Home Program Homework
When done right, homework provides fun and effective ways for students to practice key skills so that class time can be spent on more complex projects and lessons. Practicing what has been learned during the day through homework helps deepen student understanding and improves fluency. In the younger grades, when students are doing homework with their families, homework provides parents and guardians a window into the curriculum and how their child is responding. In the older grades, homework helps students sharpen their executive functioning skills and gives them time to develop independent thinking which deepens class engagement.
Some families come to us with questions after reading negative research about homework. Most of these studies are based on homework’s impact in schools that measure success using standardized test results. As a school that does not use standardized testing, and instead uses ongoing, formative assessments, Park Day approaches homework in terms of how it improves student understanding and engagement. Teachers revisit the topic of homework each fall as we reconsider the research and our own experiences with homework as progressive educators.
As our Lower School Director Karen Colaric notes in her Learning Spotlight on Homework, “Individual (students) vary greatly in their feelings toward homework, which are likely shaped by a variety of contributing factors, including their energy level and emotional state on any given evening, their general attitude toward school and specific academic subjects, and their feelings about themselves as learners.”
At Park Day School, we strive to create an environment where educators and families work together to support learning at home and school. We all want what is best for students—for them to enjoy learning, to build from success and persevere through challenges, to become reflective and critical thinkers. The right homework can support those goals.