Advice on Creating Homework Policies
Getting students to work on their homework assignments is not always a simple task. Teachers need to take the initiative to create homework policies that encourage students to work hard to improve their achievement in the classroom setting. Educational leadership starts with making a policy that helps students learn and achieve while competing with extracurricular activities and the interests of students.
Set high standards
Homework policies need to have high standards to encourage students to work hard on achieving the best possible results. Student achievement in school improves when teachers set high standards and tell students that they are expected to meet the standards set in the classroom.
By setting high standards for the homework policy, teachers are ensuring that the students will be more willing to work on getting assignments done. The policies for homework that teachers and parents create can help improve student understanding of materials and result in better grades and scores on standardized tests.
Focus on study skills
Teaching students in their early education is a complicated task. Teachers need to balance the age of the students with the expected school, state and federal educational standards. Although the temptation to create a homework policy that focuses on repetition and traditional assignments can make the policy easy to create, it also removes the focus from establishing strong study skills and habits to engage students in education.
Creating a homework policy for younger students in the elementary grades should avoid traditional assignments and focus on building study skills and encouraging learning. Older students after elementary school are ready to take on written assignments rather than using technology and other tools.
Putting more focus on study skills will set a stronger foundation for homework in the future. As students get into higher grades, the type of assignments will focus on writing with a pen or pencil. The age of the student must be considered and the goal is to create a strong foundation for the future.
Involve the parents
Getting parents involved in the homework policy will encourage students to study and complete the assigned tasks. Asking parents to get involved to facilitate assignments will ensure students are learning without the parents completing the assignment for their child.
The goal of involving the parents in the homework policy is getting the family to take an interest in ensuring the assignments are completed. The best assignments will allow the student to manage the work without seeking answers from a parent. That allows parents to supervise and encourage their child without giving the answers.
Give consequences for incomplete assignments
Homework is an important part of providing educational leadership in the classroom. Although parental involvement and high standards can help encourage students to study, it is also important to clearly state the consequences if assignments are incomplete or not turned in on time.
A clear homework policy will lay out the possible consequences of avoiding assignments or turning in incomplete work. Consequences can vary based on the student grade level and age, but can include lowering the grades on a report card or taking away classroom privileges.
Although it is important to provide details about the consequences of avoiding the assignments, teachers can also use a reward system to motivate students to complete their work. Rewards can focus on the entire class or on individual rewards, depending on the situation. For example, teachers can give a small candy when students complete five assignments in a row.
Consequences and rewards can serve as a motivating factor when it comes to the homework policy. By clearly stating the potential downsides and the benefits to the student, it is easier for students to focus on the work.
Creating homework policies is part of educational leadership in the classroom. Although homework must focus on helping students achieve, it also needs to clearly state the expectations and give details about the benefits and consequences of different actions. By giving a clear policy from the first day of school, the students will know what to expect and can gain motivation to work on achieving the best results.Learn More: Click to view related resources.
- Nancy Paulu, "Helping Your Students With Homework: A Guide for Teachers," Department of Education