How Many Hours of Homework Does Your High Schooler Have Each Night?

Updated on August 18, 2016
B.P. asks from Chicago, IL
21 answers

We just came back from our son's freshmen class orientation and were told by the Principal to expect that our son will have 90 minutes of homework each night. In junior high, he may have had 30 minutes a night, and while he has received 2 hours of tutoring a day for the last month, after a long day in classes, 90 minutes a night seems like a very long day. I'm not sure if that 90 minutes is an outside number or an average...but just wondering what other high schoolers have experienced. I don't remember doing more in high school than just knocking stuff off in study hall.

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answers from Beaumont on

I have a Junior. He is a very good manager of his time and takes advantage of down time in his classes to do his math and reading homework then. He usually does no homework at night BUT, if he didn't do it at school, it would have probably been about 90 minutes worth most nights.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

For my kids, it seemed like feast or famine with homework. Most days not much at all, but then some nights they were up until midnight. (and not for putting things off until the last minute either)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Based on out school district, which routinely ranks in the top schools (and whose students have a very active life in extra-curricular stuff), 90 minutes actually sounds pretty low. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Some schools juggle things so that not all subjects have work on the same night. But not all do. You need to plan on using weekends and having a schedule. Some nights will be longer, and there will be group and long-term projects as well. Plus reading. The point is to stay on top of it and not let it pile up. That's when the panic hits, as longer-term due dates hit and the kid realizes that he just is too far behind to catch up.

Encourage him to go after school now and then for extra help. And insist that HE be the one to talk with his teachers, be sure he understands what's expected, and absolutely turn in his homework (even if he has difficulty) so the teacher can see where your son is having problems. There's no shame in not understanding; there IS a huge downside to running away from that fact and hoping it will all fall in place down the line.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

90 minutes sounds LOW. I almost wonder if the principal was trying to be gentle in that message!! I'd say expect closer to 2-3 hours each night, between research projects and math problems and reading etc. If your son gets tired at night (and stays late for clubs etc, as Mamazita mentions), plan for early mornings. As Diane says, he just should not let deadlines get away from him.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yep that's normal for kids who get "good" grades. If he has any AP classes in the coming years it will be even more. High school is the new college :-(
Oh and sports (or music, theater, etc.) clubs/commitments will be two to three hours a day after school as well.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I went to high school in the 80's and easily had 2 hours of homework a night. We always had math homework, reading to do for history and English (daily quizzes in both), probably for Spanish, too. I guess bio, chem and physics were more about studying before exams.

I could never get that done in a study hall, and I didn't always have a study hall.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

That sounds close to normal to me.

Of course it depends on your child and how they manage their time.

My daughter graduated in 2013 and was routinely studying late night, especially after cheer workouts and training 2+ hours per day not counting game days and more. She was in the AP program which required more projects and work.

Hopefully the students learn how to manage time efficiently at school so the work at home is not as time consuming.

The time frame you mention is completely normal to me. Some students could very well have more depending on their personal self discipline routines.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

That seems low to me. My 8th grader is in STEM, so she may have some more homework, but she easily can spend 2-3 hours per night. That was for 7th grade. Other nights she had 30 minutes or so.

I always went by the 10 minutes per grade rule until middle school. So 5th graders were cut off at 50 minutes, NOT including reading time. So 90 minutes for a 9th grader would be on point...but I would think that would not be for the advanced classes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

90 minutes seems pretty light for high school. Depends on the course load, but I just had two kids graduate with very different course loads. One took honor and AP classes when they were available and didn't take fluff or filler courses so she had 6-7 classes a day and each assigned homework. I'd say that her average was 3 hours a night - less on occasion, with some monster papers or projects thrown in every now and again. The other has ADHD and learning disabilities so he had an academic support period each day. He took college-prep level classes and tended to have 5-6 classes a day with some fluff and filler thrown in. He had about 2 hours of homework a night.

My homework load in high school was 2-4 hours a night. I often didn't crawl into bed until after midnight because with after-school activities and a job, I often didn't get home until 8 or 9 PM and would start my homework then. I'm glad my kids found a better balance than I did.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

So much research has shown that homework doesn't make anyone smarter. They have all those hours in school and then to come home and do more work? They actually have lower test scores than kids that don't do homework. Google it.

I work evenings and our girl is very busy with things that will get her college scholarships. She's a good student and has never, NEVER, really had homework. Not ever. Not in Pre-K, not in Kindergarten or elementary school, and her teachers this year don't expect the kids to bring home anything except a few research things so they can use their computers without time constraints on them that they would have during the days.

So no, I don't support a teacher that feels better about themselves by sending homework that is nothing more than busy work. It has no purpose other than "Hey, I sent homework home! I'm a good teacher!".

A lot of teachers that I am friends with are finding that things are taught so differently now that the spend a lot of the next morning reteaching the kids how to do the work the right way. So they have stopped sending any homework home.

I think that assigning a child a topic and having them research it, then give a report is a good thing. It teaches them how to find information, it teaches them to organize their thoughts, and it helps them be comfortable giving an oral report.

As for "do page 10, 11, and 12 for homework tonight" that's not something I am going to even stress about. It's not productive for the kids and it doesn't teach them anything.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I'm very glad that you asked this question BP, as my son is entering 9th grade in 3 weeks. Every response here has been very helpful to me. Very insightful. So, I'm taking notes :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My oldest are seniors this year. We have had different ranges of homework assignments. Sometimes they are super busy with a project or essays and other times, just a few math problems or reading to do. For my girl on track/cross country, it helped to do a little, take a break and then go back to finish up. This is the time to make sure he has good homework habits before he gets behind. My son did not turn in his homework and is now paying for it by scrambling to make sure he does graduate in May.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

On a good day our son will get a lot of his homework done during lunch or in class - reading and studying sometimes on the bus.
If he has papers or projects he sometimes is up till midnight getting the work done but this only happens 2 or 3 times per year.
Our high school school says to expect 30 min PER CLASS of homework - but not every class assigns it every day - still, every so often it all converges and he'll have several hours of it to get through in one evening.
Knowing how to use a planner is essential.
He has to start the work as soon as it's assigned and keep track of how many days he has to do it and when it's due (and how - a lot of his classes he can turn his homework in online).
Yes, some days are very very long.
Also - if he's got too much homework, then he can't go to his after school activities - taekwondo on some nights or archery on other nights.
The school work has got to come first - and the quickest way to fun is to get the work done.

A typical day for our son last year was
Up at 6:15am, on the bus at 7:15am - arrive at school at 8:15am.
Lunch during 3rd block on A days or during 4th block on B days - he takes his clarinet every other day since band was on A days.
School finishes at 3:40pm (I work at his school during lunch (9:30 till 2:30 - I run errands or read while I wait for him to finish), so we go home together - it's faster than taking the bus) and we get home 4:10pm.
He gets a snack and then does homework until dinner - we eat (takes about 30 minutes) - then he finishes homework and can relax, play games, watch tv or read till bedtime at about 9:30pm.
If band has a concert coming up - then there's after school practice until 5:30pm once sometimes twice per week for several weeks before the concert - missing practice will lower his grade or he has to write a 5 page paper to make up for missing it (only happened once when he got sick).

He starts his senior year this fall and so far has managed to keep up the straight A's.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I have heard that sort of thing for years. Neither of my kids has experienced that level of homework. Even my top of the class sophomore (this year 10th grade) who is fighting for 1st in her class doesn't spend 90 minutes per night on homework. For special things (a big test, a project, etc) she might. But it's usually no more than 30 minutes of studying or assignments. Now, AP classes (she doesn't have one this semester, but had one year round last year on alternating days) can be heavy reading. But if they do it regularly it shouldn't take 90 minutes a day, either.

My B student didn't spend that either. Some nights, yes. But some nights he had virtually zero (or at least, he didn't spend any time).

It would be impossible to do this if it were true. Often the top notch students are involved in after-school activities. Like my daughter, who is in marching band and currently is still at the school on the practice field until 6 pm 3 days per week. But I just don't think it's true. Maybe if they are at some high level charter school? But generally? No. I think it's a scare tactic of some sort. Which makes no sense to me.

0h, wanted to add... study hall? what even is that? I never had a study hall in all my years in school. And neither have my kids. Son graduated last year. No study hall ever. I mean, I understand what they are, but have never been to a school that actually had them. There was no time for that in the school day. Ever. Every block/class was a CLASS. No study hour built in ever.
ETA (again, sorry)
After reading the other responses I'm shocked. That is a tremendous amount of homework many responses are indicating. It was never like that for my son. And not so for my daughter (so far). But, I also notice that everyone is referencing 6 classes. Our school is on the block system. They only take 4 classes per semester (constituting the equivalent of a year long class, b/c they are in class 100 minutes per class each day). So they only have 4 classes to balance/study at a time--unless they do like my daughter last year and take YearLong AP classes that alternate days with another subject. For her it was AP World History and Honors/Gifted Literature. She had both all year, but went to each every other day. So she did have 5 classes to study for (well, band isn't really study, but after school practices sure would have upped her *study* time if that was included in the calculations). She also took 2 maths last year instead of one. Still, she rarely spent more than 45 minutes a night (average) on school work at home. Ranked #3 when the end of the year rankings came out. GPA of 5.15.
Maybe our schools just have a different emphasis on homework and class time. ?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My dd frequently had 2 hrs of homework in 6th and 7th grade...some nights more, some less. She's been in some pretty rigorous charter schools. I think 90 minutes is reasonable for high school.



answers from Kalamazoo on

My daughter is a senior this year. She's taking an extra class which means she begins school at 6:30 am. She is also taking 4 AP classes. Her homework time is AT LEAST 2 hours every night/day and that does include weekends. :\


answers from Springfield on

i was notified to expect my 1ST grader (yes FIRST grader) to have 30 minutes of reading AND 30 minutes of other stuff for homework NIGHTLY so i think that 30 to 90 for highschool is reasonable.



answers from San Francisco on

90 minutes sounds like a good amount. Remember, they typically have 6 classes. That's not bad, actually. I've heard of high schoolers having 3+ hours per night. 90 mins. is manageable.


answers from Phoenix on

Our principal in elementary school said to expect 10 minutes of homework for each grade level. It also depends on the kid and their ability.



answers from Evansville on

My son had 3-4 hours homework each night. He was on a college track. Some ap classes. Some regular. As much as everyone says teachers should be able to teach all in the time allowed its just not feasible. Kids change classes every 50 minutes that cuts into both ends of class time. Time to gather books and move class to class. Then to get situated once into next class. Teachers are teaching way more than basic math, English, science and history. The expectations are higher. This is one the reasons teachers give homework in lower grades. Not to torment parents but get child in a pattern doing it so they are ready when they hit older grades.



answers from Wausau on

Spending 'hours' on homework usually only happens if they have a long-term project or if there are some unusual circumstances like having makeup work after missing school. When they have to bring regular homework home, it usually doesn't take much time at all.

Although it is not required by the school, my kids like to make sure they have a study hall in their schedule. They use their in-class work time wisely and if they don't finish work in class, they will continue to work on during the study hall. Last year, my 10th grader's study hall was the last period of the day, so that worked out great for him.

Many kids use their study time for other things, like socializing, and that is why they have to bring homework home.

There are a few important personal details at play in my answer. The first is that my teens don't struggle with or need help in any classes. When a child needs assistance it does often take them longer to get their work done.

The second is that the higher level classes where we live tend to focus more heavily on in-class participation and interactive learning. They don't just heap on extra homework to keep kids busy. Your experience will depend on how your son's school operates, but in my kids' experience, getting good grades and taking advanced/AP classes do not necessarily require a ton more homework time.

The rule in our house is that work is to be completed when they get home for the day. This includes Fridays. We don't allow waiting until Sunday afternoon or trying to finish something in the morning before school. There is no staying up late into the night to study when they should be in bed.

If a kid's afterschool activities regularly prevent them from keeping up with their normal daily work, and homework is constantly bleeding into weekends, mornings and late nights, then that something has to change. So far that has not been an issue with my kids' extracurriculars.

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