Pope and Galloway recently surveyed more than 4,300 students from 10 high-achieving high schools.
Students reported bringing home an average of just over three hours of homework nightly (, 2013).
"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.
That report cited findings from a 2012 survey of first-year college students in which 38.4 percent reported spending six hours or more per week on homework during their last year of high school. The Brookings report also explored survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which asked 9-, 13- and 17-year-old students how much homework they'd done the previous night.
They found that between 19, there was a slight increase in homework for 9-year-olds, but homework amounts for 13- and 17-year-olds stayed roughly the same, or even decreased slightly."At all grade levels, doing other things after school can have positive effects," Cooper says."To the extent that homework denies access to other leisure and community activities, it's not serving the child's best interest." Children of all ages need down time in order to thrive, says Denise Pope, Ph D, a professor of education at Stanford University and a co-founder of Challenge Success, a program that partners with secondary schools to implement policies that improve students' academic engagement 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.But even time spent on social media can help give busy kids' brains a break, she says. Studies attempting to quantify time spent on homework are all over the map, in part because of wide variations in methodology, Pope says.A 2014 report by the Brookings Institution examined the question of homework, comparing data from a variety of sources.In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good.Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress."Three hours per night is too much," Galloway says.In the high-achieving schools Pope and Galloway studied, more than 90 percent of the students go on to college.