As a teacher of over 25 years, and an intern resource teacher for 14 years, I know that we can always use some helpful hints about homework.
Personally I am very careful with assigning homework. Any homework assignment should be necessary and meaningful. It should either be given to help reinforce a specific skill or to give a child extra practice to help them master a skill.
When assigning homework you have to consider the subject. One subject that I assigned homework in every night was reading. Why? Reading is a subject that does not have a clear cut set of skills you learn and just move on. Reading requires practice to become a proficient reader with good comprehension skills. I never really liked to even call it homework, it was practice.
Time allowance for homework is another element that needs to be addressed. Homework assignments should take into consideration the age of the child and how long you are asking them to work at home. Primary aged kids do not need more than 30 minutes of homework, and no more than 15 minutes per subject. So, you can see that I do not recommend more than 2 homework assignments for younger children. They simply do not need over kill on homework.
Is it homework for the sake of homework? If it is, you need to rethink your performance as a teacher. That would never fly with me. Too many times teachers assign needless work that cause children to absolutely hate school and refuse to even try to do the assignments. Parents have to deal with this “monster” the teacher has essentially created, and that just is not fair to anyone, especially the child.
Look at the amount of homework in the assignment. If you want a student perform better in addition, then give them about 10-15 problems to solve. Giving 50 problems will not help them understand or solve better, it will only wear them down.
Make sure that students fully understand the concept before you send them home with work to do because that is your job, not the parents. They can guide and monitor, but they should not have to try to teach concepts because many times they are unable, and it is not their responsibility.
Rule of school…if you give it out, you check it and make sure you give feedback to the child. If it is not important to you, why should it be to the student? Any homework assignment should be important, if it isn’t, don’t assign it.
Last but not least, no homework on the weekend. I am quite sure you don’t load yourself up with work, so children need a rest too. I always felt that since I want my time off work to be as relaxing as possible, then why should I ask kids to work. Using a common sense approach to homework is always best. If you have been trained well, you will know that.