I'm not necessarily a believer in homework in the traditional sense. I don't believe my students will acquire a firm grasp on the concepts I teach simply because they do a worksheet at night. However, I do believe in instilling responsibility in my students and homework is one vehicle in helping to accomplish this goal.
My students' homework does not require ANY parental assistance...what it does require is that my students be diligent in taking the work home, completing it in a neat and honest manner, and bringing it back the next day. There are days my students are successful...and days (and even weeks) when they are not. A work in progress. Always.
Today, two of my students came in during lunch because they had not completed their homework. I explained that I wanted them to be successful and that it really pained me that they could not attend recess (recess is a mere 15 minutes as it is - my students need more than 15 minutes in the fresh air!). I also reminded them that parent teacher conferences would be coming up and that their parents/grandparents would likely want to know their homeroom grades. When I asked what they thought their parent / grandparent would say...the words were heavy. "I will definitely get spanked with the belt, " and "Me too, and I am not even kidding." The weight of homework is much more than I ever intended it to be.