Homework Time Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Homework is intended to provide students opportunities to review work and practice skills taught in class, study for tests, and prepare for upcoming lessons (Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2001). While homework compels parents, teachers, and students to put forth additional time and effort, the majority consider homework to be a worthwhile activity (Cooper et al., 1998; Xu, 2005). Educators can create effective homework assignments for all learners by setting clear goals and expectations for homework that are communicated to both students and parents (Carr, 2013).

The Learning Bar’s framework on student engagement includes measures of social, institutional, and intellectual engagement. Homework Time is a component of institutional engagement, situated alongside attendance, positive behaviour at school, valuing school outcomes and homework behaviour.

Why is it important?

  • Homework time in the early grades facilitates the development of study skills (Cooper et al., 1998).

  • There is a positive association between time spent on homework and student achievement (Cooper et al., 2006).

  • Homework time is most closely associated with achievement in secondary schooling (Cooper & Valentine, 2001).

  • Beside homework time, the amount of effort students put forth towards homework is also an important factor related to student achievement (Trautwein, 2007).

How do we measure it?

In the OurSCHOOL elementary and secondary school surveys, students are asked to indicate how many hours they spend doing homework or studying during a typical week day. The results are reported as “the percentage of students who spend more than 1 hour per day on homework.”



Carr, N. S. (2013). Increasing the effectiveness of homework for all learners in the inclusive classroom. School Community Journal, 23(1), 169-182.

Cooper, H., Lindsay, J. J., Nye, B., & Greathouse, S. (1998). Relationships among attitudes about homework, amount of homework assigned and completed, and student achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(1), 70-83.

Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 1-62.

Cooper, H., & Valentine, J.C. (2001). Using research to answer practical questions about homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 143-153.

Epstein, J. L., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2001). More than minutes: Teachers' roles in designing homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 181-193.

Trautwein, U. (2007). The homework–achievement relation reconsidered: Differentiating homework time, homework frequency, and homework effort. Learning and Instruction, 17(3), 372-388.

Xu, J. (2005). Purposes for doing homework reported by middle and high school students. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(1), 46-55.