Homework or Inspired Family-School Practice?

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Homework is a topic worthy of discussion for families, schools, even researchers. Families often struggle to complete the work assigned by school amidst their family practices and commitments, and may as a result feel guilty about not supporting the school.  Some families feel unable to support their children with schoolwork (particularly as it increases in complexity with each academic year), leaving them feeling less than adequate on the landscape of school. Children often feel less than successful, particularly as family members get frustrated, questioning, “Didn’t you learn this at school?” Schools and Ministries do their absolute best to support families with regard to traditional homework completion: they host curriculum evenings designed to demystify the curriculum, they post lists of to-dos (e.g., how to set up a routine, how to support, how to change your language), and they try to be as explicit as possible about the homework. And all of this occurs within a culture of research that suggests that while homework is an educational staple, it’s unclear as to what types of homework make a long-term difference (see Homework: New Research Suggests or Finding the Right Balance). Continue reading