Homework is a vital part of the curriculum and philosophy of BFHS; therefore, students should expect to do homework nightly and on weekends. At least two “R & R” weekends per semester are calendared as no homework weekends. Teachers will not administer tests and quizzes on the Mondays following “R and R” weekends, although a long-term project may be due several days after an “R and R” weekend. Students will need to plan ahead to enjoy the time off. Homework reserves class time for instruction, discussion, dialogue and interaction between teacher and students in the pursuit of clarity and truth. In turn, homework is a time of quiet concentration in which the student takes ownership over the subject matter and demonstrates the ability to master concepts.
Abilities and study habits vary greatly from student to student. Therefore it is difficult to estimate the amount of homework that each student will have on a given night. A good deal of success with homework depends on a student’s study strategies, such as planning, goal-setting, time-management, self-monitoring and the like. Students who struggle do not, generally, employ these strategies effectively, even though they may, in fact, spend a significant amount of time studying.
Educators and parents alike have long commented on how much students forget over long breaks. Studies show that prolonged detachment from academic endeavors will set a young mind back significantly. Unfortunately, a large amount of time is spent in each class at the beginning of each year just getting rid of the academic "rust," if you will, the students accumulate over the summer. A summer assignment attempts to remedy that situation. Not only does a summer assignment keep students thinking throughout the summer, but it also gives their classes a springboard for the beginning of the year and all the new learning they will get to do. Additionally, summer assignments give a chance for students to engage in independent thinking and learning, which is an incredibly valuable process. Each of the classes in which students had a summer assignment used the first week to discuss the great learning they got to do over the summer and we have found these discussions are great way to start our year in history and English. Finally, a summer assignment is common at schools like ours. College-preparatory and classical schools, as a rule, assign homework over the summer. That allows schools like ours to learn at a faster pace and higher level.