The Importance of Homework
“Skill to do comes of doing…” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
If your child seems to be spending long hours on homework every night, try these suggestions:
• Distractions – Provide a quiet, well-lit study area to aid in good concentration, where the child
may finish incomplete assignments. Don’t allow television, phone calls, pets, toys, food, or
siblings to distract from the tasks at hand.
• Expectations – Set aside a consistent homework time in order to help avoid conflicts and stress.
For some children, it may help to divide the work into smaller, manageable portions so that the
night’s assignments do not seem quite so overwhelming.
• Advice – Be available to answer quick questions, including general explanations of the material
and strategies to improve the quality of the work. Quiz your child periodically on spelling,
vocabulary, or factual information. Ask lots of thoughtful questions to help them to see
connections to other situations in their lives.
• Remember: It is never okay to “help” by doing work for the child! This defeats the purpose of
the assignment, gives the child a sense that he/she does not really need to complete what has
been asked, and does not allow the teacher to know when the child is having problems and
needs to be supported academically. It is much better to send a note to the teacher telling of
your observation that, after giving explanations, the child still appears to be having trouble with
• Encourage the importance of a nightly “free reading” time of 30 minutes. Read in full view of
your child while he/she is reading.
• Tools – Ensure that your child has ready access to the necessary tools, i.e. paper, pen, crayons
or markers, calculator, dictionary, etc., to complete the assignments.
• Attitudes – Parents play a large part in how children think about school and homework.
Children need to see that you support the need to complete this work in a positive, directed,
manner and that it be neat, complete, and on time. Act excited and pleased about their completion
of the work; reward them with words and family time!
• Scale Back! – If your child’s life is so full of after-school activities that there is no time or
energy for homework, it is probably time to re-evaluate. Other activities should never replace
school as the primary focus of a child’s life.
• Stay involved – It is important that children know that you care about what they are doing in
school. Check their assignment books every day to help them keep track of what is due. Review
their homework to see how well it was done and whether or not it is complete.
• Most important, praise them for work done well and neatly and for positive study habits. It is
this coordination and cooperation with the teachers that will help your child attain the
maximum educational success at the Campus School of Carlow University and beyond.
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. ~Sydney J. Harris