Our Approach to Homework

“Homework” the word can send a chill running down the spine. When many of us were kids, homework—and piles of it—were considered the norm. We’d go to school and learn new things, and then go home to face a pile of assignments meant to reinforce those lessons. For many families, homework became a source of conflict between parents and kids. And it was miserable.

At Pointe Schools, the premier charter school in Phoenix, AZ, we understand that homework serves a valuable purpose for the development of any young mind. However, we also believe too much of it is counterproductive.

A growing divide

Historically, teachers relied on homework (and parents) to reinforce ideas learned in the classroom. The assumption was that intense repetition was the only way to drill new ideas into students’ heads. Despite the fact that there was no research to support the practice, many schools adoped a “15 minutes of homework for every grade level” policy, which meant kindergartners are assigned 15 minutes of homework every night, first graders are assigned 30 minutes, and 7th graders are assigned two hours, etc. However, several studies suggest that, other than reading, there is no correlation between the amount of homework assigned and student academic success.

Too much homework adds unneeded stress to students. It can also transform a worthwhile lesson into a slog. That’s a lesson that subtly reaffirms for children that learning is a chore to get through, rather than one of the great joys of life.

Classwork, not homework

From kindergarten through the twelfth grade, the staff at Pointe Schools is committed to utilizing class time effectively and efficiently, and respecting student time outside of class in Phoenix, AZ. We believe students need time to unwind, reflect, and be involved in other areas of interest not offered during school hours. As a result, the amount of homework given at Pointe Schools tends to be less than at traditional district schools.

In elementary school, homework is reserved for math practice and reading. Junior high students should also expect to spend time reviewing material that was taught in class and preparing for class. In high school, students taking honors and Advanced Placement classes can expect to spend significant time outside of class. No matter what grade your student is in, their homework assignement will never require a trip to the craft store!

Additionally, school breaks (Summer, Fall, Thanksgiving Week, Winter, and Spring) are homework-free times for students.

A life-work balance

As adults, one of the hardest lessons to learn is how to strike the right balance between your work life and your home life. Pointe Schools believes that loading students down with homework sets a poor example for that future lesson. That’s why we believe that students should devote their time outside the classroom to productive pursuits not offered in the school. Play a sport. Act in a play. Join a club. Most important, spend time at home reading.

The Pointe Schools difference

Just because Pointe Schools reduces the amount of homework required of our students doesn’t mean we let them fall behind. As a respected charter school in Phoenix, AZ, we remain committed to the success of our entire student body.

Before a student’s average in a given subject falls below a C average, students are encouraged to take advantage of tutoring. Parents who feel that their child isn’t being challenged enough can request extra take-home assignments, as well.

The bottom line is this: Pointe Schools wants to cultivate a love of learning and the desire to grow in our students. Whether you’re just beginning your educational journey at Pinnacle Pointe Academy or Canyon Pointe Academy, or you’re prepping for college at North Pointe Prep, we’re ready to take your learning to the next level. Give us a call today!

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