Some Schools to Restrict Assignments: The Battle Over Homework Continues

Family Matters on 06.16.11
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The battle over homework rages nationwide in several different school districts, with some schools instituting rules to limit the amount of homework assigned and banning weekend and holiday homework.

Those wanting limitations placed on homework are saying kids are being overworked, stressed out and robbed of much needed rest and play.

Others argue in favor of current homework standards, saying that anything less coddles kids in ways that the real world doesn't. Homework advocates say that children benefit from homework's ability to teach discipline, prioritization, time management and effective study habits.

The most famous case of the homework fight is in Galloway, NJ, where many contend that the volume of work assigned to kids each day is doing more harm than good, particularly for younger kids.

This summer, the school board votes whether to ban weekend and holiday homework and to limit weeknight homework to 10 minutes for first graders, plus an additional 10 minutes per each year a child is in school; for example, 6th graders could be assigned an hour of homework. Teachers would be required to coordinate assignments to avoid surpassing the time limit.

Perhaps there is a compromise to be reached, especially for elementary school kids. From the New York Times:

Research has long suggested that homework in small doses can reinforce basic skills and help young children develop study habits, but that there are diminishing returns, said Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. The 10-minute guideline has generally been shown to be effective, Dr. Cooper said, adding that over all, "there is a minimal relationship between how much homework young kids do and how well they test."

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