Home School Partnership #1 – Homework

One of the major goals for our cluster over the next year is to foster home school partnerships and I have been being doing a good bit of thinking about how we might approach this.

Tonight on Twitter there was a conversation around Ian Lillico’s homework grid concept and  Claire Buist asked if I had any good examples of how I use Ian’s ideas.

I started off by writing a Google Doc that I was going to share with Claire but thought it might be better as a blog post. So here it is…
I used to do the traditional ‘fill in the gaps’ homework but became a convert to the Lillico homework grid idea which lets children create together with their parents at a pace that suits them. Those who want to spend hours following up on a project can. Those who aren’t so keen need not go into it in as much depth. It allows freedom and creativity to thrive.

Once you ‘get’ the concept of co-constructing homework you can easily adapt it to suit your situation.

Here is a blog post I wrote last year about what I do.


Ian Lillico’s website can be found http://www.boysforward.com.au/

I also shared some of our homework philosophy in my last year’s K12 On Line Conference Keynote


First of all we start with a brainstorm around the ideas of things we could do based around a theme.

1. This is a brainstorm about the sorts of things we could do for Home Work


2. One of the things we decided on was tidying our bedrooms. The kids took before and after photos.



3. We had a music week


This led to Miriam sharing her incredible voice with us. Would never have happened if our homework was confined to ‘filling the gaps’ stuff!


5. This is our physical activity brainstorm.


6. Reading


7. ICT


One of the tasks was to send an MMS


And to share a Google Doc/presentation with me


8. Making


9. In this one I was sick at home but podcasted what we had to do for homework.


10. Here is what the homework grids looks like for us



11. Here is some feedback about what people feel about the homework. If parents left a comment then the kids didn’t have to do the homework next week! A good number left a comment!!!!


12. Kids loved doing their homework and even took it away on fishing trips!! Overdoing it slightly!!


13. And not particularly to do with the homework grid but the children used the side bar of the blog to get their spelling lists and individual spelling practice through Spelling City and used our Basic Facts wiki to learn their basic facts with downloads and hyperlinks to worksheets and Digital Learning Objects for their level of attainment.



3 thoughts on “Home School Partnership #1 – Homework

  1. Hi Alannah

    Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful examples!

    Although not based on the work of Ian Lillico, we use a similar, simplified version with our four Year 3 and 4 classes that gives some negotiation and choice. We have two “must dos” (reading and some basic facts/strand maths activity). And we have “can dos”. Each week one teacher is responsible for organising the “home learning” (not home “work”). The students in that teacher’s class write the “can dos” for the week. They come up with all sorts of weird and wacky ideas that we would never have thought of! As teachers we also put in a couple now and then that are related to current class learning. Examples of can dos could be: develop a fitness track in your backyard and practice it every day (and time yourself); cook a meal for your family; write about a sports game you have watched; make a map of the community you live in and the people who help you (related to inquiry about community). The emphasis is not on having a product to bring to school, but on working with the people at home. Children can choose to do as few or as many can dos in a week as they like. The feedback from children and parents has been very positive!

    I will definitely be having a closer look at your examples from Ian Lillico and seeing how we can integrate these too.

    Thanks Alannah


  2. A wonderful post, very helpful for us teaching types.
    You have make Home Learning, Positive and Meaningful!
    Super 🙂

  3. This is a discussion I would love to unpack a bit more… We began using Lillico’s approach 3 years ago and it was brilliant. The aim was to link home and school but also help children realise their potential areas of recreation including “Get Active, Get Creative and Responsibilities”. The grid was a fantastic way to introduce before school routines and get support from parents as well as acknowledging that many of our children are active in sports and practices. The reality is though that parents can overlook craft and creativity and even physical activities, all of which Lillico acknowledges contribute to well rounded adults….

    3 years on and working in a team environment, the challenge is to rebuild that understanding amongst new teachers and parents.

    Thanks Allanah, for sharing your thoughts! I will be back to talk more and ask questions 🙂

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