Parent Asks:

What is the reason my kids get homework and how involved should I be in it?

Educator Answers:
Homework is assigned to reinforce what was taught in class. Teachers assign a variety of different homework experiences. Some are very brief and may only need a few write-in answers, while others may require a large time commitment, creativity, and project steps. These more involved projects enrich the students' understanding of the subject matter and engage kids in topics more fully than we can pursue during class time.

Using a variety of types of homework enables educators to use different assessment methods. Perhaps a student has difficulty taking tests. Homework projects could show that this student really does grasp the content. Homework helps me understand how well my instruction was understood. Is this a subject I need to review again or did the students "get it", which is critical for me to know so I can plan upcoming lessons.

How involved should you be? You should be supportive of your child's need to do his or her homework. Provide space, supplies and help schedule homework time. Your child might ask for clarification on an assignment and you could explain how you read the question. But avoid providing answers or getting directly involved in the work. Teachers need to assess how well the students understand the subject matter.