The great homework debate is something that all parents with school aged children have experienced. How much is too much? How much is not enough? What is the purpose of homework? Is it to reinforce what was learned in school? Is it to learn new material that wasn't covered in school due to time constraints? You can get a variety of answers to these questions, depending upon who you ask.
Some districts in New Jersey and California have passed regulations limiting week night homework to 10 minutes per grade for all subjects. A third grader would have 30 minutes, a fourth grader would have 40 minutes and so on. This seems fair but I think that middle school and high school students should have more homework. Maybe the middle school and high school students could have 15 minutes per grade.
I think that homework should be used to reinforce what was learned earlier in the day. It should give the teacher a clear indication of whether or not the student understands the material. Almost like a take home quiz. Homework should be reviewed in class and all questions should be answered. If a lot of students don't do well on the homework, the teacher should not move on to new material.
It is important to use homework wisely and not just for busy work. Some teachers are pressured about homework. I know parents who complain when they think there is too much homework and I know parents who say that there is not enough homework. I was the recipient of dozens of emails one evening with parents complaining about the kids having too much homework. I thought the incident was ridiculous! I little work is not going to kill your kid!
Some parents think that their kid has a lot of homework because it takes them a long time to complete it. After talking to many parents, I have concluded that part of the issue is time management. A research assignment should not be attempted the day before its due. It should be worked on over several days or weeks, depending on the length of the assignment. Our children have more intense homework assignments than we did when we were their age. My children were doing research papers in 3rd grade. Therefore, we need to teach our children time management skills at an early age.
So parents before you start complaining about too much homework, do your homework to make sure its not a time management issue.