In secondary school if you do not have any specific homework or assessments to work on, you are then expected to spend some time that night on independent learning. This is where you ask yourself, what else COULD I be doing that will help me understand my subjects better and improve my results? Examples of independent learning are: reading ahead in your textbook, making a mind map about what you have been learning, doing extra research on a topic that interests you, making study notes, reviewing work you find difficult… the list is endless.
However schools do not expect students to spend ALL of their time on schoolwork! We want you to play sport, see your friends, spend time with family, do activities you enjoy and have some rest and relax time as well. If you work effectively, then you can do your work for school, but still have a life! So given this, how much time are you expected to spend on schoolwork?
It depends on your year level, your school, your parents and your own abilities and goals. First, check your school diary or ask your teacher what is expected at your school. Then discuss these outlines with your parents and see if you can both agree what is right for you.
As a general rule, expected time to spend on schoolwork at home:
JUNIOR YEARS: In the first years of high school students usually do at least half an hour to an hour each day. In many schools it is around 1-1.5 hours on average or 7-10 hours of home learning over the whole week.
MIDDLE YEARS: In the middle years of high school it should be at least an hour. In many schools the average is around 1.5-2 hours or 10-14 hours of home learning over the whole week.
SENIOR YEARS: In the final years of high school students do at least 1.5-2 hours a day and this will increase as students approach the end of their schooling. Most Year 11 students do 2-3 hours per day (14-21 hours over the whole week) and in Year 12 around 3-4 hours (21-28 hours over the whole week).
Remember this is just a guide. Some parents and some schools will expect more (or less!) so treat these as guidelines.
What about the weekend? The amount of time students need to spend on schoolwork on the weekend will depend on their current workload and how much work they complete during the week.
You also need to ensure you are getting enough sleep.