Several studies have shown that homework does more harm than good for elementary school students. In this photo, Angel Nicols, aged 12, does his homework studies online before a show in the tiny caravan he shares with his mother, as he travels around England with Mr Fips' Wonder Circus in Huntingdon, England, April 7, 2014. Getty Images/ Mary Turner

Elementary schools in Marion County, Florida will no longer burden students with hours of homework starting next school year, announced Superintendent Heidi Maier on Wednesday. The decision was taken following findings that traditional homework does more harm to students’ health than good.

Instead of having a traditional system of homework, teachers will encourage parents to get more involved in their children’s studies and help them select the kind of books they would wish to read at home.

"Traditional homework as we know it will disappear," Maier said in a voice message to parents. "We'd like you to assist your child in self-selecting their own texts that inspire them and encourage them to read. This is so important for so many reasons, including building relationships and increasing parent involvement."

Parents will be asked to spend 20 minutes every evening with their kids, reading a variety of books, which need not be of academic value. “It does not have to be Emily Bronte (‘Wuthering Heights’), it can be ‘Barbie Gets Her Nails Done,’” added Maier. Although the students won’t have daily homework per se, they will eventually be given occasional science project or research assignment to complete at home.

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Although the mandate with be valid for all 31 public elementary schools in the Marion County, it will not be applicable for middle and high schools. According to the superintendent, unlike elementary schools, at least 90 minutes of homework in middle school and more in high school, has been found to positively impact the intellectual growth of students of those standards, Ocala reported.

Maier based her decision to ban homework on research of Richard Allington, a University of Tennessee professor of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. According to the study, “Students who are given a preponderance of homework do not perform better, or get better grades, than those who do not." Furthermore, the research urges educators to let the children choose what they want to read every day.

Apart from the study that Maier based her decision on, there have been several reports in the past that have shown that children in elementary schools do far more hours of homework than is originally recommended. National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) have set the amount of homework for first grade students to be no more than “10 minutes,” while high school seniors should be allowed two hours of work per night, Healthline reported. Kindergarten kids, however, should not receive any homework at all.

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However, a 2015 study, published in the American Journal of Family Therapy, which analyzed more than 1,100 parents with school-age children from Rhode Island, New England, said Kindergarteners received 25 minutes of homework per night. The alarming proportion of homework being doled out to the students might be responsible in creating undue pressure on the minds and health of the students, especially if the parents come from a limited education background and are unable to help out their children with studies at home, suggested the study.