K-5 teachers: Homework = 2.9 hours per week

Elementary teachers assign an average of 2.9 hours of homework per week, middle school teachers assign 3.2 hours and high school teachers expect 3.5 hours, according to a Harris poll for University of Phoenix.

A high school student taking five courses could have 17.5 hours of homework per week. (When my daughter was in high school, she averaged three hours a night.)

Teachers say homework  helps them see how well their students understand the lessons (60 percent); helps students develop problem-solving skills (46 percent); gives parents a chance to see what is being learned in school (45 percent); helps students develop time management skills (39 percent); encourages students to relate classroom learning to outside activities (37 percent) and allows teachers to cover more content in class (30 percent).

About Joanne


  1. I went to a high school that assigned only enough hw to fill study hall. The classwork though was much more than in my children’s time….with no discipline issues, no special needs, and no social promotion, much was accimplished at school.

  2. Ann in L.A. says:

    This is, I think, I direct result of teachers who try to make class time “fun! fun! fun!” They are so impressed by their own ed games, that they forget that the real learning is taking place at home, doing homework, with mom and dad acting as the teacher while they look over their kids’ homework.

    That’s fine if you have parents who are home at night and can oversee the homework, and if those parents have a decent education. But, for poorer parents who work at odd hours and who might not be as well educated, it’s a killer.

  3. There’s a big difference between what is actually assigned and what is actually done. All too much copying without understanding. Arts and crafts inflates this number too.

    I’ve heard, but not systematically followed, the rise of major school districts with limits on homework assigned per night – I know of schools multiple schools where 15 minutes per night per class was what the administration set as policy – some of these are on a block schedule to boot.

    Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated…