Program » Homework


Homework cycles are from Tuesday to Tuesday, providing students with a full week to complete each homework unit and allowing family events held on weekends to be included in the homework cycle. Students must ensure reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, science, physical fitness, and the arts are included in each homework cycle. Each Tuesday, students present their work to peers who score the homework according to the C.A.R. Diagnostic Tool. This homework cycle has been named Creative Academic Research (C.A.R.) and the students are the drivers. The C.A.R. Diagnostic Tool refers to the homework grading rubric.

While our homework is academic and aligns with the Standards, the emphasis is on The 7 Habits and fostering a Growth Mindset. Students own their learning and are responsible for organizing their time and resources in order to produce a quality product. Each student is responsible for articulating his or her own learning to peers, justifying the score he/she feels that his/her peer deserves based on the C.A.R. Diagnostic Tool, as well as developing collaboration and communication skills. Furthermore, students receive immediate feedback regarding the content and quality of the homework produced providing an opportunity for reflection for each student.


Additionally, students can complete C.A.R. homework through their extracurricular activities, family events, and everyday lives, finding learning opportunities in their community and demonstrating what it is to be a life-long learner. It is also critical for students to spend some time each week working toward their S.C.O.R.E. goals and demonstrating that work within their C.A.R. homework. Students are required to demonstrate the link between the homework they produce and the S.C.O.R.E. goals they have set for themselves in order to receive the highest rubric score.


Finally, C.A.R. homework is modified to meet the needs of each individual student. Some examples of modification or added support include:

  • If a student struggles with organization, the teacher will work with the student to utilize an organizational tool until the child is better able to organize him/herself.
  • If the student struggles with time management, the teacher will work with the student to identify tools to help the student manage his/her time effectively.
  • If a student struggles with creative thinking, the teacher will work with the student to identify a topic and then brainstorm activities or products the student can create.


In any event, the goal is always student independence in and ownership of his/her own learning while inspiring learning beyond the school building.


Sycamore students are encouraged and supported in developing balance in their lives. In order to do so, homework must be limited as not to consume the majority of time outside of the school day and allow for family time, extra-curricular and exploratory time. Therefore, we choose to adopt the national guidelines for appropriate amounts of homework.



Maximum amount of time on homework

TK and K

20 Minutes

1st-3rd grades

30 Minutes

4th-5th grades

45 Minutes

6th-8th grades

60 Minutes


Therefore, it is highly suggested that transitional kindergarten through fifth-grade students read at least 15 minutes every day, while sixth through eighth-grade students are required to read at least 30 minutes every day, in addition to the regularly assigned homework.