We know that there is a current debate over homework. Is it valuable or not? After reading and hearing about various studies I have come to my own conclusion. I believe that 4th graders should feel the sense of responsibility and be held accountable for completing tasks at home and returning back to school. I also think the work should be relatable to class and focus on a skill. You can call it homework but don't think of it as traditional worksheets (only occasionally).
The expectation each week will have some components that will stay the same and others that will change. Each week homework will be given on Monday and should be returned on Friday. On Friday we will spend time reflecting on the work, to ensure that students see it as valuable time spent working towards solutions.
As for what constitutes an appropriate amount, one easy-to-remember tip is the "10-minute rule," which calls for 10 minutes of homework per day per grade and is endorsed by the National Education Association. So, for 4th grade, 40 minutes total. Students are expected to read each night for at least 30 minutes a night. Students do not need to fill out a reading log but can record their reading on their 'Wild Reader' book challenge in their Reader's notebook at home or at school.
Here are a few examples of other homework tasks (10 minutes/night):
- math challenge
- engineering challenge
- Kidblog post
Weekends are a great time to require your student to do more homework. In which case, online math would be a great choice. ST Math focuses on current concepts covered in class and Reflex Math focuses on fact fluency. The amount of ST Math time should be no more than 45 minutes/weekend and ST should be no more than 20 minutes/weekend.
With all this said, I am completely understanding and flexible when students have other activities scheduled which may prevent them from participating in homework. I ask students to advocate for themselves and speak to me about a different plan. I am trusting of student's requests and there is no need for parents to take initiative in making a plan.