As we start gearing up for back to school, there is a laundry list of things that need to get done—including the laundry! And it’s all in preparation for what is about to come: new classrooms, new teachers, new course loads and an endless stream of homework.
Are you cringing yet? The thought of going back to nightly homework sends chills down the spines of most kids and most parents for that matter. So when do we decide how much homework is just too much?
A new study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy thinks that we have already reached the breaking. The study found that most kids in elementary school are being saddled with up to three times the amount of homework that is recommended.
This study isn’t a joke either. The team of researchers was made up of professionals from Brown University, Brandeis University, Rhode Island Colle, Dean College, the Children’s National Medical Center and the New England Centre for Pediatric Psychology—pretty heavy hitters.
The golden standard for homework is 10 per grade level. So grade one students should only have 10 minutes of homework per night; students in grade six should be looking at about an hour; once you reach grade twelve, expect to be spending almost two hours on homework each night.
The study found that kids in grade one were spending close to half an hour while kindergartners—who shouldn’t be assigned any homework—had up 25 minutes worth, each night.
And while we may think that the extra homework is at least preparing our kids for school, making sure they are on top of their studies, in reality the effects are actually quite negative.
“The data showed that homework over this level is not only not beneficial to children’s grade or GPA, but there’s a plethora of evidence that it’s detrimental to their attitude about school, their grades, their self-confidence, their social skills and their quality of life,” Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, one of the study’s authors explained.
It takes some kids longer to do the same amount of homework which could partially explain the high numbers. But if the negative effects are so prevalent—we didn’t even get into the sleep deprivation, weight loss and potential migraines—why are kids still receiving so much homework?
Do you think your kids get too much homework? Let us know in the comments below.