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Homework Philosophy

posted Aug 24, 2011, 10:44 AM by Ryan Robinson

You will be sure to find my philosophy about homework very different from most teachers. I think it mostly comes from my experiences as a soccer coach.  Homework for me is like practice. As a coach, I decide when, where, how long and what will be done at practices. We generally don’t keep score at practice. We don’t record our practice as a win or a loss. We do evaluate skill development, work on getting better, and practice by making mistakes and correcting them, and we have fun.

Most of the time parents stop by a bit early to see what we are doing. They ask their child what was worked on that day, what did they learn? etc. Occasionally, practice falls on the same day as a wedding, church activity, scouts, family birthday, or a player may be sick or too tired. Guess what? On those days their parents keep their child home. They decided that on that particular day, the other activity was more urgent or important.  That is the parent’s right and responsibility to make that decision. Now if that decision is made too often, their child’s ability will diminish and at some point it will be noticeable.  So noticeable that they will not be able to perform up to standard and may have to find a new team.  In some other cases, parents feel that our team practices are not enough. In these instances, they seek out extra training sessions with me, a physical trainer or another coach.  They are simply looking to fill the need of their individual child. That too is the responsibility and right of each parent.

And so it is with homework. I will do my best to meet the needs of each one of my students. Realize however, that I have about 56 students and many have different needs. If you feel what I am sending home is too much, too hard, not applicable, or taking too much time, send back note and stop working on it. As it is with soccer, if this is the decision too often it will affect the performance of your child.  If you feel like it is not enough, send a note as well, I will try to find more appropriate materials, but you too may need to seek out the “extra training session” I discussed above.  As is with soccer practices, I rarely grade homework and enter scores into the computer. I do look at it. We review it as a class. I recognize who needs more support and who gets it. I will collect homework from time to time. Usually those assignments that demonstrate understanding of an entire concept, just not all the practices along the way.

I hope this makes sense. I regularly find that what makes sense in my head doesn’t always come out so clearly for others.

Ryan J