Having gone to school in the early 80s and being a mum of a recent high school graduate, I normally empathize with the thought that homework is usually random and time-consuming. I always evaluate the purpose and intention of all the assignments I give to my students. This includes a careful assessment of how positive these assignments are towards parent involvement.
As an educator in a school set up where the majority of the students are less privileged due to several factors, I consistently strive to empower them with knowledge and confidence to do better in their academic lives. Despite the poor living conditions that these students have to deal with back at home, our school always meets the threshold of performance levels that have been set to guide our education systems in Texas.
To constantly attain these commended performance levels, it always takes a great deal of collaborative effort behind the scenes. Both students and teachers work hard and around-the-clock to succeed in each term. Teaching staff members like myself, have to keep on searching and applying innovative and creative ways of assigning homework. We don’t just give our students assignments for the sake. We carefully consider its impacts on their lives by ensuring that they are meaningful and interesting.
When preparing my assignments for the term, I always consider including elements that create opportunities for students to interact more with their families back at home and truly paint a picture of what exactly makes them special. Among them, I always include two special assignments for this purpose. These include a Family Page Project and a Baby Name Project.
The Family Page Project is one of my favorite means of learning about the different families’ hat my students come from. It largely includes the creation of a family book or anything similar to it. While assigning this type of homework, I usually include a special letter to the parent or guardian on how they can help their children tackle the assignment. This way, parents get to know how they can help without unknowingly taking over their child’s assignment.
As for the latter homework type, students get to learn the origin of their names and all the little details of what happened in their childhood starting from the day they were born. My mum who always told me captivating stories of my childhood inspired the nature of this homework. While working on it, I also include a special letter detailing how every family member can help without overstepping.
Studies show that parental involvement is critical in their child’s performance and academic achievement. I always ensure that all my homework assignments are wrapped around this concept in that they spark family interaction. This way, it creates that critical opportunity to reflect and make connections with one’s self, family, new/unfamiliar knowledge, and the world beyond. Your students’ academic success always relies on the efforts you put in while developing these assignments. You can begin by reevaluating factors such as whether it’s quality or quantity that matters before assigning any form of homework.