Is assigning parents homework an effective way to increase parental involvement?

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I think homework is a good idea. It is homework for the kids, and not the parents. I hear comments from parents who think this is a burden for them. It a review of the day's work for the kids, and if the parents have to help a little....big deal. You are raising a child and it sometimes it is going to require additional effort on your part to bring the child upto speed.....it is a very competitive world we live in. "The world is flat", if we have to successfully run with the big guys we have to keep pace with them. Homework is very important and helping them with it is the cost of success

if you want parents to do

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if you want parents to do homework with the kids then i need a book with the answers in it like the teachers have i have been out of school for 20 years and dont remember the stuff

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if you want parents to do homework with the kids thats fine but i need an answer book like the teachers have i been out of school for 20 years and dont remember that stuff

Parent Differences

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While it is almost universally agreed that increased parent involvement is generally associated with improved student achievement, the means by which this involvement may be achieved poses an issue of great debate. Without relying to heavily on a deficit model, in many areas relating to education, affluent parents bring more resources to the table than less fortunate parents. These assets tend to be greater education, more flexible time schedules and greater access to technology. As such, parent homework assignments that might be effective in engaging the affluent parent demographic might have just the opposite effect of alienating parent groups lacking the resources to feel competent when helping their children with schoolwork.

Parents Who Care

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A parent that cares about there son or daughter will be involved in what they are learning and/or reading it with them. My daughter was struggling to get through 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and we read it aloud together and it led to some great, thought provoking discussions. Working with your child allows you, the parent, a chance to know your child and their work ethic. It helps them become excited about learning too. Not to mention, the added benefit of quality time spent with your child. It shows you care about them, as a person, and what they are learning. It also shows you value education, if you are still learning and willing to learn alongside them. Parents need to see the value in being involved with their children, a.k.a. benefits or as someone above mentioned 'compensation.' A parent's children are their legacy. Children are a mirror of their parents.

Parental Education

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I am in favor of providing parents with information that is helpful in their understanding of the teaching techniques utilized by the teacher, neutral articles speaking about the effects of nutrition on learning, ideas of projects or goals the family may wish to implement at home that might compliment the material being covered in class or it could just be age appropriate social skills, requesting that analog clocks be hung at the child's eye level, requests that world maps be hung and discussed often ("our dinner tonight is the type of food that the people of XXX country eat," "Grandmother and Grandfather came to the U.S.A. from XXX country because . . .") and other things like this. I am a parent of two Montessori educated children and the "Guide" handed this type of material out often. At first I was offended, but now I realize how much we all learned and how beneficial it was for all of us.

Kindergarten teacher from California

Parent Homework

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I can't imagine assigning homework to parents. First of all, very few of my parents can read English. I would have to have it translated into 3 or 4 languages. And many parents are absolutely overwhelmed already with work, chores, etc. Parents that want to help their students already do. They don't need schools telling them to do homework.

Parent Homework to start the year

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I assign a parent homework assignment at the beginning of every year. Parents are asked to tell me, in a million words or less (I know-- not grammatically correct)what I need to know to teach their child. I've had wonderful success-- everything from "Maybe you can get through to him; I haven't been able to!" to loving dissertations several pages long. I try to share the good ones with the students. Since middle school is such an emotionally charged time, it's good to start the year with a parent saying something wonderful. It's also a great barometer of the year to come. Parents who make the effort are usually available and interested. Other parents may be unable (or unwilling) to be involved. And in some cases-- it tells me whether the student even takes paperwork home! BTW-- I never assign a grade for the assignment. Students whose parents send a response, even the one passing off responsibility, receive a 100% test grade to start the year. I always explain that "students whose parents are involved are always more successful...." It's worked well since I "stole" it from someone else several years ago. And the information is often very useful as I start laying out my lesson plans.

I agree with Max's comments

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I agree with Max's comments as well. Homework should not be necessary for children who spend their entire day in a school setting. As a social studies teacher I can see a huge benefit to encouraging students to continue their learning outside the classroom by asking them to read a newspaper, read news online or simply strike up a conversation with an adult. I can also certainly understand a math teacher giving a few problems to keep up practical skills or an English teacher assigning reading or short writing assignments. I cannot understand why my daughter's teachers send home worksheets to be filled out from a textbook. Students lives after they get home from school give them opportunities to learn by living and interacting with others. They should not be required to spend a lot of time on homework just to keep up their grades.

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AG stated: "We need to remember that parents have as much to do as many of us teachers do. They have families to take care of as well as jobs and many times there is just not enough hours in the day."

Nothing should ever be more important to parents than their children. Having "as much to do as many of us teachers do" is not an excuse to neglect the educational support a child needs. Whenever I meet with parents, I am always struck by the excuses parents make when I ask them to at least look at their child's planner on Sunday nights to see upcoming due dates and notes from me. Yes, there are great parents who are already on top of things. But parents who have already let go of their children, the ones we are trying to engage, will not likely embrace the "parent homework" idea.

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