Hours of Homework

How much homework is too much? What is a correct homework policy? How do we distinguish the right kind of homework from "busy work," as students call much of it?

These questions come to mind as I reflect upon another education article in the October issue of The Atlantic. In "My Daughter's Homework is Killing Me," Karl Taro Greenfeld describes what it was like to take on his daughter's homework load for a week (to be clear: he didn't do it for her). Writes Greenfeld: "I’m not interested in the debates over teaching to the test or No Child Left Behind. What I am interested in is what my daughter is doing during those nightly hours between 8 o’clock and midnight, when she finally gets to bed. During the school week, she averages three to four hours of homework a night and six and a half hours of sleep." After seeing his daughter "teary-eyed and exhausted but still trudging to school," Greenfeld began to wonder: "What is the exact nature of the work that is turning her into a sleep-deprived teen zombie so many mornings?"


I think many parents share his questions and concerns. Read the rest of his article to find out what he learned.   


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