Homework Anxiety: Survey Reveals How Much Homework K-12 Students Are Assigned and Why Teachers Deem It Beneficial

  Homework Anxiety: Survey Reveals How Much Homework K-12 Students Are
  Assigned and Why Teachers Deem It Beneficial

 University of Phoenix® College of Education Offers Tips to Help Parents and
                           Students Manage Homework

Business Wire

PHOENIX -- February 25, 2014

Homework is a source of anxiety in homes across America – students may not
want to spend time on it and parents often struggle to help their children
with assignments. A recent national survey from University of Phoenix College
of Education reveals how much homework K-12 students are assigned and why
teachers deem it beneficial.

According to the survey, kindergarten through fifth grade teachers report
assigning an average of 2.9 hours of homework per week, while sixth to eighth
grade teachers report assigning an average of 3.2 hours and ninth to twelfth
grade teachers 3.5 hours. The hours of homework are reported for individual
teachers, so for high school students who typically have class with five
teachers in different subject areas each day, this could potentially amount to
an average of 17.5 hours or more of homework per week.

Nearly all K-12 teachers (98 percent) identify benefits of homework, with the
top benefit being that it helps teachers see how well their students
understand the lessons (60 percent). Teachers also say homework helps students
develop essential problem-solving skills (46 percent), gives parents a chance
to see what is being learned in school (45 percent), helps students develop
time management skills (39 percent), encourages students to relate classroom
learning to outside activities (37 percent) and allows teachers to cover more
content in class (30 percent).

The online survey of more than 1,000 full-time K-12 teachers in the U.S. was
conducted on behalf of University of Phoenix College of Education by Harris
Poll in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Homework provides a great opportunity for parents to engage with their
children, better understand their interests, and determine if they struggle or
excel with different topics,” said Ashley Norris, Ph.D., assistant dean for
University of Phoenix College of Education. “Homework helps build confidence,
responsibility and problem-solving skills that can set students up for success
in high school, college and in the workplace.”

Despite the known benefits, many parents find it challenging to help their
children with subjects they have not studied in years (or even decades).
Families may also struggle to balance homework with other commitments, such as
extracurricular activities. According to Norris, it is important to get past
these barriers because homework is important and the assignments are becoming
even more relevant. Common Core State Standards and other education
initiatives encourage educators to tie classroom learning and homework to
real-world applications.

“Homework today looks very different than when parents were in school,” said
Norris. “Homework has become an opportunity for real-world learning and career
preparation. In teacher preparation programs at University of Phoenix, we
stress the importance of using homework to help students understand the
practical applications of classroom learning. Teacher candidates practice
designing lesson plans and homework that immerse students in real-world
activities. Teachers are connecting homework to current events, tying science
and math concepts to specific jobs, and integrating technology into homework
to keep students more engaged.”

Tips for Managing Homework

Norris offers the following tips to help parents transform the homework
experience from a burden to an opportunity:

1. Resist the urge to do the work for your children. Homework creates an
opportunity for students to learn from their mistakes, so it is important not
to overstep. If your child is struggling with a problem, ask questions to help
her approach the problem in a different way. Also discuss with your child how
the teacher taught the material to help develop her own understanding. Beware
of excuses and coping strategies that children use to get out of doing work or
to convince others to do the work for them.

2. Do your own homework: Leverage available resources and look ahead. The key
to avoid being overwhelmed with a child’s homework is to be prepared. Online
resources can help you brush up on concepts you have not studied in a long
time. Skim your children’s textbooks at night and look ahead to see where the
lessons are going and take refresher quizzes, which are often in the back of
the textbooks. Ask for an appointment with the child’s teacher if you are not
confident with the material – the teacher may have some great suggestions.

3. Make a plan. Avoid the last minute rush/panic and use homework to grow time
management skills.  Create a plan for the week and break up large homework
assignments into smaller pieces to avoid being overwhelmed. If your child has
a project due at the end of the week, work with him to determine how he is
going to get there and how the work can be divided into smaller projects.
Families should also establish a daily study routine.

4. Create a family calendar. A family calendar can help keep the entire family
organized and avoid surprises. Create a physical or electronic family calendar
that houses all family, school, extracurricular, and work schedules and
deadlines. Include smaller deadlines on the way to a larger project completion
or test preparation to help children grow their time management skills. Put
your own activities on the calendar to show your kids how you manage your
time.

5. Set family study time. Weekly family study time is a great way for parents
to connect with children, instill the importance of education and spend
quality time together. Each Monday after children get their assignments for
the week, sit down and plan to make it a successful week. Discuss all
activities, set deadlines, determine what information is needed and build in
study time. Adults also benefit from time set aside to plan, organize and
learn. While children study, you can pay your bills, read the newspaper or
research your own projects.

6. Tie homework to real-life activities. Look for opportunities to help
children tie learning to real-life experiences. For instance, look to current
events to discuss social studies lessons, or research specific jobs to bring
science and math concepts to life. Encourage older students to read the
newspaper each day for examples of good writing and urge them to research and
write their own articles that can be shared with family and friends.

7. Get creative, particularly with young children. Look for opportunities to
expand homework assignments into creative projects. Ask your child to create a
digital presentation, build a shadowbox, construct an egg drop or even
interview a local leader about a topic. Tying in technology can keep children
interested and engaged.

8. Create a calm and supportive environment. Create an environment that is
conducive to studying and learning. Have a quiet space in the house where your
child always goes to do homework. The space should be comfortable, but should
not have access to a television or other distractions. It is also important to
keep a routine and determine regular study hours.

For more information about University of Phoenix College of Education degree
programs, visit www.phoenix.edu/education.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on
behalf of University of Phoenix between Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, 2013. Respondents
included 1,005 U.S. residents employed full-time as teachers in grades K-12
who have a college education or more. This online survey is not based on a
probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error
can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting
variables, please contact Tanya Burden at Tanya.Burden@apollo.edu.

About University of Phoenix College of Education

University of Phoenix College of Education has been educating teachers and
school administrators for more than 30 years. The College of Education
provides associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for individuals
who want to become teachers or current educators and administrators seeking
advanced degrees to strengthen their professional knowledge. With education
programs available throughout most of the U.S., the College of Education has a
distinct grasp of the national education picture and priorities for teacher
preparation. Faculty members on average bring more than 17 years of
professional experience to the classroom. For more information, visit
www.phoenix.edu/education.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move
efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible
schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help
students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while
balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc.
(Nasdaq:APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population,
offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from
campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the
world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

Contact:

University of Phoenix
Tanya Burden, 303-570-0617
Tanya.Burden@apollo.edu
 
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