Ferndale Elementary School

Elementary Homework Guidelines 2016-2017

Homework is a delicate issue around which we want to respect all stakeholders' thoughts and ideas. Keeping the research regarding homework in mind, Ferndale Elementary has updated its guidelines and philosophy as it relates to homework.

Homework may be given to support our focus on the development of a self-directed learner. Homework is never to be assigned to be punitive in nature. If homework is assigned, it will be based on the ability and needs of the student.  A general rule of thumb is that children should do 10 minutes of homework for each grade level:  

  • Kindergarten and 1st grade - 10 minutes
  • 2nd grade - 20 minutes
  • 3rd grade - 30 minutes
  • 4th grade - 40 minutes
  • 5th grade - 50 minutes

Homework tasks typically fall into 3 categories:

  1. Practice provides opportunity to apply new knowledge and reinforce acquired classroom skills. As homework is practice and not summative there will be no grade assigned.

  2. Extension encourages students to pursue knowledge individually and imaginatively. This type of design will support students as they dig deeper into a subject of focus that the class or student wants to learn more about. For example, if students are provided a question to begin their Project-Based Learning, unit the child would come home to look up pertinent information to bring back to the class (either through technology, visiting local library, interviewing a family member, etc). The focus for extension activities is to empower and engage students to learn more on a specific subject, there will be no grade assigned to this homework.

  3. Engagement provides children and families ideas to support the Whole Child. Activities that fall under Engagement could  include reading each night to your child to encourage language/cognitive growth, taking a walk around the block and trying to beat your time each day to encourage physical development, and making dinner time a ‘tech free’ zone to encourage language development. Many teachers, grade levels, and schools send out a weekly or monthly calendar to encourage activities for family time and to support the Whole Child. Schools should and will recognize the role of parents and suggest engaging ways to assist the school and support each child.  The focus for engagement activities is to support the family enjoying time with each other there is no grade assigned for completion.