Education Expert: Schools Need To Follow Amount GuidelinesBy Cindy Hsu

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A lot of kids complain about homework, but now some parents are saying their children are getting too much and want it abolished.

Even during their lunch break, high school students in Maplewood try to squeeze in some homework.

“Two or three hours,” freshman Maddy Reichman told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu, referring to how much homework she gets on average per night.

Friends said it’s sometimes as much as four hours and makes for a very hard balancing act.

“I play sports so it’s really tough to have practice right after school and come home at 6:30 and then do my homework, eat, do my chores, do everything,” Reichman said.

High school junior Jeremy Walrond said his nightly homework load is massive.

“In terms of hours, I guess like around five or six,” Walrond said.

Now while you’ll find lots of students who want to cut down on the amount of homework, there’s actually a parent who wants to get rid of it altogether. She sent out an e-mail to other parents in the South Orange/Maplewood area, asking them to organize to help abolish homework.

Education expert Sy Fliegel said not having homework is not the answer.

“It’s like someone saying to you too much food is no good for you, what’s the solution? Let’s not eat anything,” said Fliegel, of the Center for Educational Innovation. “What has to happen is more attention has to be paid to the quality of the homework assignment.”

Fliegel said schools need to follow homework amount guidelines, such as 10 minutes for first graders, 20 minutes for second graders and so on, with the maximum load of homework reaching two hours in high school.

He said teachers should coordinate with each other.

“My daughter is frequently up until midnight doing homework, sometimes past. Last night it was 2 a.m.,” parent Jeff Schnorr said.

Even some students think abolishing homework is going too far.

“I think it would be nice, but I’m not sure we could ever abolish it 100 percent, because it helps me sometimes,” freshman Molly Brett said.

But students told Hsu, with really effective teachers, less can mean more when it comes to learning.

Education experts said homework is also a good tool to let parents know what’s going on in class and for teachers to monitor a student’s progress.

How much is enough homework? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Cindy Hsu