drowning-in-homework

Some experts say we’re drowning today’s kids under nightly tsunamis of homework. Others disagree— but one thing’s for sure: our kids have more homework than we did at their age. And more stress. And more “projects,” a word sure to strike terror in any mother’s heart.

In this episode, we take on homework, and discuss

  • whether kindergarteners should have it in the first place
  • how to avoid the nightly wailing and gnashing of teeth by setting your household’s “reasonable limits”
  • whether we’re supposed to help our middle-schoolers with their assignments
  • whether we are smarter than third graders (spoiler alert: sometimes)

Here’s links to some of the research discussed in this episode:

The National PTA recommends ten minutes of homework per grade: in other words, ten minutes a night for a first grader, an hour for a sixth grader. We heartily agree.

Karl Taro Greenfeld, writing for The Atlantic on what happened when he tried to do his middle-school-aged daughter’s homework for a week.

The University of Michigan’s study finding that the average time spent weekly on homework increased from two hours and 38 minutes in 1981 to three hours and 58 minutes in 2004.

The Brookings Institute study on homework in America, arguing that the homework load has not actually gotten larger at all— except for nine-year-olds.

and finally, the Texas teacher hailed across the nation after announcing she would be assigning exactly zero homework to her young students this year.

Does homework cause nightly struggles in your home? Do you wonder whether you’re supposed to do that “project” with your kids, or for your kids, or blithely ignore it? Let us know in the comments…