Lessons from Learning Support: What to do when you “think” you have no homework

Thursday 7th March 2019

It might be time to change how we think about the dreaded 'homework'.

McGlashan Blazer
McGlashan Blazer

A key idea across the school this year is 'consistency' and to help develop a consistent approach, it is useful to stick to a regular programme, to enable you to develop consistency and maintain effective habits. 

It would be expected that students have set time aside each night to focus on homework. However, we all know how the 'homework conversation' can go":

“Do you have any homework?”

“Nope. Did it in school.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yep, I’m positive! I have nothing to do.”

If this sort of conversation leaves parents with an uneasy feeling, it probably should! It takes years for most kids to gain a realistic understanding of what it means to be a “student” and the hunch that something’s missing is probably valid.

When it comes to 'homework' some students default to focus on:

1 - tasks that were set today

2 -  tasks that are due tomorrow

If they have nothing to fit those two categories, then by their definition, they have 'no homework'.

To develop a consistent approach and continue to develop effective study habits, I would encourage a student to ask themselves a few more questions before they quickly dismiss the prospect of homework:

  • Were there any specific tasks set today, for me to complete at home?
  • Were there any tasks that I did not complete in class today?
  • Was there anything I have struggled with in class that I could spend more time on?
  • Do I have any long term projects I could work on?
  • Do I need to take time to refine my systems? (update planner, organise files, update notes, etc)
  • Can I revise previous work? (Lots of great resources on Education Perfect and other digital forums, classroom teachers can make suggestions.)
  • Read

Instead of considering homework as a checklist of things students must do, they should consider it as an investment of time to ensure they are well organised, well prepared and up to date - they will be pleasantly surprised at the payoff from the investment.