Will an increase of parent involvement in student homework lead to higher levels of student achievement? By Dara Thompson
Implementation Plan for Action Research ~ Teaching context • public elementary school • affluent neighborhood • 431 students • our mission statement, “Belonging to a community of individual learners who believe that we can make a positive difference at Belmont and beyond.” • teaching style is similar to that of the demonstrator or personal model
Methodology • examine how students initiate parent involvement with homework • compare different types of initiations with student achievement in the classroom • encourage parent involvement in student homework • identify which initiations, whether they are confident student driven or unsure student driven, lead to more parent involvement and ultimately student achievement
Goals and Outcomes • identify the ways that students initiate their parents to be involved in their homework • compare the different types of initiations with student achievement in the classroom. • create opportunities to help students and parents work together on homework activities. • create a form, activity or worksheet that holds parents accountable for involvement in child’s homework • research ideas and current plans of action that are effective and promote parent accountability
Goals and Outcomes (cont.) • all students learn ways to initiate parent involvement in their homework activities • increased student achievement in the classroom due to parent involvement in homework and review activities
Literature Reviews • parents of the participating students received training and were asked to implement home-based self-management and reinforcement strategies • results showed that homework completion and quality increased significantly for the students whose parents were consistent
Artifacts and Artifact Reflections • third grade in an inner city public school in Kansas City, Missouri. • Students were struggling academically and had little or no support at home with their academic studies • meeting with parents and guardians about the lack of homework completion • 4th grade at a private school in Kansas City, Missouri. • students from affluent neighborhoods, two working parents, received no financial assistance • after the holiday break, over half of her students began to not turn in assignments Interview 1 Interview 2
Artifacts and Artifact Reflections (cont.) • Seven students from group whose parents showed at the meeting began turning in homework regularly and 2 students whose parents did not attend the meeting began turning in homework regularly • Grades and classroom performance began to decline • meeting with parents about lack of homework completion and classroom performance • Class participation increased. Homework club, initiated by parents and students was formed and met twice a week. Interview 1 Interview 2
Parent/Student Homework Contract • agreement between a student and his/her parent(s) that clearly outlines what each will do to ensure that out-of-school assignments are completed accurately and on time. • help students get on track. Contracts also help students develop positive homework habits before problems arise. • parents should support their children and enforce homework rules, they should not be responsible for doing the assignments nor teaching the content to the student.
Parent/Student Homework Contract (cont.) • Students are empowered when given the chance to provide input about the homework contract. Parents and students should work together to identify problems and solutions • important for adults to be consistent in enforcing the rules. Creating a system of rewards and consequences may be an effective way to keep students on task.
OVERCOMING HOMEWORK BARRIERS: TIPS FOR PARENTS • PROBLEM: The student does not write down assignments or does not bring assignments home from school. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Student is given an assignment book, such as a small notebook, or a daily/weekly homework planner. A special homework folder for assignments may help students be more organized. Parents check the student’s assignment book or planner every day. If the parents have difficulty understanding the assignment, they should call the child’s teacher for clarification. • PROBLEM: The student completes the homework, but it is often sloppy and full of mistakes. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Parents make certain that student does not rush and that the student spends time checking his/her own work. Parents can get students into the habit of proofreading. In one technique, the parent looks over the assignment then says to the student, “I have found two spelling mistakes on this page. Let’s see if you can find them.”
OVERCOMING HOMEWORK BARRIERS: TIPS FOR PARENTS • PROBLEM: The student is distracted by younger siblings, television, video games, the internet, loud music, or people talking. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: The parents and student should designate a specific “homework time” for each day in a distraction free area in the home. While the student works on homework, parents and young siblings engage in quiet activities. • PROBLEM: The student puts off doing homework until the last minute, so there is not enough time to complete the assignment or the student is too tired to concentrate. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: An earlier homework time will likely be beneficial, for example, immediately after returning from school. It is harder for many children to do homework once they are in “relaxation mode.” If a student attends an after school program, parents should check with the program’s director to see if there is a set time and place for studying.
OVERCOMING HOMEWORK BARRIERS: TIPS FOR PARENTS • PROBLEM: The student has many scheduled after school activities and is too busy to complete assignments. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Parents recognize that time management is an acquired skill, and it may not be possible to do everything. Students must prioritize their activities with school work being their first priority. • PROBLEM: The student does not have the tools necessary to do homework, such as writing utensils, dictionary, paper, ruler, calculator, etc. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: The parents create a “homework box” that contains supplies for doing assignments. Parents can ask teachers, parent program coordinators, or the principal if supplies could be borrowed from, or provided by, the school.
OVERCOMING HOMEWORK BARRIERS: TIPS FOR PARENTS • PROBLEM: The student frequently gets stuck on difficult problems or does not understand the material. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: The purpose of homework is to reinforce skills already learned at school. If the student does not understand how to do an assignment, parents and teachers need to address the student’s academic needs. It is helpful for parents to be available during the scheduled homework time, or at some time later that day, to provide encouragement. It is recommended that parents ask students about their assignments, make sure the student comprehends the tasks, and when possible, supervise the student through the first few parts of the assignment. Parents should not, however, do the assignment for the students. When necessary, parents should redirect the students to their textbook or notes where they are likely to find helpful information.
OVERCOMING HOMEWORK BARRIERS: TIPS FOR PARENTS • PROBLEM: The student has difficulty focusing for long periods of time. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Parents can help students break daunting task into doable chunks. One way to do this is for the parent and student to agree on a schedule of breaks, for example, a 10-minute break after the student completes 10 math problems. • PROBLEM: The student completes the homework, but it never seems to make it into the teacher’s hands. • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: The parents and student work together to identify what is going wrong. Parents can help the student create a system for getting the work returned to school, for example, having a special folder for completed assignments.
Reflections • Data will be collected by implementing several avenues of communication with parents and checking in with the parents and students throughout the implementation. My plan is to create a form, activity or worksheet that holds parents accountable for involvement in child’s homework and to research ideas and current plans of action that are effective and in place that promote parent accountability. I will also implement a communication journal, consisting of a simple notebook. Students can use the journal to take notes, write example problems, etc. Parents can comment on student homework activity and write any problems, successes or needs. In the classroom I will teach students, through modeling and practice, ways to initiate parent involvement in their homework activities.
References • Balli, S.J., Demo, D.H., & Wedman, J.F. (1998). Family involvement with children’s homework: An intervention in the middle grades. Family Relations, 47, 149-57. • Callahan, K., Rademacher, J. A., & Hildreth, B. L. (1998). The effect of parent participation in strategies to improve the homework performance of students who are at risk. Remedial and Special Education, 19 (3), 131-41. • Chavkin, N. F., Gonzalez, J., & Rader, R. (2002). A home-school program in a Texas-Mexico border school: Voices from parents, students, and school staff. The School Community Journal, 10 (2), 127-37.
References (cont.) • Cooper, H. M., Lindsay, J. J. , & Nye, B. (2000). Homework in the home: How student, family,and parenting-style differences relate to the homework process. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(4), 464-87. • De Soto Kansas School District, USD #232 (2012). Retrieved from http://www.usd232.org • Epstein, J. L. (2001). Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS): Volunteers in social studies and art. In J. L. Epstein (Ed.), School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools (pp. 543-62). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. • Faires, J., Nichols, W.D., & Rickelman, R.J. (2000). Effects of parental involvement in developing competent readers in first grade. Reading Psychology, 21, 195- 215.
References (cont.) • Galloway, J., & Sheridan, S. M. (1994). Implementing scientific practices through case studies: Examples using home-school interventions and consultation. Journal of School Psychology, 32(4) 385-413. • Graham-Clay, Susam. "Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers." The School Community Journal15.1 (2005): 117-29. Academic Development Institute. Web. 23 June 2013. • Hara, S. R., & Burke, D. J. (1998). Parent involvement: The key to improved student achievement. School Community Journal, 8 (2), 9-19.
References (cont.) • Kellaghan, T., Sloane, K., Alvarez, B., & Bloom, B. S. (1993). Home processes and learning. In The home environment and school learning: Promoting parental involvement in the education of children (pp. 50-61). San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. • National Council of Jewish Women. (1996). Parents as school partners: Research report. New York: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education/Columbia Teachers College. • http://eric-web.tc.columbia.edu/families/NCJW_child/index.html • Quigley, D. D. (2000, April). Parents and teachers working together to support third grade achievement: Parents as learning partners. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. • Spinelli, L. (n.d). Parent teacher conferences: working as a team. NYU Child Study Center.June 22, 2013, from http://www.aboutourkids.org
References (cont.) • Stein, J., Steeves, L., & Smith-Mitsuhashi, C. (2001, April 13). Teaching styles: categories. Retrieved from http://members.shaw.ca/mdde615/tchstycats.htm • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, Educational Partnerships and Family Involvement Unit, Homework Tipsfor Parents, Washington, DC., 2003. • West, J. M. (2000). Increasing parent involvement for student motivation. Armidale, New South Wales, Australia: University of New England (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 448411)
References (cont.) • Zdzinski. S. F. (1996, Spring). Parental involvement, selected student attributes, and learning outcomes in instrumental music. Journal of Research in Music Education, 44, 34-48. • Daily Homework Planner at www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/interventions/study/hwkcon tract1.shtml • Homework Contract by www.familyeducation.com. • Homework/Study Tips: Student/Parent Homework Contract at www.about.com/library/blcontract.htm. • Homework Survival Guide by Peg Dawson of the National Association of School Psychologists at http://www.naspcenter.org/home_school/homework.html.