Friday, August 14, 2015

Primary children: too much homework, parent assistance may be detrimental

A new study in the The American Journal of Family Therapy reports that, contrary to the 10 Minute Rule promulgated by the National Education Association, primary school children received about three times the recommended load of homework. Overall, the actual homework load increased as students progress from kindergarten (K) until 12th grade, with a significant spike in the 6th and 7th grades and the largest average amount of time in the 10th grade at 53.9 minutes per night. As previous studies suggested, there is a steady increase in primary school, but not at a rate of 10 minutes per grade.

Ironically, parents’ successful intervention of teaching or correcting assignments may obscure teachers from discovering academic problems or needs of the child. Additionally, there is an emerging body of evidence that such assistance may even be academically and behaviorally detrimental. (Donaldson-Pressman, Jackson, & Pressman, 2014). Considering the overload of homework in primary grades, there exists the possibility that a high degree of parent correction and instruction, in early grades, may result in a pattern of academic dependency that persists thorough a child's senior year. (Donaldson-Pressman, Jackson, & Pressman, 2014).

In brief, the case for having parental involvement at the instructional level with a child's homework, appears to be outweighed by negative sociological, emotional, and educational consequences.

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