Here a few thoughts that might help you as you work to support the parents in your district.
1) Help parents make sense of the models that are being used to make connections across mathematical topics. These tools are used to represent a problem, illustrate connections, and equip students to explain mathematical relationships efficiently. Once you see how the models are used across the grades, it makes more sense why students are being asked to use them. Pages 26-44 of "How to Implement a Story of Units" provides a quick overview of these tools and a little sample of how they are used throughout the elementary grades. The following videos from EngageNY also provide some examples of the models and mathematical thinking they support. The first video explains the purpose of number stairs, number paths, and number bonds for learning early mathematical concepts. This video explains how 3rd-5th graders can use tape diagrams to help them make sense of a word problem. Once you see how the parts are related a complicated problem becomes much easier. This video explains how arrays lead to area models. The area models are structured to help students connect portions of area to the partial products in the multiplication algorithm (Grades 3-5).
2) Give parents a sample. For most lessons, the homework closely mimics the problem set. This was designed to provide examples that will help with the homework problems. If you don't have students complete the entire problem set, be mindful to only assign the questions that they would have samples of or have students do an example on their homework page before they take it home. Be sure that both students and parents know to look at the problem set, and that students know to keep the two pages together.
3) Set a time frame vs a task frame. During the lesson students are expected to give their best work on the Problem Set for 10 min. Regardless of your ability level, you are expected to work diligently for the entire time frame. Consider applying this idea to homework. How much time do you plan on students spending on the homework? Communicate this time frame to parents. Prioritize the homework questions so that students can experience a balanced diet of problems as they work through the time frame. When the time is up, the student should stop working. This approach is a safety net to prevent math homework from turning into a frustrating, 2-hour ordeal. A night of crying kids and parents who are pulling their hair out isn't terribly productive. If a student isn't able to do the assigned problems, that is valuable feedback. If the work your receive back from students indicates that they are not giving their personal best, you can work with those students and parents to address the concern. Encourage parents to partner with you so we can help students experience success as they work towards mastery.