There is evidence that homework is beneficial for older students but not so much for younger students. A fair question should be asked if developing homework habits in younger children leads to better educational outcomes when they are older. Lack of studies showing benefits for young children does not in any way indicate it is detrimental. In all cases, homework must be meaningful. That means a teacher should not arbitrarily assign a task just to keep a student busy. It must have a clear purpose. They should also be careful to give reasonable amounts of homework.
The rule of thumb is to assign 10 minutes of homework per grade level up to 2 hours of homework in total for high school students:
“For decades, the homework standard has been a “10-minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. The National PTA and the National Education Association both support that guideline.”
Meaningful homework provides practice for what was learned during the day or prepares you for what you will learn next. Still, even homework proponents encourage caution
Duke University Psychology Professor, Dr. Harry Cooper, states
“A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements,” he said. “If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”
Giving too much homework creates stress which never leads to a desired learning outcome. Children will be focused on finishing homework rather than producing quality homework.
Metz, Texas elementary school teacher, Jennifer Atkinson has a phenomenal approach to involving parents in their child’s homework and meaningful work overall,
One of my other favorite family assignments is the Baby Name Project. I send home the Baby Name Project letter describing how family members can help. This project gives parents the opportunity to share with their child the origin of their name and information about the day they were born. I have to credit my own mom with inspiring this project.
Atkinson’s assignment is not only engaging but it involves parents rather than excluding them. This is not to say that teachers are intentionally driving a homework wedge between parents and children. It is to say that educators can increase parent involvement that through creative assignments that include them.