In most middle school’s homework is a tremendously importing learning tool that ensures students’ success in academics and as a start towards other professional pursuits in their lives. The reason behind a sound homework plan is to help students, parents, and teachers develop supportive and meaningful experiences in preparation for students’ adult lives. It’s an activity that is meant to be completed outside of the school in order to reinforce skills like planning, studying, reading, critical thinking and more.

Though there is no general middle school homework policy there are a number of practices that are accepted as most helpful and most result driven. Here a few things you should know about what a middle school policy will look like:

Independence and time:

Homework assignments in middle school are usually designed to allow students to be able to finish their homework independently and without having to spend an unreasonable amount of time to complete. When assignments regularly take too long they affect rest and leisure in students, which could affect other areas in their academic and personal lives.

Reviewed for quality:

Homework assignments should also be designed to showcase a student’s ability for critical thinking. Assignments that require Y/N answers are quickly removed from curriculum because they don’t show a student’s ability to reason and use logic to solve the problems. Assignments that require students to show their work however are greater indicators of their progress in class.

Apply to current lessons:

Each middle school homework assignment should reinforce a current lesson so that the student can make the connection and fully grasp the reason behind learning one skill after the other. Homework assignments should never come “out of the blue”; they should come with reason and students shouldn’t have a hard time looking at their daily notes and finding clues to finish their assignments.

Should prepare students for tests:

Middle school students are more likely to keep up with homework assignments if they know their work goes towards a goal. Quizzes and tests are usually those goals. Ensuring that homework assignments are used to reinforce skills that will be required in tests or will show up in tests will usually be met with more support from both students and parents.

Should encourage study circles:

Though homework assignments should be used to encourage independence, they are more effective when they encourage group thinking. This is perhaps the biggest challenges that teachers face. They want to challenge students so they require outside help, but they don’t want it to be too difficult that students can’t solve the problems on their own with effort.