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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Homework Guideline
St. Bonaventure School
Praying, Learning, Playing and Living together with respect and responsibility.

One of the Expectations of the ‘Ontario Catholic School Graduate” is to become a ‘self-directed, responsible, life-long learner’. Under that auspices, a student is expected to ‘set appropriate goals and priorities in school, work and personal life’, as well as apply...’time and resource management skills’. Homework is one way of demonstrating these expectations.
Homework is a partnership, a co-operative effort between home and school involving parents, teachers, and students. Homework provides both an expression of the school’s seriousness of purpose and a window into each student’s daily life at school. This statement is a working document to be reviewed and developed into a school homework guideline by School Councils, parents, and teachers.

Definition of Homework
Homework can be defined as an important and relevant learning activity that is related to the school program, and that takes place in a
variety of settings in the home or in the community. When students complete homework, they acquire new knowledge and consolidate
and reinforce learning in practical and meaningful ways. Homework is a planned and purposeful part of the total program and is linked
to The Ontario Curriculum learning expectations learning skills and the Ministry of Education reporting guide-lines.

Importance of Homework for Success
Research has shown that students achieve academic success more consistently when parents are involved in their child’s education.
The influence of the home on a student’s success at school is profound, and exerts a very strong impact on his or her long-term
academic success. Homework is one vehicle for involving parents directly and strengthening the partnership between home and school.
Positive attitudes about school and about learning routines are enhanced through the application of effective homework practices.

The Purpose of Homework
A well-designed homework program:
a) meets the needs of individual students;
b) extends and supports learning through related out-of-school activities;
c) provides positive, rather than punitive, experiences for students;
d) encourages the development of self-discipline, good work habits, and positive attitudes towards independent study and lifelong learning;
e) enables parents to see for themselves what their children are learning at school;
f) provides opportunities for teachers, parents and students to develop and maintain good homework practices;
g) enlists the support and invites the participation of parents as partners in learning;
h) is communicated to parents in many ways including curriculum nights, parent-teacher conferences, student planners, School Council meetings, newsletters, and family education workshops;
i) balances work in school and work at home

Types of Homework
Homework offers a variety of experiences, using a variety of mediums that encourage and support children in relation to their in-school experiences.

There are four main types of homework:

​TYPE REASON​ EXAMPLES​
Completion​ To keep up-to-date with classroom work.​ Competing classroom assignments, including reading responses, notes, exercises, pieces of writing, reading selections. Completing activities from the Family Life program. ​
Preparation​ To prepare for the next day's class work or for coming lessons.​ Collecting information, reading background materials, or studying for quizzes, tests and exams. Completing tasks associated with sacramental preparation. Using planners to establish regular study and review time.​
Practice and Application​ To develop, review, and reinforce specific skills. To transfer skills or concepts into new situations.​ Completing extra questions in a textbook if an assessment item demonstrates that the student has not mastered a skill (i.e. calculating tax, categorizing plants). Writing a letter after being tahgt the components of a business letter. Completing community service hours. Reviewing and drilling of number of operations and troublesome spelling words, where necessary. Being read to, reading aloud, and independent reading (materials may be English, dual track and/or first language).​
Extension/Creative​ To enrich classroom​ experiences and to deepen the student's understanding.

To provide opportunities for problem-solving and critical thinking.

To integrate skills.
Identifying local plant and animal life in one's environment.

Volunteering to help in local parish or a community group.

Working on projects, research and independent study.

Inventing a product to solve a problem.

Creating designs, stories, drama, prayers.​
 
Roles and Responsibilities in the Homework Partnership:
School, Teachers, Parents, and Students
In order for homework to be an effective extension of the school program, the school, teachers, parents and students share the responsibility for developing and maintaining good homework practices.

The school:
· develops school guidelines re: homework for use by teachers, parents, and students;
· co-ordinates a variety of up-to-date library facilities and resources. 

The teacher:
· explains to students the purpose and importance of homework and its connection to school success;
· provides homework that is clear, meaningful, purposeful, and understood;
· assigns work that is appropriate to the student’s age, developmental level, learning style, maturity, skills, and individual needs
· teaches skills necessary for the student to complete homework (e.g., note-making, preparation for upcoming test);
· provides support to parents and students on establishing homework routines and effective study habits (e.g., time management, using school planner);
· uses homework as a vehicle for developing and reinforcing learning, not as a punishment for misbehaviour or failure to perform as expected;
· monitors, checks, or evaluates homework, as appropriate;
· works collaboratively with other teachers to assign reasonable amounts of home-work, and to avoid overload in rotary class situations;
· communicates regularly with parents;
· summarizes and reports on homework completion in the Learning Skills section of the Provincial Report Card.
 
The parent:
· provides encouragement and appropriate support, without doing the homework for the student;
· expects the student to complete homework regularly;
· provides an environment (i.e., workplace, block of uninterrupted time), usually in the home or in an alternate setting, e.g., Library;
· shows interest in the student’s schoolwork and progress;
· maintains regular contact with the teacher;
· continues to read to and with the student in English, French (French Immersion), or in the home language(s) of the family throughout the early years of a child’s schooling.
The student:
· ensures that he/she clearly understands the homework (i.e., assignments, criteria, timelines);
· asks for help if homework assignments or expectations are not clear;
· completes homework regularly;
· prepares appropriately for upcoming lessons;
· participates actively in all aspects of the school program;
· manages time and materials appropriately (e.g., uses school planner)
· submits homework on time (organizes necessary materials);
· studies appropriately for tests and examinations;
· communicates regularly with teachers and parents;
· monitors progress and sets goals, as appropriate;
· assumes appropriate responsibility for homework completion as he or she proceeds through school.

Suggested Time Guidelines
· The amount of time a student spends on homework depends on a number of factors. These include: the student’s needs; the student’s age and grade; the student’s work habits; the specific subject and its difficulty for the student; the student’s school and home schedules; the proximity of tests, examinations and due dates; and the opportunities which the student has during the school day to complete homework.

· The following is suggested as a general guide. It should be noted that times will vary from individual to individual, at various times within a school year.

​Grade Amounts of Time​
​1-8 5 to 10 min. per grade most nights
Grade One - 5 to 10 min.
Grade Two - 10 to 20 min.
Grade Three - 15 to 20 min.
Grade Four - 20 to 40 min.
Grade Five - 25 to 50 min.
Grade Six - 30 to 60 min.
Grade Seven - 35 to 70 min.
Grade Eight - 40 to 80 min.
(Plus Read Aloud or Independent Reading)
9-10​ 6 to 10 hours per week (depending on type of assignment, course, or program; some students, including those with special needs, may have more of an in-class focus for their learning.)​
11-12​ An average of 10 to 20 hours per week (depending on grade and courses)​