Too much homework? The problem of homework

"Have you finished your homework?". This question is perhaps one of the most repeated by families during the school year. It is totally normal that the obligations are somewhat tedious, both for children and for the adults themselves, but ... we must do them.

Why do not our children just get used to carrying out their tasks and continuously have to be on top of them to finish them? The causes of this fact can be multiple, but in this article we will focus on one of them: the quantity and quality of tasks marked for home.

The purpose of the duties

The performance of academic activities at home is something positive as long as they are of quality and in adequate quantities for the students.

The accomplishment of tasks reinforces the individual performance of the contents carried out in the classroom and allows the self-evaluation of the student. On the other hand, the duties, in their just measure, provide the student with the dose of responsibility and autonomy of study that he will need in higher grades in a gradual manner.

Undoubtedly, the duties marked must fulfill a basic function: to motivate the student by letting him know that he is capable of carrying them out by himself and making him aware of the reason why these are necessary, thus providing him with an educational meaning and purpose.

How much time is it advisable to devote to homework?

Studies conducted at Stanford University advise that homework should not exceed 10 minutes per educational level. That is, if our student is in the first level of Primary Education these should not exceed 10 minutes and if it is in the sixth level, the maximum time spent must be 60 minutes.

Adjusting the study time to the student is fundamental. The child has to be able to maintain continuous attention during the completion of the task (in Primary Education) because if this is not the case, frustration and a feeling of inability to achieve it occur.

In Secondary education, being the time of completion of tasks greater, it is advisable to take breaks of 10 minutes when the fatigue appears after around 60 minutes of continuous work.

Disconnection times

The working day of an adult usually consists of 8 hours. After these 8 hours of work the person needs free time to "disconnect" from their work obligations by performing other tasks such as going out with friends, going to the movies, making the purchase, going to the park with the children, etc.

The child is not very different from the adult and after spending 7 hours at school and 2 hours more in activities related to their training, arriving home and having to do 3 hours of homework, rather than something positive becomes torture. After 3 hours it's time for bath, dinner and sleep and again the next morning starts all over again.

How do the extra duties affect the health of my son and my family?

Too many duties cause stress in the student, health problems and a considerable reduction in social and family life.

In relation to stress, if the child is stressed does not yield and there is a blockage before which as parents concerned we exert more pressure to complete the tasks. What is achieved with this fact is that the environment is crisp and that family relationships deteriorate.

The health problems refer to headaches, stomach problems, anxiety, fatigue and in many cases, although we strive to fight against the clock, sleep deprivation.

Finally, if our family life ends up around the realization of tasks and jobs that the child may have, we lose time to talk, make fun outings with friends or simply share moments outside of obligations.

Does my son have more homework?

We must take into account many factors in relation to the time it takes each student to develop their tasks as we mentioned before. Not all students are the same and therefore not all work at the same speed.

We must bear in mind that the life of our son has more aspects to contemplate than just the academic. If this hinders the development of the rest we should talk to the teacher to give us some advice about the completion of tasks and inform us about the academic development of our son, consider the volume of tasks as well as support us professionally in the education of all areas of child development. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician.

Can Too Much Homework Harm Your Child's Health? (November 2023)