Homework remains a topic that causes much debate. A quick internet search will find you those extolling the virtues of it together with those who say in the modern day world children should be left alone to explore outside, entertain themselves and focus on their mental health.
There will never be a consensus on the value of homework, in the same way there won’t be with teaching methods for the simple reason that every child and family is different. Much research has been carried out into the value of homework, most recently the EEF study in 2021 – a full copy of the findings can be found on the link. However three key findings that stood out to us here at RocketLearn were
1. Studies involving digital technology typically have greater impact (+ 6 months).
2. To maximise impact, it also appears to be important that students are provided with high quality feedback on their work
3. Studies in secondary schools show the average impact as +5 months and + 3 months in primary schools.
These facts underpin the RocketLearn ethos. Children complete work online, enabling them to dip in and out as they please. Most importantly though, they receive weekly feedback on what they have learnt and what the next steps are for them, thus making the learning more impactful.
In terms of the impact homework has this might come as a surprisingly low or high stat depending on your personal views on homework. To give some context – if your child was off school for three months would you be concerned? If the answer is yes, then console yourself with the fact that if your child is doing homework and another isn’t then, according to this study that’s the 3 month impact (or 5 at Secondary School.)
Homework in primary school seems, in particular, to vary widely. There seem to be schools with weekly spellings and maths, to schools with large projects that often involve huge parental intervention. (How many of us have seen a model the size of a small child be brought proudly in to school by a parent and the child trailing behind?) to those that don’t give much at all. Again, as homework is rarely differentiated, it may be your child seems to have very little homework whereas another family are finding it unmanageable as their child struggles with the work set.
RocketLearn is a great way to get your child doing extra in a light manner. With weekly video feedback and task setting from your child’s own personal academic coach your child will be engaged, and more importantly, working on the areas that they need to work on. We ask for an hour a week from children and families can split this as they please – we know some who do it in one go- others who go for the little and often approach.
Getting your child into this routine of a little extra learning to consolidate what they’ve learnt at school will hold them in good stead for their exam years. It will form good habits and give you the peace of mind that a teacher is overseeing their progress. Indeed, our half-termly reports for parents will enable you to see just how they are doing.
We are great advocates of children enjoying the outdoors, looking after their mental health and socialising with their friends. It’s one of the reasons we formed RocketLearn, a learning programme to fit in with the modern day family. A study by Bethany Spencer in 2017 concluded that “Homework encourages self-development and self-discipline. Students who complete regular homework don't just perform better at school and during exams, they learn broader life skills and associate hard work with long term rewards. Homework has also been found to improve parental relationships.”
We very much believe that the RocketLearn approach can do just that – give children the flying start they deserve fitting in with their busy lives – giving them personal homework for their individual learning style.