Parent Guide to Homework
I think that grade five homework, like that of grade six and beyond, can
be an area of stress for many students.
Efficient time management,
organization, self motivation, independent responsibility, perseverance;
all are important background skills and inclinations that can be
developed through homework.
I try to provide a series of homework projects that are designed to
exercise language and math skills, as well as provide creative arts and
Each project usually comprises four or five 'jobs'. Each job will be
an individual assignment. Two or three of these assignments are writing
assignments, one is usually an art or multimedia job. Sometimes there
are music or presentation preparation assignments, using programs such
The questions addressed in a project are linked, to provide a
cohesive end-result for the student. For example, one project for
science might involve designing a travel brochure for a student-selected
planet. Combining research with creative presentation, the students try
to persuade the class to visit their planet first - through music and
drama, as well as persuasive speeches and visual effects.
I try to keep the content of projects varied and worthwhile, as well
as interesting and creative. You can be the judge as to what extent I am
successful in this effort!
Many of the projects are assessed using a combination of rubric and
teacher comment. Freshly graded homework is usually returned the
following week to the student. The student should bring the work to you
to review the assessment and comments. I would like you to keep all
completed projects. I can store them in school, if necessary.
The main focus of my effort this year is for each student to have
designed an efficient system for homework by years end. Some of the
primary features I'm looking for are:
- The student's work is completed independently, without the need
for too much parental pressure, or assistance. Students are calm,
independent, and accept the responsibility for their own homework.
They will call fellow students for help and collaboration, where
- The student's work is completed in a total of four to five hours
per week. Students should try to design a homework schedule that
allows for one hour homework a night, for five nights. This schedule
needs to be an effective and successful one, where students usually
get the higher grades, and always demonstrate, at least, effort.
They are comfortable and relaxed, as well as dogged and persistently
Parents can help me best in the following ways:
- Parents should aim for independence from student homework by the
end of the year. Try to give as little assistance to the student as
possible. If the students have questions about the homework, they
should be encouraged to contact each other first. It's different for
each student, of course, as to how independent each one will be
ready to become!
- Parents should make all final decisions about homework
completion. If there is a pressing family event, or perhaps you just
feel your child needs a break, or the work is too much, or too
difficult, or your child is unwell; whatever the circumstance, if
you provide a note for me, I will assess accordingly. Family peace
always comes first in my book. Parents should be the boss of
homework. Homework should never be a burden for a whole family. For
me, having homework be as stress free as possible for your family
circumstances is a major priority.
- Students are required to complete all jobs - unless there is a
note. I'll do my best to give the students fair and interesting
projects. You, the parents, should decide what is best for your
child, as to how much work they put in on any given project. Without
a note, the students must work on incomplete homework jobs during
free time at school.
- Don't let your child work much above six hours on a project -
unless they're really 'into' it, of course!
- If your child is having a difficult time emotionally with
homework, perhaps as a result of time management issues, for
example, let me know, and we can adjust the plan. For me, the
preferred system for homework is the 'set time of day every day'
system: one hour a day, everyday, is better than doing it all in one
monster night, in my opinion!
I hope you like the projects and enjoy the fifth grade homework
experience. Contact me with any concerns you have, and we can chat.