Putting the "Home" in Homework
Homework... it's becoming a pressing issue.
During the formation of Wildwood, we had many discussions around homework - most of these discussions focused on the idea that homework for homework's sake is a negative concept and not something that we wanted to perpetuate. We put our foot down and refuse to send home meaningless worksheets and/or busy work. We still feel that way. We still believe - adamantly - that adolescents need down time - time to pursue outside interests (music, theatre, art, athletics, and more) - time to play - time to be with family and friends. However, this does not mean that Wildwood students won't do schoolwork outside of school hours. In fact, they will often be doing work at home. This is the reality of a project-based program such as ours.
At a minimum, Wildwood students should be reading at home for 30 minutes EVERY DAY. They should take the last 5 minutes of that time to record their thinking about what their reading - reflecting on the character(s) and how they impact the story, responding to the story and/or the author. This is follow-up work on lessons we are doing in class time. Further, they should record the pages they are reading as a means to keep track of their work.
With Chromebooks and Kiddom now up and running, students may have math work to complete - this may look like finishing a lesson or assignment or working through a video with practice problems to prepare for new conceptual work being introduced in class. This may look like tackling the next assignment simply because they are choosing to challenge themselves and move forward at their own pace. Unless they are choosing to work ahead or we have a big test, this shouldn't be more than 20-30 minutes, 4 nights per week.
Finally, with project-based work, there are additional evenings and weekends where students will be completing challenging work. It is helpful if they use a planner to record the stages of a project so they don't leave everything to the last minute - if they are ahead of the game, they can always come in before school to get clarification and help.
We recognize that some of our students are putting significant amounts of time in at home. We also recognize that there are others who are putting in little to no time at home. It is crucial that we support students to do their best, asking them to do more but also knowing when to encourage them to stop. As teachers, we are open to conversations about how homework is going for your child, and see ourselves as your partners in what can be a very challenging time on many different levels. We appreciate your continued support.
And...if your child doesn't yet have or use a planner, we think it makes a lovely and practical gift!