“Be sure to do your homework!” Teachers have echoed this exclamation in classrooms at the end of many school days for generations. As students rush out the doors, they may feel free from the physical confines of the classroom, but realize they often still have a few hours of homework to complete before school the next day.
Though homework has shown its usefulness for memorization and repetition in reading, writing and basic mathematics, it can often lead to dramatic cuts in family time that would otherwise promote family bonding and unity.
According to research performed by Duke University’s Harris Cooper, Ph.D., there is no correlation between improved academic performance and an increase in homework in elementary school settings. (Cooper et al, 2006)
With this is in mind, Momentous School sought to find innovative ways to complement homework with at-home activities that help build social emotional health in children and families. Research on second through fifth grade has shown that playing games or participating in activities at home together helps children (ages second through fifth grade) learn basic addition and multiplication facts.
Here are some strategies all parents can practice at home with their children to help them succeed in the classroom:
1) Read fun books! Momentous Institute encourages parents to choose books that their children find interesting. Here are a few recommendations:
● “Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzberg
● “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts
● “Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip M. Hoose
2) Play games together. Some ideas include:
● Playing Battleship to practice perspective taking
● Playing New Rule to practice impulse control
3) Initiate a family project. Fun ideas include:
● Researching your family genealogy
● Cooking together
● Assembling a puzzle together