***Post written by Annastashia Teepe, Southeast Representative for WSPA***
I recently sat through an IEP amendment meeting at which time a parent requested shortened homework assignments for her son. Due to the nature of the student’s nightly routines, homework is not a priority at this time. A recent online post from Psychology Today submitted by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, Ph.D., LPCS highlights this very dilemma; how do teams find the appropriate balance between school work and home expectations and which should be prioritized?
Upon examining results from Archer and Olson (2018), students who were offered opportunities to complete homework using web-based management systems as many times as wanted demonstrated higher exam scores, 68.24% on average, suggesting that opportunity to complete homework supports the practice theory proposed by many educators. Practice leads to an increased understanding of content when understanding is demonstrated through an exam. Kalenkoski and Pabilonia (2017) examined the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement to determine if relationships exist between time spent on homework, working while in high school, and academic achievement. According to the researchers, total amount of time spent on homework and prioritizing homework substantially increases college attendance for boys and creates a small positive effect on high school boy’s GPA if homework is completed without distractions (Kalenkoski & Pabilonia, 2017). However, the positive correlation between homework completion and academic achievement is reduced when ability and motivation are controlled for (Kalenkoski & Pabilonia, 2017). Research presented suggests that practice does lead to improved test scores, but that motivation and ability are likely factors that will impact such outcomes. So how does one proceed. Does a teacher assign homework or not?
According to the National Association of School Psychology Homework: A Guide for Parents released in 2010, a student should be completed about 10 minutes of homework for each grade level of school he or she are in (Henderson, 1996). Specifically, parents need to continue to remind student: 1) homework is important, 2) parents will provide support if and when it is needed and 3) parents will not complete homework for students (National Association of School Psychologists, 2012). Parents and school staff must work together to offer opportunities to practice while ensuring that other priorities and experiences can be included in a student’s after school time. Communication and effective planning are key for both the student, school staff and parents (National Association of School Psychologists, 2012).
Archer, K. K., & Olson, M. (2018). Practice. Practice. Practice. Do Homework Management Systems Work? International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, 12(2), 1–5. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2018.120212
Cassada-Lohmann, R (2018). Does homework serve a purpose? Finding the right balance between school work and home life. Psychology Today [Online Post].
Henderson, M. (1996). Helping your student get the most out of homework. Chicago: National Parent-Teacher Association.
Kalenkoski, C. M., & Pabilonia, S. W. (2017). Does high school homework increase academic achievement? Education Economics, 25(1), 45–59. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/09645292.2016.1178213
National Association of School Psychologists. (2012). School–family partnering to enhance learning: Essential elements and responsibilities [Position Statement]. Bethesda, MD: Author.