Woodlands Junior Re Homework Chart

How to Use an Advanced Homework Progress Tracker

The homework progress tracker allows you and your child to keep track of several homework related activities. It is important that you help your child with this for the first few weeks to ensure that your child understands ho to use it. You could also involve your child’s teacher with certain portions of this chart. For example, you could ask your child’s teacher to initial the chart when an entire homework assignment has been turned in. This might be more appropriate for some children, particularly those who have a history of being dishonest about school work.

Before you begin, you should decide where you will keep the chart. For this chart, it might be best to slide it into the front outside of a binder with a clear plastic cover, or slide the chart into a clear sheet protector inside the binder. It is important that the chart is in a place that is readily accessible and visible. Kids who have ADHD can benefit if the chart is in a spot where they will easily see it. This will help them remember to use it.

Step 1: Establish The Baseline

To begin, enter your child’s class subjects in the left hand column. For the first week you simply sit with your child and go through the worksheet together each day. Working one subject at a time, have him either check “None” if there is no homework, or have him do his homework before checking the “Done” box. The “Packed” box should be checked after the assignment is put in the child’s folder and/or backpack. Your child is responsible for checking the “Turned In” box when he hands in each assignment the next day. Once his homework is done, enter checkmarks for the appropriate boxes on the lower Task section of the worksheet. You may add other tasks if desired. If something is not complete, simply leave the box blank. It is not recommended to put any negative words or symbols such as “No” or a frowning face.

At the end of the week, count up the number of checkmarks your child earned each day or for the entire week. This is the baseline. Now that you know the baseline, you can set a goal for the following week.

Step 2: Establish a Goal

You can set daily goals, weekly goals, or both. Here are some examples:

Daily goal and reward system: The maximum number of checkmarks your child can earn each day with the chart unmodified is 22. Suppose your child currently gets about 10 check marks each day. It is not reasonable to ask your child to immediately begin getting 22 check marks each day. Rather you want to start where he is and slowly work forward. You might make it a goal for your child to get 15 checkmarks per day next week. Each day your child reaches 15 checkmarks next week, he would earn a reward such as an extra half hour on the computer.

Weekly goal and reward system: You could also offer weekly rewards. You count up the baseline total of checkmarks during the first week- let’s say 50 for the week as an example. For the next week you might set a goal for your child to earn 65 checkmarks. If he gets 65 or more checkmarks next week, this would earn him a larger reward on the weekend such as going to the movies.

Step 3: Continue to Evaluate Progress

As your child achieves each goal, you can slightly increase the goal for the following week. Don’t hesitate to mix up the rewards if your child is getting bored, or offer two choices for your child to choose from.

POPULISM HAS TAKEN the world by storm.

Donald Trump. Brexit. Etc.

I have watched with dismay. In that light, I’m a little uncomfortable proposing what could be considered the most populist proposal ever.

No more homework.

It’s a wish I’m sure we all heard throughout our school lives.

Just thinking back to the mountains of work gives me a feeling akin to hearing fingernails on a blackboard.

As a wannabe politician, this one is definitely from the Napoleon Dynamite playbook.

As a campaign it has potential though.

A single sentence encapsulates the position clearly. In this age of slogans and chants, that seems to be important. So, really Bart Simpson’s Down with Homework t-shirt could be dusted off.

We wouldn’t even need to be very original with chants, a quick search of YouTube provides more than we could ever use.

All the ingredients are there.

So with the catch sorted, we move onto the detail.

Like all good populist campaigns, the devil will be in the detail. The campaign will really be No Homework for Primary School Students. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of homework for secondary school students.

There is an argument to be made that primary school homework gets students into the habit and increases from there. I don’t think years of practice are required. On the
contrary, it seems that six years of secondary school homework, often followed by
college is more than enough.

Why though?

Childhood obesity is a major problem in Ireland. The Childhood Obesity Surveillance
Initiative carried out by the Health Service Executive in conjunction with the National
Nutrition Surveillance Centre in UCD this year makes for worrying reading.

One in five of our children are overweight or obese. Schools have come a long way in terms of healthy eating campaigns and there is an emphasis on physical activity but more is needed.

The point of schooling is to learn and much of the time is inevitably spent sitting.

The Irish weather hasn’t improved since my time either. Often, it’s not possible to go outside during break. Technological improvements mean the TV-on-wheels no longer needs to be wheeled in but the projector provides the same result. After a day like this, our children are sent home with homework to do.

More time sitting – after a whole day of it.

Removing homework won’t be a magic bullet. Parents would need to ensure the homework time isn’t simply replaced with screen time. A strong campaign would be needed to encourage evening exercise.

Increased provision of walking and cycle ways as well as playgrounds would help too. Not all would comply, but many would. With such worrying obesity stats, it’s time to change our priorities.

There have been many studies carried out on the value of exercise.

Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University tested the effects of aerobic exercise on 171 sedentary, overweight kids between the ages of 7 and 11. They found improvements in IQ scores, as well as Maths ability, where physical activity levels were increased.

Canadian author and public policy contributor André Picard has also argued that homework is counterproductive.

He says research shows clearly that children being active is more important than homework for improving learning and test scores and health.

As a working parent, I find these arguments compelling.

Life during school term is a whirlwind.

Once I’ve collected my kids, made dinner, helped to get the homework done and taken them to an after-school activity (if there is one that day), it is bedtime. And we are all tired.

We are all busier these days. Quality time is at a premium. Let’s get rid of the
homework and build in more family activity time.

Instead of spending their early years teaching them to sit and do homework, we could be teaching them the joy of an active lifestyle.

Eric Nolan is the local area representative for the Labour Party in Cork East. He is a father of two and lives in Midleton. He works as an aviation firefighter at Cork Airport. Find him on Twitter @ericnolanlab

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