StudySkills Articles

Homework Guidelines Video

Today, I want to share a video from the Today Show that aired in August 2009. I thought it was fairly succinct and provided good points (with two minor exceptions). The video is here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/32595340#32595340

It is only 4:15 long, so I hope you will take the time to watch it, but if not, here are my “Cliff Note” comments about why I think it provides value, as well as my two areas of concern.

Points of Value

  • She also emphasized the “Rule of 10” for determining reasonable homework times, which is 10 minutes of homework per grade. (Ten minutes daily for 1st grade, 50 minutes daily for 5th grade, etc.)
  • Homework does have some merit and value, when assigned appropriately.
  • Frustrated parents should talk to teachers. (I need to take this advice!) Many times, homework challenges are not brought to a teacher’s attention, so they have no opportunity to provide assistance. This step alone will often resolve conflicts and issues.
  • Study skills make a huge difference in homework completion!

Points of Concern

  • Personally, I’m not a big fan of the marker board. It is a “high maintenance” tool for most students and families. If you have a marker board system that works, then GREAT…leave it in place. But, for most people, the marker board is too difficult to maintain long-term for it to be an effective strategy.
  • “Do the most difficult things first.” I have heard professionals give this advice before, but my experience tells me that each individual has a different preference. While many students will work best by completing the most difficult things first, others will feel very overwhelmed tackling difficult tasks when they have “piles” of other homework looming, needing to be completed. These students may be able to focus better if the “easy” stuff is done first.

-Susan Kruger

 


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