The last time we saw Spider-Man, he was lying down on a tarmac in a German airport, exhausted after going up against Team Cap in Captain America: Civil War. For Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans, the events of Civil War happened a whole year ago in 2016, but for Peter Parker, it's actually only been a few months. Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place two months after Civil War, which makes sense considering the title. Homecoming is a high school tradition that usually takes place in the fall (September or October), so it wouldn't really make sense for the movie to take place in the summer.
The relatively short time-jump between Civil War and Homecoming is unusual for the MCU, which normally spaces out their plot timeline in real time. (Though recently, Marvel bucked this trend with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.) According to MCU tradition, Homecoming should take place one year after Civil War, but instead it's just a few months later. There are a few reasons for the shortened time jump. First, it allows for Peter Parker to still be a sophomore in high school, continuing the trend of making him the youngest Spider-Man to ever grace the big screen. It also means that Peter is still a young hero. Despite his big Avengers debut, the web-slinger is still relatively new to the superhero game in Homecoming, which means we get to watch him learn the ropes.
Just because Homecoming isn't an origin story doesn't mean that fans want to be deprived of watching Peter struggle with his new super identity, and picking up right after Civil War ensures that they aren't — slight spoilers ahead. While the bulk of Homecoming takes place a few months after Civil War, the beginning actually occurs directly after — as in the day after. Fans get to see Peter go from being an Avenger for a day to being a regular high school student with a very irregular after-school activity. It's a tough adjustment for Peter to go from fighting Captain America and Ant-Man to homeroom and history class.
Setting Homecoming so soon after Civil War helps connect this new Spidey to the larger MCU. Instead of wondering what happened to Spider-Man after the fight in Germany — did he sign the Sokovia Accords? — we get to actually see how Tony and Peter navigate their new relationship. It also gives this version of Peter Parker a purpose none of the other big screen Spider-Mans have had: to be part of the Avengers.
According to producer Amy Pascal, the short time jump between Civil War and Homecoming will set the standard for Spider-Man movies. Spider-Man is next set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, hitting theaters in May of 2018. And, in an interview with Fandom, Pascal revealed that the planned Spider-Man sequel would take place just "minutes after Avengers 4 wraps as a story." As for what that means for Peter and the Avengers, it's not quite clear. Whatever happens, it'll be fun to see how Peter juggles officially joining the Avengers team and applying to colleges.