No Meaningless Homework Policy


Dear families,

At Innovations Academy we believe that learning should take place in a variety of forms and a variety of places.  Our teachers focus on using class time efficiently so that your child may use their time at home to continue learning in ways and areas that work best for them. This learning can include a combination of extending the lessons from class as well as exploring additional interests of their choice.

We understand that having core skills in place can facilitate a smooth transition from one grade to the next.  Some skills, especially those skills that require repetitive practices are best continually developed at home so that we can devote our times to projects (For example, rote practice of math facts). If your child is still working towards mastery of any of these skills we ask that you help them at home.  In addition, we expect that all class assignments not completed on time be finished at home, and handed in, by a mutually agreed upon deadline.

We encourage you to continuously challenge your child to explore new ideas and experiences at home and in their community.

When we work together, at home and at school, incredible learning can take place.

Learning and Thinking Everywhere
We have found that each child’s home creativity and investigations can inspire their peers. To continue the excitement of learning and create strong connections between home and school, please ask your child to bring in the examples of their home ideas to share with the class. Encourage your child to choose from different areas of the list.  We ask that you share one example with us a week to help inspire other friends in their learning.

Ideas to extend and support learning at home:
Reading everyday: both to your child and by your child or a combo of these.
Comprehension and Discussion:
Stop during a story and make predictions, explain your reasoning.
Ask questions about the stories you read, example:
What types of decisions will the characters have to make?
Have your child retell or summarize the story
Tell possible alternate endings
Life problem solving: ask your child’s opinion and why they think this
Writing and Journaling possibilities:
Diary entry style
Make signs that would help your household or neighborhood run smoothly
Write a poem, song, skit or play
An “All about me” book
Write a story or a chapter book
Write a letter
Write about your passions or hobbies
Brainstorm or web
List of questions or hypotheses you have about a topic
Write a “How-To” book- include directions or a step-by-step description
Draw and label a diagram
Change the ending of a story
Write a new story using a character from a well known story
Use a sentence starter method: Ex: On my next vacation I plan to________
Write a book review or report
Change the adjectives in the same sentence (Mad Libs style)
Create a character and flesh them out: describe their life, family, preferences
Practice writing dialogues- between characters, between family members...

Math concepts:
Consistently practice facts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Find math problems at home: How many tables are there? How many legs?  How do these numbers relate to each other?
Talk about word problems that come up
Sharing and divvying up food for family members- division
Money: find ways to include your child in simple money math decisions- make a trip to the grocery store become a money learning opportunity- What successful moments can you find for being in charge of money?
Graphing- take a poll or survey of your family members, neighbors then graph the results: styles: pie chart, T-chart, bar graph, line graph, picture graph
Measurement: keeping track of your own height, measure items in your house (then you can graph these and look at how their lengths, heights may relate)
Music and rhythm: listen to a song and note the patterns in beat and lines
Science:
Make regular observations of the natural life around you, birds, trees, etc.
Note pet needs, behavior, features, characteristics.
Use the scientific process to follow through with an investigation
Draw how something works in your house- investigate cause and effect
Geography: Create a detailed map of your house, neighborhood, routes to and from places of interest or family members homes
Social Studies:
Interview a family member from another generation
Create a list of questions for an interview
Research an event or character from history- how can you present this information to your family, to your class?
How do you do research? Identify ways you like to find information
Read a new entry from an encyclopedia- what new information does this lead you to want to look up?
Social Connection and Stewardship:
Ask your child to be responsible for an element in the running of your household that is not only about their own personal needs. Have them keep up a schedule or list of tasks for themselves.
Brainstorm ways everyone at home helps the household run and how this helps each of you. Think about doing things for the group, vs for an allowance.
Hold family councils to create, discuss and keep up family agreements.
Find something you can do for your sibling that would make their week better. What if you did this in secret? As a surprise? Anonymously?
Discuss etiquette for different social situations, create skits about these and act them out. Add humor: create a what NOT to do skit!

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