Trudging home from school each day after having endured at least seven and a half hours of hard labor, I walk through the door thinking about nothing but the fact that I have even more hours of tedious schoolwork to complete before tomorrow. As many as five or six hours of homework a night is not unusual for students in high school, leaving them barely any time to do much activities that they actually enjoy doing. Having been assigned homework in almost every class, the students have acquired a heavy load of work by the end of the school day. I believe that if, perhaps, a designated amount of time for homework to be done were established for each individual class, students (including myself) would be able to reduce their levels of stress, as well as create well-balanced and healthy lifestyles. Just a few weeks ago, my sophomore class began to feel this cumbersome load of homework weighing down upon their shoulders.
Not only did we have hours upon hours of homework to complete, but we also had a test or quiz in (literally) every subject, which had been scheduled for the next two weeks. During this time, I was forced to sacrifice my life outside of school, including my social life. I ignored phone calls from friends, skipped eating dinner together with my family, and stayed up studying until at least two o’clock in the morning—all in order to finish the assigned homework and be able to perform well on all my tests and quizzes. There are negatives that come with overloading students with homework, many of which, unfortunately, I have become a victim of myself. Have you ever heard of a child getting ill due to an excessive amount of homework? According to William Crain, Ph.D.
, a professor of psychology at the City College of New York and the author of the book Reclaiming Childhood, kids are beginning to develop more school-related stomachaches, headaches, sleep problems, and depression than they ever have before. Staying up well past midnight every night in order to complete my assigned homework and study for all my tests and quizzes has forced me to get only about five hours of sleep per night. As a result, I have begun to feel weak and exhausted during the past few months at school, and the amount of stress I have on myself is almost unbearable. Harris Cooper, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, said that a student who receives an excessive amount of homework “will miss out on active playtime, essential for learning social skills, proper brain development, and warding off childhood obesity.
” Although some teachers may believe that assigning students a lot of homework is beneficial, a Duke University survey conducted by Cooper found almost no connection between homework and long-term success in elementary school and only a slight connection in middle school. Cooper concluded that “more homework is not better.” Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I do understand the importance of homework in the long run; however, I do not believe in having an insane and unreasonable amount of homework per night. Many times, teachers assign homework for every class, regardless of the extreme amount of work that students have already received. The question now is how to solve this destructive homework problem.
According to the National Education Association (NEA), a student should be assigned no more than ten minutes of homework per grade level per night. For example, a first grader should only have ten minutes of homework, a second grader should have twenty minutes, and so on. Too much homework deprives students of physical and mental strength, healthy and balanced lifestyles, and, most importantly, their love of learning. Is that really what teachers want? I strongly believe that if schools would assign less homework per night, it would benefit both students and teachers alike. A student who is assigned less homework will be able to live a happy life and look forward to stress-free, relaxed nights at home.
At the same time, teachers will have less work to grade. It’s really a win-win situation all around.