Manhattan Beach Unified School District

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu Toggle

Homework Guidelines (Elementary)


 Homework Guidelines – Elementary


The appropriate amount of homework and its general impact on learning and achievement have long been debated. Some researchers state that at the elementary school level, homework should be assigned to establish good learning habits and keep families informed about their child's learning (Cooper, 1989; Cooper, Lindsay, Nye, & Greathouse, 1998; Gorges & Elliot, 1999). Others argue (Kohn, A., 2012) that homework shows only an association, not causational relationship, with academic achievement. Still, there are some who see that homework can be useful and worthwhile, but that it has not been useful in many cases (Vatterott, C., 2009).

In consideration of the whole child along with the Common Core State Standards, research, and district survey results from elementary teachers, below is the MBUSD Elementary Homework Policy:  

Daily Homework - Monday through Thursday

Grades K -2

20 minutes (15 minutes daily reading; 5 minutes at teacher discretion)

Example:  Read 15 minutes daily; one night count a collection at home and record what you counted (accumulation of 20 minutes from the week)

Grade 3

30 minutes

Grade 4

40 minutes

Grade 5

50 minutes

Grades 3-5

Homework should include 20 minutes of daily reading which is included in the total time, not in addition


The emphasis of homework is on reading

  • Research indicates that volume of reading is linked to attaining higher-order literacy proficiencies (Allington, 2012; Brozo et al, Cipielewski & Stanovich, 1992). 
  • Cullinan (2000) reviewed the research on the effects of independent reading …The review concludes that independent reading, defined as the reading students choose to do, supports learning and school achievement.  Providing students with protected reading time is necessary in order to support their growth in reading. 
  •  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts.


In addition:

Homework should be meaningful!

Homework should not count as part of academic grade

Incomplete homework should not be punitive, rather teachers should communicate with student and parents

Homework should be designed so that it can be completed independently

Homework should be used as a means to develop work and study habits

For K-2 Parents: Best practices for nightly reading (5 minute video) 

For Teachers: Homework Guidelines Screencast