SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Today on Kids Under Construction, parenting journalist and expert Donna Tetreault speaks with Denise Pope Ph.D., founder of Stanford’s Challenge Success, about health homework balance.

“There’s actually a lot of misconceptions when it comes to homework,” says Pope. “People believe that it’s time-on-task, but it turns out, it’s not the quantity of homework, but the quality of homework that makes the difference.”

Pope says a surprising discovery is that homework for elementary-level students did not positively affect or correlate to academic success. The only exception with positive results was reading for pleasure. When looking at older students in middle and high school, the positive effect of homework on academic achievement becomes greater, but Pope says the relevancy of the tasks matter the most.

“What is much more important than the time-on-task is what is actually being asked of the students to do and if they think it’s relevant, useful, and doable on their own,” says Pope.

The best way for parents to support their children with academic enrichment is simply making sure they have everything they need to succeed. Providing school supplies, appropriate clothing or gear for sports, and nourishing food so they can focus during study sessions.

Making sure your children have enough time to do their homework is important, too.

“Don’t overschedule them and make sure they are actually ready and interested in the assignment,” says Pope. “Show an interest in learning yourself, and your kids may show an interest in learning themselves,” says Pope.

What if your child is struggling with completing their homework?

Pope says it’s important to figure out the source of frustration before speaking with their teacher. Issues can be caused by a lack of interest, stress, lack of food or even sleep. Once the source of the problem is understood, the solutions will be much easier.

To check out the full conversation, check out the video above.