CMCS Homework Guidelines
Over a century of Montessori experience and the last 30 years of educational research agree that:
- People learn best when they are learning something that personally interests them, and
- Having some sense of control over one’s learning is a prerequisite of personal interest.
Thus, coercing someone to “learn” something they have no interest in may lead to a detachment in the learner and sometimes the development of a negative self-image with regards to one’s ability to achieve or learn. These are among the main reasons why Montessorians typically do not give assignments and, in particular, why we do not assign traditional homework on a daily basis. On the other hand, the freedom to choose one’s work and to go as deeply as possible into a few subjects means that the learner may need to spend more time learning in order to get a well-rounded education. The school day is short, and there is simply not time for most children to cover all the bases during the school day. For this reason, our teachers depend on their parent partners to provide a rich learning environment at home where the child can build on the work they began at school. Without this, the child’s development may seem delayed, and the education may seem spotty or shallow. So, in summary, we do not require traditional homework on a daily basis. Instead, we ask parents to facilitate learning opportunities at home that allow the learner to continue their self-discovery of the world and themselves. We are looking not for worksheets and assignments but for learning as a way of life, both at home and at school.
In order to better support learning as a way of life, we are providing the following guidelines for the child’s work at home.
- The child should spend time each day on Montessori homework on a wide variety of activities: physical exercise, service, intellectual activity, household responsibilities, the arts, etc.
- Spend time each day reading from books on the CMCS suggested reading list (link here). Students should build up to reading 30 minutes a day. The suggested reading list will share high-quality book options for your student and it will address how to choose the right book for your child.
- CMCS teachers always reserve the right to assign homework as needed to facilitate student growth and work completion. This work could include work on math facts, reading comprehension, reading fluency, projects, etc.
Middle School Program
Homework is a practical life experience that helps to prepare students for expectations in high school, college, and eventually the workplace. It is a necessary component of Middle School, yet should not be assigned in such abundance that it interferes with extra curricular activities, including spending time with family. Your adolescent can expect to spend 1 – 1.5 hours per night on homework. Of course this depends on their efficiency and time management, thus students may end up spending less time out of the classroom on homework. If a student is struggling with homework, the content or amount, please have the student let his or her teacher know immediately. We want to help him or her be successful. Also, having a student ask for help directly is part of the maturation process. We want to keep communication lines open with parents, but we want to give the students a chance to develop the needed communication skills to be successful in high school and college.