Homework Philosophy & Time Requirements
The purpose of homework assignments is to provide students with training in independent study and the opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills and instruction taught in the classroom. Academy teachers assign only as much homework as needed for the purpose of review, reinforcement, or preparation. Ideally, the teachers in the elementary grades (Kindergarten through Fourth) will also do their best to avoid having written homework every weeknight, and when possible they will also avoid weekend homework.
The Academy sets homework time guidelines for the various grade levels. When the teachers assign homework, they do so with these guidelines in mind. For example, teachers in Grades 5 and 6 know that the students in those grades should not be spending more than an hour on homework each night, and they design their homework assignments accordingly.
These time limits apply to the homework for all classes combined, and not just to one subject. In other words, a fifth grader should spend a maximum of 60 minutes a night on the homework for all his classes—not 6 minutes on each subject.
Time limits benefit students by allowing them adequate playtime, family time, prayer and rest. Time limits also benefit teachers by informing them of a student’s ability to complete the assigned work within the prescribed time.
Additionally, the expectation is that teachers will not assign this much homework every single night, but that the homework in these various grade levels will be a reasonable amount and will be able to be finished within that stipulated time.
The prescribed amount of time for students of various grade levels to devote to their homework each night is:
Kindergarten: 20 minutes
Grade 1: 25 minutes
Grade 2: 30 minutes
Grade 3: 35 minutes
Grade 4: 40 minutes
Grades 5-6: 60 minutes
Grades 7-8: 80 minutes
Grades 9-12: 120 minutes (AP students: 180 minutes)
However, it is important to note that these time guidelines are designed with the average student in mind.
There will be students who will always finish their homework well under these times, and there will also be students who work more methodically, and will need more time to achieve the same task. In every class, there will be different talents and abilities, and teachers and parents must make allowance for this reality.
Students should reasonably divide their time among the subjects for which homework is assigned on any given night. If a student cannot complete a homework assignment in the allotted amount of time, the parent should first let the teacher know how long the student is spending on homework. The parent can write this explanation on the homework assignment itself. When either a parent or a teacher learns that a student consistently struggles with the completion of homework assignments, the parent and teacher should confer to discuss suitable courses of action. The teacher should then inform the Administration of the problem and a recommended solution. If the difficulty persists, the Administration will schedule a meeting to confer with the parents and the teacher to further explore and resolve the matter.