I believe in homework because it serves as an opportunity for the student to display his or her understanding of the day's lessons without direct help from the teacher. It also provides parents with an insight. Each individual can measure the amount of homework differently. Too much is when the time reserved for homework is more than forty-five minutes to an hour depending on the age and performance level. Not all but some parents feel 15 minutes is too much. It has to be understood that parents were the first teachers their child ever had and they need to interact with the child and see how well he comprehending. That is my belief about the subject of homework. Is there too much? Again, it depends on one's definition of too much.

A. Nicks, Ville Platte, LA, First grade

My rule for my fourth graders is that if they are overwhelmed by homework, they can send a note from home saying they have tried but can't figure it out. I believe homework is a way for students to practice, not to fail or become discouraged. It's too early for these kids to be stressed out by school. They have enough time to worry about it.

Kate, Lake Forest, IL, Fourth grade

I do not think students are receiving enough homework. There are so many people who feel that I send home too much homework. The work that gets taken home is not homework; it is class work that is not finished in class. Why is it not finished? Because the students are wasting their time doing other things. I wish I were able to send home actual homework, as it is an important learning tool. It helps students apply what they have learned outside of the classroom. I value homework. This is my first year teaching, and I have already decided that homework and class work will be two different things next year. There will be math and language homework each day the subject is taught. Those two subjects need all the practice they can get.

Rose McIntyre, Walburg, TX, Fifth and Eighth grade

What I have found is that the amount of homework is just right; but that many kids do so many after-school activities that they don't have time at home. I have spoken with some parents over the years about changing schedules.

Laura Reeve, San Jose, CA, Fifth grade

I think students are receiving too much unnecessary homework. Homework should be reinforcement of what is learned in the classroom. I do not think it should be three and four hours a night. It should be an hour at the most.

E Ward, Chicago, IL, Second grade

I think that students are getting the right amount of homework. It strengthens what they have already learned during the school day.

Jennifer Gutierrez, Santana, CA, Fifth grade

Students receive too much homework. They must sacrifice family time and/or church on Wednesday night and on Sunday in order to keep up. I am in college now and I cannot attend church at all this semester because of the workload. I can say as a student that when I am given so much work, I am so busy rushing to get it done that I do not learn any of the material. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of going to school? Educators need to rethink their objectives and give appropriate lessons to be learned, not just rushed through.

Becky Jancze, Griffin, GA, Kindergarten

What students are lacking is the way to approach their assignments. They have no idea how to organize their time and supplies. So much time is wasted just looking for ruled notebook paper, colored pencils, or an eraser. When they have a long-term assignment due, they don't know what needs to be done first. They don't know how to organize their ideas to write a report in a logical sequence from introduction to conclusion. If students don't acquire these skills in elementary school, they are going to be in over their heads the first week of middle school.

Carrie Bildstein, Atherson, CA, Fifth grade

As a mother of a first grader, an elementary substitute teacher, and a "Homework Associate" for a family of four boys, my answer is a definite yes! I was assured that my son would have 20 minutes of homework during school nights, and no homework on the weekends. Yet, my son is sent home every weekend with his sight word vocabulary box, and a literature book read in class during the week. Homework definitely doesn't mesh with family time, as many households have two working parents. Some students with learning issues need twice the amount of time to do their homework, while still needing time to connect with their parents, siblings, and neighborhood friends. These connections are so important in students'development of self-esteem. I praise the teachers that assign the week's homework ahead of time, for example, sending home the assignments for Monday through Friday. I find this more manageable as a mother, and as a "Homework Associate." It also helps students to better organize their personal time! A "No homework Month" would be wonderful, even though that sounds far-fetched. The cherubs would definitely be smiling-and the teachers might be too!

Michelle Izzo, Commack, NY, Grades K-8

I think that students are receiving too much homework. It can be a useful tool, but we need quality, rather than quantity. Students also need to make some choices of their own, because if they learn about what they love, they will love to learn. It is important that we sometimes do things we don't like, but the time spent at home should be quality time with families, as well as extracurricular and safe social activities. Bogging children down with homework deprives them of learning some important social skills.

Jan F. Hirsch, New York, NY, Fifth grade

Yes, children are definitely receiving too much homework. My daughter has had way too much homework in both fifth and sixth grades! She is also in the band, and this makes it difficult for her to practice playing her instrument 30 minutes every night.

Deane Hymel, Houma, LA, Sixth grade