How much homework is too much homework?

Elementary schools across the country are debating whether homework is beneficial for young students

Elementary schools across the country are debating whether homework is beneficial for young students.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (CBS) – When fourth grader Judah Broshi gets home from school, he doesn’t have to hit the books like most kids.

His New York City public school has banned mandatory homework for grades kindergarten through fourth.

Judah’s mother, Robin Broshi, pushed for the policy after seeing how much her son 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,” she said.

Dr. Harris Cooper, a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, has been studying the benefits of homework for years and says 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 shape 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. You take a child’s grade and you multiply it by 10, and that’s how much time students should be spending,” he said.

For fourth-grader Judah, that would mean about 40 minutes of homework a night. His mother says families should get to decide how to spend their time.

“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,” she said.

Judah’s school does recommend that all student read about 30 minutes a night, something he does enjoy.

For kindergartners, experts suggest occasional short, fun tasks parents and children can do together.

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