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Not surprisingly, more than 70% of homework assignments by teachers at all levels of schooling are designed for the purpose of students finishing classwork or practicing skills (Polloway, Epstein, Bursuck, Madhavi, & Cumblad, 1994).Homework in the early grades should encourage positive attitudes and character traits, allow appropriate parent involvement, and reinforce simple skills introduced in class (Cooper, 2007).In this model, three contexts—home, school, and community—have unique (nonoverlapping) and combined (overlapping) influences on children’s learning and development through the interactions of parents, educators, community partners, and students.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of one homework intervention designed to ease some homework tensions between students and families.
The Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) interactive homework process draws on the theory of overlapping spheres of influence, which stipulates that students do better in school when parents, educators, and others in the community work together to guide and support student learning and development.
Homework requires students, teachers, and parents to invest time and effort on assignments. On a positive note, 90% of teachers, students, and parents believe homework will help students reach important goals.
Yet, 26% of students, 24% of teachers, and 40% of parents report that some homework is just busywork, and 29% of parents report homework is a “major source of stress” (Markow, Kim, & Liebman, 2007, p. It is critical, then, to improve current practice and for educators and researchers to examine the emotional and cognitive costs and benefits of homework for students, families, and teachers (Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2001; Van Voorhis, 2004, 2009, in press; Van Voorhis & Epstein, 2002).
Although results vary, meta-analytic studies of homework effects on student achievement report percentile gains for students between 8% and 31% (Marzano & Pickering, 2007).
If homework serves a clear benefit for students, it is puzzling why there are persistent discussions and contention about its practice (Bennett & Kalish, 2006; Kohn, 2006; Kralovec & Buell, 2000).
Students reported working with their parents on schoolwork between one and three times weekly.
However, students reported that teachers asked them to request parental assistance only one to two times per month on tasks such as checking homework, studying for tests, or working on projects.
Three aspects of homework that entail costs and or produce benefits for home and school contexts are time, homework design, and family involvement.
A common complaint about homework, and one of the most studied factors, is time on homework.