How Much Homework Is Reasonable?

Educators agree that there is more to life than school and homework. So, how much homework is reasonable?

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Most parents and teachers agree that homework is crucial to a quality education. Homework builds on what a child has learned or is learning in school by providing a chance to review, assimilate and expand on the information being taught as well as to prepare for new information in upcoming classes or activities. But educators also agree that there is more to life than school and homework. So, how much homework is reasonable?

According to organizations like the he National Parent-Teacher Association,, and the National Education Association,, even students as young as kindergarten should get some homework. This early association of school and assignments outside of school is an opportunity to build a positive outlook on homework. If assignments are creative, fun and carefully planned, a child may well look forward to the assignments he does at home. The more closely they connect with what is going on in school the more easily the child will understand the relevance of his education. This is a very important foundation for his relationship with school later on.

In general, students in kindergarten up to third grade should get up to 20 minutes of homework each day. In fourth grade until about sixth grade the amount should increase to about 40 minutes. After that, as high school and eventually college begin to emerge on the educational horizon, the homework load should grow increasingly to about two hours a day for a senior in high school. That amount can be more or less depending on what the student is studying and what his goals are for the future.

Students in college prep programs, or who simply plan to go to college should receive increasingly demanding, lengthy and complex project assignments. It's important to grasp that homework is important in assimilating new information for the purpose of getting ready to add more. As a child's education proceeds, he'll need to be ready for the demands of the higher grades. Homework is vital training for meeting those demands. A student with a longer, deeper attention span will move through assignments more quickly. If a child listens and asks relevant, thoughtful questions, his understanding of the material and of what is being required by an assignment will carry him through it more quickly.

As a child grows, the demands on his time will broaden and increase. By the twelfth grade a student should be a homework whiz with the organizational skills and focus to handle projects efficiently without having to sacrifice his social life or personal interests, sports or hobbies.

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