Homework and Assessment
Homework and assessment need a PR revamp! These are two cornerstones of a child’s academic development. The former should never be treated as a chore and the latter should be approached without a smidgeon of fear.
Assessment of a child’s current level of progress can be experienced in a variety of ways; formal feedback from an education professional, tailored testing in order to identify areas of relative strength and weakness, national testing, group consultations between parent, pupil and teacher and, of course, homework itself. Assessment is essential towards, both, the achievement and recognition of progress.
Homework is a pivotal factor in enabling a child to consolidate the knowledge and skills that they have learnt in the classroom. Furthermore, not only does homework increase their capacity to become a productive, independent learner; however, homework, also, offers a parent an immediate insight into what their child is being taught and how well they are processing these ideas.
Ultimately, these two components should be embraced as a perfectly normal, yet vital, part of a child’s successful journey through education. Homework and assessment are the glue that unite all three parties – teaching professional, parent and pupil.
Here are six bullet-point suggestions for how to get the most out of these two vital areas of academe:
- Resist the urge to do your child’s homework for them. This does not offer a true reflection of a child’s understanding of a topic. As a teacher, homework is the gateway to understanding whether a child has grasped a topic sufficiently.
- Adhering to the principle of ‘little and often’ is the best approach. It is not a good idea to sit down for hours on end at a time. This will lead to a loathing of learning!
- If possible, homework should be completed in a quiet space, wherever this can be found. Studies have shown that changing the place in which you choose to complete your homework encourages a fresh and revitalised approach.
- Welcome assessment as a mere learning tool. It is the first stepping stone towards a child’s academic improvement. Confidence can be gained from the recognition of areas of achievement and, moreover, progress can be targeted in a systematic way by an assessment’s identification of gaps in knowledge.
- Discuss assessment with your child in an open and relaxed manner. The greater the dialogue, the more a child will realise that assessments are not horrible tests; rather, they are helpful guides towards realising one’s full academic potential.
- Constructive criticism, conveyed in a positive and correct manner, is not an enemy. Perfection is an idiotic pursuit, as it can never be achieved. Strive for progress, not perfection.