Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

How Much Homework?

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: Another parent and I have been discussing the "right amount" of homework. While we believe in the value of some homework, we don't want our children overloaded with it. I thought I read an article in the last few years that suggested how many minutes per night or week were appropriate. For instance, 15 minutes per night for second graders, etc. Our children are in first, third, and seventh grades. Are there any specific guidelines we can use in our discussions with teachers?

A: The most popular guideline for the right amount of homework is 10 minutes each night for each grade. Therefore, your first-grader should have 10 minutes of homework; it would be 30 minutes for the third-grader and 70 minutes for the seventh-grader. While guidelines are a good idea, teachers will assign work at different rates depending on what they're doing in the classrooms.

Giving students an excessive amount of homework in the early grades can turn them away from learning. It also robs young children of a chance to do other activities after doing six or more hours of academic work in the classroom. It is only when children reach sixth grade that the amount of homework that they do is directly related to how well they achieve in school. Before then, the effect of homework on achievement is almost nonexistent.

Rather than discussing with individual teachers how much homework your children should have, a better approach would be to work through the parent-teacher organization to have the school establish a homework policy. Otherwise, there may be little consistency between how much homework Ms. A and Mr. B assign in third grade. This leads to some students being overburdened by assignments while others rarely do any homework. Also, as students get older and learn different subjects taught by different teachers, it's extremely important to have a school policy that spells out which days of the week individual teachers have to make homework assignments and how much daily homework is appropriate.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!