A new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology has found that too much homework can actually be bad for students’ grades.
Researchers from the University of Oviedo in Spain questioned 7,725 students, with an average age of nearly 14, about their homework habits. Their school performances were then measured using a standardized test.
“The data suggest that spending 60 minutes a day doing homework is a reasonable and effective time,” said Dr. Javier Suarez-Alvarez, co-lead author of the study.
They found that homework finished within an hour was the optimal amount teachers should assign their students. When given more than 90 minutes of homework to do, the students’ grades began to decline.
In addition, for students to learn the most, homework should be assigned regularly and be done independently by the students, meaning without help from parents or tutors.
Teachers who regularly and systematically assigned homework had students who scored nearly 50 points higher on their standardized tests. Students who did their homework on their own scored 54 points higher than those who frequently asked for help.
“Our data indicate that it is not necessary to assign huge quantities of homework, but it is important that assignment is systematic and regular, with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-regulated learning,” said Dr. Suarez-Alvarez.
“The conclusion is that when it comes to homework, 'how' is more important than 'how much',” he added.
Sources: March 25, 2015. "Science Says Your Kids Are Right When They Say Too Much Homework is Bad for Them". ryot.org March 24, 2015. "Yes, too much homework really can be bad for children: Results begin to drop if it takes longer than 90 minutes with an hour being the perfect time". dailymail.co.uk March 23, 2015. "How much math, science homework is too much?". sciencedaily.com