BHM Homework Mission Statement Statement

 We call homework - OFJ.  In our first year as a school we named different works/tasks in our school with fun names and acronyms.  OFJ stands for Old Farmer Johnson - because Why Not?


It is the goal of Blossoming Hill Montessori for children to take ownership of their OFJ/Homework and make this entirely their Responsibility.  We also believe that learning to fit in work outside of school and creating a structure to do this is an expectation of our society, and that without giving our children this experience, we would not be preparing them for real life.  In most cases, OFJ/Homework will be review and practice of already introduced skills so that the children improve these skills and build confidence in these different academic areas.  It is critical to us at Blossoming Hill that OFJ/Homework is achievable within a reasonable timeframe, individualized, varied, and meaningful, includes an element of Choice, and honors the lifestyle of each child’s family.  Finally, BHM recognizes that in order for each child to be successful with their OFJ/Homework, all three parties (Child/Home/ and School) need buy into BHM’s OFJ/Homework Philosophy in order for this to work.

What is the purpose of OFJ/Homework?  At Blossoming Hill Montessori, the role that OFJ/Homework will play is the following:

Responsibility:  It is true that the responsibility of OFJ/Homework OFTEN falls into the hands of a person other than the child, (Parent, guardian, teacher, etc.).  It is a goal of Blossoming Hill Montessori to engage children in this “OFJ/Homework Conversation” so that they are empowered to make OFJ/Homework THEIR responsibility.  Communication between Child, Family, and School will get the ball rolling to create the optimal OFJ/Homework environment (including time of day, location, routine, etc.) and the child will always be supported, but the Responsibility will become theirs. 

Practical Life skill:  There are assignments on a regular basis that people have to learn to “fit into their life schedule” and OFJ/Homework will be assigned (probably) in other schools, college, and the work place.  It is reasonable for children to then learn how to create/set aside time in their day (outside of school) to accomplish this “other” work.  Consistent OFJ/Homework gives children the opportunity for these habits to develop. 

Reinforcement/Practice of Newly Introduced or Established Skills:  OFJ/Homework will provide children with an opportunity to get more familiar with and improve certain skills that they will already be familiar with from classroom lessons.  These skills will be revisited throughout the year with our OFJ/Homework plan.

Individualized:  To the best of our ability, we will ensure that each child is being challenged at his or her level with Math skills, Language skills and Spelling.   Certainly some assignments will be more fun or more difficult, or quicker, or more familiar than others, but overall, each child should work pretty steadily through the skills while being consistently challenged, and appropriately so. 

Varied:  While the expectations of OFJ/Homework will be well-defined and the structure will be pretty consistent throughout the year, we feel it is important to vary the assignments so that a variety of skills can be reached and explored.  This will also (hopefully) prevent the work from being “boring” because each week there will be new formats and concepts to dabble in.

Reasonable:  While it will be important for children to learn to fit OFJ/Homework into their already pretty filled lives, it is also our intention that our OFJ/Homework plan takes up a reasonable amount of time for each child.  Certainly this amount of time will vary from child to child, and the “OFJ/Homework Conversation” between Child, Home, and School will be important to make certain this goal is being met. Because life happens, children will eventually understand that communicating OFJ/Homework conflicts, etc. is ultimately their responsibility. 

What Blossoming Hill OFJ/Homework is NOT:

                Busywork

                Meant to introduce and teach a certain skill

                A replacement for family time, extra-curricular activities

                A time-suck

                Boring

                Too Hard OR Too Easy