Madrassah teachers often feel that Madrassah time is insufficient for a child to master a learning objective and emphasise the importance of revising at home and the need for homework, especially if the child is attending a few hours a week. However, we must consider a few things to ensure the effectiveness of the homework we are setting and the worthiness of potential battles to follow up on their completion.

First: we need to ask ourselves, to what extent is the homework we’re setting really helping our children meet the Madrassah curriculum objectives. The homework we set should be linked to a bigger value that has been established in the curriculum and not a mere rehearsal of information delivered in class.

Second: we should ask ourselves, is homework the most effective way to reaffirm a piece of knowledge with a child? or perhaps there might be a class activity that is more effective?

Thirdly: we should question the nature of the homework itself, is it always written? could it not be in a form of exploratory dialogue with family members. Could it be communicated to the parents as well? so they may take the initiative of staring a meaningful conversation around the learning objectives?

Fourthly: consider the maximum quantity of homework you are setting based on the child’s school year. An average child is given roughly ‘10 mins of homework per night per year’ by their full-time schools. For Madrassah homework, you may consider setting a similar maximum quantity but per week:

    Year

         Minutes (in a week)

    1                     10 mins
    2                    20 mins
    3                    30 mins
    4                    40 mins
    5                    50 mins
    6                    60 mins
    7                    70 mins
    8                   80 mins
    9                   80 min

Hence a year 3 child, will do a total of 30 mins of homework per week. However, you may want to consider fixing the time spent doing homework per week at 80 minutes from year 8 to accommodate for GCSE and A-Level responsibilities. 

The article below gives further insight on giving effective homework:

One expert tells us how we can make homework more positive, based on scientific research.

As students grow older, most of them face a similar situation: an increase in the amount of homework that they are expected to do.

Of course, there’s a lot of variation in how kids react to homework, and how parents handle the requirement: some children will enjoy it and do it without being asked, while others need more prodding. Some parents will be stricter about when and how homework is done, whereas others may let kids handle it more independently.

Here are four simple recommendations we can make, based on scientific evidence, about homework:

  1. The quality of the homework is much more important than the quantity. Look at what your students are doing – and don’t give homework just for the sake of it. If parents perceive the homework you assign to be mere busy work, they may not put much emphasis on its completion at home.
  2. The main point of good homework is that it lets children independently practice something they learned at school. As such, the goal should not be necessarily to “get everything right”, but to make an effort to actually attempt the task at hand. Then, children should make sure to get feedback and try to understand where they went wrong.
  3. Children should be given roughly 10 mins of homework per night per yearso a Year 3 student might spend 30 minutes per night on homework. If you are giving more than this amount, you may want to reconsider your reasons for assigning a heavy homework load.
  4. Reach out to parents. Explaining the value of the homework you are setting and encouraging them to have their kids attempt their homework will be a big help to you and your students. Of course, the time it takes different students to complete one piece of work will vary; try to be flexible with respect to the amount of work you expect to be completed. If a child is having a particular difficulty in one area, encourage parents to contact you so it can be addressed in school.

Written by Dr. Yana Weinstein

Read original article: //www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/four-simple-tips-setting-better-homework