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Homework Tips for Teachers

Give the right amount of homework. 

Research suggests students should get about 10 minutes of homework each night for each grade (10 minutes for 1st grade, 20 for 2nd, and so on). Adjust upward a bit if assignments are mostly reading or your students come from families with strong educational orientations. 

Dont overload kids with homework. It can ruin motivation. 

Keep parents informed. Let parents know the purpose of homework and what your class rules are. 

If communication is clear, homework is an important bridge between schools and families. If communication is lacking, homework creates tensions that are hard to resolve. 

Vary the kinds of homework. Homework is a great way for kids to practice things that are learned by rote (spelling, math facts, foreign language). 

It's also a great way to show kids the things they learn in school apply to things they enjoy at home (calculating batting averages, reading the back of a cereal box). Mix it up. 

Be careful about parent involvement. Consider the time and skill resources of parents when requiring their involvement. Working parents may have little time for a direct homework role. Poorly-educated parents may have trouble being good mentors. 

Students who are doing well in school may benefit most from homework they do all by themselves. 

Never give homework as punishment. It implies you think schoolwork is aversive. Kids will pick up on this. 

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