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"There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says.
He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high school.
"Little kids and big kids need unstructured time for play each day," she says.
Certainly, time for physical activity is important for kids' health and well-being.
After decades of debate, researchers are still sorting out the truth about homework’s pros and cons.
One point they can agree on: Quality assignments matter. 3 Print version: page 36 Homework battles have raged for decades.
Yet they found only faint evidence that homework provided academic benefit in elementary school (, 2006). Homework proponents also cite the nonacademic advantages it might confer, such as the development of personal responsibility, good study habits and time-management skills.
But as to hard evidence of those benefits, "the jury is still out," says Mollie Galloway, Ph D, associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.