How Much Homework Should We Really Be Setting

If you are in the process or thinking about reviewing your homework policy for next year, it maybe worth taking a slightly different approach this year. Homework should never be about setting homework to meet a stupid minimum criteria for time spent each week or setting it just to keep parents happy.

How much homework should we set? How long is a piece of rope?

Quite often it is easy to forget about the learner in the homework process and usually there are detrimental knock on effects from this. Ultimately, this make the whole process of homework a waste of time and energy for everyone involved.

  1. It causes strain on teachers.
  2. It wastes valuable time in lesson writing homework down.
  3. Learners know instantly when last minute dot com homework has been set.
  4. If all teachers do not provide regular feedback, it creates mixed messages for learners.
  5. Someone has to track and monitor homework? If you don’t measure, you don’t know.
  6. How do you do actually do this? How long is it going to take?
  7. How will you share this information back? Why is it useful? What is checking the quality of homework?

…The list goes on. Writing an effective homework policy is not an easy task. In this blog post we are not going to write one but share some ideas for you to consider and think about for next year. These are based on my experiences from working in a secondary school.

Short Version

  1. Have a focus for homework.
  2. Keep homework activities short.
  3. Think about the workload of learners.
  4. Do not have a minimum amount of homework criteria per night/per week.
  5. Staff have enough to mark. Think about the strain of marking homework? What can you do to make it a little less painful?
  6. Use common sense and context

Homework is an important part of a good all rounded education. At the same time it can also be a hindrance if it is not thought through properly. The learner should be at the centre of homework and most importantly it has to be set in context. In addition if we are going to encourage students to do work from home, whatever it maybe, it needs to be consistently set with regular feedback for everyone across the school.

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