ST. LOUIS — Schools used to think more homework meant more prepared students. However, research suggests that may not be true.

In fact, too much homework can stress kids out and make it harder to learn in class.

According to many experts, kids need down time. Too much homework can bog them down.

Dr. Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs said a good rule of thumb is 10 minutes per grade.

That means a 2th-grader should not have more than 20 minutes of homework. A 3rd-grader should have about 30 minutes. A 12th-grader would max out at 2 hours.

Dr. Vatterott said homework should do 3 things:

1. Help a student practice what they learn

2. Check for understanding

3. Help with processing, so your child understands why the information is important.

Homework should not be prep work for the next day, according to Dr. Vatterott.

She said it’s up to parents to speak up and go to their child’s school when the homework load gets overwhelming.