Homework: How Much is Too Much?

How much is too much homework?

A friend of mine in Texas posted two pictures of her Kindergartner's nightly and weekend homework on Facebook the other day and it had me thinking about this question.  What her son is required to complete each night, I believe, it too much homework for a Kindergartner.  I have always heard the rule "10 minutes per grade level", meaning First Grade 10 min of homework, Fourth grade 40 min of homework, etc.

Kindergarten Homework Menu

Math and Language Arts Homework assignment from the above menu.

My own Kindergartner has nightly reading, a Tic-Tac-Toe assignment three nights a week, and then sight words on our own (there is no assigned work, we just review them ourselves).  My son usually completes all his Tic-Tac-Toe homework on Monday while his brother is in his therapy session.  We do nighty reading during the week and practice his sight words on the weekend.  We are able to complete his homework around our schedule.

As a teacher I give my students 30 minutes of reading and a summary, a math worksheet (anywhere from 1-10 problems) and Spelling three nights a week.  Students can complete Spelling all in one night if they wish, I use my Star Spelling Menu.  Homework usually takes them from 40-50 minutes a night, a little over the 10 minute rule.

My question to you is what is your opinion of homework? Do you assign nightly homework?

For participating in my "Homework Discussion" I will use Random.org to choose three winners from those who comment on this post.  Each winner win any item from my TpT store!  I look forward to your comments!


  1. I do assign nightly homework. Reading - 2x a week, Math - a couple of worksheets nightly, Language Arts - 3x a week. This totals about 30-45 minutes of homework.


  2. I agree with you Jess-10 minute per grade level. My homework is set up as a packet: one side is spelling or grammar and the back is always math (skills to remediate or review). I try to make homework so that's it's not torture for my parents (as a parent of 3, I understand the burden of homework). The majority of the homework should be able to be completed independently-I just encourage parents to double check and initial each evening. I started the "packet" about 12 years ago when I looped with my class-I knew how many of my students had extracurricular activities. This helps because if students know they have church on Wednesday night, they can complete two nights on Tuesday. They have to turn in their completed homework each day-they can't wait until Friday. I also expect them to read 20-30 minutes each evening, but do not require a reading log. Again, I feel like the log becomes a punishment for parents (having to remind their child to sign it, signing it without the child reading) and students (if they forget it, they miss recess, etc., and I don't want to "force" reading). I monitor their reading outside of class by their completion of books, Reading Counts, and Reader's Notebook. This has worked for me, but I'd love to hear new ideas! Hope I'm a winner!!!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. I don't have a classroom yet, but I have 5 kids so I have 5 grade levels to reference. Our district assigns very little homework across all the grades/classes that we've had experience with so far.
    My K student is asked to read his AR(Reading Counts) book 3x every night (or read to, read-repeat, read, depending on the difficulty). On Tuesdays he gets a 4-page foldable book (about 8-10 sentences) and sometimes his teacher puts sight words and sentences on the weekly newsletter (I think she's mostly testing us to see if we're reading it). And then random unit-related things such as tracking the moon or toothbrushing, etc.
    2nd grade: Read the story of the week from his reading book and finish any work that he didn't get done in class. Study spelling words. Occasional projects.
    4th, 5th and 9th: Whatever didn't get done in class and occasional projects. They usually have something to work on less than once a week. Practice band/drama/choir, though none of these have set time requirements so far. Every once in a while the younger 2 have extra reading to do to meet their AR goals, but they usually hit goal with the reading they do for fun.

    1. Oh, and we're in Texas too - in a district that is fairly small in numbers (3A) but huge in area and rural.

    2. You won a free item from my TpT store! Email which item you would like, Congrats!

  4. When I taught I did have homework but made it minimal, if possible. In our community, parents don't value school like others do, so it is hard to motivate them. As a reading specialist, I do ask students to read for me each night, but many don't. I give a prize if they read each night during the week. It seems to help a little.

    My son's school did a study on homework using the book The Homework Myth and send home VERY little. He has to read for 20 minutes each night for Book It and do "20 points" of word study (spelling) due each Friday. It is nice because we can space it out. Lately, he has had one math word problem each week to show the process. It has really made him aware of the word problems and his work.

    Hope that helps!
    Reading Toward the Stars

    1. You won a free item from my TpT store! Congrats! Email which item you would like :)

  5. I do not assign a lot of homework. I find it difficult to evaluate any work that is done at home. I offer parents paperless options to review skills (Spelling City and xtramath.org). I have never had 100% homework completion rates when I did assign homework and then it just feels like I am tracking down homework and writing notes and having make-up time more than any actual learning. I do promote home reading, studying words and finishing any unfinished math. Once a term I assign part of a project to be completed at home (usually the visual display part).

  6. We give homework in every grade at our school. It is required and in our handbook which is given to each family when students enroll. We give anywhere between 4 and 6 sheets of homework a night which is stapled in a pack. It always includes a math sheet and 2 sheets of tracing. Then, we have more literacy practice. It usually reviews what we have done that day and can be done independently. In the beginning of the year, it would take the kiddos longer to complete which we take into consideration and give less, but eventually they are all doing their homework at a much faster pace! I check for completion every day. The kiddos love it! :)

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

  7. Usually there is a block of time within class to complete assignments, so not much other than independent reading is sent home.

    With my IEP kiddos, I try to have all homework completed in class where students can have help and support from myself or the paras as need be. Paperless options on reviewing concepts are available for students to solidify concepts too.

    Teaching In Oz

  8. I usually send home sight words and some sentences on their phonics for my first and second graders and a spelling list they can study throughout the week. If they have anymore homework it is because they did not use their time wisely during the day. I also never have any homework on the weekend because people are just too busy. :)

  9. When we were talking about this I forgot to mention this article I read years ago. It raises some interesting points


  10. I've always heard the "10 minute" rule as well. I teach second grade and typically assign about 20 minutes of homework a night. Sometimes it's a little more and sometimes it's a little less! Most work is completed in class so I can assess them right away and know that they are doing the work independently!

    All the Dots

  11. I send home a weekly packet on Mondays. The packet has 4-5 pages of review for things we've been learning that week. It is due back on Friday. I also send a Reading Log home on Mondays for my students to record 5 days of reading for 20 minutes; it is due back the following Monday. I have implemented Fun Friday for my students who bring back their homework on time. It has really helped to get more of my students to turn their homework in on time so that they can participate in Fun Friday activities!
    Enchanting Elementary

  12. I don't assign homework in fifth grade. If a student isn't able to finish an assignment in class or in study hall, then it is expected that s/he will finish it at home. My current principal doesn't believe in giving homework just to give it. Homework should have a purpose beyond drill and practice, in his opinion. And, to be honest, I hate keeping track of it and checking it. I'm also of the philosophy that kids are involved in so much after school that they still just need time to be kids. If parents want something to keep their kids busy after school, then I tell them to read for 15 minutes to a half-hour, work on math facts, or study their spelling words. I'm not going to send home busy work.

    Now, my daughter, who is in first grade, has spelling homework every night and one math paper per week. It takes about 5-10 minutes per night.

    Fifth in the Middle

  13. The administration at our school requires reading and math homework, Monday thru Friday, in all grade levels. I teach math and science, so I assign math homework each night. I believe it should be a skill the students have mastered and simply need to practice (and therefore, do not need parent help to complete). The homework should take around 15 minutes because I know their reading teacher will have an assignment as well.

    1. You won a free item from my TpT store! Just tell which item you would like. Congrats!

  14. This is a great discussion! I personally "hate" homework, but it is required at our school that each grade level give homework, 10 minutes per grade level. Our first grade team sends home a homework packet for the month! It is the best thing we have changed about homework in recent years. It allows families to complete homework and work around their busy lives (soccer, t-ball, dance, birthday parties,etc). It is also easier for us! We each do the homework for one trimester and then we are done! It's great! Parents love it!

    Before my kids were in school, I sent home these monster packets of homework weekly! I was new to teaching and had the idea that more was better and it would make me look like a great teacher. Boy was I wrong.

    I think homework is great for teaching responsibility and developing good work habits at home. Reading is the only real homework I absolutely believe in. If parents every ask for more homework, I always tell them to encourage their child to read more.

  15. I believe in meaningful homework. By that I mean nightly reading and practicing math facts. I am required to provide thirty minutes of homework. I differentiate my homework so that it does take each student about thirty minutes to complete. Often times I wish I could just say enjoy your family time and read together!



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