--Originally published at Flipped Learning – Joel Speranza
A child goes off to their first day of school. It’s an exciting and scary time for everyone.
The student learns so much that first day.
The parents wait nervously to hear about the day around the dinner table.
A million questions are asked. Including, inevitably, this one:
Did you get any homework?
If not that first day, then soon, the answer will be yes. Child and parents will sit down, go over the homework and talk through the learning.
It’s a great little triad. Parents, Student, Teacher. All working together to get the best for the little person in the middle.
But it won’t stay this way.
At some point, there’s a break up. It usually goes something like this.
Parent: Did you get any homework?
Student: Yep, It’s multiplying two digit numbers.
Parent: Great, I love that .
5 minutes later
Student: I still don’t get it
Parent: Well, you just do this and this.
Student: That’s not what my teacher said.
Parent: But that’s how I do it and it works.
Student: You’re confusing me. I don’t think you’re helping!
Parent & Student: Huff!
Parent and student are both well meaning and excited to engage in the learning. But a breakdown in communication has ended this homework relationship.
Now student attempts the homework, parent watches from afar. This is the new dynamic.
Bringing Parents back with Video
I think you can see where I’m going with this. The best way to bring parents back to homework is through video. Parent and student can watch explicit instruction together, knowing exactly what the learning intention is that day, working together with a common purpose.
We’re bringing the old band back together. Students, parents, teachers, all on the same page, working together towards a common purpose.
How to make it happen
Parents don’t know this subtle shift in homework dynamics happened. It happened over time. It’s important that you invite them back to the homework fold.
Email parents, explain that the homework is to watch a video. Suggest that the video could be watched on the home TV, or together as a family. Make it clear this homework is available to everyone and a much nicer form of homework than before.
You might even like to communicate with parents directly via video. A short video introducing yourself, introducing your subject, the topics to be covered that term, your classroom procedures, your hobbies. Anything to make it clear that they are being welcomed back.
Because parents used to be on the team. It’s time to bring them back.