school. For younger students, in fact, there isn’t even a correlation between whether children do homework (or how they do it) and any meaningful measure of achievement.”
Once the students start getting homework, then we ask the parents to be present and offer their support and understanding. Never jeopardize the strong, loving, and safe relationship you have with your child over homework issues. It will only create a vicious cycle of yelling, frustration, stress, and the inability to think.
Everything that we do at Vaudrin Academy is researched in an attempt to offer what is best for every child. Hence, the recommended amount of time for homework is an average of 10 minutes per grade level per night starting in grade 1. http://www.nea.org/tools/16938.htm
Vaudrin Academy follows the 10 minutes per grade homework rule.
Why? Here are the reasons:
- Students learn from a very early age the importance of organizing themselves and making sure they take care of their belongings including their iPad.
- By packing their bags every night, students make sure to bring their agendas which will continue to be a very important tool for them for the rest of their lives. They need to think ahead of time about what they will need at home.
- Honestly, most parents love seeing what their kids are doing in school, and this gives them an opportunity to share with them and see firsthand how their children are doing.
- While it is true that most parents work during the day and do not have to work at night, they still have their responsibilities. Children can also be taught that they have responsibilities too.
- Homework time is also a way for students to finish work that they were unable to complete in class.
- The homework is given over the period of one week. This gives students the added opportunity to work on their organizational and time-management skills which we discuss at length with them. They need to decide how they will split up their homework and have enough time for all their other activities as well.
- Once students get to high school, some of them will be faced with 2 to 3 hours of homework per night. Gradually increasing by 10 minutes per level makes this transition easier. By the time they are in grade 6, the students have about 60 minutes of homework per night which they can spread out over the week.
All parents at Vaudrin Academy know that they can always contact their children’s teachers to discuss any issues that come up. No matter what happens, we are very strict about telling parents that they should NEVER ask their kids to do more than they possibly can. In addition, they should not go over their children’s homework. We need to know how our students are really doing to offer the best-tailored lesson plans to each child.