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Hey, Mom and Dad: How Much Homework is Too Much?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking. This week we're wondering: When is enough enough when it comes to grade-school homework?

Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. We're starting off with a question we posed last week on the Patch Facebook pages:

Class is well under way for students all over the area. What once seemed like a few minutes of simple spelling and math has turned into a couple of hours of complex equations and formulas. So, we want to know:

How much homework is too much for a grade-schooler?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the Comments section.

Tracy Weems-Lavizzo: Anything over 2 hourrs worth. My daughter is in sixth grade and she goes to Extra Innings and they do not spend much time on homework. When I pick her up at 6 pm, we are usually working on homework until 8 or 9pm. That's with a break for dinner! —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Laurie Schneider: I don't mind the weeknight homework but don't like when there is a lot of weekend work and/or projects. I feel the weekend is family time. —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Gretchen Miller Sutherland: 10 minutes per grade is a good general guideline. Homework should reinforce what was taught at school and not be too difficult for a child to complete with minimal assistance. Studying is also a very important homework skill that kids need to develop from an early age. —on Chicago Heights Patch Facebook

Sharon Duncan-Cook: no more than 1 hr homwork...30 mins reading...but unfortuntly parents like to blame teachers not realizing that in the society we live in nowadays...if they dont keep teaching back to back for our kids...they will fail...everyday is somthing new....im old school...NO HOMEWRK ON WEEKENDS...thats the time to sleep in....play...read...you can never read to much...church..and family time :) —on Chicago Heights Patch Facebook

Tim Moore: That's a great question. My wife and I were sorta shocked when our oldest was in grade school and started bringing home much more homework than we ever remembered having in school. Of course, the world is a different place now than it was 35 and 40 years ago. I have no problem with an average of 30-60 minutes per night. If it is regularly more than that, it becomes difficult to juggle other commitments and kids have a hard time being kids. School is important, but so is the learning that comes from doing kid stuff. —on Palos Patch Facebook

Inga Balzaras-Rzeszutko: Not enough! And whatever "homework" he does, does not need to be handed in! It is done at home and stays at home- ridiculous!!! And our school doesn't seem to give spelling tests anymore. I'm just scratching my head wondering what exactly they are actively doing in terms of teaching my child. —on Palos Patch Facebook

Mary O'LearyNone would be best. I understand working on occasional projects, but so much of the homework I see is simply busy work. So many hours of school, followed by hours of homework... it's just too much. On behalf of kids and homework-exhausted parents everywhere, please stop already. I like you teachers, but what is the real value in it? —on Beverly-Mt. Greenwood Patch Facebook

Anne Moran LewisMy kids attend a Montessori school...they receive one weekly homework project and one monthly homework project. This idea that kids should have 15-20 minutes of homework per subject is crazy. My older kids routinely had 2-3 hours of homework per night. After a full school day, it was too much. —on Beverly-Mt. Greenwood Patch Facebook

So what's your take? Are kids getting too little or too much homework these days? Tell us in the comments. 

Chronicles of Bob September 26, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Cant really argue with that logic...
QWERTY September 26, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Wow Mary, that is a very ignorant comment to make. FYI...one of my kids is special needs so everything with him takes extra time. My other kid does her homework and doesn't need much assistance. I make sure their homework is complete, accurate, and we go over any mistakes. Guess again, I'm sure you'll be wrong.
R Gibbons September 28, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Thank you "Chronicles of Bob"!! You are enlightened and enlightening to those who choose not to learn or reflect on these realities. It is amazing how many children are diagnosed with learning and behavioral disabilities requiring the need for Special Ed teachers (which requires much more than a Bachelors Degree, Mary).
R Gibbons September 28, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Sounds like Mary needs to check out the Homewood district program.
scouter October 12, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I find that children should NOT have more than an hour a night. For math, I would like to see a sampling of everything they learned - not 30 of the same type of problem. If they can't get it right in the first 5, they won't get it right and will need to have help. Up to 10 words of spelling, with a sentence or a definition is ok - not both - too much on top of the rest. And there is no NEED to re-write the history books. Answer the questions but do not re-write the whole book. High School teachers should not pile on 'busy' work either. A project a week or some homework a night is reasonable, but no need to re-write the whole book or chapter EVERY night. And middle school and high school teachers need to communicate with each other on the work load. Lack of respect for the kids time is no reason to add more work. College students - a reasonable amount is expected, but, again - no need to re-write the book or do 30 of the same type of problems. IF they don't get it in 5 problems, they are not going to get it....

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