AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s back to school for the last remaining school districts in Central Texas and for many students and parents, that means back to some typical and not-typical challenges. KXAN’s Sally Hernandez asked an expert in education about how best to help kids through homework and what to do about a school transition.
Nancy Miloy was a school counselor for 20 years.
When it comes to how much time students should be spending on homework, Miloy says it all depends, “I think the rule of thumb as good educators is that kids should not have more than 10 minutes per night in elementary school,” Miloy said. “As they get up to 4th and 5th grade, maybe you bump it up a little bit, but not too terribly much.”
Some teachers prefer not to give younger students homework, saying spending time with family after school or playing in the backyard may be more beneficial. For those who do have work to do, Miloy says, “Some children like to come home, knock out the homework completely. Some kids need some downtime. If your kid needs some downtime, then you set a time limit. You say ‘We are going to have an hour of downtime, these are the things you can do and then we are going to do homework at 5, 6 p.m.,’ whatever time you set aside. But, again, every child is different.”
If a student is struggling to make the transition from one school to another, Miloy says be supportive every step of the way.
“As a child goes through elementary from grade level to grade level, they become more confident, they know the teachers, the campus, things are working to their advantage,” Miloy said. “But leaving fifth going to sixth as a middle schooler, that is different. Sixth grade is difficult because you are on this bigger campus, you’re back being the youngest on campus and it’s a little frightening and you see a lot of stomach aches, but it’s important for parents to continue with the child and to support them.”
She says “as a rule of thumb, every time you transition from elementary to middle, middle to high school, even to college, you don’t want to totally let go because they need you, they need your advice. Just communicate well with your child. ”