Homework Contract

Post in a prominent place.


__________________ and _________________ have mutually agreed to the terms of the
(student) (parent)
following homework contract to take effect on__________________________________.

Homework Study Schedule

Monday __________ to __________ Student will study at least _____minutes
Tuesday __________ to __________ on the indicated days. If the student does
Wednesday __________ to __________ not have assignments, he/she will review
Thursday __________ to __________ for tests, work ahead, redo past assignments,
Friday __________ to __________ or read material related to classes. Students
Saturday __________ to __________ will need to increase their study time when
Sunday __________ to __________ faced with long and/or difficult assignments.

Special Contract Terms (optional)

Both student and parent will initial the terms that are to be followed.

__________All homework is to be done in the __________________________room.

__________No phone calls will be allowed during homework time.

__________Homework will not be done in front of the TV. Loud music will not be played.

__________The computer will only be used to work directly on assignments. No Web surfing!

__________Parent will not remind students when it is time to start homework.

__________Parent will not offer homework help or advice unless it is requested.

__________All homework and school materials are to be placed in a backpack at the end of each
homework session.

__________Contract will be reviewed on __________to decide if any terms need to be changed.

__________(Additional term)_____________________________________________________

_________Failure by the student or parent to follow all contract terms will result in a penalty of


__________Following terms of the contract for a period of __________will result in an award of


Signed_________________________(parent) ______________________________(student)

Additional Information on Homework Contracts

The major purpose of a homework contract is to eliminate all the daily hassles that arise from family conflicts over when, where, and how homework is to be done. A contract places the responsibility for getting homework done on the student which is where it should be. It also helps many students establish a homework routine. Even young students will benefit from having a homework contract.

The best contracts are simple ones with few terms.

You definitely should not have your family’s first homework contract use all the terms of the sample contract.

Contracts need to be individualized to suit the needs of each family.

For a homework contract to be effective, all terms must be negotiated and completely agreed upon by both parents and students.

After a trial period of two weeks, the contract should be looked at again by the parent and student to see if any terms should be changed. Provision also needs to be made to look at the contract periodically (monthly, every grading period) to see if it needs to be revised as conditions change.

Remember all children are different. Some will need to do their nightly homework in two or more time periods. Others may need timed breaks to release energy or to get a snack.

How Much Time Should Students Spend on Homework

The rough rule of thumb that most educators use is that students should work on homework approximately 10 minutes for each year in school. Following this rule, a second grader would spend 20 minutes on homework while a fifth grader would spend 50 minutes. At the high school level, it may be necessary for students to do as much as two hours a night depending on the courses that they are taking and whether or not they have a study period at school.

Students do not have to work on homework every day. Weekends can be free of homework for many students depending on their typical assignment load. Older students can choose specific times on the weekend to review the week’s work or do projects. Poor students will profit from spending some weekend time on review or skill-building work. Redoing assignments can be helpful for these students.

It is not necessary for all students to have assigned homework times in a contract. Instead, the agreement can be for students to get all homework done by a specified time. With this type of agreement, no homework for any reason can be done after this time. Instead, the students can get up early to complete any unfinished work.

Why Should Students Have Homework?

In the early grades, there is only a very small relationship between the amount of homework children do and their achievement in school. It is not until sixth grade that a solid relationship can be shown between doing homework and higher achievement. The reason for doing homework earlier is to develop the homework habit as well as independent study skills.

©Compass Syndicate Corporation, 2009