In her first guest post for OUP, Nicole Whitehall, a “mommy blogger” and self-confessed tech geek, takes a look at how to get parents more involved with homework.
Assigning homework to students is a task in itself. You have to make sure that you haven’t assigned too much or too little, not to mention trying to get your students’ parents involved. American families are usually busy shuffling their kids from one place to another, worrying about cooking dinner, and leaving their kids to fend for themselves when it comes to homework. Here are some steps to take to make the upcoming school year a success when it comes to the involvement of your students’ parents during homework time.
There is no better time to give encouragement or ask for help when it comes to home learning than at the beginning of the school year. You are more likely to get your students’ parents attention at back-to-school night or using the back-to-school letters that are sent home. Invite parents to engage in your child’s learning experience throughout the year through projects, experiments, field trips and nightly homework. Let them in on what your child will be studying and explain to them how important they are in their child’s academic development.
Just like it took time for you to learn how to be effective teachers to your students, your students’ parents have to learn how to be effective teachers to their kids. Provide parents with a sheet of guidelines and advice on how to best help their child excel at home learning. Some tips might include: setting a regular time for homework, picking a designated place, removing distractions, and showing interest in assignments.
Some parents make their kids feel like they are too busy to help with homework. If there is a section of homework that is mandatory for parents, there is a better chance of parents making time to help their kids with homework. For instance, have your students ask their parents about an old family recipe that has been passed down for generations. Let your students write the steps to the recipe using sequencing (first, second, last, etc.) and share it with the class.
4. Share your observations
When with their peers, students usually open up and share their interests a lot more. This means participating in games they might not play at home and trying new things. If you notice that your student enjoys a certain game or method of learning, share it with your students’ parents at the end of the month. Explain new ways they can incorporate the teaching methods used in the classroom in their own home.
5. Give feedback
After some weeks of implementing the new changes in and out of the classroom, give some feedback! Whether it’s through a newsletter personalised for each child or a mini parent-teacher conference, let your students’ parents know what’s working, what’s not, and how each party can make your students’ learning experience even better.
So make an effort to challenge your students and parents this upcoming school year. If you’ve given it a try already, what do you find works the best? If you haven’t tried it yet, which tip do you think will make the most impact on your students’ learning?
29 June 2012 at
It’s good idea to have feedbacks for parents, to discuss the result with them, to try to involve them in children’s learning because they always demand but don’t want to help in teaching
8 July 2012 at
That’s right! I definitely agree with you. It has to do with the educational triangle, you know, teachers , parents, and of course, students. The more links we make beetwen school and home, the better results we’ll get on the part of the students.