10 July, 2010


By Radhakrishnan Chettour

What is the purpose of homework?

Homework reinforces the important concepts and knowledge learned in school. It provides independent practice for students. It also prepares students for independent learning activities in the future.

What types of homework do teachers assign?

Assignments vary according to the content or skills to be learned. Assignments may include independent reading, research and investigation, practice and drill in spellings and maths, projects, studying for tests, and problem solving activities. All these are vital components of CBSE formative Assessment.

How much help should I give my child?

Students should attempt the homework on their own, but parents have an important role of providing a regular time and space for homework to be completed. Homework goes more smoothly when parents are nearby and can assist with clarification of directions or explanations if needed. Parent support is valuable, too, in helping students study for tests and quizzes.

How should my child's completed homework/assignment look?

Homework should be neat, legible, and have the student's name and date clearly visible. All formative assessment assignments and projects should be in A4 size paper and should be hand written. As much as possible illustrations, graphs, diagrams and sketches should be hand drawn. Originality and creativity fetches higher grades.

What are the expectations for homework at class X?

• An emphasis on good study habits, daily practice and study of day-to-day lessons would help the students complete their academic work at the right time without stress. Heaping up of home works and content study will result in disinterest and stress at a later stage.

• A proper well set study schedule, prepared in consultation with your child, would help in covering all subjects on a day-to-day basis. Time for different subjects should be distributed as per the difficulty level for different subjects of the individual child.

• 5 to 10 minutes break between different subject-study sessions would help in assimilating, relaxing and in improving concentration.

• Students are expected to practice writing every evening/night for 20-30 minutes. They may have daily/occasional practice sheets, problem-solving or research assignments or question-answer writing or reading assignments in different subjects.

• Occasionally they will be expected to study for class tests, open book tests and unit tests. For class tests and unit tests prior information will be given to the students. Open book tests are generally surprise tests.

• Students are expected to read at least 20-30 minutes, practice maths concepts, science diagrams, social maps and study spelling of difficult words. They may have an occasional written assignment or research activity.

• Your ward should be encouraged to read news papers, magazines and library books regularly for improving language skills.

• Internet browsing should be strictly under the supervision of parents. Encourage children to find information for projects and assignments through reading books along with browsing.

• You must go through the notebooks and textbooks on a regular basis to find how much work is given and how much portions are covered. You are requested to go through the school diary on a regular basis.

• Contact the school for any clarification, difficulty or confirmation.

About how much time should I expect my child to spend on homework/study on week days?
• Minimum 3 hours and maximum up to 4 hours. Children should be given some time to relax, play, socialize with family and friends and watch TV.

What should be the plan for weekends?

• On Saturday evenings, 3 hours should be spending to revise whatever is covered in that particular week.
• On Sunday mornings 2½ hours can be kept apart for writing self regulated or parent regulated revision tests.
• On Sunday evenings children should be allowed to socialise, relax or do whatever they are interested without much restriction. This will help in de-stressing and rejuvenating their body and mind.

How do I know if my child has homework on a particular night?

• Assignments are posted on the board in the classroom and also reviewed verbally by teachers. Students are expected to neatly record all assignments and test dates in their assignment/class work notebooks, and to complete their assignment notebooks at home.

• Parents should check that students have brought assignment notebooks and study materials home each day. Students should have one assignment/class work notebook at a time and should not tear pages out of it. If this notebook is lost, the student may purchase a new one from the tuck shop. You can also contact other parents about the home work schedule for the day.

What do I do if my child leaves his or her assignments and books at school?

Parents may send a brief note to the class teacher to make sure that he/she carries the book home without fail or just pick the phone and give details at the school reception.

How will my child learn study skills?

Teachers provide instruction for students in the basic study skills. These skills are taught in conjunction with related content. It is important to realise that the application of study skills is developmental; students acquire these processes and skills over a period of time and experiences in using them. Because of this, teachers teach and practice these various skills with students each year. Study skills include: varying reading rate according to purpose, reading content-related information, outlining, note taking, studying for tests, and general test taking strategies.

What are my child's responsibilities in completing homework?

Students are responsible for:
• Recording assignments in their assignment notebooks
• Bringing books and materials home each evening
• Completing homework tasks that are assigned
• Putting effort into homework so that its quality is similar to class work
• Returning completed assignments to school on time

Parents are responsible for:
• Supervising the completion of homework by their child
• Checking to see that assignment notebooks and materials are brought home daily
• Establishing a regular time and place (distraction free) that homework assignments are to be done.
• Providing supplies needed for homework and projects
• Helping your child study for tests as he or she requests/needs

What do I do if my child is experiencing difficulty with homework?

Parents should talk with the child's teacher to discuss the problems and try to discover their cause. Teachers are very willing to work with students and parents to find solutions. If a child is not completing homework, or turning in assignments that are partially completed, his or her teacher will contact parents to make them aware of the concerns. Parents are also expected to keep in touch with class and subject teacher to know the progress of their ward.

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