Homework Club Provides a Model for After-school Programs
The IssueThere is general consensus that homework can boost academic achievement and the development of positive personal characteristics and habits of youth. However, many parents feel homework detracts from family time and limits their child's participation in other activities so students may not get homework support at home. Most after-school programs assist students with their homework, but do they help students succeed in school?
What Has ANR Done?In 2000, we examined the outcome of a homework assistance program for 57 third- through fifth-grade children in a rural school in Orland, CA. Participating students were referred by teachers because they were performing below grade level, not making a consistent effort outside the classroom to complete homework or needed special assistance with assignments. The goal of the after-school program was to enhance the educational experience with adult tutors and provide activities to encourage positive parent-child interaction. The full text of the study can be found at http://www.cyfernet.org/ by searching for author Jeannette George.
Homework Clubs Are Helping Children To Be SuccessfulThe results showed the homework club increased the amount of homework turned in by 43%. Teachers and parents also reported personal growth for the participating students (i.e., enhanced self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, learned responsibility, positive attitude about school and homework and felt more supported throughout the day).
We feel the Homework Club was successful because it encouraged students to do homework in three ways: 1. It is more interesting to do homework in a group setting than alone 2. Students were able to get individual help and they had more free time to play when they arrived home and 3. Doing homework became important and useful because it led to immediate positive feedback from adults and the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities, and long-term positive response from parents and teachers. Students participating in the homework club showed a more positive self-image and attitude toward school. Parents' attitudes toward homework improved, as well as toward their children as students.
Clientele TestimonialTeachers' comments included "Thanks for your help. My students are coming in prepared for class"; and "This student's attendance at Homework Club significantly improved her work quality and allowed her to achieve a higher level of success." Students stated, "The Homework is fun" and "It helps to have someone check my homework." The parents' perspective: "My son has enjoyed the Homework Club. It has helped him a lot," and "Near the end of the school year, she came home to do her homework and it made her more self-disciplined to get done as soon as she got home" and "The quality of her homework has improved greatly."
Supporting Unit: Tehama CountyJeannette George
4-H Youth Development Advisor
1754 Walnut Street
Red Bluff, CA 96080