by Lauren T., Age 14
, Grade 8, Holy Trinity Parish school, Louisville , KENTUCKY USA
You get home from school, turn on the television to your favorite channel, play on your phone, eat a delicious snack, and go outside, knowing you have the rest of the night to do whatever you want. This is every students dream, but day in and day out it is foiled due to excessive amounts of homework. However, there is a solution. Homework, as a whole, has been proven to be very beneficial to students not only in classroom assessments, but also on standardized tests. This however, is to an extent, too much homework can cause a multitude of issues. These include, burnout toward academic material, stress and other health issues, and impacts on free time, sleep, family time, and sports or other extracurricular activities. As much of a dream not having homework would be, it should not be completely done away with, just limited to the point where it is helpful, but not excessive.
The first reason homework should be limited is because it can cause academic burnout, and too much can do more harm than good. For example, students who spent a fair amount of time on homework for their grade level, scored higher on tests, but students who spend too much time (More than 90-100 minutes for middle schoolers) had lower scores. Also, According to a study performed by Pope and Galloway only 20-30 percent of students felt their homework was useful/meaningful. This means, the students are less likely to try as hard or care about homework, meaning they are getting nothing out of it except wasted time. In the case of homework, many experts say it should be quality over quantity. Ten quality problems, will do just as much as fifty researchers say, and only ten problems leaves students with plenty of time to do other activities. Another reason homework should be reduced is because it can cause an academic burnout. An academic burnout is students feeling overwhelmed and not wanting to continue/lose interest in their education and goals in life. This is a serious issue, and can lead to students giving up, and not caring about their education. This leads many students to become drop-outs, or not reach their full potential when it comes to a career. A quote by Adeles states, “In fact, those hours of assignments can hurt both health and learning.” Overall, experts are all in agreement that too much homework can cause academic issues, but quality homework can improve test scores.
The second reason homework should be limited is because it can cause serious amounts of stress and other health related issues. For example, a study by Stanford University shows 56% of students consider homework to be a source of stress. Other health related issues due to homework include, lack of sleep, increased number of headaches, and even exhaustion. All of these can lead to an inability to focus, meaning altogether, homework made things worse for students because they can’t learn at all due to lack of sleep. Stress, can also be looked at as a reason why under-age drinking and use of nicotine and drugs are at an all time high. Finally, stress can cause students to look for alternative ways to complete assignments such as cheating. In conclusion, homework can cause not only stress but other health and behavioral problems.
Finally, homework should be limited because it impacts free time, sleep, family time, and extracurricular or physical activities. The first thing homework impacts is free time. This is because free-time is a great way for students to relax, refresh, and refocus their lives. It also makes them more well- rounded and developed in other areas. Second, is family time, family time is crucial to a growing child, and without it, the child may experience family and social issues. Next, is sleep, lack of sleep can cause exhaustion, inability to focus, and irritability especially in teenagers. Finally, is time for physical activity. Doctors recommend teenagers get at least an hour of vigorous to moderate physical activity a day, but between school, homework, eating meals, and sleep, there simply is not enough for physical activity. Finally, is an impact on time for sports or other activities. Some students are unable to participate in these activities due to fears of an impact on time for academics. Students should never have to limit family time, sleep, or sports and other activities due to homework. However, with decreased amounts students would have the ability to not only improve their learning but have time for other things as well.
Many people may argue that homework is necessary to sharpen student’s knowledge. To an extent, that is very true. However, in order for homework to be truly helpful it must be limited. This is because it can cause academic burnout, stress, and impacts on free time, sleep, family time, and physical activity. Overall, all teachers should do what is best for their students, and what experts are all in agreement that the best thing to do is decrease homework, and give students their time back.