Expert Advice

Home-Based Homework

Education Expert Advice from Barbara Callaghan

Q
My child is in second grade and the teacher doesn't give homework. I think she should. What do you think?
A
Many schools have a policy that dictates how many minutes per grade that homework may be given by the teacher. Parents find it helpful to know what to expect and to be able to plan on that time.

Homework does not have to be given by a teacher. Parents can set aside a given amount of time each day for a second grader to read or write. Second graders are just acquiring these skills and extra practice at home can be very beneficial. Trips to the public library to select new books to read, listening to the child read, and writing lists, letters, and notices for your own home are meaningful and helpful.

Many second graders are beginning after school activities such as soccer, scouts, or music lessons. All of these activities, including homework, are worthwhile. We must remember that these children are about eight years old and need time for unstructured play and exploration. I caution against over programming children.

After teaching in California for nearly ten years, Barbara Callaghan moved to New Hampshire in 1985 and became a principal. After 10 years as a principal, she returned to teaching, her first love and true vocation.

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