Is your elementary school student bogged down by homework? It's possible, says new research.

Fellow parents who are tired of our kids being totally tired out by homework: You're not alone. And you're not imagining things.

New research backs the concern that many of us have: Our elementary-school-aged kids have too much homework.

The research, published in The American Journal of Family Therapy, found that primary school children have up to three times the amount of homework recommended by experts. Nearly 1,200 parents participated in the study.


All images via Thinkstock.

The National Education Association recommends an elementary student have 10 minutes of homework per grade level per day.

So a first-grader should have, at most, 10 minutes of homework per school day, and a sixth-grader should have a maximum of 60 minutes.

But it turns out, many students are getting far more than that. In the study, first graders averaged 28 minutes and second-graders were averaging almost 29 minutes per school day.


Perhaps most notable? The study found that even kindergarteners are getting a heavy dose:

"The 10 Minute Rule does not give a figure for recommended Kindergarten homework load. Yet, in our study, we found that the average homework load for Kindergarten was 25 minutes per day, which may be both taxing for the parents and overwhelming for the children. Further, in a period of life when children are focused on early stages of socialization and finessing motor skills, we anticipate that an overload of homework will likely interfere with a Kindergarten-aged child's ability to play and participate in extra-curricular activities."

Homework probably has its place, but...

Read a parent's Facebook post about the homework struggle, and you'll probably find many others chiming in with a bunch of Amens.

While some parents would prefer their children have no homework, many don't have a problem with it. It's the quantity and time it takes that's weighing on them.

And teachers are having a hard time with it, too. The research notes, "Teachers, struggling to fit core curricula into an already full day of classes, use homework to meet academic requirements."

Too much time sitting at the kitchen table working through math problems and spelling words can lead to stressed kids who act out. And are kids really learning that much when they're maxed out and filling out worksheets just because they have to? Plus, all that extra homework cuts into family and extracurricular activity time.

Is the homework wearing you out, too?

Kids are feeling bogged down by homework. Teachers are feeling bogged down. And, of course, parents are as well: "Family stress, measured by self-report, increased as homework load increased and as parent's perception of their capacity to assist decreased," the study noted.

What's a parent to do?

While homework isn't the most exciting way to spend time after school, it's a fact of life for most kids. How can you make it better?

The U.S. Department of Education offers some advice, including the following:

"Help your child with time management.
Establish a set time each day for doing homework. Don't let your child leave homework until just before bedtime. Think about using a weekend morning or afternoon for working on big projects, especially if the project involves getting together with classmates.
Be positive about homework.
Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.
When your child does homework, you do homework.
Show your child that the skills they are learning are related to things you do as an adult. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook.
When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, do it.
Cooperate with the teacher. It shows your child that the school and home are a team. Follow the directions given by the teacher.
If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, stay away.
Too much parent involvement can prevent homework from having some positive effects. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.
Stay informed.
Talk with your child's teacher. Make sure you know the purpose of homework and what your child's class rules are.
Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration.
Let your child take a short break if she is having trouble keeping her mind on an assignment."












A lot of teachers ask parents to talk to them if daily homework is taking more than a certain amount of time. They're not looking to make your kid's life — or yours — miserable, so a little communication goes a long way.

What do you think about the current state of homework for elementary school students? Too much? Not enough? Just right?

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less

Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
@frajds / Twitter

Father Alek Schrenk is known as one of the "9 Priests You Need to Follow on Twitter." He proved his social media skills Sunday night after finding a creepy note on a parked car and weaving a lurid Twitter tale that kept his followers on the edge of their pews.

Father Schrenk was making his nightly walk of the church grounds to make sure everything was fine before retiring to the rectory, when he found a car parked by itself in front of the school.

Curious, he looked inside the car and saw a note that made his "blood run cold" attached to the steering wheel. "Look in trunk!" the note read. What made it extra creepy was that the two Os in "look" had smiley faces.

Keep Reading Show less