CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Every parent knows that the hours between three and nine o'clock are crazy busy. There are practices to go get to, dinner to be made and then….homework.
It's an eight letter word that can feel like a four letter one, depending on what your child pulls out of his backpack.
Lots of parents complain that schools have their kids seven hours a day, so why is there two hours of homework at night? Teachers reply that not only does it help drive home concepts, homework teaches discipline and responsibility.
While mother of two young girls Robin Koetting agrees, she thinks that discipline and responsibility can be driven home with ten problems instead of fifty, "I can see where ten problems to practice the concepts, is important. But my daughter doesn't need 50 problems."
Sixth grader Zoe finds math challenging anyway, so getting those 50 problems done nightly, along with the four other subjects that could be assigned, can take hours, "Sometimes I have one subject at night, " says the 11-year-old, "sometimes I have five."
Amy Dunn teaches third grade at Clippard Elementary School in Cape Girardeau. Amy says she never sends home "busy work," that she only gives homework to kids who didn't finish in class or who need the extra work.
"I think it's good that mom and dad see what their child is learning in school too. It's good for them to help their children if they're struggling," Dunn said.
However "mom" Amy understands the frustrations of parents who feel their child is loaded down with too much homework at night. Amy and her husband Robert are the parents of two children, one of whom is in 8th grade.
"Homework is important in the upper levels," she said. "But I think my daughter has too much. She can have hours of work at night. And if she wants to participate in anything, it makes it really hard."
The general rule is ten minutes a night for each grade level. Following that lead, a first grader would have ten minutes, a second grader, twenty minutes and so on. But as we're constantly being told that American children are falling behind the world in science and math, there is a push and a need to keep up. But some parents wonder at what cost, "They need to be kids. They need to go outside, run around and have fun," says Robin.
If you think your child has too much homework, the best thing to do is talk with his teacher. Perhaps it's just a time management issue or a tutor is necessary.