Homework Policy

Schools vary significantly in regard to their homework policies. Some high schools boast that their students do 3 to 4 hours of homework each night, and their school day lasts longer than most. Other schools do not emphasize homework and claim that students can complete their learning at school. Although these examples are the extremes, either case might be appropriate for your child, depending on your child’s interests and your goals. Parents should inquire about the amount of homework assigned on a daily basis, over the weekends and during the holidays to ensure that the school’s policies are aligned with their expectations.

There is no question that well-designed homework assignments will help children academically by allowing them to spend additional time on core subjects. Moreover, homework allows parents to keep informed about what your child is studying at school and whether the school’s level of instruction is appropriate for your child. If your child is struggling with the homework in a given subject, this might be a good sign that she or he needs some tutoring or that the teacher is not developing adequate lesson plans.

However, there are also cases in which a school assigns to little or too much homework. While children rarely complain when they are not assigned homework, you may want to examine your child’s performance on the exams to ensure that she or he is learning the material at school and/or that the school maintains high expectations for your child, despite the lack of homework. In contrast, children often complain about too much homework. This issue is more difficult to manage, because you want to select the correct balance between enough homework and allowing your child to develop non-academic skills outside of school, particularly during the elementary school years. Homework should support academic learning but allow time for other pursuits as well.