If you follow me on any social media outlets you might have heard me talking about how I am quitting homework. Seriously. I'm done with homework. Did you know the research on homework isn't strong. Let alone the research on homework for students with disabilities? I teach a lot of my students through DTT. I'm not ready to send these skills home for practice. Plus, check out this chart for recommended homework times:
And that is for typical students! Bottom line, we're giving our students too much homework!
My K-2 students should have no more than 20 minutes of homework a night. And here I am putting together 8 DIFFERENT homework packets for 8 students working on different skills. Let me tell you, that takes me HOURS of prep a week.
Now, I know the parents in my program like homework because they like the structure and routine in their evenings and I love to help foster those skills. Enter Take Home Games. I've been thinking for a while about skills that our students have been lacking. A lot of my students get a lot of screen time and I bet yours do too, but a lot of students have no idea how to play basic board games. I kept thinking about this and that's when I decided that I am going to replace homework in my classroom with Take Home Games. You heard that right, I'm scrapping homework packets this year and sending home family games for students to play. I will be combining this with Life Skills Homework from Autism Adventures because my students always need practice with Life Skills, too (and because her Life Skills Homework is pretty awesome!)
These August games are not only adorable, but they are perfect for students to take home and play with their families.
How do Take Home Games work, you ask? Let me tell you! I've put together 5 Take Home Games
for each month. I have 8 students in my classroom, so I have prepped 2 of each game and bagged them up for classroom use.
I'm only going to send home one game a week, so I need to make sure I stay organized and send home a different game each week. I've put together a set of organizational materials to make sure this happens. Check out this checklist I'm using to make sure I don't repeat the games throughout the month.
Now that I've sent home the games, how do I know families will know how to play the games? I don't, and don't worry. I thought about that too. I made sure each game had detailed visual directions so families are easily able to play the games at home. These directions are my favorite. I love the visual component so families can easily understand how to play the game.
Ok, the games are home and being enjoyed, but it's time to return the games to school. I was super worried about missing pieces (I took my time and resources to put these games together, I don't want to do it again!) so I also include a return checklist in the take home bag. When student's families pack up the games to return to school on Friday, they simply have to go through the items on the checklist and make sure they have been returned to the bag. Easy peasy, no more last minute prep for me!
Are you ready to see what's included in the August Take Home Game bundle? My intention with these games was to provide meaningful interactions with parents at home. Academic skills were not my initial goal in creating these games, but there are some academic skills included within the games.
- Game 1: Fill the Crayon Box
- Game 2: Roll and Cover
(TIP: Want smaller numbers? Trim the number chart to stop at your focus number)
- Game 3: Memory
- Game 4: Take the Bus to School
- Game 5: Build a School
I don't know if you can tell, but I am so ready to make traditional homework a thing of the past. How do you take on the homework battle in your classroom?