Why Homework?

In 1942, Dorothy Sayers wrote an essay entitled, “Why Work?” In it she offers an apology worth consideration today. Work, she writes, should be seen, “not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which the nature of man should find its proper exercise and delight and so fulfill itself to the glory of God.” Such is the reason we ask students to work: to practice a God-given opportunity to fulfill a human mandate to honor God and serve our neighbor.

One of the five Providence Core Virtues is diligence. Diligence involves a specific attitude of attentiveness and purposefulness. While homework offers students an opportunity to cement ideas and concepts learned at school (students often require some amount of extra practice in a specific new concept or skill), it also helps form habits of diligence, attentiveness, and responsibility. A few highlights of the Providence homework policy:

Homework is encouraged within the broad goals of a well-rounded life. We desire students to have a reasonable amount of homework that allows for other worthy pursuits, including family time, extra-curricular activities such as athletics and drama, church activities, hobbies, and appropriate sleep.

Students with reasonable homework allotments benefit from managing their time and learning helpful life skills of time management, activity prioritization, and organizational habits.

We recognize that parents are partners in their children’s educational progress. Thus, parents are encouraged to monitor homework time and arrange an environment conducive to focus.

Teachers work together to maintain appropriate limitations on homework time according to the following guidelines. In the secondary school, a homework and test calendar helps ensure weekly proactive planning at every grade level.

The amounts below represent limits on daily homework, not quotas aimed for. An appropriate boundary is helpful to ensure adequate time for other worthy pursuits as outlined above.       

Kindergarten None (work at home for 3-day kindergarten students)
1st Grade 20 minutes maximum
2nd Grade 30 minutes maximum
3rd and 4th Grade 45 minutes maximum
5th and 6th Grade 60 minutes maximum
7th and 8th Grade 90 minutes maximum
9th and 10th Grade 120 minutes maximum
11th and 12th Grade 130 minutes maximum


Homework is not given to grammar students on the weekend, and minimal work is required for secondary on the weekend. Homework is not assigned over school breaks or holidays.