Making Homework Productive and Achievable and some other Middle School notes.
It was great to meet many of our parents at the recent Student-Led Conferences and Interviews. Thanks for making the time to invest in your child in this small way. Having parents involved in their child’s education, makes a difference to how they progress not just academically but in all areas of their development.
The conferences and parent-teacher interviews highlight, amongst other things, how students are going with their homework. A guide of the amount of time that should be spent on homework for each subject is in the Parent Handbook. It is important to firstly note that this is to be used as a reference not a rule for: the teachers as they set work; for parents to know what they can expect their child to need to do; and, for students as they engage in this at home. Homework can range from finishing off class work, completing, polishing and updating assessment tasks, preparation for the next class by learning background information; and, it should be revision and preparation for tests. This is the life of a student, they learn, practice and check they are on track in classes and then need to go home and complete, practice and polish. Extra-curricular activities are great and often busy people actually get more done! – but please remember that school is the ‘main job’ and meeting deadlines as well as completing the homework tasks and making time to revise and study are important.
Year sevens in particular have a huge learning curve as they learn to manage receiving work from all their different subject teachers, the jump in amount of homework, along with learning what is actually expected. Here are a few homework tips that may assist:
- Take time to organise.
It may seem like a waste of time to do this, why not just get stuck into the work that has been set? However, it pays to compile a list of what needs to be done, how much time is required to complete it and when it needs to be done by. Then scheduling these on a visual calendar – weekly or monthly will really help not only meeting the deadline but taking away the stress. Sometimes students have been given several tasks, they don’t know where to start and this overwhelms them to the point that they don’t start anything. In the same way that, the ideal way to bake a cake is to get out all the ingredients, (if you follow Jamie Oliver’s rules – begin with a clean kitchen), put the oven on, prepare the cake pan AND THEN start making it! Less time is wasted and it should result in a better cake to eat! By planning and pacing out their work and having a visual reminder, they can be in charge of this and also plan to have time to relax and enjoy some of their afternoons and evenings and feel confident that it’s okay to do this – they’ve got it covered.
- Have brain breaks
Once the student knows the things they want to achieve that day, they should set for themselves a small reward for when it’s finished before starting the next (or for a long homework task, once a milestone in the task has been reached). Things like – take the dog for a walk, jump on the trampoline, have a snack, watching a youtube, messaging some friends. Then get onto the next task on the list – all the while looking forward to the next reward that has been set once it’s done.
- Use a checklist
Don’t allocate time. While time is allocated, and should be so that we ensure students don’t work for hours, some will work more quickly than others and others for all sorts of reasons will take longer. Instead, use a list where it’s clear what the task requirements are than once done – you’re done! Whether it takes 10 minutes or an hour (when it was posed as a 30 minute task).
Homework is work! but it shouldn’t be stressful.
- At the recent Middle School assembly, students were awarded Academic and Diligence Certificates.
- Academic Certificate – students must receive an ‘A’ grade for half or more of the subjects studied that term.
- Diligence Certificate – students must receive a ‘Very good’ for Diligence for ‘all or all but one’ of the subjects studied that term.
- Mason White our very own National Champion. He plays lead / first trombone for the Sunshine Coast Youth Band. They won Australian Junior Brass Champions (B Grade) after competing under 4 different categories at the National Championships over the Easter weekend.
If your child has received recognition for non-school related extracurricular activities please remember to send us an email with the details, it will also contribute to their Eagle Award points. Gifts are given to share – if your child has developed their gifts and won accolades let’s celebrate this together!
Jacqualina Vreeling, Head of Middle School