Homework has to be healthy for the whole family if it’s to be successful
Every family comes with different ideas about homework and what they would like to see for their child. We encourage families to supplement as needed and communicate with teachers to make adaptations. The goal is for homework to be a positive experience for all.
Do Montessori children benefit from homework?
Yes, Montessori children benefit from homework but it is different from traditional school homework. We accept the research that suggests that traditional homework does not increase student learning, nor does it increase student motivation. However, our goal in Montessori is to inspire in children a sense of purpose in their lives. This is not traditional homework. We want students to pursue things that interest them -seeking information, skills, and insights on their own to build their knowledge. Montessori homework includes opportunities to read and write. Reading is usually established as a suggested time to set aside for reading whatever children find interesting, and writing might be in a journal or freely chosen creative or expository writing. Also, Montessori’s goal is to prepare students for life… so homework may include practical opportunities to develop life-long skills.
Homework is not meant to take hours out of a family’s time together. We recognize that children lead busy lives. Family time is important and we strive to create a balance that allows families enough time to engage in valuable interaction and activities and not feel burdened by excessive homework demands.
Important to Note: Because not all children are at the same place in their learning and their readiness for independent work, homework may look different for different children… if we accept that children’s work at school should be individualized, and that homework should be an extension of schoolwork, then we need to individualize homework, too. Also, sometimes a child do the “practice” part of a lesson at home helps to solidify concepts that would allow them to move on in their learning to a new lesson in school.
- In the first weeks of school, before any homework is assigned, we will talk with children about homework (how they feel about it, what they need to do it successfully, etc.)
- Classrooms brainstorm effective ways of managing homework
- Staff will share with parents the homework policy and expectations about homework philosophy and procedures
- Continued conversations with parents and children to make this a positive experience for all
What types of things can you expect?
- Daily reading activities
- Writing prompts or journal activities related to areas of interest or areas of classroom studies including playwriting, letter writing, interviewing and biography writing, book reviews, directions for a game, etc.
- Projects such as creating a model, creating a piece of art, doing experiments, developing materials, preparing a timeline, etc.
- Games and activities that involve the whole family
- Practical life activities such as planning and preparing a meal, teaching someone a trick, planting a tree, performing an act of kindness, participating in organizing or clean-up of a household area, help with a garage sale or lemonade stand, etc.