Homework Time
September 1986

“Homework Time,” Ensign, Sept. 1986, 65

Homework Time

One night John’s mother checked his math homework. “I can see that you understand fractions very well, John,” she said.

The next day after school she and John decided to make cookies. “Let’s double the batch,” she said. “John, would you add these amounts together while I get the ingredients?”

By monitoring John’s homework, praising him, and reinforcing the concepts he had learned, this wise mother was truly helping her child with his homework.

Homework can be of great value to children. It teaches responsibility, reinforces skills and ideas, and provides needed practice. It allows students to apply what they have learned at school. It helps raise scores on standardized tests. And it provides parents with an opportunity to keep in touch with what their children are being taught in the classroom.1

Unfortunately, some children view homework as a punishment, drudgery, or simply a waste of time. To make it a positive, productive experience for your child:


• Provide quiet study time in a well-lit place.

• Be available to encourage, praise, advise, and supervise.

• Monitor concepts for understanding.

• Check work for accuracy, neatness, and completeness.

• Provide related learning experiences to reinforce concepts learned.

• Cooperate with and be supportive of the child’s teacher.

• Help your child make education a top priority during his or her school years.

• Show by example that learning can be exciting and fulfilling.


• Do the child’s homework for him or her.

• Make excuses or allow the child to make excuses for incomplete or sloppy work.

• Change, criticize, or belittle a teacher’s assignments (if there is a problem, talk to the teacher in private).

• Allow the child to skip an assignment he or she doesn’t like.

• Fill the child’s life with so many non-school activities there is no time left for homework or play.

• Relieve the child of responsibility for getting homework back to school on time.

Homework can teach children to manage their time, see tough assignments through to the end, and take pride in doing their best. A child who learns these things will be a better student, a better missionary, and a better parent. Homework is more than routine, school-related work. It is homework for life. Donna Moyer, Salt Lake City, Utah


  1. See H. J. Wahlberg, “Improving the Productivity of America’s Schools,” Educational Leadership, 1984, pp. 19–30.