If you put ‘Homework’ into a search engine you’d rightly expect back thousands of suggestions. Pages and pages of advice, ideas and opinions ranging from how to motivate young people to do it, how to establish homework routines, how to ‘jazz up a worksheet’ and the inevitable warnings about its dangers and why it should be banned from existence.
Everyone, it seems, has a view about homework. France might have decided to get rid of it but in the absence of a blanket decision in England, schools are negotiating their own path through this potentially perilous territory.
So – What’s the best sort of homework?
Well, it’ll come as no surprise to you that I think homework should always have an element of thinking skills, so that children and parents get into the habit of thinking in different ways. The old saying still holds true: The brain is a muscle and requires regular workouts.
It’s true that some parents do take an active interest in their children and through their positive interactions contribute greatly to their educational and emotional development.
However, it is also true that many aren’t quite so active, or certainly don’t fully realise the impact they might be having on their children’s thinking skills. Children learn best when they are motivated at home and encouraged to be curious.
They need to develop a comprehensive set of thinking and learning skills to be successful life-long learners. Skills such as logical thinking, being able to prioritise, categorise, question and problem solve - the transferable skills for all areas of learning.
When we develop children’s attitudes and positive dispositions towards learning, like patience and persistence, they are much more likely to grow to be independent, resilient and successful learners.
That’s one of the main reasons for writing this latest publication: Let’s Think Homework: Over 100 Thinking Homework Ideas. as well as the Thinking Journals which add value to the impact of this approach to homework
Let's Think Homework offers quick starters for thinking as well as the flexibility to extend children’s thinking into other areas of the curriculum.
There are currently some primary schools across the country trialing this new approach to homework - I shall be reporting on their progress in future blogs.
In the meantime you can download the introductory pages and order your own copy from the website www.thinkingchild.org.uk/lets-think-homework
You can also call me on 01604 491511 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org