As stated in the Policy Handbook of the Swampscott School Committee: The term “homework” refers to an assignment to be prepared during a period of supervised study in class or outside of class.
The purposes of homework are to improve the learning processes, to aid in the mastery of skills, and to create and stimulate interest on the part of the student.
Homework is a learning activity which should increase in complexity with the maturity of the student. With increased maturity, learning should become an independent activity. This should be established through consistent assignments which encourage students to investigate for themselves and to work independently as well as with others.
Homework assignments should be consistent in terms of the amount given each day and the time required for each assignment so that a pattern of meaningful homework can be established by the teacher and/or the student.
The information for any homework assignment should be clear and specific so that the student can complete the assignment.
Homework assignments should take into consideration individual differences of students such as health, ability, conditions at home, and educational resources at home. Homework should not require the use of reference materials not readily available in most homes, school libraries, or the public library, and should require the use of those materials only when the student has had instruction in the use of them.
There are many other learning activities in the life of a student besides homework. Such things as participating in school activities, pursuing cultural interests, participating in family living, and exploring personal interests should be considered by teachers when planning consistent assignments. Homework is not to be used as a form of punishment under any circumstances.
The GUIDE FOR HOMEWORK IN THE SWAMPSCOTT PUBLIC SCHOOLS has been studied and approved by teachers, principals, and the Superintendent of Schools.
The following timetable and criteria can serve as a minimum guide:
Kindergarten: minimal, based on teacher and parent judgement of student’s needs.
Grades 1-3: 15 to 30 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday
Grade 4: 30 to 45 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday
Grade 5: 40 to 60 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday
Grade 6: 15 to 20 minutes per subject per night
Grade 7: 20 to 25 minutes per subject per night
Grade 8: 25 to 30 minutes per subject per night
Grades 9-12: two to three hours per night
Homework is an important extension of activities begun in school by students under the guidance of their teachers and continued at home.
Working together, home and school can guide students as they develop their learning capacities by making possible experiences which foster learning.
Homework provides for practice of skills and application of principles based upon work begun in the classroom. It may enrich school experiences and promote a permanent interest in learning. A secondary goal of homework is to stimulate individual initiative, personal responsibility and self-direction.
Listed below are the responsibilities of teachers, students and parents with regard to homework.
- assign homework that is meaningful and useful to individuals
- give clear, concise directions; allow time for student questions; consider availability of materials;
provide legible worksheets
- inform parents of their role in supervising homework
- ensure that students who are absent know how they may make up homework
- monitor the effectiveness of homework as reflected in student performance
- provide appropriate and timely response to all homework assignments
- provide a balance between long-range and short-term assignments
- monitor long-term assignments in order to avoid last minute student efforts
- record the directions of homework
- ask questions when necessary to clarify the assignment
- follow a schedule and keep materials in order
- hand in, on time, neat, accurate, and meaningful products
- plan time for completion of long-term assignments
- determine and complete homework assigned during absence
- provide a suitable place for study
- help students develop routine home study habits
- ensure that work is made up after an absence
- assist and correct, but not do, the actual work and notify the teacher if student experienced extreme difficulty
- be aware of long-term assignments and assist students in learning to budget their time accordingly
- contact the teacher if they observe an absence of homework or an abundance of time spent on individual homework assignments