The following content was developed by a member of the parent community. Some may know Ann from her talks at the school. These are her thoughts that were shared among some of the G3 parent community. Within a day or two this was identified as an item of interest among many in our community. We don't ask you to agree or disagree with her perspective but are sharing it here so all parents with an interest have an opportunity to review it. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The amount of homework you get in Grade 3, as with all grades, is teacher dependent.
Grade 3 homework is all about independence and laying down good foundation and study habits, the actual academic tasks are secondary.
I would suggest the following:
- Turn off your portal alert that sends all homework notifications to your email.
- Insist that your child take responsibility for their own homework.
- Insist that they get into the habit of writing ALL homework down in their planner (this is VERY important); including when it has to be in.
- Talk through the ‘plan’ with them in terms of how much time they have and which homework they will tackle first. There are two ways to do this,
- complete some easy ones first so they have the gratification of crossing items off the list
- tackling hard items first while they are still not so tired.
The strategy you choose depends on your child’s personality but generally knocking off one easy one first is always satisfying, then tackle the hard one/s and then finish off with a few easy ones if there are any left.
- Ask them to estimate how long each homework will take them and write the time limit down next to the item in the list in their planner. If the list is very messy, you may need to rewrite it on another sheet of paper or a white board. This is an important step in their understanding concepts of TIME. If they were way off in their estimation, go back and talk to them about it so that next time they can make a better estimation. They must be the active decision makers in this process.
- If it is a weekend, you may have to decide which tasks to do on the Saturday and which to do on the Sunday or if you want to finish all in one day etc etc but again remember that they must be the decision makers with your guidance.
- Make sure they are well rested and fed.
- Make sure they have all the things they need – pencil, eraser, ruler, scrap paper, colours, scissors, snack, drink etc.
- Have your child sort out all homeworks neatly in a pile in the order in which they will be tackled.
- Make sure the workplace is free of distractions, this includes visual and auditory.
- Let them do their homework independently. Be available to help only if they get stuck. Do not hover and watch them do everything. If you are at home and available, a good idea is to sit close by with something else to occupy yourself with such as a good book or work.
- If they are really stuck and do not understand something despite your attempts at explaining, you should let the teacher know.
- If they do things differently from how you do them, let them continue the way the teacher has taught them to do it.
- If you see mistakes, suggest they check their work again but do not tell them what the mistake is or make them correct it. It is good that the teacher sees what they find hard.
- If something is too hard or taking too long, hand in incomplete work and add a note to the teacher about what happened and how long your child already spent on it.
- When homework is completed, let them tick it off the list and tidy it up into their school bag immediately.
- If they assure you that it is completed, you do not need to check it, you should trust them. Checking it tells them you expect them not to be responsible enough for you to be able to trust them. That is NOT the message you are trying to send.
- If there are a lot of loose worksheets, prepare a labeled divided folder with them.
- Do no ask your child what they have for homework or whether they have finished their homework the minute you see them after school. Have a conversation about their day first.
- Do not go through their school bag and their homework without first asking them if you can. You must send a clear message from day one that it is theirs and not yours.
- Do not fight, scream or cry over homework. In the big scheme of life, one evening’s homework not completed is not going to make that much difference.
- If they have spent a lot of time on something already and if they are tired, just stop it and write a note to the teacher. A good nights sleep is much more important at this age.
- If they don’t do their homework, or if they refuse; let them live with the consequences but give the teacher a heads up as to what you are trying to do. Let them get in trouble. A homework warning in grade 3 may save you a behavioural report in grade 5. If it teaches them a lesson and helps them adopt good habits, it will be worth getting.
- Always allow for relaxation before bedtime.
- Always allow for a fun activity each day of the weekend. They must have a physical activity each day of the weekend and preferably at least one where they are outdoors doing something physical and using their peripheral vision.
If you remember nothing else, remember:
Whose job is it anyway?
- Homework is your child’s job
- Marking, teaching & correcting is your teacher’s job
- Providing the time, structure and environment for your child to complete their homework in is a parent’s job.
Like all conflict, it begins when one party steps over into another’s territory and mixed messages are sent.