In the study involving questionnaires filled out by more than 1, English and Spanish speaking parents of children in kindergarten through grade 12, researchers found children in the first grade had up to three times the homework load recommended by the NEA and the National PTA.
Photos: Parents grade their kids' homework: Too much or not enough? Hide Caption. Parents reported first-graders were spending 28 minutes on homework each night versus the recommended 10 minutes. For second-graders, the homework time was nearly 29 minutes, as opposed to the 20 minutes recommended. I mean children don't want to be doing, they want to be out playing, they want to be interacting and that's what they should be doing.
That's what's really important. Related: Is homework making your child sick? German high school bans homework In fact, a study last year showed that the impact of excessive homework on high schoolers included high stress levels, a lack of balance in children's lives and physical health problems such as ulcers, migraines, sleep deprivation and weight loss. The correlation between homework and student performance is less clear cut.
Previous research, including a analysis of homework studies, found a link between time spent on homework and achievement but also found it was much stronger in secondary school versus elementary school. Another study, this one in , found no relationship between time spent on homework and grades but did find a positive link between homework and performance on standardized tests.
The stress on families. The current study also examined the stress homework places on families and found that as the parent's confidence in their ability to help their child with homework went down, the stress in the household went up.
Generation stressed: teens boiling over Parents who have a college degree felt more confident, not necessarily in helping their child with their homework, but in communicating with the school to make sure the level is appropriate, said Donaldson-Pressman. Related: Awkward! The tough transition to middle school.
It's absolutely a recipe for disaster. She added, "All of our results indicate that homework as it is now being assigned discriminates against children whose parents don't have a college degree, against parents who have English as a second language, against, essentially, parents who are poor. What can parents do? Many parents might feel stressed just reading about homework, but there are specific things they can do to make the entire homework experience less anxiety-producing for everyone in the household, parenting experts say.
Lahey recommends that if parents are concerned about how much time their children are spending on homework, they first look at how and where their child is doing their homework to see whether that's a contribution to how long it takes. For instance, are the children being distracted by smartphones, music or other household activities?
If a parent has done that and determined the child is still spending too much time on homework, contact with the teacher makes sense, said Lahey, who is also a columnist for The New York Times and a contributor to The Atlantic and Vermont Public Radio. Related: This is your child's brain on reading. Rather than being defensive about it, what you can do is say, 'Look this is supposed to take 30 minutes, but it's taking me an hour.
Can you help me figure out why? Biggest mistakes parents make? One of the biggest mistakes parents make when it comes to homework, said Lahey, is dictating the terms of homework. Instead, parents should hand the details over to the children concerning how, when and where the homework gets done. Some don't. Some kids crazily enough like to do it really, really early in the morning," she said.
Related: Is it OK to let your child fail? School flips the script, improves grades Finally, Lahey recommends parents set really clear expectations at the beginning of the school year about the homework getting done and ending up in the teacher's hands. For many parents, these policies are a relief. Their kids spend all day at school, and even a small homework load interrupts the scant time kids have to play, attend other activities or enjoy family time.
The furor over the quantity of homework assigned to elementary students reached a fever pitch this year amid headlines touting research finding that assigning homework to these students does not improve their academic performance. While the headlines grabbed plenty of attention, they barely scratch the surface of this complicated issue. For instance, a first-grader might have 10 minutes of homework a night while a third-grader could have up to 30 minutes of work.
In theory, the quantity and intensity of homework should rise with age. Note there is research supporting homework as a learning tool, especially as it relates to practice and retention. Rather, they suggest homework at an early age helps children establish good study habits and time management skills while keeping parents current on what their kids are learning in school.
For instance, teachers might ask students to complete writing assignments where they describe a hobby. Homework that is too difficult, however, can be severely detrimental to students. If students feel easily discouraged or unable to complete assignments, they can develop negative views on school and learning.
Garfield has a very clear homework policy that she distributes to her parents at the beginning of each school year. It should be done within half an hour at most. I believe that children have many outside activities now and they also need to live fully as children. To have them work for six hours a day at school and then go home and work for hours at night does not seem right.
How do American kids fare when compared to students in other countries? One of the surprising findings of their research was that more homework does not correlate with higher test scores. To be effective, homework must be used in a certain way, he says. Most homework in the fourth grade in the U. Fill them out, turn them in, maybe the teacher will check them, maybe not. That is a very ineffective use of homework.
Where did you have difficulty? As you can imagine, that kind of homework rarely happens. Over time, we see that in elementary and middle schools more and more homework is being given, and that countries around the world are doing this in an attempt to increase their test scores, and that is basically a failing strategy. Cooper, Corwin Press, Should you keep a sketchy secret if your child asks you not to tell? Please enter a valid email address.
Thank you for signing up! Server Issue: Please try again later. Sorry for the inconvenience. Parenting » Smart strategies » Do our kids have too much homework? Do our kids have too much homework? Has your child shed tears over the amount of homework he has? Has he stayed up late working on assignments?
Have you sacrificed your weekends for homework? Share on Pinterest. Get the GreatSchools newsletter — our best articles, worksheets and more delivered weekly. Sign up. You can't tell anybody Should you keep a sketchy secret if your child asks you not to tell? Please enter a valid email address Thank you for signing up! I'm interested in grades: PreK K 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th.
Get Updates. There was no escape from books throughout their entire day. What a mistake! Excessive homework during the elementary school years also has the potential of interfering with family life. In our home, we were trying to do many things with the limited time we had together. I wanted our kids to participate in church activities, have some family time, and still be able to kick back and waste an hour or two.
Children need opportunities for unstructured play -- swinging on the swings and playing with basketballs. Yet by the time their homework was done, darkness had fallen and dinnertime had arrived. Then baths were taken and off they went to bed. Something didn't feel right about that kind of pace. That's why I negotiated with our children's teachers, agreeing that they would complete no more than one hour per night of supervised homework. It was enough! Homework also generates a considerable amount of stress for parents.
Their kids either won't do the assignments or they get tired and whine about it. Tensions build and angry words fly. I'm also convinced that child abuse occurs at that point for some children. When my wife, Shirley, was teaching the second grade, one little girl came to school with both eyes black and swollen. She said her father had beaten her because she couldn't learn her spelling words. That is illegal now, but it was tolerated then. The poor youngster will remember those beatings for a lifetime and will always think of herself as ''stupid.
Have you ever been guilty of doing that? Shame on you! More specifically, have you ever worked for two weeks on a fifth-grade geography project for your year-old -- and then learned later that you got a C on it? That's the ultimate humiliation! In short, I believe homework in elementary school should be extremely limited. It is appropriate for learning multiplication tables, spelling words and test review. It is also helpful in training kids to remember assignments, bring books home and complete them as required.