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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Welcome to St. Vincent de Paul Academics! 
   

A Message from our Guidance Teacher-Counsellor 

 

Homework Basics

 

In elementary school, homework is assigned to reinforce skills and concepts and to extend classroom learning.
 
A Parent's Supporting Role 

                                                                                                                                            

When it comes to homework, be there to offer support and guidance, answer questions, help interpret assignment instructions, and review the completed work. Resist the urge to provide the right answers or complete assignments.  It is important for your child to develop the skills and confidence to complete homework and projects independently.
 
1.  Create a Homework-friendly Space
 
It is important that the workspace is:
·   well-lit and comfortable
·   stocked with school supplies (pens, pencils, paper, stapler, calculator, ruler, etc.) & references (dictionary,  thesaurus)
·  quiet and free from distractions, such as TV, video games, social networking, phone calls, or other family members  
 
Computers should be located in a common space, rather than a bedroom, so that parents can monitor use.  Parental controls are available through your Internet service provider (ISP), and software that blocks and filters inappropriate material can be purchased.  
 
Younger children may prefer working at the kitchen or dining room table where they can receive encouragement and assistance from you. Older children may prefer to work in their rooms, but parents should check in periodically and review homework when it is completed. 
 
2.  Establish Homework Routines
 
Send the message that schoolwork is a top priority by establishing a regular time each day for homework to be done. Some families do not allow TV, phone calls, video game-playing, social networking, etc., until homework is done and checked.
 
3.  Supporting Homework and Study Habits
 
Help your child to assess their homework and what it involves on a daily basis.  In this way, your child can develop strategies to manage the workload. Some students prefer to complete harder assignments first, while others prefer to start with the easier tasks. Individual learning needs, coupled with a plan for breaks, will determine which homework approach best helps your child to maintain focus and energy.  Encourage your child to prepare for tests by scheduling study sessions well in advance, in order to avoid cramming or last-minute panic.
 
Parents should not hover at homework time, but may need to monitor their child’s frustration levels and comprehension.  This will help you to communicate effectively with your child’s teacher at parent-teacher conferences and throughout the year.  On-going struggles with assignments or homework completion could indicate broader issues which may require investigation to ensure your child’s success.
 
4. Instill Organization Skills
 
Organizational skills are essential for academic and personal success. Teach your child how to use their school agenda effectively, recording all assignments and due dates.  Most school planners offer helpful suggestions for managing time and achieving goals. Many families also find a wall calendar useful to keep track of tests, assignments, extracurricular activities, rehearsals, special events, etc.  Help your child organize and set out what they need the night before, e.g., homework, books, clothes, permission letters, etc.  This practice builds important life skills and reduces family stress in the morning rush.
 
 
Final thoughts…
 
Make sure your child knows that you are there to listen to their feelings and concerns, and that you do not expect perfection – only that they try their best.  Encourage effort and perseverance in all they do.
 
Working together to support your child’s success,
 
Frank Amato
TCDSB Elementary Guidance Teacher Counsellor
Area 5
D’Arcy McGee, St. Nicholas of Bari, St. John Bosco,
Senhor Santo Cristo, St. Luigi, St. Rita, St. Matthew,
St. Luke, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Cecilia, St. Helen
& Holy Family