Sycamore Academy of Science and Cultural Arts

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Homework is not intended to be overwhelming or hinder the opportunity to spend time with family. The following are the time recommendations per grade level and align with the United States Department of Education recommendations. These are simply general guidelines and are not intended to dictate student study habits as students can do as much or as little as the family schedule permits.


  • K & 1st grade = up to 30 minutes per night
  • 2nd & 3rd grade = 30-45 minutes per night
  • 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grade = 45-60 minutes per night

Kindergarten and 1st grade Homework Rubric


  • 0 - I did not do my homework or I did not return it on Traveling Tuesday.
  • 1 - I did very little homework and a grown up made me do it. The quality of my work is just ok.
  • 2 - I chose a little work but a grown up had to tell me to do my work or had to assign other categories to me and the quality of my work is just OK.
  • 3 - My grown up and I chose my work together. I have work representing at least three content areas and the quality of my work is good.
  • 4 - I chose all my homework on my own and completed things that represent every content area.  My work is at least "good" quality and it demonstrates my efforts toward achieving my S.C.O.R.E. goals.

2nd thru 8th grade Homework Rubric


  • 0 - Student does not do any homework.
  • 1 - Student's homework must be dictated by an adult and requires considerable prodding to complete.
  • 2 - Student's homework includes self-chosen and dictated assignments. Student completes some tasks but requires some adult prodding and the quality is less than average.
  • 3 - Student's homework includes more self-chosen than dictated tasks. Student completes several tasks with minimal prodding and the quality is acceptable. Most of the content areas are represented in the work and the student is able to articulate his/her new knowledge to peers.
  • 4 - Student's homework is self-chosen from most content areas and completed to an acceptable level of quality without prodding from an adult. Student clearly articulates new knowledge to peers and responds to questions and/or challenges.

Homework Ideas -


Homework at Sycamore Academy is intended to promote students' love of learning while providing them with opportunity to develop critical skills and fundamental dispositions.  A traditional mind-set might be that homework is intended to practice those academic concepts taught in school.  Your child spends seven hours a day with us, that's plenty of practice!  Countless studies regarding homework have concluded that homework has zero impact on a student's academic performance.  While we would agree, students that complete homework do score better, our opinion is that it is not because of doing the homework but rather because of the attitude of those students.


Critical skills are abilities needed to become productive citizens.  These include skills such as problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, organization, management, and leadership.  These skills are only developed through ongoing usage and reflection.


Fundamental dispositions are character traits that are necessary in collaborative environments such as school and the workplace.  These include ownership, self-direction, quality, character, collaboration, curiosity and wonder, and community. 




A fifth grade student enjoys swimming.  He often challenges his older sister to contests of holding their breath under water.  The sister always wins.  One night, he asks his dad if salt will increase his lung capacity so he can hold his breath longer.  His father tells him that he doesn't know but he does know that salt water is more buoyant than fresh water and maybe there is a relationship.  The fifth grader decides to research the effects of salt on the human body and creates a poster of his findings to present to the class on Traveling Tuesday. 

This project is scientific and physical, as he tests the variable in the pool.  The boy documents his attempts on a graph, that’s mathematics! It required reading to complete the research portion.  Art and writing were necessary to create a visually appealing poster.  If the student is able to site a primary source, such as a health practitioner or nutritionist, that would be a link to social studies.


A first grade girl loves all kinds of animals.  Her teacher tells her that she can become an expert on a different animal each week for her Traveling Tuesday homework.  The girls spends the entire first trimester creating one book each week.  Each book has a topic of a different animal.  The first book is simple folded sheets of copy paper with a picture and a word.  By the end of the first trimester, her books include construction paper covers with title pages, full sentences and illustrations using a variety of media (drawing, digital art, photos, diagrams, etc.)

The creation of a book requires reading, writing and art.  The content will incorporate science.  By the end of the first trimester, this little girl will have created at least 10 books, each one improved quality over the last.  The books will be displayed in the classroom and enjoyed by other students, creating a service learning project – social studies.


A third grade student has a very busy life with her family.  She has baseball practice two days per week, piano lesson once per week, attends church once per week and visits extended family each weekend.  While she CAN count these activities toward Traveling Tuesday homework each week, she MUST articulate her learning and write, draw, record or create some other evidence of reflecting on her learning.  Perhaps she records a new song she's learned on the piano and shares it with her peers, demonstrates a new skill in baseball, and writes a story about the family event.