Homework is generally accepted as being beneficial for children’s development, because:
- It helps parents to see what children are learning in school
- It re-inforces what has been learnt in school during the day
- It provides time for practising skills like tables and reading
- It provides a wonderful opportunity for bonding and one to one time between parents and children
Therefore, Scoil Chormaic CNS places appropriate emphasis on the completion of appropriate homework, when set by teachers.
The following tips will help you and your child when completing homework every evening. Remember that the type and volume of homework set every night depends on the time of the year, and of course the class level of your child. Junior Infants will not be learning tables!
When your child is writing sentences it is of little benefit if they copy sentences written by an adult, or write down sentences that are dictated for them. They should:
1.Read the word that needs to be put in the sentence, say its spelling, and then try to spell it without looking at it .
“Did….. did……d – i – d, [looking away], d – i – d”
2.Make up a sentence orally
“I did my homework last night”.
If at this point your child has said a sentence that does not make sense, point it out before they begin to write. If they have chosen words that they will not be able to spell, ask them to perhaps think of a different word to use which they are able to spell, or to think of another sentence. There is little value in writing a complicated sentence that they cannot read back afterwards, or that they will never be able to spell again.
3.Write the sentence, paying attention to capital letters, finger spaces and full stops.
I did my homework last nite.
If there is a word that they cannot spell at this point, ask them to sound it out or to see if it might be in their reading book. If they guess its spelling, and think it may not be correct, they should put a line underneath it.
4.Read the sentence they have just written.
A good reader understands what he/she is reading, reads at a suitable pace, pays attention to full stops and direct speech in the text, and actively questions and thinks about what they are reading. To help your child become a good reader, you could ask them questions about what they are reading, rather than just listen to them reading out loud. For example:
- What do you predict will happen in this book/ on the next page/ in the next chapter? Why?
- What is the name of the author/ illustrator? What does the book blurb say?
- Have you read any other book like this one before?
- What happened first/ after that/ near the end?
- What do you predict will happen next?
- Can you make a connection between what you are reading, and something that has happened in your own life/ in another book?
- How do you think the character feels? Why? Did you ever feel like that?
- Where is the book set?/ What is the setting? / Where is the story happening?
- Can you tell me what happened in the book/ on that page/ in that chapter in five sentences, in your own words?
- What was your favourite part of the book? Who was your favourite character? Would you recommend the book to somebody else to read?
If your child comes across a word they cannot read, ask them to sound it out, look at the pictures for a hint, or to read the whole sentences and try to figure out another word that might make sense instead of it. It is very important that your child does not read sentences/paragraphs/pages without understanding what they are reading. Sometimes a child sounds like they are reading perfectly, but if you asked them a question about what they have just read, they will not be able to answer it.
Like with the spelling sentences, it is of little benefit if you tell your child the answer.
When your child first learns to add or subtract, they benefit greatly from using real things when counting (e.g. counting with match sticks, buttons).
Addition problems may be best solved by drawing a picture, or acting them out.
The following are some ideas for practising spelling words with your child. You don’t have to do them all, or any of them. Choose what works best for yourself.
1. Read all the words. Point at the words in a random order, and ask your child to read them. Ask your child to put them in sentences orally (out loud).
2. When writing sentences with the words as part of homework, practise learning how to spell the words first. Then, when your child is writing his/her sentences, do not allow them to look at that word (cover it).
3. ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’. Your child looks at the word, says it out loud, covers it with their hand and then writes it down. They should then check themselves to see if they have spelled it correctly.
4. Disco dance the words – basically put the letters of the word to any action or dance to make learning a bit more fun!
5. You may prefer to learn all of the words for one week on Monday, and revise them each night after that. Otherwise you can follow them in the same order they appear on the homework sheet.
6. If you have time, it would help to ask your child how to spell words from previous weeks, to make sure that they still know them.
Say the tables out loud, then ask your child questions on them (e.g. what’s 3 + 5? What’s 4 +7?).
The following site is good for practice: http://theschoolhub.ie/sample.php
The Irish curriculum aims to expose children to the Irish language, even if they might not understand some or all of it. If you want to help your child with Irish homework you could:
- Ask them to sing a song/ say a poem in Irish they have been learning
- Ask them how they are (Conas atá tú? – pronounced KUNAS A THAW THOO?) or what the weather is like (Conas atá an aimsir? – pronounced KUNAS A THAW ON AM-SHUR?).
- Ask them to name everyday objects in Irish (e.g. pencil, plate, bowl, window)
Length of time
If you feel that your child is spending a very long time on their homework, please arrange to speak with your class teacher about it.
Please sign your child’s homework/ reading every night. If your child is unable to complete their homework for any reason, please note this on the homework page.