I get a lot of questions about homework. My philosophy is it should be routine, coincide with what is being covered in class, have the same result expectation, and not overly intrude on family time.
I’m often asked if I do a daily folder. I do not. Any work that goes home, goes in their backpack. If it’s important, I hold it until Friday and send it home with their Friday Note, or I hold it until Monday and send it home with their homework folder.
The kids get their homework folder on Monday and it’s due back on Friday. I suggest that they do a little bit each day – but totally understand if practice or family time gets in the way one day and they have to double-up somewhere else in the week to make up for it.
My kiddos choose a different daily spelling/writing activity from the menu glued to their homework folder. I love that the menu of items they have to choose from will encourage their phonic development and improve their writing skills. The menu choices stay the same. No need to relearn procedure when I want them to master content.
Our “spelling” program isn’t your typical spelling program. 10 out of the 14 words we spell each week are phonics driven. The test is more of a phonic application test than a traditional memorized word test.
The spelling homework helps emphasize the phonic rule being tackled rather than rote memorization.
I have high expectations for their writing, even when it comes to homework. This little checklist is in their folder too.
They have to use these functions of writing in EVERYTHING they do. It makes it easier to hold the kiddos to it, if the checklist is right in front of them (and their parents) every day.
I use pages from our math program for math homework. Those extra resource books come in handy for homework. It’s so quick and simple to grab the pages that coincide with the chapter on which we are working. I include a little 120 chart in their folder as a helper, too.
I emphasize the importance of sight words a lot. We learn nearly 300 in my class each year! The kiddos have a copy of all of the words on their homework folder so they can “work ahead” whenever they wish.
We learn 9 new sight words each week. This helps tremendously with fluency and reading advancement. The kiddos who are struggling to learn those words during class will have to practice them at home. My homework sheet provides them with “flash cards” for those words.
My focus wall contains the spelling words that we are covering in our morning work, literacy practice, readers, word work and homework.
The 9 sight words we work on each week stay on the same focus wall as our spelling words. At the end of the week, I move them over to our word wall.
I have over 750 spelling and sight word cards! We use them for so many things. And, when we are not using them, they are up on the focus and word walls where the kiddos refer to them often.
So, with all those questions about my homework program I knew I needed to share it with you. I finally sat down and put it together in one cohesive resource for you. It ended up being 305 pages!!
Homework Time contains all you need for the ELA portion of your homework for the WHOLE YEAR. In fact, the only thing you need to add each week are math pages from your math program. I’ve even included some of the forms and card sheets in an editable format so you can make any changes necessary to suit your specific needs.
The Homework Time resource is discounted right now. Head on over and check it out. There is a preview download available on the listing there as well.