#189 – Homework Overload!

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Based on research by Pressman, Robert M., Sugarman, D. B., Nemon, M. L., Desjarlais, J., Owens, J. A., & Schettini-Evans, A.  written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS

Does your child’s homework cause family stress?

New England psychologists conducted a study to examine children’s workload and parents’ perception of their ability to help their children. Researchers sent out a questionnaire to 1,100 English and Spanish speaking parents of children in grades K – 12. Parents indicated that their children in KG, 1st and 2nd grades, were given homework totaling 25, 28, and 29 minutes, respectively. This is more homework than what is recommended by the National Education Association.

Wanting their children to succeed, yet perhaps not knowing how to encourage their children, the parents felt stress in even the early grades. As parents’ confidence in helping their children with homework decreased, the level of household stress increased. Conflicts over homework assignments were 200% more likely to occur in families with parents who did not have a college education, or who experienced language or cultural obstacles.

Parents, set rules to reduce TV and distractions in study time, check homework completion. If you are concerned about the amount of homework your child brings home or how best to help them have fun reading and completing homework, tell their teacher your concerns. They can help you learn how to be effective mentors.

Pressman, R. M., Sugarman, D. B., Nemon, M. L., Desjarlais, J., Owens, J. A., & Schettini-Evans, A. (2015). Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 43(4), 297-313.

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