The Homework 10-minute Rule: The maximum amount of homework (all subjects combined) should not exceed 10 minutes per grade level per night. That is, a 1st-grader should have no more than 10 minutes of homework, a 6th-grader no more than 60 minutes, and a 12th-grader no more than two hours.
We don’t do homework. We have, a few times during the day where we have short Independent-Reviews. These are times when I am teaching them to complete their work without me sitting there. I have a few Rules I’ve learned work best for this time to be a success for all of us.
I realize, I should clarify something. Sugar is almost 7, these are rules for us. Smiles is only 4 years old, and enjoys learning, he does not read alone, but he is capable of following the instructions and does a wonderful job with his reviews when I follow my own rules. The other times when they do not apply to him, he is my helper with laundry, dishes and other tasks.
1. I use the words “Independent-Review” instead of “Homework”, This helps them understand that they have been taught the topics they are about to review and this is the time for me to evaluate their understanding.
2. I do not use Independent-Review time to introduce a new subject. The ultimate goal of the review is to checking for understanding, to practice the skill, or to process a challenging topic.
3. I give tasks that are do-able and give the feeling of success not failure. Not too easy and not too hard. I guess, it could be considered a test too, because I never do independent-review time UNLESS I know they “got-it.”
4. I’ve always read a page/chapter/book aloud first, and within the week of them doing it alone. I give them tips to read the challenging words, we discuss the picture clues and discuss spelling too. The review is usually a book report, comprehension questions or spelling.
5. Questions are encouraged, but the review is done in a room where they need to get up and come to me to ask the question. I want them to use the time to concentrate and think independently. They are also learning how to distract and motivate each other and all the pluses and negatives.
Most importantly, I do not require review of a mastered subject. How do I know it’s mastered? When they master something they are happy with their own success and they are more than willing to SHARE their knowledge with me and others. I never need to ask because they want to talk about it and ask ME questions to see if I know.
A love of learning is important.
Do you have something to add? What would you change? Let me know.
If you learned something new or you know someone who can benefit from this, feel free to share. 🙂
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