The National Education Association recommends that kids have a total of ten minutes per grade level of homework per night. Anything above that is considered excessive. So if your child is in fifth grade, they should have a maximum of 50 minutes of homework each night. While some days they may have no homework and other days they may have two hours worth, the idea is that the average should equate to 10 per grade.
• Homework assignments are becoming busywork, making learning more of a chore than a constructive experience
• Family life is negatively impacted, making it where kids have to skip dinner, and therefore limiting the interactions they have with their parents
• Your child has started to hate school and they are consistently stressing out over getting their homework done
• Your child is experiencing fatigue in the classroom, because they have been staying up late completing homework assignments
What can parents do to help?
• Get involved with your student’s homework schedule and fully understand how much time they are really spending in their books. Do they have designated homework time or is “homework time” done in front of the T.V.?
• Help your child with time management and scheduling homework in advance. The more your child has a structure to complete homework, the less overwhelmed they will feel managing a heavy homework assignment.
• If you see signs that your child is on homework overload, talk with your child’s teacher. Both you and the teacher have the best interest of your child in mind, however the teacher may not have a full understanding of the negative impact of the assigned workload.
• If speaking to your child’s teacher does not make a difference, the next step is to talk to the principal about your concerns. Explain the affects homework has been having, and any concerns you have, and ask for them to get involved with the teachers in establishing healthy boundaries for homework. Most often, if your child is experiencing a problem, there are other students going through the same issue.
• If the principal is not in agreement, you may need to get other parents involved and address the issue with the school board. Talking with other parents may also help you gain ideas on how to help your child better manage their homework.
We hope that this information has helped better inform you so that you can evaluate if your child is getting too much homework and how you can help make a difference. We would love to hear about what kind of homework load your child has or how you were able to make a change in the amount of homework your child was given.