A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day. The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early. But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage.
How Much Homework Should Students Have?
Should Kindergartners and Young Kids Have Homework in Elementary School?
Parents have been questioning the excessive amount of homework given in schools, both public and private for years, and believe it or not, there is evidence that supports limiting the amount of homework children have can actually be beneficial. The National Education Association NEA has released guidelines about the right amount of homework--the amount that helps kids learn without getting in the way of their developing other parts of their life. Many experts believe that students should receive roughly 10 minutes per night of homework in the first grade and an additional 10 minutes per grade for each following year. By this standard, high school seniors should have about minutes or two hours of homework a night, but some students have two hours of work in middle school and many more hours than that in high school, particularly if they are enrolled in Advanced or AP classes. However, schools are starting to change their policies on homework. While some schools equate excessive homework with excellence, and it is true that students benefit from some work at home to learn new material or to practice what they have learned in school, that's not the case with all schools. Flipped classrooms, real-world learning projects and changes in our understanding of how children and teenagers learn best has all forced schools to evaluate levels of homework.
What’s the Right Amount of Homework?
Recently, some schools districts in New York, Vermont, Florida, and Pennsylvania decided to ban homework. Homework gives parents a glimpse of what their kids are being taught in the classroom--and armed with that knowledge, says Ridner, parents should become advocates for their child's learning. Introduce kids to educational apps. According to Ridner, it's important to remember that kids have different learning styles; some may be visual learners while others favor written words. Helping your child learn at home allows you to experiment with different learning techniques and determine what works best for your child.
It is also a question that has become divisive. Some people feel that homework is an effective way to reinforce the concepts that were learned at school. Others feel like the time that homework demands would be better spent with a meaningful activity that brings the family together. Is homework important? Is it necessary?