It's that dreaded time of day for many students - and sometimes parents - homework time.
Angela Guarnieri, Title I reading and math intervention teacher at H.C. Mines Intermediate School in Howland, said it need not be viewed that way.
"Homework is a practice and review of daily concepts that were covered in the classroom," she said. "Homework is a way for students to practice what they have already learned prior to that school day.
''The value of homework is as students bring back homework, teachers could see if a student needs remediation on that subject. It lends to a question-and-answer time with the teacher and a conversation between parent, teacher and student."
Don Bailey, fourth-grade teacher at North Road Intermediate School in Howland, said that homework should not be overwhelming but more of an accomplishment of learning.
"Homework should be satisfying in that students should feel that they have met their goals," he said. "I don't give a whole lot of homework, but I give students assignments that help them creatively apply what they are learning. That is the highest level of learning, when students see how they could apply what they are learning and create something from what they have learned."
Casey Cox of Youngstown says her daughter, Hollis, who is in second grade, does not get a lot of homework.
"It's a very small amount," she said. "For example, she needs to read a short story and answer a few comprehension questions or do a math paper. She never gets homework in more than one subject per night. There are a few big homework assignments once a month or so that she really likes doing."
Guarnieri said that homework should be seen as a communication tool between parents, teachers and students.
"We are all working together towards one goal, which is learning and achievement," she said. "We really want to bring it together as a community that links home and school together. We want to link achievement together for the child."
Cox has discovered her daughter's strengths and weaknesses from helping her with homework.
"I notice how fast, easy and fun it is for my daughter to work on her social studies, English and reading and how frustrated she gets with math," Cox said. "The homework helps me narrow in on her weaknesses and try to help her understand."
But how much homework is too much?
As a parent, Leah Ifft of Youngstown said that the homework load between her children varies dramatically.
"I have one child in first grade at a parochial school and another child in seventh grade who recently transferred to public school," she said. "The parochial school assigns a lot of homework. This poses a challenge for busy families.
''I work until 5 every day and my younger children have to be in bed by 8. Somehow, we are supposed to squeeze in dinner, playtime, chores and baths into less than three hours. Add homework with a tired 7-year-old to the mix, and it can be a disaster."
Mike Majzun, director at Sylvan Learning Center in Niles, said he believes that homework load hours should vary by grade level.
"Elementary students should have no more than an hour of homework," he said. "Junior high and high school students should have an hour to an hour and a half of homework. This includes studying and looking over notes to prepare," Majzun said.
Guarnieri said that the amount of homework depends on the curriculum demands of each grade level.
"It depends on the curriculum and the content that the students are learning at the time," she said.
Ifft said that homework causes family stress in her household.
"The biggest change I noticed in homework today, compared to when I was a kid, is that homework assignments begin much earlier," she said. "This is not practical for working parents, especially if they are raising multiple children."
"The best thing for parents to do is to set up a routine with a set time and link it to an activity the family does every day," said Kathie Nalepa of Hubbard, owner and lead tutor of Nalepa Tutoring and Training Services. "I think parents should set an example for children.
''Even if children might not have homework on a specific day, parents should set up a study time for their kids to review. This might include reading a book and discussing the book together as a family routine,'' she said.
Study routines during free time condition children to be more responsive and responsible when it comes to homework. Nalepa said parents should help their children during early childhood years to accustom them to a learning routine.
"During the early grades, homework help is based more on supervisions and teaching kids to be responsible," she said. "By fourth or fifth grade, children should be more independent."
Nalepa said it's best for younger children to take it one step at a time when it comes to accomplishing homework.
"During the younger ages, parents provide the framework for a child so they have a schedule," she said. "Children need more guidance because they are overwhelmed and need to know what they need to accomplish first. It's best for children to break down homework in little chunks."