Homework…the Big Issue Amongst Parents and School

As a school administrator at DelCampo International School, I often get concerns from parents about the load of work their child takes home. On one side, I get parents who believe their children are not getting enough homework as they believe the more the better; and on the other hand I get parents who believe their children get too much homework.

So the question is…who is right? The parent who believes that students should be over whelmed with work after school or the parent who believes too much of a load is bad for the student? Here at DelCampo, we do not believe in the load of homework a child gets, but in how meaningful the task is for the child. As a matter of fact, according to a research by Richard Walker, an educational Psychologist, “Children who do more homework actually perform worse on standardized tests” He also suggests that it is the high school student who only benefits from a couple of hours of homework everyday. Younger students or students from 1st grade to 8th grade actually benefit more from small assignments only. And this is what DelCampo believes.

DelCampo believes, as stated in our Student Handbook that:

  • 1st and 2nd graders should get 10 to 20 minutes of homework time
  • 3rd and 4th graders should get 30 to 40 minutes of homework time
  • 5th and 6th graders should get 50 to 60 minutes of homework time
  • 7th and 8th graders should get 70 to 90 minutes of homework time

The amount of homework each child gets depends on the grade they are in. But where did DelCampo come up with these numbers? Well, we actually got them from a study done by Social Psychologist Harris Cooper, who suggests that teachers should give 10 minutes of homework each night, per grade level starting with first grade. It is our wish as a school that each child has enough time to spend with his or her family rather than spending the rest of their day in “Busy Work” assigned to do at home.

Although, we understand that for a great number of parents, a good load of homework means good instruction, it is imperative for these parents to understand that more is not always better.

I have often observed how parents actually panic over the fact that their children do not get “enough assignments” for homework. They believe, that a school, which does not assign enough homework, is not a rigorous one. It is our duty as a school, to let these parents know that a big load does not mean better learning. On the contrary, the child needs to have the time after school and during the weekends to develop the skills that will make him or her a well-rounded human once he or she grows up. Skills that are only developed from his or her playtime or from the time they spend in meaningful activities with others. 

In conclusion, at DelCampo we believe that busy work assigned at home or a big load of homework as stated by Dr. Etta Kralovec is only an overburden on children, it disrupts the family and the interaction of its members and it limits learning. We believe that in order for children to benefit from this, homework does not need to exceed the 10-minute per grade limit.

And Please do not get us wrong, at DelCampo we do not believe in “the no homework” policy, on the contrary, we believe that when children are given the right amount of time worth of homework to practice their new learning greater things are accomplished by the student one of them being spending more time with other members of their family.