No one likes homework; for most people, it’s a necessary evil to struggle with throughout school. However, although you probably know that homework varies from school to school, you might not know that homework also differs dramatically from state to state. Depending on where you live, you could be doing nearly twice the amount of homework as some of your peers on average. Where should you go if you’re looking for the least amount of homework? Which states might you want to avoid when it comes to the most? This analysis at oneclass.com of which countries have the most homework will let you know.
The Nationwide Average
As you may expect, the nationwide average for homework goes up as an individual progresses through college. Although there’s some overlap when it comes to the extremes, you can typically expect a student to get just over half an hour more homework as that student moves from elementary and middle school to high school, then to college.
How does homework stack up between grades? Here’s a quick comparison between the national averages.
- Elementary and Middle School Students: 42.4 minutes nightly
- High School Students: 1 hour 18 minutes, or 78 minutes, nightly
- College Students: 1 hour 56 minutes, or 116 minutes, nightly
Elementary and Middle School
Homework starts young. Although most elementary and middle schoolers don’t get a lot of homework, the nationwide average is 42.4 minutes per weekday night, adding up to over three and a half hours per week.
The lower end of homework times gives many elementary and middle schoolers some leeway. If you want to make sure your elementary or middle schooler has a good chance at less homework, consider these states, which have the lowest averages across the country.
- Rhode Island: 30 minutes
- Kansas: 30 minutes
- Nevada: 30 minutes
- Oregon: 33 minutes
- Arkansas: 34.3 minutes
On the other hand, some states tend toward a higher average. These states peak at nearly an hour of homework per night, almost twice what countries on the lowest end tend toward. You may want to avoid these high-homework states to give your child more of a chance at less homework.
- California: 56 minutes
- Maine: 55.7 minutes
- Louisiana: 54 minutes
- New Mexico: 54 minutes
- Washington: 53.1 minutes
High school is when homework picks up. The nationwide average is 78 minutes per weekday night, adding up to a reasonably significant six and a half hours per week.
Typically, high school is also when students are starting to develop a personal life and take on extracurriculars. That means over six hours of homework each week can be a challenging charge. That’s less of a problem for students in these five states, which have the lowest of all averages nationwide.
- Kansas: 60 minutes
- Rhode Island: 60 minutes
- Utah: 60 minutes
- Iowa: 62.3 minutes
- Oklahoma: 63.8 minutes
The highest end of these states is where things can get frustrating for high school students. It can even be higher than the average for some colleges. For example, Vermont assigns more homework on average than 17 states do for college. These are the most top states for high school homework.
- Vermont: 110 minutes
- Maine: 107.2 minutes
- West Virginia: 102 minutes
- Louisiana: 102 minutes
- Connecticut: 93 minutes
College tends to have more homework naturally because it also tends to have less classwork. On a nationwide basis, it has the most homework of all groups on average, with 116 minutes per weekday night, or a total of just under ten hours weekly.
However, college and high school overlap quite a bit on individual state levels. These states keep the numbers lowest when it comes to college homework, landing right near the average for high school homework.
- Delaware: 85 minutes
- Hawaii: 88 minutes
- New York: 90 minutes
- Rhode Island: 90 minutes
- Indiana: 94 minutes
On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for many college students to have a substantial amount of homework every night. Some individual colleges really push the envelope when it comes to higher amounts of homework. These states tend to follow those colleges’ leads.
- Idaho: 141.3 minutes
- Oregon: 140 minutes
- Nebraska: 135 minutes
- Wisconsin: 135 minutes
- Kentucky: 134.3 minutes
Does Homework Help With Grades?
Typically, teachers assign homework, and parents require their kids to complete homework because they believe it’ll help with grades. Over 99% of parents tend to think it’s moderately to very important that their children get good grades, and many of them believe that homework is an essential component of that idea.
However, this is a belief that many individuals hold without a lot of evidence to back it up. You might not even know whether it’s true. Does this belief hold up against the evidence?
The fact is, on a state-to-state level, higher amounts of homework don’t seem to correlate with an increase in GPA or SAT scores. Although homework can set up healthy study habits in the future, merely adding more homework to a student’s already-stressful plate doesn’t seem like it does much.
To improve grades, consider investing in strategies that are proven to work. Tutoring and online resources can both improve your grades — more than 90% of OneClass users, for example, enhanced by at least one letter grade.
Homework tends to get more intense as students move through grades. However, more homework doesn’t necessarily mean better grades or a higher GPA. You should support your children as they start to do more homework, and understand that excess amounts of homework may be difficult or even impossible for some children to do.
Even though averages vary between states, they differ even more widely between individual schools, so talk to the school your child’s use to see how much homework they assign on average. You should also help your child use innovative resources. Instead of just piling on homework, consider using additional resources like OneClass for the best results.