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We recognize homework as a necessary part of our students' educational experience. However, we also recognize that for students with learning differences, hours upon hours of daily homework can be damaging—adversely affecting their home life in many unexpected ways. 

Homework at Lawrence is designed so students of all ages can balance a healthy academic career with family life and after-school activities. Our school-wide homework policy allows only previously mastered material to be assigned as homework. This way, students are able to complete it independently, and in a reasonable amount of time. Learn more about our approach on The LionShare Podcast.


Our Philosophy:

We believe when thoughtfully designed, homework promotes responsibility and a healthy home-school connection. Consistent, successful completion of homework enhances a student’s learning experience and helps strengthen executive function and life skills. 

The purpose of homework at Lawrence School is to... 

  • Assist students in building academic confidence by allowing them to experience success while also becoming aware of their limits
  • Encourage students to demonstrate a sophisticated level of metacognition—a student’s ability to think about their own thinking
  • Reinforce critical concepts taught in the classroom through independent practice
  • Build and enhance a partnership between home and school
  • Allow teachers to have an increased level of awareness of student strengths and weaknesses, thereby guiding personalized instruction
  • Improve executive function skills—the ability to organize, plan and manage time
  • Provide opportunities for students to demonstrate application of knowledge and skills in a variety of settings

Lawrence homework always... 

  • Strategically meets the needs of each diverse learner
  • Minimizes any anxiety or frustration
  • Recognizes and respects competing demands on students' time outside of school
  • Is meaningful and purposeful in objective
  • Promotes exploration and discovery
  • Considers each learner's Zone of Proximal Development, which asserts true learning requires the level of challenge not overwhelm an individual's level of competence
  • Recognizes attempts at completion and/or attempts to problem solve

Homework assignments are thoughtfully designed with the needs and goals of our community members in mind...

    Students:

    • Apply and expand knowledge in different settings
    • Gain a desire for continued learning and growth
    • Transfer skills to future life experience
    • Become more self-sufficient and accountable
    • Own their academic and social strengths, as well as their challenges
    • Practice self-advocacy without arrogance or apology
    • Master effective study techniques, organizational, and time management skills
    • Learn to balance responsibilities so they may participate in extracurricular activities

    Teachers:

    • Assess students’ strengths and challenges using subjective and objective-based data.
    • Obtain a better perspective of how each student learns.
    • Adjust curriculum and methods according to students’ needs.
    • Provide constructive feedback regarding student progress.

    Parents:

    • Celebrate their child’s strengths and accomplishments
    • Protect and honor family time
    • Taper their involvement based on their child's developmental needs, independence, and ability
    • Gain a better understanding of their child’s learning style
    • Receive consistent feedback regarding what the student is learning and how he or she is progressing toward the constant goal of mastery

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    How did we establish our K-12 homework policy? 

    Over the course of two years, Lawrence teachers and administrators discussed homework-related practices with the goal of creating a consistent school-wide philosophy and policy. The process was detailed and involved: much research into best practices, the benefits of homework, and consideration for the negative effects it can sometimes have on learning were explored. The team convened for more than a dozen small group meetings and two half-day planning sessions; they gathered input from student and teacher experience surveys; and contacted LD schools across the country. Careful thought formed our philosophy, which was embraced school wide and paved the way for a consistent K-12 policy.

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    Our community is full of people just like you—parents who hold unwavering belief in their child's bright future.

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