A subject I hear many home school parents discussing is whether or not they should be assigning their children homework. After all, they are home all day working, so is it really necessary?
In my opinion, yes, the child should be required to do homework.
Why? Well, there are many different reasons.
Students, no matter whether they school in a regular classroom or at home, have the teacher right there with them every step of the way when learning something new. Homework is an opportunity to see how much a child retained from that information on their own. Yes, of course, a parent is still there to answer questions when needed and to check their answers when they are done. But the child should be doing most of the work themselves.
During homework time, a child should not run right to the parent when they do not know something. First, they should be consulting their books and notes. If a parent is always giving the answers, the child learns nothing from the homework assignment. Having them consult their books and notes helps the child to learn techniques of studying and proper note taking. Because a parent is not around much during college years and even in the child’s career later in life, these are extremely important lessons for the child to learn!
Having your child study alone also gives them confidence to do things solo. When it comes time for testing, the child should have enough confidence in him or herself to be able to take these tests without your help.
One more reason to assign homework to your child is so the other parent can help their child out. Like any school setting, many students respond better to certain teachers. If dad (or mom!) is working at the office all day, the child only has the opportunity to learn and study from the other parent. The working parent should use homework time to get involved in their child’s education and possibly help to clarify some things that didn’t click during school hours! The child will appreciate the efforts of both parents and their involvement in the education process.
I feel many home school parents do not give homework because they have not taken the time to create the homework assignments. While many books come with teacher supplements for this very purpose, often times they are not enough in helping your child learn everything they should. Do not give up! There are Many websites nowadays that offer printable homework worksheets for nearly every subject! Some require a minimal fee, like SuperTeacherWorksheets.com (about $20 a year), but are well worth the money spent.
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