10 Minute Rule highlighted in Duke University research on homework

Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 at 1:05 PM CST
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(KFVS/CBS News) - Most students and parents have an expectation of homework, but how much homework should students have each night, and should their age factor into that?

Duke University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Dr. Harris Cooper has been studying the benefit of homework for years. He said doing away with it completely is not a good idea.

"Studies do show even small amounts of homework help kids do better on unit tests. But they also help to begin shaping a child's time management skills, their organization," he said.

Dr. Cooper also believes homework improves self-discipline and achievement. But he cautions moderation is key.

"Teachers have a rule that they call the 10 minute rule," he said. "You take a child's grade and you multiply it by ten, and that's how much time students should be spending."

For example, a fourth grade student would have 40 minutes of homework.

Robin Broshi's son Judah is a student in the public school district in New York City. It has banned mandatory homework for grades kindergarten through fourth. She pushed for the policy after seeing how much Judah pushed back on doing the work.

"It started to become something that I spent a lot of time thinking about and obsessing about why I had to have this contentious relationship with my child about homework," said Broshi.

Judah's school does recommend that all students read about 30 minutes a nigh, something he does enjoy.

Broshi said, "there are people that want to do multiplication, flash cards with their kids – and they should, that's great. But it shouldn't be mandatory."

If you'd like to learn more about the National Education Association's policy on homework, click here.

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